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View Full Version : The Kit Lens is Underrated...



DOSMedia
07-16-2011, 01:12 PM
So I do not see many people on here talking about it. Most likely because many people probably do not have it, which I understand because for most people it is pointless.

I just wanted to say that I was skeptical about buying it, but figured for $600 or whatever it was that it had to at least be decent. I bought it for really no other reason than for when I shoot skiing or other action sports.
I finally got a chance to shoot something besides commercial work and brought it up to Mt Hood last weekend for a few days and was very impressed by how it performed. The autofocus on it is LEGIT. I was shocked by this. I was actually able to feel comfortable with the autofocus on. The OIS system is also very good and works just as good as the HVXs does. I used it as my lens when I wanted to just pull the camera out of the bag and shoot. Also I used it when I had to track a subject (skier) and kind of needed the auto focus.

One downside is the internal focusing is really not good for manual focusing. You can set a focus, but trying to change it smoothly with a follow focus obviously doesnt work since it doesnt always change the same speed. I dont know how to explain this really, but I am sure you guys know what I am talking about. For example, you cant mark your FF at one point and then focus to another and try to focus back to your marked point.

Another shocking thing is that you CAN zoom with it. There are no aperture clicks and the zoom ring is fluid and pretty tight. I was actually able to do a little bit of zooming smoothly and the picture did not change. This was a plus to me just because that was one thing I was worried about for shooting skiing.

I obviously wouldnt recommend this for people shooting narratives and/or studio work only, but for run and gun or sports shooting, it really is a pretty good lens.

The build quality is awesome too. This is nothing like the 18-55mm "kit" lens that canon puts out. Its much better.

Anyone else have it and thinking the same thing, "wow this is actually a pretty solid lens."?

morgan_moore
07-16-2011, 02:27 PM
I hate it ... and love it !

I love taking time making marks choosing a wide ap prime

But in the real world the zoom is basically superb with AF range, etc

The skill IMO is to know when to use it .. there are times that it is the correct tool

I bought and am plased I did,

Bascially this and somthing like a 35 F2.5 nikkor like I have make for a very capable combo given the size and cost


http://vimeo.com/26393362

stevedocmaker
07-16-2011, 03:44 PM
I agree, this is an excellent lens. AF is very good and optics are superb. The zoom ring on mine is very tight, which is good and bad. There's no way to zoom live when hand held, but on a tripod it is possible. It's too bad Sony did not opt for a LANC control port on this camera, the ability to add something like a Varizoom controller would have made this lens a real keeper.

The other thing that should be commended is the lack of steps in the iris - it's perfectly smooth. Even the vaunted Canon L lenses have a stepped iris, as does the "kit" lens on the AF100.

The option of "standard" and "active" OIS is interesting, but I'd almost rather have just one option that was half way between the two.

alaskacameradude
07-16-2011, 03:45 PM
So I do not see many people on here talking about it. Most likely because many people probably do not have it, which I understand because for most people it is pointless.

I just wanted to say that I was skeptical about buying it, but figured for $600 or whatever it was that it had to at least be decent. I bought it for really no other reason than for when I shoot skiing or other action sports.
I finally got a chance to shoot something besides commercial work and brought it up to Mt Hood last weekend for a few days and was very impressed by how it performed. The autofocus on it is LEGIT. I was shocked by this. I was actually able to feel comfortable with the autofocus on. The OIS system is also very good and works just as good as the HVXs does. I used it as my lens when I wanted to just pull the camera out of the bag and shoot. Also I used it when I had to track a subject (skier) and kind of needed the auto focus.

One downside is the internal focusing is really not good for manual focusing. You can set a focus, but trying to change it smoothly with a follow focus obviously doesnt work since it doesnt always change the same speed. I dont know how to explain this really, but I am sure you guys know what I am talking about. For example, you cant mark your FF at one point and then focus to another and try to focus back to your marked point.

Another shocking thing is that you CAN zoom with it. There are no aperture clicks and the zoom ring is fluid and pretty tight. I was actually able to do a little bit of zooming smoothly and the picture did not change. This was a plus to me just because that was one thing I was worried about for shooting skiing.

I obviously wouldnt recommend this for people shooting narratives and/or studio work only, but for run and gun or sports shooting, it really is a pretty good lens.

The build quality is awesome too. This is nothing like the 18-55mm "kit" lens that canon puts out. Its much better.

Anyone else have it and thinking the same thing, "wow this is actually a pretty solid lens."?

I agree 100%. It is VERY good for video style 'run and gun' shooting. The auto functions (iris and focus) work surprisingly well, I used it about 20 minutes after I got the camera
to shoot my daughter's softball game and it worked awesome for that. The colors are nice, it gives you a nice sharp picture, the zoom range is great, even the wide shots look
very nice. The main drawbacks, are that it is slow (which when you are shooting outside isn't a big deal, you will need ND anyways if you want to keep the iris on the open end of
the lens) and the focus thing. It seems, that if you change the focus ring slowly, it will barely change.....in like 0.1 meter increments. But if you turn the focus ring faster, it
will suddenly change in 10 or 20 meter increments. It makes it hard to nail focus manually as you may go right past the distance you are trying to hit. It takes a lot of practice,
I can kind of do it now, but still not exact and still miss it sometimes. So, it definitely has it's problems, but as far as the image it puts out, and the flexibility of the lens,
it is a lens I would recommend anyone have, unless they are ONLY going to shoot narrative, heavily controlled action. With this lens, you can operate similar to what you do
with a traditional video camera, and although you lose some of the shallow depth of field, you can still get a surprising amount of it once you get to the mid focal lengths and
beyond. I also LOVE the fact that you can 'ride' iris WITHOUT IT BEING 'STEPPY'! This is HUGE to me. If you've ever used a PD 150 a few years ago you know what I mean.
And the AF 100 gives you the 'steppyness' in the iris.....just YUCK! When I have to change iris while recording, I want to be able to do it subtly, WITHOUT it sticking out
to the viewer that I am changing my F stop! I definitely think the kit lens gets a bad rap and is an underrated lens that would be a good addition to a shooter's lens bag.
And if you buy it with the camera as a kit, it's pretty cheap.

legrevedotcom
07-16-2011, 10:06 PM
Dos, you comment that you wouldn't recommend this to people doing narrative and studio work. Could you elaborate on this please? I'll be using it you see, for a studio green screen job in a little months time (the original plan was to shoot it on Canon 5D :O )... The shoot will be comprised of mainly tripod shots, along with a few pans past the talent.

jdv
07-16-2011, 11:29 PM
I guess my question would be: What's the alternative (assuming you didn't want to buy an adapter)?

MattDavis
07-17-2011, 01:37 AM
Am I missing something about this lens - I find that, when it's in autofocus mode, you can't 'help' the focus. So when the lens loses its way, you're stuck waiting for the lens to hunt around and work things out on its own. The focus ring, when in auto, is basically redundant.

Is there a secret 'AF Assist' mode?

morgan_moore
07-17-2011, 01:49 AM
Dos, you comment that you wouldn't recommend this to people doing narrative and studio work. Could you elaborate on this please? I'll be using it you see, for a studio green screen job in a little months time (the original plan was to shoot it on Canon 5D :O )... The shoot will be comprised of mainly tripod shots, along with a few pans past the talent.

If you are doing cine work you would need a solid lens with focus that can be moved to marks

You would be unlikely to use 'auto'

Probably you would want a faster T stop

S

legrevedotcom
07-17-2011, 02:34 AM
It's not advanced stuff this time... just a basic music video. The last one I did green screen with this team was on the 5D and it was decent (70-200 2.8L II stopped at F8).
The AD / Director asked me to make sure that we get the talent sharp from front to back, so we wouldn't be shooting even 3.5, I guess I would stick to atleast F8 again, maybe 11.
Atleast I figure that even though the stock lens is not the most amazing thing in the world, it would do atleast as good as the 70-200 here?

JDV, good point. Actually I purchased a Kipon in lack of knowledge of better options :S So there's still the option to go with the Canon 24-70 2.8L or the 70-200 2.8L II.

J Davis
07-17-2011, 02:39 AM
Are there any clips around showing the sony kit lens zooming smoothly? (some good info on it here, tx!)

stevedocmaker
07-17-2011, 08:37 AM
Am I missing something about this lens - I find that, when it's in autofocus mode, you can't 'help' the focus. So when the lens loses its way, you're stuck waiting for the lens to hunt around and work things out on its own. The focus ring, when in auto, is basically redundant.

Is there a secret 'AF Assist' mode?

I don't know of any secret mode, but I have noticed that the AF seems center weighted. Place the subject in the center of the frame, then slowly pan to the side. Sometimes this seems to hold.

alaskacameradude
07-17-2011, 09:56 AM
Well, depending on what you are shooting, you can leave the camera in manual focus, but use the 'push auto' focus button. Once you release that button, it will revert to manual focus and quit 'hunting'. I have some shots somewhere of zooming with the FS-100. I'll search around and see if I can find them and post them....you can perform a pretty decent zoom with the kit lens if you want. I don't zoom a lot during shots, but every once in awhile, there's a motivated reason, so I tested it out, and it seems to work pretty good.

morgan_moore
07-17-2011, 11:11 AM
I think there may be some 'new' skills in using this lens - for example keeping the AF button held, for a move and releasing at the end of it etc

S

Postmaster
07-17-2011, 12:56 PM
First I looked down on that kit lens and thought, WTF? I have a dozen of nice fast primes - so I ordered just the body.
Than I had a run & gun job.

Long story short:
Next day I ordered the kit lens. Itīs surprisingly great, the speed is not an issue, auto focus and stabilizer working better than expected.

No regrets - I would buy it again.


I guess my question would be: What's the alternative (assuming you didn't want to buy an adapter)?

There is no alternative in the moment if you need auto focus and stabilizer. Itīs the only glass that -not only talks with the FS100 - but speaks the same dialect

Frank

DOSMedia
07-17-2011, 02:39 PM
Are there any clips around showing the sony kit lens zooming smoothly? (some good info on it here, tx!)

Ive got some from last weekend. Ill try to post something up when I get done with some work.


Dos, you comment that you wouldn't recommend this to people doing narrative and studio work. Could you elaborate on this please? I'll be using it you see, for a studio green screen job in a little months time (the original plan was to shoot it on Canon 5D :O )... The shoot will be comprised of mainly tripod shots, along with a few pans past the talent.

Well, I feel like if your just doing studio work you could spend your money more wisely I guess. You can live with primes and there is no need to really zoom in studio work. Pans are fine as well. Plus if your in the studio your probably not rushing to get shots and there is no way really to manually focus from one point to the next consistently since its internally focused.
Also as someone else stated, you might want something faster indoors. Its a 3.5-6.3 which is fine for outside, but Im not sure about indoors (I have not used my kit lens inside yet).

Personal preference I guess, but I use pretty much all primes when I am not shooting run and gun or action.

SergeSmArt
07-17-2011, 03:46 PM
First I looked down on that kit lens and thought, WTF? I have a dozen of nice fast primes - so I ordered just the body.... ...Than I had a run & gun job. ... ...Next day I ordered the kit lens..... Frank

LOL .. This is why I don't get a body in B&H.. but found Kit with lens! ..... :grin: ... and I found very usefull to put my FollowFocus ..ON ZOOM-RING in this lens and zooming with it is MUCH BETTER! :)

http://www.sergesphotography.com/temp/SonyFS100_07.jpg

... than.. when I need to follow someone who walk to my direction - this autofocus keep him in focus much better, than I can do with FF...

just need to push and push... the AF button ( with one crazy exception: if someone else in contrast and saturated ( RED /ORANGE / BLUE ) shirt walk in the background - camera autofocus jump on him :Drogar-Evil(DBG): ...:grin: .... )

Here is one of my test-shoot with this lens:


http://youtu.be/PXsSNESxgz8
.... Nothing seriose..yet .... I just trying to keep good exposure using PP3, PP4, PP5... and some settings... :)

..But I have a few Canon lenses, so this is my "BIG" setup:

http://www.sergesphotography.com/temp/SonyFS100_017.jpg

This is my longest end: equivalent of 420mm F4 L IS ( I using 70-200 + X1.4 Extender ) on FF camera


Optically - any of my Canon-mount lenses MUCH BETTER than Sony Kit-lens.... a specially on open aperture!!!

16-35 - equivalent of 24mm on short end .. wide enough for me.. :) -->

http://www.sergesphotography.com/temp/SonyFS100_09.jpg


....I hope - tomorrow someone fix my OTHER adapter.. and will have an aperture control over my Canon-lenses... :)

legrevedotcom
07-17-2011, 08:24 PM
Serge... what adapter is that? I have 3 Canon L ande really want to be able to use those, but could only find the Kipon, so I bought the apeture one...

jdv
07-18-2011, 12:14 AM
I have two pieces of Canon glass - the nifty fifty and the tamron 17-50mm (non vc) 2.8.

I'd love to use both, but I don't want to spend $800 for a "smart" adapter - You can get a nice lens for that kind of scratch. And correct me if I'm wrong, but as of today there is no such smart adapter available to buy in any case.

I don't know squat about old Nikon glass (other then Phil Bloom and others recommend it) - or the new glass for that matter, so I'm a little leary about buying glass I don't know about then buying an adapter - but that seems to be the only other option not involving Zeiss glass.

Are there no primes or other native zoom lens for this camera?

morgan_moore
07-18-2011, 12:25 AM
There is not a mature range of lenses available in the native mount

Most people will be migrating lenses to this camera, nikon, ziess, old canon (easy) or new canon (hard and expensive)

Considering that in a year or two people may want to upgrade from this camera picking a more 'universal' lens system would probably be the way forward even starting from scratch

Sony have however in their Alpha system got it together with some lenses that look nice on paper

I dont know if those lenses are nice in reality or if they will 'talk' to this camera now or ever..

S

alaskacameradude
07-18-2011, 12:55 AM
There is not a mature range of lenses available in the native mount

Most people will be migrating lenses to this camera, nikon, ziess, old canon (easy) or new canon (hard and expensive)

Considering that in a year or two people may want to upgrade from this camera picking a more 'universal' lens system would probably be the way forward even starting from scratch

Sony have however in their Alpha system got it together with some lenses that look nice on paper

I dont know if those lenses are nice in reality or if they will 'talk' to this camera now or ever..

S

So I haven't a clue about a lot of this stuff. What would be a 'universal' lens system? It seems to me, that the best option for the FS-100 is Sony E mount lenses. Of course there are only a couple
of those. So the next best thing, seem to be Sony A mount lenses (including third party lenses made by Tamron, Sigma, or whomever in Sony A mount). This is because, you can get a Sony A mount
adaptor that will allow you to control the lens with the camera at least somewhat (various reports give differing results. At least you can control the iris for sure, and autofocus or auto iris may
or may not work, depending on the lens. If it does work, it may or may not be slow to work.) Other (Cannon/Nikon) lenses offer 'dumb' adapters which give you no control.....but if the lens is a manual
lens you can control it that way.....or some Nikon adapters may allow you to control iris, but not with the iris wheel on the camera, and I don't know how good that works. Is this right, or have I
misunderstood the situation? It is entirely possible that I have. If I have not however, I don't see why I would want to buy a lens with a more 'universal' mount, if it won't work well on my
main camera! If I was a stills shooter, or had other cameras, maybe. But it seems to me, that there are a bunch of different lens mount options, and none of them play particularly well together.
Again, I very likely could be wrong, this is just how I understood things being.....I hope I am wrong and there IS a universal lens system that would work well on the FS-100. It just doesn't make
sense to me to buy lenses that can't 'talk' to the camera in anticipation that they will be better for some possible future camera. I understand that Canon glass is very good, but if I can't adjust
iris on it, sorry, I don't care how good it is, I'd rather have different lens.....again, just my opinion. Of course, I quite possibly might be the ONLY person alive who was not caught up in the
HDSLR craze, so I don't have any investment in Cannon HDSLR bodies or glass. Anyways, I don't mean this to come across in a bad way to anyone, I really am asking because I will freely admit I know
nothing as I wasn't involved in the HDSLR craze, what lens mount would be more 'universal' and what would it allow me to do with my existing FS-100? Auto functions are not a must have, although
they are a nice to have. However, manual control over iris is a must for me, and I'd like it if it was smooth, and not 'steppy'. I had been looking at Sony A mount lenses, but really not sure at
this point which way to go.

profnoxin
07-18-2011, 12:56 AM
I will say that I've seen a few videos shot on vimeo with this lens where under heavily back light scenarios the subjects looked... glowy? They had a lot of halo-ing, and I'm not sure if it was a sloppy filtering job or the lens itself. Any shooters out there with this lens have that problem? I don't own it, but for the right job I might grab/borrow/rent and I'd like to know what I'm getting myself into.

jdv
07-19-2011, 01:44 PM
Here's a very good round up of the various reviews of the lens:
http://notesonvideo.blogspot.com/2011/05/should-you-buy-sony-nex-fs100-kit-lens.html

The reviews are really all over the place. The only comment that runs through all the reviews is that the lens is slow.

morgan_moore
07-19-2011, 02:51 PM
The lens is a total quandry - but a believe part of the FS100 tookit

Today I was shooting fast sequence and the light was changing - I could not change the ap fast enough also coud not find positivty in the focus wheel - so changed to a nikon,

Later we did a little sequence of a remote helicopter - handheld indoors - and the AF and stabilisation was amazing

you have got to know when and how to use it

S

SergeSmArt
07-21-2011, 04:00 PM
This is simple adapter from Amazon! -- >
http://www.sergesphotography.com/temp/Fotasy-EOS-NEX.jpg

You can get it here: http://www.amazon.com/RainbowImaging-Canon-NEX-3-Camera-Adapter/dp/B003XPJUIW/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1311289109&sr=8-3
Ships from and sold by cowboystudio (http://www.dvxuser.com/gp/help/seller/at-a-glance.html?ie=UTF8&seller=A1SU6RTSUAIWSN). :)

jdv
07-21-2011, 04:22 PM
Yup, it's another so called "dumb" adapter, meaning you can't control the F stop with it....

Making it a total pain in the butt to use.

SergeSmArt
09-23-2011, 02:14 AM
Yup, it's another so called "dumb" adapter, meaning you can't control the F stop with it....

Making it a total pain in the butt to use.
I don't think so :) ... at first - when I shoot with Sony FS-100 I use it on maximum aperture anyway :) - to produce more film-like looks... even my F2.8 lenses is not fast enough for it :) ... second - I use Kipon, with build-in aperture adapter, when I need it, but it works properly only with my Sigma 50mm, F1.4 lens --> http://www.ebay.com/itm/Canon-EOS-Lens-Sony-E-NEX-Adapter-Build-Aperture-/350425328323?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5196fa2ac3

.... and it's working very good! :)

MattDavis
09-24-2011, 06:35 AM
The lens is a total quandry - but a believe part of the FS100 tookit

Just wanted to run the following up the flag pole to see who licks it up:

As we know, the lens does not have a 'Focus Assist' mode so you can't 'help it', and it's also infuriating to focus (certainly PULL focus) as it's servo driven.

So, how about a 'touch focus' system - tap the viewfinder's image at a spot you want to focus on, the camera tells the lens to AF on that area. Just like a handy cam - or Epic!

I could forgive the lens a lot for that feature.

morgan_moore
09-24-2011, 07:14 AM
J
I could forgive the lens a lot for that feature.

We could all invent features it does not have - ideally it should be through an open source or app platform

Limits of travel, face rec, smile rec, A-B (like the Ex1) you name it

But none of that exists !

S

dop16mm
09-24-2011, 05:41 PM
The vg20 will supposedly have the touch screen focus working with the kit lens. I would think it is a big omission if the fs100 lacks this, firmware update?