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    Zoom lens recommendations - fs7 & fs5
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    New to the forum here and looking for some advice on lens recommendations for Sony FS5 and FS7. Current Rig owned is a Sony FS5 with Raw Upgrade and Atomos Shogun Inferno. Typically shoot S-Log 3 Gammut and grade in FCPX and Resolve with good results. I also get the opportunity to borrow and or work with my friends FS7 mk II ALOT and may be looking at getting myself a used MKII or used F55 down the road as a new A-cam but need to finish a lot of jobs before then. I am somewhat invested in Sony gear and or lenses so that makes the decision tougher moving forward with lens investments as I also own the following below....

    Sony A7rII - 35mm FF
    Zeiss Batis 85mm / F1.8 - 35mm equivalent = 128mm
    Zeiss Loxia 50mm / F2.0 - 35mm equivalent = 75mm
    Zeiss Loxia 35mm / F2.0 - 35mm equivalent = 52mm
    Zeiss Loxia 21mm / F2.8 -35mm equivalent = 32mm - (Gimbal and W-angle on A7rII)
    Veydra 25mm /T2.2 - Super 35 - (Gimbal and W-angle on FS5)
    Sony FE 90mm GM / F2.8 Macro - 35mm equivalent = 135mm (SOON TO BUY)

    It should first be noted that I am currently using the A7rII as a B-cam @ 4K at slower frame rates (i.e. product shots, interviews, vlogs, etc.). I also use it a lot on my Ronin and various sliders for shots that do not need slow motion as it really does make a nice super-light weight setup and cuts well with my FS5. I originally invested in the full-frame "photography" lenses when I first started getting into photography a long while back but with the need for higher-quality video productions continuing to increase in my local market area I will not be looking to invest in any more "photography" lenses moving forward and will only be interested in dedicated cine lenses as the demand and price point is now there for me.

    I am specifically looking at zooms as I have very quickly learned that the opportunity to change between primes can be limited with certain productions and I would like to round out my lens portfolio in this area as I already have a bunch of primes (even though they are FF). I know the current primes owned are at a disadvantage with crop-adjustment-factors, short focus throws, etc. but to be completely honest the Zeiss Loxia's look quite exceptional on the FS5 for what they were originally designed for and with their de-clickable aperture they really aren't too hateful in my opinion and I haven't had a single of my clients notice. Additionally, a good Cine Zoom in my kit would be awesome to provide the ability to zoom "par-focally" which in my opinion would add an extremely important and very nice high-end production feel to my shots.


    SO..... I have narrowed it down to 3 lenses essentially with an added bonus option...

    1: Sony E PZ Zoom 18‑110mm f/4.0 G (Sony E-Mount) - This lens gives me a full focal range all in one lens all with power-zoom and an "acceptable" par-focal performance which is huge when paired with a small form factor like the FS5. Downsides include limited speed of F4.0 but I could use lenses like the Veydra 25mm at T2.2 or any of the Loxia's at F2.0 for low-light or bokeh shots.

    2:Fujinon MK50-135mm T2.9 Lens (Sony E-Mount) - I am really loving and leaning towards the MK lenses. Truly par-focal, fully manual, butter smooth, no electronics, faster than the 18-100, and a nicer "look" and skin tone renders than the 18-110 G in my opinion. It's also extremely light (awesome for FS5) although somewhat long which I don't really like. I don't really know if there are downsides to this lens other than being limited to Sony E-mount for such a high dollar lens investment. Oh, and it has a macro switch! How well does this really work in comparison to say the FE 90 Macro? Is it a 1:1 or 2:1 magnification? Would I be able to use this and not purchase the FE 90 F/2.8?

    3:Fujinon MK18-55mm T2.9 Lens (Sony E-Mount) - Pretty much same as above except I can't make my mind up as to what focal length I should purchase and would work better in unison with my existing lenses? What are your thoughts? Would an 18-55mm or 50-135 zoom make more sense in additional to my current lens kit for a first "real cine zoom" purchase?

    4: Sigma 50-100mm T/2.0 (PL-Mount) - THIS IS THE BONUS OPTION- We all know this lens is exceptional. Super fast aperture and tack sharp. Another advantage that if purchased in PL-mount it may serve me longer down the road. I will need to purchase a good PL-Adapter and now have to worry about that additional support / hassle compared to using native lenses but maybe it is a small price to pay.


    It should also be noted that I most likely will will not be able to use any of these lenses on my current gimbal setup as I will not have enough space for back-weighting probably. The Fujinon MK's may be light enough but until I get them in hand I don't really know how far forward they are weighted. So that being said whichever of the lenses recommended (18-110 range), (18-55 range), (50-135 range), I will need to keep in mind how I will use the other lenses in my kit to fill in the gaps (i.e. gimbal use, ultra-wides, low-light, bokeh shots). Just some thoughts to consider as to where each of the lenses leaves me in rounding out my production lens portfolio.

    Thanks ahead of time as I know this is a lengthy post. Feedback is very much appreciated!


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    Senior Member Bern Caughey's Avatar
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    The MK Zooms would be my first choice unless you need the greater range of the 18-110/4.

    Would test Sigma’s 50-100mm before purchasing. Had to use one once, & it breathes so heavily that sometimes I thought I’d grabbed the zoom ring instead of the focus.


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    Interesting to hear about the Sigmas. A close friend got to use one on his scarlet-w and said the same thing that there was some focus breathing but I wasn't sure if it was just him or the particular lens. This is surprising for the cost and reputation of the lens.


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    #4
    Senior Member Run&Gun's Avatar
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    Every review I have seen regarding the Sigma 50-100 Cine zoom said the focus breathing is VERY noticeable.


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    Senior Member legrevedotcom's Avatar
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    I would never consider the Sigma... seriously.*

    The thing is... are you sure that you wont miss the extra focal lenght if choosing one of the MKs? I know they are expensive, but I see them as a pair, not a "choose one".

    I have both MKs and the 18-110, and I don't think I could choose between the two... the MKs look nicer and that macro function is a blast but the 18-110 is very usable if your job is moving around a lot and need AF.
    My next nice to have buy, will be the Tilta Nucleus-M kit to make the MKs perfect. Still no AF, but with wireless focus handle I could live without it the few times I would use AF in the first place. For locked controlled shots, the MKs are the first lenses I pull out.

    That sigma :S


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    I love the MK 18-55. I just cary that and a Batis 85mm most of the time.


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    I think they are all great choices, its a really tough one. I would like to say go with the Sigma 50-100 and then later down the road pair it with the Sigma 18-35. That would give you an incredible set of coverage with a consistent look. My reasoning would be the potential you have of using it down the road on other cameras. That is if full frame doesn't become the defacto standard, i think its safe to say that would be a really long time from now. Going full frame is always going to be heavier so super 35 will probably always be around especially for run and gun. All the other lenses you mention also cover the similar image circle give or take. So no advantages on that front from either or. I don't think the breathing is a problem if you know its there. It seems like you have a nice set of lenses to use for focus pulls. Though the Fujinon MK does not breath at all from what I notice, Ive used the 18-55 and in that regard its perfect.

    Thats what I would like to say, but now to the practical. The Sony 18-110 gives you a tremendous all in one zoom range. No lens swapping needed. Its an F4 but you already have some fast primes when you need them. You don't need to pair this with another zoom lens like you would the sigma and you don't have to buy two lenses like in the case of the fuji, I also see that mk line as a set, you really need them booth to get the advantage. Can you live with the emount only? You most likely will never be able to use this with a Red or Arri camera, you can use it on the Venice if those jobs come up. But than again you would probably use more expensive glass with those cameras anyways. The Sigmas PL mount would come in handy here. I think the Sony would be your one and done.

    Now if I can make things more complicated for you, and I apologies for doing so, but the Fujinon 20-120 would be a great option. Its in a different budget all together but if you were to buy both MK Zooms or both Sigma zooms you'd end up almost at about the same spot. This would truly be your one and done. 3.5 T stop so somewhat in the middle between the MK's and the Sony. You could also rent this lens and make some side cash more than you could any of the other choices, maybe the sigmas?


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    Senior Member JPNola's Avatar
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    and thus the dilemma. All of them have some drawback to them.

    If only we could have the best quality of all the zooms mentioned, in one lens.

    The Sigma's speed, the Sony's range, the MK's macro ability / back-focus adjustment feature / ENG zoom-like mechanics / size & weight.

    An 18-110mm T.1.5 par-focal zoom that has minimal breathing, that weighs under 3 lbs, is constant aperture, with 200 degree focus rotation, and has a housing of 82mm in diameter. Price under $12k


    The-Holy-Grail-of-Online-Engagement.jpg
    Big sources matter.


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    #9
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    Appreciate the responses from all and all very excellent advice. After everything said I think I have to agree with alex cristescu that 18-110 would be the smartest option for getting full range coverage with power zoom for docs and anything suitable for f4 in combination to my current kit of fast-ish primes (i.e. loxia / batis). The Sony 18-110 could be the one and done... if only my lens purchasing habits worked that way. So I must say my heart sill lies on the Fuji Mk's. I just like the look. Especially the 18-55 from everything I have seen. Im tempted to get the 18-55 as a go to do "almost everything" and then the 50-135 down the road when funds allow and just use the batis 85 for interviews / short-range tele in the mean time.


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    Senior Member JPNola's Avatar
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    If you need servo zoom, then the answer is obvious. You get the Sony.

    I think you should go with where your heart is. Just be ready to be lacking the focal length that the Sony would provide. 18-55mm doesn't give you much when you have a subject far away or need tight shots of subjects that are not in your lap. But you could pick up a used Canon EF 70-200mmf/2.8 Mk1 for around $700-$1000 instead of getting the Sony FE 90mm.

    Again, I own the Sony 18-110mm and rarely use it. It is just so "meh". Its f/4 speed is often just too slow and leaves me wanting for exposure...particularly when shooting sLog and as a result locked into ISO 2000. Anything low-light- night exterior under street lights, in a restaurant at night, in a home setting at night- you are going to be wanting for light with that Sony. I end up using a combo of fast 18-35mm and 24-70mm zooms rather than the Sony, even though that means I am giving up the range from 70mm-110mm. I'd rather be on fast glass with character but wanting for focal length than have focal length but be wanting for speed and character. That make sense?
    Big sources matter.


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