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    Lenses for high school student film project
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    Canon DSLR Moderator M. Gilden's Avatar
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    Looking to source suggestions from the hive mind-

    I've been asked to teach a film making class in a local high school, their goal is to create a short student film by the end of the year. I was given a very modest budget to update their equipment and naturally thought Sony would be a good way for them to go. After camera bodies, lights and audio equipment however, I have about $1,000 for lenses left in the budget. I know, its not great, but I figure I can probably get a half decent set of primes and be on our way.

    I was considering some Rokinon primes, or perhaps some vintage with an adapter, but now I'm seeing that APSC E-mount lenses are actually not all that expensive. I'm not well versed in the Sony crop lens market, so I'm sort of in over my head in knowing what would be good options. This is where you guys (hopefully) come in! Is it realistic to go native lenses for roughly $1000 on an APSC Sony video project? I see there's even an 18-105 f/4 that goes for under $600, so I feel like this shouldn't be impossible.
    Keep in mind, the end result will likely be a DVD so 4k resolving ability is hardly a priority (we'll be recording in FHD though- not sure if it will ever be distributed in full 1080, but it is possible). More important to me as the teacher, however, is that they get to learn and get to experience how it works (which is why I'm thinking manual), but not getting too complicated because they will be shooting it without me on site (which is why maybe some autofocus as an option might be useful). I'm a little conflicted re: which way to go.

    Thanks!

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    Sigma APS-C E-mount lenses are the best bang-for-buck.

    16mm - https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...1_4_dc_dn.html

    30mm - https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...1_4_dc_dn.html

    56mm (coming soon) - https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...dn_f_sony.html

    $1267...slightly over budget, but they are fantastic lenses (at least the first two)...super sharp, super fast (can teach them about shallow DOF) lightweight primes with decent AF for Sony's superior AF cameras.

    Or one zoom (highly popular and always out-of-stock) Tamron 28-75mm would cover a decent range (and it's FF if ever needed) - https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ..._8_di_iii.html

    If manual is a must, everyone (on budgets) always does the Roks (as you mentioned).


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    The sony Zoom and a couple of canon FD lenses

    or with canon FD speed booster ($400) and 28 ($40) 50 ($30) and 135 ($80) primes.

    The sony 18-55 kit lens is a lens I like. ($150 used?) . when I say I like it I mean that while it is completely putrid it is less horrific than a lot of modern bargain kit glass. I have the silver version and use it on occasion, which compared to my 18-200 is sooo horid I never use it!

    Canon FD enable focus pulling to occur.

    HOnestly that 18-55 and a 50 1.8 and some 80 or 135 could make a nice movie.


    18-55 this one! Basically its an 18 3.5.
    https://www.mpb.com/en-uk/used-equip...MaAkFtEALw_wcB


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    Canon DSLR Moderator M. Gilden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorBro View Post
    Sigma APS-C E-mount lenses are the best bang-for-buck.

    16mm - https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...1_4_dc_dn.html

    30mm - https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...1_4_dc_dn.html

    56mm (coming soon) - https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...dn_f_sony.html

    $1267...slightly over budget, but they are fantastic lenses (at least the first two)...super sharp, super fast (can teach them about shallow DOF) lightweight primes with decent AF for Sony's superior AF cameras.

    Or one zoom (highly popular and always out-of-stock) Tamron 28-75mm would cover a decent range (and it's FF if ever needed) - https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ..._8_di_iii.html

    If manual is a must, everyone (on budgets) always does the Roks (as you mentioned).
    Manual isn't a must, although I think it would be nice to give them the authentic experience of MF. Are the sigma lenses really horrific focus by wire? Or can they be adequately manual focus as well? That tamron is something I'd actually personally like to get my hands on for my FF cameras eventually, but only if it could stay in stock long enough for me to try it.

    Quote Originally Posted by morgan_moore View Post
    The sony Zoom and a couple of canon FD lenses

    or with canon FD speed booster ($400) and 28 ($40) 50 ($30) and 135 ($80) primes.

    The sony 18-55 kit lens is a lens I like. ($150 used?) . when I say I like it I mean that while it is completely putrid it is less horrific than a lot of modern bargain kit glass. I have the silver version and use it on occasion, which compared to my 18-200 is sooo horid I never use it!

    Canon FD enable focus pulling to occur.

    HOnestly that 18-55 and a 50 1.8 and some 80 or 135 could make a nice movie.


    18-55 this one! Basically its an 18 3.5.
    https://www.mpb.com/en-uk/used-equip...MaAkFtEALw_wcB
    Oh interesting, so that's not the "kit" they got. We're using some A6000 bodies that came with the pancake 16-50, which I believe optically was meh (although decent enough at video resolving). I think some nice FDs might be a good way to go, I love mine personally. I used to buy them from KEH.com, but lately their inventory has been infuriating to navigate (I very much dislike their site now). Is there a better place to buy used lenses in the US these days? I know B&H has a used department as well, but I recall their prices were just OK.

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    The Sigmas (these particular E-mount models) have terrible FBW manual focusing...that's the only negative.

    The only Sony lens I personally own is the 85mm f/1.8 and that one has very good manual focusing. It's also highly popular and considered one of Sony's best lenses ever made as far as overall optical performance. (Some even think it's better than the 85mm GM.)

    If you decide to mix and match (some old manuals with some new AF lenses), it's worth a consideration as your tele prime although it's more than half the budget:

    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ..._1_8_lens.html


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    P.S. I think your approach of teaching them old & new is good; they should learn the value(s) of old-fashioned filmmaking/video production, but also be prepared to learn about larger sensors, auto-focusing, and in general new school practices, which are no doubt going to take over in the future at some point as artificial intelligence starts to shape everything around us.


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    Canon DSLR Moderator M. Gilden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorBro View Post
    P.S. I think your approach of teaching them old & new is good; they should learn the value(s) of old-fashioned filmmaking/video production, but also be prepared to learn about larger sensors, auto-focusing, and in general new school practices, which are no doubt going to take over in the future at some point as artificial intelligence starts to shape everything around us.
    I'll tell you, looking this over I got excited about the use of a speedbooster and some FDs, but the price of the booster pushes the whole thing just past where I'm comfortable, especially now that I realize I want to get a FF gear and a rail system for the camera to sit on for manual focusing smoothly (not a huge expense, but adds up on top of the lenses + booster). So I thought, well, maybe just get a plain adapter that doesn't boost. But I'm spoiled by the A7 series, I forgot that 24mm isn't all that wide for the APSC cameras (we'll be shooting on a6ks). And its hard to find a lens faster than 24mm on FD that isn't a specialty lens (read: $$$$), so I'm sort of running around in circles.
    What do you guys think?
    If I go native lenses, I can skip the follow focus gear entirely because we all know FBW is unreliable and would probably just frustrate them that it doesn't go where they expect on the wheel. That would save money, but lose out on what I think would be a valuable experience. But I'm concerned that vintage = difficult to find wides = speedbooster. :/

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    Senior Member Cary Knoop's Avatar
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    Why not buy used lenses?

    It frankly baffles me why the target should be DVD, chances are those students will never have any need for DVDs for the rest of their life.
    I'd say, record 4K, use the free DaVinci Resolve, and upload to YouTube and render to a USB.


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    Yea, I don't know about DVDs...should change (IMO) that part of the learning experience and focus on exporting files for/with different settings.

    Also, should definitely shoot in 4K. Those cameras have excellent 4K that can even be edited in a HD timeline (but they have terrible HD).

    ---

    As far as the wide end, I think the Rokinon 16mm with a cheap adapter for $369 is as cheap as it's going to get (price/size/quality/speed):

    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...cine_lens.html

    But still can go pretty wide with a native cheap zoom too:

    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...ower_Zoom.html


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    By the way (and I meant to write this right after the post above), there are also some other extremely cheap and fast manual APS-C lenses available:

    7artisans Photoelectric 12mm f/2.8: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...aps_c_for.html

    7artisans Photoelectric 25mm f/1.8: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...aps_c_for.html

    7artisans Photoelectric 50mm f/1.8: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...1_8_aps_c.html

    Neewer 35mm f/1.7: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ..._7_manual.html

    I wouldn't get too excited about them wide open, but can't be that bad at f/2.8-4, can they? IDK.

    Some others on the page (filter low to high):

    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/searc...&N=4196380428&


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