Thread: Interview Lens

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    Interview Lens
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    I recently picked up a Sigma 50-100 1.8 Art lens for use as my main interview lens . The 24-70 has proved to be inadequate - it would be much better if it was a 24-90.
    The 70 -200 is just too telephoto to play as an interview lens in a single camera situation without the camera being too far away from the subject. As a lens for a second angle camera the 70-200 is ok.

    To be fair, the Canon 50 mm lenses are a touch wider than what Sigma calls a 50. SO whether you set your 24-70 to 50 mm or use the Canon 50 prime, the sigma will be a touch tighter at its 50 in comparison to the Canon 50 mm.The difference in FOV can be equalized between the sigma and Canon by backing up the camera about 20 CM when using the Sigma. Having the 50 as the wide and then being able to punch in to 85,90 100 mm on the subject is really satisfying.


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    Senior Member cpreston's Avatar
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    The difference in field of view on the Sigma is due to focus breathing. Focus to infinity and you will see that the Sigma is actually a 50mm at the wide end.


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    Senior Member Eric Coughlin's Avatar
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    24-70 + 70-200 = 24-200 range. What am I missing here? Are you needing to change focal lengh mid-interview?

    I'm generally not a fan of very shallow depth of field for interviews, but sometimes my clients specially request primes so they can shoot interviews at wider f-stops. I've thought of buying the Sigma 50-100 as a cheap way to be able to cover this occasional client wish, though I wonder if they'd be satisfied with an off-brand (non-Canon) zoom if I told them it could go to f/1.8.

    I don't currently own primes but the set of Canon CN-es are on my list of things to buy, so the temptation has been to get this Sigma as a stop-gap. I'll probably just end up waiting it out and getting the Canons.
    Last edited by Eric Coughlin; 02-12-2019 at 08:10 PM.


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    The Sigma 50-100/1.8 is a great interview lens for the price. It breathes a ton. The focus motors are a little noisy (compared to canon) if using DPAF. For non interview, and non narrative shoots tend to use the Canon 18-80 as the focal range is so practical- though wish it were an 18-135. I think the Canon lenses work better with AF, though have not specifically tested that function.

    Have not used the manual focus cine versions of the Sigma- curious if they breath as dramatically as the still versions.
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    Senior Member Run&Gun's Avatar
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    By all accounts the Cine version of the Sigma 50-100 breathes very badly, as well.

    For the majority of my sit-down interviews being shot with my gear, I shoot primes. And my primary interview lenses are the CN-E 135 T2.2 and CN-E 85 T1.3. I just had the Sigma 105 T1.5 on loan for demo from Sigma and it’s probably going to be my next lens addition. It has a great image, great mechanics and matches the CN-E’s. The rest of the time, I’m using the 17-120. And the 70-200 doesn’t see much action anymore, like it used to.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Coughlin View Post
    24-70 + 70-200 = 24-200 range. What am I missing here? Are you needing to change focal lengh mid-interview?

    I'm generally not a fan of very shallow depth of field for interviews, but sometimes my clients specially request primes so they can shoot interviews at wider f-stops. I've thought of buying the Sigma 50-100 as a cheap way to be able to cover this occasional client wish, though I wonder if they'd be satisfied with an off-brand (non-Canon) zoom if I told them it could go to f/1.8.

    I don't currently own primes but the set of Canon CN-es are on my list of things to buy, so the temptation has been to get this Sigma as a stop-gap. I'll probably just end up waiting it out and getting the Canons.
    I think Mark's 70-200 is on the B camera so he gives up that lens and needs another.

    For EF primes, if AF performance was the same, I'd buy the Sigma f/1.4s over the Canons. I know a professional stills photographer who uses the Sigmas over the Canon L primes because of how sharp they (supposedly) are.


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    The gap that the 50-100 cover for me is the punch in - reframe while the interviewer asks the next question. If I’m using the 24-70 , shooting at 50mm the punch in to 70 isn’t enough of difference frame wise , switching over to the 70-200 interrupts the flow of the conversation that’s not a great option either, plus the 70 -200 does not pick up where the 24-70 left off focal length wise so switching becomes a lens switch and maybe shuffle the camera position.
    People should not read into this that I’m chasing shallow DOF with the Sigma because I’m not. Its nice to have the option but If I was going for that I’d use my Canon 85 and shoot at 1.8 and be done. THe Sigma covers the break in focal length that Canon in their lens line and there in is the utility
    DPAF wise the Sigma is fast and quiet . Sigma is not as fast as my 70-200 F4 II canon which is almost mind readingly fast , but its really quite good. I’ll see how the breathing situation goes and decide if that is a deal breaker for me.
    Construction wise the lens feels really well constructed and the zoom/focus action is silky .


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    I was shooting interviews today with the 50-100 Sigma art. 1.8 The lens has worked out just as I figured it would, and now its my go to interview lens. The extra stop + of iris over the canon lenses and the right focal length range make all the difference I sought.
    The DPAF on this lens is as fast as any Canon lens, even the new 70-200 F4 which is super fast. Problem solved.


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