Best Lens for Video

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by markus_b, Nov 24, 2013.

  1. Looking to get a good lens for basic video. It will mostly be short shots of models/fashion, fairly close to the subject.
    I have a Nikon D800 and just bought a Steadicam Merlin 2. My Nikkor 24-70 is just too heavy to balance and too cumbersome on the Steadicam.
    Suggested to me: wide angle primes
    What I've been looking at:
    Rokinon 24mm 1.5
    Nikon 28mm 1.8
    Open to suggestions (money is a concern, no Zeiss glass for me!), including old/used (if I can find online, nothing on clist here). I'd like fast glass, but open to saving money too (as I probably won't be shooting at 1.8 video often!)
  2. You're probably looking for older manual focus glass with aperture rings. Those lenses are called Nikkor AI and AIS from Nikon. AI lenses focus rings are better because you can dial in the focus better. Optically they are often the same as the newer AIS versions.
    Smaller primes in the wide angle range would be for instance 20/3.5, 24/2.8, 28/2.8, 35/2. If you want to go faster Nikon also made the 20/2.8, 24/2, 28/2 and 35/1.4.
    You probably also want to have a look at Samyang's cine lenses which are optimized for video use on dslrs and come in Nikon F mount versions as well. Samyang SLR lenses are also branded as Vivitar, Falcon, Rokinon, Walimex, Bower and Pro-Optic.
    They have both the 24 T/1.5 and 35 T/1.5 as well as others both wider and longer.
  3. Thanks.
    Sounds like that Rokinon 24mm 1.5 or the
    Nikon NIKKOR 24mm f/2.8 AIS Manual Focus Lens
    Manual focus seems to be he key? Obviously I'd like the most flexible lens possible. Maybe I'll sell my 70-200 2.8 that I never use and buy a few.
  4. For starters you should be able to pick up a used 24mm f2.8 AI for little money. Don't get the AIS as the focus throw is shorter and it's often a little more expensive.
    If you're in the US you could check out if you want to buy from a dealer. They seem to range from $75 up to $220 depending on condition.
    Nikon still makes them though so you can get new ones as well (AIS version). $439 at B&G.
    But if buying new I would probably go with the Samyang cine lens instead: $714 at B&H.
    But anyway, manual focus is needed. AF doesn't really work with video on dslrs. Maybe that'll change in the future though.
  5. "AF doesn't really work with video on dslrs"

    My AF seems to work fine on my D800 when shooting video.
    You can actually get good results with 'lesser' lenses when shooting video. A basic kit lens like the 24-85mm may work for you.
  6. What are you putting your settings on for autofocus?
    For now, I'll stick to the primes, balancing on the Merlin is a bitch by itself, add in any variable and its impossible (even the lens hood changed it, zooming dramatically changed it on my 24-70).
    I've heard a kit lens is good for versatility and you don't need fast glass, but for now I'd like a prime that is super simple for fairly closeup shots of models.
    This kind of stuff (NSFW):
  7. Pete - thanks, I'll try to find a used one there. I'd like to save money at the start, never sure how much I'll actually use it.
  8. The AF-ON button is used for AF during video. While the D800 does not have continuous AF during video, you can AF while recording.
  9. Thanks!
  10. Are there any primers on how to shoot and edit video?

    I understand you need continuous lighting ... Just the opposite of the gear most of us have ... And you need a separate microphone ...
    And then you run it through premiere pro.

    If one understands photography, how does one learn video best?
  11. First off, I would not even try a steady cam for my D800.
    You should be shooting with a Video Cam or at least a V1
    I use a sturdy TriPod and one of 4 heavy zoom lens.
    As for primes, I've never found one that I like as well as a zoom,
    except maybe the 10mm or 18.5 on the V1,
    but even there I prefer the Power Zoom.
  12. Why would not use a steadicam? There are tons of video shot this way. How else would you get smooth motion?
    Obviously a tripod defeats the purpose and intent completely.
  13. You might try an AF-S Nikkor 17-35 f/2.8. Much smaller and lighter than the 24-70.
    It is very good for video.
    You can use fast AF or full manual

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