Indoor fast lens exclusively for video (crop sensor)

Started Apr 25, 2013 | Questions thread
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grantov
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Indoor fast lens exclusively for video (crop sensor)
Apr 25, 2013

I own the 50D and also the t4i and I have one single lens: the 17-55mm 2.8 canon.  The only thing I shoot with these cameras is my kids, in my home.  I had thought of selling the 50D and using the t4i for both my pictures and videos.  However, I'm beginning to think it might be better to use my 50D for my pictures and the t4i exclusively for video (that way I can keep a flash on my 50D and a hotshoe-mount mic on my t4i, for example).

I'm thinking of using my 17-55 for the stills on my 50D and getting a new lens for video.  I use manual focus only for video and autofocus only for stills.

My objectives:

* Lens has to be fast.  2.8 is the minimum because I find myself shooting in poor light all the time, almost exclusively.  Sometimes I find myself wishing I could gather more light than my 2.8 current lens can do.

* My wife has been complaining about the weight of my 17-55, so lightweight would be nice.  Certainly no heavier than the 17-55.

* I don't care about the autofocus, but it would be nice if the manual focus ring is easy to operate.  I previously used the canon 50mm 1.8 (the cheap one) and I wasn't real happy with the tiny ring, but maybe I could get used to it.

* Zoom vs prime, I'm not sure on this.  I value the zoom on my 17-55 for pictures but maybe for videos it's not such an issue.

* The focal length should be appropriate for indoor shots of kids playing in my small home.  When I had the 50mm prime I felt like it was too zoomed in (crop sensor, again).  That was a long time ago, though, when I was brand new to photography and video wasn't an option.

The lenses I have been thinking about:

1. Another canon 17-55.  There is one on craigslist in my town for like $750.  I just wonder if spending this much is necessary for a video-only camera.  I can swing it, but certainly no more.

2. Sigma 30mm f/1.4.  Seems to get pretty good reviews.  Feels a bit pricey, but if this is the right one, I can see picking it up.

3. Canon 40mm f/2.8 STM.  This one is pretty cheap and I wonder if with an STM lens I might be more satisfied with the autofocus on my t4i.   If it was faster and the manual focus ring wasn't so scary small I would probably be all over it.

4. Canon 35mm f/2.  Sort of in between the two above in most respects.

5. Canon 50mm 1.8.  I could try this again to save some bucks.

6. Maybe the Canon 50mm 1.4 for easier manual focus.

I'm not sure I'm looking at the right type of lenses.  In your view, should I stick with a 17-55 for this purpose and keep the ability to zoom?   Or have I missed an important choice?  If you were going to video kids in your house, what focal length would you choose in a prime lens?

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