Good lens for documentary shooting.

Started May 26, 2013 | Discussions thread
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binaryfinary
Junior MemberPosts: 33
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Good lens for documentary shooting.
May 26, 2013

Hi all,
Looking for some advice on a good lens for documentary filming with my Nikon D5200.
The basics -

1. The D5200 will be mounted to a full Lanparte rig (shoulder rig, follow-focus, matte-box, C-Arm, etc, etc.

2. This documentary is about the clubbing scene in Ibiza. As a result, I will be filming in situations ranging from VERY bright sunlight (well, unless it chucks it down the whole time!) to dark nightclubs and outside at night.

3. So far, I have the kit-lens I got with the camera, AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR. Despite the stupidly long name, it's a decent "that'll do" lens, not the best glass in the world by any means though. It's a little too slow for low light shooting (the ISO has to go WAY too high for my liking to get any detail) plus the focus ring is terrible to the point I can't imagine using a follow-focus with it.

4. I also got a lovely 50mm 1.8 D. VERY nice, breathes a little when racking focus but the layman won't notice. Problem is it's way too tight on a DX format body. For interviews/talking head type stuff, I'd need to be stood quite a way back, which may be tricky in backstage areas in smaller clubs.

5. I'm still a little uncertain when it comes to crop factor and DX DX lenses. I know the crop factor of a DX body is 1.5, so my 50mm 1.8 D is actually a 75mm in practice, hence a litle tight for interviews. However, I thought the focal lengths of DX lenses on a DX body was the same as a full-frame lens on a full-frame camera. So for example, my 50mm non-DX lens should look the same as a 75mm DX lens. But my DX lens set to 50mm looks exactly the same the 50mm 1.8 D in terms of focal-length.

So, good recommendations for lenses?

I'm more than happy to buy second hand and looking for some suggestions for good UK 2nd hand Nikon lens dealers. I'd LOVE some nice old Nikkor glass. A 70's 50mm 1.4 AI would be amazing, but again, too tight.

I prefer primes over zooms (who doesn't), but if anyone can recommend a good zoom and present a reasonable argument as to why I should buy it, I'm sold.

I'm thinking maybe a 24 or 28mm prime, and I'm swinging towards an older lens. I don't need AF and am I right in thinking that with a truly manual lens you can by-pass the annoying quirk Nikon have which stops you from changing aperture in Live View?

Anyway, I want this to be a free for all and a good argument about which is best so I can get as much info as possible, so fire away!

Nikon D5200
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