Good all-purpose video lens for the D800

Started Oct 5, 2012 | Discussions thread
Chad Gladstone Senior Member • Posts: 2,608
Re: Good all-purpose video lens for the D800

The benefits of VR are greatly profited in video vs non VR lenses since the tripod head is fluid in both panning and tilting.  I have better results with VR on but, without an external mic, I cannot avoid the whirling of VR nor the zoom "clunks" at minimum and maximum FL's.  AF is entirely too distracting and manual focusing is impracticable without a focus puller and with MF lenses with a much longer focus throw.  In addition, I have come to the conclusion that without and an external magnifier or a peaking monitor, the  focus precision necessary to excel in this field are seriously compromised.  With the AF lenses I have, I cannot achieve the precision control I want to achieve without significant further skill and investment.  Since there are no lenses that have both VR and usable MF capabilities, I am resorting to compromise artistic vision for practicality by stopping down to hide focus errors, shooting the subject in a wider frame than I would like, bumping up the iso and using as little zooming, panning and tilting as possible and concentrating of capturing smooth clips until I improve my technique.

I think we are still several generations away from having the technology available to rely on AF and steady zoom sequences without having to invest thousands in what is available now at market.  These aids are really only geared to the truly advanced video shooters who are willing to carry around a huge monstrosity of a dollied vidoe tripod, dual rail system rig with a tiny DSLR hidden somewhere in the mix with a sensor demands too much precision for anyone other that the professional or one truly committed to the craft and has the requisite skill set.  This is far from point and shoot territory.

To the original OP, I think the 24-120 VR with a lightweight tripod on a dolly with a self-leveling fluid head, atmos ninja 2 monitor/recorder mounted in the hot shoe with and external mic (I am getting the Rode Vidoe Mic Pro) mounted on top in an add on dummy hot shoe as the best compromise to eliminate some unwanted noise, have a reasonable range, and the most affordable kit that is still relatively portable.  Stopped down, a degree of focus control can be achieved in favorable lighting conditions.  Still, the whole kit will cost around $3500 without a rig or focus puller or a DSLR.

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Chad Gladstone

 Chad Gladstone's gear list:Chad Gladstone's gear list
Nikon 1 V1 Nikon D800E Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm F1.4G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II +7 more
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