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New Contributor
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎02-02-2021

Question about lens for video vs photo

Hey all,

I managed to cop a rebel SL1 off of ebay along with the 18-55mm kit lens a while back. And now, I bought the "nifty fifty" 50mm 1.8. I've been having fun shooting with it but I want to get more into the video aspect as well. My main question is - between the two lenses that I currently have, would the 50mm be the better of the 2 for filming? Since it's a much faster lens I assumed it would be more versatile for filming. The 18-55mm only drops down to f/4 I think, or f/4.5



Valued Contributor
Posts: 358
Registered: ‎02-23-2020

Re: Question about lens for video vs photo

"versitile" is relative.  The 18-55 will give you a range of focal lengths (field-of-views, framings).  And, is has IS!.  But yes, the aperture is small as well as variable.  f/4 at 18mm, then f/5.6 at 55mm (varies in between).   When using variable-aperture lenses for video, I just keep it at the minimum aperature that covers the full range (f/5.6 in this example).


The f/1.8 will let in over 8 times the light as the zoom lens (zoom at f/5.6).   But this 50mm is just a single focal length, so your field-of-view will be constant.  And, no IS with this lens.


Having said that, the answer oftens lies in both.  Each has their strengths.  When doing low-light, the f/1.8 will really help.  3 stops of light can mean less noise by 3 stops; that can be huge (e.g. reducing from ISO 12800 down to 1600).   And when doing outdoor work, the narrow apertures and versatility of the zoom will be good.   And IS can be incredibly useful for video work.




EOS 5D IV, 50mm f/1.2L, 135mm f/2L, 600EX-RT (x6), ST-E3-RT, Vixia HF G50
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