East Grinstead photographer and filmmaker Nitsan Simantov. Wedding photography and commercial video production in London and West Sussex.

Expensive lens VS expensive camera

Just a thought i wanted to share, which mostly applies to the video side of things. Someone today asked me if he should get the (£1300) Canon 24-70 f2.8L II USM for his (£200) 500D because people kept telling him that the lens is much more important than the camera, but it's not fully true, especially not for video. The camera is much more important than the lens IF you choose a good cheap lens, not a crappy cheap lens. You can get a lovely 50mm f1.8 lens for £30 on ebay and pair it with a camera from £300+ (for example, a Sony NEX-5n or Panasonic GH2) and get great results... The other way around doesn't work. This is similar on any price range. For example a £200 Samyang 85mm f1.4 lens with a £2000 5D Mark III will get decent results (not even counting the new raw video hack from Magic Lantern) compared to a £200 Canon 500D with any £2000 Canon L-Series lens, which will still just produce a moire-filled 720p image.

Here is a video I shot on a £200 Canon 500D with mostly a £400 Olympus OM 55mm f1.2:

 Compare that to this video I shot on the 5D Mark III, and mostly the £200 Samyang 85mm f1.4: (Sorry, I couldn't find an example with a more expensive lens.)

These examples are in the extremes, this does not apply to every situation and finding the right balance is important. It will differ from person to person depending on your shooting needs.

Here is this theory in action on a wedding I shot with the £800 Sony NEX-6 with it's 16-50mm kit lens and a £30 Fujian 35mm f1.7 lens doing most of the work:

Photo of the little Fujian and NEX-6:


Here are some images from the Fujian, unedited:

Fujian 35mm f1.7 on Amazon: