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Pro Video Tips is designed for busy videographers like you. This series brings you a new tip every week, on everything from controlling reflections to hiding mics. Host Anthony Q. Artis covers shooting techniques for particular video challenges like portraits, tools to help you control light and judge exposure, and advice for the traveling videographer, such as putting together a great lens kit or packing a truck. Come back every Tuesday for a new round of tips.
Super zoom lenses are going to be any zoom lenses that cover the whole range from wide all the way to telephoto. If you have a fixed lens camera like a Sony EX1 or a Panasonic HPX170, these are cameras that are gong to be super zooms because they only have one lens attached to the camera, so they want to make sure that they cover the full range. But you can also, even if you have interchangeable lens cameras, get a super zoom, and this is really one of the first lenses that people often get for their cameras simply because it covers everything.
So this is a Canon 24-105mm, very popular lens. Opens up all the way to F4 and this covers the entire range. So if I only had to have one lens, if I were stuck on a desert, it would definitely be a super zoom. So if I could only afford one lens, it would be a super zoom. So this is what I recommend you start out with if you have no glass at all. Now let's talk about the optical quality of super zooms. Now the optical quality of a super zoom is going to vary depending on which focal length you set it to. So if I set this at 24, which I have it set on right about there now, it's going to match the same as if would if I had a 24 mm prime lens.
But if I turn it all the way to 105 right there, it's going to match more the properties of a telephoto. So right there, just by doing that little twist and extending the barrel of the lens right there, I'm going to get much more shallow depth of field than if I pull all the way out here. So if I'm having a problem with focus, then I will go ahead and maybe go to a little bit wider focal length on this zoom lens. Now what else do we need to know about zoom lenses? They generally require more light. You can see here when I have it fully extended like this, in full telephoto, the barrel is a lot longer.
It takes more light to travel through this lens to reach the sensor, so these generally aren't more light sensitive, and of course, the ones that are more light sensitive are going to cost a lot more. So maximum aperture is going to vary by model. This one happens to be a F4, but if you've got something like an F2.8, it would be even more useful but of course it's going to cost a little bit more money. Now, what are some of the other things that this is used for? This is generally used for, I like to call it, my keep it moving lens. If I have to move and get a lot of stuff very quickly, this is the one and only lens that I would go with simply because I can get my wide, my medium, my closeup and all those things from the same position, without having to move too much, so these are great documentary lenses.
If you're traveling and you don't want to take your whole lens kit, you don't want to pack a lot of glass with you to the airport, this is the one lens that I would definitely take with me for travel or short little trips. If I just need to get quick B-roll, this is all around good lens, but again, this is really your great all-purpose lens and I would really consider it a starter lens. So if you're just starting out, I think the lens to go with is a super zoom and one of these Canon EF 24-105 is a great choice, but any lens that has a similar focal range will also work for you.
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