What's the best aperture to shoot video? Is it worth spending the extra money on extremely fast lenses? f/1.2?
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I am very keen to learn to be a professional video camera man but very confused of which camera to buy, can somebody help please...
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Hello Susan and all,
This is my first post. I know this topic has been discussed, however, I hope I can contribute to anyone new who opens this thread. When shooting video, the best aperture selection depends on what type of shot you want to compose. For example, close ups you would want to shoot at an open aperture to focus on your subject and get a great depth of field (or bokeh). (Be careful, because you may get a lot of soft focusing when you get too close on your subject with an wide open aperture.)
With wide shots, you may want to select an aperture of 7.1 and up if you want to get everything in the background in focus.
I myself will spend the money on buying faster lenses. Faster lenses will benefit you in low light situations and depth of field. In addition, having a greater depth of field will separate your subject from the background and this will give your shot a "wow" factor.
If you are new to fast lenses, I would recommend renting (or borrowing) one out and trying out a few shots at a wide aperture. Good luck
I agree with kaouthia but would add that it also depends on each shot you're shooting. Since in video you want to shoot sequences for editing/storytelling, it would be annoying to watch a video with every shot having extreme shallow DOF. You sort of have to decide what you want your audience to be focusing on in each scene.
To answer your next question 1.2 for me is a rental lens for a specific shoot - I've rented the Canon 1.2 L several times but get by fine with the Sigma 1.4 (which I own) in 90% of situations. The money you save buying a 1.4 is signaficant. But, I wouldn't scrimp on lenses either since the saying is 'invest in the glass not the body' - you may have those lenses for 20 years so although you don't necessarily need the ultimate best lens like a 1.2 you should get as good as you can afford - and for the purposes you need (primes vs zooms etc). Also there are lots of other things to budget for when shooting video, audio alone (mics, external recorders, good headphones) can eat up a fair bit so budget those factors in as well with your overall budget.
It depends on what you're shooting.
I do the vast majority of my video with a Sigma manual focus 28mm f/2.8 macro, the Nikon 50mm f/1.8D and the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8VR.
Remember your shutter speeds with video are going to generally be 1/50th or 1/60th of a second (depending on whether you're shooting 24, 25 or 30fps), so you don't often need super fast apertures, especially as most cameras capable of shooting decent quality HD video can quite happily do upwards of ISO800.