My Favorite Lenses For Wedding Filmmaking!


– Hey guys my name is Matt Johnson. And today I want to share with
you my favorite camera lenses for wedding filmmaking, that I bring with me to every
single wedding that I film. And I’m sure some of you are thinking, “Matt you shoot on Sony, what
if I don’t shoot on Sony, will I still be able to use these lenses? Here’s the good news. None of my favorite lenses
are exclusively Sony. And regardless of whether you
use Panasonic, Canon, Nikon, Blackmagic, basically anything, you will be able to either use an adapter or buy a very similar lens
with a different lens mount. Also, spoiler alert. If you want to check
out any of these lenses they are all linked down
in the video description. All right let’s start with
wide angles and then go tight. My favorite wide-angle lens for wedding filmmaking by far is the Sigma 24mm f/1.4. This lens is wide, which makes it perfect to put on a gimbal, but it isn’t too wide. There’s very little
distortion on the sides which keeps the people in
your shot looking great. Look at the size of this
thing it’s quite compact, but it still shoots at f/1.4. Yes this lens lets in a ton of light, which is perfect for
darker wedding receptions. There’s more good news too. Because this lens is so wide, it doesn’t have a super
shallow depth of field. So when I film wedding exits on my gimbal, even with this lens set at
f/1.4 it’s still easy to keep things in focus. If you wanna pick up this lens? I use the Nikon mount version
so I have full manual control of the aperture using this adapter. But if you want auto focus,
Sigma now offers this lens for all the major full-frame
camera manufacturers. So if you shoot on the Canon 1DX II, Nikon DSLRs the Panasonic
S1, there is a native lens mount option for
pretty much everything. Otherwise there are adapters
available for basically all other camera manufacturers, and then you can manual focus like me. At around $850 there’s really no excuse to not have this lens in your bag. Now let’s zoom in a bit
to my favorite lens, and the lens that is on my camera the majority of the wedding day. This focal length is so versatile. It’s great for wider shots, it’s greater for tighter
shots, I absolutely love it. You should also be aware that
by my even telling you about this lens it may drive up its costs. My favorite lens, basically
ever, is this little guy, the Contax ZEISS Planar 50mm f1.4. Are you serious Matt this little
baby lens is your favorite? Is it even full-frame? You could hide like 10 of these behind your beard. Well, lock and load your online shopping trigger fingers here
buddy, and let me tell you why this lens is incredible? To answer that first question,
yes, this lens is full-frame even at this size. I wasn’t lying. It’s also f1.4. Let’s get crazier though. This lens is made for
the Contax lens mount, which you might not have heard of because it was started way back in 1975. Yes, this lens may be from the 70s. What an antique. Why should you care about
the Contax lens mount? Because you can adapt
this mount to virtually any modern DSLR or mirrorless camera. Slap it on anything
full-frame, 50mm f/1.4, lightweight adapts to any cameras. What else can it do Matt? Hard focus stops. You know you’re at infinity,
because you hit it, we haven’t even talked about
the image quality of this lens which is the main reason
that I’m gushing over here. First of all, this thing
flares beautifully. Modern lenses have so
many coatings on them to minimize flare that we’re
actually seeing companies make uncoated lenses to bring flares back. I say why do that when you
can buy one of these lenses. Image quality is more
than just flares though. This lens possesses two buzz words, you will oftentimes see when
you begin reading forum posts about older lenses, character,
and an organic look. What does that mean? This lens isn’t as digitally
sharp as modern lenses. It has a more traditional filmic look. To be clear, this doesn’t mean it’s soft, this lens is quite sharp, but it makes skin tones look better. The out-of-focus things look prettier. The videos you record with it
will have more personality. Look, now I’m just
throwing buzz words at you. It’s hard to convey
the feelings that I get from using this lens. You really have to try it for yourself. So why don’t you try one for yourself? That brings us to talking
about the price of this lens. Here’s the real shocker, I only paid $300 for my favorite lens ever. And you may be able to get it
for even cheaper than that. Do I have your attention? Remember, this lens is old,
you have to buy it used. And in my experience, the
best place that I’ve found to buy one of these lenses is on eBay. I’ve included a link down
in the video description to an eBay search results page, where you can see the
current options that you have available to buy this lens. In my experience $300, is about the sweet spot to spin on this lens. You may be able to get
one for 250 or less, but make sure you read the listing and it says that the lens works
and it doesn’t have any haze or fungus growing inside it. I thought I found one for
a steal once for $200, but turns out it was broken. You get what you pay for. On the other side you
may see this lens selling for upwards of $500. I wouldn’t buy that one either. Those are people selling
versions, which I’m sure are very good quality, but I don’t
think you’re gonna see a difference between a
$300 version of this lens and a $500 dollar version. I’ve been very happy with my
three hundred dollar lens. I should mention this too because I know some of you will ask? I’m sorry, but no, this lens, from 1975, does
not support autofocus. Let’s move on ever tighter. Next we need to talk about
my favorite 85mm lens. And this lens is perfect for
filming closeup dancing shots of people at a wedding reception. Can you guess what it is? Of course, it’s the Contax ZEISS Planar 85mm f/1.4. Yes, it has all the same
benefits of the ZEISS 50mm in terms of image quality and
the ability to be used with virtually any modern
camera with an adapter. But it is definitely heavier. Look at this glass, it is
definitely a chunky boy, but I am so happy to have it in my lens bag. Oh, and the price? You may have been thinking, “Well 50mm is a very common focal length, “so of course the 50mm
was probably cheaper, “85mm this much glass
this thing has got to be “crazy expensive right Matt?” Yet, again, go to eBay. Yet, again, there is a
link to this specific lens, down in the video description. And there you will find
this lens for $100 more than the 50mm. Yes, for approximately $400 this puppy could be yours. Just like the 50mm, be wary
of lenses that are cheaper. Be wary of lenses that
cost significantly more? But, for that price of $400 this lens is absolutely
worth having in your bag. Also sorry, yet, again,
there is no autofocus, just wanted to clarify that. Last but not least let’s
go as tight as I prefer on a wedding day. My tightest, favorite lens is this. The Sony ZEISS 135mm f/1.8 in a mount. My wife, Rachel is on
this lens the majority of the wedding day. It’s easily her favorite. This lens is just so dang good for closeups of a couple. First thing you should know. This lens is easily the sharpest
lens that I’ve ever used. Like, so sharp you don’t
even need to punch in to check your focus because
you can see the focus line so clearly on your camera sharp. But, thankfully because
this lens is paired with such a shallow f1.8 aperture, it is still extremely
flattering for filming people, especially brides up close. Just be aware that wide open, you may have someone’s eyelash and focus, but not their pupil. Yes, it has that shallow
of a depth of field. Next, look at the size of this thing. It’s not small by any means, but compare it to say a 70 to 200 f/2.8. It’s not bad. Now, here’s the Cana of this lens. Because it is a Sony A-mount
lens made for older Sony DSLRs, you will have to get an
official adapter from Sony to make it compatible with
Sony’s E-mount cameras. This adapter will set
you back around $200, and you are not going
to get autofocus either. This baby’s purely manual. With all that said, the price
for this lens is interesting. With many of them selling used, for anywhere from $900 to a $1,000. Throw in the cost of the lens adapter, and you’re looking at $1,200 bucks, Which, while not cheap, is
still significantly lower than the cost of Sony’s
newest E-mount 135mm which is over $2,000. Here’s my recommendation for you. If you don’t mind manual focus, and you can find one of
these used for a good price? I think it’s a great buy. I wouldn’t put it in
this video if i didn’t. But, if you don’t shoot
Sony, or you want autofocus? In that case I would buy
the Sigma 135mm f/1.8, which is pretty comparable. At $1,400, the Sigma’s going
to be slightly more expensive. But, you can get it in
any of the major lens mounts, you get autofocus for video, and you don’t have to go
completely broke buying it. With that, thank you so much for watching. I hope this video helps you
with purchasing a new lens. All of these lenses are linked down in the video description. It’d also be a huge
help to me, like bigger than the 70 to 200 here sized
help, if you would consider liking this video and
subscribing, if you wanna see more videos like this in the future. I also host a monthly wedding
film review livestream, where I review wedding films
submitted by people like you. So if you would like to be notified, whenever I’m hosting the next wedding film review livestream, please check the link down
in the video description, and I will send you an
e-mail whenever I go live. Thank you so much for
watching and have a great day.

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