Friday, May 6, 2011

My weapons of Choice: Camera lenses

Here's a list of the camera lenses I use and why. Also right below the images of the lens I have in here, I will post a couple still pictures that I took with that lens to give you an idea of what the image looks like.

Also, just a little tip about Canon lenses, if the lenses are white (only telephoto lenses), or if the lens has a red ring near the front of that, that means they are an L series lens. That means they are the best "glass" that Canon makes in that series/line up of lens. So if you are looking to compete with the top dogs, having a L series lens always helps.

However on the opposite side of that, what's most important in getting the best picture/image, it's based not on the lens as much as it is on the person taking the picture, there artistic ability, and how they know how to push that lens to it's maximum potential, just thought I would mention that.

Canon 16-35mm F/2.8 L series Lens

This is by far my favorite lens. I use it 90 percent of the time. A big part of film making/photography for me is about the location you use. So for me, a wide angle lens captures that better then anything else. Any other lens smaller then 16mm distorts the image and makes it become a "Fish Eye" lens. I like things to feel "real", so that's why I generally don't shoot with anything smaller then that.

Also, I am constantly shooting on a glidecam/steadycam, wide angle lenses like this lens are the only really options with a glidecam, otherwise the image will get to shaky.

Another reason is with wide angle lenses, the wider the lens, the more that is in focus. So with a lens like this, it makes it very easy to have everything in focus.

Canon 70-200mm F/2.8 L series Lens

I love this lens for capturing people. You will need a tripod for sure if your shooting video, or it will get way to shaky. Before I shot video with Canon DSLR's I used this lens for every picture I took, in regards to taking pictures of people. I love the shallow depth of field, and it gives it a really "professional" look. Whenever I can use this lens for people, it is always my first choice :)

Canon 2X III Extender

This isn't a lens, all it does is double the lens focal lengths. It only works on my Canon 70-200mm, so when I attach it to that lens, it makes it a 140-400mm lens. So this is perfect for taking pictures of wild life, and surfers from a far distance. Adding an attachment to a lens makes it not as sharp, but with video, from what I have personally noticed I have hardly noticed anything.

Canon 50mm 1.4mm

This lens awesome for low light, and generally now that is only when I pull it out.

The Canon 50mm 1.8mm is the BEST lens out there that ANYONE can buy for the money/payoff. It's awesome for taking pictures and filming people! It was the first lens I ever bought beside the kit lens, when I first got into photography.

Canon 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM

A macro lens allows you to get super close shots where you normally wouldn't be able to go with any other lens. In all reality though, I haven't used this lens for any of my youtube videos, and outside of that I've only used it for a couple product shots where I had to take pictures for commercial companies where they wanted super close shots to show details in there product. It's a good option to have for showing super close detail, but generally one I very rarely use.

So that's it! Those are the lenses I use and why :)

On my wish list, I have these on it.
Canon 85mm F/1.2
Canon 15mm F/2.8

The last thing I will cover is filters, since I get asked a lot what I use. I do not use any ND filters at all, I do however use a Circular Polarizer.

This makes a HUGE DIFFERENCE on the outcome of your pictures. It brings out the blues and greens SIGNIFICANTLY! Especially the sky and water! Not all circular polarizers are created equally though... I did a TON of research on my own to find out the best brand, and after my own personal research I found the best brand was B&W, it had the highest quality and brought out the colors the most.. It also happens to be the most expensive though as well, imagine that, haha. But really it is worth it. There is no reason to go cheap on your filters if your gonna be shooting with a nice camera and lenses. Here is a link to the one I own. I own two, one that fits my 70-200 mm lens, and one that fits my 16-35mm lens.

Circular Polarizer

Sorry in advance for any spelling errors that were in this, I'm not a writer in any shape or form :)


  1. Thanks for the write up. I always value your opinion on gear. Because most of my work is portraits where I have time to stop and compose, I've been focusing on primes. I just love the sharp focus and huge aperture that you can get with a good prime.

  2. Gotta get my hand on a Canon DSLR to make use of what you're teaching here.

    Thank you, man!

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  3. Hey, First off, your videos are amazing..besides that, my question is about FCP ( if you have a minute ) .. I've been working with final cut express since i've started filming and waited to install FCP once I purchased an iMac. With doing so, I've been trying to edit using FCP and can't seem to match the settings right for the video to be logged and transfered. I film with a Sony HDR AX200 and use a card reader to transport footy. Any feedback back would be superb! Check my work out at or . Thanks in advance.

  4. Which tripod do you use for travelig in mountains to shot with tele lenses?

  5. I must say that I'm quite impressed with your photography as well as your videos! Very impressed, sir!

  6. Does the Canon 16-35mm F/2.8 L-Series have IS? I was under the impression that's a must-have for DSLR video lenses unless it's a stationary shot?

    Looking forward to a post on stabilizers, tripods, and filters, etc.

    1. If you are using a glide cam then you don't want to use IS or else it can make the shot look choppy. Just putting that out there. but no, It doesn't have IS

  7. thx for a great post!
    I'm about to order a cpl filter for my 15-30mm sigma. Trying to choose between a cheaper hoya vs. b+w filter. got anything bad to say about hoya cpl filters? :P

  8. Hey Devin, thanks for all of your insight. Question about vintage Canon lenses... are older Canon lenses, 20-40 year old lenses, the kind you might find at a yard sale, do they work with cameras like the 5D MII?

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  10. Great stuff!

    What do you think the Nikon equivelent to the 16-35mm would be?

  11. Hey Devin,
    In some of your videos, I have seen some very clear and excellent underwater shots (e.g. Tahiti - Ocean Voyage). Do you have a special housing for your DSLR camera or are you using a different camera for those shots?

  12. Hi,

    what's the rig you're using for filming Far Cry 3? You've got your DSLR mounted on like a monopod or something. What's it called? :)

    AWESOME FILMS by the way!


  13. great post i am using this Camera Lens from last few months i never face any kind of problem from the date of the purchase it

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