Yes, the f1.4 or brighter lenses can get costly, although I wonder if the older film camera lenses (Canon, Olympus, Nikor, etc) could be used? Some of these older "brighter" lenses can be found for much lower prices, compared to thier newer AF lens counterparts. I used older manual focus Zeiss and Nikor (f1.0, f1.2, 1.4) for video work with my DSLR and worked nicely. It cut the price way down, providing affordable and exceptional resolution, but lost autofocus, which is probably not an issue for surveillance cam use anyway?
Right now the Canon EF lenses seem to be geared only toward ultra HD security cams. Since these seem to be relatively new technology, hopefully more options are on the horizon including more companies making these...and lower prices?
Nick, thanks for the recommendations!
It seems like it would be pointless to get a high f stop lens (like f1.8 or higher) as it would significantly hurt low light performance. On the other hand, those f/1.2 lens look very expensive ($1,500 to $2,000) which would make it a questionable combination for a $500 to $800 camera.
Yes, for the average user shelling out big $$ for high end EF lenses would not make much sense, unless combined with high resolution sensors such as the Avigilon Pro, etc. I'm assuming this is when it would only benifit using EF lenses.
I did see a lightly used mid MP model Avigilon Pro cam on Craigs list for less than half new pricing, so that may be an option in the near future for me. I'd like to see more companies offering higher MP sensors that can take Canon lenses though. Being a photographer, I have several Canon leses and love to put them to use for temporary IP cam duty.
John, if you consider any future testing, several high end EF lenses come to mind (85mm f1.2, 50mm f1.2, 24mm f1.4) - possible good for low light applications? Additonally, there are several lower priced EF lenses (50mm f1.8, 28mm f1.8, 85mm f1.8...all in the very affordable $100-400 price range) to consider?
But Arecont prefers manual iris....
I am not sure if manual iris is a death blow as IP cameras can regulate via shutter speed.
A bigger question is what EF lens to use, given the vast price range.
I looked into this for a minute last week as prep for that oddball test. There are a couple issues I see using EF lenses on C/CS cameras:
Most digital cameras they're intended for (and Avigilon Pro cameras as well as Ampleye's camera) support the auto-iris functions, which are connected via contacts near the mounting ring of the lens. You lose that when you use an adapter ring, so you're stuck with manual iris control only. This may or may not be a huge issue, but I would generally never recommend a manual iris lens under other circumstances. If you have auto-iris EF lenses you're looking to use, they may simply not work.
Second, EF lenses are generally somewhere between 2x-20x (or more) the price of a surveillance lens ($200 and under).
The good news, from what I read in my brief research, is that most EF lenses seem to be aspherical, which means they should work okay in night mode. Key word: should.
Nick, thanks for the kind words!
I believe EF lens can be mounted on traditional IP box cameras with CS lenses using an adapter. I don't know of any manufacturer offering this as a standard option but you could always add your own.
This is actually on our list of 'oddball' things to test. The question is, if you take a 'regular' 1/3" imager camera and attach a high end EF lens, how much better will the image quality be? I'd like to find out.
Btw, if anyone has any recommendations on specific EF lenses to test, please share.