any canon lens out there that makes no noise when it focus at video mode?

Happy Hopping

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I've using a Canon 70 to 200 L lens to take video of my pets in the back yard. Each time I focus, the lens makes that mechanical noise. so after I play the video on my PC, there is that "focus mechanical" noise on each focus as part of the video.

this is purchased back in 2015. Is there any improvement by canon since?
 

UnknownSouljer

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Yes. There are a lot of lenses that don’t. Most L-series glass should be fine. You can also look into STM lenses which also specialize in having quiet motors. I’m surprisend you have an issue with your 70-200. Is it the “IS II” or “IS III”? If it’s the non-IS model then that guy hasn’t been updated for over 10 years.

Another thing you can do is get a shotgun mic for your camera, which should move the mic enough away and hopefully be directional enough to avoid most if not all the noise.
 

Happy Hopping

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it's a LS II

are you saying it should not make any noise?

the stabilizer is set at mode 2, but I don't think it makes any difference
 

bman212121

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It's going to make some noise for sure, and you might even hear a bit of IS whine as well. Even the STMs which are fairly muted are still not perfect. The closest to that type of lens would be something like the 55-250 STM, but that's a crop only lens, so it may or may not fit your camera. I wouldn't recommend trying to change lens to fix an audio issue.

Like Unknown said, you just need to get a shotgun mic and ignore the built in mic in the camera. None of the built in mics will provide great audio, so just based upon your lens choice there is no doubt you would like quality. Something like the Sennheiser MKE 600 would be a great recommendation.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/878340-REG/Sennheiser_MKE_600_Shotgun.html

You can find it on sale for around $280, so great performance at a decent price.

There's two ways to use it. You can mount it on the hot shoe and use a 3.5mm to XLR cable to put the audio directly into your camera body (Cable not included). A battery provides it with the needed power. This should work fairly well, but you might still need to get more creative with mounting it if you're picking up noise. Also the camera's ability to record audio is decent, but it's not amazing. The other method is to either hook it directly to an external recorder, or use something like the Shure X2U to turn the XLR into usb for your computer. If you record the audio through the camera's built in mic and an external source with your good mic, you can use something like davinci resolve to easily take the external audio track and have it sync up to the in camera audio track. Then just disable the low quality audio and you'll have great audio mixed with your great video without having to attempt to sync the video to the audio yourself. (The in camera footage will be perfectly synced, so you're just matching two audio sources together and then exporting the video back out with the good audio)

You can always start with any type of XLR device that is self powered or doesn't need power and use a 3.5mm cable, because it's only a $10 investment for a cable. If the audio is good enough for your purposes then great! If not you can move up to other recording options. If you're outside then I'd probably start with something you can plug into the camera's 3.5mm jack as the background noise is probably enough you might not be able to tell much of a difference between 3.5mm and using a proper XLR device. The hardest part is getting enough "signal" to overcome the noise, and much like the camera you want something that is more focused in one area and does it's best to block out everything else. Shotgun mics are designed to do just that. Couple that with getting the mic as close as possible to the source and you can make a big difference in your audio quality.
 

UnknownSouljer

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The MKE 600 is an incredible shotgun mic, but it's probably overkill for what Happy Hoppy is looking to do. I was thinking more of a Rode VideoMic Pro or similar.
 

bman212121

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If we're talking overkill using an L lens to take video of your pets might also fit that description. :p

I think the Rode is a good choice if you plan on only ever using the mic directly attached to the camera body. It does have a preamp in it which in theory might be better than the amp in the camera so the audio could sound a bit better if recorded directly into the camera. After that however there are several reasons why I'd say it's worth spending the extra money for some thing like the MKE.

The biggest issue is there is no balanced audio on the VideoMic Pro. If you have any desire to move beyond the camera, then getting balanced audio via XLR will quickly come into scope, and you'll end up replacing the Rode or similar where something with an XLR can be used with external recorders, mixers, etc. Specific to the Rode it's using a 9V because of having the pre-amp. You're far less likely to have one of those just lying around, they cost more money and if you want rechargeable you will probably end up buying something just for that device. (Driving the total cost even closer) The MKE doesn't require a preamp so it uses a single AA to power it. I'd be shocked if you don't already have half a dozen of those in your camera bag. So if you can I'd probably try to avoid anything with 9V in favor of AAs.

Another point to consider is the preamp. You can never get a cleaner than what the source delivers, only boost it and add distortion. With the Rode you're basically taking a $100 shotgun mic and tacking on $100 worth of electronics to try to make it seem like it's a $200 professional mic (Plus a $30 shock mount). Having a longer tube like the MKE will provide much better rejection than the short tube of the Rode, and the cardioid in the MKE will definitely be better quality. Without a doubt the raw signal will be vastly better on the MKE, so if you still needed to boost it you can. You've already boosted the Rode once so any additional gain is just going to add noise.

I know I'm picking apart a specific microphone model, but the overall message is still there. Having an XLR based mic will be something you can use for a really long time, as audio changes less frequently. Buying something that is designed better from the beginning is better in the long run. (Why buy a lens + teleconverter versus just buying the focal length you intended to use from the beginning)

Obviously everyone has a price, so that will always dictate what you get first. If your lens is F4, then yes a $300 mic might be too much to fit into your budget. The Rode would suit you well, just keeping in mind it's an all in one unit with design limitations. You're buying 3 components that are glued together and can't be separated and used elsewhere. If your lens is F2.8, then I'd say you definitely should be able to pony up the cash to skip the consumer grade products and move into the professional grade stuff. The MKE is just one piece of the mic kit, and it's a stand alone one. You won't be rebuying anything if you need accessories and you can tailor it to suit your needs. Will it ultimately cost more money? Absolutely. But it offers better upgrade paths and more flexibility.
 

UnknownSouljer

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If we're talking overkill using an L lens to take video of your pets might also fit that description. :p

I think the Rode is a good choice if you plan on only ever using the mic directly attached to the camera body. It does have a preamp in it which in theory might be better than the amp in the camera so the audio could sound a bit better if recorded directly into the camera. After that however there are several reasons why I'd say it's worth spending the extra money for some thing like the MKE.

The biggest issue is there is no balanced audio on the VideoMic Pro. If you have any desire to move beyond the camera, then getting balanced audio via XLR will quickly come into scope, and you'll end up replacing the Rode or similar where something with an XLR can be used with external recorders, mixers, etc. Specific to the Rode it's using a 9V because of having the pre-amp. You're far less likely to have one of those just lying around, they cost more money and if you want rechargeable you will probably end up buying something just for that device. (Driving the total cost even closer) The MKE doesn't require a preamp so it uses a single AA to power it. I'd be shocked if you don't already have half a dozen of those in your camera bag. So if you can I'd probably try to avoid anything with 9V in favor of AAs.

Another point to consider is the preamp. You can never get a cleaner than what the source delivers, only boost it and add distortion. With the Rode you're basically taking a $100 shotgun mic and tacking on $100 worth of electronics to try to make it seem like it's a $200 professional mic (Plus a $30 shock mount). Having a longer tube like the MKE will provide much better rejection than the short tube of the Rode, and the cardioid in the MKE will definitely be better quality. Without a doubt the raw signal will be vastly better on the MKE, so if you still needed to boost it you can. You've already boosted the Rode once so any additional gain is just going to add noise.

I know I'm picking apart a specific microphone model, but the overall message is still there. Having an XLR based mic will be something you can use for a really long time, as audio changes less frequently. Buying something that is designed better from the beginning is better in the long run. (Why buy a lens + teleconverter versus just buying the focal length you intended to use from the beginning)

Obviously everyone has a price, so that will always dictate what you get first. If your lens is F4, then yes a $300 mic might be too much to fit into your budget. The Rode would suit you well, just keeping in mind it's an all in one unit with design limitations. You're buying 3 components that are glued together and can't be separated and used elsewhere. If your lens is F2.8, then I'd say you definitely should be able to pony up the cash to skip the consumer grade products and move into the professional grade stuff. The MKE is just one piece of the mic kit, and it's a stand alone one. You won't be rebuying anything if you need accessories and you can tailor it to suit your needs. Will it ultimately cost more money? Absolutely. But it offers better upgrade paths and more flexibility.
I don't disagree with you or your assessment. I shoot with shotgun mics as a one man operation right now on less expensive NTG2's and a Zoom Audio Recorder for things like interviews. But even I don't use those shotguns while trying to run and gun.

With the exception of cinema cameras or DV cams there isn't really a place to mount a shotgun mic. I'm assuming Happy Hopping isn't shooting on a C200 or C300 mk II/III and for some reason still using the internal mic. He's more than likely shooting on a dSLR and trying to get "good enough" while running and gunning. Building a rig on a dSLR or Mirrorless, so you can strap a shotgun mic to it, for some guy that's trying to shoot casually and run and gun makes no sense as use case. Again, I don't do that either. I have 4 different mics (6 total) that I use for different purposes. Among them are hotshoe mountable mics because frankly, again, making a rig is cumbersome, I rarely if ever have a dedicated audio person to follow talent around, and increasing complexity rarely if ever helps me get the shots I need.

For casual shooters: the size, investment cost, and cumbersomeness of using a dedicated shotgun mic will never even get close to reaching its cost or value. Having the right tool for the job is critical and right now it's not buying a very expensive tool that will likely never get used - let alone used properly. And it's not like Happy Hopping can't buy a shotgun mic in the future. If I and many other people in the game are of any indication - if he's serious he'll end up with more mics as his audio needs change and what he's trying to accomplish demand it.

In terms of L-Series glass being "overkill" for videoing your pets, that's an entirely different topic. But the short version is, it's part of another hobby: namely photography. If we really wanted to talk about overkill for videoing his pets that would completely eliminate noise, it would be more obvious to have him move to Cooke Optics 2x Anamorphics lenses at $80k a pop (enjoy making your 5 lens set). Those make zero noise. Focus them yourself. The major difference here in what I'm suggesting versus what you're suggesting is how easy it is for someone casually shooting to use. Much like the Cooke Optics comparison, the hotshoe mounted mic is much easier to use than a dedicated shotgun with significantly less complexity. Screw something on, plug it in, done. No adapters. No secondary audio devices. No difficulty in mounting. Nothing requiring additional mounting positions (like a cage). Nothing hitting you in the face when you lean in to use your viewfinder.

That said, I forgot about other newer and better entrants to the market, like the Rode VideoMic NTG, and Deity V-Mic D3 Pro which are both a balance between the two in terms of what we're talking about. Honestly for this running and gunning application, a Deity V-Mic D4 Duo might be the way to go at a much lower cost of $90 as well as being very compact and easy to carry.
 
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bman212121

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FYI the MKE600 comes with a rubber hotshoe mount, so it can be attached directly to a dSLR. The only thing you need to pick up is a XLR to 3.5mm cable if you want to use the camera audio for portability.

The Rode NTG is probably a better choice than the VideoMic Pro. The big advantage I see with that Mic is the ability to use it directly with USB and it uses a simple built in rechargeable battery. If camera makers decide to copy smartphones at some point and remove the 3.5mm jack you could probably still make use of that mic without needing some type of DAC. It also means using it on a computer should be simple and you won't have to worry about whatever cheap audio is built in.

The Deity D3 Pro seems like a decent choice as well, but I'm not sure I'd want that D4 Duo. I'd be really concerned that it's simply not long enough to cancel out the noise if mounted on the hot shoe. If it doesn't do that then it kind of defeats the purpose of getting an external mic to begin with.

I don't really consider a 70 - 200L a run and gun lens though. When talking about 2 - 3lb lenses that are 7 or 8" long, it's not the most portable solution to begin with. The overall mic choice isn't going to make or break this setup since all of them are probably still lighter than any flash he would have put on the shoe. I would also consider putting the NTG2 on the Rode SM3-R in his case because that combo wouldn't look out of place with that lens and likely won't hurt his ability to move around. If we were talking about a pancake lens or even a standard prime then I can see where you might want to optimize for portability. Neither the NTG2 or MKE600 would be short enough to really work on a 50mm prime as they would stick out well past the end of the lens. If one of the usage scenarios was going to be with standard primes then I'd agree you might not want something quite as long.

I think we take differing paths to the same problem. I agree completely that he'll end up with multiple mics at some point. I'd rather get something good the first time than flirt around with 2 or 3 cheaper mics first. You could dust off the MKE600 30 years from now and it will still be a solid performer and be useful to you. If you have 2 or 3 of your older cheaper mics laying around they just sit in a drawer and collect dust because they are no longer up to the standards you have. I expect someone using L glass to probably have higher standards than someone using EF-S lenses, so I'd rather error towards spending a bit more and maybe not using it than not spending as much and wishing I had bought something better. For most people your route makes more sense if you're dipping your toes into the water, like if you were using a crop body with a kit lens. If you already have a full frame and L glass I feel you're already quite invested so no reason to flirt with the lower / mid range because you already know you'll end up buying something more expensive anyway.


TL;DR for Happy Hopping. We don't know your use cases. If your more likely to use a mic with the big lens and / or in a more stationary manner, then I think picking up something like the MKE600 or NTG2 is a good idea. If you want to have freedom of movement, and plan on using smaller lenses with your microphone then I'd agree with the Rode NTG and Deity D3 Pro options Unknown listed.
 

UnknownSouljer

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I think our definitions of running and gunning are different.
I would define it as shooting with zero planning with speed being paramount. 70-200mm are used all the time in that use case. It's a body, one lens, you get up and start shooting. This happens all the time in sports photography and event work. The size and the weight of that particular lens aren't the greatest hinderances to shooting. In those scenarios it's about how quickly you can get up and get a picture.

Similarly if you're shooting video the longer it takes you to get up and running the less you can use those particular tools in a "casual" or fast pased scenario. If you're going to shoot narrative fiction, it might take you 2-4 hours the night before to build your rig that you've hand picked for that shoot. That's the antithesis of run and gun. For the purposes of shooting quick video shots, a microphone that takes the least amount of time to setup will likely get used the most often in a casual setting. That's what I meant with running and gunning and that's also what I meant with choosing a very simple easy to use hotshoe/coldshoe mic.

While it's true you can get a signal out of an MKE with an adapter, the preamps on Canon dslrs notoriously suck (obviously their cinema cameras are much better). You want as much gain from the mic (like +10db on a Rode VideoMic Pro) and drop the levels as much as you can on the Canon. It's one of the reasons why things like the Rode VideoMic Pro has sold as well as they have. Other cameras like Sony's have better preamps and it allows for weaker signals (you can crank the gain in camera).

With everything else again (run and gun definition not withstanding), we agree. It's two approaches to the same problem. But knowing where I came from and also where most people come from in terms of just wanting to shoot video with some better audio, is mainly why I gave those suggestions. At this point I'm not even sure if Happy Hopping is even paying attention to our dissertations here.
 
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bman212121

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I would definitely think run and gun means something different to me. Run and gun is I saw a some wildlife I wanted a picture of so I need to run back and pull the camera out of the bag and hope the wildlife is still there when I return. My definition for run and gun would be: Not only is there no planning, time is critical. In both sports and event work like weddings, you already know what you're shooting, you should have already determined where you were going to stand and have an idea of what you are going to frame. Yes you might need to act quickly to get the photo, but you should already have the settings on the camera dialed in, the lens framed close to how you want it, etc. I think run and gun is more applicable to street photography because you might see something you like, but you need to physically move into position and you're trying to frame it on the fly. You don't quite know yet what your subject is going to be so you need to react quickly. The most unpredictable things to shoot for me is wildlife. Unlike people they are much harder to predict where they are going to be and what they are going to do next. If you're photographing football you probably already have the camera pointed at the QB or the wide receiver who's about to make the catch. If you're shooting baseball you already have the lens aimed at the batter, you just need to press the shutter. If you're on one side of the field you're probably not even worried about players on the other side of the field because you know they won't turn out. Don't get me wrong it's a lot of work still, but you probably already have a game plan or checklist of what shots you wanted / needed to get, you know where they will take place and when they will take place.

The one thing I would categorize for event work that's run and gun would be media journalism. If that's similar to what you do then yes I can definitely see where time is of the essence. You know you're going to have to capture photos and videos of something, but you have no clue where, when, what the subject is going to be yet. You certainly can have indicators like a rally that is going to take place, but for the most part you're probably being told to hop into a car and get coverage asap. In that case then yes you want as little setup as possible, and things need to be easy to handle because if you're supposed to be trying to get interviews you can't just have a booth set up sitting there waiting for people to get in line. If the quality of the photo and video is less critical than just getting the shot at all then that's where I'd be all about F8 and be there.


So I always like on forums like [H] to try to fully answer the question. I think having your thoughts down in a post are invaluable to someone else who might be in the same boat. So even though Happy might not come back and read this thread, someone else probably will. The input you provided UnknownSouljer might match perfectly with someone else who was thinking the same thing, but being able to read your experience and how you came to that conclusion will be of a great help to them. Someone else might read what I read and feel like their situation matches closer to mine, so they go a different route. There is no wrong answer it just really comes down to how your experiences shaped your viewpoint. I barely touch video, so the times that I'm going to do it everything is going to be planned out. As such I care greatly about the quality so it makes sense to sacrifice convenience. You are coming at it from the other side where convenience is king, and freedom to move around and / or do videography with little to no prep is required. If someone's situation mirrors that then your recommendations make a ton of sense.

EDIT: I reread both of our posts, and realized we basically said the exact same thing for our definition of run and gun. I think where my opinion differs is that I don't consider Happy needing to run and gun with that lens because his subjects are going to be coming to him. He can stand there and let them come in and out of frame, and he has as much time as needed to compose shots. So you are right that you definitely can run and gun that lens, I think what I meant was that he didn't need to, but even if he does because of the size and weight of the lens what microphone you place on top is kind of a moot point because it's objectively small compared to the body and lens.
 
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Happy Hopping

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so these mic doesn't solve the problem, nor works for me. In most of the video, it's for my 2 rabbits at the backyard and they don't make any noise. On somewhat rare occasion, I do fil the wild birds, but for wild birds, since they are not mine, I don't care much about un-wanted sound.

the 2 kind of sound I want to avoid picking up is the motor sound as I mention before, as well as the high wind impact sound to the camera default sound mic, on a windy day. So if a tape works in blocking the motor sound from the lens, that would be all I need

so a better question is, how exactly does my camera pick up the motor noise? is it an "internal " noise transmit to the recording of the video ?

or is the sound boardcast outside, and the mic so happen to pick it up as it's close to the lens?
 

bman212121

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So then you just want to mute the microphone? If that's your goal just go into your mic settings, change it from auto to manual, and move the slider all the way to the left. That should set the gain to nothing, and effectively turn off the mic.The other simple cheap option is to get a 3.5mm jack and plug it into the camera port. The camera will think a mic is plugged in, but it's not.

The camera noise is probably both internal and external. A mic is somewhat like a reverse speaker, you'll hear the sound coming from where the pickup is, but it's definitely going to pickup noise from the case around it much like you can hear sound through the back of a speaker box. A piece of tape will mute high frequencies but is going to do little to stop lower ones. (Much like how you can hear bass through walls just fine) Both of your sources likely produce unwanted audio across a large range of frequencies, so unlikely to get rid of them completely from the internal mic.
 

UnknownSouljer

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so these mic doesn't solve the problem, nor works for me. In most of the video, it's for my 2 rabbits at the backyard and they don't make any noise. On somewhat rare occasion, I do fil the wild birds, but for wild birds, since they are not mine, I don't care much about un-wanted sound.

the 2 kind of sound I want to avoid picking up is the motor sound as I mention before, as well as the high wind impact sound to the camera default sound mic, on a windy day. So if a tape works in blocking the motor sound from the lens, that would be all I need

so a better question is, how exactly does my camera pick up the motor noise? is it an "internal " noise transmit to the recording of the video ?

or is the sound boardcast outside, and the mic so happen to pick it up as it's close to the lens?
Your response doesn't really make sense to me. Do you want to not have motor noise or not? Do you want to even have sound or not?

The short response is: basically everything you do makes noise, including quiet movie sets. "Noise" is generally eliminated by having a microphone as close to the audio source as you can get. Noise made from the camera department matters a lot less at that point. That's also how basically every doc or reality TV show is filmed. You mic up your talent and you have an audio technician follow them around with a shotgun mic as a second source of audio. This is how you avoid hearing footsteps from your talent as well as from the crew following your talent around.

We've already made a quick assumption that that isn't possible for you, not only for cost reasons, but also practicality reasons. The reason to buy a camera mounted shotgun mic is two fold: 1.) it increases the distance of the source of the noise from the microphone. 2.) More importantly using even a cold shoe mounted shotgun will eliminate off axis noise.
Point number 2 is critical to getting good audio. Shotgun mics are designed to pickup audio from one direction, the front. And reject audio from other axis' - in the case of motor noise, the bottom or underneath. This won't magically make all your audio better. At the end of the day to get the best audio, your mic (whatever mic you use) will need to be relatively close to your subject to get good sound. You can't expect any mic to catch a conversation of people 30 feet away and have it sound good. But if you're within 3-5 feet, you can expect a reasonably good signal (again, mics aren't magic and even spending $2000 on a mic won't suddenly negate physics).

There are several problems with internal mics. Most are obvious, but lets go over them anyway: 1.) They sound like crap. Internal mics are cheap and are incredibly limited in terms of space as well as placement on your camera. 2.) They use mic patterns that aren't generally conducive to only hearing the audio you want. I'm not 100% sure which pattern your current internal mic uses, but I'll assume it's an omni-directional condenser - It's designed to pick up audio from every direction (including inside the camera). And when you're trying to get good audio, that's obviously not what you want.

Your other problem of wind noise is also a problem with the mic that is getting used internally. But again that problem can at least be some-what solved by having an external mic with a fuzzy windscreen (dead cats). This isn't a perfect solution. Even with the most expensive mics in the world (in excess of several thousand dollars) this can still be an issue. Mic blimps can eliminate a huge amount of wind noise even when compared to fuzzy windscreens (dead cats) but it doesn't just magically eliminate all problems (and this solution is highly impractical for you, I'm 100% sure you don't want to spend the kind of money to get a shotgun mic and a blimp). The tool still has to be used by knowledgeable people and also generally avoiding windy situations if you can. Still, basically any external mic with a fuzzy windscreen will sound miles better than any internal mic and will have significantly less wind noise (but not perfect in every situation - it's still a tool that has to be used properly). And I can verify this because obviously I've done it on multiple cameras. Including the Canon 5D2/3 7D, and Sony A6500, A7RII, A7RIII. I've used all of them mic'ed and un-mic'ed in a variety of settings with a variety of different mics and on and off different rigs (from handheld, to sticks, to gimbals).

The best audio, as I've mentioned in this post, and have mentioned back and forth with bman212121 is lavalieres on the person speaking followed closely by shotguns into audio recorders that were only a few feet from the audio source. Again - not practical for you, we know this. That's why we've suggested what we have - two different spins on solving the same problem.

EDIT: The other thing you can do is get what you asked for in the OP, a silent lens. Which doesn't really exist. Every lens will have motor noise to one degree or another. What you're mostly hearing is likely the IS, so you could turn that off to eliminate noise. You could also hand crank the focus eliminating that noise as well. I generally find Canon lenses to be completely quiet when hand cranked other than if you ram into either infinity or minimum focus.
None of these will improve your audio, in the sense of audio quality though. And it also won't help your wind noise problem either. Still if you want to spend $0 then manual focus and IS off will eliminate basically all discernable noise from your lens (other than noise you make yourself).
 
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