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Mark Allen
Director , Screenwriter , Composer
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Cinematography Made Easy 03

In part three I'm talking about Lenses. There is something shocking people learn about lenses.  They cost more than cameras!!!Not always, but good ones do.  Yes, it is very common for $100,000 lens package to be used with a $20,000 camera.  Even lately I've seen them used with $2,000 cameras.  Sort of odd.If you are using a $200 lense on your 7D... it's great if it is working for you, but it's not considered a "good lens."  Basically it's expensive to get a sharp image that looks good.There are also differences between cinema lenses and DSLR (photo camera) lenses - and these mostly have to do with keeping focus.  Something people discover once using a 35mm sized sensor is that the focus is shallow and it's hard to operate the camera and keep the subject in focus at the same time once they start moving around.  So, an assistant will be needed to help out with this.  And to help them, the cinema lens are geared towards helping them keep that focus.  The f-stops are sometimes different as well in that you have more "stops" to choose from.The important things to know about lenses.PRIME vs. ZOOM - A prime has one focal length (i.e. 50mm or 300mm), a zoom will have a range (i.e. 24mm to 75mm)FOCAL LENGTH - this is that "50mm" indicator.  What you need to know:  The smaller the number, the wider the shot.  The larger the number, the more telephoto the shot.   Additionally - the more telephoto, the shallower the depth of field.  There is a really cool reason for this, but it might make this blog intimidating, so I'm not going there.  What I'd rather focus is on some basic uses of the lenses.  Generally with 35mm cameras, a 50mm lens is considered normal.One important but advanced thing to know about - how wide or telephoto something is will depend on the sensor size, but if you're shooting 35mm, the 5D, the 7D, or the RED, somewhere between like 44 and 50 should be considered "standard" - meaning about what the eye sees.  If you're shooting with a 2/3rds type video camera or 16mm, it's going to be different.When to use a longer lens;  Shooting faces, people don't look so good in wide angle.  If you're shooting something that you want to look more stern, more serious, more grim - a long lens is often the choice.  If you want to limit the focus for a story telling point as much as possible on something shallow - then this will work.When to use a shorter lens:  If you want something to look super dynamic.  If you want to enhance how fast something moves towards or away from the camera.  If you are trying to stylize a shot for action or impression - wides might work.Whatever you do - CHOOSE your angle based on what you're trying to convey.  It really makes a difference in telling your story.

about 11 years ago 0 likes  4 comments  0 shares
45862083 0af2fd4d5d
super educational... now all i need is a camera with changeable lenses..
about 11 years ago
Photo 22998
I guess I was trying to help people who didn't know anything learn... but it seems maybe I still made it too complicated?
about 11 years ago

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April 13, 2007