If you are like me, your first project with a DSLR was with an 18-55mm kit lens. There comes a time when you seriously consider switching to a specialized lens, especially if you want to do professional video or film.
When I first mounted a friend’s cinema lens on my Canon Rebel T5i, the lens cost more than the camera, but I remember being shocked at how much better the image could be with a single piece of glass. The world of film lenses is very complex, so this article is meant to be a general guide.
It explains in simple terms what cinema lenses are, why they are used, what to look out for when buying lenses, the price range of popular brands, why cinema lenses are useful, and what to look for when buying them.
Best Cine Lens
This guide will not only help you understand what your DP friends are talking about when they talk about lenses, but it will also help you know if cinema lenses are right for you.
Whether you are building a personal lens kit or making a list of equipment to rent for your next movie, choosing a set of lenses is a big decision. It can also be daunting, especially if you are new to the business. So which lenses should you choose? A full set of SLRs? A few zoom lenses? Or both? The answer is not always clear-cut: ask ten filmmakers what their favorite lenses and focal lengths are, and you will probably get just as many answers.
The fact is, everyone has t own preferences in focal length, image quality, and appearance. While lens selection is often a matter of personal preference, production needs should also be considered. For example, even if you are not a fan of zooming, a zoom lens may be essential for your production. In this article, I will try to give you some tips to help you put together a lens package, with a focus on narrative films.
Best Cine Lens | Comparison Table 2022
Best Cine Lens | Reviews 2022
How To Choose The Best Cine Lens | Ultimate Guide 2022
Factors to Consider
The lens is the most important component of a camera. It is no wonder that many people worry about purchasing a new lens. Good lenses are expensive and special. Whether this is the first lens you buy or your twentieth, it is important to know exactly what you are looking for. Here are the main factors to consider before investing in your next lens.
The first thing to consider with a lens is the type of mount. Each camera manufacturer has a different connection system between the lens and the camera. This connection is called the mount. When purchasing a new lens, make sure it will fit your camera.
Common mount systems for digital SLR and mirrorless SLR cameras are as follows. Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony E-mount, Fujinon X-mount, and Micro Four Thirds (MFT), warech is used on most Panasonic cameras. Some lens mounts are only tied to cameras from the same manufacturer, for example, some film cameras use the EF mount outside of the Canon ecosystem.
There are also manufacturers that offer the same lens in several different mounts, such as Sigma, Tamron, Rokinon, and FUJINON. High-end brands such as Zeiss and Cook also offer interchangeable lens mount options.
When investing in lenses, consider the camera and mount you plan to use in the future so that you can continue to use your lens collection after your next upgrade.
Once the compatibility is determined, the focal length will be the deciding factor in lens selection. Focal length is usually the first number listed in the lens description and is measured in millimeters. The smaller the number, the wider the angle of view and the more scenes you can capture. Longer focal length lenses bring the viewer closer to the action and allow for more compression of space in the image.
Focal length is one of the major factors in determining how an image looks. When used intentionally, it is a useful storytelling tool. Extreme lenses, such as super wide-angle or super telephoto, are usually used only for specific creative effects.
Very wide lenses often distort images and can be annoying in the wrong circumstances. In video production, lenses with focal lengths from 20mm to 100mm are common, with a 50mm lens roughly matching the field of view of the human eye.
You will also find that most manufacturers, including Canon, Nikon, Sony, Sigma, and Tokina, produce very similar 24-70mm zooms. This zoom range covers the most commonly used focal lengths. They are also generally affordable, ranging in price from a few hundred to several thousand yen, depending onamountmount and manufacturer.
Effective Focal Length
When choosing a lens by focal length, you must also consider the size of the camera’s sensor. Sensors smaller than full size have a crop factor that increases the effective focal length of the lens. When combined with an MFT sensor with a 2x crop factor, a 35mm lens will have an angle of view equivalent to a 70mm lens.
A camera with an APS-C sensor with a crop factor of 1.5x will give the same lens an angle of view almost equivalent to a 52mm lens. Know your camera’s crop factor to get the lens you need.
Primary or Zoom Lens
Primary lenses have a fixed focal length, but zoom lenses can be used to cover a range. They can have a long or short focal length, cover a wide rofge or only a very narrow range. Zoom lenses are generally more expensive, especially as the zoom range increases.
However, they can replace several prime lenses and are useful in run-and-gun situations where you often crop. There are two types of zoom lenses: built-in and external. External zooms are more common more affordable. If you need accessories such matte boxtebox, you may want to opt for a built-in zoom.
Primary lenses have a fixed focal length, while zoom lenses can cover a variety of distances.
Prime lenses, on the other hand, often have a faster or wider maximum aperture f-number than zoom lenses. In addition, because fewer lenses are used, they generally produce sharper images than zoom lenses.
An aperture is a hole in a lens that lets light in. The size of this aperture is controlled by a multi-blade iris. The aperture also affects the blurriness of the picture. The more blades there are, the more circular the aperture is, and the smoother and more beautiful the bokeh in defocused areas.
The size of the aperture is an important indicator. It is the maximum width that can be opened. It is usually measured by the f-number of the lens, such as f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, etc. The smaller the f-number, the larger the aperture, allowing more light through. Also, as the aperture is opened, the depth of field becomes shallower. In other words, the surface in focus becomes thinner.
Fixed-aperture zooms are easier to use but are generally more expensive. Similarly, lenses with large maximum aperture f-numbers are generally more expensive. However, going from f/4 to f/2.8 makes a huge difference for videographers’ workinlow-lightlight situations. It is also recommended for those who want to create cinematic expressions because of its very shallow depth of field.
Another important factor to consider when purchasing a lens is the sensor size of the camera. The main sensor types considered here are, in order from largest to smallest, full size, APS-C and Super35, and Micro Four Thirds MFT is both a sensor format and a mount type. Full-size sensors are the largest, so the image from a full-size lens will cover a smaller sensor.
Full-size compatible lenses can be used with any camera. However, if a lens for a crop sensor is used on a full-frame camera, the image will only cover a portion of the sensor. This results in significant vignetting in the image. Avoid using lenses designed for small sensors on large format cameras unless you specifically expect this effect.
An adapter is an adapter that allows a lens designed for one mount to be attached to a camera with a different mount. They can be found for most mount combinations. While they allow more lenses to be used, adapters also have drawbacks. When using an adapter, you should always consider the size of the sensor and the coverage of the lens.
Also, few adapters allow digital communication between the camera and the lens. If digital communication is lost, autofocusing is not possible. With newer lenses, you may not be able to change the aperture. Adapters can also affect the light that passes through the lens to the sensor. Using an adapter can reduce the exposure by one point. It is a useful tool, but you should always be aware of its drawbacks if you use it.
Cinema lenses differ from fixed lenses in several ways. First, they are more robust and have less tolerance for variations in technical characteristics. They also have a lofocalfocus range, which allows for smoother separation and manual aperture. Cinema lenses are designed for use in adverse weather conditions. Because of these stringent specifications, they are often much more expensive than similar fixed lenses.
Cinema lenses are much more common and affordable than cinema zooms. It is important to note that cinema zooms are parfocal. This means that they maintain a constant focus over the entire area of the lens. This makes the design of cinema zooms very complex and expensive to manufacture.
Because cinematographers value consistency, major cinema lenses are often sold as a set. These lenses share the same image quality characteristics and physical design, and the lenses can be easily changed between shoots.
What is the difference between cinema lenses and photographic lenses?
There are many differences between cinema lenses and fixed lenses, in addition to those mentioned above. Cinema lenses, which are specifically designed for film production, have many features that are especially useful for film production.
Many of these features are intended to provide consistency so that the image remains similar from day to day and lens to lens.
F-stops are available for fixed lenses and T-stops are available for film lenses.
For example, unlike fixed lenses that use an F iris, cinema lenses use a T iris.
In the case of fixed lenses, “F” stands for “focal length,” and the F value is a theoretical value that describes the relationship between the diameter and length of the lens.
The F value is not as accurate as the T value in representing the amount of light passing through the lens. So, for example, a lens with an F value of 1.4 often has a T value of only 1.7.
This is because T-iris specificmeasuresures the amount of light passing through the lens. Therefore, if you change lenses while keeping the same T-iris, the amount of light will be the same.
Film Lenses to Minimize Breathing
Many cinema lenses also minimize the “lens breathing” effect found in fixed lenses. This effect occurs when focusing (moving from one object or person to another) and gives the appearance of a change in image scale.
Therefore, with a fixed lens, the breathing of the lens is not noticeable, but with video, the breathing is noticeable. As you have probably already noticed (and have seen on many TV shows), this is very annoying.
Film lenses have a fixed aperture and are parfocal.
Many fixed lenses do not have a fixed aperture, and the aperture changes as you zoom. With cinema lenses, the aperture is clearly defined and marked (as is the focal length), allowing the settings to be recorded and matched each time the picture is taken.
Cinema zoom lenses also use the “parfocal” method, which allows the camera to focus at different focal lengths. Fixed lenses also have this feature, but it is important to know that cinema zoom lenses keep the subject in focus.
Cinema lenses should have no vignetting, minimal wide-angle distortion, and beautiful flare and bokeh. It should also be noted that cinema lenses of the same brand should have consistent color and contrast.
Ultimately, what you get for the price of a cinema arens is consistency and complete control.
Most affordable cinema lenses are prime lenses, and unless you are prepared to spend a lot to zoom in, you will usually end up buying a lens kit that includes a wide lens, a standard lens, and a telephoto lens.
However, when it comefirst-time time purchases, it is a matter of personal preferelly, I like the look of wide-angle lenses, buthe t if depth of field is important to you, you may want to consider a regular length.
Who uses cinema lenses?
Cinema lenses are on the main stage of filmmaking, being used in Hollywood productions for blockbusters. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use cinema lenses even if, like me, you don’t have a $70 million budget for your next project.
Filmmakers, videographers, students, and enthusiasts all use film lenses to excellent effect.
If you are a still photographer, you know that you can shoot with cinema lenses, but the manual aperture and focus settings can be frustrating. Also, cinema lenses are really heavy and expensive compared to fixed lenses.
Nevertheless, if you are shooting something and need or want to take pictures in between, it is doable. However, if you are buying a cinema lens just for still photography, it may not be worth it.
But I digress. Cinema lenses are for everyone. Thanks to brands like Rokinon that make them at a relatively affordable price of $500 a piece, and services like www.lensrentals.com, you can get a reasonably priced cinema lens for your next shoot.
When do you use cinema lenses?
Cinema lenses are better suited for projects that require a higher degree of control and consistent shooting.
Therea are few reasons not to use cinema lenses other than budget, and we will discuss lens mounts and adapters later, but we urge you to be aware of them.
While it is nice to be able to use them when needed, lens adapters are expensive and can cause problems.
Besides the financial aspect, the lack of autofocus and zoom is another reason to avoid cinema lenses.
Finally, cinema lenses are heavy. So if you are shooting action sports, moving around a lot, or shooting something alone, cinema lenses can be cumbersome.
What is the best focal length for cinematography?
35mm is the preferred focal length for most interviews and is standardized in “commercial” promos and documentaries. This width helps set the tone for corporate videos and testimonials by incorporating more background elements. However, the 50mm lens is closer to what the human eye sees for itself.
What is the best mm lens for video?
In video production, lenses with focal lengths from 20mm to 100mm are commonly used, and a 50mm lens roughly matches the field of view of the human eye. You will also find very similar 24-70mm zoom lenses available from most manufacturers, including Canon, Nikon, Sony, Sigma, and Tokina.
Do cinema lenses offer image stabilization?
Compact Cine Servo lenses are large format EF mount lenses designed to meet the needs of low-budget productions without compromising on optical quality, featuring 3-mode image stabilization and fast autofocusing with Dual Pixel CMOS AF.
So, now you know a lot more about Best Cine Lens. Whether you are a prospective buyer, are researching, or already own one, we hope this article has helped you learn a little more about the world of Best Cine Lens.
If you have any topics you would like to share with us, such as your experience with cine lenses or personal recommendations, please feel free to leave a comment.
We look forward to hearing what you have to say.