The next thing that you want in a lens is a fixed aperture lens. However, for the occasional use, you can get great footage from this lens. If you’re shooting exclusively 4K footage on a GH4, you could use the Speedbooster XL instead. The 14mm lens creates unbelievably wide images and allows you to get a shots in a small work area. A favorite of documentarians for close-ups and more stylized insert shots (as well as greater speed in dark environments), a strong 50mm (or “nifty-fifty”) should be in every documentarian’s bag. Set at 2.8, it’s not the fastest lens in the world, but for a zoom in controlled and bright settings, you’d be hard-pressed to do much better. Metabones’ Canon EF adapters even maintain autofocus, though it won’t be as fast as on a Canon body. When buying camera lenses, sharpness is also an important consideration. So before we get into lenses, let’s narrow down a few things. Get 5 videos every month and save. If you don’t need constant aperture, the much cheaper 45-150 f/4-f/5.6 is very good value, and also has Dual IS. Like all aspects of filmmaking, the creative decisions you make both in terms of camera lenses and gear should always serve the story. ATTENTION: Links and articles shared on this website contain affiliate links and also promote products and services. Zoom lenses are convenient. If you'd like to write a guest article for Filmmaking Stuff check out our Write for Filmmaking Stuff page for details about how YOU can share your ideas to the filmmaking community. And the 35mm lens is known for the Hollywood close up. This has a higher reduction to allow for the 4K image crop on the GH4 body. For more information click here. I use an Olympus OM Zuiko 50mm f/1.8 myself. Zoom lenses are convenient. This page shows how lenses with different focal lengths affect the image. Here we are going to go through them, one by one, to have a look at what they promise and the results achieved. If you enjoyed reading this article, make sure you grab a copy of The Filmmaker Roadmap. Know what sensor size you have and then buy camera lenses designed for that sensor. The wide maximum aperture makes it easier to put the background out of focus. You are always encouraged to conduct your own due-diligence before purchasing any product or service. But with most Panasonic cameras (except the GH5s, which has a bigger ‘multi-aspect’ sensor), video is different. Oh, the perils of documentary filmmaking. Cinema lenses also tend to have a larger amount of pull needed to adjust focus. Since coverage is one of the important factors in your decision, a flexible, wide-to-medium-angle z0om lens like Canon’s 17-55mm is a great place to start. One of the most popular accessories for iPhones and other smartphones is the Moment Lens range. In fact, a light breeze, as subtle as it might seem, can wreck a shot. A variable lens is extremely useful in a fast paced scenario but it does require more light. They were good value then, and they’re an absolute bargain now. When you look through a lens that is meant for a smaller sensor you will actually see the inside edges of the lens which are black. Filming in different resolutions actually effects how much of the sensor is in use. I choose five lenses made by a Korean company called Rokinon. Thus, the quality of the tripod is extremely important. This lens is great for one-day or weekend rentals. One attribute of a cinema lens is that it has ‘teeth’ around the focus ring and the aperture ring. Fotodiox make adapters for mounting manual focus lenses to mirrorless cameras. You can also use optical converters to mount lenses designed for full-frame or APS-C sensors. Documentary filmmaking, unlike narrative filmmaking, is by its nature very uncontrolled, improvisational, and open. This is fine if you’re happy with autofocus, setting focus using the touchscreen, or using the pre-programmed pull focus in some models. Check out his website or instagram for more. Sharpness is determined, in part, by the quality of the glass and how that glass is ground to create the lens. He also creates short documentary features for the Dallas Observer — a subject which inspired his recently published e-book on the shooting, producing and editing lifestyle called SHREDITOR, which can be purchased on Amazon. The Panasonic Lumix 7-14 f/4 is a constant aperture, wide angle zoom. This lets you compare lenses on different sensors. Especially great for interview setups and filming more static and controlled footage, the 1.5 85mm is a game-changer for turning a run-and-gun documentary into a serious film. You can get the GH5 with the fast, expensive, high quality Leica 12-60 f/2.8-f/4.0 Leica lens, or the longer Lumix 14-140 f/3.5-f/5.6 lens which would be useful for travel. Happy filmmaking! If you would like more information, please read our full Compensation Disclosure. This means we receive compensation. My Sony A7S II for example, has a full frame sensor but the full sensor is only being used when I film in 4k resolution. John Graham is an LA based filmmaker. The advantage of a prime lens is that the image generally is sharper and exposure does not require as much light as a zoom lens. Choosing a particular lens an aesthetic decision, based on your needs as a filmmaker. If you’d rather have a prime lens, the Rokinon/Ssamyang 12mm f/2.0 is good value (and two stops faster than the 7-14) though it’s only manual focus. If you are, in fact, on a crop sensor camera that necessitates working as wide as possible, Sigma’s 18-35mm is a great option that offers better low light and cinematic looks at 1.8. Let’s explore five EF documentary lens options to consider before your next shoot. The GH5 has this feature (at 1.4x magnification) when filming 4K. But if you want to do precise, traditional focus pulling you may prefer lenses with a mechanical focus rings: vintage primes, a set of Cine lenses, or the Rokinon/Ssamyang manual focus prime lenses. Using a lens without VR can be a deal breaker if you’re shooting on the go as it can be really hard to steady the video when shooting handheld. The further you zoom the camera, the more a small shake in the camera is amplified. I rarely use a long telephoto lens, but the advantage of the MFT system is that even long lenses are relatively compact. And since I mostly use my equipment for making films so it was important to me to find cinema style camera lenses. They have focus rings, but they’re coupled to electronic motors. Download The Filmmaker Roadmap So You Can Level Up Your Filmmaking! And it has Dual IS image stabilisation. Because this doesn’t use the whole sensor, the crop factor increases to 2.2. Along with his work as a contributing writer for PremiumBeat, he has contributed articles covering film and video news to Vimeo, Shutterstock and No Film School. Sometimes you can order your camera body with the mount you want but if not, don’t fret! When it comes to buying camera lenses, some are better for photography and some are better for cinema. While not a necessity, a strong zoom long lens can still be a great addition to any documentary project where up-close-and-personal coverage is not an option. Thanks for reading! Plus, get FREE clips into the bargain. Panasonic’s smaller MFT sensor is usually quoted as having a crop factor of 2 when you’re shooting stills. How to make movies with your iPhone or iPad, Using pictures, sound, and sequences in your movie, Using the camera, light, position and movement, Film and edit so that your movie makes sense, Tips to make sure you get all the shots you need, Filming ‘rules’ to help viewers understand what’s going on, Essential principles for editing your clips together, Short movie structure, storytelling tips and story ideas, Introduction to equipment for low budget filmmaking, My starter kit for low budget filmmakers, documentary makers and citizen journalists, What you need to shoot good video with mobile devices, Learn filmmaking by editing a short movie. They’re excellent value when you buy them bundled with the camera: they’re usually much more expensive to buy on their own. Start a Documentary Today with This Quick Guide to Documentary Film, Best Digital Cameras for Documentary Filmmaking. Different companies make their cameras with specific mounts. It’s a medium telephoto on MFT, great for closeups of people. Made from high grade polycarbonate/ABS blend, the iOgrapher is extremely tough and durable, and can stand up to any shooting environment. A true macro lens (compared to the 50mm), Rokinon’s 85mm packs a close-up punch that lends a tight, cinematic quality to your image that you won’t find with a wide. Extreme wide angle lenses would be 17mm or 14mm. If I were to shoot in 1920 x 1080 I would only be using a portion of the sensor for the capturing of the image. There are companies that make excellent adaptors to fit most any lens to any camera. This page includes affiliate links. The 35mm on different cameras can act close to a medium (or even long) lens, but it should always give you a standard feeling and good coverage of action and events. My Sony A7S II has a Sony E-Mount receiver. So your 12mm lens is now about a 26mm equivalent. • VR (Vibration Reduction) image stabilization is built into some of the best zoom lenses. That’s still a useful wide angle, but not quite as wide. It’s stabilised and works with the Dual IS system on the G85/G80 and GH5. The G7 normally comes with a 14-42 (f/3.5-f/5.6) lens, but the G85/G80 kit lens covers a wider 12-60 range (it’s also f/3.5-f/5.6). The 35mm on different cameras can act close to a medium (or even long) lens, but it should always give you a standard feeling and good coverage of action and events. The Panasonic 42.5mm f/1.7 is equivalent to around 90mm (medium telephoto) on a full frame sensor, so you can get far enough away for undistorted closeups. But which lenses should you buy for shooting video? These ‘teeth’ can be combined with a follow focus to allow the AC (Assistant Camera) to pull focus during a shot. When it comes to buying camera lenses, some are better for photography and some are better for cinema. This site uses cookies to improve your experience. The 24mm lens is still fairly wide angle but it creates an image that looks more normal to the eye. They also effectively increase the maximum aperture of the lens, which is useful for working in low light. It has a constant aperture so exposure doesn’t change when you zoom in and out. Medium telephoto prime lens: 42.5mm f/1.7. All the Panasonic zooms above are ‘fly-by-wire’. 1: A “regular lens”: This is a 50mm still camera lens 2: A moderate wide angle lens: 24-35mm still camera lens 3: A moderate zoom lens: 80-200mm still camera lens. Filmmaking Stuff is a professional resource for entrepreneurial filmmakers, providing practical strategies on screenwriting, producing, funding, directing, marketing and distribution. So you will want to become friends with the cameral rental house, rent some lenses and then run a lot of tests. Note: Moment lenses need their purpose built case to attach to your smartphone. With over 90 clips of action, dialogue and B-roll, plus step-by-step user guides, Filmmaking for children and young people: interactive book for iPad, Mac and iPhone, Free PDF storyboard, logging and documentary sheets, Free PDF teaching packs in English and Welsh. This means that when I buy camera lenses I need to be sure to buy one that has this type of mount.

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