View Full Version : Camera lens

12 December 2004, 04:10 PM
Hi everyone

I was wondering if one of you could point me towards a site or maybe a book that explains everything about camera lens. For example: when to use 50 mm instead of 35 mm, or the pros and cons of all the different sizes and formats. I'm not looking for their scientific aspects more their different applications in the movie making process.

12 December 2004, 04:55 AM
There's a book by a director names Kazan called Making Movies that tlaks a little about this. Also, a lot of still photography books can show you the effects over using a wide angle instead of a long lens and vice versa. Basically, in a nutshell, wide angle lenses distort space and features and are great for comedies. Longer lenses confine space and compress figures and features. Generally a 50mm lens (for shooting 25mm film) is considered what the eye sees (In 16mm film I believe it's around 25 or 30...). Portrait photographers tend to use longer lenses however, somewhere around a 75mm lens in order to flatten the face a bit and make the features more appealing...

Thsi is how it's done in photography and film. I'm not sure how it applies to CG, but these are the principles I used for 35mm.

12 December 2004, 02:20 PM
Thanks for your replie Kung Fu Hampster it cleared things up a bit:thumbsup:
I'm suppose to learn this in school next year but thats far away, I want to know now!!!

Anyway thanks for your help

12 December 2004, 04:11 PM
NP...get yourself a cheap camera and some lenses and experiement a little...don't wait for school!

12 December 2004, 07:45 PM
Also one has to follow the lenses we are used to from the limits of real camera. ie with real camera aerial shots of action (helicopter shots) or sports teleshots are allways long lenses as the cam is forced to be in a distance. In CG you could bring the cam closer but it wouldn't look very natural due to the way we are used to seeing certain action. Also in tight spaces wider lenses etc.


12 December 2004, 09:03 PM
there are no real rules for how to use a lens. its up to you. Just keep in mind that focal length controls the FOV.. and the FOV can do everything from stretch things out to forshorten and remove a sense of scale. If you do a survey with canon they send you a really nice hardcover book with info about each of there lenses and all there lens technology. Theres quite a bit of content in it thats not an advertisment.

12 December 2004, 06:08 AM
Go to and learn. Very good site.

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