During corporate video production several filming types of equipment are used to ensure that you get a high-quality video that will impress your audience. One of the most popular equipment is, of course, the camera. However, there is one accessory where cameras are concerned, which is often overlooked – the camera lens. Unbeknownst to many people, it plays a vital role, and your choice of one can be the difference between a great company video and a bad one.
Types of camera lenses used in filming
There are several types of camera lenses that are available for use during filming projects. Understanding the available options, features, advantages, and drawbacks will go a long way in helping you to understand your corporate video production process. Below, the guys at TechTV take a look at some of the top types of camera lenses they frequently use.
Prime lenses have set focal length; the distance between the lens and the image sensor of the camera. Due to the fixed focal length, you cannot zoom your camera in or out when you are shooting. Therefore, you can only shoot from one range, and move closer or away from the subject/scene when you need to adjust your shooting. An example of a prime lens includes a 50mm lens, with a fixed focal length of 50mm.
Prime lenses offer several benefits, including:
- Clear, sharp images – they can better separate the background from the foreground, leading to aesthetically-pleasing crisp images
- Great shooting in low light conditions – they maximise the available light, making it easy to shoot in low light environments without compromising the quality
- They encourage creativity in the filmmaker – the need for movement when adjusting the field of view fosters creativity on the filmmaker’s part, to produce better and more pleasing images/footage.
A zoom lens is the exact opposite of a prime lens; it comes with a variable focal length as opposed to a fixed one. This allows you to zoom in or out depending on the location of the subject or the scene. When shooting with a zoom lens, you do not need to keep on physically moving. You can zoom to the widest angle to shoot a subject/scene that is close to you or zoom out to the longest angle for subject/scenes that are far. An example of a zoom lens is the 18 – 55 mm lens, with a focal length range of 18mm to 55mm.
Zoom lenses offer several advantages, including:
- You don’t have to be physically involved in the shooting; you can shoot from the same position, only adjusting your lens focal length when needed.
- It offers you a range of focal lengths without the need for changing your lens. This provides you with more flexibility in your shooting.
Wide Angle Lenses
Wide-angle lenses have a focal length that is shorter than the sensor length. This has the effect of giving your camera a wider field of view than standard lenses. A wide field of view offers you more depth when shooting. This allows you to capture more details of the scene/subject (or get close to it) without cropping the edges. Another benefit of a wide-angle lens is that it gives the images more perspective, providing the audience with a 3-D like viewing experience.
The fisheye is a type of wide-angle lens – with the difference being that its focal length is much shorter than that of the standard wide-angle lens. The effect of this is more depth, thus offering you an ultra-wide field of view. This vast field of view creates a visual distortion that causes subjects/scenes with straight lines to appear curved. The lens is better suited for exceptional shooting, where it would be problematic to use the wide-angle lens. It can also be used when the filmmaker intends to use distortion to add a wow factor to the images. Other popular uses by filmmakers include the shooting of curved subjects/scenes, behind-the-scenes shooting, upward shots, and artistic shooting.
Telephoto lenses are special camera lenses that feature a considerable focal length. As a result, they can isolate a subject from the background and capture images of subject or scenes that are far away. They are mostly used when shooting nature or sports scenes. They are also ideal for when it is impossible to get close to the subject/scene, for example, wildlife shooting, or shooting surfing competitions.
Macro lenses are camera lenses that achieve extreme closeups, allowing you to capture an image of a similar size to the real subject. As a result, they are used to capture extremely fine details of small objects, for example, insects or coins.
Factors to consider when choosing a camera lens
Now that you know about various types of lenses, it is time to look at how to go about choosing the right lens for filming. Below are some of the factors that filmmakers consider when selecting the lens to use:
The type of project
The kind of project you are shooting will determine the type of lens to use. For example, a prime lens will work best when shooting a video that needs to have more cinematic effects. On the other hand, documentaries, events, and news video shoots will come out best when using a zoom lens that covers a range of shots.
The filming environment
The filming environment is another thing to consider when choosing a camera lens. If you are in an indoor and/or low light environment, you will require a prime lens which will offer you sharper images. A zoom lens, on the other hand, will work well in outdoor or well-lit areas. Likewise, you will need a special lens such as a telephoto lens when shooting from a considerable distance.
The type of camera you are using
Ideally, the kind of camera you use should be determined by the lens your project requires. However, this is not always the case in film projects where your choice of camera is limited. In such a case, you need to ensure that the lens you chose is appropriate for the camera you are using. For example, the sensor size of your camera will affect the view angle of your shots. Therefore, when choosing a lens, you must pick one that will offer you a good depth depending on your camera’s sensor size.
Different types of lenses are available at different prices. Therefore, when choosing a camera lens to purchase for your project, your available budget can be a limiting factor. For example, if your budget is low, a standard 50 mm prime lens can be the right choice. On the other hand, if your budget is not limited, you can purchase a more advanced lens.
Camera lenses might not seem like it, but they play a vital role when it comes to capturing quality images for your videos. Different types of lenses are available, each offering different features for shooting in various scenes. Choosing the right lens is all about understanding your filming needs, and then picking the available one that will best
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