January 5, 2016

Everything You Need to Know (& Even Some Stuff You Don't) About Camera Lenses

Many pros will tell you: it's less about the camera you're shooting on and more about the lens.

I mean -- that's neither here nor there, but one thing's clear: knowing all you can about lenses, how they're built, their properties, and even their history, will benefit you immensely as a filmmaker. This is something Filmmaker IQ's John P. Hess obviously knows, seeing as he has dedicated two separate videos to diving into the history and mechanics of the camera lens.

It's 45 minutes well spent, so check out both videos below:

Hopefully after viewing both videos you've come away with a wealth of knowledge about where lenses came from, how they're used today, as well as how they're built to capture the images we wish to record. Granted, the first video is aimed at history buffs, fact collectors, and trivia nerds (I am certainly all of those things), but the second video applies to everyone who's making films.

Hess breaks down everything from focal length, aperture, and the differences between primes and zooms -- and does so in his typical fashion: thoroughly and entertainingly. Seriously, these two videos serve as a fantastic masterclass on everything camera lenses, so consider yourself lucky that you didn't have to sit in a crowded lecture hall for two hours. (I'm assuming you didn't watch these videos while sitting in a crowded lecture hall -- you're in your underwear. Admit it.)      

Your Comment

3 Comments

Great work guys!! Very informative. I could watch hours of videos like these.

January 5, 2016 at 8:23PM

2
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Mike Brown
Director of Photography, Camera Operator, Assistant Camera
161

Impressive... I'm a knowledge-junkie and I didn't last past 4 minutes before I wanted to be my own stand-in. See what I did there? :)

January 5, 2016 at 9:54PM

10
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J.M. Anderson
Director of Photography
272

Nice post! Very good info... Almost too much info, but very good!

January 6, 2016 at 6:05AM, Edited January 6, 6:05AM

0
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avatar
Terrell Lamont
Director, Director of Photography
443

I believe Hess confuses 'field of view' with 'angle of view'. Focal length defines 'angle of view' which is constant. Sensor size changes 'field of view' which varies depending on sensor dimensions. This is a common mistake but leads to considerable confusion.B

January 9, 2016 at 10:39PM

0
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Robin Mudge
Producer, director, educator
74

I believe Hess confuses 'field of view' with 'angle of view'. Focal length defines 'angle of view' which is constant. Sensor size changes 'field of view' which varies depending on sensor dimensions. This is a common mistake but leads to considerable confusion.

January 9, 2016 at 10:41PM

7
Reply
Robin Mudge
Producer, director, educator
74