Watch: A Beginner's Guide to Learning about Lenses
It's time to get really acquainted with your lenses.
Every new filmmaker (and even some pros) have this crisis: which lens should I use for this shot/scene/project? There are so many to choose from—different brands, focal lengths, apertures. Should you get a prime lens or a zoom lens? Should you go budget-friendly or splurge on some expensive glass? It's tricky, but in the video below Darious Britt shares some great insight about how to choose the right lens, as well as how to become an expert at using the ones you already have.
It might seem really obvious that the best way to get to know your lenses is by using them, but just as Britt says, not enough people actually do this. (I'm certainly guilty of this.) Putting your lenses through their paces is crucial to learning about their strengths and weaknesses. How well do they capture close ups, mediums, and long shots? How crisp and clear are they? What do colors look like when shooting with them? What is their minimum focusing distance? Does it have auto focus and how well does it work? Is there focus breathing?
Getting to know the lenses you want to work with is such an important step to take before you start shooting—not doing so is like buying a car without taking it for a test drive. And if you already took the plunge and bought a lens, knowing your lens enough to be able to anticipate what an image is going to look like before you even shoot it is going to help you save time, money, and stress down the road.
Simply put—just know your tools. The more you shoot with your lenses the more you'll know about them, and the more you know about them, the better your shoots are going to be.