November 9, 2015 at 11:40PM


Best lens for shooting cinematic telefilm

Hi everyone. I am new here and to video and wanted to shoot a telefilm with cinematic looks. I own nikon D610 with lenses ranging from 24-70mm f/2.8G, 50mm f/1.4G, 85mm f/1.4G . Which lens would give best result. Most of the shoots are indoor and of night. Thanks in advance


Cinematic looks start with lighting, sets, wardrobe, and makeup. If you have a cinematic-looking scene[1], then lensing becomes very straightforward...kinda.

AF lenses for DSLRs can be challenging to use when you want to rack focus, because they have a very short focus throw. A very short throw makes for a very snappy response from an AF micromotor, but for humans it means it's virtually impossible to rack from one focus distance to another without undershoot or overshoot, either of which will wreck the rack focus effect. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and you can make a cinematic scene without racking focus, but I'm going to presume that you think of racking focus as part of a cinematic look.

Rokinon and others make inexpensive Cine-style lenses. A 4-lens Cine bundle costs less than $2000[2]. Used Zeiss Contax lenses cost around $1000 each, and are being used to make features today[3]. (A lengthy "Zeiss Contax Survival Guide" thread [4] on sorts the wheat from the chaff on that subject.)

Zeiss makes many lines of cine-style lenses (Compact Prime, Compact Prime Super-Speed, Ultra Prime, Master Prime, Master Anamorphic) but their $4,000 - $40,000 cost per lens price is probably beyond the budget you want to consider. But regardless of whether you spend $400 or $40,000 on a lens, it won't look cinematic without great lighting, set design, wardrobe, and makeup.


[2] Rokinon 4-lens set for Nikon F-mount:

[3] Sample cinematic-style images shot with Zeiss Contax lenses:


November 10, 2015 at 7:40AM


Thanks micheal i will definitely consider your guidlines. Thanks a lot


November 10, 2015 at 12:38PM

The camera and lenses you own are fine to start. To get a more cinematic look to your shots I would focus on your lighting and composition, and also how you use DOF in your shots. I'm not saying to shoot everything with shallow DOF, but rather consider how much DOF you want in your shots. ( sometimes you want deep DOF where everything is in focus, sometimes you want shallow DOF to isolate your subject from the background, and sometimes you want a compromise where the background is a little out of focus but still clearly recognizable )

I would also consider the look of your finished footage, where grading in something like DaVinci Resolve or using film emulation software like FilmConvert where you can give your footage the look of shooting on actual film. ( FilmConvert is a good investment for any kind of video work )

November 10, 2015 at 11:17AM

Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer

Thanks Guy Mcloughlin. Much appreciated your kind guidance. Let me shoot a first look. Then i will share it with you. Hope you will guide me more. Thanks a lot


November 10, 2015 at 12:37PM

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