April 4, 2017 at 9:01PM


Lenses: What focal lengths do you need starting out?

If your buying primes.


Wes Anderson famously shoots pretty nuch an entire movie with a single focal length. Stanley Kubri k famously had lenses specially designed so he could compose shots that had never been done before. Here's an article that talks anout some iconic movies and the lenses used to make them: http://nofilmschool.com/2016/08/19-iconic-filmmakers-focal-lengths-and-l...

If gou have good control of your set, and an s35 image sensor, you might find you use a 35mm for 70% of your shots, a 24mm for 15% of your shots, a 75mm for 10% of your shots, and then random specialty lenses for the remaining 5% of the shots. Unless your story is about bugs. Then you'll want a 100mm macro for 80% of your shots.

April 4, 2017 at 9:50PM



For me lenses are a very personal matter. Each person will have "their" preference.

That being said, on Super35/APSC formats, I've always personally leaned towards a 35mm as my "go-to" lens. However, recently I've been doing more mixed media (stills and motion) and since then I have found myself gravitating towards a 23mm more and more. Moving on from there, since I do a lot of landscape and architectural, my next focal length would be a 12mm (on S35/APSC).I would say at this point in my career, if I could only have two lenses, it would be a 12 and 23mm.

Obviously, for a full project, I would always try to acquire a standard set of focal lengths (12/18, 23/28, 35, 50, 85, + 135).

I would recommend determining the one focal length you absolutely cannot live without and start from there. Happy shooting!


April 5, 2017 at 11:37PM

John Dimalanta
Freelance Photographer/Cinematographer

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