January 14, 2016 at 8:05PM


What Cine lenses are a must for BMPCC?

Trying to figure out what Cine Lenses (Rokinon especially) would cover all the coverage I would need to shoot a film for?


One of the most common errors to make when outfitting a cinema lens selection is to think like a DSLR shooter. Namely, to buy a huge range of lenses for the purposes of "coverage". This thread from a number of years ago discussed films shot mostly with a single lens: http://www.reduser.net/forum/showthread.php?6752-Shooting-an-Entire-Film...

What does it teach? It teaches that in the cine world, lensing a scene is very much about creating a look. Whether the look is wide-open, distorted, claustrophobic, shallow DOF, whatever, it's a distinctive look, which then becomes part of the visual language of the film. The mistake that creeps in is that by using too many different focal lengths, all these different visual language statements begin to conflict with one another. Imagine a character whose hairstyle is different in every scene. If the film is about a character whose particular neurosis is expressed through their constantly changing hairstyle, then it might make sense. But in most cases it's just an absurd distraction. So it is with all the different looks that different lenses can provide.

A great approach, therefore, is to really think about what are the fundamental looks you are trying to create, and then lens accordingly to keep them consistent. You may have to break a few rules if you shoot inside a car or an elevator and you don't have a set crew able to build you a car interior or an elevator interior. But in general, pick the perspectives that are right for the way you want shoot your characters, and don't go crazy with too many of them. You may well find that having only three lenses forces you to honor more important rules of visual language that a five-lens set would too often break.

Don't be fooled by lens sets with 12+ lenses. Such sets are appropriate for rental houses ("Ah, Mr. Anderson, will you be shooting with the 27mm or the 32mm for your next film, sir?"). But they would create all kinds of visual consistency errors for any who might try to use all of them on a single film. The fewer lenses you have, the more visual consistency you will create, and the stronger the effect when you finally decide to break that consistency for a specific dramatic reason.

January 15, 2016 at 5:19AM


Mike, a very insightful and well-written comment!

Alex Zakrividoroga

January 16, 2016 at 12:33PM

As a MFT camera I can fully recommend the Voigtlander Nokton lenses...The 10.5mm would cover your wides...the 25mm for normal...and the 42.5mm for tight shots...Consider if you're going to stick with the MFT format though.

January 18, 2016 at 4:19PM, Edited January 18, 4:19PM

Kerrin McLean
Director / DP / Editor

As a MFT camera owner i highly recommitted the ROKINON CINE 24mm ,35mm 85mm

November 15, 2016 at 6:06PM, Edited November 15, 6:06PM

Lucas Brothers

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