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Understanding wide lenses

From: Up and Running with DSLR Filmmaking

Video: Understanding wide lenses

Chad Perkins: Lenses are essentially grouped into two basic categories: wide and long, or in other words, telephoto. Brian Liepe: Normal lenses have a focal length of about 35 mm to 50 mm. Now the term normal just means it has a field of view that is closest to the way we see, with our eyes. Now the field of view is just how much of your scene is visible to the lens. Now anything lower than a 30 mm is a wide lens.

Understanding wide lenses

Chad Perkins: Lenses are essentially grouped into two basic categories: wide and long, or in other words, telephoto. Brian Liepe: Normal lenses have a focal length of about 35 mm to 50 mm. Now the term normal just means it has a field of view that is closest to the way we see, with our eyes. Now the field of view is just how much of your scene is visible to the lens. Now anything lower than a 30 mm is a wide lens.

Wide angle lenses are great for big landscapes or sweeping vistas. They are also really great about providing you with a great depth of field or everything in focus. Chad Perkins: I also tend to use wide-angle lenses when I want a subject to be particularly comedic, or scary, or otherwise just look ridiculous, because as you get a subject closer to the lens, when you're using a wide angle lens. Then things tend to distort, which can be really cool and a great effect if that's what you're are going for, but if you're trying to make someone look good be really careful with this effect, because facial features and other things tend to get distorted as you get closer to the lens.

See right here that's, that's not good. That's not good. So avoid that at all cost if you are trying it again makes somebody look good. Brian Liepe: Exactly! Wide angle lenses also have a tendency to exaggerate the distance between objects. So if you are shooting a horror film and someone's running from the villain, you can exaggerate the movements of the villain and his speed with the wide-angle lens. Chad Perkins: I also like to use wide angles when I'm using cameras with a crop sensor like this Canon 7D here.

The crop factor on these lenses are 1 and a 1/2 times what they would on a camera with a full frame sensor, like the Canon 5D. So a 50 mm lens on a Canon 7D would have about the same field of view as a 75 mm lens on a Canon 5D. Brian Liepe: One thing to keep in mind when you're shooting with the wide angle lens, is something called lens distortion. This occurs in corners of the frame, where a line that's meant to be straight actually takes on circular characteristics; it's a little bit curved.

It could create a cool effect, but usually it's undesirable, especially when you're using a lot of compositing or visual effects. Note that this is less of an issue in higher end glass like the Canon L-series or this Zeiss ZE18 mm. Next, we're going to look at the other side of the coin, long or telephoto lenses.

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This video is part of

Image for Up and Running with DSLR Filmmaking
Up and Running with DSLR Filmmaking

43 video lessons · 25799 viewers

Chad Perkins
Author

 
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  1. 2m 10s
    1. Welcome
      1m 25s
    2. About the camera used in this course
      45s
  2. 11m 35s
    1. Understanding photography
      44s
    2. Understanding aperture
      1m 51s
    3. Trade-offs with aperture adjustment
      2m 32s
    4. Understanding shutter speed
      1m 26s
    5. Trade-offs with shutter adjustment
      2m 41s
    6. Understanding ISO
      44s
    7. Trade-offs with ISO adjustment
      1m 37s
  3. 6m 37s
    1. Understanding sensor size
      1m 19s
    2. Protecting highlights and native ISO
      1m 24s
    3. Getting a custom white balance
      2m 27s
    4. Focusing for video
      1m 27s
  4. 9m 24s
    1. Using lenses
      1m 51s
    2. Understanding wide lenses
      2m 39s
    3. Understanding long lenses
      2m 32s
    4. Getting shallow depth of field
      2m 22s
  5. 12m 34s
    1. Using graphs to gauge exposure
      2m 1s
    2. Recording audio
      2m 42s
    3. Using a clapperboard
      1m 13s
    4. Shooting a "flat" image
      51s
    5. Using custom color profiles
      54s
    6. Shooting slow motion
      1m 19s
    7. Getting a beautiful shot
      3m 34s
  6. 13m 33s
    1. Why use Premiere Pro for editing?
      1m 21s
    2. Transcoding video
      2m 29s
    3. Combining video and audio streams
      2m 7s
    4. Cleaning up noise and adding grain
      3m 26s
    5. Color correcting footage
      4m 10s
  7. 6m 1s
    1. About DSLR pitfalls
      30s
    2. Avoiding rolling shutter
      51s
    3. Avoiding moiré
      1m 6s
    4. About limited latitude
      1m 56s
    5. About extreme compression
      1m 38s
  8. 7m 27s
    1. Why you need a monitor
      58s
    2. Using a viewfinder
      52s
    3. Stabilizing your camera
      1m 43s
    4. Moving your camera
      35s
    5. Using a follow focus
      37s
    6. Using a matte box
      1m 8s
    7. Using neutral density filters
      1m 34s
  9. 1m 17s
    1. The future of DSLR video
      54s
    2. Final thoughts
      23s

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