Anybody who has ever tried to shoot video with a photography zoom lens understands the frustration it can cause. It seems natural to want to use the lenses we already own with DSLRs and mirrorless that can record video. After all, why spend money on a lens we already own, right? But things are a little more complicated than that. Photography lenses aren’t designed for video.
This video from The Camera Store TV is both hilarious and informative. It highlights the big differences between photography and cinema lenses. Why cinema lenses cost more money, and why you often can’t pull off the same shots with even pro photography lenses. I’m not sure which is funnier, though, the general idea of the sketch, or the acting abilities of those involved.
So it’s really an advert for the new Fujinon MK 18-55 T2.9 lens, but it illustrates the points very well. Focus breathing, focus distance that changes as we zoom, and really short throws on focus rings aren’t usually a massive problem for photographers. But for video, they can quickly become a big issue.
That’s not to say that you can’t shoot video with photography lenses. People do it all the time. I’m one of them. For my needs, a set of good Nikon & M42 primes fits me perfectly. I’d definitely get more creative options with cinema lenses, and be able to try out a lot of techniques I currently cannot. But, they’re techniques that wouldn’t really have much place in my work. And if I need them occasionally, I can always rent.
If you need that extra level of control and finesse, and you can’t get what you need with photography lenses, then cinema lenses may be the way to go. Fortunately, their prices have dropped drastically in the last few years as more and more have jumped onto the whole video thing. Whether those prices have come down low enough for you is something that only you can decide.
But, if you show up without the right gear to do the job, don’t be surprised if you receive a slap.
[via No Film School]