Researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have developed a revolutionary lens. It’s flat instead of curved, and it focuses the entire visible spectrum and white light in a single point. So far, this was only possible by stacking multiple lenses. But with this new invention, it’s possible to do it with a single lens. This discovery is interesting for us because it could revolutionize photography. If the commercial development starts, metalenses could make the gear far less bulky in the future.
In this, the second in our series of gift guides, we’re taking a look at lenses. After all, what good are cameras without them?
We’ve looked through some of our new favourites from the past year, as well as a couple of classics which consistently withstand the test of time.
Cinema lenses are usually much more expensive than the corresponding still lensed. So, you may have second thoughts about whether you should or shouldn’t invest in them for your video project. After all, you can even take a cinematic video with your phone, right? Caleb Wojcik and Greg Farnum discuss the differences and give you some of the reasons why you should buy (or rent) a cinema lens after all.
No matter if you’re selling or buying used gear, I’m sure you’d like to get a good price. Bokeh Market is a website which will tell you the market value of used gear: cameras, lenses and bundles. This way, you’ll get the insight into the real-time value of used gear, so you can determine the price to sell it or make sure not to overpay when buying.
I’m a sucker for old glass. Whether for stills or video, I’ve always been a big believer that the lens plays a massive part in getting “the film look”. It’s why I often shoot video and stills with old M42 and Nikon Ai-S lenses. Older glass just has character that modern lenses do not. Modern lenses are too perfect, too clinical.
In this video, DP Jody Eldred visits filmmaker Todd Fisher (brother of Carrie) to test out some of cinema’s most famous lenses. Or at least, lenses that shot some of its most famous movies, including The Godfather, The Shining and Casablanca. He tests each of them with a Blackmagic Ursa Mini Pro 4.6K, to see just how much of an effect each lens has on the image.
As my love for photography has increased over time, so has my love for manual focus lenses. Lenses such as the Samyang 135mm f2 provide unsurpassed sharpness and image quality, at a price much lower than its autofocus counterparts. Often you also save weight and size when switching to a manual lens. I switched my Sigma 35mm f1.4 ART for a Voigtländer Ultron 35mm f1.7, and got a lens that was just a fraction of the weight and size while maintaining comparable image quality and low light performance. Not to mention the joy when using manual lenses – the fact that you are forced to pause for 2-3 seconds whenever you take a photo, forcing you to consider the composition for a moment, often with better photos as a result.
A 50mm lens is probably the first lens most of us bought after we got the camera. They are generally affordable, especially if you go for a f/1.8. But if you’re on a really tight budget, or just want to satisfy your gear acquisition syndrome without guilt: Kai Wong has a video for you.
In this video, he suggests five great 50mm lenses that cost well under $100. So if you’re looking for your first or for another 50mm lens, check out Kai’s suggestions.
If you’ve ever wondered what effect a specific Lensbaby lens has or if you’ve ever wondered how that compares to other lensbaby lenses or even standard lenses then this article is for you.
I took the same image of a model using a wide variety of Lensbaby lenses as well as standard prime lenses and compared the results. All images were taken with flash with an ISO 100 at 1/125 second and all at f4. You should notice that the model stays a similar size in the frame when using a variety of focal length lenses, that was to create ‘real-life’ look to the test. I have taken the images as I would do normally regardless of focal length and they all appear here completely un-cropped.
Ryan Connolly of Film Riot recently gave us an example of a neat-looking video shot on a smartphone. Of course, if you’re limited only to the smartphone, it’s possible to shoot a movie, but there are certain challenges you’ll need to face.
In this video, Ryan gives you a few suggestions for improving your smartphone moviemaking with some additional accessories. They won’t only make the footage quality better, but they’ll make the shooting easier and less frustrating.