Introduction to Lenses

Learn about the attributes of the camera lens and how to choose the best lens for your production

Introduction to Lenses

Developed by Jason Tomaric, FilmSkills
ABOUT THIS LESSON
Enter the world of cinema lenses, and learn the differences between prime and zoom lenses, lens speeds, lens types and how to choose the best lens for your production. Taught by Emmy-winning cinematographer at Panavision in Hollywood, this hands on module will demystify the various attributes of the lens so you can choose the best lens for your production.
 
  • 22:00 video that introduces you to the lens
  • Complete companion guide
  • Overview of the camera lens
WHAT YOU WILL LEARN
  • About fixed vs. removable lenses
  • An overview of the focus ring
  • An overview of the zoom ring
  • An overview of the Iris
  • An overview of the macro and back focus rings
  • Image problems that can result from using cheap lenses
  • About short vs. long lenses
ABOUT THE LESSON AUTHOR
Jason Tomaric

Jason Tomaric

Director, Cinematographer Los Angeles, California
Jason J. Tomaric is an Emmy, Telly, and CINE Award-winning director and cinematographer of four internationally-distributed feature films, dozens of national television commercials, music videos, and the largest film training content library in the world, published author of 8 books - used in many top universities, and creator of AccuSkills.com, an industry-changing learning management platform. 
 
Jason has worked in Los Angeles and around the world in over 20 countries. His clients include Disney, NBC/Universal, National Geographic, McDonald’s, Toyota, Scion, Microsoft, and Paul Mitchell, with narrative work screened at Sundance, Slamdance, and South by Southwest film festivals as well as on Netflix and on all broadcast networks.
 
Jason has taught and/or guest lectured at some of the nation's most prestigious film schools including UCLA, Columbia College, John Carroll University, Kent State University, San Francisco State, University of Notre Dame, and numerous film festivals.
 
Jason has written eight industry-defining books, all sold in bookstores, and used in film schools around the world. The American Society of Cinematographers hails Jason's books - "There are no wasted words in Tomaric's tome, which concisely summarizes each facet of the director's craft.  It's difficult to think of a step in the process that Tomaric fails to address." 
 
Jason’s DVD training series on Hollywood film production have trained filmmakers in over 40 countries, with distributors in Europe, Hong Kong, New York and Australia.
 
In 2010, Jason launched FilmSkills, which combines the world’s largest film training video library with his proprietary learning management system.  Adopted by 47 universities within the first year, FilmSkills is now the leading industry-standard training solution for motion picture and television production.
 
In 2015, Jason launched AccuSkills.com, an industry-changing learning management platform that bridges the gap between academia and industry.
THIS LESSON HAS BEEN UPDATED BY
Kingsley Benham

Kingsley Benham

West Hollywood, California FilmSkills
UPDATED ON 1/11/2016
CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS LESSON
Bruce Block

Bruce Block

Producer, "The Holiday,” "Something's Gotta Give,” "What Women Want,” and Author of "The Visual Story"

Bruce A. Block is a film producer, author and visual consultant whose career spans 30+ years. In 2001, Block's book The Visual Story was published. In 2007 it went into a completely revised second edition. Block began work as a Filmic and Visual Consultant on such films as "Irreconcilable Differences" (1984) and "Bachelor Party" (1984). He has gone on to be a consultant for films such as "Stuart Little" (1999), "As Good As It Gets" (1997) and "Spanglish" (2004). As a film producer, Block has produced and co-produced such films as "The Holiday" (2006), "Something's Gotta Give" (2003), "What Women Want" (2000), Disney's "The Parent Trap" (1998), "Father of the Bride" (1991) and "Father of the Bride II" (1995).

 

In 2007, Block was featured in an on-camera interview, discussing visual style, for the 40th Anniversary DVD release of the film "The Graduate". Block's audio commentary as a film historian is also featured in the 2008 Collector's Edition DVD of the classic 1960 film "The Apartment."

 

Jeff Cree

Jeff Cree

Emmy-winning cameraman, digital technologies specialist
Jeff Cree has more than 30 years experience in the film and television community, and he brings the unusual combination of a film production and electronics engineering background to his job as a Market Development Manager for HDVS Systems.. This multiple Emmy Award-winning video recordist/cameraman completed 17 years with the ABC Television Network, as a member of the engineering unit, prior to moving to Sony Electronics. Jeff worked primarily with the product marketing and management groups of Sony, with his primary focus being acquisition systems. Since joining Band Pro in January of 2004, Jeff has continued his activities as an instructor and consultant to the growing High Definition (HD) market.
 
In addition to his normal duties, Jeff's credits include acting as technical supervisor and camera operator for the CBS special TITANIC: TREASURES OF THE DEEP, for Columbia Pictures Television. The Alvin DSV Group from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution accessed Jeff's technical skills and operating ability for television specials produced for PBS and NHK. Jeff also acted as a consultant to the very successful BBC BLUE PLANET series and the syndicated HD production based on Jules Verne's travels. Additional credits include the HD production of the removal of the ship's bell from the Edmond Fitzgerald, the Emmy-winning ABC Special BLUE WHALES, the Jim Cameron feature film TITANIC, and the HD 3D projects GHOSTS OF THE ABYSS and ALIENS OF THE DEEP.
 
Jeff has spent much of his time as liaison to TV episodic productions and feature films, assisting them in the transition to HDVS production. Projects include productions by Robert Altman, James Cameron, Francis Ford Coppola, Robert Rodriguez, Michael Mann and George Lucas.
 
In an attempt to remove the mysteries of the video camera, Jeff has used his foundation in film and video as a basis for teaching advanced video techniques and electronic cinematography at various educational facilities across the country. Teaching classes and seminars at AFI, USC Film School, Sundance Institute and the Santa Fe Workshops, as well speaking to both film and television industry groups, Jeff has dedicated much of the past 18 years to enlightening others about the High Definition system.
Michael Bravin

Michael Bravin

Digital Acquisitions Expert "Spy Kids", and Star Wars series
Michael loves introducing artistic and creative people to the latest tools for digital cinema.  In a given year, he’s involved with oodles of neat HD practitioners and projects.  Working with the world’s leading digital producers -such as ILM on the Star Wars series and Robert Rodriguez on his Spy Kids movies - keeps Michael on the leading edge of technology. His tremendous knowledge of all aspects of production helps him “bridge the gap” between the creative and technical sides of the industry, and also makes him a fabulous resource for technical and other types of information.