Lens LanguageCinematography and Visual Language
Lens► The lens is not only a technical tool to capture the image but also an aesthetic one, and understanding how to use depth of field and focal length to tell your story is an essential tool of visual storytelling.► The lens is the eye of the camera. It allows light to enter and hit the film plane, resulting in exposure of the latent image.►
Lens► Controllingthe amount of the light is done through exposure calculation designated by the lighting conditions and the selection of the f-stop as indicated from the light meter reading. F – stops regulate the exposures, and the diameter of the opening determines how much light enters the camera for the exposure.
Lens► The cinematographer will read the light as it falls on the subject, which provides an f- stop that should be used for exposing the scene. There are two series of numbers on the lens: the t-stop and the f-stop.► The t-stop is the true light trans mission and the f-stop regulates exposure and is used for calculating depth of field.
F and T -Stops► The f- and t- stops are:► 1.4, 2.0, 2.8, 4.5, 5.6, 8, 11, 16, 22
Short-Focal-Length► Startsas low as 9 or 12.5mm► Also known as wide lens► Produces wide-angle view► Makes subjects appear farther apart than they actually are.► Through its nearly complete depth of field, renders almost all objects in the frame in focus
Long-Focal-Length Lens► Known as a Telephoto lens or long lens, they range from 85-500mm► Produces deep angle views► Brings distant objects close► Flattens space and depth► Makes subjects look closer together than they actually are► Narrow depth of field leaves most of the background and foreground of the in-focus objects dramatically out of focus.
Zoom Lens► Produces images that simulate the effect of movement of the camera toward or away from subject► Rather than actually moving through space, merely magnifies the image► Can make a shot seem artificial to an audience
Neutral Density Filters► NeutralDensity filters help to decrease or eliminate a certain amount of light from entering the film plane.
Neutral Density Filters► An ND.0 9 will eliminate three f-stops of light.► This calculation would be made from the original exposure, and then counting down three stops (so if the reading was f/32, the exposure would actually be made at f/11 using the ND.09 filter).
Neutral Density Filters► ND.09 cuts three stops;► ND.06, two stops;► ND0.3 one stop.► The cinematographer may also have an 85ND.03 combo filter used to colour correct tungsten film to daylight film while also cutting down one stop of exposure.
Depth of Field►More depth of field►<f/22, 16, 11, 8, 5.6, 4.5, 2.8, 2.0, 1.4, >► Less depth of field.
► Ofthe f- and t- stops that regulate the iris opening. 1.4 is wide open, allowing the maximum of light to enter the film plane, and 22 are the smallest opening, allowing the least amount of light to enter.