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All About Cinema Prime Lenses for Filmmaking in the Latest "Gear Dictionary" Video

Are you tired of using a kit lens for your video projects but don't know the first thing about what makes "Cinema" lenses all that special? In the latest video from Gear Dictionary, Zeke Kamm explains what makes these lenses different, and preferred, for filmmaking applications.

Zeke uses the Zeiss CP.2 series of lenses as an examples of a lens series that are a great choice for a set of Cine Primes. I've used them on both DSLR cameras but also the Canon C-Series of video cameras and the quality of image is superb, but personally I enjoy the Canon brand of Cine Primes a little bit more.

They can both be pretty heavy and tough on the wallet, so don't forget that more budget-friendly options do exist. The Rokinon/Samyang/Bower Cine Primes are closer in build weight and size to typical still lenses, but offer many of the same physical benefits such as a consistent diameter of the lens gears throughout the series, T-stops instead of F-stops, and usually have a very wide maximum aperture. I've owned a few of these and they are great for timelapses and mounting onto stabilizers where controlling the exposure through an aperture ring is easier than a dial on the camera body itself.

While these style of lenses do have many benefits for a traidtional style of filmmaking, that doesn't mean you shouldn't use still lenses with your DSLR that shoots HD movies– a medium range zoom lens with IS built in is still my go-to for run and gun shoots!

If you found this video informative, check out some more of Zeke's informational videos in the rest of the Gear Dictionary series.


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Zeke is short and to the point and very clear. I like this series, simple but effective, thanks for sharing!

Nikolay Mirchev's picture

Watching this makes me go and buy them all these lenses!