$1,000 Lens vs $4,000 Lens — Are Cinema Lenses Worth It?

$1,000 Lens vs $4,000 Lens — Are Cinema Lenses Worth It?

– [Man] The miniaturized
computer at the very heart of this system is our story
today on Science Reporter. (upbeat music) – Hey there, Caleb Wojcik
from DIY Video Guy here and today I’m joined by Greg
Farnum from Lens Pro to Go and in this video we’re
going to discuss the reasons you’d rent or buy a cinema
lens, instead of filming your videos with a still photography lens. Be sure to also go check
out the other video we’re making today, on the
Lens Pro to Go channel, where we compare a $2,000
camera to a $20,000 camera. Different cinema style lenses come in many shapes, sizes, mounts and price levels, just like lenses that are built
primarily for taking photos. The first thing you’ll probably notice, other than how much
larger a cinema lens is, is how it’s geared. It’s usually geared for both pulling focus and changing the aperture. The opening through which light
reaches your camera sensor, or the apeture, on most still
lenses can only be controlled electronically by the camera you’re using. You can change it in increments of one third an F stop at a time. F3.2, 3.5, 4.0 and so on. But with a cinema lens you
can get much more precise, by manually changing the
aperture very, very smoothly. Like when you’re going from
a bright outdoor setting into a dimly lit indoor environment. Some still lenses, like
the Sony G Masters, now allow you to declick
the aperture ring though. The gears on the side
of a cinema lens allow the addition of a follow
focus system for you or a first AC to smoothly
change the focus or aperture, with either a wheel next to
the lens or a wireless system, which is helpful when you’re
using a gimbal or a drone. – Pulling focus on a
cinema versus a still lens is way more precise and smoother too. Some still lenses from Sony or Zeiss use fully electronic focus by wire systems, where the faster you move the focus ring, the more it changes focus. A cinema lens on the other
hand is completely analog, with markers on the
side for focus distance. A cinema lens also has a
much larger focus throw, or how much you have
to turn the focus ring to change the focus. On a still lens you might only have around a quarter of a turn of
the barrel to rack focus. On a cinema lens you get up to two or three hundred degrees of rotation. The focus ring on a cine
lens also has built-in hard stops at infinity and at
the closest focus distance. This makes it much easier
to get that critical focus, which is even more and
more important when you’re filming in 4K, 8K and even beyond. Another focus-related
feature of a cinema lens is they typically have
less focus breathing, or changes in how much
is in your field of view. If you watch the edges
of your frame while you change focus on a still lens, you’ll see more or less
visible in the frame, which can be quite distracting while racking focus between two objects. On a cinema lens you’ll get
less or no focus breathing on the edges of your
frame when changing focus. – Another focus-related feature is that, if you’re using a zoom cinema lens, it will be parfocal, which
means as you zoom in and out the focus distance will stay the same. This isn’t the case when
you’re using a still lens and you’ll probably need
to refocus ever so slightly if you zoom in or out. Another feature of cinema
lenses is they have more blades on the iris
that opens and closes as you change aperture. Inside this Canon Cinema Prime
lens is an 11 blade iris, which means your bokeh
ends up being rounder. A Canon L series lens has
only eight aperture blades, leading to a more of an
octagon shaped bokeh. – Another benefit of
filming with cinema lenses comes when you’re shooting
with multiple lenses. First off, a set of cinema
lenses from the same company is created together and the
glass is coated to make sure all of them are color matched. Next, they are usually
all the same physical size no matter which focal length you use, which means the gears
for changing aperture, zoom and focus are in the same place. They also have the same
sized barrel and threading for add-ons like neutral density filters, or diffusion filters. This makes changing between
lenses way easier and faster when using rails, matte boxes
and follow focus systems. – [Man] If we look over
here I can show you more about how the computer operates. – Another major difference between stills and cinema lenses are T and F stops. Now, without getting
too technical, an F stop is the ratio between the
diameter of the aperture in the lens, or the size of the opening, and the focal length of the
lens, like 30, 50 or 85). The issue with F stops on still lenses is, as you change between
different focal lengths, the amount of light you let in can change. So even if you use the same
F stop and camera settings, your exposure values will be different on different lenses, ever so slightly. On the other hand, T stops
used on cinema lenses measure how much light
is being transmitted, hence the T, to the sensor. This means if you use the same T stop on multiple cinema lenses, even
at different focal lengths, the exposure should match exactly on all the lenses used from the same set. Other considerations and
benefits of cinema lenses are usually better controlled
chromatic aberration, which is that color fringing you may see on the edges during a bright scene. Less barrel distortion at a wider angle and more consistent
edge to edge sharpness. Cinema lenses are also
almost always heavier, which makes running and
gunning or traveling with them a little bit more difficult. – As far as cost, you’re
generally gonna spend four to five times as
much for a cinema lens from a major manufacturer
like Canon or Zeiss as you would on the stills equivalent. The reason for this is not
only the better construction and materials, but the
coatings and the testing and the precision machining and assembly that goes into making sure all
of the lenses in a set match. Some of them even use the
same exact internal glass you’ll find on their still
lenses, just housed differently. So if you don’t need the
benefits we’ve been talking about you can save some money there. Also, you may want to use the lenses for dual purpose of photo and video, so that may influence
your decision as well. There are some companies, like Rokinon, that makes cinema style
versions of their lenses that are close in price to
their photography counterparts. Just know you won’t get
auto-focused abilities when using cinema style lenses. – What it typically comes
down to is your project’s size and its budget,
for whether you choose a still or cinema style lens. But now you’re ready
to go make that choice, whether you’re renting or buying, and when doing so you’ll know
all the features you’ll get. Definitely go check out the other video Greg and I made today,
where we’re comparing a $2,000 GH5 to a $20,000 Red Scarlet W and all the differences you get when you get a more expensive camera. So definitely go subscribe
to the Lens Pro to Go channel for more video and photo gear reviews, comparisons and tutorials. Thanks Greg, for bringing all those expensive lenses for this video today. – Yeah, no problem, thanks for having me. (upbeat music) – [Man] You’ve got all this
squeezed into a little box, how did you do that?

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Talking and talking and talking and not actually showing the difference between the two in the real world or by showing actual footage or side by side comparison! I could have just read an article as well. Doing this video is useless.

  2. Informative, but I would have liked it more if you demonstrated the difference in picture quality in a split screen.

  3. Someone who wants to buy a lens for 4000 euros should know why he is going to do it. But still some nice facts about cinema lenses in this video.

  4. Not buyin that. Tho i would film with that. Just tell me what to shoot, pay me, and provide the tool ill provide the genius. Its called bieng professional

  5. They are super minor things and if you are an amatuer film maker or just getting started there is absolutely no reason why you should be spending for the best of the best.
    You'd be surprised some of the shit you see even in AAA movies that is shot with a 5d mark ii and standard L lenses. (Even the non L lenses can do some excellent stuff)
    It's all about making due with what you got and taking advantage of the strengths of the limitations.
    Steven Spielberg knew CGI didn't look good in daylight scenarious, so he did what worked best

  6. Hey Caleb, thank you for posting this video! I own a C100 mk1 and I'm hesitating whether to buy a canon zoom lens 24-70 f2,8 or the rokinon lens bundle  (24, 35, 50 and 85 mm  T1,5). I know that comparing a zoom lens vs. a prime lens is not quite fair or appropriate, but this is what we can do with our budget. Both options cost almost the same! We shoot mainly documentaries and corporate videos but we're thinking of shooting short films and why not? a feature film with this gear too. Since I know that you also own a C100, what would be your advise?

  7. Hi, isn't the F-number the ratio of the Focal Length of the lens to its Diametre in stead of the other way around as mentioned in the video?

  8. I am with a few others here. The features are one thing but the visual comparison would have enhanced your vid. Can't afford to even rent one of these cine lens' to see for myself. Good job anyway

  9. The canon cine primes and the Zeiss compact primes are the same glass in the photo counterparts just rehoused in cinema lens housings.

  10. What is your 1st AC going to say when you show up with an L series canon lens that he cant throw his FIZ on. Cinema lenses ARE worth it, and the standard if you are a professional. Plus, on higher end Cameras, your L series glass starts to look like garbage.

  11. there is information that is 2nd nature to some of us and relative to others. One isn't better, it's relative or it isn't. When people take the time and effort to offer information to the general youtube audience it's always best not to expose the size of one's asshole in the direction of the mirror with a derogatory comment about "story telling." Use the information or change the channel. I haven't gone through and read all the comments but I'm betting the information offered here was useful to some people who are greatly appreciative for it. If that's not you and rather than moving on you chose to make a snarky ass comment, then please allow me to invite you to go fuck yourself. Thanks Caleb.

  12. A cine-lens doesn't have better glass than a top still lens, you're paying for ease of operation, mechanics and build-quality. However, get some Rokinons or some Kowa Prominar primes or SLR Magic if you work in micro 3/4 (GH4, GH5-5s). Those lenses are all under a 1000$, and give about the same quality results than some of the most expensive cinema lenses, or at least 90% of that result. The Kowa's especially are a steal as they easily double-up as still photo lenses.
    So yeah cine-lenses are worthing it, try to pull focus with a still lens… and no, they're not all super-expensive!

  13. i shoot with sony, canon and nikon bodies and they are all great cameras that give excellent results, however my sony SLT A mount camera bodies have two major features that lead the pack, first the Electronic viewfinder that allows you to see the finished product before you actually shoot the image which opens the door for many many other features and second is the body stabilization………..i shoot for pleasure….

  14. I have a GH4 and I've recently rented several lenses

    Sigma 20mm f/1.4 DG Nikon mount used on speedbooster on my GH4

    Sigma 18-35 1.8 Nikon mount used on speedbooster on my GH4

    Veydra 16 mm MFT native mount

    Rokinon 24 mm cine lens, Nikon mount used on Speedbooster on GH4

    I understand the point of cine lenses, such as the veydra and the rokinon as far as follow focus is concerned. They do behave like true cine lenses. But unfortunately after an intensive 3 day testing, I can testify that the two Sigmas are superior in image quality, in any aspect of image quality, to the Veydra and the Rokinon.

    So for somebody who simply can't buy a set of cine lenses at $ 3000 per lens, if I'm going to spend less than $ 1000 per lens I simply can't justify to by a Veydra or a Rokinon after discovering how amazing the Sigmas are! Sure, they don't have a focus system that allow the hook up of a follow focus system,but at my level in my game and finance I must go for the better image quality and just adapt as far as focus.

    Do you agree with me that the quality of the image is much more important that how the lenses focus? I must say that it's very easy to manually focus with the two Sigmas, you just have to do it by hand and it doesn't look professional but I simply can't give up the quality I've seen in the Sigma 20 mm 1.4 for a lesser lens that would have a more "cine" look.

    Any suggestions anybody?

  15. You said, "On a cinema lens you'll get less, or next to no, focus breathing…"
    You should probably actually test that, because it's not always true. The Zeiss CP2 50mm compact prime, for instance, "breathes" quite allot – even more than the Canon 50 F/1.2L photography lens. But it also gives you more precise focus and far better color rendering.

  16. Je croyais bêtement que l'allais pouvoir comparer les images obtenues avec les deux objectifs. Erreur ! ces jeunes gens semblent ignorer à quoi sert un objectif, sinon à montrer le fonctionnement d'un follow focus (dont on se sert peu, d'ailleurs).

  17. You didn't mention one important difference which I think is the most important feature. On cinema lenses the distance meter is accurate and you can mark the distances you want to focus on the lens.

  18. Sir can we use "Sony Sonnar T FE 55mm F1.8 ZA Full Frame Camera E-Mount Lens with 49mm Filter Sets" With "Blackmagic Design URSA Mini 4K Digital Cinema Camera EF-Mount CINECAMURSAM40K/EF"

  19. Sir What lens should i use with Blackmagic Design URSA Mini 4K Digital Cinema Camera EF-Mount CINECAMURSAM40K/EF My budget is around $1500 USD

  20. Put a cine lens and a photography lens on an optical projector then you will clearly see the difference on the test chart.

  21. for the intro you really should have had the cine lens on the right (your left). At the very least you should have introduced the cannon lens first

  22. Every true video camera from $200 to $20K has a parfocal lens system. Why can't/don't they make an inexpensive (Not $40 Grand) Parfocal lens for DSLR/Mirrorless cameras if they are so good for taking Video.

  23. No comparison because – They are both the same exact lens / just different body. *just the outside is made to be put on a cine camera or a still camera.

  24. 우와 삼양렌즈다!!!!!!!!!! 짱 !! ㅋㅋㅋㅋ 반갑다! 삼양렌즈 총판에 가서 렌즈좀 직구하면 안되냐고 쪼르곤 했는데 반갑구먼 삼양렌즈 홍보해줘야지
    Using Rokinon f5.6 area, there is little difference from other lenses, but in full open aperture, lens diffraction degrades performance.
    그래도 거짓말은 못하겠다. ㅋㅋ

  25. Super informative and accurate, love it! Just one thing that is subjective, its not Boh-ka (like boca burger), its Boh-Kay. It's a Japanese word, and there is only one way to say it. That's not even with the subtle accent. Just like Crayon isn't Crown or Water isn't Wah-tah. Sorry I actually loved this video, renting cinema lenses is my go to.

  26. If you wanna have nice, smooth, on point focus you will always need a focus puller. I knoooow everybody does his own focus in the non professional movie business but focus is not only about shifting focus from A to B. An if you wanna have a focus puller you need cinema lenses with the distances on the barrel. Cinema lenses also allow smooth iris shifts from one stop to another stop when getting from inside to the outside. Yes, you don't always have to film wide open. You can close the stop and film at a stop of 4 or 5.6 or 8. 😲😲

  27. My recommendation, if you really need common features of cinema lenses and aren't working on a Hollywood production budget, go for Samyang/Rokinon cinema lenses. High quality for the extremely affordable price.

  28. Excellent, thank you. A nice option for budget conscious is to have your current manual prime lenses modified for cinematography at https://www.ducloslenses.com/pages/cine-mod-compatibility%20/. For example they will modify your old Nikkors, Cannons, etc., by declicking aperture ring, adding throw distance for precision focus on barrel, and adding an outside geared focus ring. You choose how much mod you want, and prices are very economical.

  29. Excellent video. Very clear on the differences that I've never seen anyone else do. Comes down to need… If you need those extra features. Bigger projects. Probably.

  30. Somtimes I prefer less quality for more cinema look. Less contrast, less sharpness, more flares (anamorphic prefered). I even 3D print own bokeh filters. So standard photo or cinema lenses are not my choice. I love retro lenses

  31. Guys, this video has undergone youtube compression and is mostly going to be watched on 5" phone screens. If you really think you'll be able to tell the difference in colour accuracy and sharpness between an L-lense and cinema lens, you're doing it wrong

  32. hello caleb- considering the "canon 4000d" is this battery powered? the "film" i'm guessing is the micro sd card? i'm guessing there's a pretty simple taggle button that allows you to pan in and out of your subject? is there a "canon 4000d" or older version of a:  or an older DSLR Camera or  Canon 4000D or  Canon 2000D or  Canon SL2 or Nikon D3500    may ship to me? thanks

  33. 1:27 does anyone know what follow focus system he's using? He doesn't mention it in the video description, nor could I find it on his website.


  34. Canon Cinema EOS CN-E30-300mm T2.95-3.7 L S E is 40 plus K – wow! 45 thousand for a single lens – I'd have to rent this one! Lol! Thanks for the clarification!

  35. The indie movie “ Blue Ruin” was shot on a C300 mark 1 with Canon L lens. After watching it on Netflix I was convinced not to worry about buying some really expensive lens. I think it’s still on Netflix, check it out .

  36. so if i leave everything on auto, with a 18-105 g photo lens and the 28-135 cine lens, the video will definitely look better on the cine lens? just making sure i understand correctly. i know you are paying for the adjustment features but hopefully it also produces better video auto vs auto.

  37. Great video! Very straight to the point about why and how these lenses work. It really depends on what you want to your end product to look like and budget. We always work with what have, but, why not use your cinema camera to its full potential. Combined with these cinema lenses, you can almost guarantee great images. Of course light and composition will always be the main principle in capturing any image. What type of rods are those? Are they a from a rig or diy? Thanks again!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *