Home Cinematography Lessons Lens Theory: Choosing the Right Focal Length for Your Story, Advanced

Lens Theory: Choosing the Right Focal Length for Your Story, Advanced

written by Shane Hurlbut, ASC

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Contains 7 minutes of video content.

In this article and instructional video, I show you what different focal lengths feel like to assist in your storytelling process. We are going to keep the same frame with the use of five different lenses to show you how the image compression changes, where the background starts to come closer to our actress, how the perspective changes from lens to lens, and how each one gives the image a different feel. Understanding focal lengths helps you to tell your story. There will be times where a distant feel with a longer lens and camera further away will work, and there will be times when getting right in there with a wide lens works.

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All videos were edited on HP Z840 workstations using HP Z24x DreamColor monitors.

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