What Makes for a Good Zoom Lens for Video?

Started 4 months ago | Discussions thread
Michael Thomas Mitchell Forum Pro • Posts: 12,158
Re: What Makes for a Good Zoom Lens for Video?

Markr041 wrote:

Leswick II wrote:

Don't wish to sound absolutist, but I do agree with Michael above. No serious visual artist (film/video) would use a zoom. Urrr, rarely one is used for "accent" and the zoom is so slow, that most viewers are nearly unaware of it.

Overall, zooming reminds me (too much) of ol Super 8 home movies.....because they could.

Video cameras are used by more than "serious visual artists" - for sports and action, for example.

I agree with you that zoom is actually used more than people think because it is used slowly, in small bits and discreetly. We are not talking about crash zooms. And of course there is the famous dolly zoom (Spielberg and Hitchcock) But they would gag if called "serious visual artists."

But again, just because there are really awful uses of zooming does not mean it is not useful. Same could be said of panning, or slow motion...

I'm not so sure anyone has said zooming is forbidden. It is obvious that good techniques can be used poorly and that poor techniques can be used well. Maybe we should stay focused on general use rather than the exception. Yes, Hitchcock and Spielberg among others have done some amazing things with zoom lenses. But you are talking about the lack of powered zooms, specifically. Are you also saying, then, that the use of zooming that you have mentioned (sports, Hitchcock, etc) require a powered zoom? Because I'm pretty certain that the famous scene in JAWS was done with manual zooming. Maybe someone else can say whether or not sports events are done with powered or manual zoom, but I wouldn't be surprised to find it's the latter.

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