What Makes for a Good Zoom Lens for Video?

Started 4 months ago | Discussions thread
Leswick II Senior Member • Posts: 1,681
Re: What Makes for a Good Zoom Lens for Video?

Markr041 wrote:

  1. Michael Thomas Mitchell wrote:

My apologies for misunderstanding the direction of this discussion. Your original post referenced Cybershot compacts and Panasonic and Olympic hybrids, but things quickly turned to live professional sports and opera, crane shots, dolleys and Hitchcock.

Posters like you questioned the value of power zooms. So, pros use them and therefore they must be valuable for nonpros who buy hybrids and compacts. For, example, surely many nonpros shoot sports, so we can surmise that a zoom is useful to them. And we have at least a few examples of the value of power zooms for interviews, concerts. And many nonpros use drones, and now consumer drones with cameras tout power zooms.

Mark, from what I know about Hitch, he was a prime-lens user, much like Kurosawa and many many others.  Zooms have been available for a long time, but these directors didn't want the viewer to be distracted by them.  They went through v. critical storyboard and wherever "movement" was needed, they would use a dolly (mostly).  That's how Spielberg created the shocking look of Roy Scheider....basically replicating what Hitch did in Vertigo.

Shooting sports is way different and zooms were used way back in the 60's (and earlier ?) when I watched various baseball games.

However, any classically trained cinematographer would use a zoom for it's qualities other than just changing the focal length to fit the framing aesthetics.  For instance, Vilmos Zsigmond used Angenieux zoom to give him "softer" look for specific accent or closer look at a person.  Mostly he would use Panavision optics, that are/were quite biting in sharpness.

True, more recently zooms have been used more often, tho mostly a drone is a "dolly in the air".  Years back this was done by using a chopper....and although an actual zoom was utilized, the focal length remained pretty much the same....using rather expensive stabilization platform (etc).....even in a "pull-away shot" at the end of the film, which was sort of a trend for some time.

Post (hide subjects) Posted by
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow