Skip to main content

Filming Gear: Lenses

Lesson 7 from: Guerilla Filmmaking

Ryan Connolly

Filming Gear: Lenses

Lesson 7 from: Guerilla Filmmaking

Ryan Connolly

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

7. Filming Gear: Lenses

Next Lesson: Filming Gear Q&A


Class Trailer

Day 1


Writing Your Story


Script Breakdowns and Shooting Schedules


Finding Cast and Crew


VFX in Pre-Production


Filming Gear: Audio


Filming Gear: Camera


Filming Gear: Lenses


Lesson Info

Filming Gear: Lenses

lenses. You got focused throw. You want to grab the cinema lens For me, it's actually on the grip card. So focus throw is how far you have to turn the ring for the focus to pull your focus on something like this. It's a really, really short burst. So you're really having Teoh. You know, five feet kind of feels like that. And if you're pulling focus for yourself, that's fine. But something like this, you know, you're moving it for days. You know, we have far along that goes all the way all the way round so that the reason for that for cinema Windows is you're gonna have a focus puller, and that focus puller is gonna be on the side of the camera and they're gonna be able to dial it in. When you have something like this and it's this much, it's really difficult to make up this much difference with something like that. It's just like a little sneeze of a movement. Where is with this guy? You can really dial in how far it is and kind of it. It's a nice little bit of room for error for you t...

o work with. Josh won't take us back, and that's a cinema lens. This one's a photography lens. It works in photography because photography your faster moving, you got your hands on the lens. It doesn't matter. But when you're doing something that's more suitable, your hands off the lens you get in a stuff like this when you're pulling it for yourself. It's not so bad. You have a focus puller. They hate life so fast. Lenses a fast linds just means how wide open it could go. How how you know why the iris could be how low that number can get to 2 to 8 is a really great number. You're on something like a five d DSLR your full frame and you go below like even into to wait. It's like you're right there. Good luck pulling focus. Fixed Aperture just means you know something like this is a fixed aperture. So as you zoom in, it's not going to change your iris. Some of them will have that you'll see on the front of the lens. It'll and I totally just touch lens on the front of the leads. It will have a number like 35-56 I see you like you're a c mind. Like looking at it like I want to clean it on. That just means as you zoom in, once you get to a certain point your focal length, it's going to start dropping that, which is terrible if you want to do any zooms, obviously. And plus, you're not using the full capacity at blend, So stuff like l series lenses, cinema, Linda's all those are gonna be fixed aperture lenses. You got focal length compressed versus wide and macro, Do we have that macro here when we mess around with that? Why not? I want to get somebody else. Why don't you come up, Josh, will you? Yeah. I don't moisturize going here. You want to come up again, don't you? Stand, like right there, Like back a little bit. Take a step back. There you go. On the six. Now we'll go. Came up so we can move around shoulder. You got the peace, Josh. Just put it on. So it's comfortable on your shoulder. Thank you. Flip it around. It might be a little better. You go. There you go. Something that in locked Got it. Just hold on to that for a second and wrangle the cable for me. I'm gonna change the settings for you. Since you can't see it, we're on 8000 and it's looking horrible. All right, So why don't you step in and give me a medium shot without moving the focus? It is cold. Let's get a little tighter, Alright? And we're getting stark space. We're going to see 100. You're getting a lot in the background, right? So now let's go to the top of the lens and back up to give me same shot. I don't know if we have enough room, good. And you could see how that compresses compresses the background right in the first with the wide you're getting all of this in your area. But when we switch to a much longer photo and this is only 70 so we're only going from 24 to 70 you can go wider. You get fish on your opening up the entire room where you're squeezing it all down and you're focusing just writing on your character with no other distractions, so you could go even further than that. We got another lens, which goes into the one hundreds and you really compress your image down. All right, that's great. You can We could drop all that. Actually, let's switch out. Lenses will not come step here. You got the macro. Got it. Start. You want to step over here for a second? We're gonna slip this down, so keep hand on it. That that's another thing. When you have precious gear and you switch hands whenever you switch your and I'm gonna wait till you say got it, and then you let go. It's a great weight. Got it. And I was just awesome. That's a great way to not break things. I worked with someone on proximity, and they just drove that into my brain every time because I was running and gunning it, and I'm just handing him lens and he wouldn't let me let it go. And I'm like, I got okay, way. We're losing light, man. But that's that's a sign of a great a c. All right, so now we got a macro. Let's just get all upon Is Bill I'm sorry. You sign the waiver, right? Yeah. Let's just get I mean, like as close as you possibly can just go crazy. And this is what's great about a macro. So you have the minimal distance of focus that you could pull from lenses, and usually it's pretty far, you know, your foot or more, but with a macro lens, you could really get in there and see all the glory of that eyeball that beautiful. So that's how you can get those great like Hitchcock or whatever. They DePalma's super tight shots on eyes can see that, um, I just totally blocking it for you. And that's what a macro lens is gonna get. You just is close to the subject as you uncomfortably want. All right? You could back off of that. You didn't want to Like this is to unite way. Have a moment. All right, let's put this out. Got it. Thank you, sir. You got thea resume. Just with that back. Okay. Thank you. Sorry for getting so close to your eye. Then we're image stabilization. O r I s You'll hear a lot of people call it, which is what it says on the lens. It's pretty much a much must have for any handheld work, especially with DSLR or the IPhone the IPhone handheld when we shot that one bit for film, right? We did have it on a magic arm because I couldn't figure out how was to rig. It just brings it to a magic. On that way, I'm getting my hands away from the camera and the sensor, because with your hands on the camera and especially me, I have really sake shaking hands. No way I could be a surgeon. It just gets really jittery on the center. And even with I s, it can get jittery. But here's an example of this is no I s hand held on my C 100 it just looks like an earthquakes happening right now, which could be a cool effect, that that's what you want to re entering Earth's atmosphere or something. That's fine. And this is even wide before cell photo, which really makes it terrible. But even wide you're getting that crazy little flicker happening, which is it's just awful. But even with I s on your lens with your hands on the camera, you have sharp movements on your hands, so you're even if it's smooth, you're getting a little bit of that little motion. And the whole point of this is you're trying to emulate film. You're trying to give the emotion of what film gives people right. That's the film look is We're really convincing them that they're watching a film. We want to give them that emotion. We all know that film language, and we're all used to what the film looks like. A massive camera thrown on someone's shoulder, the weight centered over their shoulder, you know, and their hands are not anywhere near the gate where the film was. And you're getting those nice movements like what you're seeing with, you know, Josh operating and things like that s O that everything that you can do to push towards the feeling what a film feels like for your audience, the more you're gonna get that film. Look, it's not just lighting, it's not just composition. It's everything involved to get that. And that's really a big one. Because the second you see that jitter, you're like man amateur homemade. So that's a big one, and more fixed you got. The lens is crazy, expensive. You got adapters. I used the animal projects on one of my films, the Anamorphic so it's a great adapter from lens. Let us direct. If you're looking for adapter, I would definitely go with that one. It's really fantastic. Basically, you put it on and it stretches your image out, and then in post you bring it back down. So, using all of your resolution, you're not cropping. So you stretch it and you bring it back down to get that that wide screen that you're looking for. A projector Lenses are great filters as well. Projector lenses, though you you know it got really popular with the DSLR. There's a lot of limitations to them. You will get somebody getting depending on how you work with it. It could be finicky because you got a mounted onto the lens. It could be very difficult and then filters from a place like I think it's cinema or fright. You put that onto the front of the your land. It's like a circular filter that, you know, like in India or something that you screw that on its giving you kind of the vibe of it. If you use it right, this piece eyes, projector lenses and there's a bunch of the filter certain in the filters. I think like bucks, I think projector lens. You have to get on eBay in their hundreds. And at least me I can't even remember which ones I shot with the filter in which one I shot with the projector and some of these air used to show, you know, the limitations. But you get that interesting feeling to the image because of the Boca that's happening, Boca, meaning the out of focus areas. There's like to stretch quality that kind of feels reminiscent of, like an old school Ridley Scott film or Indiana Jones or something like that, especially on the end edges. You're getting that really nice odd focus that I love, and I mean, really, it's a mistake, but it's a really beautiful mistake. I think what it does with light, obviously lens flares that have become comical because of J. J. J. Abrams. I don't care. I love them and him. That's a really good one to show the sort of feeling that that this stuff can give you monitors and recorders before we shoot to that. Any questions so far, you know, they're sort of that. Yes, there are questions so quite a few people have asked. This is from D L. A Moussa who said Right, you said the right camera for the job. What does that mean? Meaning? What sorts of things are you looking at when choosing a deal? Salar versus a C 100 versus a red, etcetera. What makes one right? It's the look that the cameras So every camera is gonna give you a different look. The Alexa has a very filmic look, but it also has this like gloss to it is the only way I can really explain it. The epic has even war of a gloss. Prometheus is a really good example of that DSLR definitely have a vibe. I mean, you saw that when we saw the C IPhone in the five day you could. That's a really great examples. You saw how different each of those cameras look. They had a totally different vibe to what they were looking like. So if you're shooting a period piece and you pick a camera that that has inherently just a really high end glossy feel that might not be the right camera for the job also, you know what the camera does, like slow mo or not, is a part of it, but it's a matter of if you have the option. If you're looking enough to be able to rent all these cameras, put him side by side and test to see what each one is doing. The vibe that each one is getting you, that's what you're gonna want to do. Like, what's the tone that you're looking for? What's the look that you're looking for? You looking for this dirty, gritty 16 mil look like a walking dead by type thing? Are you looking like this high, glossy transformers type feel, which you can pull out of almost every camera? And they're really slight differences once you get to the high end like the epics of the Alexis, But they all have a different personality to them. If you put him side by side, you can really see that question came up as far as Young Uh, no budget or low budget filmmakers is a handy cam better or worse than a photography camera. Like a DSLR. I would go DSLR probably because again, it's when you're just starting out. You want to go with the emotion. What's the emotion that you're giving your audience with. What's the feeling that you're giving them an DSL? Ours have sort of a filmic emotion to it a lot because of the depth of field you can pull from them. But they're great looking cameras handed camp feels very home video to me most the time. And if that's what you're going for, great. Like if you're shooting like you know, like Iraq or a found footage bit go hand it came. Why not? That would actually be better because I think they're a little better on rolling shutter than DSL. Ours are. But again, it's, you know, anything that you have is the right camera. At that moment, you just figure out what the limitations are for that camera and roll with that and we're gonna get into Magic Lantern at all. Is that we're gonna talk about that. You know, I've never really used magically innovator much. I think I mentioned it at one point. I know it bricked a camera or two, but that's like it. And then for the most part, I hear it's really good, and I'm just so terrified that my camera just wasn't gonna turn back on, but it does really great things to deal. Solares and I personally just wouldn't do it unless you had a backup. If you're like, if this camera goes down, I could move to this camera. No worries, because you are bypassing. You know, the warranty and everything on that camera. So you are taking a risk. I hear it's pretty solid, but I wouldn't do it unless I had a secondary camera that I wouldn't worry about. Well, I think we're ready to. Do you have any questions? Okay. Cool monitors and recorded will go through this real quick. We have a small HD right here. Monitor. Quarter like a ninja blade, which already talked about which is both monitor and a recorder, which is great because you can you consolidate your rig, make it a lot lighter, and that's that's a really great rig. I use that on a few projects. Honestly. Seven. Q is a lot more pricey, but it is beautiful. I shot adobe in the frog with it. We're shooting, you know, I think we shot two K or I don't remember, But it was TPX sequences. It was un compressed, and it just gets fantastic images and the monitors, actually just one of my favorite reference monitors that I ever used. But it is very pricey. It's more expensive to rent me to buy is insane, but to rent a little, a little more expensive. But if you can swing it, I would definitely go that route. Otherwise, the Ninja blade is really fantastic mounting. You got all articulating arms and ball heads. So this guy right here is an articulating arm and this is a no go. You basically loose in a joint and then you move it around wherever you want, and then you tighten it back down and you're just good to go, Which is what's great about these guys. It's quick and easy. Ah, Ball head! It's similar. It just mounts right on there. It's just this little pivot point on the top. We're going through all these pieces because if you're trying to rent here, especially, it could be a little scary. You see this giant list of gear and you're like, What do I need? So if you get a monitor, well, we're gonna mount the monitor you need an articulating arm is monitor, you know, HD my, what other kind of inputs that have all things. I mean, it's not as scary as it might seem, which is why I wanted to quickly go through these eso you guys knew. You know what to rent if you have the ability, rent rigs, the ones that we don't have here. Gibbs dollies for Dolly, and we all know what a jib is. Uh, you know, basically crane without sitting on it Mount go up and down, Dolly, you have the spider dolly hate. It's this flex track that you put on the ground and you told us that the shape that you want, But I just always get this little motion. What I'm doing. If you have spreaders, it's really helpful. But I find you're still getting that motion. Tracks are much, much better. Chapman Dolly, which is like the Mercedes of Dali's. It's glorious but insanely expensive. Just Google that one, and you'll be like, Oh, that thing. Glad Kansas State again. Cams are great. A lot of people think it's a grab and go. It's not. It's not too bad of a learning curve, but you really do need to get your hands on it and work with it for a while before you go using it for a production. There's a reason why there's people who are specialized in just that. And if you use the vest, it's like 12 minutes and your back is screaming. So treat. If you do get Steadicam, operator, treat them well, movie. Which is that new handheld, you know, Gimble situation that everybody's coming out with now. Lettuces even coming out with one that looks really great and those are awesome. What we do have is a slider five puts in this lighter, which will work on a little bit later. We have this guy, the recoil rig, which we have been working on, keep moving it back just to move it back. So this guy is Ah, is great. It's very minimal. And I'm getting caught up here, and it's more built for, like, a single camp unit. Like you're you're doing everything you're pulling. Focus, the camera operator and DP sort of situation. Like I said, you got the horn and then you could just pull focus on the fly like that, which is quite amazing. Right here we have the security of the finer It's not a part of the recoil would egg, but it puts the the finder where the viewfinder way in front of your face, since this is ending up right over your shoulder like you saw on Josh Shoulder. So it's getting all of this, this center of gravity right here. So all the weight is right over your shoulder. So there's no need for a counterbalance, which brings down the way because you'll find if any of you have ever used a shoulder, rig it pretty quick and then you're back starts to hurt because you've got all this. And if you're counting, counterbalance isn't quite right. You're kind of pushing back or you're leaning forward and it's a little difficult to work. Something like this is gonna put everything right over your shoulder like old school camps, which is really, really helpful. This is a real locator because we got our start and stop here, and then we got all our joysticks and everything to control the functions. So we got this arm to relocate the handle grip down here. It's a really, really basic grip rig, but a really great one right here. We have the Kessler quick release plate. So you just flip this guy here, push the button and you're off, which is great when you're switching rigs or switching from hand held back like we were just doing since we have which I don't know, it is the shoulder rig that snaps right onto it. Any questions about that rig before we move on? This may be a kind of a hard question to answer, but overall, if you like, if you could, like less maybe the top three or so, Like what would be the most helpful in your opinion to immediately start like investing in like Okay, I think these are the most important types of gear that I should invest in to get the best film as soon as possible. Are you talking about, like, support and things like that or a camera included, Like you have a camera. Now you're building around that you like you have a camera but like, you know, like sound or camera movement types of sound would be number one. Yeah, I think sound is one of most important things in the film above all else. Above cinematography. I talk about it all the time watch a film that looks like crap. Sounds great. And if it's a good movie, you're gonna forget about it within about 15 minutes, maybe probably less. Watch a film. That sounds like crap. It looks beautiful. Even if it's a good film. You never gonna turn that off here? How bad? It sounds over and over again. Yeah, I don't want a reference a movie because I don't want to bash anything. But there is a very popular movie that just sounds awful. And I just couldn't I couldn't get past it. But then you got a movie like once, which is a great film shot on. You know, home video camera essentially doesn't look very good, but I forgot all about it within 10 minutes. Great movie. That sounded wonderful. So I would start with sound build around their tripod for my style. I would go for shoulder rig after that because I like to move around a lot, and I really like handheld. But if you're more of a lock down type guy than something like a slider would be the next to go after that filters. You wanna grab some filters for me? You got Andy we got black pro Mist and the polarizer So polarizer I'm gonna show in a second nd is actually built into the camera for the C 100 which is great. You got a little toggle wheel right here if you guys can see it. And basically you want to jump up right there, Just so we have something to look at if we're too bright, which we're really not, just bring in the nd and at the very top you have six stops of nd but then at the bottom, you're gonna have to stops of nd and you just toss that on, which is pretty much a must if you're shooting outside. Thanks, right here we have. Yeah, this is a circular nd so with DSLR, you're not gonna have it built in. So you're gonna want to. Something like this is basically just sunglasses for the camera. That's it. He screwed onto the front of your lens and you're good to go. And the reason you want that is because you know, outside you're gonna have to crank up your iris like crazy toe to meet exposure. Other than that, start fooling around with I s O and you really don't want to do that. You want to get that sweet spot, Stay there, the and he's gonna bring that down. So then you can get your shallow depth of field back on things of that nature of them. We got the black promised, which I'm gonna put on the camera. Just want to stand up there so we could see what this is doing. We on, Andy, we are. And all this is gonna dio. It's kind of bloom out the highlights a little bit and bring down sort of the overall sharpness of the contrast of your image. And if you use it correctly, you're just getting kind of a glossy, filmic feel, and you could see how it's carrying that. See, we got a little bit of fogged out area right here because of the light above that which I could block out if I wanted Teoh. But with it in there, we got that little fog out area with the black promise. It's kind of carrying that a bit more if we pull zoom out a bit and we got that really sharp highlight happening there, it's gonna be a lot more pronounced and we're really blooming out. Those highlights, which is something like a C 100 kind of blows out a little ugly, so you'll get some gross edges to the highlights. But when you put something like a promise filter in there, it's gonna blooming out a little bit and soften it, and it won't be quite as harsh. However, you got to use it appropriately because if you put them in front of something like, you know, an open window, it's just gonna wrap around them and look like they're in a crazy dream. It has sort of a Spielberg e Spielberg in sort of feel to it. And then the polarizer is basically the same thing, a cnd as far as you know what it does. But it's hard, you know. The same is both of these. You just screwed on a friend of lens unless you have, like the ones that you'll drop into a mat box. But instead of telling what a polarizer, that's pretty much what a polarizer does and another essential piece of gear. If you're shooting outside, this is polarizes on. All you do is spend the front of it, and now you're seeing through things. So you're getting a lot of reflection on on, like water outside or a windshield, anything like that. It will polarise We're gonna dio is you're gonna be able to spend the front circular polarizer. It is gonna just how the camera is seeing that light so we can see through things like reflections and the like.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

1080p Screen Insert
2.40 Aspect Wide Screen Template
Rule of Thirds
Storyboard Template
Storyboard Template
Class Footage - 1
Class Footage - 2
Class Footage - 3
Class Keynotes
Stark Assets
Guerilla Filmmaking Outline
Gear Guide

Ratings and Reviews

Samuel Befekadu

I bet this class will be awesome. the course is given by Ryan Connolly!! I have been watching this guy for more that 5 years. I just wasn't serous about film making then. but now since i love film making why not try to be one of them by learning form the best in the field like Rayn. he has been inspiration for a lot of film maker from his YouTube channel Film Riot. his way of teaching so funny and entertaining . I bought this course to learn Ryan Connolly's killer skill. Thanks creative live and Ryan Connolly!

Will Green

Great class! It starts at a very simplistic level and covers the full spectrum of filmmaking. I would not necessarily buy this course for advanced film students, however it is an amazing review for beginner students to intermediate students. I would love to see a BTS of a short film from start to finish. I've seen all of Ryan's BTS shorts and I would greatly enjoy a much more intricate play by play of the short. THAT"S SOMETHING I WOULD PAY A LOT TO SEE. An 18 hour compilation of prepro - post of a short would be awesome.

Jonathan Beresford

Love Ryan and everyone at Film Riot. Excellent course of the excellent quality I've come to expect from them. I just wIsh he'd act more. So funny.

Student Work