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Choosing a DSLR Lens: Video 101

Posted By Guest Post On June 21, 2011 @ 1:28 am In Video Essentials | Comments Disabled

The following lesson was created by Vimeo for its Vimeo Video School [1]. It’s used here with permission. Look for a new lesson each week.

Believe it or not, the biggest investment you’ll make when it comes to shooting video with a DSLR camera is on the lenses. When you’re starting out, you can easily shoot with just one lens and there are some easy ways to adapt different brand lenses to whatever brand camera you have.

Before we start, here are some things you need to know for this lesson:

Aperture is the size of the opening within your lens that allows light onto the image sensor. Aperture is measured by f-number or f-stops.

F-stop is a term used to describe the size of the aperture opening in your lens. The lower the F-stop number, the bigger the aperture. If the aperture is low, more light is able reach the image sensor. F-stop settings are normally displayed with a forward slash.

Common f-stops are: f/1.4, f/2, f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16, and f/22.

Kit lenses are usually sold with the camera and aren’t always the highest quality, but are better than having no lens at all! So if you have a kit lens, it’s fine to use, but it is a good idea to start saving money for nicer lenses.

It’s good to review often. Here’s a handy link to the Vimeo Glossary of Common Video Terms [2].

If you’re new to DSLR shooting, a good starter lens for a camera with a full frame sensor is a 50mm. If you have a camera with a cropped sensor, you’ll want to get a 30mm lens to achieve the equivalent look. Remember that a cropped sensor actually makes your field of view smaller than a full frame sensor using the same lens. Here’s the difference between a 50mm lens on a full frame vs cropped sensor.

When you buy a zoom or telephoto lens (for shooting things far away or getting extreme close up shots), be sure to get one with an image stabilizer. It will be a little more expensive, but it’s well worth it. That way when you’re shooting things from a distance like a wild bear in the forest or a Chicago Bear on a football field, your videos will look pristine!

Ready for more? Learn about DSLR accessories [3] or view more lessons at the Vimeo Video School [1].


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URL to article: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/06/choosing-a-dslr-lens-video-101/

URLs in this post:

[1] Vimeo Video School: http://vimeo.com/videoschool

[2] Vimeo Glossary of Common Video Terms: http://vimeo.com/videoschool/lesson/6/glossary-of-common-video-terms

[3] DSLR accessories: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/07/choose-the-right-dslr-accessories-video-101/

[4] Keep it in Focus: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2013/04/keep-it-in-focus-video-101/

[5] Understanding Jump Cuts: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2013/04/understanding-jump-cuts-video-101/

[6] How to Make a Non-Profit Promo: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2013/03/how-to-make-a-non-profit-promo-video-101/

[7] How to Connect Your Computer and TV: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2013/01/how-to-connect-your-computer-and-tv-video-101/

[8] The Many Uses of a Ring Light: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2012/12/video-101-the-many-uses-of-a-ring-light/

[9] How to Make an Infinity Wall: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2012/12/video-101-how-to-make-an-infinity-wall/

[10] How to Make an Animated Title Sequence: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2012/12/how-to-make-an-animated-title-sequence-video-101/

[11] Essential Video Gear for Traveling: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2012/07/essential-video-gear-for-traveling-video-101/

[12] Learn Final Cut Pro Keyboard Shortcuts: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2012/04/learn-final-cut-pro-keyboard-shortcuts-video-101/

[13] Get Great Results from Smartphone Video Cameras: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2012/03/get-great-results-from-smartphone-video-cameras-video-101/

[14] Light up Your Videos with a Bounce: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/12/light-up-your-videos-with-a-bounce-video-101/

[15] What Is Motion Design and How Can You Use It? Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/12/what-is-motion-design-and-how-can-you-use-it-video-101/

[16] Fast Focus Tips for DSLRs, Video Cameras, Smartphones: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/11/fast-focus-tips-for-dslrs-video-cameras-smartphones-video-101/

[17] Color Your World with Gels and Light Diffusors: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/11/color-your-world-with-gels-and-light-diffusors/

[18] Get Some Perspective with POV: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/11/get-some-perspective-with-pov-video-101/

[19] Learn to Create Scary Special Effects: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/10/learn-to-create-scary-special-effects-video-101/

[20] Learn to Use Zoom, Moving Camera, & Moving Zoom: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/10/learn-to-use-zoom-moving-camera-moving-zoom-video-101/

[21] What Is Crop Factor and Why Does it Matter? Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/10/what-is-crop-factor-and-why-does-it-matter-video-101/

[22] Who's Who on the Crew? Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/10/whos-who-on-the-crew-video-101/

[23] Room Tone -- Why You Should Capture the Sound of Silence: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/09/room-tone-why-you-should-capture-the-sound-of-silence/

[24] How to Create Storyboards: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/09/how-to-create-storyboards-video-101/

[25] The Best Tripod Tricks: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/08/the-best-tripod-tricks-video-101/

[26] Varying Your Shot Composition: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/08/varying-your-shot-composition-video-101/

[27] Learn to Create a Tilt-Shift Effect in Your Videos: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/08/learn-to-create-a-tilt-shift-effect-in-your-videos-video-101/

[28] Setting the Pace While Editing: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/08/setting-the-pace-while-editing-video-101/

[29] Nighttime Video Shooting with a DSLR Camera: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/07/nighttime-video-shooting-with-a-dslr-camera-video-101/

[30] Create a Timelapse Video with a DSLR Camera: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/07/create-a-timelapse-video-with-a-dslr-camera-video-101/

[31] Recording Sound for DSLR Cameras: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/07/recording-sound-for-dslr-cameras-video-101/

[32] Shooting Video with a DSLR Camera: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/07/shooting-video-with-a-dslr-camera-video-101/

[33] Learn How to Set Up Your DSLR Camera: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/06/learn-how-to-set-up-your-dslr-camera-video-101/

[34] The ABCs of DSLR Cameras: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/05/the-abcs-of-dslr-cameras/

[35] The 180-Degree Rule Explained: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/05/the-180-degree-rule-explained-video-101/

[36] Learn the Difference Between Frame Rate and Shutter Speed: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/05/learn-the-difference-between-frame-rate-and-shutter-speed/

[37] Getting started with Adobe After Effects: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/05/getting-started-with-adobe-after-effects-video-101/

[38] How to Create a Timelapse Movie: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/04/how-to-create-a-timelapse-movie-video-101/

[39] Preparing Your Gear for a Shoot: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/04/preparing-your-gear-for-a-shoot-video-101/

[40] Understanding Framing and Composition: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/04/understanding-framing-and-composition-video-101/

[41] Mastering Three-Point Lighting: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/04/mastering-three-point-lighting-video-101/

[42] How to Color Correct Your Videos: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/03/how-to-color-correct-your-videos/

[43] How to White Balance Your Camera: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/03/how-to-white-balance-your-camera-video-101/

[44] Learn to Hold Your Camera Like a Pro: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/03/learn-to-hold-your-camera-like-a-pro/

[45] The ABCs of Tripods: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/03/the-abcs-of-tripods-video-101/

[46] The Basics of Image Resolution: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/03/the-basics-of-image-resolution-video-101/

[47] Stop Shaky Camera Syndrome: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/02/stop-shaky-camera-syndrome-video-101/

[48] Editing with Windows Live Movie Maker: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/02/editing-with-windows-live-movie-maker-video-101/

[49] Editing with Apple iMovie: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/01/editing-with-apple-imovie-video-101/

[50] The Basics of Video Editing: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/01/the-basics-of-video-editing-video-101/

[51] How to Shoot Your Video: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/01/video-101-how-to-shoot-your-video/

[52] How to Choose a Camera: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/01/video-101-how-to-choose-a-camera/

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