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When it comes to getting the right look on a shoot, there are few things more important than working with the right lens. If you’ve been in the film or photography world for a while, you’re probably familiar with the different types of lenses we carry; photo primes, zoom lenses, cinema primes, cinema zooms, as well as a range of lens support products and adapters.

If you’re new to shooting, you might need a little primer (see what we did there) on what makes each of these lenses different.

What is a Photo Prime Lens?

If you’re looking for performance, a prime lens is the way to go. Prime lenses are designed to work at a specific focal length, which means there a fewer variables to dirty up your image, and thus you usually wind up with sharper resolution. Because of the sensitivity of high-resolution sensors, the sharper quality of photo primes can make a huge difference in the final look of your images.

What is a Zoom Lens?

On the opposite end of the spectrum, is the Zoom Lens. Zoom Lenses give you the ability to change your focal length and maintain focus at the same time. The strength of the Zoom is in its versatility, though because of that, they also have more moving parts, are heavier, and can reduce your image resolution.

What are Cinema Prime Lenses?

Cinema Prime lens are similar to Photo Primes in that they are also designed to shoot at a specific focal length. The difference is they are also designed specifically for the needs of working on a film shoot. These differences include everything from Photo Primes abandoning aperture control rings, to more precise focus distance marks on Cinema Primes.

Because Cinema Primes are used for shooting “moving” images, rather than “still” images, they are also held to tighter design standards. Shooting moving images can be much less forgiving than stills, so its important to use a Cinema Prime, instead of a Photo Prime, if that’s your intended use.

What is a Cinema Zoom Lens?

The basics or a Cinema Zoom lens are similar to a standard Zoom, in that these lenses are designed to maintain focus as you change your focus length. But similar to Cinema Prime Lenses, they are also designed to handle the rigors of moviemaking as opposed to shooting still images.


Covering the Latest Gear: DJI Follow Focus

In order to better serve our customers, one big item we stress at Expressway Cinema Rentals is being informed on the latest gear. At some point and time, cinematographers will take a dive into mastering the art of camera movement, and will usually do so on a smaller budget. Auggy, our Camera Rental Manager, recently reviewed the DJI Follow Focus and found that it addressed some important issues for cinemtographers interested in camera movement. You can read his full review on the Expressway Cinema Rentals Blog.