iOS 4

Rick Stout sets up shots, lights scenes, and operates cameras for many of his own films.

Uses for Wide Angle Lenses

(35mm lenses and less)

Wide angle lenses can be used for opening or "master shots." They can be used to give a preview of an entire space. Or in order NOT to compress space. They can be used when you want to show more context. Or when you want more to be in focus. Wide angle lenses may be helpful when doing camera motion, so that you don’t need to follow focus. They may be used to simulate the perspective of a person, “on top” of you. Or when you want to “exaggerate" perspective. They can be used for showing someone who is “invading” your space. Or to make something or somebody look more “ugly." Wide angle lenses may be used to distort close ups (or show hyper-intimacy). Or used when you want the audience to see movements accentuated in the foreground. Or when you want to build a feeling of "intimidation." They may also be used to pull subjects further apart from each other. Or simply to add variety or an interesting perspective. They may also used to speed up action across and within the frame. And they are sometimes used for ending a scene.


Uses for "Normal" Lenses

(40mm to 70mm lenses -- typically 50mm)

Use normal lenses for most regular, or "normal" shots, like when people are standing/sitting next to each other. Or simply when you want to match closely how human vision see things in peripheral vision. Use normal lenses when you do NOT want background or foreground compressed or exaggerated. Use them to get close up (and feel intimate, but not exagerated). Use them for feeling physically close, rather than when trying to get “artistically” close as in a “portrait” beauty shot (using a telephoto lens). Use normal lenses when you don't have a reason to use something else.

Uses for Telephoto Lenses

(85mm and Above)

Use telephoto lenses for closeups, AND to make the audience feel that the closeup is “safe,” honoring the other person’s space. Use them for “being there” with someone. Use them for simulating the looking at something from a distance. Use them to show the audience what to look at or focus on (taking everything else out of focus). Use them when you want to “beautify,” or create portrait or beauty shots. Use for voyeuristic or “peeping Tom” type of observations. Use to simulate a spying perspective. Use them when you want to “compress” space--making everything seem closer. Use them very close to compress focus and be very intimate. Use them to make objects that are a great distance away, appear to move slowly. Use them to obscure backgrounds, or to isolate subjects.