The zoom lens

The lens as a creative tool

A zoom lens fitted to broadcast camcorders is a complex, sophisticated piece of optical design. Its performance may be described in brochures in impenetrable techno-speak that many, at first glance, may feel has little or nothing to do with the ‘real’ business of making programmes. To take this view is a mistake, as above all else, the lens characteristics are the most important visual influence on the appearance and impact of an image.

The following pages describe focal length, lens angle, zoom ratio, aperture, depth of field. Altering any one of these zoom settings will have a significant influence on the perspective, the depiction of space and composition when setting up a shot. It is a fallacy to ...

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