If you're a Producer planning that next great brand video or TV commercial, or like me you're a Director mulling camera options for an upcoming shoot, there's one choice that can make a major difference, but yet doesn't ever seem to have the clearest of answers: What Lens Package to Rent? You don't have to know your F/stops from your T/stops, that's why you trust your DP. You just need to know what kind of story you want to tell, and what each lens choices mean for the sharpness, depth of field, color & mood, and linear scaling of focus. On recent productions in the past couple of years, I've had the opportunity to shoot on everything from Angenieux Optimo Zooms, Cooke mini S4s and Zeiss Ultra Primes to Canon Cine and L Series Lenses. We've combined these lenses with ARRI Alexa, Sony F55, Sony F5, Canon EOS C300, 5D, and RED Camera Systems. Maybe we've shot with too many combinations and systems, but even after shooting and seeing the final product for all of these videos, I still find myself asking, "What lens is going to help me get the best looking image for this story?"
This is an interactive discussion, and I'd love to get some input from Cinematographers and Directors out there. To help foster discussion, here are some links that helped clarify the lens marketplace right now for me, hopefully they can help you as well:
Take a look at this list of each recent Oscar Best Picture Nominees' Lens Choices.
We're shooting with the Canon C300 and Canon Cine Primes tomorrow, will post some feedback after we're through.