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    #21
    Senior Member bill totolo's Avatar
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    Addressing the OP, I noted the focal lengths used on a feature doc. I shot earlier this year (mostly re-enactments) on zooms.
    I purposefully tried to land on common prime focal lengths and noted what was used.

    We consistently landed on 19, 21, 32, and 90mm focal lengths. IOW's we shot the establishing shots and coverage on the wide/normal focal lengths and occasionally punched in for CU's at 90mm's. I'd say most of the movie was shot at 21 and 32mm focal lengths.

    I'd say jumping from a 32 to a 90 for a CU is a bit extreme but it reflects this director's style. I just saw the fine cut yesterday and most of the 90mm CU's didn't make the final cut.
    I'll continue this practice on my next project as I think it helps to understand the language of the particular project being shot. But happily toss it when it doesn't work!
    Last edited by bill totolo; 07-13-2017 at 03:56 PM.
    Bill Totolo
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    #22
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    Thanks. I take it this was a Super-35mm camera?


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    #23
    Senior Member bill totolo's Avatar
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    It was.
    Bill Totolo
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    #24
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    I am far from a lens expert but the OPs statistic (true or not) is based on the idea that there is a "standard", way to decide on lens choice, which is completely contrary to the art of "lensmanship"...if you will.

    Different classes of lenses (long, normal, wide) create different effects. You might use a wide angle to distort the image for a expressionist effect (terry gilliam) and/or to make movement towards the camera seem bigger and faster or perhaps you're interested in "deep space" and long takes (welles by way of andre bazin). A longer lens would compress space and make more abstract compositions and/or slow down movement towards the camera (the famous shot in the graduate). A tight shot with a longer lens would make moves across the frame zip by faster, useful for a handheld chase scene, but maybe you want a wide lens in your chase scene for different creative reasons!!!!!

    Some filmmakers prefer "normal" lenses that (they believe) dont draw attention to themselves, Hitchcock has mentioned this. I think Spielberg prefers a "normal to wide" --- wide enough to do long takes with actors and see the set but not wide enough to distort the frame.

    the possibilities are limitless.

    Its up to you to decide what you want to do with lenses. What a normal lens is for your setup depends on diff variables, no?

    just the opinion of a wanna-be filmmaker.
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