Fixed Lenses – Better video quality



Hey, everybody, it’s Craig with Clipscribe. Today, we’ll be talking to you about stepping up your video content from a technical standpoint specifically from your camera and your lens standpoint. Okay, how can you get a better quality video for your video content but specifically focusing on affording lens for your camera?

So today we’re not talking about smartphones. We’re not talking about webcams. We’re talking about using a digital SLR camera to shoot your video content, which is something I recommend if you’re going to have a space in your business or in your home where you’re going to shoot content regularly.

And the benefit of it is you can add this you can create your studio, you can turn it on, it can go into your computer. There are ways to use this basically as a webcam and there’s a number of ways to do that. Canon has software now that allows you to just plug in the USBC. And use it straight as a webcam.

But what we’re talking about today is how to do affordably. Because a lot of people avoid using these types of cameras because they don’t know how to do it affordably and they think this is going to burn a hole in my pocket because to make it work or look good I’m going to have to spend a lot of money on a lot of different types of stuff mainly you know lenses because lenses are one of the most critical factors and what makes these cameras great is the fact that you can interchange the lenses, you can change lenses out so you can use different types of lenses.

Now when I started shooting video, one of the things that I did was I shot with a prosumer level canon camera which was a great camera, good, great quality really. But it was affordable, that’s what prosumer is. Pro level, but consumer affordability, it wasn’t all in one and had one lens no changing out the lenses so I got to zoom and autofocus and all that stuff that you would want out of just a straight video camera like if you were shooting news or sports or whatever, you got to be able to zoom switching over to a DSLR, you know, you’re thinking I need that.

Like I need all those features, I need the zoom, I need the autofocus, it’s important. But if you’re making this type of content, how many times have I zoomed in on this video or any of the videos I’ve made I prefer autofocus but I don’t need autofocus.

And before recently it wasn’t really an option, but it didn’t really matter because I’m staying the same distance from the camera and most of you who are creating video content for social media, that’s what you’re doing. So you don’t need zooming and you don’t need a lot of autofocus either if any autofocus.

And so what I learned about was something called a fixed lens and I didn’t even know really what they were just a lens that doesn’t zoom. And my first thought was, well that’s got to be a piece of junk, right? Because it doesn’t zoom it’s less than and yeah, kind of in a way it is, but in other ways, it’s more than because if you trade the zoom out, you get something much better.

So what is one of the things that make us think quality when we think of video depth of field, is one of those things? So you see my background, how it’s blurry here and I’m crisp unless you’ve thought about it. That’s one of the things that make you realize film or video is high quality. Okay, when you realize that you get it when you’re watching a movie and it looks cinematic a lot of the time is because the foreground, the subject matter is very crisp and the background is very blurred out.

Okay, that effect is not easily one. Okay, it is a effect that is balancing the aperture the f stop on your lens, and the exposure. So the aperture is measured in f stops and it determines how big the lenses basically opened up to allow light to come into it. Okay, the bigger the aperture, the more you’re going to be able to achieve that depth of field effect.

That makes the quality look really great. Now here’s the tricky confusing thing is that you measure the size of the aperture in reverse. So the lower the number the better. Sorry about that. It still confuses me to this day. But the lower the number the better. And the way I think about it is just simply that lower is better.

Just do it in caveman, talk lower better. So when I look at the lens, if the aperture, goes down to 1. 4 then I know that’s going to be good and it is good like anything from 1-2 or really 1 to 3 is going to be pretty good and you’re going to get a really good picture with a lot of this depth of field effect now remember you don’t really need, again, you don’t need to zoom because you can move the camera so you can position the camera wherever you want to.

And so with a fixed lens, you get that benefit. Now you’re trading out the zoom but you can affordably get a lens that has as an f stop. I’m going to see a low f stop just to avoid confusion. A low number. So you can get that really great picture at a low price.

So let me give you an example of that. This is a canon 50-millimeter lens to fix the lens. It’s well known because it’s very cheap. I think it was 100 bucks. Maybe it’s all made of plastic. It’s not super high-quality parts, but you can get incredible pictures or video out of this little cheap 50-millimeter lens.

And so it’s awesome in that respect. I’ve got a couple of lenses. I think this is a 40 millimeter is kind of a little bit wider than this 50 millimeter. And by the way, the lower the millimeter number goes, the wider the lens is going to be, I’m shooting this with a 24-millimeter lens.

It’s a rather wide shot because the camera is about 2ft away from me right here. Either of these I probably couldn’t even do in this room. They would have to go too far back. So if you have a small place you’d want to use a wide-angle, but both of these are relatively inexpensive lenses. This one’s a little bit more expensive.

I think it was a couple 100 bucks. I think this 24 millimeter was 250 or something like that. But they’re great quality and the lower that f stop number goes, the other aspect of it is because the aperture opens up wider, you don’t have to have as much light. Okay, so you can have a more lit-up-looking scene without having to add a more light now let’s look at this guy, this is a zoom lens.

Alright, this is 24 millimeters to 85 millimeters. What it says right there, which means 24 is the same focal length as this one as it is right now. But it can go all the way to 85, which is going to be like you’re going to have to stand a bit away from somebody to shoot at 85 mm.

So it’s got some zoom on it. However, let’s look at the f stop range here. This one goes from 3. 5 – 4. 5. So when it’s 24 millimeters, the aperture opens to, you know, 3. 5. And when it goes to the 85 millimeters, it gets smaller and goes down the 4. 5.

And I can tell you from experience. And this is the lens that came with my first DSLR. It’s not good, it’s not a good lens. The quality you get out of this thing is poor and you have to have a lot of light to get a reasonably decent picture or video.

And especially if you want to achieve this depth of field of that, you’re going to have to have a ton more light. And even then you’re probably not going to achieve what you want to achieve with this zoom lens because the f stop is not made for that basically on this lens. This one right here, this is another fixed lens.

As you can see. I love fixed lenses. This is 85 millimeters, same as this. But the f stop on this guy is 1. 8. Remember I said anywhere between 1-2 is good, this thing produces stunning photos and video, but it’s 85 mm.

So it’s much more narrow. I would have to be probably 30 ft that way. Or sorry, 30 ft that way to use this lens to shoot here because this room is small. So wide angle is better in that case. So what is the point of this? The point of this is don’t be afraid of a DSLR, you know, a more professional camera, like a canon rebel you could get for whatever, two or 300 bucks.

Almost all my cameras I’ve ever bought, I bought used and so you can get great technology for a few 100 bucks and get one or two of these lenses and really start getting some impressive looking visuals. Crank up your depth of field here, blur out your background, and get really great-looking video without spending thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars.

Now let me give you one final comparison. I don’t have this lens. I’ve always kind of drooled over, but there is a kind of a famous canon lens that you’ve probably already all seen. It’s a big white one. They use it in sports a lot and that lens will get you these f stops, these really low numbers with the zoom aspect as well.

And so you’ll see sports like a lot of times sports. They’ll shoot, football players, basketball players that looks amazing. The background is blurred out but that lens is thousands and thousands of dollars. Okay, so to get the quality of these little fixed lenses but also be able to zoom in and out. It’s just thousands and thousands of dollars.

But for this purpose, you don’t need it. Then you can get a little lens, a little plastic lens like this that’s fixed. Sure you’re throwing away the zoom factor. But if you’re just shooting over and over to a camera to talk to your customers or your clients or to do some marketing and advertising, you can get a great picture out of it.

You can look really professional and only spend, you know, maybe a few 100 bucks on it, on the camera and the lens itself. It works great and I love it though, hopefully, that helps you out, gives you a little info, definitely let me know if you have any questions, anything I can answer on this topic.

I’d love to help you out any way you can help you make better video content and be proud of the content you’re creating and make you look more and more professional and awesome. So thanks everybody for watching this is Craig Lillard and I’ll see you in another video.

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