Cinematography Workshops - Light Extreme
    Technical and Creative Aspects of Cinematic Expression
Cinematic Expression - Lens - Perspective Distortion
Home   Cinematic Expression   Lens   Focal Length   Depth of Field   Perspective Distortion   Selective Focus   Lens Expression
Director calls for CU...
You have ten different Prime Lenses and two Zooms... Close up can be executed with any one of them... Lens is a lens (?!)
The truth is that your choice of Lens should be determined by understanding of Character's state of mind at this very moment
within a story. Each lens (focal length) has its own unique set of attributes that can help creating any particular Mood and can
relate to State of Mind of the Character.
Lens can beautify or otherwise render in a negative way. Knowing "psychological attributes" of lenses helps cinematographer
in the pursuit of self expression through creating Atmosphere that relates to emotional / intellectual content of the Scene.
              100mm Lens                                                    28mm Lens
      100mm Lens                                  28mm Lens
              100mm Lens                                                      28mm Lens
Like with al other elements of Cinematic Expression
distortion should be used creatively which means it's
choices should be motivated. Any ad hoc rendition of
distortion without reason define expression as void of
quality at least in the intellectual aspect of artistic value.

In example below the same location shot with two
different lenses show altogether different perspective.
It seems person will run the distance faster on Wide Angle
Lens (Right) as she will cover "larger" distance in the same
amount of time as compared to compressed distance on
Long Angle Shot (Left). This has tremendous implications in
manipulating audience's perception...  
Imagine, in the first shot (Left) person running away for
her life. Compressed perspective creates impression it
takes her awfully long to cover short distance. Now, Cut
to: Wide Angle - Bad Guys devour space chasing through
stretched perspective of Wide Angle Lens.