Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  


Recommended Posts

Hi Guys!


I am very new to cinematography and need some basic guidelines to get me going. The challenge I am facing right now is to get a shot for the film I am shooting where I pull back (zoom out) from the cetral charachter's retina within his eye to a distance of about 2 feet from his face to get his entire face in the frame, without loosing focus at any point. I understand lenses would be involved in this challenge, but I know nothing of them and would greatly appreciate any guidance.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

if your backfocus is set correctly than the shot you are proposing is no challenge at all. since the distance between camera and actor does not change during the zoom you simply zoom out and voila...everything is still in focus. it's only getting complicated once you start moving the camera around relative to your actor's movements.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

You're probably looking for a parfocal lens (brought up in another thread about the Sigma still photography lens)


If using a still photography lens, it's probably a varifocal which won't hold focus through all parts of the zoom.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Tom, yes, I have. Only the shot went into the other direction. medium shot of a sleeping couple, the camera zooms towards the left eye of the right person, the eye opens, the person wakes up. It was difficult to find the right end position (the camera has to pan a little), so we filmed it the other way around and simply reversed the shot in post. We were using a standard video zoom lens, camera was about 1.5m away from the actors, still the close-up pretty much filled the whole screen.

If you wanna go for a slightly weird effect you could further zoom into the retina with a digital zoom applied in post, might give it a sureal touch. And while you are filmming make sure you know the difference between a turtle and a tortoise or Leon will blast you away ;-)

Travis is right of course, the whole thing only works with a parfocal lens.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Visual Products

    Just Cinema Gear

    New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment

    Rig Wheels Passport

    Metropolis Post

    Broadcast Solutions Inc


    Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

    The Original Slider

    Abel Cine

    FJS International

    Gamma Ray Digital Inc

    Wooden Camera

    Paralinx LLC

    G-Force Grips

    Tai Audio

    Serious Gear

    Ritter Battery


    Cinematography Books and Gear
  • Create New...