On this week's "Reel Rebel", Stephen Schweickart of VScreen, gives us a quick rundown about the importance of, and basic differences between the various types of lenses you can use if you're knowledgeable enough to shoot video with a DSLR camera, or other video camera that supports interchangeable lenses.

3 Basic Types of Interchangeable Lenses for Video

There are three basic types of lenses you should be familiar with: fixed, zoom and "close up" or macro.

Fixed Lens (aka Prime Lens)

These come in a range of focal lengths from wide angle to telephoto.  They have fairly simple optics and allow more light into the lens which gives the shooter more control over the depth of field.  For example, if you want individuals and objects in the background to be out of focus, you can use a fast, fixed lens to keep the main stars of your video as the main focus to the viewers.

Zoom Lenses

This allows flexibility of the zoom length to be varied with one lens - as opposed to a fixed lens where you need to change out the lens for varied length.  There are two types of zoom lens, a true zoom lens (parfocal) which maintains focus when its focal length changes and a varifocal which loses focus during zooming.  Zoom lenses are helpful when you need to travel light or if you don't have a clear plan of what you will be shooting.

"Close-Up"/Macro Lenses

These have a production ratio greater than 1:1, that means they allow you to get an extreme close up of whatever you are shooting.  A macro lens allows you to shoot objects larger than life.  This type of lens requires some practice to master the depth of fields to use because the range comes down to millimeters.

QUESTION:  Will these lens tips allow you to broaden your cinematic scope?