Recently, I have been playing around with some Canon Lenses, in particular a 24-105mm Zoom Lens, a 100mm Macro, 85mm and 50mm prime lenses. I wanted to just have a little sit back and observe the functionality of prime lenses and learning to work without that zoom. It can be very helpful but sometimes the creativity can be lost as with prime lenses you have to physically move the camera, tripod in order to get the right shot in complete focus.
Initially, I was 100% sure that I’d be using a zoom lens for the interview as it needs to be practical and a reliable way to set up an interview fairly quickly. For my documentary, interviewing Mustapha will take place in a rather tight, confined space so I need that zoom to work well if we aren’t able to position the tripod as intended. This lens is the 24-105mm f/4 with Image Stabilisation. It has great zoom capabilities and covers most bases, the only thing is being able to achieve a more in depth focus on certain individual objects.
In order to be able to capture this depth, I have started looking into some prime lenses and what could help suit my needs in Morocco. First I tried out the Canon 100m Macro f/2.8 which I knew could help pick out key objects in tight spaces. It is a beautiful lens and with a f/2.8 aperture, it allows for a shallow depth of field, creating the impression of distance. It will really help separate my subject from the background and draw the eye to focus on the area of interest. I will use this for close to extreme close ups of the workshop, his eyes, unique areas of the workshop etc… All being well, I will definitely like to use this lens in my final project.
Two other lenses I tested out were the Canon 85mm and 50mm primes. They are nice at helping to capture mid shots as well as landscapes. The foreground is presented nicely with a smooth gaussian blur applied to the background. The 85mm worked nicely with the f/1.8 over the 50mm 1.4 but I preferred the look and feel of the 50. I should be able to get a hold of the 50mm 1.8 which would work perfectly at capturing some of those wider and mid shots. It would also work better in low light conditions which may be a possibility when filming in Mustapha’s workshop. We’ll mostly focus on the use of natural lighting instead of an artificial setup so this lens would very much come in handy.
Below is a video that shows some raw footage of all 4 lenses shot just in my own conservatory on some points of interest. You can better understand how these lenses would help cover aspects of his workshop and achieve the necessary focus desired on chosen subjects.