Cinema Lens or Stills Lens?

What’s the difference between the cinema lens and a stills lens? A cinema lens often has 300 degree rotation for a very smooth focus throw. There’s marks on there for repeatable focus, and there’s gears, which allows you to stick motors or follow focus, making operating the lens a whole lot easier. You have a de-clicked aperture, which allows you to change light to dark without seeing any jumps in exposure as you would in a stills lens. Oftentimes there are better optics in your cinema lens. And, my favorite thing about the cinema zooms is that they’re parfocal. What does parfocal mean? It means once you grab focus of your subject, you can change the focal length and the subject still stays in focus. Without autofocus!

A stills lens is often lighter, smaller, and usually cheaper to the comparable cinema lens. If you get a good one, it’s going to be weather-sealed, which means it could stay out in the elements and you don’t have to worry about it getting ruined. And, my favorite feature is autofocus.

Which one’s right for you? Well, the right tool for the right job. If you’re looking for the best optics in a robust housing, probably a cinema lens. If you’re looking for something small, lightweight, and autofocus, probably stills lens.

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