Disadvantages of a Zoom Lens

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A zoom lens may come in handy every once and awhile, but it isn't something you want to use with every shot. Learn about the disadvantages of a zoom lens with help from a professional filmmaker in this free video clip.

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Video Transcript

Hi guys. I'm Justin Z. I'm a Los Angeles independent filmmaker and a freelance editor. I've been getting some basic question about film making including this one, what are the disadvantages of a zoom lens. Well zoom lenses have a basic capability of pointing and shooting at objects from a distance with ease. It basically creates convenience. But there are disadvantages, and it's basically two things. The first is glass. Because a zoom lens has a lot more moving parts, the draw back is glass quality. A prime lens focuses on its glass quality so you get much higher quality images that create much more detail in the image. And you can really tell the difference. Give it a shot sometime. Take a zoom lens, zoom it out to fifty millimeters, take a picture, then plug in a prime lens which is at fifty millimeters and take the same picture at a the same depth of field. You will see the difference very easily. The second is depth of field. A zoom lens basically has to take in more light in order to get the same image because the light is taking longer to get to the body. We call that the speed. Basically the way this works is that the longer the lens the longer it takes for the light to get in, so it makes it so depth of field has to be changed, especially the more you zoom in, the less depth of field you can work with. In fact it's longer depth of field. So, if you're fully zoomed in, you can't get as much depth which can create a lower quality image than a prime lens. So basically when it comes to depth of field, if you have a specific image in mind stick to prime lenses. Zoom lenses are best for on the fly type stuff. But if you really want good control and high quality images with greater depth of field, stick to prime lenses. If you have any other questions about lenses or film making in general, feel free to ask.


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