Photo (DSLR) Lens vs Cinema Lens: Differences

Are cinema lenses really worth the higher costs (compared to DSLR lenses)? Lets find out.

For most projects (unless you have a considerable budget), using regular photo lenses, such as Sony E-Mount primes or Canon EF zooms still seem to be the most obvious choice and a real viable option for the job.

Reasons being: Affordability (more options for different price ranges), capable of putting out some great images.

However, there are also a few drawbacks of using still lenses that just don’t work for video, such as struggling to achieve the best and most precise focus, chromatic aberration issues, distortion artifacts, lens breathing, just to name a few.

That is why filmmakers prefer cinema lenses that designed to work even in the most demanding shooting situations. Cinema lenses have grown in popularity in recent years as majority of them are now compatible with non-cinema cameras such as mirrorless cameras and DSLRs.

Regardless of the price tag that is over quadruple the price of a regular still lens, it’s reasonable to ask yourself is it really worth investing in a cinema lens these days and what can a cinema lens do that a still lens can’t?

The video shows how cinema lense can be better for filmmaking compared to DSLR lens.

$1,000 Lens vs $4,000 Lens — Are Cinema Lenses Worth It?

Read more at 4kshooters

Durability of cinema lenses is also much better, they are built for extreme filming conditions. The same cannot be said of still lenses. They get loose – the zoom barrel, lens overall. So don’t underestimate the durability of a metal cinema lens and how its built, it could easily last a couple of decades (or more) and in that context pretty can be considered cheap after you have trashed a few plastic still lenses.

1 Comment
  1. Reply
    Ross Finnie November 20, 2017 at 8:08 am

    Cinema lenses are way over priced. Only rental for me.

    I think cinema lens are expensive because manufacturers think they can charge more. That’s it. Modern manufacturing techniques and tooling makes all of these lenses as easy to produce as each other. The materials used will be more expensive yes but not so expensive as to justify the massive price difference.

    If you can afford to hire a cinema lens you should if only to make your life easier but buying one? Maybe have a think about that one.

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