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What lens? W hen choosing the right lens for your project, there are a huge range of options to choose from that depend entirely on your individual project and your needs. You need to think about the quality of filming you require, where the content will be placed, what camera you will be using to shoot it and how you plan to store it before being able to make a sensible choice. And with the emergence of 4K technology and the possibility of publishing content online, the range of choices becomes even greater. Where on earth do you start? How important is the right lens? Ask the experts with Paul Sergeant, Procam TV during the day. However, remember that you might encounter other problems with a cheaper lens that can really impact on image quality. But as with all filming, it is worth bearing in mind what effect you want to achieve in the end product. Are you going to be displaying it in ultra HD on a huge screen or streaming it online? If you spend good money filming in high-quality then you want that extra effort to show in the end product. But if your audience are going to be watching on a low res laptop screen and streaming over the internet then this money will be wasted. In this situation, the quality of the lens will make less of an impact to the overall effect than other factors. It is always important to remember that the lens of a camera is like the human eye – no matter how good the inside workings might be, this initial filter will impact the whole image and experience. If the glass in front is blurry or low quality then the image captured will suffer as a result. So it is impossible to capture great, high quality images without a high quality lens. Can you recommend a general use lens? With lenses, there is no real “one size fits all” procedure to follow as each camera and each requirement is different. However, I always find it best to follow the simple rule “You get what you pay for!” The problem with less expensive lenses is that sensitivity is reduced, not to mention having greater issues with breathing, shading, focus control and overall ‘sharpness’, and, in a few cases, vignetting is clearly visible on the waveform monitor! This becomes less of a problem when working in a well-lit space as bright light really helps the lens to sharply capture an image, but you may suffer in low lighting – just like some people have to wear glasses at night but have no problems How can I get the best value lens for my money? One of our daily challenges at Procam is trying to find the best and most suitable lens, which is also cost effective at the same time. The increased range of PL zoom lenses offers a good compromise between quality and cost. Ultimately, what lenses to use are very much a question of personal and budgetary choice. Most of the major lens manufacturers are now contacting Facilities houses and suppliers 42 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE TV-BAY074FEB13.indd 42 11/02/2013 16:44