Lens Comparison & Test - Official Video Discussion Thread


How much of a difference is there between cheap and expensive lenses? In this video, Freddie takes 3 sets of lenses in the low, mid, and high price ranges, and uses them in different filming conditions. Then he puts Shaun, Jon, and Jamie to the test to see if they can tell the difference!

Think you can beat 'em? Test yourself here! NO CHEATING! Post your results below!


We had fun with this one guys, hope you like our first official lesson!!


This was awesome and really gets to the whole idea of how more expensive stuff isn’t always necessarily that much better. Exactly with what Freddie said, diminishing returns. I can’t wait till the next episode where you guys test out the extremes, because I honestly couldn’t tell that much of a difference between the three lens categories (I did really bad on the test lol…).


I got a solid 2/18. I mean, I’ve never shot through a lens that costs more than $2500 before, so I’m not really familiar with the characteristics of the higher-end glass. (At least, that’s what I’ll say to make myself feel better.)


Awesome video! I got 5 correct… lol
Which I consider a good thing in the sense of the fact it will be forever and a day before I can commit to purchasing an expensive lens.



That was fun!! Looking forward to part 2!


Thanks for that enjoyable test, really like it.

As you guys mentioned the image quality of the different lenses are almost equal and it’s more a question of ergonomical usage like pulling focus. So should I rather spend slightly more money for the Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM, which the focus ring is not directly at the front of the lens and the range of push/pulling focus is bigger, than the Canon EF 50mm f1.8?

Also looking forward to part 2!


Awesome, I got 12/18! And it’s all thanks to what you guys taught in the lesson, since I don’t know much about lenses yet. I mean, I’ll admit half of them were lucky guesses, but I used your explanation about cheaper lenses making it harder to pull off smooth focus changes to correctly identify the last 6 shots.

And that video was really fun, I loved it!


I really likes The Video! :smiley: but what was The deal with freddie beating up The test chart all The time?:smiley: anyway, as a suggestion for next video(weirdest conditions) why not using The lenses in e.g. Dusty or dirty areas where You Need to be Sure nothing will make The lens dirty or breaks it… And for example using lenses on DSLR’s for a Third Person Video or something like that. I’d love that. Can’t wait for The next Video!


I got 6/18 :P. I got the last test 100% correct :joy:


thank you for the information that i don’t need super expensive camera’s to get really good scenes filmed. when looking for a camera (and/or parts) to shoot a scene that involves a lot of action, what is an important aspect of the camera should we keep in mind?


I did so bad in the test :cry: I really don’t know too much about lens but it’s good to have diferent opinions in this video, cause I know thata lot of times you don’t really NEED expensive gear to get cool shots but I want to know why would you need them? And I think Jon nailed that part


So I watched it and it’s actually quite reassuring that I don’t have to worry about hacking into my parents’ banking accounts so I can make a short film. :stuck_out_tongue:

I honestly didn’t think lens are a huge issue…is it completely necessary that I have them? My friend is giving me a long-term borrow for a Canon Vixia HF R10. I have no idea what that means. It seems to have some sort of built-in lens…


I got a 9/18, i’m pretty proud of myself seeing as I have never shot with a lens more expensive than $80 :smile:.
I’ve gotta say, this was a thoroughly enjoyable video and it’s good to see you look out for the little guy by working with some cheaper lenses as well.


Great information, it helps a lot to now that I dont need to buy the greates gear to get a good result of what im trying to do!


This video proves an amazing point

“It doesn’t matter what level of gear you have but what you do with it is what counts” :wink:


And You should also wrire in The explanation that You don’t Need fancy lenses when You try to achieve a crapPy look… :smiley: I just met a guy who shit a movie and needed several months to create a old fashioned look he could also had done with a simple cheap 100 bucks lens… CD


I also only got 6 correct. It’s really hard to see the difference between each lens! I feel like lens are important though and if you throw cheap glass on an expensive camera then you’re wasting your time using the expensive camera.

What brand of 18-50mm lens do you suggest for me, guys?

I’m really loving these tutorials! You guys should work with Film Riot!


I didn’t actually keep track, but I thought that the $5000 and $15000 lenses tended to look about the same. The Canon EF lenses were a little worse, but overall they weren’t that much different. Really cool lesson!


I got 10/18! Which isn’t even a C. But I think the most noticeable difference between the lenses wasn’t in that which was sharp, but that which was out of focus. Idk if this is useful or interesting but I thought it was kind of neat.

I also tweeted at Lauren about how I thought this test was in many ways geared towards the direct-to-web world, and that these lenses would separate dramatically on a really nice projector in a 4K finish (or, god help us, a print). She fired back that, duh, of course. And I think she’s totally right. When you’re making web stuff or really any stuff coming up chances are you aren’t showing it anywhere that the difference between these lenses would show up. And even if your stuff makes it into a festival and is shown on a nicer projector, I think lenses today are so precisely made that they would hold up pretty well! Even the cheaper ones.

I think the Zacuto shoot out kind of points out that basically the same ideas apply to camera too! Upstream Color is one of my favorite movies, and is utterly beautiful, and it was shot on a hacked GH2 with mostly MFT lenses. Carruth’s work I think is the ultimate example of story>tech/budget. And even better things have been shot on crappier cameras.