Possible Duplicate:
What factors are important for DSLR lenses for shooting video?

The one-line question above had to be vague, so let me elaborate:

Let's say that I'm using a Canon T4i (doesn't necessarily have to be that camera) with a Canon 50mm f/1.4 USM lens to shoot 1080p video. I know that this particular Canon lens is naturally not very sharp at 1.4, and this would probably be apparent on a full-size photo when blown up to 100% scale on a screen.

However, it seems reasonable to me that, even if the lens is soft, if I were to shoot video at f/1.4 and then view it at 100% scale on a screen, the video is still so small in resolution that the lack of sharpness may not be very visible, similar to taking the photo previously described and scaling it down to 50%.

In this way, I want to see if I can get away with using this lens at 1.4 and get results that look very good and really sharp, despite the lens's apparent natural limitations (and, of course, assuming proper focus on my part).

Does my theory have any truth behind it?


2 Answers 2


You are correct. You're shooting at a much lower resolution on video than stills, and so your effective circles of confusion are much bigger. So you can get away with glass that a decent stills photographer wouldn't touch. This is speaking from experience at work where I share DSLR equipment with a bunch of stills photographers who are always complaining about lenses that I use all the time for video with no problems.

"Get away with" being the critical phrase there. Crap lenses are still crappier than good ones.


No, if the lens is soft while shooting video you will notice. However when shooting any of the Canon Cameras, 5D mark three to be exact, the camera is very susceptible to sharpening in a proper grading software or VFX software, AE can do this, so can Nuke, Flame, Smoke, and many of your color grading softwares.

So yes you will notice if the lens is soft in your video, however you can counter this with a bit of sharpening in post.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.