Shooting film with the Samyang 85mm T1.5
Having used some of the older generation manual Samyang lenses, I think I liked their low prices more than their actual lenses to be honest. Many years back, starting off in the industry you need to purchase what suits your pocket right? That’s just business sense! I lately revisited the Samyang range with their updated Mkii Cine lenses.
I wanted to review what it’s like shooting film with the Samyang 85mm T1.5. Sharing the same glass coating and technology as their manual photography lenses, the Cine range offers up a clickless aperture ring for smooth exposure adjustments when shooting live. Valuable, trust me. They also include geared focus and aperture rings for use with follow focus kits. Now this isn’t a complete strip down and technical review of the lens. You can easily find that info elsewhere, but as a real-world user, I was pleasantly surprised with just how sharp this lens is…I mean really. Especially when I’m working on a multicam edit and getting the chance to analyse one lens against another used on the same camera body.
Build your Story with the Samyang 85mm T1.5
Shooting discrete documentary-style content, I often find myself creeping around with my trusty 85mm. Picking off my subjects before they get a chance to notice me and wave or frantically turn away due to a medical condition known as being “Camera Shy”. Unlike photographers that may often need to tell a story in one photo, unless of course presenting a series of photos in an album, for instance, we as filmmakers need to remember that we have an incredibly creative ability to build the picture or story in a succession of clips. This may be glaringly obvious to some, but believe me when I say it’s news to others.
Getting Creative with the Samyang 85mm T1.5
There are times as filmmakers that we may not be given the most exciting briefs. Sent off to film a Law firms annual awards ceremony for example. For me though, there is just as much opportunity to story build and employ a creative shooting style as on any other brief. Use your eyes and ears pick off details to help build a story in the edit for your viewer. For example, you could use a 35mm to capture a shot of 4 people drinking and laughing around a bar table.. but then what? Where can you creatively go from there, other than to another group of people? Opting to story build with a tighter focal length gives you the chance to turn that one shot into 5 or 6. Picking off details of hands holding drinks glasses. Any interesting items on the table like awards that may have been picked up? Is somebody laughing? If so, what or who is making them laugh? Help the viewer see this by building the picture, or what is better known as the “scene”. It’s a simple technique that can take your style and edit a long way, give it a go.