Is Lens Sharpness a thing in filmmaking?

Adrian Pedrin Valencia
2 min readJan 29, 2021

I started my filmmaking journey like a lot of people in the 2010’s. With a DSLR camera and photography lenses. Photography lenses are by nature, sharp. Sharpness is very important in photography. Most people measure a photograph by how sharp it is. The more expensive a lens is, the sharper it will be.

At first, DSLR cameras had bad compression rates. Compared to cameras now, the compression was pretty bad. Sharp pictures, not sharp videos.

Time passed and I upgraded to a Blackmagic pocket camera and a few Rokinon cine DS lenses. Due to the compression or lack thereof(uncompressed dng), I started getting sharper images. This was around the same time that Sigma released one of their best lenses: Sigma art 18–35 1.8. This is a photography lens used by a lot of people to shoot video.

I tried the Sigma 18–35 and while the image was very sharp. Pulling focus was very hard. I ended up buying the Rokinon Cine DS lenses because I wanted to be able to pull focus. A cine lens has more leeway when pulling focus, it’s not as critical as a photography lens.

The Rokinon lenses aren’t as sharp as the Sigma…and then it hit me. When was the last time I saw a movie and said or thought “That shot is so sharp”. It’s not a thing. We aren’t used to seeing sharp moving pictures because of the motion blur.

When was the last time you saw a movie and thought “Wow this movie is so sharp”?? let me know in the comments.

Adrian Pedrin Valencia

Film Director | Obsessed with Light | Video Gamer | Creator | Marketing Enthusiast |