The Secrets of Optics

Mitch Gross

The Secrets of Optics

Mitch Gross
2h 14m
7 modules (view curriculum)

Own it forever to stream and download
Buy Now
  • Total Time:

    2h 14m


Ever been confused by focal length? Lens breathing? How about crop factors? What is the “Cooke Look” compared to that of Zeiss? In The Secrets of Optics you’ll learn the basics of lenses - what they do, how they do it, what types of lenses there are - so you have a solid foundation for selecting and operating lenses.

Subtitles available: English



Before we get started explaining the ins and outs of lenses, Mitch takes the time to really define what a lens is and how modern lenses came about.

Subtitles available: English


In this module Mitch breaks down focal length, explaining the differences between a wide and telephoto lens and why there’s no such thing as a “normal” lens.

Subtitles available: English


Here Mitch takes us through how the camera sensor size affects our possible lens choice, and how different lenses behave on different sensor sizes.

Subtitles available: English


Ever been confused by the numerous specifications of lenses? In this module Mitch breaks down the most commonly used lens specs, explaining what they mean and showing examples on a wide range of lenses.

Subtitles available: English


Here we look at the lens specifications that manufacturers don’t always give you. Things like focus breathing, zoom tracking, chromatic aberration, telecentricity and more are defined and discussed with examples.

Subtitles available: English


In this module Mitch talks about the various aspects of lenses that give them personality, and why you might choose a certain lens for a certain look.

Subtitles available: English


For the final module in the course we look at specialty lenses and adaptors such as anamorphic and tilt-shift and discuss their application.

Subtitles available: English

About the Educator

Mitch Gross

Educator, Filmmaker, Product Specialist

1 Course

Industry veteran Mitch Gross is the Cinema Product Manager at Panasonic USA. He has been working in the New York film industry for more than fifteen years and has been the DP on more than twenty feature films as well as hundreds of commercials, music videos, documentaries and other productions.


I've learned more in-depth of what I thought I already know about lens to an extent.
Ragunaath Rathnam
Awesome course and if you are starting with any course on MZed this is a great place. It gets the basics down solid and describes some deep, in-depth aspects to camera lenses that I never really realized.
Josh Bonzheim
Such a great introduction into the world of lenses, I believe this won't be the last time I watch this course as I continue learning and practicing. Thank you so much, Mitch.
Claudia Marone
Łukasz Kucharski
Very good. Lots of information.
Joel Rivera
Instructor was very informative, confident in his presentation, and presented the information in a clear and concise manner! Great Course, Recommend for everyone from beginner to expert.
German Disla
Very helpful introduction to the understanding of lenses.
Lea Ratliff
Great primer on lenses, with many specific details of the construction and specifications that I knew nothing about. I feel like I can more intelligently discuss, test, and select lenses after watching this course.
Sean Edevane
It's a course like this that really takes a persons knowledge on lenses and propels them past the still image into the acquisition of a moving image through glass.
Marco Marco
Tolani Mosweu
Great content.
Rodrigo Resende
Brilliant short course!
Daniel Grindrod
I really enjoyed this class. I learned new things that will have practical use.
Donald Evans
A great course!
Philippe Schultz
Mitch was an amazing teacher, very thorough and extremely knowledgable. Wish he had more courses on here! My favorite so far on MZed.
Matthew Wyman
Admittedly, I am a detail nerd so I enjoyed the fact that this course introduced lots of very interesting characteristics of lenses that I either didn't know, or didn't understand very well. My future purchases of lenses will be much better informed because of it.
Marshall Cant
Good course. A lot of information about lenses.
Terrell Epps
Very informative course taught by a very knowledgeable teacher.
Manuela Alarcón González C.C. 1'026.260.114
Great. I really appreciate Mitch's practical, down-to-earth approach. I would have liked to see more actual examples of some of the applications/situations he was talking about.
Steven Erickson
The course was informative, and Mitch Gross helped expand my knowledge of glass with his experience.
Mark Kaufmann
It's a great course for everyone. My only wish is more example on the live feed from the camera.
Armen Sarkisov
Muito fraco de exemplos e não tem nada que não de para encontrar no youtube de graça.

Choose your membership and start learning now

MZed Pro

  • A full year’s streaming access to the MZed Pro library to watch as many times as you like, plus access to courses we add to the MZed Pro library during your membership and discounts on premium content. 
  • Stream and watch courses offline during your membership using our iOS app.

Best Value

MZed Pro Premium

  • All the features of MZed Pro plus get lifetime ownership of one of the premium courses below. Also have the option to use our EZ Pay system to pay in three convenient monthly instalments.  
  • The Art & Technique of Film Editing
    Master the Moment
12 months access to the MZed Pro library
Access to future courses and content
More than 200 hours of education
Unlimited streaming of $6,000+ in courses
Access from any internet connected device
Watch courses and download lessons using our iOS app
Exclusive member discounts
Seven-day Money Back Guarantee
money back

Our no-risk money back guarantee.

If you’re unhappy with your membership during the first seven days just let us know and we’ll issue a full refund.

Not applicable to iOS app memberships. Subject to terms and conditions.