The Secrets of Optics

Mitch Gross

The Secrets of Optics

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

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  • 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
Very helpful introduction to the understanding of lenses.
Lea Ratliff
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

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