If you want to learn about lenses inside and out, The Secrets of Optics is a popular course that touches on a wide variety of optics-related topics. Instructor Mitch Gross, in partnership with AbelCine, provides an easy-to-follow primer on the history of lenses, the difference between cinema and photo lenses, sensors and lens mounts, specialty lenses, and much more.
And with an average rating of 4.6 out of 5, clearly this is a well loved course! But a few members have given us suggestions for how to improve the course, such as adding more example shots illustrating the course concepts. Great idea!
So with the help of AbelCine, we’ve gone back in and updated the course with brand new footage of lenses in action, shot only a month ago. This fresh revision makes the course even better, so if you haven’t watched it yet, check out the Secrets of Optics course right now.
What’s New in The Secrets of Optics
As Mitch Gross dives into all of the peculiarities of lenses, he has a huge collection of lenses to demonstrate in the studio right next to him, along with a Panasonic Varicam to show lens mounts, and a model to help with examples. But there are moments during the course where we thought it would be better to show examples out in the field.
And so we borrowed a collection of lenses, along with a Canon C300 MkII EF and PL mounts and a Canon EOS R, and we went out to capture as much of what Mitch talks about as we could.
When Mitch discusses lens veils and light leaks, he mentions the differences between even and odd number blades.
One example is when Mitch explains the advantages of cinema lenses with T-stops, which can reliably give you the same transmission of light from lens to lens. And so we illustrate this benefit by showing three lenses, a Canon CN-E 14mm, a CN-E 85mm, and a Zeiss 50mm Makro. At T4, even with different lens manufacturers, the light transmission is identical.
In another lesson, Mitch provides an important lesson about bokeh, and how it’s not just about the pretty blurry dots that we all love. In fact, bokeh can help add three dimensional depth to a tight lens that flattens a subject.
There are also examples of anamorphic desqueezing, macro imagery, tilt and shift lenses, lens adapters, and more. If you haven’t watched the course yet, there’s never been a better time. And even if you’re comfortable with lenses, several members have told us that The Secrets of Optics is a great refresher.
And don’t forget to leave a rating and review when you finish a course. We love to hear your feedback, and we’re eager to improve wherever we can!