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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Lord of the Rings:


Mar 30 2013, 12:24am

Post #1 of 6 (259 views)
cinematography Can't Post

hey guys, any good resources regarding the lotr cinematography, specifically what camera lenses were used for various different shots etc

"You Tolkien to me?!" - Hobbit de Niro

Tol Eressea

Mar 30 2013, 1:33am

Post #2 of 6 (152 views)
You might want to check out American Cinematographer magazine. [In reply to] Can't Post

It's published by the American Society of Cinematographers, which is the A.S.C. you see after cinematographer's names in movie credits. I've picked up the odd issue in the past and it's interesting and informative. They also have a decent website.


Mar 31 2013, 3:14pm

Post #3 of 6 (118 views)
Zeiss cine master-line primes and Arri cameras, don't know specific camera models tho [In reply to] Can't Post

You can see some of the focal lengths in the clapperboards that appear here and there in the appendices. they definently used primarily prime lenses I've read somewhere that they used over 100 zeiss lenses in making of that movie, not all the same ofcourse. In some, like pelennor fields shots they definently seem to use a zeiss master zoom lens, those things are just beastly. I can't remember seeing a text source for all this tho, check out the appendices for yourself, paying attention to all the cameras flashing in the background.

Pessimists have no disappointments.

(This post was edited by Tigero on Mar 31 2013, 3:15pm)


Mar 31 2013, 4:17pm

Post #4 of 6 (129 views)
thanks [In reply to] Can't Post

thanks, id love an option to see all the camera settings, like a directors commentry type option,not just for lotr but other big films, but its interesting for you to say prime lenses, i presumed theyd use lots of zooms!

"You Tolkien to me?!" - Hobbit de Niro


Mar 31 2013, 5:32pm

Post #5 of 6 (121 views)
Yeah i guess that it was still the 'golden age' of zooms [In reply to] Can't Post

But PJ wasn't so cheap that he'd use them in the corny way many movies of the 90's used. I'm not 100% sure about using mostly primes, but they definently seemed compact and the clappers had a single number at focal length.

They do talk about the methods they used for example Galadriel's mirror scene in the appendices, for me the the way they made that scene sounded a bit wasteful, if i remember it correctly, they shot it in a very strange way which needed complete lipsync afterwards with no real on-set sound.

Film cinematography is sadly a dying sport as the recent news of closure of Park road post shows. Sad, why make a movie if it ain't worth paying the 80 cents per second of footage :p

Pessimists have no disappointments.

Kristin Thompson

Apr 2 2013, 1:09am

Post #6 of 6 (114 views)
AC on the lenses [In reply to] Can't Post

The December 2001 issue of American Cinematographer has a story, "Ring-bearers," that discusses the equipment. On lenses:

The filmmakers employed prime lenses ranging from 10mm to 800mm (a combination of Zeiss Standards and Ultra Primes), along with Cooke and Angenieux 25-250mm HR T3.5 zooms. Canon telephotos handled the longer end of the range, and the production also used macro and Revolution lenses. (pp. 39-40)

Not much on which lenses were used for which shots. You might also try the three articles on the films in Cinefex, though those deal mostly with special effects rather than cinematography in general.


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