The Best Lens-Gimbal Setup for Your Next Project
Is it the gimbal or the glass? In this write-up, we look at the importance of lens choice when work with a gimbal in your video project.
Gimbal cinematography is the bomb — if you know what you’re doing. These days, it seems like everyone and their grandma has a gimbal. And while the market floods with dozens of different stabilizer options, there still seems to be a gap in quality. I believe this gap is less about the gimbal and more about the glass. Agree? Disagree? Let’s dig into it.
The reason why the combo of a gimbal with a 50mm prime works so well is because they’re both cinematic powerhouses. With the gimbal, you have the movement capabilities of a slider, a dolly, and a steady cam. Meanwhile the beloved 50mm prime is one of cinema’s most-favored focal lengths.
Dynamic background movement is another key player in this setup. When filming on anything tighter than a 20mm, you’ll start to notice more movement in the frame. This is because you’re condensing so much information in one single image. Learn more about this here:
If you pair this stabilizing combo with riding a wheelchair (or some sort of wheel-able system like One Wheel), you’re able to create a kinetic shot worthy of Hollywood. I’ll coin this as the Michael Bay effect. To see this in action, you can watch this music video, where I used this system for nearly every single setup:
Old Tools — New Perspective
I find when I challenge myself with being stuck on a fixed focal length, I stretch my creative reach to achieve new perspectives. It’s less about changing the hardware and more about updating the software, taking a commonly used tool and changing its use.
For the longest time, I avoided shooting anything tight on a gimbal because I thought it’d be too close. So, I just stuck to filming everything ultra wide. The reality is, there are more uses for your gimbal than you think. Experiment with various setups, from shooting techniques to other lenses.
For more information about different lens choices and options, check out my breakdown here:
Interested in the tracks we used to make this video?
- “Hangover Blues” by Marc Walloch
- “Escape Route” by Marc Walloch
- “Whiskey Drag Race” by Flash Fluharty
Looking for more on lenses and gimbals? Check out these articles.