In addition to the Canon C100 Cinema camera’s light-control capabilities and overall compactness (its camera body weighs just 2.2 lbs.) Khoury and von Scheele found that the ability to choose among Canon’s wide range of CN-E and EF-series lenses for the EF-mount Canon C100 Cinema camera was also a major creative advantage for shooting All Relative.
“You can theoretically put almost any still photography lens on the Canon EOS C100 Cinema camera and get great picture quality,” von Scheele noted. “In the indie world this can save you a lot of money. We used the Canon CN-E 24mm, CN-E50mm, and CN-E85mm Cinema primes, the Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM ultra-wide-angle, EF 8-15mm f/4L fisheye USM, and EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM lenses. The sharpness was very similar, there weren’t noticeable differences, and they all intercut really well.”
“The 24mm and the 50mm made up maybe 90 percent of our shots,” von Scheele continued. “The 50mm was probably the most versatile lens that we had. It has a surprisingly close focus for a Cinema prime. You can get up to 18 inches from an object and still be in focus. You can get a medium two-shot with it and then push in/walk in for a really nice portrait shot.”
The filmmakers relied on their Canon EF 14mm ultra-wide-angle lens, meanwhile, for shots of the Manhattan skyline and establishing shots of the exterior of their suburban location home. “That 14mm wide-angle lens gives you a really amazing sense of space,” von Scheele confirmed. “Architecture looks really nice when you get more of it in the picture, but shooting a house can be hard because a lot of times you can’t really go back that far before you hit the street or another property. You don’t want to show just half a house in an establishing shot. With the Canon 14mm wide-angle lens, however, you can get something that looks impressive and see more of the full house with less distortion.”
The filmmakers explained that the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 macro lens was used for a variety of extreme close-ups. “It’s an incredible macro lens,” von Scheele stated. “We used it mostly for pick-up shots of cell phones and things that pushed the story forward, including a golf ball being hit out and pool cues striking pool balls on a table. The Canon EF 100mm macro lens takes very ordinary things and makes them look really beautiful in the way that it handles depth-of-field and allows you to get so close.”
“We also got shots of our characters in bed together in a nighttime attic,” Khoury added. “We used two Canon EOS C100 Cinema cameras at the same time. I was on the 50mm and Andreas was on the 100mm macro getting very close, detailed stuff.”
“We could really isolate – and get great detailed shots of – their eyes with the 100mm macro because you can get in so close, von Scheele agreed.”