From American Cinematographer, Paging Machiavelli by Eric Rudolph (March 1998)
While the lighting in The Spanish Prisoner is unconventional, Beristain's choice of optics was not. He did not want his lenses to telegraph anything about the characters.
"We used 40mm through 75mm lenses for close-ups. We had thought about using 200mm and 300mm lenses for a lot of the close-ups, but we were afraid that might provide clues about the characters' true natures. If you use a very wide or very long lens on a character, the audience knows that something is up with that person. We wanted the audience to be as unsure as the hero was."
- Gabriel Beristain, ASC, BSC