Darren, I shoot a feature film with regular still photo lenses, we did not had money for the film and back then no one knew us so we had to shoot it with what we had.
I can tell you a lot about them and why I am shooting with film lenses now more than ever, start in the smoothness of the lenses specially the zooom lenses, like the Canon CN-E (the cine lenses) like the 30-300mm against any regular zoom for stills, it will be the smoothness on the movement of the frame and while following the actors, for me this is the main issue, there are some other issues like zooming in control of a mark following an actor and getting the right bokeh on the shot with out jumps, because still lenses are not made for following a shot in zoom.
For primes, I always look for lenses that have the less glass inside it will make the less reflections in the image, I always take off the filters even the UV's except when I really need them, in a situation I need to darken the image to have the best T stop, but I am always looking for Prime lenses that have the less glass inside, there will be a lot of different reasons, for me is precision, and like "Bill DiPietra" said you really need a lens with marks, specially if you have a small aperture and you are following marks.
Look for the back of the lenses I am kind of control freak of this issue, I always look for lenses that in the back they have big glass opening instead of small the biggest the lens in the back the more light you will have and a lot of cheap lenses the back lens is really small and while they say they give you T1.5 they will not give you light, I was shooting in a rainforest with a kit of Rokinon lenses (that I really hate) but the director wanted to use them, they were like the jewel kit from the director, so I was shooting at 6pm in the middle of the rainforest, it was a master shot and only shot I could do from a native I was using a RED EPIC, it should work but it didn't there was not more light, I told the director that I had to change the lens to one of my photo still lenses and he though I was crazy, I put the lens in the camera, this was a Canon 85mm 1.8 and that fixed the problem, there was enought light to shoot the problem.
So just know what you have and make a lot of tests on you lenses, it doesn't matter when you are in independent films that much which lens you are using, just make tests before shooting and know what you are looking for and if that cheap lens gives you the look you are looking for, then use it bring us intersting things to the screen things that us DP's are not use to see, use creaivity and have good luck and fun while shooting!