Best Lenses For Video – 2020 Complete Buyer’s Guide

Videography has become increasingly popular among camera users and owners. Vlogging particularly has raised a lot of awareness and an increase in videography trends.

However, owning a professional camera alone is not enough for making good quality videos. The magic lies in the hands of the lenses you use with your camera.

The following article will review the best ones for video and will also include a useful buying guide. 

Comparison of the Best Lenses For Video

PRODUCT DETAILS
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Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens

  • Best overall
  • Features an aperture of f/1.8
  • Construction is made with 6 elements in 5 groups
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Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS II Telephoto Zoom Lens

  • Best lens for music videos
  • Features a maximum aperture of about f/2
  • Equipped with 12 lens elements in 10 groups
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Yongnuo YN50mm F/1.8 Lens Large Aperture AF Lens

  • Best for the money
  • Maximum aperture of f/1.8
  • Comes with a front and back lens both included in the package
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Sony 55mm F1.8 Sonnar T FE ZA Full Frame Prime Lens

  • Best Sony lens for video
  • Has a focal length of 55 mm
  • Features an E-mount full-frame type
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Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G Lens with Auto Focus

  • Has an aperture of f/1.8
  • Best Nikon lens for video
  • Features a focal length of 50 mm
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Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Standard Zoom Lens

  • Best lens for DSLR video
  • Features an aperture of about f/2.8
  • Has both manual and autofocusing
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Moment - Anamorphic Lens

  • Best iPhone lens for video
  • Backed by a lifetime warranty
  • Compatible with Samsung and iPhone both
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Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F2.8 PRO Lens

  • Best lens for GH4 video
  • Features a freeze-proof focusing
  • Has a dual voice coil motor focusing mechanism
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Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens

  • Has an inner focusing system
  • Best video lens for Canon 70D
  • Features one UD and one PMO aspherical lens
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Can Any Lens Be Used For Videography? 

In reality, you can use practically any lens to shoot a video, as long as your DSLR has videography capability. However, this does not mean all lenses will capture the desired quality of the video. Some important aspects, such as built-in stabilizers and focus speed, are what influence capability of the lens to shoot a good video.

We usually recommend people buy normal zoom lenses in order to do both photography and videography. To choose a good lens for videography, the focal length matters a lot. Therefore, certain focal lengths are more appropriate for videography than they are for photography. 

What Makes a Great Lens For Video? 

While some basic features such as aperture settings and focal length have their own importance in making up a great lens, there are some other aspects you must consider before making a purchase. Take a look. 

Warranty

Not all lenses come with good warranties. Therefore, it is important to consider this aspect. When you are buying a lens, make sure to inquire about the warranty and the specific details from the seller or the retailer of the product. 

Build Quality

Some outstanding products in the market offer great design and build quality. They have features like water and weather resistance and are, therefore, remarkably reliable and well-performing. Make sure to check for the build quality of the lens and whether it is made of metal or plastic. 

Smooth Focus

The focus capability of the lens should be smooth, fast, and reliable. In terms of manual focus, the focus ring should be of good quality. For autofocus, always check whether or the focus is quick or has delays. 

Quick Take - Best Lenses for Video

Before we dive into our review, here are the best lenses for video:

  1. ​Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens
  2. ​Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS II Telephoto Zoom Lens
  3. Yongnuo YN50mm F/1.8 Lens Large Aperture AF Lens

Review of the Best Lenses For Video

In this section, we have reviewed some of the best lenses for video in the market today. The reviews are all based on honest customer reviews, though keep in mind the specifications each model has to offer in order to choose the right lens for you. 

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens

PROS

  • Highly recommended for portraits 
  • Lightweight lens with compact size 
  • Works really well, even in night lighting 
  • Exceptionally smooth autofocus functionality
  • Good maximum aperture for creating sharp images 

CONS

  • Fixed focal length for limited use 
  • Not for wide-angled, landscape shots
  • Longevity issues reported by a few users

What Recent Buyers Report

This Canon 50mm prime lens is backed by quite a bit of positive customer feedback. The majority of buyers say it has allowed them to capture some outstanding portrait shots with a good blur in the background. In addition, many beginners have also used and been able to make the most out of it. Users have also shared great quality image results in a low-light environments, as well. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The most prominent features of this fixed focal length lens are its design and size. It has a sturdy build like all Canon lenses but also features a compact size and lightweight construction. It weighs only about 5.6 ounces and is also very small to easily fit in your handbag or backpack.

Why it Stands Out to Us

It’s the perfect lens for photographers who need to switch between two or more lenses. This is because the size is so small that it can be carried in hand or in a bag easily. Plus, it is also highly recommended to beginners and first-time buyers. 

Bottom Line

To sum it up, the Canon 50mm lens is a brilliant choice of product for almost everyone. It is known for producing great quality images. It also comes from a really well-known, well-reputed, marketing-leading brand, which further makes it a reliable product. 

Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III Telephoto Zoom Lens

PROS

  • Creates crisp and sharp images
  • Good option for wide-angle shots
  • Features image stabilization built-in
  • High-end lens, adding great value to money
  • Good for use by beginners and amateurs 

CONS

  • Focus issues reported by some buyers

What Recent Buyers Report

Many people who bought this were using a telephoto lens for the first time. They report it to be really easy and convenient to use. Plus, buyers report that it is exceptionally well-performing for long, wildlife, and wide-angled shots. A few buyers faced some issues with the delivery of the wrong or defective product. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The lens is packed with high-end, top-notch features. One of these is its built-in image stabilization. This feature ensures that all your shots, whether stills or motion pictures, will be stable and really sharp. Moreover, it also has both manual and autofocus functionalities, which further make it a great, multi-purpose product. 

Who Will Use This Most

The lens will come in handy for videographers who are traveling or on the go. It is also good for people who want to shoot videos from a good distance. It is slightly pricier than Canon’s prime lenses, but if you have the budget, it will surely add value to your money. 

Bottom Line

Nothing from Canon disappoints when it comes to great quality images and durability. This fast focusing, well-built zoom lens is meant for professional users who want to shoot some really innovative and creative images. It is great for outdoor photography and particularly wildlife.

Yongnuo YN50mm F/1.8 Lens Large Aperture AF Lens in Black for Canon EOS Rebel Digital Camera+INSEESI Clean Cloth

PROS

  • Great for low-light settings too
  • Features both manual and autofocus
  • Has a lightweight and compact design 
  • Affordable alternative with great features 
  • Compatible with a versatile range of cameras 
  • Package comes with front and back lens caps for protection 

CONS

  • Some autofocus issues experienced by buyers

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers of this Yongnuo lens were able to capture some really close-angled shots, both stills and motion. In addition, they also positively comment on the quality of bokeh it was able to create. Some buyers report that its autofocus is unreliable at times, as it either didn’t work or had some delays.

Why it Stands Out to Us

A 50mm prime lens such as this is a go-to for many photographers, considering the range of features it has to offer. But this one stands out to us in the market because not only does it offer great features and functions, along with an incredibly compact design, but it is also highly affordable. 

Who Will Use This Most

We think this lens is great for beginners to intermediate-level photographers. It is a good option for wedding portraits. However, we do not recommend this to professionals for videography. 

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Yongnuo Prime Lens is a marvelous product if you want to capture some really close-angled video shots that have crisp image quality. Its top-notch features, such as auto and manual focusing along with the included lens cap in the package, add great value to its affordable price tag.

Sony 55mm F1.8 Sonnar T FE ZA Full Frame Prime Lens - Fixed

PROS

  • Sturdy and sleek construction
  • Multi-layered coating on the lenses 
  • Also available with a UV protective filter 
  • Aspherical lens elements reduce aberration
  • 9 rounded diaphragm blades produce an incredible quality of images

CONS

  • Comes with a really heavy price tag

What Recent Buyers Report

The lens was bought by the majority of the people for use with Sony E-mount interchangeable lens cameras. Buyers report it to have incredibly smooth and precise focusing movements. Plus, users also experimented and were able to create exceptional background blurs, closed portrait shots, and good quality bokeh. The only thing the buyers don’t like is the lack of built-in stabilization feature. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

Like most of Sony’s lenses, this high-end, sleek lens stands out in the market for its design and capabilities. It has a sleek, metallic look and sturdy construction. It also features exceptional functionality, including the nine-blade diaphragm lens along with its aspherical lens element that reduces aberration and distortion in images. 

Who Will Use This Most

We would recommend this lens to professional videographers. It’s a good option for wedding videography, outdoor videography, and also good for low-light shooting. It’s an expensive lens and also more complex than others, so we don’t recommend it for beginners. 

Bottom Line

Wrapping it up, the Sony lens is one of the most high-end products in the market. It lacks the built-in stabilization feature, compared to other lenses like Canon that include that. However, the image quality it produces overpowers this. It has an exceptional build quality as well, along with an incredibly efficient design featuring an aspherical lens element and internal focusing movement. 

Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras

PROS

  • Both manual and autofocusing feature
  • Good quality focus with the help of Silent Wave Motor
  • Upper integrated lens coating to ensure high-quality images 
  • Spherical lens element to minimize distortion and aberration 
  • SIC enhances light transmission, good for low light videography and photography 

CONS

  • Buyers report it to be not as sharp as expected
  • Lots of vignette on lower right reported by users 

What Recent Buyers Report

Many buyers have compared this lens to Nikon’s other lenses and report that it has less crisp and sharp images, which was a major concern for many buyers. Moreover, buyers positively report that it has a solid construction, ensuring the longevity of the product. Some user reports also suggest that it has been used successfully for product photography. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

Nikon has always manufactured some groundbreaking products. For this reason, this 50mm lens impresses us as well, with its autofocus functionality, lightweight construction, and outstanding lens elements. The most distinctive feature is its low-light shooting capability. It has a super-integrated lens coating that ensures efficient light transmission. 

Who Will Use This Most

We would strongly recommend this lens for all Nikon camera users. It is also a good pick for beginners since it has an exceptionally smooth focusing movement. Moreover, it also seems to be an affordable alternative compared to other products in the market, so it’s a good choice for people on a budget. 

Who Will Use This Most

The lens has overall great features to offer to you. Nikon lenses are reliable because of the brand name, which, therefore, adds value to your invested money. Plus, it has top-notch, well-known Nikon features such as the SWM and the SIC lens design.

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Standard Zoom Lens

PROS

  • Comes with a lens dust cap
  • Backed by a 1-year warranty card
  • Fluorine coating keeps the lens clean at all times
  • Supported by an instructional book for ease of use
  • Aspherical lens elements ensure great quality images 

CONS

  • No built-in image stabilization
  • Pricier than most other models

What Recent Buyers Report

This high-end Canon lens is used by buyers in several environments and for multiple purposes. The majority of the buyers report that it works exceptionally well in low-light conditions and have also experimented with it for wedding photography and videography. Moreover, buyers also report that it is durable and long-lasting, and have used it for many years.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The most prominent, distinctive feature of this lens is its build quality. This Canon lens is well-known for its sturdy build that is meant to last for a long time. Moreover, it also adds value to your money with the added accessories that come in the package, such as the dust caps. With incredible lens elements and a user-friendly instructional guide, this unit stands out to us.

Who Will Use This Most

We think that the lens is more suited for professional videographers. It’s a great product for indoor shooting, especially for wedding events. However, it’s not the best, most affordable option for beginners considering the hefty price tag it comes with.

Bottom Line

Other than the price, nothing about this Canon lens needs a second thought. It’s well-built and well-designed with exceptional image quality and multi-purpose functionality. It’s a great product for low-light shooting. However, the lack of built-in stabilization might put off some buyers.

Best iPhone Lens for Video:
Moment - Anamorphic Lens

Moment - Anamorphic Lens for iPhone, Pixel, Samsung Galaxy and OnePlus Camera Phones

PROS

  • Promises to capture 4k quality videos
  • Extremely lightweight and compact in size
  • Backed by a generous warranty for a lifetime
  • Versatile compatibility with a range of mobile brands
  • Budget-friendly alternative to many other pricier products 
  • Highly travel-friendly design with small and lightweight build 

CONS

  • Only for use with smartphones 
  • Not for truly professional purposes 

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers experimented with this iPhone lens and were able to produce some great results. Many buyers made professional-level videos such as music videos with this lens and were hugely satisfied with the final results. While some people find it expensive and pricey, its versatility impressed many buyers as they were able to use it with Android phones, too.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

A small lens such as this one has a lot to offer. It is an exceptionally reliable and efficient product that promises to create phenomenal 4k quality videos. Its most distinctive feature is the lightweight, sturdy, and durable construction that allows it to be carried and used anywhere. Its portability is also commendable. 

Who Will Use This Most?

The lens is not meant for professional videographers. However, its high quality makes it an exceptional product for people who want to shoot pictures and videos on the go, and want to make the most out of their iPhone cameras. It is also a good choice for frequently traveling videographers, since it’s highly portable and travel-friendly. 

Bottom Line

To conclude, this iPhone lens is the best in the market. It’s a cheaper alternative if you want to start with videography. Moreover, it is also truly travel-friendly and portable, which further makes it really multi-functional. 

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F2.8 PRO Lens, for Micro Four Thirds Cameras

PROS

  • Has both manual and autofocus functionality
  • Really sturdy with durable construction quality 
  • Dust-proof lens design, ensuring safety and durability 
  • Good portability recommended for on-the-go photographers
  • Extremely fast, reliable, and smooth autofocusing mechanism

CONS

  • Pricier than most models in the market

What Recent Buyers Report

The lens is backed by some highly impressive images captured and experimented by users. Buyers report that it has been able to produce some really high-quality images even at great distances, including night sky and moon images. Moreover, buyers also report that it has an exceptionally reliable and smooth autofocus movement. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The most distinctive quality of this lens is its sturdy and durable build quality. It has a dust-proof, splash-proof, and freeze-proof design that makes it a suitable product for use in all types of conditions and environments. Moreover, it has been able to produce some really good shots of the night sky, as well as incredible close-up shots. This implies that it is truly multipurpose and, therefore, is one of the best. 

Who Will Use This Most

We would strongly recommend the lens to professional photographers and videographers. It is a high-end, top-notch product with an exceptional zoom range and build quality, making it a multipurpose lens, perfect for people with flexible budgets.

Bottom Line

Summing it up, the lens has great build quality and, therefore, exceptional functionality to offer. Its build quality is its most impressive feature and makes many professionals invest in it. It is a slightly expensive product, but the advanced technology that allows smooth focusing adds great value to the money. 

Best Video Lens for Canon 70D:
Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens

Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens(White box, New)

PROS

  • Great for shooting motion pictures with incredible stability
  • Built-in wide image stabilization feature for crisp quality images
  • Inner focusing system guarantees fast and smooth autofocusing 
  • Aspherical lens element guarantees high contrast and crisp images 
  • Lightweight yet sturdy construction, ensuring convenience and durability both 

CONS

  • Does not come backed by any sort of warranty
  • Reported to have stopped mid-shoot, making it slightly unreliable 

What Recent Buyers Report

Even though the Canon lens is equipped with advanced functionality, it has received some negative feedback from a few buyers, which makes it unsuitable for professionals. Apart from that, the stepper motor technology in this lens is reported to be really quiet and, therefore, highly efficient. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

Canon has never disappointed when it comes to producing lenses that have exceptionally advanced features in order to produce great, quality images. It also stands out in the market as one of the most efficient lenses with its STM technology, along with versatile lens design meant for creating some of the best-quality images. 

Who Will Use This Most

If you are looking for one lens that will be suitable for both still and motion pictures, then this is the best for you. It is a diverse product with multipurpose functionality. It’s great for everyone, whether professional or beginner-level videographers. 

Bottom Line

To wrap it up, this is another phenomenal lens by Canon that proves to be really useful and beneficial in multiple situations and environments. It’s a good option for low-light images, as well. It is also available in a more affordable price range, which further makes it an all-in-one product. 

Types of Lenses Perfect for Video 

The market is packed with a wide range of lenses for different photography and videography occasions. However, there are only a few that qualify as the best lenses for video. Zoom, wide-angled, fisheye, or ultra-wide lenses are some examples. 

Zoom Lenses

Zoom lenses are those with a fully-adjustable focal length. In contrast to these, you will find prime lenses with a fixed focal length. Prime lenses have a smaller body and are lighter in weight, as well as cheaper in price. In contrast, zoom lenses are pricier and more suitable for wide-angled shots, wedding photography, and videography purposes. Their focal length varies between 55 and 200mm. 

Wide-Angle Lenses

Wide-angle lenses have a focal length varying between 24 and 40mm. They are perfect for outside photography or wide views of interiors such as kitchen interiors and house interiors. They are also good for architectural photography. 

Fisheye Lenses

These are also known as ultra-wide lenses. They have a focal length varying between 8 and 24mm. These are perfect for panoramic shots

Conclusion

Summing it up, we can say there are particular lenses appropriate for particular purposes and uses. Before you can select one to invest in, it is important to see if it is fit for your purposes. Moreover, other important considerations when buying lenses for videography include warranty information and construction quality. Keeping these in mind, you’ll be able to find the best pick in absolutely no time. 

People Also Ask

If you are buying a lens for videography for the first time, you will have loads of unanswered questions. Moreover, investing in lenses is a critical decision and, therefore, should be given a lot of thought. In this section, we will answer some important common queries to help you make a wise investment. 

Is a 50mm Lens Good for Video?

A 50mm lens is a prime lens, meaning that it has a fixed focal length. This limits the capacity or the size you can capture. Therefore, 50mm is a good lens for photography, though not necessarily for videography. It creates great quality blur in the background and has a good aperture value and, therefore, can be used for videography but is not the best option. 

Are Prime Lenses Better for Video?

Prime lenses have fixed focal lengths, really smooth focus capabilities, and wide apertures. Their fixed focal length makes them appropriate for portrait photography and pictures that require bokeh or good background blur. However, they are not the best for videography. 

What Lens Do Youtubers Use?

For pre-production YouTube videos, the type of lens is always a big question. Usually, many people go for prime lenses for shooting YouTube videos due to their ease of use, compact size, and great image quality. Moreover, some prime lenses cost less than zoom lenses, which further makes them a primary choice for many Youtubers.