Best Nikon Lenses For Video – 2019 Ultimate Buyer’s Guide

If you’ve used different kinds of camera lenses before, you would know that those made particularly for photography may not always be the best choice for videography.

The wide variety of lenses available on the market can confuse you – we hope this article can make your shopping experience easier!

​Let's take a look.

Comparison Chart of the Best Nikon Lenses For Video

PRODUCT DETAILS
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Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G

  • Nanocrystal coat to reduce flare
  • Includes internal focus (Silent Wave Motor)
  • Best overall with a focal length of 105 mm and aperture range
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Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G

  • Focal length range of 24 mm to 70 mm
  • Dust and moisture resistant due to rugged build
  • Runner up lens with nanocrystal coat and ED (extra-low dispersion) glass to reduce aberrations
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Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED

  • Features the M/A mode (manual or autofocus)
  • Maximum diagonal angle of view is 114 degrees in full-frame
  • Best for the money with focal length ranging from 14 mm to 24 mm
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Rokinon Cine CV35-N 35mm T1.5

  • Best lens for video Nikon
  • Has a minimum focusing distance of 12 inches
  • Ultra-multi-coated lenses (UMC) to reduce glare and ghosting
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Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G

  • Best D3300 video lens
  • Features the A-M mode (auto-manual)
  • Comes with vibration reduction and silent wave motor
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Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G

  • Features the rear focus option
  • Best lens for the Nikon D5100 video
  • Has a fast aperture of f/1.8G and focal length of 35 mm
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Are All Videography Lenses The Same?

Videography lenses are extremely versatile; they can be used for photography of different kinds and for filmmaking. However, Nikon offers a wide range of lenses at different price points for everyone, whether beginner or professional. These lenses may have some features in common, but each is curated with some unique characteristics to cater to different uses. 

There are Two Kinds of Lenses: Still and Cinematic Lenses. 

Still lenses are the most appropriate for still photography, such as portraits and landscapes, whereas cinematic lenses are the primary choice for videography. These have minimal breathing and stabilization features. For example, some expensive videography lenses offer a feature called “Vibration Reduction,” which is a great plus point when shooting handheld videos. Users who own lenses devoid of this feature may need to invest in a tripod otherwise, but could still not be able to achieve the same level of stability. 

Lenses may differ in their aperture speed and focal length range in their size and weight and autofocus features. All these characteristics vary in different lenses, giving them their unique video quality.

How Do I Choose a Videography Lens?

Whether it's your first time buying a lens or you’re experienced in this field, it's important to have a clear vision of the kind of videos you want to film and what your priorities are when looking to invest. Here are some of the components you should consider when making your choice:

Stability

The best lens for videography will allow you to shoot handheld videos without the need for a tripod. This is a crucial factor, particularly if you do not wish to invest in a tripod. Image stabilization is used to ensure sharp video footage at slow shutter speeds and prevents blur and unsteadiness. 

Focus Breathing

When shooting a video, you may need to adjust your focus multiple times, especially if you are focusing manually. To make the focus smooth and quiet, a Silent Wave Motor (SWM) is attached to reduce focus breathing and avoid distractions.

Focal Length 

Focal length is always in millimeters and is useful in widening the angle of view. A low focal length will allow more of the scene to be captured, whereas a high focal length will help in zooming further into the scene. A good focal length range will aid in smoother video footage and prevent distortion.

Aperture

The aperture determines the amount of light entering the camera and helps with exposure. The wider the opening, the more light it lets in, and the more shallow your depth of view is. This allows for a cinematic effect in your videos.

Quick Take - Best Nikon Lenses For Video

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

  1. Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G
  2. ​Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G
  3. ​Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED

Review of the Best Nikon Lenses for Video

Now that you know what to look for in lenses made for videography, it’s time to delve into the many different models made for the purpose. Nikon makes plenty of good quality lenses; there’s something for everyone. Described below are our top picks:

Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED Lens

PROS

  • Maintains sharpness in close-up shots
  • Versatile use, great for video and portraits
  • The blades are rounded for a beautiful bokeh effect
  • Almost no chromatic aberration or coma in the videos
  • Features the new VR II Vibration Reduction technology

CONS

  • More expensive than other models
  • Heavier than other models on the market
  • There might be difficulties in focusing accurately

What Recent Buyers Report

Users love this lens for videography. Its sharpness is remarkable, and the bokeh effect in videos creates beautiful shots. The long focal length allows it to zoom in smoothly to capture the tiniest of details. Users also really like the build and the fast autofocus mechanism.

Why it Stands Out to Us

An important feature to consider when using a lens for videography is the stability in the video. The NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G lens comes with the VR II Vibration Reduction image stabilization feature that is one of our favorites. It eliminates any motion in the video brought about when shooting handheld videos, bypassing the need for a tripod.

Who Will Use This Most

At the high cost it comes with, this lens is appropriate for a professional videographer who has good experience with other lenses and needs ease of use. It is also great for portrait photography as it has a long focal length for zoomed-in shots.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for something with a long focal length and are willing to invest more to improve your video quality, the NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G has a lot of great features to offer. The sharpness and bokeh effects, in particular, are sure to make this your go-to lens for shooting all types of videos.

Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Zoom Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras

PROS

  • Can be used with DX as well as FX formats
  • Robust for use in tough weather conditions
  • Exceptional wide-angle telephoto zoom capability
  • Strong build that will allow the buyer to use it for decades
  • Equipped with the Silent Wave Motor (SWM) for quick autofocusing

CONS

  • Very expensive
  • Has slight distortion and vignette issues
  • Weighs higher than other lenses, making it difficult to handle

What Recent Buyers Report

Professionals find this a worthwhile investment, despite the heavy weight. It has much to offer. Its long focal length and spectacular, tack sharp shots have impressed users and improved their video content. Moreover, the best feature is that it can be used in moisture and other harsh weather conditions.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The lens is versatile, fast, and exceptionally marvelous. Its wide-angle telephoto zoom capability and rugged build stand out the most. It can be used in dim light situations and has a fast aperture for maximum video quality, making it versatile to use in any weather and lighting.

Who Will Use This Most

This lens is loved by professional videographers. It is also recommended for videographers who wish to shoot videos out in nature or on different terrains. Although this lens can be used in both FX and DX formats, it is advisable to look up the particular models it can attach to before purchasing.

Bottom Line

The NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G has received many compliments for its sharpness, reliability, and tough build. It’s constructed using good quality glass, making it one of the best. If you wish to enhance your video quality as a professional, this is one of your best options.

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED

PROS

  • Excellent sharpness from edge to edge
  • Tough build for various weather conditions
  • Silent Wave Motor allows quiet and accurate focusing
  • Works great on both full-frame (FX) and cropped (DX) sensors
  • Features Super Integrated Coating and Nano Crystal Coating which reduces ghosting and flare

CONS

  • There may be some issues in focusing
  • Very heavy so there may be problems with handling
  • Lens bulges out slightly, making it more prone to damage

What Recent Buyers Report

The ultra-wide-angle and sharpness and depth of the videos have left users dumbfounded. They find it not only fit for videography but versatile enough for portraiture too. Users do advise that special care should be taken of this lens as it is heavy, and it bulges out slightly, making it more prone to damage. Apart from that, there’s nothing they have to complain about with this lens.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED is the best value for your money. It features some incredible characteristics, exhibiting excellent sharpness from edge to edge across the frame, even in backlit conditions. The aperture of f/2.8 gives a cinematic look of shallow depth of field in videos. It even allows the lens to be used in backlit situations.

Who Will Use This Most

This lens is engineered for professionals with its wide range of features, as elaborated above. However, with the value for money, the NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED is a good investment for any videographer, beginner or professional, and it is sure to last a lifetime.

Bottom Line

Equipped with a fast aperture of f/2.8, the NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G has received great accolades for its design and technology. It is perfect for use in any weather condition, such as in dust or moisture, making it robust and handy. If you plan on shooting videos out in nature or in tough terrains, this lens is the best value for your money.

Best DSLR Lens for Video Nikon:
Rokinon Cine CV35-N 35mm T1.5

Rokinon Cine CV35-N 35mm T1.5 Aspherical Wide Angle Cine Lens for Nikon DSLR

PROS

  • High-quality sharpness and clarity
  • Developed mainly for film and video shooting
  • Aperture ring is unclicked for smooth iris pulls
  • Smooth and quiet exposure and focusing adjustments during recording
  • Features two high refractive index elements and an aspherical element to curtail chromatic aberrations

CONS

What Recent Buyers Report

This lens has surpassed the buyers’ expectations. They appreciate that the focusing and other adjustments are quiet during recording and love the quality, especially during close-ups. Moreover, it can even be used for photography. One buyer reported it to be a “filmmaker’s dream!”

Why it Stands Out to Us

Primarily built for video making, the Rokinon Cine CV35-N 35mm T1.5 is a remarkable lens. It produces high-quality shots and produces cinematic looks similar to a telephoto lens, perfect for use for a low-budget filmmaker. At such a low price point and exceptional quality, it is hard to beat.

Who Will Use This Most

This lens costs considerably less than many other lenses on the market and is hence befitting for someone on a low budget. It is designed for use in video making or film shooting; therefore, if you plan on doing either of those but are new in the field and want to test the waters first, this is your best option.

Bottom Line

The Rokinon Cine CV35-N 35mm T1.5 is a marvelous lens for the indie filmmaker. The unclicked aperture lens and refractive index elements are its standout features, contributing to high-quality videos with smooth and quiet zooming-in ability. If you’re on a short budget and want a good lens for filmmaking, look no further.

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G Vibration Reduction II Zoom Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras

PROS

  • High focal length range of 18-55 mm
  • ED glass elements reduce color inconsistency
  • Lightweight and compact, giving it the “walk-around lens” title
  • Vibration reduction feature for image stabilization and preventing blurring
  • Features a rounded seven-blade diaphragm which makes out-of-focus elements appear natural

CONS

  • There may be some faults in autofocusing
  • Not robust enough to be used in rugged conditions
  • Plastic build, taking away the smoothness of a metal built lens

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers report this as a great bargain. At such a low price, it delivers quite a lot. It is light yet sturdy and produces excellent quality videos with rich color chemistry. The VR feature allows users to shoot handheld videos, without the need of buying a tripod, saving a couple more bucks!

Why it Stands Out to Us

This lens is one of the best fits for the D3300 model. We love it for its price, offering rich colors and sharp imagery. It also features a rounded seven-blade diaphragm, which makes out-of-focus elements appear natural; an important consideration to make when shooting videos.

Who Will Use This Most

To anyone looking for an affordable yet high-quality lens, look no further. The NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G is easy to use and handle; hence can be used by both amateurs and professionals. Its flexibility allows it to be used efficiently for photography as well.

Bottom Line

This lens is a total all-rounder for videographers on a budget. It has the perfect balance of features, ranging from image stabilization to a broad range of focal lengths. It is rare to find lenses at such low costs with the vibration reduction feature, giving us the liberty to make handheld videos and films, but this lens surely has it all.

Best Lens for Nikon D5100 Video:
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras

PROS

  • Creates a beautiful bokeh effect
  • Works great in dim lighting situations
  • Cheap, making it perfect for a beginner
  • Light and compact, thus easy to handle
  • Rear focus allows quick and smooth autofocus and eliminates front barrel rotation and lens length changes

CONS

  • Trouble focusing accurately
  • Has slight distortion and vignette issues
  • The filter thread is plastic which could wear out over time

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers have had a great experience with their purchase. They appreciate that it comes packaged with a carrying case and lens hood. Moreover, it captures crisp images with sharp details and works in low light too. The M/A mode feature comes in handy when filming videos. Overall, most users are quite pleased with this lens.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G is the best fit for the Nikon D5100 camera. It mounts on it easily and creates the perfect chemistry for filmmaking. The rear focus feature makes it easier to autofocus smoothly and eliminates front barrel rotation and lens length changes during recording.

Who Will Use This Most

The lens can be used by amateurs and professionals alike. At the low price it comes at, it can serve as a great beginners’ lens for filmmaking. It can be your go-to lens for videography and photography. Likewise, professionals can take advantage of its features and shoot exceptional videos.

Bottom Line

Pairing a fast aperture with rear focus features, Nikon has created a beautiful lens for videography. It creates beautiful bokeh effects and works excellently in dim lighting. If you’re an amateur and have just started videography, the NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G is a great, budget-friendly and affordable option.

What Do I Need to Know Before Buying a Videography Lens?

We have gone through the factors that need to be considered when investing in a videography lens, and we have reviewed the top models on the market. There are a few things to consider as well, and we have described them below:

Budget

Everyone has a different budget. When reading reviews, keep your budget in mind, so you know what you’re getting for your money. If you are a beginner, it is a wise suggestion to start off cheap and practice before you invest in an expensive lens.

Warranty

It is preferable to test your product in person and try it out before making the purchase. Inquire about the manufacturer’s warranty in case of damage. 

Survey the Market

Thorough research is essential before making your purchase. Decide which kind of lens you’re looking for based on your expertise and whether it features characteristics important for videography. Read what buyers have to say about their purchase and if they got the value for their money. 

Type of Lens

Do not forget to check the weight and size of the lens to ensure it can be handled easily. A rugged lens can be used in tough terrains, so look that up too. And most importantly, review whether the lens is a cinematic one for better video quality. 

Conclusion

Videography is a great hobby and is being pursued worldwide. With people getting more and more creative with their work, there is a wide variety of lenses, specifically being created for this art. We hope our guide helps in your shopping experience and gives you an insight into what to look for.

People Also Ask

Whether you're a beginner or a professional, there might be some questions in your mind after reading this article. Let us help you with that. Below are the most frequently asked questions with their answers. We hope they help clarify things better for you and aid you in your purchasing process!

Is a 50mm Lens Good for Video?

A 50 mm lens is the easiest to frame and gives you a wide-angle. It is the go-to lens for videography and photography. It’ll improve the composition of your footage and even allow you to shoot in dim lighting. Moreover, it will also help achieve beautiful bokeh. All in all, it is a versatile lens that can cater to all your needs. 

Is Prime Lens Good for Video?

Prime lenses have fixed focal lengths but overcome zoom lenses in terms of quality. The glass in these lenses is very precise, producing extremely sharp footage. If you’re a beginner, a prime lens is a budget-friendly option for filmmaking and videography.

Can I Vlog with DSLR?

Vlogging with a DSLR is a far better option than with a smartphone. A prime lens would be a good option for this purpose, and it is important that the lens has a wide aperture to capture more light, especially in dark conditions. Another useful feature to look for would be the autofocus feature since vloggers do not find it practical to keep focusing during recording.

What is the Best Aperture for Video?

Aperture is basically the opening that allows light to enter. It is the most important camera setting in videography. To achieve that cinematic effect, it is recommended to look for an aperture of f/8 or faster. This will improve your lighting and overall video quality.