Top 10 Best DSLR Lens for Shooting Video with Canon, Nikon or Sony This Year
With the increasing chasm in time management, people of twenty-first century seek everything that is hasty and rapid. Likewise, internet has intertwined our lives completely. With the increasing influence of the internet for quick and easy information, blogging has become a popular career option amongst many people.
Even blogging has been modified into ‘vlogging’ or video blogging, for dispersing the information quickly and interestingly. In the course of this practice, various types of digital cameras have gained immense importance in the lives of the bloggers. A proper camera with proper resolution of lens is very important to provide the career of vlogging the proper impetus.
Vlogging becoming an increasingly popular trend, with the webinars, facebook live activities and doing podcasts, it is very important that a vlogger should choose the accurate camera for recording the videos accurately. The lens plays an important part in this case.
Any discrepancy with the lens might lead to poor video quality, ruining the video and eventually the career of the vlogger. This article endeavors to help the vloggers with the proper choice of accurate and best lenses for their DSLR cameras. Some of the best lenses of 2017 are catalogued with all the necessary information about their features, eventually in this article.
Function and Importance of a Lens in a DSLR
A Digital Single-Lens Reflex camera or DSLR has no doubt become a popular type of camera amongst the photographers and camera lovers. Much evolved from the early day cameras, it uses very advanced mechanism of photography. This has enhanced the quality of the photographs also.
It uses the amalgamation of optics and reflex mechanism for producing photographs. Using the single lens reflex scheme and a digital sensor, high quality pictures are produced. Thus it is the lens that possesses immense importance in these cameras.
The picture is mainly produced with the traversing of the proper amount of light through the lens and then on the reflex scheme of some view finder that produces the image with even more minute mechanisms.
There is a large range of DSLR lenses, varying in quality and budget. As people have become more prone nowadays to buy DSLR cameras only, they delve in the confusion regarding the proper quality of the lens. On buying a DSLR and particularly its lens, the buyer has to keep a few things in mind.
Since DSLR cameras are very different from the other types of cameras, the formers’ sensors are generally smaller than the full frame cameras. Hence the impact of lenses is also different from the film cameras. Hence the manufacturers provide special emphasis to the ‘equivalent’ focal length of a lens.
The focal length of the lens comprises of the distance between the lens and the image sensor, when the subject is in focus. Usually for a wide angle of view, a lens of small focal length is required and for a small picture, a lens of large focal length is required.
Types of DSLR Lenses
The various types of DSLR lenses are categorized below owing to their functions mainly.
- Standard Lenses– these types of lenses have the focal length, approximately equal to the diagonal view of the camera. The lens was used to describe 35mm or 50mm range in traditional film cameras. However the use of standard lenses in the DSLRs has become rampant again. This is mainly because with the use of these lenses, the picture turns out to be equal in quality as observed with the naked eye. It is also called ‘normal lenses’ as it makes the distance between camera and the object look normal, unlike many other lenses.
- Kit Lenses– these types of lenses are generally offered with the DSLR camera, during the sale, mainly as an extension of the camera package. These are cheapest lenses and are often referred to as ‘starter lenses’. They have a normal focal length, 18-55m, with a design to serve the purpose of daily shooting. These lenses usually have nothing remarkable about them, and it is better to buy the body of the DSLR and upgrade the lenses later. Also these lenses are incapable of providing versatility. However, these lenses are good for starting experimentation with the photography.
- Prime Lenses– a lens of fixed focal length, prime lens is slowly becoming unpopular in an age where photographers want a range of focal length for their lenses. Prime lenses are known for their spectacular image quality and speed. It provides the maximum aperture and remarkable quality. However no zooming facility is provided by these types of lenses.
- Telephoto Zoom Lenses- these are the most popular DSLR lenses in the current times. They have a wide array of focal lengths, providing some extremely good photographs. Often in the telephoto zoom lenses, you will see two focal lengths inscribed. Lenses with the focal range above 100mm are termed as telephoto lenses. They allow the ability to zoom in on an action. These are the lenses, mostly used in travel and landscape photography. If you decide to buy a telephoto zoom lens, let the focal range be above 300mm.
- Macro Lenses- these lenses are highly facilitated to take close up photography with a short focus distance. These lenses produce the life size image of a small object with unimaginable accuracy. They usually have a long focal length.
- Wide Angle Lenses- as can be understood from the name, they enable the photographer to take wide angled views. Landscape photography is a specialty with these types of lenses. The focal length for a wide angle lens is 35mm whereas that of an ultra-wide angle lens is 24mm.
For shooting videos, however, the lens specifications are absolutely needed. Strong lenses like telephoto zoom lenses, prime lenses and wide angle lenses are required at times while at other times the necessity requires some other. The following article tends to cater to the needs of the buyers regarding the best lenses for video shooting.
Top Ten Best Lenses for Shooting Videos with Canon Nikon or Sony DSLRs
With the increasing trend of video blogging, the need for perfect lenses has been fuelled up. This is mainly because video blogging no more involves monologues by a single person. It includes story telling techniques, cinematic showcases, interviews and lot more.
For catering to the needs of these aspects of video blogging, lenses of different types have been invented used. The following are the accounts of some best lenses in the tradition of video blogging-
1. Rokinon 35mm Cine T1.5 Lens
This is considered to be the best prime lens for shooting a video. As it is already known that prime lenses do not provide the zooming facilities, therefore zooming while filming cannot be done. However it produces a much sharper image and the picture quality is spectacular. With a perfect focal length and de-clicked aperture, it provides a complete control over the aperture and less noise. It has the maximum aperture of f1.5. The high speed, wide angle ranges and a perfect focal length produces some remarkable videos.
The maximum aperture enables a right amount of light to hit the sensor, thereby producing some remarkable videos. All these are accurate for shooting high quality, dramatic landscapes and street scenes at low-lights. These types of lenses are perfect for product reviews such as for tech channels on Youtube. The price is $499.00. It is suitable for DSLRs like Canon, Nikon, Sony or Panasonic because it comes with different mounts.
- It is affordable.
- Easy to use
- Remarkable quality and professional finish
- The build-up quality is slightly poor
- This lens cannot be used in humid, rainy, misty or wet climates.
2. Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens
Besides Rokinon, the three 50mm lens from Canon are also very cheap and handy. They are-
i. 50mm f/1.8 STM
The lens falls into the category of prime lenses with a fixed focal length.This type of lens is cheap as well as very handy and strong built. It has the focal length of 50mm and aperture of f/1.8. These lenses are extremely good for nighttime photography and video shooting. The Stepper Motor or STM provides the facilities of smooth and silent and continuous move during video shooting and smooth moves during still pictures. The lens is used only for Canon cameras
ii. 50mm f/1.4 USM
This lens is extremely efficient in providing some strong and clear low light pictures and videos and shallow depth of field. The Ultrasonic autofocus Motor or USM helps the lens to operate fast and practically soundless. The lens has the focal length of 50mm and aperture f/1.4This lens is also suitable for Canon cameras.
iii. 50mm f/1.2 USM
Along with the features, mentioned above, it comes with an additional feature of being weather resistant. The Ultrasonic autofocus Motor help or USM helps the lens to operate fast and practically soundless. The lens has the focal length of 50mm and aperture of f/1.2. The negative aspect of the lens is that it lacks the property of zooming. The price is $1,299.00.These lenses have a negative aspect about them that is they lack the feature of image stabilizations. Hence a tripod must be used while shooting
3. Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 Lens
By far considered to be one of the best lenses for shooting a video interview, the Sigma 17-50mm lens is very popular. This lens falls under the category of flexible zoom lenses. It is also considered to be the best hand held gun lens, the constant aperture facilitating image stabilizations. These enable the vlogger or the photographer to get some excellent shots and record a stable and clear interview.
The range of the focal length, from 17-50mm, shows that the lens can zoom from 17mm to up to 50mm of range. The construction of this lens is itself a beauty. It contains multi-layered coated glass that prevents flares, specially privileging outdoor shoots. The minimum focusing distance is 11inches throughout the entire zooming range. The facilitation of zoom is very neat. The constant aperture ring produces some excellent shots. The lens can be used with Canon, Nikon, Sony and even Pentax DSLR cameras.
- a wide range of zooming and filming
- the multilayered coated glass of the lens that prevents flaring, efficient in outdoor shoots, the constant aperture produces some excellent outcomes.
- The built-up is that of plastic
- The manual focus ring is clumsy and fiddly
- The resolution tails off above f/11
4. Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens
This lens has one of the best buyers’ ratings for interview purposes. It has the same aperture, focal length and a quality of image stabilizations, producing some excellent shots. It again falls under the category of flexible zooming lenses. However, it has the limitation like it can be used in its best manner with Canon cameras only. The lens is known for excellent lowlight videos and sharper images than the lenses in the standard lens kit.
The zooming facility does not hamper the quality of the video.The range of the focal length shows it can zoom from 17mm and up to 55mm. It only requires the adjustment of ISO or brightness to acquire the best possible image quality. The aperture, which is f/2.8 facilitates a unique quality of blurring the background. This further enhances the performances of the professional vloggers. Further the aperture facilitates a silent feature and the camera does not pick up unwanted sounds. It is absolutely shake proof during video shooting.
- Sharp images.
- Wide angle views.
- Fixed aperture and blurred background.
- Slightly more expensive than EF-S lens.
5. Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM L Lens
This lens, with its Hyper Sonic Motor or HSM, is considered to be one of the best lenses for shooting expert quality videos. Falling under the category of flexible zoom lenses, it produces some neat zooming techniques. The blurring of background enables an even more unique effect to the videos. This lens has mostly been a buyer’s favourite because of its sharp image quality, wide angles and great performances.
The wide focal range and the constant aperture enables it a beautiful zooming with the object being in focus always. The focal range from 18mm-35mm, shows that it can zoom from 18mm to 35mm range. The only negative point of the lens is that the price of this lens is a bit higher. But nonetheless it has become the most sought-after lens amongst the current generation photographers. The lens comes with multiple mounts and hence can be used with the Canon, Sony and Nikon DSLRs.
- The operation is fast and the aperture is constant enabling high quality low light pictures, zooming happens very neatly.
- The image quality is excellent, beautiful bokeh or background blur like an efficient and equivalent to full frame.
- the zooming range is however minimum.
- At the far ends of the zooming range, distortions occur sometimes, no built-in image stabilization.
6. Canon EF 135mm f/2 L USM Lens
This lens is considered to be the best Telephoto lens for shooting something stronger like documentary. The lens enables the videographer to shoot objects moving unknowingly at a longer distance. It nonetheless produces sharp images of the object. The feature of blurred background can also be found in these types of lenses, making the cinematic effects even more authentic. The ‘L’ glass lens is a strong and best feature of lens glass. It is a high quality glass that is antiglare.
This lens can be used in full frame and APS-C cameras. It also produces some wide angles. It also has the ability of fast auto-focusing, specially needed for cinematic effects. However its handling is a bit tougher than the other lenses. Once practiced this lens does half the wonder of the video shooting. The Ultrasonic autofocus Motor helps in fast and soundless operation. The glass is said to be ultra-low glass with fluorite elements and inner focusing rings. The lens however lacks the capability of zooming. However the features suit the price well.
- Very sharp images are produced.
- The operations are fast.
- The background blurring or bokeh is mind boggling.
- The resolution and compression is spectacular
- No weather sealing is present which means it cannot be used in all weathers.
- No in-built image stabilizer.
7. Rokinon Cine 85mm f/1.5 Lens
For producing some authentic cinematic effects, the Rokinon Cine lens is ideal. It is cheaper, compared to the Canon telephoto lens but nonetheless equally stable and handy. The de-clicked aperture is its primary feature signifying that it is adjusted manually. This reduces the pickup of unwanted noises and jerking motions are smoothened. The small gears on the side of the lens enable the videographers to use the lens with other accessories like focus or aperture control devices.
This further enables them to maintain constant moving focus, without distorting the picture. However one negative aspect of this lens is that everything on the lens is done manually. This means that this lens cannot be used as a practice kit for the start-up videographers. There is a smooth focus and aperture ring quality, inbuilt in it. The minimum focusing distance it offers is 3.6feet. The price of the lens is $300.00. Hence the price is reasonably cheaper than the canon, with the features being outstanding. It can be used with Canon, Sony, Nikon and other DSLRs.
- This lens is very easy to use.
- High quality pictures are produced, compatible, and the quality of videos is like a professional, affordable, minimum distortion, even illumination across the frame.
- This lens is also very versatile.
- Does not contain optical stabilization.
- The manual focus design cannot be handled by everybody.
8. Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 Lens
This lens is considered to be the best for shooting videos with a wide angle range. It has a constant aperture preventing exposures during shoot. It also enables some lowlight shoots perfectly. However it is not as sharp as prime lenses. But it is very accurate in covering events in a wild field of view at a small space. The fast aperture is extremely a significant feature of this lens and thus it has become the favourite piece of lens amongst the film makers and videographers.
The mount is also hardy as it is made up of extremely strong material. This wide angle lens is very much remarkable for shooting outdoor scenes and time-lapse shots. It consists of two aspheric lens elements and two super-low dispersion lens elements. The mount options are available only for Canon and Nikon DSLRs. The multi-layer coating consists of 77mm filter thread. It is mostly imported and is intended for sale within USA majorly.
- Very sturdy mount material,
- Perfect low-light shoots,
- Very high center resolution and very high corner resolution.
- Marvelous optical performance.
- Ultra-wide field of view is provided,
- No inbuilt image stabilization.
- Chromatic aberrations can be observed in the corners.
- The glass is not antiflare.
9. Canon 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Lens
This is a recent release from Canon and its remarkable performance has immediately uplifted it in the group of ten best video lenses for DSLRs. It is a chiefly recommended wide angle lens. Also the title shows that it is an STM or Stepper Motor Technology lens. As is the feature of an STM lens, it practically makes no noise while focusing, even with cameras like 70D, having hybrid autofocus. Further it also absorbs no extra noise that might hinder the quality of the video. It possesses the perfect and optic image stabilization feature that enables the videographer to shoot wide angle views even in the handheld position.
he maximum aperture being f/4.5-5.6, this lens is poor in low light video shooting. However time lapse pictures are shot with greater precision. Another limitation of this lens is that it is made up of plastic, entirely from the filter thread to the lens mount. However no discrepancy in performance, on account of the plastic material can be observed. The closes t focusing distance is 0.72 feet. The price is said to be worthy of the excellent features this lens possess.
- Cheap AND lightweight
- The four stages of stabilization takes faster shutter speed.
- full time manual focus can be achieved.
- The seven blade aperture enhances performance and quality.
- Narrow aperture.
- Whenever the inbuilt flash is used, it casts a shadow which has to be cropped out later.
10. Rokinon 8mm f/3.5 Lens
This is a remarkable and a very popular fish eye lens. The fish eye lens provides humongous wide field of view. It is also affordable and comfortable and interesting to work with. This lens is extremely appropriate to use with crop sensor cameras. However if they are used with full frame cameras, often a dark circle remains visible around the video. The whole process is handled manually with a manual focus that is easy to use. The systems are smooth enough to provide an unhindered working.
If the videographer is a novice, trying to experiment with video shooting, this type of lens is highly recommended. The lens can be used with any form of DSLR cameras like Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax, Olympus and Alpha series. This lens also is considered to be hybrid aspherical lenses. The glass features multilayer coating that prevents flares. It has a minimum focusing distance of 12 inches for enhanced close up shots.
- Very sharp image quality.
- A very wide angle of view.
- Quite cheap.
- Excellent outcome.
- No inbuilt image stabilization.
- Manually operated focus only.
Which type of lens is best for shooting, optimal Prime or flexible Zoom?
The availability of the best lenses has been enumerated with as much information as possible. However first and foremost, the videographer has to decide exactly what type of lens he/she is going to use for his shooting purpose.
The experts might scroll through this piece of information but the beginners need to read and decide very carefully.Prime lenses have a fixed focal length. As a result a wide range of view is not possible with these types of lenses.
Zooming in and out is therefore not possible in a prime lens. This is one disadvantage. However this may actually be a boon in disguise as because of the lack of wide range, the performance is superior. They also have maximum apertures which enable the light to hit the sensor more and produce some remarkable videos, adjusting the light and the brightness.
Zoom lenses; on the other hand, enables zooming over a long range. The range of focal length shows its zooming capabilities within that range. They usually cover a wide range of view.
The aperture enables much light to hit the sensor and produce worthy videos. However even in zoom lenses, to cover all the focal lengths, you will need the help of prime lenses. Thus the use of the lens, to an extent, depends upon the type of shooting.
But it is an accepted notion that prime lenses; hold more importance than other types of lenses.