In this era of smartphones, video creation has become accessible to everyone, regardless of their familiarity with the technical aspects of videography. Videos have become the preferred method of communication in modern times. As someone who creates video content, I understand the importance of having the best equipment. Along with my skills, the quality of my videos greatly depends on the lenses I use. Today, I want to share my experience with the best video lenses you should try.
1. Yongnuo YN 50mm f/1.8 Lens
If you’re a hobbyist looking for a more affordable option, the Yongnuo YN 50mm f/1.8 Lens is a great choice. While it may lack some of the advanced features found in more expensive lenses, it is still highly capable for everyday shooting. The lens has a plastic housing and lens mount, bearing a resemblance to Canon’s well-known “nifty fifty” Mark II version.
The lens’s narrow focus ring makes it difficult to mount a focus gear for use with a follow focus. However, the f/1.8 maximum aperture makes it ideal for low-light situations. Its seven-blade iris enables excellent selective focusing techniques. While the image may be slightly soft when the aperture is wide open, stopping it down by one or two stops produces sharp and high-quality images. This affordable entry-level lens is perfect for beginners.
2. Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 Lens
The Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Art lens from Sigma’s highly respected Art line is a versatile zoom lens suitable for various photography situations or projects. With a constant maximum aperture of f/2.8 throughout the zoom range, it offers a shallow depth of field. Even at its largest aperture, the lens maintains impressive sharpness.
The Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 lens features anti-aberration features and an optical stabilizer system, making it excellent for stabilizing handheld videos. It also has a Hyper Sonic Motor for enhanced focusing performance and a nine-blade diaphragm that provides smooth bokeh. Weighing approximately 2 pounds, the lens is well-built, though the barrel is not weather-sealed. The lens mount, however, features a rubber weather-seal ring. The Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 lens is a great all-purpose option.
3. Irix Cine Lenses
Irix Cine lenses are a good choice for amateur to experienced filmmakers. They offer a more budget-friendly option compared to higher-end lenses. Designed for full-frame cameras, these lenses utilize the full sensor area. They are available in popular mounts such as EF, E, MFT, and PL.
The Irix Cine lens range boasts a sturdy design with rubber sealing for protection against rain or dust. With a 9-blade iris, they produce beautiful rounded bokeh. The optical system consists of 4 HR lenses, 1 ED lens, and 1 ASP, ensuring minimal aberrations and distortions. Other focal lengths are available, including 11mm, 15mm, and 150mm.
4. Sony FE 20mm F1.8 G Lens
The Sony FE 20mm F1.8 G lens is an ultra-wide-angle prime lens suitable for various types of photography, including video, astrophotography, street photography, landscape photography, and portraiture. It features three extra-low dispersion glass elements and two advanced aspherical elements to prevent chromatic aberration and ensure corner-to-corner image quality, even at the largest F1.8 aperture.
Equipped with two extreme dynamics (XD) Linear Motors, the FE 20mm F1.8 G lens provides rapid, accurate, and quiet autofocus for both stills and videos. Weighing just 13.2 ounces, it is compact and easy to transport. The lens also features a fluorine front element coating for dust and moisture resistance, making it suitable for various conditions. With a programmable focus-hold button and an aperture ring with an on/off switch, it offers versatility. The Sony FE 20mm F1.8 G lens is compatible with a range of 67mm filters.
5. Sony FE G Master 85mm F/1.4 GM Lens
The Sony FE G Master 85mm F/1.4 GM lens is an excellent choice for portrait photography, thanks to its maximum aperture of 1.4 that creates a beautiful depth of field effect. This lens is also suitable for low light conditions. Sony put a lot of effort into correcting spherical and chromatic aberrations, resulting in clear and crisp images.
Featuring an 11-blade diaphragm, the lens produces a well-rounded bokeh. The manual aperture ring can be configured for smooth and step-less changes, essential for video shooting to compensate for variations in light levels. The Sony FE G Master 85mm lens offers excellent build quality and is resistant to dust and moisture, although not completely weather-sealed. Both amateurs and professionals will appreciate its quick and precise autofocus capabilities. Keep in mind that superior quality comes with a higher price tag.
6. Zeiss CP.3 Lenses
The Zeiss CP.3 lenses are the successors to the highly praised CP.2 lenses and are considered among the best in the market. Available in focal lengths including 15mm, 25mm, 35mm, 50mm, and 85mm, these lenses have a more ergonomic design compared to their predecessors. They feature a 14-blade diaphragm and improved protection against aberrations and reflections.
The ZEISS CP.3 lenses include light traps inside the barrel, painted lens rims, and enhanced lens coatings to minimize unwanted glare and flares. These lenses deliver higher contrast, deeper blacks, and more saturated colors. Additionally, the ZEISS CP.3 lenses are color-matched to other Zeiss cinema lenses, ensuring consistency. With standardized focus ring placement and a constant front diameter of 95mm, they facilitate quick and easy lens switching on location. When it comes to performance, the Zeiss CP.3 lenses are unmatched for those who seek the very best.
Choosing the best video lens involves considering various factors, such as your intended usage, compatible camera systems, and, of course, the price. There is no one-size-fits-all lens, as each lens has its own advantages and disadvantages. By being informed and aware of your options, you can choose a lens that meets your specific needs. Thank you for reading this article, and see you next time!