12 Best Canon Lenses for Videography 2020
If you are into videography, then you ought to know that not all DSLR lenses are designed for shooting videos. Even if the camera can do long recording sessions, the lens should be capable of handling all the movements that come with film-making, and this may be a determinant of your videos’ quality.
One of the leading brands globally for lenses is Canon which is a Japanese firm reputable for high-quality optical products.
The brand has a variety of models in the market which are specifically designed to handle all that is required in filmmaking. This availability of many options is one of the reasons why your search for the best Canon lenses for video shooting may not be as straightforward as you would have hoped.
Luckily for you is that we are here to find a solution to this problem. For instance, we have pointed out the factors that you need to consider to make an informed choice.
These factors include:
But first, we are going to review some Canon lenses which we believe are some of the best available.
A Comparison Guide
This section entails a brief list of videography lenses for Canon. It should give you a narrower list of options to work with.
Best Canon Lenses for Video - Review
1. Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 Telephoto Lens
There are several reasons why many professional videographers consider the Canon EF f/1.8 lens as the ideal choice for shooting video interviews.
First, it has a shallow filed of depth, and this makes it suited for capturing faces for portraits as well as interviews. The focal length of 85mm is also quite reliable for shooting interviews and capturing faces.
Then, the lens’s performance in low light conditions is excellent. Therefore, if you would like to keep some memories of the night concerts that you attend, the Canon EF 85mm would be your perfect companion.
The focus is also relatively fast, and you have the option of making speedy adjustments along the way.
If you fancy making artistic videos, this lens would be reliable for the job as the background blur is outstanding.
2. Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro Lens
Another great performer by Canon is the EF 100mm Macro lens which features the hybrid Image Stabilization technology to ensure that it delivers sharp and clear shots even when there is camera shake during shooting.
The 100mm focal length makes it ideal for portraits as you can take close-up shots with perfect capturing of the facial features.
The Canon EF 100mm lens is well-built from high-quality materials plus is weather-sealed to ensure that it can withstand any environment that it is exposed to.
Its constriction involves 15 elements in 12 groups, including an Ultra-Low Dispersion (UD) element that is vital in minimizing chromatic aberration.
Let's not forget the beautiful bokeh courtesy of the 9-blade circular aperture.
When it comes to the autofocus operation, it is fast and silent to ensure that you get the best results in the end.
3. Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens
Popularly known as ‘Nifty Fifty’, this lens is one of the best affordable prime lenses that you may ever come across.
It has an aperture range of f/1.8-f/2.2 that makes it a great performer, even in low light conditions.
The construction features 6 elements in 5 groups, including an element that helps in minimizing chromatic aberration for clearer and sharper footage.
On top of that is the 7-blade circular aperture that contributes to an excellent background blur. The Spectra coating helps in creating a decent color balance plus minimizes ghosting and flares for crisp images.
As for the autofocusing, it is speedy and near-silent courtesy of the stepping motor (STM) technology.
It comes with a rugged metal mount tom enhance your video shooting experience.
Lastly, this is a compact unit that you should give you an easy time carrying it around.
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4. Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 HSM lens for Canon
A fantastic background blur is one of the significant requirements for perfect video interviews, and the Sigma 18-35mm lens is capable of delivering just that.
It has a fantastic zoom range while the image stabilization features ensure that you get clear and high-quality shots even when you are performing handheld shooting.
As for the construction, Sigma uses the Thermally Composite Material (TCM) to give you a small and lightweight unit while giving it impressive durability.
What's more, is that the lens features a special low glass dispersion (SLD) glass to reduce aberration and curvature when shooting at extremely wide angles.
Let's not leave out the 9-blade circular diaphragm that contributes to a beautiful background blur.
There is also the multi-layer coating that minimizes flares and ghosting to ensure you end up with clear shots taken outdoors.
The Sigma 18-35mm lens comes with a lens hood and front & rear lens caps.
5. Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM
This lens is one of the Canon EF 50mm series and is an excellent choice for the videographers who are on a budget.
This does not mean that you would be getting an inferior product since this unit is capable of delivering a performance that rivals the pricier options.
For starters, it has continuous autofocus which makes it well-suited for capturing videos. Additionally, you may find this lens useful for taking night shots and portraits as well.
The depth of field is great for shooting dramatic footage, although this depth does not offer the versatility that is easy to find in other lenses.
What's more, is that the lens features coatings which contribute to an excellent performance in poorly lit conditions as well as for action shots.
Let’s also touch on the Ultrasonic autofocus motor (USM), which operates smoothly, speedily and silently.
You may also appreciate the two high-refraction elements and the Gaussian optics minimize the astigmatic difference.
6. Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens
Once you acquire the EF 24-70mm f/2.8 lens by Canon, the major thing that you are likely to appreciate is the zoom range which ensures you do not have to take with you extra lenses for taking standard shots.
Then, the USM AF system is fast and silent to ensure that you end up with clear and sharp videos. The continuous focusing is what makes this lens more suited for videos than just capturing still images.
Also worth mentioning are the 9 circular diaphragm blades that help in creating an excellent bokeh.
Due to the incorporation of 1 super UD element and 2 UD elements in the construction, there should be minimal chromatic aberration at wide angles as well as less color blurring on the edges.
The Canon EF 24-70mm lens comes with a lens hood, a lens dust cap and a user guide.
7. Rokinon 8mm f/3.5 Fisheye Lens
The experienced would tell you that a fisheye lens is the best when it comes to delivering an extreme field of view. An excellent example of such a lens is the Rokinon 8mm f/3.5 Fisheye lens.
To start with, this lens would deliver better performance when used on the crop sensor camera and is great for taking action shots.
Since this is a manual focus lens, you should have an easy time using it with simple controls at hand.
The construction features hybrid aspherical lenses for super-sharp images. What's more, is the multi-layer coating that helps in reducing flares and ghosting.
You should have outstanding close-up shots due to the minimum focusing distance of 12-inches.
8. Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens
This Canon lens maintains the same high quality that is synonymous with the brand. It is well-built, including AD and aspherical elements to ensure that you end up only with outstanding and high-quality images throughout the zoom range.
Another impressive feature is the circular aperture that delivers a shallow depth-of-field which ends up creating a wonderful bokeh. As a result, you can pay more attention to the subject.
What's more is the Image Stabilizer that compensates for camera shake-ups to make your footage images, even in low light environments.
Due to the USM, this lens is likely to offer fast and silent autofocusing so that your videos are sharper and clearer.
Lastly, it comes with a one-year warranty.
9. Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 HSM Standard Zoom Lens
Are you looking for a high-quality standard lens for shooting videos? If you are, the Sigma 70-50mm f/2.8 would be a reasonable choice.
It has a wide focal length, and this makes it versatile enough for different styles of photography. The 17-50mm range helps the lens in producing high-quality videos.
An outstanding feature with this lens is the Sigma anti-shake which is crucial in ensuring that your videos are not extremely shaky. Even handheld shooting would still give videos of the best quality.
The two glass mold elements used in the construction coupled with one hybrid lens help in correcting aberration for sharper and clearer images.
On top of that is the multi-layer coating that aims to reduce flares and ghosting. Therefore, if you shoot videos outdoors in the sun, they would still come out very clear.
The lens comes with a lens hood, carrying case and front & rear caps.
10. Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM Lens
If you are on the hunt for the best telephoto lens for shooting videos, the EF 135mm f/2L lens would be a reasonable pick. It features the Ultrasonic Motor (USM) for fast and quiet focusing.
This feature is crucial for sharp and clear videos.
Another aspect that you may appreciate is the bokeh effect that allows you to focus on the subject rather than the background.
What's more, are the two UD glass elements that this lens uses to help in reducing chromatic aberrations for sharper images and ideal color balance.
This lightweight lens can work on both full-frame and APS-C cameras.
Also read: 12 Best Slow Motion Cameras in 2020
11. Rokinon 85mm t/1.5 Aspherical Lens #CV85M-N
Also known as Rokinon Cine, this is one of the best lenses for shooting videos. It is quite affordable and is a suitable choice for the videographers with DSLR cameras.
This is a fixed lens with a De-Clicked aperture such that you can adjust the f-stop by merely rotating the lens ring. The aperture would help in minimizing noise and jerking motions.
Another impressive aspect of this lens is the follow focus compatibility that makes it possible for you to focus and use the aperture ring without putting a stop to the video shooting.
The manual controls are ideal for some, while the user manual guide is here to get you started.
12. Rokinon Cine CV35-C 35mm t/1.5 Aspherical Lens
The last item on our list is the Rokinon Cine CV35-C which is also a reasonable pick for video enthusiasts.
It features De-clicked apertures, and there should not be any loud or hard clicks when you change apertures. On top of that, it is a manual focus lens, so it is easy for you to set to your preferred aperture.
The follow focus system is one of the reasons why this lens is popular with videographers as you can focus and use the aperture ring while you continue shooting the video.
Also important is the multi-coating that aims to reduce flares and ghosting when shooting videos outdoors.
The performance in dimly lit areas is also a quality you may like in this lens.
When you purchase the Rokinon Cine CV35-C, it comes with a lens pouch, front and rear lens caps, a removable hood and an instruction manual.
The Buying Guide
If you want to get the best out of your camera, you must have the best lens for the job. That is why we have decided to analyze the following factors so that next time you go shopping for the ideal Canon lens for shooting videos, you would know what you are looking for.
The focal length
This length is measured in millimeters and is important since the lower it is, the wider the angle of view will be. This means that the camera would capture more of the scene than it would have with a higher focal length.
Note that extremely wide lenses tend to distort the image, thereby lowering their quality.
The aperture is the opening whereby light gets into the camera, with its size being controlled by an iris with multiple blades.
This iris determines how pleasant the bokeh in your image would be since more blades make the aperture to be more circular, thereby creating smoother and more beautiful background blurs.
Size of the sensor
The main types of sensors to think about are Full-frame sensors, APS-C Sensors, and Micro Four Thirds Sensors.
Full Frame lenses are the largest and more versatile but tend to lie on the pricy end.
In general, a lens designed to be used for a smaller sensor should not be used on a larger format, since this would lower the quality of the image.
Prime VS Zoom
Prime lenses have a fixed focal length, whereas the zoom lenses cover a wider range of lengths. The latter tend to be pricier, particularly when the range increases.
Still, on the zoom lenses, they are either internal or external, with the latter being less expensive.
As for the prime lenses, they commonly have wider maximum apertures as well as deliver sharper images.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Check out the following queries and their responses to boost your knowledge on the best Canon lenses for video.
What is STM?
The term STM stands for Stepper Motor Technology and is a feature in Canon lenses to create a smoother and more silent focus system for high-quality videos.
How do I land the best Canon lens for shooting videos?
If you want to get the best product, you should consider several factors such as the size of the sensor, the focal length, fixed or zoom lens, the aperture, Image Stabilization, among others.
How do I know that the Canon lens model I am looking at is an upgraded version?
An upgraded version simply has an 'L' or 'II' next to the title, and they usually are designed to be more efficient and last longer. They are also more expensive than the previous versions.
The Best Overall
As we conclude, we have settled on the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 Telephoto Lens as the best of them all. It may be bulky, but it has an impressive combination of features that would ensure you end up a satisfied videographer at the end of the shooting session.
The lens is the most crucial part of a camera, and the quality of your videos and images are primarily dependent on it. Therefore, it is vital that you make an informed choice during your shopping.
We hope our article will be of great help next time you go looking for the ideal Canon lens that would deliver high-quality videos.
Stick to the guidelines we have given you and nothing should stop you from getting the best item.