What is the best Canon lens for video? Let us find out in this comprehensive guide.
Canon makes a lot of lenses and therefore, it can be a cumbersome task for a newcomer to figure out which one of them is best for videography. You may even end up choosing the wrong lens for your camera, resulting in sheer frustration and waste of money. Of course, we don’t want you to go through this painful process. Therefore, we have compiled a list of the best Canon lenses for video, making it easy for you to find the lens that is not only compatible with your camera but also fulfils your videography requirements.
Comparison of Top Canon Lenses for Video
The following is a comparison of the top Canon lenses you can use for videography and filmmaking.
1. Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM: Best Lens for Filming Documentaries
Canon EF 135mm F/2L USM is a good choice if you are looking for a telephoto lens for video. It is also a fantastic lens for shooting documentaries where your subjects move unexpectedly or you have to capture distant shots. It also captures stunning artistic shots with blurred backgrounds and sharp objects.
Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM is the best lens to be used in the outdoors thanks to its ‘L’ class construction. It will deliver excellent performance irrespective of the conditions. You can use the lens both on the APS-C and full-frame cameras.
The best thing about the lens is the very fast yet quiet autofocus coupled with a long zoom. Therefore, it is also the perfect lens for wildlife photography. It makes it easier for you to cover moving subjects in the distance with the utmost ease.
2. Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM: Best Lens for Canon 70D Video Shooting
Canon EF-S 18-135mm is another great versatile lens. It should be your choice if you are a new videographer and want to use only one lens in the beginning. It is also the best lens for Canon EOS 70D and other cameras in the series.
The lens comes with an STM or stepping motor which means the autofocus is extremely quiet. Similarly, it also prevents the microphone of the camera to pick unwanted noises. The lens excels both in terms of shooting images and recording videos. However, its video performance is much better than image performance.
Another attractive feature of the lens is its zoom range. It is wide enough at 18mm to cover a wide field of view. At the same time, it is quite capable to record distant objects with remarkable sharpness and details at 135mm.
The lens also has dedicated image stabilization besides being compatible with 67mm filters. Therefore, the overall image and video quality of the lens is quite satisfactory.
3. Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM: Best Canon Lens for Vlogging
You must consider Canon EF-S 1-18mm f/4.5-5.6 if you love to shoot buildings and landscapes. This wide-angle lens is a great addition to your kit, especially if you are a travel vlogger. Similarly, it can help you create breathtaking images and videos of architecture and similar subjects.
The lens also features a stepping motor which means you can accurately and quickly focus your subjects without making any noise. Therefore, it is a great choice for videography and filmmaking.
You can use this lens to record handheld videos as well because of the built-in image stabilization. On top of that, it also allows you to create excellent time-lapsed videos.
You cannot expect a good low light performance from the lens because of the maximum aperture of f/4.5. Furthermore, it can have flaring and distortion in some shots, which is the case with all wide-angle lenses.
However, it is still the best canon lens for video if you intend to make vlogs or shoot architecture and landscapes.
4. Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Medium Telephoto: Best Lens for Filming Artistic Shots
If you are the person who loves to create artistic shots, this is the lens for you. The best thing about the lens is the excellent bokeh effect or the background blur. However, it can also record crisp, clean, and sharp videos if you want to.
The lens also comes with very fast autofocus, a rare feature for the lenses of its size. 85mm is also a great focal length to capture faces. The lens also delivers superb low light performance. Therefore, you can use it for concerts and night shoots.
Canon EF 85mm is a very compact lens for experienced photographers. However, newcomers have to content with shallow depth of field and of course, its weight. Shallow depth of field is great for recording interviews or tracing faces but also requires careful angling and placement.
5. Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens: Best Len for DSLR Video
Canon EF-S24mm has a very small form factor besides being a very cheap lens. Therefore, it should be part of your camera kit if you want to create exciting videos. The lens is also extremely versatile that is very impressive considering its size and price.
Just like all wide-angle lenses, Canon EF-S 24mm also enables you to get close and personal to your subjects. Not to mention, it is a great lens for shooting landscapes, buildings, and for similar scenarios. The lens also has a surprisingly good macro focus. Therefore, you can use it to capture miniature objects as well.
Such a cheap lens ought to have some issues. In this case, they are the plastic finish and the lack of image stabilization.
In our opinion, Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM is the best Canon lens for video for people on a budget.
6. Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM lens: Best Cheap Canon Lens for Video
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM is an extremely popular lens, especially among people with little money. The lens has been particularly designed for action shots, portraits, and night shooting. However, it is equally good for shooting videos and images because of the continuous autofocus.
The lens does not have any zoom option but it is not that important in videography. What matters most is the beautiful bokeh and depth of field for artistic shots.
The Canon lenses of this size usually have larger filter sizes but this lens only has a filter size of 49mm. It is also one of the best lenses for DSLR video. Similarly, it is also compatible with some underwater or other specialized cameras.
7. Canon RF 35mm f/1.8 IS Macro STM: Best Lens for DSLR Filmmaking
The wide-angle macro lens offers incredible versatility for shooting videos. It is a lightweight and compact lens with 0.5x magnification. The lens also has up to 5 stops of image stabilization for stable images and videos during handheld shooting.
The lens offers amazing sharpness throughout the shot by having a large 54mm diameter mount. Similarly, the 12 pin communication system further accelerates the autofocus and image stabilization, delivering a pretty reliable user experience.
You can also view the lens information on a viewfinder if you pair the lens with an EOS R camera. On top of that, you can easily adjust all the settings for easy operation through a control ring on the lens barrel.
The lens is also compatible with Macro speedlites from Canon for brilliant close-up shooting.
8. Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM: Best Prime Lens for Video
Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM Standard Medium and Telephoto lens is the most versatile of all the Canon lenses. It offers incredible value for money considering its outstanding features. It is the best option for newcomers who haven’t used any lens other than the kit lenses. It offers great possibilities and options, especially in terms of zooming. Therefore, you can create even more exciting videos using this lens.
What makes this lens beginner-friendly is the terrific autofocus motor. Similarly, it is also very easy to use the two-high refraction lenses with Gaussian optics. The lens allows you to add extra features such as a UV filter and photo software as well.
Keep in mind that the lens offers better video performance than some of the most advanced video cameras by Canon. It is also a very affordable lens and that is why it is extremely popular among videographers.
The lens has some issues such as the lens glass isn’t of the highest quality. Similarly, it is a bit bulky and heavy for beginners.
But – it is hard to find a better option considering its price and amazing set of features.
9. Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM: One of the Best Lenses for Filmmaking
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM is one of the best Canon lenses for video or any purposes. It has been the main workhorse of thousands of photographers for years now. It will help you cover a diverse range of events including weddings, commercials, cooperate setups, birthdays, or the busy city life, etc.
It is the perfect lens for full-frame cameras like Canon EOS 5D Mark II or 5D Mark III. You can confidently use this lens for any situation. It has a solid zoom range besides being a fairly wide-angle lens. You can also pair it with lenses like Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 if you want even more zoom.
Another great feature of the lens is the ring-type ultrasonic autofocus. The autofocus is not only quiet but very accurate and fast as well. The lens delivers brilliant low light performance thanks to the constant maximum aperture of f/2.8.
10. Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM: Best Telephoto Zoom Lens for Video
Canon EF 70-200mm has the best zoom of all the telephoto zoom lenses by Canon thanks to its aperture range of f/2.8 to f/32. It is a massive lens no doubt but it offers some of the best features you can expect in a telephoto zoom lens.
First of all, it has a lightning-fast and accurate autofocus system. The well-rounded eight-blade diaphragm delivers extremely beautiful bokeh. Therefore, you can use this lens for artistic shots as well. The lens also minimizes chromatic aberration with the help of countless measures. We can confidently say that it is the best and most versatile telephoto lens in the world right now.
The lens makes it a breeze to record stable handheld videos because it features a 4-stop image stabilization as well. The constant maximum aperture of f/2.8 also ensures excellent low-light performance. On top of that, the lens also produces very sharp images even if you capture them from a very wide angle.
Th lens also has a tripod mount ring to reduce pressure on the lens mount of your camera. The body is also weather-sealed and resistant to dust and water. Therefore, you can use it in the outdoors without any hassle.
The main problem with the lens is its high price but it is worth it for the features it offers.
How to Buy Best Canon Lens for Video?
You need to consider many factors while buying a lens specifically for video. Specialized lenses tend to be expensive. Therefore, you need to know beforehand what you want in your lens no matter you are buying your first lens or the hundredth lens. The following are some points that can help you invest wisely in your next lens.
First and foremost, you need to take care of the mounting system. Cameras from different manufacturers have different mounts for connecting lenses. Similarly, different series of cameras have different mounts as well. For example, some common lens mounts for Canon cameras are EF, RF, and EF-S. Therefore, you must ensure the lens you are buying attaches to your camera.
You don’t need to worry much about the focal length in our opinion even though it is the deciding factor for most novice photo and videographers. The focal length is generally denoted as numbers in millimeters such as 24-70mm where 24m is the minimum focal length and 70 is the maximum focal length. Focal length is not a very good tool to compare two lenses. Several factors can affect the focal length of the lens such as the brand, camera model, and the type of your camera sensor.
However, you can consider focal length if you are buying a lens for a specific purpose. For instance, you must go for a smaller focal for capturing landscapes, architecture, or nature because it offers a small field of view. For sports or wildlife photography, a long focal length will do the job just fine.
Effective Focal Length
After focal length, comes the effective focal length. You must always keep the sensor size of the camera in mind if you base your buying decision primarily on the focal length. APS-C sensors effectively increase your lens’s focal length because of their crop factor. For example, a 35mm wide-angle lens will have an effective focal length of 75mm when attached to an APS-C sensor with a 2x crop. Therefore, you must have a full idea of the crop factor of your camera before buying any lens.
Prime or Zoom Lens
Zoom lenses have a range of focal lengths while prime lenses have fixed focal lengths. Zoom lenses can help you get close to your subjects as well as cover distant objects depending on their zoom range. Some zoom lenses have a very narrow focal range such as 10-18mm while others have a wide range such as 24-70mm. Zoom lenses are the better option if you have to shoot in different situations. You can capture different types of scenarios using a single lens instead of carrying multiple prime lenses.
On the other hand, you must go for a prime lens if you are after a wider maximum aperture. They also produce sharp images than zoom lenses with equivalent focal lengths.
Aperture, often referred to as f-stop, enables you to control the area of focus. Similarly, you can also control the amount of light entering the lens besides focusing a certain part of the photo using the aperture. It is a very nice and necessary feature for artistic photographers. However, it has no significance for videos because you should always focus on the full video. Similarly, you should also allow as much light as possible to enter the lens by keeping the aperture wide.
The best Canon lens for video also comes with built-in image stabilization (IS). IS helps you reduce the camera shakes and resulting image blurs. It is a very handy feature for images but it cannot replace gimbal or Steadicam for videos.
Autofocus can be a necessary feature depending on your requirements. However, commonly used autofocus in the lenses is not as good for videos as for images. Therefore, you should look for a lens with continuous autofocus which offers equally good performance when it comes to videos. Similarly, lenses with STM or stepping motors are pretty quiet, another necessary feature for filmmaking.
You need to keep a few things in mind to pick the best Canon lens for video. Some of the most important of these factors are your requirements, what you plan to record, your camera’s model, and finally the price. You cannot find a lens that you can use for every situation. Each lens has its advantages and disadvantages. However, you must have full knowledge of different lenses and aware of the options at your disposal. Only then you will be able to find the right lens for videography.
Here are the best Canon lenses for video at a glance.
|Image||Model Name||Focus Type||Lens Type||Check Price|
Canon EF 135mm F/2L
Canon EF-S 18-135mm
Canon EF-S 1-18mm f/4.5-5.6
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8
Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8
Canon RF 35mm f/1.8
Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L
Canon EOS M50