Best Canon Lens for Video, Starting at $125

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The In-Depth Buyer's Guide 2019

Best Canon Lens for Video, Starting at $125

Over 30+ Hours Testing & Reviewing 30 Canon Lenses.

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Winner: Canon EF 50mm f/1 USM Standard & Medium Telephoto Lens

9.6 out of 10

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Finding the best canon lens for video can be a daunting task. After all, Canon has, well, a ton of different lenses to choose from, and it’s particularly challenging for newcomers to the photography world to choose the right lenses (that will fit their camera) to complement their video work and provide new possibilities.

Our top choice is the Canon EF 50mm f/1 USM Standard & Medium Telephoto Lens, the ideal choice for those shopping for their first additional lens.This 50mm lens is perfect for capturing high-quality shots with a lot more options for inventive zoomingMore artistic experiments to liven up your video and your photos.Better color retention

Plus, at $330, this lens is one of the more affordable lenses of its type on the market! Of course, we will also take a look at the runners up, a variety of additional Canon lenses that can help you with your next video adventure, so take a look!

Test Results and Ratings

– June 2019

rank

PRODUCT Name

score

Top Pick

1

Canon EF 50mm f/1 USM Standard & Medium Telephoto Lens
By Canon

9.6

View Product

Best Value

2

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens
By Canon

9.3

View Product

3

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Medium Telephoto Lens
​By Canon

9.2

View Product

Splurge

4

Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM Lens

By Canon

9.1

View Product

5

​Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Lens
By Canon

8.9

View Product

6

Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM Ultra-Wide Angle Fixed Lens

​By Canon

8.8

View Product

7

Canon EF-S 24mm F/2.8 STM Lens
By Canon

8.8

View Product

How We Decided

4 main factors come down to picking the Canon Lenses.

​Focal Length
24mm-135mm

Aperture
f/1 – f/5.6

Focus
Focus Speed/Quality

$125-$999
Value

Best Canon Lens

For Video

Canon EF 50mm f/1 USM Standard & Medium Telephoto Lens

9.6 out of 10 View on Amazon

Pros
Cons
  • Highly versatile telephoto lens for many different shots
  • Gaussian optics help prevent astigmatism
  • Affordable for such an adaptable lens
  • Lens glass isn’t the highest quality
  • A little large and heavy for newcomers
  • Can’t do everything – like extra-wide zoom

Why We Like It: If you want the best and most versatile Canon lens for the money, you can stop here. This telephoto lens is an excellent addition for first-time buyers who only have the lenses that their camera came with, and would like to expand for more interesting video shots and many more possibilities, particularly when it comes to zooming.

Ease Of Use9.1Versatility9.4Focus8.9Value9.5

The autofocus motor and two high-refraction lens elements with Gaussian optics are also newbie-friendly, and we like the additional options for including photo software or a UV filter, depending on your goals. We don't suggest you just randomly buy a lens without research, but there's a reason this particular lens is so popular among videographers.

Best Video Lens

For Canon 70D

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens

9.3 out of 10 View on Amazon

Pros
Cons
  • Compact and highly affordable
  • Lens coatings ideal for action and low-light shots
  • Smooth, continuous autofocus for movies
  • Focus features may take practice for newcomers
  • Not a lot of protection without accessories
  • Great for depth of field, but not as versatile as some lenses

Why We Like It: If you don’t have much money to spend on a lens, this 50mm Canon model could be the perfect solution to your video work.

Ease Of Use9Versatility9.1Focus8.9Value9.5

It's designed for night shots, portraits, and action shots, with a continuous autofocus that makes the lens ideal for capture video instead of just photos.

Of course, you don't have access to any zoom functions, but these are less important when capturing video, and the artistic depth of field on this lens adds other advantages. Note that the filter size is technically 49mm, unusual for Canon lenses of this size, which tend to have larger filter sizes.

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Best Lens

For Video Interviews

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Medium Telephoto Lens

9.2 out of 10 View on Amazon

Pros
Cons
  • Reliable 85mm is great for capturing faces
  • Ideal for more artistic video with some background blur
  • Speedy focus and excellent low light performance
  • Shallow depth of field isn’t for everyone
  • Heavy lens for newcomers
  • Crop factor on smaller cameras may take some getting used to

Why We Like It: This 85mm telephoto lens helps videographers interested in artistic shots, with excellent background blur (aka bokeh effect) when it matters and clean, crisp video when it doesn’t.

Ease Of Use9Versatility9.4Focus8.9Value9.5

It excels at low-light performance (think night shots or concert performances). It’s also very speedy for a lens of its size, allowing users to make fast adjustments as they go.
While the lens may seem compact to long-term photographers, those without much experience may have to get used to the weight – and the shallow depth of field, which tends to be great for capturing faces or interviews, but requires careful placement and angling.

Best Canon Rebel

T5i Lens For Video

Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM Lens

9.1 out of 10 View on Amazon

Pros
Cons
  • Long focal length
  • Lightweight for its size
  • Produces great color
  • Very pricey for newcomers
  • Not suitable for all shots (especially close-ups)
  • Unwieldy for those short on space

Why We Like It: If you are looking for a lens that performs excellently on longer distances, consider investing in this durable 135mm.

Ease Of Use9Versatlility9.2Focus8.9Value9.5

Yes, it's large and expensive, but it's also quite lightweight for its class and known for producing remarkable shots with rich color. The downside, as you might expect, is that it's not easy to use up close, and so best saved for capturing video of events or nature at a distance, which might not be everyone's desire.

Best Video Lens

For Canon 80D

Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Lens

8.9 out of 10 View on Amazon

Pros
Cons
  • Excellent ultrawide zoom capabilities
  • Stepping motor ideal for video
  • Many different lens filter options
  • Wide angle doesn’t work for all types of video
  • Some issues with flaring
  • Slight distortion at widest focal length

Why We Like It: This wide-angle zoom lens is excellent at filming landscapes and buildings, making it a valuable tool if you run a travel blog, like to film architecture, or have similar intentions in mind.

Ease Of Use8.9Versatility9.1Focus8.9Value9.2

It also has a stepping motor for video, which means you can make quick, quiet adjustments that won't interfere with your audio. However, like many ultrawide lenses, it does become sensitive to flaring and you may notice some slight "fisheye" distortion in some shots, so experience and proper framing are very important.

Best Lens For

Canon 7D Video

Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM Ultra-Wide Angle Fixed Lens

8.8 out of 10 View on Amazon

Pros
Cons
  • Gel-based filter holder
  • Built-in dust and moisture proofing
  • Compact compared to earlier models
  • Not for the inexperienced
  • Particularly expensive
  • Wide angle limitations do apply

Why We Like It: While this lens takes some heavy investment, if you are serious about your video and photography work and want an excellent lens for nature and landscape capture, it's hard to find a better option.

Ease Of Use8.8Versatility9.2Focus8.9Value9.3

However, it is a fairly niche lens designed specifically for durable wide angle work, so it certainly isn't for everyone.

Best Lens For

Canon 5D Mark IV

Canon EF-S 24mm F/2.8 STM Lens

8.8 out of 10 View on Amazon

Pros
Cons
  • A more affordable option for those on a budget
  • Extra light and easy to store
  • Surprisingly good macro focus
  • All-plastic build isn’t as durable as some other lenses
  • Combo of manual and autofocus is an odd, unnecessary feature
  • No image stabilization

Why We Like It: A super-small form factor and a very affordable price help make this Canon lens an ideal purchase for those looking to build up their camera kits in preparation for exciting video. It's also very versatile for such a small, wide-angle lens, allowing you to get up close or capture a lot of landscape, depending on your goals.

Ease Of Use9Versatility8.9Focus8.9Value9.1

However, it is fully plastic, so you do have to treat the lens with a bit of extra care.

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Don’t Have a Camera Yet? Read This First

First, it’s important to understand that some cameras you buy come with only the body – you have to buy the lenses separately.
This approach allows you to buy only the lens you absolutely need. Other cameras you purchase can come with one or two lenses included in the package, (usually called a kit). This gives you some general lenses to start with, and you can buy more specialized lenses later if necessary. It’s important to watch what you are buying!
Additionally, you have to make sure that any new lenses you get are compatible with your camera – not all are, and it’s not as easy as saying, “Well, I have a Canon camera, so Canon lenses will work with it.”
On our Amazon pages, you will notice that one of the first bullet points for each lens is a link to a website that will tell you what camera models are compatible. Please visit this link when shopping for a lens and make sure you are getting lenses that work with the camera you plan to buy.

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RESIDENT EXPERT CONSULTANT

Finding the best camera lens for video is no easy task, but our buying guide will help you choose the right one for your video needs.
Canon is perhaps the most widely used and trusted camera company there is, and we know you need more lenses. My picks for best Canon video lenses are above.
Tyler Lacoma | Camera Lens Expert

Best Canon Lens for Video Buying Guide

When shopping for a new Canon lens, keep these things in mind to avoid buying the wrong lens for the job!

answers

Look for The Right Lens for the Job

Obvious, right? But take this step slowly and do your research. For example, the three primary “sizes” for lenses are Full Frame, APS-C, and Micro Four Thirds, each with corresponding sensors that will affect how the lens functions.
Choose the right lens for your camera and your goals, understand how the lens will interact with the camera sensor, and you will avoid unpleasant surprises.

Don’t Try to Compare Focal Lengths

Those millimeter specs you see for all lenses, like 18-55mm, refer to the focal length of the lens. That’s a handy number for understanding how far or near a specific lens can be positioned to a specific camera sensor (more or less: the history of lens specifications is convoluted and annoying).

However, it’s not much good as a comparison tool between different lenses when making up your mind. Focal length ranges change between brands and models and are affected by the type of sensor in your camera as well. Study the spec, but don’t make direct comparisons.

Understand Crop Factor

Crop factor refers to the general ratio that’s used to describe cameras in a more standard way that is handier for comparison, although unfortunately confusing to newcomers. Crop factor is a camera spec such as “1.6x” which means that if you multiply a lens focal length by 1.6, you will get the “full frame” equivalent focal length.

So, if you know the crop factor of your camera, you can apply it to any new lens you are looking at to find out where full frame equivalent focal length is. Compare this to your desires for a lens, and you’ll get a better idea of how that lens will perform with your camera.

Don’t Worry Too Much About Aperture

Aperture, or f-stop, refers to how much you can control the area of focus – what part of the photo is focused and how much light is let into the shot. This is a very nice spec for artistic photographers who may need to adjust the aperture range for various effects.

However, it means very little for video, since you almost always want the full video in focus and apertures set wide for better light. The exception is if you are planning on taking complex action shots or dim light video, which is a fairly rare need.

Wide Angle or Zooming Power? Both are Good

When comparing lenses using some of our tips, you may find your primary decision between more of a wide angle lens that can capture more content at once, and more of a telephoto-style, zooming lens with some innate optical zoom capabilities.

It’s best to find a lens that falls somewhere between these two options. As you take video, there are times when you want to be more panoramic and times when you want to be more intimate, so a lens with a wide range is often a smart choice.

Look for Upgraded Canon Lens Models

Canon lenses may have either an “II” or an “L” next to the lens title. These both mean that the lens has been upgraded to a more durable, efficient design. They cost more (the L lenses especially are meant for professionals) but it’s almost always worth that cost.

Who Contributed to this Review

Tyler Lacoma

Editor

Shawn Sanders

Contributor

Scarlet Barber

Contributor

Ryan Hansen

Editor

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