Best Lens For YouTube Videos – How to Look Great in Front of the Camera

We all know that cameras are important, but the right lens on any camera body can make all the difference.

So, in this guide, we’re going to look at the best lens for YouTube videos to help your look great on camera.

Dig in and find out what are the best camera lenses to take your Youtube videos to the next level. With suggestions for each of the most common camera mounts, in our list, you can find something for everyone.

Don’t have much time? I recommend the Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8 G Master lens, for Sony users. If you’re looking for the best quality lens that can do just about everything extremely well, this is the lens for you.

Here are my top 3 lenses at a glance:

Best Sony FE Lens
Sony FE 24-70mm f2.8 GM
Best Canon RF Lens
Canon RF 28-70mm f/2L USM
Best Nikon FX Lens
Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E
Lens
Lens
Sony FE 24-70mm f2.8 GM
Canon RF 28-70mm f/2L USM
Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E
Benefit 1
Benefit 1
Superior bokeh
Very fast aperture
Impeccable focus
Benefit 2
Benefit 2
Great stabilization
High-quality build
Good focal range
Benefit 3
Benefit 3
Excellent video quality
Great versatility
Very sharp

Main Factors Considered

Focal length

This is the main thing you should consider when buying a new camera lens for YouTube videos.

If you want to capture more of your background opt for a wider lens.

On the other hand, with a longer focal length, you can eliminate distractions in the background and get more intimate with your audience.

For YouTube videos, the best choice is a medium focal length somewhere in the 35mm-50mm full-frame equivalent range.

Aperture

The aperture or f-stop is one of the most important aspects of a lens.

The wider the aperture, the more light comes into the camera, providing better low-light performance.

A wide aperture will also give you that sweet sweet background blur everyone wants to have in their videos.

This is why you should look for a “faster” lens with a lower f-stop number.

Build Quality

These are all premium high-quality lenses, and they do come at a price.

So, accordingly, the quality of the build definitely needs to be considered to make sure your investment will stand the test of time and these lenses won’t let you down when you need them the most.

Now that you know the main factors considered, here are the top 7 lenses for the most popular camera systems on the market.

Best Lens For YouTube Videos – Top 7

Best Sony FE Lens
Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM

I, and many others, simply love the Sony FE 24-70mm f2.8 GM, and not just for recording Youtube videos.

It is an awesome all-around lens and once you put it on your camera, there is no taking it off.

At f/2.8 this lens will produce crystal clear images with excellent bokeh.

And although, at 31.5 oz (~900 grams) it is pretty heavy and has a very high price tag, if you are a professional it is most definitely worth it.

This is why the Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM is the top pick for making YouTube videos on a Sony Full Frame camera.

Pros
  • Great for everything
  • Superior image quality
  • Good for professionals 
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Bulky
Best Sony E Lens
Sony SEL35F18 35mm f/1.8

If you have a Sony APS-C camera and are looking for a good value lens, the SEL35F18 35mm f/1.8 is just for you.

With a full-frame equivalent focal length of 52.5mm, this is an awesome portrait lens, and at f/1.8 it has superb low-light performance and can achieve very good background blur.

Although as an APS-C prime lens it is on the more expensive side of things, given its capabilities the price is more than justified.

Very compact and lightweight, the Sony SEL35F18 35mm f/1.8 is an awesome lens for in-studio recording, as well as vlogging on the go.

Pros
  • Exceptional low-light performance
  • Very lightweight
  • Fast autofocus
Cons
  • Hefty price
  • Not as versatile as a zoom lens
Best Canon RF Lens
Canon RF 28-70mm f/2L USM

At f/2, this lens brings the speed of a prime lens to the flexibility of a zoom lens.

Even though it doesn’t have built-in image stabilization, it is awesome for shooting videos on a tripod, and with its wide aperture, it has excellent bokeh capabilities and is great for indoor shooting.

While it is a bit sizeable and on the heavy side, the trade-off is acceptable.

With a zoom range of 28-70mm, this lens offers huge versatility and this is why it is a favorite lens for recording videos, as well as taking photos on Canon full-frame cameras.

Pros
  • Crystal clear video
  • Very wide aperture
  • Versatile
Cons
  • Big and heavy
  • No optical image stabilization
Best Canon EF Lens
Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM

The EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM is a standard zoom lens for Canon APS-C cameras and is one of the most versatile lenses around.

The image stabilization makes it great for shooting any kind of video, and the f/2.8 aperture enables good background blur across the full focal range.

Even though it might feel a bit big and heavy for some, if you are recording YouTube videos on a tripod this is unnoticeable.

Some users report lens flaring when shooting in brighter conditions, however, when working in studio conditions this is not an issue, and if you like lens flaring, it may even be a benefit.

Pros
  • Image stabilization
  • Good background blur
  • Decent build quality
Cons
  • Bulky
  • Prone to lens flare
Best Nikon FX Lens
Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E

Even though it has a hefty price tag, this lens does it all.

With a versatile focal range, it is perfect for portrait video recording. With silent and fast autofocus, this lens offers extremely sharp videos with very smooth bokeh.

This isn’t a lens that I would recommend for beginners though, as it is a large investment.

However, if you are a long-time Nikon full-frame camera user, and you’re using it professionally, chances are you are not a beginner, making this lens the perfect choice.

Pros
  • Great for portrait video
  • Flawless focus
  • Excellent video sharpness
Cons
  • Very expensive
  • Not for beginners
Best Nikon DX Lens
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras, 2183, Black

The Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G is an affordable lens that really packs a punch.

At f/1.8 and a focal length of 35mm (50mm full-frame equivalent), this lens is perfect for the talking-head style YouTube videos.

Just make sure to use an external microphone because the autofocus is loud and is often picked up by the internal camera mic.

Although it is made of plastic, the reasonable price more than justifies the build quality, and this is why it is a favorite lens for Nikon APS-C cameras.

Pros
  • Fast and sharp
  • Great value for money
  • Compact
Cons
  • Loud autofocus
  • Build quality can be better
Best Micro Four Thirds Lens
Sigma 16mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary

If you are looking for a versatile lens for shooting YouTube videos on a Micro Four Thirds camera, look no further.

The Sigma 16mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary is a neat lens good for most scenarios.

It may not be the best of vlogging on the move because of its size and lack of image stabilization, however, it is great for indoor recording on a tripod.

This lens offers solid video performance for its price, which is why it is a great pick for cameras with the MFT sensor system.

Pros
  • Reasonable price
  • Silent autofocus
  • Great bokeh
Cons
  • Fairly large
  • No image stabilization 

FAQs

Best Lens For YouTube Videos

Should I get a zoom lens or a prime lens for recording YouTube videos?

There I no one best type of lens for YouTube videos. With a zoom lens, you get more versatility, but prime lenses are usually sharper and faster.

If you are only going to be doing one type of video and you’re not going to be using the lens for anything else, a prime lens will generally be a better option as they can be sharper, faster, and more affordable.

Zoom lenses offer added versatility though, so if you plan on doing more with your camera, then it may be worth the extra cost of a high-quality zoom lens.

How to get the “bokeh” effect?

A good bokeh effect or background blur is achieved by using a wider aperture setting and/or a longer focal length lens.

The lower the aperture number, the wider the internal aperture ring of the camera can open, which allows more light and a shallower depth of field, which produces the bokeh effect that can help give your videos that cinematic effect.

A longer focal range also helps provide a shallower depth of field when the aperture just can’t do it. So, if you’re looking for bokeh on a budget, try using a telephoto lens and standing further away from the camera (if space constraints allow it).

Are 50mm lenses good for video?

In a single word, yes. In more than one word, yes, and here’s why:

You get a relatively fast aperture of f/1.8 – which is great for low light – and the out-of-focus characteristics of a 50mm lens – aka “the bokeh look” – are incredibly flattering to the human face because it tends to separate subjects from the background in a pleasing way.

But there are a few other reasons that 50mm lenses make great video lenses, too. They’re relatively lightweight and compact, which makes them easy to haul around, and they’re also relatively affordable – which is always a plus when you’re working with a limited budget.

Conclusion for the best lens for YouTube videos

Depending on how you plan a lens for YouTube videos, as well as the camera system you are currently using, means you have a lot of different options.

I hope this has helped guide you to help decide on the right lens for your videos and answer some questions or concerns you may have had.

You can find the perfect fit for just about every budget, but these are some of the very best lenses on the market today producing exceptional video.

In case you missed it, if you’re a Sony Full-Frame user, then I recommend the Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 GM lens. Nothing says best in class quite like it.

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