We all know cameras are essential, but the right lens can make a real difference.
So, in this guide, we’re going to look at the best lens for YouTube videos to help you look great on camera.
With suggestions for each of the most common camera mounts in our list, you can find something for everyone.
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 will always have you covered, this is the lens for you.
Here are my top 3 lenses at a glance:
Main Factors Considered
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.
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 background blur everyone wants in their videos.
This is why you should look for a “faster” lens with a lower f-stop number.
These are all premium, high-quality lenses, and they do come at a price.
So, the build quality needs to be considered to ensure your investment will stand the test of time, and these lenses won’t let you down when you need them the most.
Additionally, built-in stabilization is a deciding factor, so you won’t need to carry a tripod for your YouTube videos.
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
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.
- Great for everything
- Superior image quality
- Good for professionals
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.
- Exceptional low-light performance
- Very lightweight
- Fast autofocus
- Hefty price
- Not as versatile as a zoom lens
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.
- Crystal clear video
- Very wide aperture
- Big and heavy
- No optical image stabilization
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.
- Image stabilization
- Good background blur
- Decent build quality
- Prone to lens flare
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.
- Great for portrait video
- Flawless focus
- Excellent video sharpness
- Very expensive
- Not for beginners
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.
- Fast and sharp
- Great value for money
- Loud autofocus
- Build quality can be better
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.
- Reasonable price
- Silent autofocus
- Great bokeh
- Fairly large
- No image stabilization
Final Thoughts On The Best YouTube Lens
Depending on how you plan a lens for YouTube videos and the camera system you are currently using, you have many 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 every budget, but these are some of the best lenses on the market today, producing exceptional videos.
If you’re a Sony Full-Frame user, I recommend the Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 GM lens. Nothing says best in class quite like it.
Should I Get a Zoom Lens Or a Prime Lens For YouTube Videos?
If you are producing standing-head videos, then a prime lens will provide the best quality at the most affordable price. If you are going to be out in the field filming, then the added flexibility of a zoom lens may suit you better.
How Do I Get “Bokeh” In Video?
Bokeh is achieved by using a “wide” aperture. Ensure your aperture is set to its lowest setting (i.e. f2.8, f1.8, etc.). If you still cannot achieve a blurry background, you need to separate yourself from your background by moving forward and using a longer focal length (i.e. 50mm, 85mm, etc.).
Are 50mm Lenses Good For Video?
Yes, 50mm lenses are great for video as they have the most similar focal length to our eyes, providing a more pleasing viewing. 50mm lenses also tend to have wide apertures and are fairly affordable, making bokeh easier to achieve on a smaller budget.