Sony E 16-50mm
Easy to carry around.
Gets sharp images.
Heavy barrel distortion at wide angles.
Best For Versatility
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm
Best For Quality
Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
Resistant to dust.
In content creation, having the right lens can make all the difference between a poor-quality video that costs you viewers and the ability to build your brand/channel/website.
Choosing the best lens for vlogging is no small task, and it requires careful research of the best brands and equipment available. Whether you’re a seasoned vlogger or just starting out, finding the perfect lens to capture your experiences and stories in exceptional quality is essential, and I’ll help you get started.
Top 5 Best Lens for Vlogging
Here are my top picks based on brand, quality, customer reviews, and other notable features essential for a vlogger:
1.Sony E 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6
Sony E 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6
The Sony E 16-50mm is a lightweight and compact zoom lens that is ideal for vlogging. It covers a wide-angle to standard focal range, which allows you to capture both yourself and your surroundings with ease. It also features optical stabilization, which helps to reduce camera shake and improve video quality.
The lens has a quick and quiet autofocus system, which is compatible with Sony’s advanced autofocus algorithms. The lens could be sharper, especially at the edges, and it has noticeable distortion at the wide end. However, for casual vlogging, these drawbacks may not be very apparent or important. The lens is also very affordable, especially when bundled with a camera.
The lens weighs just 4.1 ounces and measures just a bit over 1 inch when retracted. This makes it easy to carry around and fit in a small bag.
The lens has quick autofocus that works perfectly for action photography or fast street shooting.
You can shoot handheld at slower shutter speeds and still get sharp images.
It has a power zoom feature that allows you to zoom in and out smoothly, perfect for video recording or when you want to control the zoom speed.
The lens suffers from heavy barrel distortion at wide angles, which can be corrected in post-processing, but it reduces the image quality and resolution.
It produces images that are only super-sharp at the center, while the edges and corners remain relatively soft, especially at 16mm and wide apertures.
2.Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f/4 IS PRO
Best for Versatility
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f/4 IS PRO
The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED is a versatile and high-quality zoom lens for the Micro Four Thirds system. It offers a 24-200mm equivalent focal range, a constant f/4 aperture, a weather-sealed construction, and a built-in image stabilization system. It also has a fast and quiet autofocus, a manual focus clutch, and a customizable L-Fn button.
The lens delivers excellent sharpness, contrast, and color across the zoom range and has minimal distortion, chromatic aberration, and flare. It is ideal for travel, landscape, wildlife, and general photography. It is one of the best lenses in its class.
It has a versatile and high-quality zoom range that covers almost any everyday situation, from wide-angle to telephoto.
The lens has a constant f/4 aperture that allows for consistent exposure settings and good low-light performance.
It has a weather-sealed construction that can withstand dust, splashes, and freezing temperatures.
It has a built-in image stabilization system that works in conjunction with the camera’s stabilization to provide up to seven stops of shake reduction.
It is relatively heavy and bulky for a Micro Four Thirds lens, weighing 561 g and measuring 116.5 mm in length.
It has some visible distortion and vignetting at the wide end of the zoom range, which needs correcting during processing.
3.Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 II ASPH. POWER O.I.S
Best for Quality
Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 II ASPH. POWER O.I.S
If you are looking for a versatile and high-quality zoom lens for your Micro Four Thirds camera, the Panasonic Lumix G X Vario might be the one for you. This lens has a 24-70mm equivalent focal range, suitable for various situations, such as landscapes, portraits, and events.
It also has a constant f/2.8 aperture, which gives you great control over depth of field and low-light performance. The lens is weather-sealed and made of metal, making it durable and reliable. I also love the built-in image stabilization system, which helps you capture sharp, steady images and videos.
It’s easy to carry and use thanks to the compact and lightweight design.
The metal-barreled construction and weather-sealed mount make it durable and resistant to dust and moisture.
The autofocus system works well for both stills and video shooting and supports Panasonic cameras with 240fps AF drive sensors.
The built-in image stabilization system is compatible with Panasonic’s Dual I.S/Dual I.S. 2 technology and offers up to seven stops of shake reduction.
It is expensive compared to other Micro Four Thirds zoom lenses and may not fit everyone’s budget.
It has some loss of sharpness at the long end of the zoom range, especially at f/2.8, which may affect image quality in some situations.
4.Nikon Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR Zoom Lens
Nikon Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR Zoom Lens
The Nikon Z DX offers a convenient zoom range for capturing wide-angle shots and moderate telephoto compositions. Its built-in Vibration Reduction (VR) feature could be advantageous for handheld shooting, aiding in smoother footage.
However, the narrower aperture range at the telephoto end might limit low-light performance. The lens’s portability and compatibility with Nikon’s Z-mount mirrorless cameras make it an attractive choice for vloggers on the move, providing an adaptable tool for various shooting scenarios while maintaining a travel-friendly setup.
The lens’s small form factor makes it ideal for vloggers who prioritize portability and convenience, ensuring it’s easy to carry and handle during on-the-go shooting.
With a 16-50mm focal length, the lens covers a wide range of perspectives, allowing vloggers to capture both expansive scenes and closer details without needing to switch lenses.
The built-in VR technology helps reduce camera shake, resulting in smoother handheld shots and steadier vlogs, particularly useful when shooting without a tripod or gimbal.
The lens’s maximum aperture of f/6.3 at the telephoto end may limit its performance in low-light conditions, potentially requiring higher ISO settings that could introduce noise in vlog footage.
There are reported concerns about the lens’s construction, as it’s predominantly made of plastic. This might affect its long-term durability, especially if it’s subjected to rough handling or challenging environmental conditions.
5.Canon RF 24-105mm f/4-7.1 IS STM Zoom Lens
Canon RF 24-105mm f/4-7.1 IS STM Zoom Lens
The Canon RF is a flexible, all-in-one solution. Covering a useful range from wide-angle to moderate telephoto, it caters to diverse shooting scenarios without lens changes. The Image Stabilization (IS) technology is beneficial for handheld shooting, ensuring smoother footage.
However, the narrow maximum aperture at the telephoto end might limit low-light performance and background blur. The lens’s compact design aligns with vloggers’ mobility needs, while the STM autofocus offers quiet and accurate focusing. For vloggers prioritizing convenience and a broad focal range, this lens could be a valuable tool in their kit.
This lens covers a wide range from 24mm wide-angle to 105mm moderate telephoto, allowing vloggers to capture a variety of shots.
The built-in IS technology minimizes camera shake, crucial for handheld vlogging.
The STM autofocus provides quiet and smooth focusing performance, preventing disruptive noise during video recording and allowing for seamless transitions between subjects.
The maximum aperture of f/7.1 at the telephoto end might limit its performance in low-light conditions, which could require higher ISO settings, potentially leading to increased noise in vlog footage.
With the variable aperture range, achieving a pronounced background blur (bokeh) might be more challenging compared to lenses with wider maximum aperture, which could affect the lens’s creative capabilities for achieving subject separation in vlogs.
How To Choose the Best Lens for Vlogging
Vlogging has gained immense popularity in recent years, allowing individuals to share their stories and expertise through video content. Selecting the right lens and maintaining it properly are essential steps for anyone serious about producing high-quality video content. You’ll want to consider factors such as focal length, aperture, and image stabilization when choosing a lens.
Additionally, follow proper maintenance practices to ensure your lenses remain in top-notch condition for years to come. With the right lens and care, you’ll be well-equipped to capture stunning visuals.
The focal length determines the field of view and magnification of your shots. Camera lenses can be classified into three primary focal length ranges: wide, standard, and telephoto. For vlogging, a lens with a focal length between 15mm and 35mm (on a full-frame sensor) is ideal.
Wide-angle lenses are the most popular option for vlogging. Vlogging with a wide-angle lens is common when close to the camera, ideal for small spaces or handheld shots. It allows microphone use and camera-mounted shotgun mics. A wider focal length captures more of the surroundings, which is crucial for vlogs that involve travel or capturing scenery.
Remember that a wide-angle lens fits more into the frame. Close objects appear more prominent, while distant ones seem smaller. This perspective elongates objects at the frame’s edges. Wide-angle lenses have the least zoomed-in appearance among focal lengths.
A standard lens suits larger spaces, offering natural perspectives for corporate or professional talking headshots with blurrier backgrounds. However, a separate microphone is needed when positioned farther away.
Standard lenses mimic natural human eye vision, lacking the stretching of wide-angle lenses. They offer a balanced view without extremes. Compared to wide-angle lenses, less of the scene fits in the frame, resulting in a slightly more zoomed-in look.
Telephoto lenses require greater distance, which is beneficial for teleprompter use to avoid apparent eye movement while reading. This lens enables script reading from a distance, later closing the gap for framing with zoom.
They magnify subjects and bring distant objects closer. Background elements seem larger and nearer than wide-angle or standard lenses, producing a zoomed-in effect.
A lens’s aperture affects the depth of field and low-light performance. Opt for a lens with a wide maximum aperture (e.g., f/1.4 or f/2.8) to achieve that beautiful background blur (bokeh) and better performance in low-light conditions.
Since vlogging often involves handheld shooting while on the move, having built-in optical or electronic image stabilization is a significant advantage. This feature reduces the effects of camera shake and ensures smoother footage.
Fast and accurate autofocus is crucial for vlogging, primarily if you shoot solo. Look for lenses with silent and swift autofocus motors to keep up with your movements.
Consider a versatile zoom lens that covers a range of focal lengths. This will allow you to switch between different perspectives without changing lenses frequently.
Weight and Size
Vlogging often requires carrying your equipment for extended periods. Opt for a lens that strikes a balance between quality and portability. A heavy lens can become a burden during extended shoots.
Tips for Lens Maintenance
Once you’ve invested in a high-quality lens, proper maintenance is vital to ensure its longevity and optimal performance. Follow these tips to keep your lens in pristine condition:
1. Lens Caps: Always use lens caps when your lens is not in use. They provide a simple yet effective barrier against dust, moisture, and accidental scratches.
2. UV Filters: Consider using a UV filter as additional protection for the front element of your lens. This extra layer can shield against dust, dirt, and minor impacts without affecting image quality.
3. Cleaning Kit: Invest in a lens cleaning kit with a soft brush, microfiber cloths, and lens cleaning solution. Regularly clean the front and rear elements of the lens to remove smudges and fingerprints.
4. Proper Storage: Store your lenses in a dry and cool environment, away from direct sunlight. Use padded lens cases or dividers in your camera bag to prevent lenses from knocking into each other.
5. Avoid Changing Lenses in Dusty Environments: If possible, avoid changing lenses in environments with a high amount of dust and debris. If you must switch lenses, do so quickly and efficiently to minimize the exposure of the camera’s sensor and the lens’s interior to dust.
6. Check for Fungus: Occasionally inspect your lenses for signs of fungus growth, especially if stored in humid conditions. Fungi can degrade image quality and damage lens coatings.
7. Professional Servicing: If you notice issues with autofocus, image quality, or any physical damage, it’s best to send your lens to a professional service center for repair. Attempting to fix complex issues yourself might worsen the problem.
So,What’s the Best Lens for Vlogging?
When it comes to the ideal vlogging lens, the Sony E 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 stands out as the clear winner, with the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f/4 IS PRO as a notable runner-up. The Sony E 16-50mm lens excels in combining compactness, versatility, and performance, making it the ultimate choice for vloggers on the move.
The Sony E 16-50mm boasts an incredibly lightweight and compact design, fitting seamlessly into any vlogging setup without compromising portability. Its wider focal range allows for both wide-angle shots and moderate telephoto compositions, ensuring adaptability to various shooting scenarios.
Furthermore, the Sony lens’s autofocus technology ensures smooth and accurate focusing, enhancing the quality of vlogs. While the Olympus M.Zuiko offers a broader focal range, the Sony E 16-50mm aligns better with vlogging requirements, delivering the necessary balance between versatility, convenience, and quality.
Taking into account the factors highlighted in the buying guide, including portability, focal range, autofocus performance, and overall usability, I’ve found that the Sony E 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 emerges as the optimal choice for vloggers who seek a lens that seamlessly fulfills every essential aspect of their craft.