Top 5 Lenses for DSLR Filmmaking

DSLR cameras has become more and more popular with experienced, intermediate and even novice filmmakers. Unlike the traditional point-and-shoot camera (remember those?), a DSLR camera is incomplete without a good lens. And depending on what type of camera you own, and what type of footage you’re planning to shoot with your camera, finding the RIGHT type of lens is extremely important. There is a lot of great lenses out there, but these are the 5 that we would recommend to any serious DSLR filmmaker.

1. Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens – This lens has a 50mm focal length and maximum aperture of f/1.8, with a minimum focusing distance of 1.15 ft. (0.35m) and a maximum magnification of 0.21x. It has has stepper motor (STM), which means it focuses on objects with near silent, continuous Move Servo auto-focus for movies and smooth auto-focus for stills. This lens is ideal for portraits, action, and nighttime photography.

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2. Canon EF 135mm f/2 L USM Lens – If you’re shooting documentary-style footage (for example, “The Mating Habits of the Gold Rim Butterfly”), it’s more than likely you wouldn’t be able to control where or when your subject will move. Therefore, you need to have a stable telephoto lens to cover long distance and get that sharp subject and blurred background which will give you cinematic shots for your video.

The Canon EF 135mm f/2 L USM is a “L” Glass lens which is arguably the best quality out there and essential for film and documentary makers. It can be used on full frame and APS-C cameras. Its Micro UltraSonic Motor (USM) offers fast and quiet auto focus, and with its 135mm focal length, this lens can give you a focusing distance of 3 feet. This is without a doubt the best telephoto lens for shooting video where you need to cover moving subjects or objects that are far away.

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3. Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM L Lens – This is the most expensive lens on this list, but thanks to its 18-35mm focal length (27-52.5mm equivalent focal length on APS-C cameras) and F1.8 maximum aperture (F16 minimum), it provides incredible sharpness, wider angles, and an overall great performance. It has a great focal range and constant aperture, which gives amazing low light performance and blurred background with subjects really focused. In addition, it comes with multiple mounts, meaning that it can be used with Canon, Nikon, Sony crop sensor cameras.

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4. Rokinon Cine 85mm f/1.5 Lens – Cine lens has de-clicked aperture which means it is adjusted manually. They have gears on the side of the lens to use with other accessories like follow focus or aperture control devices to allow videographers to maintain focus on moving focus with smooth dials connected to the lens.

The Rokinon Cine 85mm f/1.5 lens features de-clicked aperture to reduce noise and jerking motions, an aperture range of t/1.5- t/22 and a minimum focusing distance of 3 to 6 feet. Like other DSLR lenses from Sigma and Rokinon, you can use this with Canon, Nikon, Sony and other DSLR cameras.

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5. Canon 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Lens – This particular wide-angle lens is an STM lens, which means it will make almost no noise when shooting video. It has an optical image stabilizer, which means you can use it to shoot great wide-angle shots even in handheld position.

You can also shoot excellent time-lapse using this wide-angle lens and is a great option for those looking for an affordable first party wide-angle lens. Keep in mind that the maximum aperture is up to f/4.5 which means it is not great in low light situations.

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We hope that this article proved useful in your search for the most convenient lens for your DSLR camera. Feel free to share your thoughts on our article, in addition to what lens and/or camera is your most favorite.

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