What do you look for in a video lens? As a videographer, the lens you use will determine the quality of your video. Although choosing the best Sony lens for video is not straightforward due to the many options in the market, this review will guide you through.
Whether you are shooting videos for tech channels, fashion, real estate, or documentary, pairing your Sony DSLR with the best Sony lens for video is essential. The below review details all you need to know to make an informed decision.
The Sony 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 boasts of a useful telephoto focal length range, making it a versatile zoom lens specifically designed for full-size mirrorless E-mount cameras, as it offers a zoom range of 105-450mm on APS-C format Sony cameras.
The variable aperture of f/4.5-5.6 keeps the lens weight and size to the minimum while producing exceptional image quality. The lens design consists of two low dispersion glass elements that help reduce color fringing chromatic and aberrations to improve brightness and color neutrality.
Unlike the Sony 24-70mm f / 4, it comes with four aspherical elements to minimize field curvature, astigmatism, coma, and other monochromatic distortions.
It features the SteadyShot image stabilization functionality, which helps minimize the camera shake effect for sharper images when shooting with slower shutter speeds or handheld shooting.
The stabilization functionality also works in conjunction with camera sensor broadcast-type image stabilization to suppress camera blur more effectively. It comes with an internal focusing design, equipped with a linear autofocus motor to ensure fast, accurate, precise, and silent focusing during video recording.
Also, the focus area limitation button provides better performance when shooting moving subjects. The dust and moisture-resistant construction allow better work under harsh conditions, and the rubberized adjustment rings facilitate handling in cold temperatures.
It comes with a nine-blade aperture diaphragm which enhances the appealing bokeh quality when using selective focus functionality. However, it is the heaviest on our list, making it inconvenient to shoot for an extended time or carrying around.
The Sony 55mm f/1.8 is a perfect full-frame lens, offering excellent accuracy and a fast f/1.8 aperture for videographers looking for a high-performance full-frame lens.
Like the Sony 24-70mm f/4, it bases the optical design on Zeiss Sonnar lens design, featuring seven elements arranged in five groups, helping it eliminate the chromatic aberrations and distortions.
With a maximum wide aperture of f/1.8, it performs exceptionally great when shooting videos in poor lighting conditions. It offers a corresponding focal length of 82.5mm when used with an APS-C format Sony camera, making it ideal for use with a shallow depth of field.
It comes with Zeiss anti-reflective coatings on each lens's element surface to minimize glare and increase image sharpness, contrast, and color accuracy even when shooting in strong lighting circumstances.
The lens construction consists of three aspherical elements, with two being duplex elements, which work together to eliminate field curvature and astigmatism. It features a linear autofocus motor which ensures fast, accurate Autofocus and allows for precise focusing during video recording.
It features a rugged design with weather resistance sealing, making it suitable for shooting in trying situations such as snow and deserts, unlike the Rokinon AF 50mm f/1.4. The nine-blade aperture diaphragm enhances the impressive bokeh quality when using shallow depth of field and selective focus.
It weighs 0.4 pounds heavier than Sony E 10-18mm f/4, weighing 0.9 pounds, making it less impressive for carrying.
The world's first autofocus lens, the f/1.4 Rokinon AF 50mm is a fast lens with a fixed focal length lens specifically designed for mirrorless, full-frame Sony E-mount digital cameras.
Also, you can use it on APS-C models, where it offers a corresponding focal length of 75mm.
The sharp, fast f/1.4 aperture is great in low light and also gives you better control over the depth of field when using selective focus functionalities.
Like the Sony E 10-18mm f/4, it features three aspherical elements in its optical construction, which helps minimize spherical aberration and improve end-to-end clarity and accuracy.
The individual elements come with a multicultural coating to reduce flare and ghosting while increasing contrast and color balance even when shooting in bright lighting situations. The autofocus motor works well in conjunction with Sony camera focus systems for fast, precise, and accurate autofocus.
On top of that, it comes with a full-time manual override which helps you fine-tune your focusing. The nine-blade rounded aperture diaphragm promotes good smooth bokeh quality, equivalent to the Sony 70-300mm.
It features an internal focusing design, allowing it to focus on subjects without altering the lens's overall length, making it suitable for capturing camera-sensitive subjects such as insects.
It weighs 1.2 pounds, twice as heavy as Sony 55mm f/1.8, making it less ideal for carrying around or shooting for an extended time as it may exhaust you or hurt your wrists.
With the Sony 24-70mm f/4, you will have peace of mind when capturing scenes as it is both wide-angle and short telephoto lenses, ideal for working with a variety of subjects and shooting styles.
Using the Zeiss Tessar lens concept, it comes with a 12-element design arranged in ten groups, which helps to reduce lens size and reduce glare, chromatic aberrations, and distortion.
The Sony 24-70mm f/4 covers a short telephoto to wide-angle perspective, and you can use it on APS-C format Sony cameras, where it offers a corresponding zoom range of 36-105mm.
The standard f/4 aperture provides constant performance across the entire zoom range and provides better focus position control for depth-of-field techniques. It also features anti-reflective coatings on each lens's element surface to minimize glare and increase image sharpness, contrast, and color accuracy.
Unlike Sony 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6, it features five aspherical elements in its optical design to help reduce coma, field curvature, astigmatism, and other monochromatic distortions.
It comes with a linear autofocus motor which ensures the focusing is fast and effortless, and the enhanced internal focusing design ensures the overall length of the lens’ length doesn't change when focusing.
The weather-resistant design allows working under trying conditions, such as capturing videos in the desert or snow. It comes with rubberized adjustment rings, which facilitate handling in cold temperatures.
Although the bokeh quality is less appealing than Sony 70-300mm f / 4.5-5.6, the seven-blade aperture film promotes good quality when using shallow depth of field.
The Sony E 10-18mm f/4 is an ideal lens for capturing tight interiors and ultra-wide landscapes, offering a corresponding zoom range of 15-27mm on APS-C format. The standard f/4 aperture provides constant performance across the entire zoom range and provides better focus position control for depth-of-field techniques.
The lens design has a Super Low dispersion glass element to reduce chromatic and color distortions to improve brightness and color neutrality. It comes with three aspherical elements for reducing chromatic aberrations and color fringing.
However, the distortion suppression is less impressive compared to the Sony 24-70mm f/4. Like the Sony 70-300mm f / 4.5-5.6, it features Optical SteadyShot image stabilization which helps minimize camera shake, enhancing sharper images when capturing with slower shutter speeds.
Also, you can combine this stabilization system with the camera sensor image stabilization function to control camera blur more effectively.
Although the seven-blade aperture diaphragm promotes a quality bokeh, it can't match the bokeh quality in Sony 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 when using shallow depth of field or selective focus.
With a minimum focusing distance of 9.8 inches, the built-in focus mechanism promotes faster and more responsive autofocus and handling ease as the lens doesn't change length during use.
It is the most lightweight on our list, weighing 0.5 pounds, making it the most ideal if you are planning to shoot videos for an extended time. Typically, this weight won't exhaust you or hurt your wrists.
Different video lenses for Sony cameras come in varying qualities and attributes, and choosing the right one may be challenging. Below, we detail the essential features you need to consider in a sony lens for video.
|Product||Focal Length||Aperture||Weight (Pounds)|
|Sony 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6||70-300mm||f/4.5-5.6||1.88|
|Sony 24-70mm f/4||24-70mm||f/4||0.9|
|Sony E 10-18mm f/4||10-18mm||f/4||0.5|
|Rokinon AF 50mm f/1.4||50mm||f/1.4||1.2|
|Sony 55mm f/1.8||55mm||f/1.8||0.6|
An aperture is the diaphragm opening in the lens that lets in light into the DSLR. The size of the aperture is regulated by a multi-petal iris. The iris also affects the appearance and quality of bokeh or image blur.
A higher number of blades results in a rounder opening, which creates a smoother, more pleasant bokeh image when applying selective focus techniques. This opening size is a key feature in a lens and is marked as the top width to which it can be opened.
Typically, you see this as the measured f-number of the lens, for example, f/1.4, f/4, or f/1.8. The smaller the f-number, the wider the opening can be, letting in more light to enter. The larger the aperture, the shallower the depth of field, making the level of focus more subtle.
You may have seen a video where the subject is excellently focused, and the subject background is blurry. In such a case, the video is shot using a wide aperture of f/2.8 or higher. When buying a new lens, look for the largest apertures of f/4 or more.
The wide aperture of zoom lenses varies with the focal length you use. It, therefore, means you will probably need to set the right exposure while zooming. Upgrading from f/4 to f/2.8 can make a significant difference for night vision videographers.
Wide aperture lenses such as Sony 55mm f/1.8 are also a great option for those who want a cinematic look with a very shallow depth of field.
Apart from the aperture, the focal length will likely be a determining factor in deciding which lenses to buy. It's measured in millimeters and is typically the first number in the lens description.
The smaller the number, the broader the viewing angle, allowing you to capture a wider portion of the scene. A lens with a longer range focal length brings the viewer closer to the subject when there is more space in the frame.
It is a main video quality determinant and a crucial storytelling tool if you use it properly, as it can help add creative effects to your video. Typically, the ultra-wide angle lens and the extreme telephoto are mainly used to attain a certain creative effect.
Keep in mind that wide-angle lenses tend to distort the video, which may be an issue if applied inappropriately.
Lenses with focal lengths ranging between 20 and 100 mm are popular in video production, and 50mm lenses such as Rokinon AF 50mm f/1.4 correspond to the human eye's field of view.
Also, you will discover that most manufacturers like Sony make 24-70mm zoom lenses, such as Sony 24-70mm f/4 very similar. Typically, these lenses' zoom range incorporates the most frequently used focal lengths.
When you base your choice on the lens's focal length, you may also need to consider the size of the camera's sensor. Smaller full-frame sensors have a crop factor that increases the lens's effective focal length.
Coupled with a 2x crop MFT sensor, the 55mm in Sony 55mm f/1.8 lens has the same field of view as the 110mm lens.
For a DSLR with an APS-C sensor and 1.5x crop, the field of view of the same lens is roughly 82.5mm lens. You will therefore need to know your camera's crop factor to ensure you get the lenses you need.
You can use zoom lenses to cover a big range, but prime lenses come with a fixed focal length. They can have a short or long focal length that covers a very narrow area or a wide focal range.
Zoom lenses such as Sony 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 can replace numerous prime lenses and are great for racing and shooting high-speed scenes that require frequent reframing.
However, prime lenses such as Sony 55mm f/1.8 come with a wider and fast aperture than their zoom counterparts. Also, fewer optical design elements in the prime lenses generally produce sharper images than corresponding zoom lenses.
Another essential feature when buying a lens is the format of the camera's sensor. The most common sensor types to consider include APS-C, Super35, and full-frame, as well as Micro Four Thirds.
Keep in mind that Micro Four Thirds is sensor size and mounting style. Since the full-frame cells are the most significant, a full-frame lens's image obscures the small sensor. Full-size lenses such as Sony 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 work well with any camera.
However, if you capture videos using a crop sensor on a full-size camera, the image will cover part of the sensor. As a result, there is severe image vignetting, and if you don't want that appearance, avoid using a lens designed for a tiny sensor on a high-end camera.
When shooting videos, you don't want the camera shaking effect, which leads to image blurring, especially when capturing scenes in poor lighting situations or shooting handheld.
Image stabilization is designed to reduce image blur and can be a vital feature if you're using a handheld DSLR or working in low light. If the camera you are using the lens with does not provide image stabilization, consider this option with your lens.
For instance, the Sony E 10-18mm f/4 comes with image stabilization to enhance the overall image clarity and sharpness.
If you plan to use the lens in trying conditions, make sure it is weatherproof. This means that it is designed to keep out water and dust at any point of entry.
The front is usually provided with a coating against dust, water, and sludge. For instance, the Sony 24-70mm f/4 is weather-resistant, making it suitable for use in harsh situations such as deserts and snow.
Some lenses may not feel as heavy when you carry them, but you might feel different if you carry them all day.
If your plan is to shoot videos for an extended period, you should opt for lightweight lenses such as Sony E 10-18mm f/4, as you can shoot for long without exhaustion or the wrists hurting.
Manufacturers equip their lens with special coatings to eliminate the chromatic aberrations and color fringing, ensuring high image quality.
Most lenses feature both low dispersion and aspherical elements to suppress these distortions. Typically, lenses with the most elements, such as Sony 24-70mm f/4, shoot videos with the least distortion.
Unlike traditional photography, the autofocus may not work very well in videos as the subject keeps on moving. If the subject and the camera are stationary, it's much better to use a manual focus for precise focusing.
However, different lenses will hunt the subject differently as the subject keeps moving to enhance the application of selective focus techniques.
All the video lenses for Sony perform differently as some are zoom and other prime lenses. Also, they come with varying focal lengths and aperture, as well as optical elements for eliminating distortion.
For instance, the Sony 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 zoom lens performs better than Sony E 10-18mm f/4
The quality of the lens you use to shoot videos determines the quality of the video more than the camera itself. Although identifying video lenses that will suit your videography needs is confusing, any option from the above list will suit your videography needs.