Picking the best lenses for vlogging is a tricky task, and there are going to be different "best"s for different people, depending on the kind of content you're creating – and how and where you're creating it.
In fact, choosing the best lenses for vlogging is arguably even more difficult (and important) than picking the best camera for vlogging (opens in new tab). The kit lens that came with your camera may just about get the job done, but to give yourself more scope and a more professional look, you need to look at lenses that are designed for the job.
You need to think about focal range, as usual, but apart from a regular lens for filming what's in front of you, the chances are you will also want to film yourself talking to the camera. If you're shooting with a gimbal or a grip, you will be holding the camera at arm's length and no further, so you will need an ultra wide-angle lens. Most zooms go no wider than 24mm equivalent, which is barely enough, and too tight to get anything of your surroundings in the frame too.
So for that reason we've picked out not one lens type for each camera system but two: a regular zoom for normal filming and what we'll call an ultra-wide 'selfie' zoom for when you need to film yourself.
We're also sticking to APS-C and Micro Four Thirds systems for this guide, since we figure these are the most attractive to vloggers. You can vlog with full frame cameras, of course, but while the cameras aren't always a lot bigger and heavier, the lenses most often are – so they are not the optimal choice for vlogging.
We've split this guide up into sections, one for each main camera system, as that seems the most helpful and logical way to do it.
The best lenses for vlogging in 2023
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Sony APS-C cameras
Sony's APS-C E-mount cameras have proved hugely popular with vloggers, mostly because of their small size and fast and effective autofocus. They're usually sold with Sony's 16-50mm power-zoom kit lens, which is certainly compact, but while it's all right for getting started, it definitely has its limits. Here are two suggestions for the next step up.
The Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS is half-way to a superzoom, but it's also light, neat and easy to handle. It makes a great long-range alternative to the standard kit lens and includes optical stabilization. The only thing we have against it for vlogging is the variable maximum aperture, but unless you like to film at a fixed aperture setting, that won't necessarily be a problem. If it is, there's always the often overlooked Sony E PZ 18-105mm f/4 G OSS, which costs about the same and has a smaller zoom range but a constant f/4 maximum aperture – and a power zoom lever. We like the Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS, however, for its neat design and its optical performance, which does rely on digital correction but is a step above the average superzoom lens as a result. See our full Sony E 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 OSS review.(opens in new tab)
The Sony 10-18mm is fairly ordinary as a lens for stills, but has found a new purpose amongst vloggers. This lens has been in Sony's catalog for a while, and for stills photographers its zoom range looks a little lacking. However, the upsurge in vlogging has given this lens a new lease of life. Its ultra-wide angle of view is perfect for selfie vlogging and, indeed, it's a lens Sony recommended to us when we reviewed the ZV-E10 vlogging camera. The constant maximum aperture will please manual-everything filmmakers and optical stabilization is built in. An ultra-wide lens like this is also useful for regular filming in narrow city streets and interiors.
• Read our Sony E 10-18mm f/4 OSS review
Panasonic Lumix G lenses
Practically all of Panasonic's Lumix G cameras are potentially great vlogging tools, and many of the smaller cameras typically come with a great little 'pancake' 12-32mm (24-64mm equivalent) kit lens. The larger models may come with one of two 12-60mm (24-120mm equivalent) zooms which are great for vlogging too. But here are two more strong candidates.(opens in new tab)
This is one of Panasonic's older lenses and often skipped these days in favor of the 12-60mm zooms. However, it has a lot going for it that these other lenses don't. First, for a constant f/2.8 24-70mm equivalent zoom, it is very light and very easy to handle on a gimbal or mini-tripod. It has optical stabilization which can hook into Panasonics Dual I.S. in-body stabilization and the zoom control is very light and smooth. We think we'd rather have this over the extra zoom range, heavier weight and variable maximum aperture of the 12-60mm lenses.(opens in new tab)
Surprisingly, there's not a big choice of compact ultra-wide zooms for MFT cameras. The Olympus 9-18mm is small but looks both pricey and old-fashioned to us, so we would pick this. Olympus also does a 7-14mm lens, but it's an f/2.8 and a bit of a monster. So instead, we would pick the more compact Lumix G Vario 7-14mm f/4 ASPH for vlogging, both for self-filming and general vlogging use – and not just on Pansonic Lumix G cameras, but maybe Olympus MFT models too. Read our Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm f/4 ASPH review (opens in new tab) for full details.
Smaller Olympus cameras come with a terrific little EZ 14-42mm (28-84mm equivalent) 'pancake' zoom which may be all you need, but it's likely that at some point you'll need lenses with a bit more range. We'll go a little left-field here and say that the two Panasonic lenses above are ideal mid-price and mid-weight choices on Olympus bodies. If, however, you're happier working with slightly heavier lenses, Olympus makes two excellent and somewhat unique vlogging lenses.(opens in new tab)
The M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f/4 IS PRO is no lightweight and on the borderline of what we would consider a handy vlogging lens – but it has a huge 24-200mm equivalent zoom range, a constant f/4 maximum aperture and in-body stabilization that offers up to 6.5 stops of compensation on suitable Olympus bodies. The optical performance is excellent for a lens of this range, and if you've got a gimbal that can handle it (it's actually not that bad) then there is no other lens like it.(opens in new tab)
The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 8-25mm f/4 PRO is quite unique. The only other comparable lens we can think of is Panasonic's full frame 20-60mm zoom. The Olympus 8-25mm has an equivalent focal range of 16-50mm in full frame camera terms, so it's both an ultra wide lens and a short standard zoom in one. For once, you may not have to swap lenses for selfie-filming – you can use one lens for both jobs. On the upside, the M.Zuiko Digital ED 8-25mm f/4 PRO has a constant f/4 maximum aperture, fast and quiet AF and excellent optical performance. On the downside it is a pretty big and heavy lens by MFT standards.
• Read our full Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 8‑25mm F4.0 PRO review
Fujifilm X-mount cameras have terrific video features, and the X-S10 and X-T4 have in-body stabilization too. But while the XC 15-45mm power zoom kit (23-68mm equivalent) lens is really good for getting started in vlogging, you're faced with a bit of a jump in cost and weight after that. Here are two really good vlogging lenses, but they're no lightweights.(opens in new tab)
There are a number of Fujifilm standard zooms, including the 18-55mm f/2.8-4 (OK, but variable maximum aperture) and 16-55mm f/2.8 (good, but too big). This one, we think, is the most interesting. Offering a focal range equivalent of 24-120mm and a constant f/4 maximum aperture, iit also has optical image stabilization, so it's especially useful on bodies that don't have this built in. The XF 16-80mm f/4 R OIS WR is a great lens for everyday photography and for vlogging too, with fast and near-silent AF.
• Read our full Fujinon XF 16-80mm F4 R OIS WR review
If you need to film yourself, the XF 10-24mm f/4 R OIS WR is a great choice. It's a pretty big lens to go vlogging with, but that can't be helped because the Fujifilm lens range doesn't have anything smaller in this focal range. It has a constant f/4 maximum aperture, fast and quiet AF and optical stabilization, which is a big help on cameras like the X-T30 II or X-T200, say. The optical performance is good too, though we find the corners of the frame go a little soft at the maximum 24mm setting.
• Read our full Fujinon XF 10-24mm F4 R OIS WR review
Canon EOS M
Canon's EF-M cameras are designed for affordability rather than quality, you might say, and that applies to EF-M lenses too. But they're fine for vlogging, and if you decide the standard 15-45mm IS STM kit lens (24-72mm equivalent) is not enough any more, there are two in particular that we would pick out.(opens in new tab)
The standard Canon 15-45mm kit lens is pretty good, but one way to improve on it is to go for this 18-150mm semi-superzoom. With an equivalent focal range of 29-240mm, it gives you lots of scope for semi-wide shots right up to more distant subjects. The f/6.3 maximum aperture at full zoom is a little disappointing, but if you shoot in P (program) mode you'll probably not notice the aperture changing. It does have optical stabilization, though, which you do need on Canon EOS M bodies, since it's not built in.(opens in new tab)
The little Canon EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM is the ideal lens for selfie vlogging, with an effective focal range of 18-35mm – easily wide enough to get you in the frame and your background. The specs are pretty modest, with an f/4-5.6 maximum aperture range, but the STM autofocus is fast and quiet and there's an image stabilizer built in, which you can't always count on with ultra-wide zooms.
Nikon Z DX
Nikon's full frame Z system is pretty mature now, but its APS-C DX system is not – and there are just a handful of Nikkor Z DX lenses to choose from. We rate the standard 16-50mm kit lens (24-75mm equivalent) kit lens highly, but if it no longer meets your vlogging needs, there is an alternative.(opens in new tab)
This is the standard retracting 'pancake' zoom you usually get as standard with the Nikon Z50 and the Nikon Z fc. But if you bought either camera body only or with a different kit lens, then this is still worth considering. The zoom range is pretty typical for a kit lens, while the variable maximum aperture is a tad disappointing, dropping to f/6.3 at 50mm. You do get Nikon's Vibration built in, though, which you will definitely want, since neither the Z50 or Z fc have in-body stabilization.
• Read our full Nikkor Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR review
The standard Nikkor Z DX 16-50mm zoom is fine, but a bit limited in range. The relatively new NIKKOR Z DX 18-140mm f/3.5-6.3 VR goes a lot further, with an equivalent focal range of 27-210mm. That's practically 'superzoom' territory, yet this is still a relatively compact and light lens that you could leave on the camera all day without it weighing you down. On the downside, it's actually not as 'wide' as the regular 16-50mm at its shortest focal length. As yet there are no Nikon Z DX ultra-wide lenses, so good as these cameras are for regular vlogging, the lack of lens choice makes them harder to use for filming yourself. You'll have to put them on a tripod and stand back instead of using a handheld gimbal or grip.
• Read our full Nikon Z DX 18-140mm f/3.5-6.3 VR review
What we look for in lenses for vlogging
• A longer focal range: Vlogging can mean encountering the unexpected, and can also mean needing to shoot all sorts of different subjects: the near and the distant, the large and the small, the moving and the stationary. Having a broad focal range in a single lens means you’re prepared for all of these situations.
• A wide maximum aperture: This provides two advantages: allowing more light into the sensor and thereby improving the footage you can get in low light, as well as allowing for the creation of shallow depth of field, having a main subject pop against an artfully blurred background. This is especially good for doing pieces to camera or interviews.
Fast, silent autofocus: When vlogging, you aren’t going to want to be manually focusing all of the time, and that means having a lens with a capable autofocus system to keep up. However, you also don’t want a noisy whirring autofocus system ruining the sound of your vlogs, so this means picking up a lens with an STM (stepping motor) autofocus system or similar.
Size and weight: You don’t want to be lugging around something that’s too heavy if you're shooting handheld or on a gimbal.
Optical stabilisation: This can give you an edge in keeping your footage smooth even in tough, low-light conditions.
Power Zoom: Another nice feature if you can get it, making your zoom actions smooth and polished without some of the jerkiness that can come from doing it manually.
So as you can see, there’s a lot to think about! We’ve factored all these things in and come up with our list of the best lenses for vlogging right now. We’ve shopped around for lenses suitable for a range of budgets and different mounts, so whatever your vlogging setup, there should be the right lens for you.
How we test lenses
We test lenses using a mix of both real world sample images and lab tests. Our lab tests are carried out scientifically in controlled conditions using the Imatest testing suite, which consists of custom charts and analysis software that measures resolution in line widths/picture height, a measurement widely used in lens and camera testing. We find the combination of lab and real-word testing works best, as each reveals different qualities and characteristics.