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The best lenses for vlogging: film the world and film yourself!

Best lenses for vlogging
(Image credit: Sony)

Picking the best lenses for vlogging is a tricky task. It's 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 basically get the job done, but to give yourself more scope and a more professional look, you need to look at lenses 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 obvious choice for vlogging for most of us.

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 2022

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.

Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS

(Image credit: Future)

1. Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS

We really like this neat little APS-C semi-superzoom from Sony

Specifications

Mount: Sony E
Focal range: 18-135mm
Effective focal length: 27-202mm
Maximum aperture: f/3.5-5.6
Minimum focus distance: 0.45m
Dimensions: 67.2 x 88mm
Weight: 326g
Filter size: 55mm

Reasons to buy

+
Great zoom range
+
Neat, lightweight construction
+
Optical stabilization

Reasons to avoid

-
Variable maximum aperture
-
Relies on digital corrections

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.

(Image credit: Sony)
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A modest ultra-wide lens for stills photographers but ideal for Sony vloggers

Specifications

Mount: Sony E
Focal range: 10-18mm
Effective focal length: 15-27mm
Maximum aperture: f/4
Minimum focus distance: 0.25m
Dimensions: 70.1 x 63.5mm
Weight: 224g
Filter size: 62mm

Reasons to buy

+
Compact design
+
Constant f/4 maximum aperture
+
Optical stabilization

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited zoom range

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.

(Image credit: Panasonic)
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3. Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 II ASPH. POWER O.I.S.

We think this 12-35mm hits the sweet spot for size, performance and versatility

Specifications

Mount: MFT
Focal range: 12-35mm
Effective focal length: 24-70mm
Maximum aperture: f/2.8
Minimum focus distance: 0.25m
Dimensions: 67.6 x 73.8mm
Weight: 305g
Filter size: 58mm

Reasons to buy

+
Compact and portable
+
Constant f/2.8 maximum aperture
+
Optical stabilization

Reasons to avoid

-
Only 3x zoom range

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.

(Image credit: Panasonic)
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4. Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm f/4 ASPH.

A little hefty for a Micro Four Thirds lens, but there aren't any better choices

Specifications

Mount: MFT
Focal range: 7-14mm
Effective focal length: 14-28mm
Maximum aperture: f/4
Minimum focus distance: 0.25m
Dimensions: 75 x 83.1mm
Weight: 300g
Filter size: N/A

Reasons to buy

+
Ultra-wide angle of view
+
Constant f/4 maximum aperture

Reasons to avoid

-
Can't use filters
-
Not small, fairly expensive

Surprisingly, there's not a big choice of compact ultra-wide zooms for MFT cameras. The Olympus 9-18 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 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.

Olympus

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. 

(Image credit: Olympus)
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5. Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f/4 IS PRO

Powerful but hefty, a lens we'd choose for more serious projects not every walkaround use

Specifications

Mount: MFT
Focal range: 12-100mm
Effective focal length: 24-200mm
Maximum aperture: f/4
Minimum focus distance: 0.15m
Dimensions: 77.5 x 116.5mm
Weight: 561g
Filter size: 72mm

Reasons to buy

+
Huge zoom range
+
Constant f/4 maximum aperture
+
Optical stabilization

Reasons to avoid

-
Pretty big and heavy
-
Expensive too

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.

(Image credit: Rod Lawton/Digital Camera World)
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It's a bit bigger than we'd like, but this could be the perfect one-stop vlogging lens

Specifications

Mount: MFT
Focal range: 8-25mm
Effective focal length: 16-50mm
Maximum aperture: f/4
Minimum focus distance: 0.23m
Dimensions: 77 x 88.5mm
Weight: 411g
Filter size: 72mm

Reasons to buy

+
Unique ultra-wide-standard zoom range
+
Constant f/4 maximum aperture
+
Excellent optical quality

Reasons to avoid

-
Pretty big and heavy for MFT
-
Fairly expensive

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

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. 

(Image credit: Rod Lawton/Digital Camera World)
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It feels a bit big on anything smaller than an X-T4, but this lens has top vlogging credentials

Specifications

Mount: X-mount
Focal range: 16-80mm
Effective focal length: 24-120mm
Maximum aperture: f/4
Minimum focus distance: 0.35m
Dimensions: 78.3 x 88.9mm
Weight: 440g
Filter size: 72mm

Reasons to buy

+
Great everyday zoom range
+
Constant f/4 maximum aperture
+
Aperture ring
+
Optical stabilization

Reasons to avoid

-
On the heavy side

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

(Image credit: Rod Lawton/Digital Camera World)
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A decent choice for vloggers who need an ultra-wide lens, but we wish it was a bit smaller

Specifications

Mount: X-mount
Focal range: 10-24mm
Effective focal length: 15-36mm
Maximum aperture: f/4
Minimum focus distance: 0.24m
Dimensions: 77.6 x 87mm
Weight: 385g
Filter size: 72mm

Reasons to buy

+
Ultra-wide angle of view
+
Constant f/4 maximum aperture
+
Optical stabilization
+
Aperture ring

Reasons to avoid

-
Pretty big for an APS-C camera
-
Optically average

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.

(Image credit: Canon)
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9. Canon EF-M 18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM

A handy walkaround lens when you want a much longer focal range

Specifications

Mount: EF-M
Focal range: 18-150mm
Effective focal length: 29-240mm
Maximum aperture: f/3.5-6.3
Minimum focus distance: 0.25m
Dimensions: 60.9 x 86.5mm
Weight: 300g
Filter size: 55mm

Reasons to buy

+
Great zoom range
+
Light to carry
+
Optical stabilization

Reasons to avoid

-
Somewhat plasticky
-
Only f/6.3 at full zoom

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.

(Image credit: Canon)
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10. Canon EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM

At least Canon gets it – we need an ultra-wide lens that's also small and light

Specifications

Mount: EF-M
Focal range: 11-22mm
Effective focal length: 18-35mm
Maximum aperture: f/4-5.6
Minimum focus distance: 0.15m
Dimensions: 60.9 x 58.2mm
Weight: 220g
Filter size: 55mm

Reasons to buy

+
Great wide view for self-filming
+
Optical stabilization
+
Light and portable

Reasons to avoid

-
Somewhat plasticky

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.

(Image credit: Digital Camera World)
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Until the Nikkor Z DX lens range fills out a little, this tiny standard kit lens is hard to beat

Specifications

Mount: Nikon Z
Focal range: 18-135mm
Effective focal length: 27-202mm
Maximum aperture: f/3.5-5.6
Minimum focus distance: 0.2m
Dimensions: 70 x 32mm
Weight: 135g
Filter size: 46mm

Reasons to buy

+
Space-saving retracting mechanism
+
Usable everyday focal range
+
Optical stabilization

Reasons to avoid

-
Only f/6.3 at longest zoom setting
-
Barely wide enough for self-filming

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

(Image credit: Future)
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A good lens to get if you need a longer focal range, but it doesn't go especially 'wide'

Specifications

Mount: Nikon Z
Focal range: 18-140mm
Effective focal length: 27-210mm
Maximum aperture: f/3.5-6.3
Minimum focus distance: 0.2m
Dimensions: 73 x 90mm
Weight: 315g
Filter size: 62mm

Reasons to buy

+
Useful extended zoom range
+
Optical stabilization

Reasons to avoid

-
Only f/6.3 at full zoom
-
Not wide enough for selfie-filming

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. 

Read more: 

Best cameras for vlogging (opens in new tab)
Best 4K cameras for filmmaking (opens in new tab)
Best gimbals for video (opens in new tab)
Best microphones for video (opens in new tab)

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Rod is the Group Reviews editor for Digital Camera World and across Future's entire photography portfolio, with decades of experience with cameras of all kinds. Previously he has been technique editor on N-Photo, Head of Testing for the photography division and Camera Channel editor on TechRadar. He has been writing about photography technique, photo editing and digital cameras since they first appeared, and before that began his career writing about film photography. He has used and reviewed practically every interchangeable lens camera launched in the past 20 years, from entry-level DSLRs to medium format cameras, together with lenses, tripods, gimbals, light meters, camera bags and more.