Online videos are a great way to get the word out about your business, cause, passion, or thoughts. It has become a major part of our online lives. Because of this we have sourced the best Canon Vlogging lenses for your DSLR so you can produce the best quality video possible.
The more professional an online video looks, the better it will work for us. Often, a certain photographic tool, and the knowledge to use it well, can give our videos an edge. One tool many DSLR users find useful is a different lens besides the basic kit lens that came with our camera.
We are going to look at some different wide angle lens options for Canon DSLRs. What are the top 5 best Canon lenses for vlogging & video? We will review five different wide angle zoom lenses to see whats the most relevant for your style.
Why did we jump right away to wide angle?
A great reason is that many video bloggers find using a wider angle lens results in a pleasing view of the entire scene. With vlogging, having to pan and scan back and forth between subjects can become a little tedious to view.
Canon cameras are popular with many Vloggers because of their high quality and reasonable cost. Several consumer focused Canon DLSR cameras are very full featured for video work.
What makes one wide angle zoom lens different from another?
There are quite a few variables among lenses. Since we are looking at Digital SLRs, let’s focus on things specific to that genre. (Focus… See what I did there?)
Here are some important features that any great Vlogging/video lens should acquire.
- Continuous Auto Focus: It’s not all in the camera body. Though the AF sensors are definitely in the Canon camera bodies, a poorly matched lens can cause numerous issues with auto focus. Slow focus, focus seeking, and other focusing problems can be a result of our methods, or of problems with communication between camera and lens. Make sure the lens matches up to your camera’s features. Generally, the newer lenses from reputable brands will work well.
- Optical Image Stabilization: Not that big of deal with wide angle lens use in general, or with the camera on a tripod. But, when you’re handheld, this can make or break a photoshoot. Remember, in a video, we see all the camera movements. If you’re not on a tripod or some other support, image stabilization is very handy.
- Aperture: How “fast” is the lens? The lower the number, the more light a lens lets in at maximum aperture. An f/2.8 lens lets in more light than an f/4.5, but the faster lens is also usually somewhat bigger and quite a bit more pricey. Again, tripod use verses hand held has different real world needs. If you primarily use your set handheld for videos, a faster lens might be more desirable.
- Focal Length: How wide to we want to go? How much scene do we need to include? How much space do we have to work with? A very wide angle lens has a different set of factors to consider, such as possible distortion of facial features, or an obvious curvature to straight lines near the frame edge. Careful positioning and practice will be important with very wide angle lenses. For most videos, the “fish eye” look becomes distracting after a while.
Now, let’s get stuck in!
Top 5 Best Canon Lenses For Vlogging & Video
Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM (Editors Pick)
When I first saw the announcement for the Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM, I was very excited for many reasons.
As with all Canon products, it is high quality. Fit and finish is without any blemish. The lens is close in size to the standard kit lens, almost as lightweight, too. The lens elements are all glass, the barrel is high impact plastic.
The mount is a smooth, hard polycarbonate that looks like it would take a lot of use. The lens maximum aperture is variable f/4.5 to 5.6, which is another reason that this lens is small and lightweight. What made me most excited was the low price point of this fine lens.
Mounted on a APS-C format camera like the SL-1 or Rebel T5i, the lens is easy to handle.
Some may look at the maximum aperture range and think it limits the lens usefulness.
In real life use, the aperture isn’t very limiting unless recording at night or very low light conditions. In many way this lens is similar to many kit lenses that Canon products with the added benefit of being able to record in ultra wide angle. Incorporating kit lens style features is a big reason why this lens is small and inexpensive while still being high quality.
With this lens, a Canon shooter can cover a huge range of focal lengths while not spending a whole lot of money or dragging around a heavy bag of equipment.
Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 Lens
The Canon EF-S 10-22mm 10-22 f/3.5-4.5 has been the lens of choice for many Canon APS-C users for several years now. Before the lens we just reviewed anyways.
It’s a great lens, too. Some may have held off from buying it due to price, tho. It’s just about twice the price, size, and weight as the newer 10-18mm lens mentioned above. Because of its hight quality, many Vloggers such as Casey Neistat use this on a daily basis.
What you get for that extra price is a fantastic lens however. It has heavier duty construction than Canon fans have come to love. The optical elements are all glass, the barrel construction and mechanics of the lens is a mix of materials, the external barrel being polycarbonate. The lens mount is metal.
Image quality is superb. Out of focus bits have a pleasing bokeh. The aperture blades have an almost round shape, so stopping down for extreme depth of field gives good results without a lot of image degrading diffraction.
Vlogging or other video usefulness may be limited for some users. Mostly because of the focus motor noise, but also because some Vloggers will want a smaller, lighter lens to add to their tool bag. With those thoughts in mind, a Canon user can’t hardly go wrong with this high quality lens. One of the top 5 best Canon lenses for vlogging and videos.
Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM Lens
The Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM camera lens is a full frame lens, but will fit and work on APS-C cameras. The shortest focal length of 17mm provides a very usable wide angle of view.
The main reason a Canon shooter would choose an L Series lens is to get the highest quality available. Canon L Series lenses have optics that are second to none, and incorporate heavy duty construction all the way through the lens.
Optical quality is among the best in the world for these two formats (full frame 35mm and APS-C). In use, this lens is fun to use, it snaps into focus so fast it seems like it’s always in focus.
Canon uses several different technologies for the focus motors in their lenses. This lens has a motor that is heavy duty, extremely fast and responsive, and yet still virtually soundless.
The maximum aperture of f/4.0 remains constant throughout the entire zoom range. Many L Series are very heavy and pretty expensive. This lens is neither light nor cheap, but if you are after the best, this lens certainly will deliver.
Being a full frame lens offers another benefit. If you choose to jump up to full frame Canon cameras at some point in the future, this lens will cover that format and becomes very wide angle to near normal in coverage.
Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens
Let’s look at another great Canon lens to round our our reviews of the Top 5 best Canon for Vlogging and video, the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM lens. This hefty lens is designed for APS-C format Canon cameras and boasts a constant f/2.8 maximum aperture.
Why should you consider a lens with the same focal length range as opposed to a standard kit lens?
For this lens, it’s speed coupled with Canon’s Image Stabilization. By speed, I mean it is a faster aperture at f/2.8. Not a huge increase in speed compared with f/3.5, someone might be thinking. True, but remember that almost all the smaller lenses we looked have a variable aperture.
While a lens is f/3.5 at the wide end of its range, it changes to f/4.5 or f/5.6 with many of the lens choices available. The difference between f/2.8 and f/5.6 becomes considerable. An important factor for low light shooters. Add in the image stabilization, and this lens becomes one of your most valuable tools for capturing great videos in marginal lighting conditions.
Is it big? Yes. Is it heavy? Yes. Does it cost a lot? Yes. Is it all worth it? YES!
For video use, an external microphone is recommended, since the focus motor noise is noticeable otherwise. Also, it seems a little difficult to tweak focus in manual modes, because it often jerks the focus a bit due to the stiffness of the manual focusing ring.
If you need the speed, go for it. Even you don’t really, this is still one of the top 5 best Canon lenses for YouTubers and video creators.
Sigma 10-20mm F3.5 EX DC HSM
Wait a minute! Didn’t I say FIVE lenses?
Sure did. The last lens in our overview isn’t from Canon. It’s the Sigma 10-20mm F3.5 EX DC HSM wide angle zoom lens.
Sigma is a brand with a long history of providing alternative lens choices for users of various major brands of cameras. The 10-20mm f/3.5 continues that fine tradition. Available in several mounts, this lens incorporates an internal focus motor, so it is fully compatible with Canon DSLRs.
The maximum aperture of f/3.5 is constant throughout the entire zoom range. That’s a nice lens speed. Pretty fast compared to some of its competitors. That results in a fairly heavy lens, but it’s not at all unwieldy. It balances well on every Canon APS-C camera I was able to mount it to, compact to mid sized.
The lens is well made and feels very solid, all the controls operated smoothly. Optical quality was top notch. A true rival for the major brand’s lenses while coming it at a surprisingly affordable price.
End results of my review process: I am very happy to recommend any of these lenses as one of the top 5 best Canon lenses for vlogging and video. I was blown away by how high quality the smallest, lightest, least expensive lens in this review was. The Canon 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 performed very well. For many video users of Canon APS-C DSLR cameras, this will be an excellent choice. It is also great for wide angle still photography.
You know why you want a wide angle for your vlogging. Hopefully, you can use our review to help you narrow down to the right choice for your needs of what are the top 5 best Canon (and Sigma) lenses for your vlogging, YouTube, and other video uses. You can learn more bout the best DSLR Vlogging cameras here.