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10 Best Nikon Lenses For Videography in 2021

Best nikon lenses for videography

What makes a great videography lens? Is it the range of focal lengths? The quality of the glass? How about stand-out features like image stabilization? The right lens is actually the one that helps you improve your craft, and we’ve got 10 of Nikon’s best lined up.

The best Nikon lens for video is hands down the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR Lens. This lens is the most versatile, great for beginners and more experienced videographers, and it’s part of Nikon’s impressive Nikkor line of lenses.

Introducing the 10 Best Nikon Lenses For Videography

Are you ready to find out what the best Nikon lenses for videography are? Let’s get started.

1.  Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR Lens: Best Overall

5-Star Rating

Specs:

  • Focal Length: 24 to 70 mm
  • Size: 88 x 154.5 mm
  • Weight: 1070 g
  • Sensor Type: Full-Frame
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Aperture: f/2.8
  • Autofocus: Yes

What makes a lens the best DSLR lenses for video? It’s being able to let you shoot in any circumstance while giving you the freedom you need to grow your skills.

Ready for Every Videography Project

Whether you’re just starting out in videography or you’re looking for a lens that can really take you places, the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E is the best of the best.

This lens features an ultra-quiet Silent Wave Motor that allows you to auto-focus without worrying about those servos being picked up by your mic. You’ve also got a range of 24 mm to 70 mm for your focal length which will cover everything from shooting in bedrooms to pulling focus for an old-school Hollywood closeup.

Pros

  • Adaptive and can work in tight rooms and distant zooms
  • Silent Wave Motor makes auto focus easy on your live audio
  • Gives you the freedom to experiment with pulling focus, different focal lengths, and styles

Cons

  • Can be a little heavy for videographers traveling and shooting on the go
  • You’ll want to eventually add a prime lens to cover your most used focal length

2.  Nikon NIKKOR Z 58mm F/0.95 S Noct: Best for Mirrorless

4-Star rating

Specs:

  • Focal Length: 58 mm
  • Size: 102 x 153 mm
  • Weight: 2000 g
  • Sensor Type: Full-Frame, Mirrorless 
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • Aperture: f/0.95
  • Autofocus: Yes

The Nikon NIKKOR Z 58mm Noct is the pinnacle of Nikon’s craft as a lens manufacturer. The only thing stopping the new line of Noct lenses from taking the number one spot is their pivot to mirrorless and their price tag.

A Mirrorless Lens That Spares No Expense

When we say spared no expense, we mean it. This lens pulls out all the stops. That lightning-fast aperture is going to give you some of the most breathtaking shots you’ve ever taken. 58 mm might seem a little tight, but unless you’re shooting in a small studio apartment, it’s going to give you consistency and freedom you just can’t find anywhere else.

Pros

  • Yeah, you read that aperture right. This lens has f/0.95 which is an incredible choice for shooting at night or creating breathtaking “talking head” style shots
  • 58 mm is a powerful focal length for videographers who have no fear of tight shots
  • Easily the best possible lens for the mirrorless crowd

Cons

  • 2000 g is a little heavy for a prime lens
  • The price tag for this lens is probably going to be greater than the cost of your mirrorless camera
  • Make sure your skills are up to using this lens before you buy

3. Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Lens: When You Need to Go Wide

3-Star Rating

Specs:

  • Focal Length: 14 to 24 mm
  • Size: 98 x 131.5 mm
  • Weight: 1000 g
  • Sensor Type: Full-Frame
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • Aperture: f/2.8
  • Autofocus: Yes

Now, this is a lens that solves one of the videography’s biggest problems. How do you shoot compelling videos when you’re stuck filming in tight spaces like studio apartments?

Wide Angle Perfection

One of the challenging things about videography is adapting into a wide range of shooting conditions. We’re not always on big-budget sets and that means having lenses that can adapt to less than ideal conditions. The 14 to 24mm lens from Nikon gives you the flexibility to tackle shooting on demanding locations head-on.

Pros

  • This is about as wide as you can go without crossing over into fisheye territory
  • Ideal for people filming for YouTube, interviews, or videographers who otherwise have to deal with cramped shooting conditions
  • 24 mm can get tight enough to work around being stuck with “wide angle only”

Cons

  • 24 mm means that a lot of background will be in your shots—like it or not
  • You’re going to want to add a 50, 70, or even an 85 mm in your kit to handle shots that need to be tighter on their subject

4. Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 58mm f/1.4G Lens: Expand Your Style

3-Star Rating

Specs:

  • Focal Length: 58 mm
  • Size: 85 x 70 mm
  • Weight: 385 g
  • Sensor Type: Full-Frame
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • Aperture: f/1.4
  • Autofocus: Yes

Are you ready to break out of the mold? Then you should add a lens that’s ready to push your creativity to a whole new level.

A Unique Lens With Interesting Utility

Here’s a lens that’s got a sense of style all to its own. The unique 58 mm focal length paired with the f/1.4 aperture means that this lens will produce noticeable imagery even in rough conditions. This is a slightly more advanced choice for filmmakers and videographers who are looking to broaden the range of their artistic abilities.

Pros

  • You’re not going to find anything like this lens anywhere else
  • 58 mm is long enough for shallow depth of field and wide enough to still be useful in tight spots
  • It’s light, compact, and ready to get thrown into your videography gear bag

Cons

  • The 58 mm focal length demands a unique perspective 
  • You’ll have to adjust to shooting at 58 mm rather than the much more standard 50 mm
  • Prime lenses make great choices for second lenses rather than your first videography lens

5. Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S Lens: Most Versatile Mirrorless Lens

4-Star Rating

Specs:

  • Focal Length: 24 to 70 mm
  • Size: 89 x 126 mm
  • Weight: 805 g
  • Sensor Type: Full-Frame
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • Aperture: f/2.8
  • Autofocus: Yes

Mirrorless cameras come with many advantages for videographers. If you’re looking to make the most out of your new mirrorless camera, you’re going to need a lens that will allow you to film at any location.

The Go-To Mirrorless Lens

Mirrorless cameras have a lot of advantages over their DSLR counterparts. This is especially the case when it comes to video. If you’re looking to make the jump to both mirrorless cameras as well as videography, you can’t go wrong with this lens.

Pros

  • Easily the best Nikon lens for video for first time videographers on mirrorless cameras
  • You get everything from wide angle 24 mm shots to zoomed in 70 mm shots
  • Eliminates the need to carry multiple lenses

Cons

  • As with all beginner lenses, you’ll eventually add more to your kit
  • You need to commit to living the mirrorless life or deal with tedious adapters

6. Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G Lens: The Jack of All Trades

4-Star Rating

Specs:

  • Focal Length: 50 mm
  • Size: 72.1 x 52.4 mm
  • Weight: 185 g
  • Sensor Type: Full-Frame
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • Aperture: f/1.8
  • Autofocus: Yes

There’s nothing the 50 mm lens can’t shoot. Are you shooting b-roll of landscapes? How about head and shoulders interviews? A car chase? The 50 mm focal length is perfect for all this and more.

Old Reliable

This is the best Nikon lens for filming in just about any condition. It’s hard to translate mechanical lenses to the human eye, but it’s widely accepted that the 50 mm focal length is as close to human vision as things get. This lens is a budget-friendly option that delivers truly universal performance.

Pros

  • One of the best DSLR lenses for video no matter what you’re working on 
  • Lighter than air
  • An affordable option with high-end results
  • 50 mm is considered a very “normal” focal length which means you can shoot just about anything without too much distortion

Cons

  • You get what you pay for and in this case that means a slight drop in build quality and glass
  • This will eventually become your trusty back-up lens rather than your mainstay

7. Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G ED Lens: The Lens for Cinematographers

4-Star Rating

Specs:

  • Focal Length: 35 mm
  • Size: 71.88 x 71.37 mm
  • Weight: 305 g
  • Sensor Type: Full-Frame
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • Aperture: f/1.8
  • Autofocus: Yes

There’s some debate about the difference between a videographer and a cinematographer. Regardless of where you stand on the issue, you can embrace the filmmaking side of things with a 35 mm lens.

A Cinematic Lens With a Few Tricks Up Its Sleeve

You probably know 35 mm as being the go-to focal length for Hollywood ever since the dawn of cinema, but there’s more to this lens than its cinematic qualities. That f/1.8 aperture means you can get powerful close-ups that blur the background away. This lens also makes a great choice for someone growing their kit with plans to have a suite of lenses for different shoots.

Pros

  • You’ll easily nail a cinematic style with all of your shots
  • Versatile performance thanks to 35 mm being a standard of Hollywood filmmaking
  • Lets you break out of the mold if you’ve been shooting portraiture focal lengths for too long

Cons

  • 35 mm does have some distortion when doing close-ups
  • No mechanical zoom

8. Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G Lens: The Experienced Videographer

4-Star Rating

Specs:

  • Focal Length: 85 mm
  • Size: 86.2 x 84 mm
  • Weight: 595 g
  • Sensor Type: Full-Frame
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • Aperture: f/1.4
  • Autofocus: Yes

Not every lens is designed with the early-career videographer in mind. The Nikkor 85 mm is an ideal choice for videographers with a strong grasp of the language of cinema. Just like a painter adds new brushes as they advance their craft, you can add this lens to your kit.

Time To Use The Skills You’ve Been Building

Cinematic Lenses for Nikon all share one thing in common: They help you, the filmmaker, express the language of cinema. This lens lets you get beautiful close-ups and has great potential for telephoto work. Shoot a conversation from a good distance away with an 85 mm lens and your audience will feel like they are eavesdropping. This Nikon videography lens is the next step up when your skills are ready.

Pros

  • Nearing the telephoto range without all the weight and cost of an actual telephoto lens
  • Prime lenses last longer, are more durable, and have crisper images than zooms
  • 85 mm allows you to add some visual interest to your shots

Cons

  • It’s a non-starter for people shooting in small spaces like dorms or bedrooms
  • Not the best choice for beginner videographers
  • It’s better in a supporting role rather than as your main lens

9. Nikon AF-S Fisheye NIKKOR 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E ED Lens: For The Artist

3-Star Rating

Specs:

  • Focal Length: 8 to 15 mm
  • Size: 77.5 x 83 mm
  • Weight: 485 g
  • Sensor Type: Full-Frame
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • Aperture: f/3.5 to 4.5
  • Autofocus: Yes

There’s something about the fisheye effect that never seems to go out of style. This lens allows you to tap into that style and get a little artistic with your shoots. What you do with this new found potential is up to you!

Let’s Get Creative

The best Nikon lenses for film change how you see videography. We can get stuck in a rut when filming with the same focal lengths and lenses over and over. The 8 to 15 mm fisheye lens from Nikon launches you out into a new world of creativity.

That 8 mm side of things is pretty extreme, but that’s why this lens makes the list. Whether you’re doing videography for weddings or working your way to being a filmmaker, you owe it to yourself to at least give ultra-wide angles and fisheye lenses a try.

Pros

  • Fisheye is an iconic style that can add serious visual impact
  • You’ll be hard pressed to go any wider than this
  • The 15 mm side of things gives you some less extreme options

Cons

  • This lens does one thing extremely well, but it also only does one thing
  • How often will you use fisheye in your filming?

10. Nikon AF-S Zoom-NIKKOR 17-35mm f/2.8D IF-ED Lens: The YouTuber’s Dream

4 Star Rating

Specs:

  • Focal Length: 17 to 35 mm
  • Size: 82.5 x 106 mm
  • Weight: 745 g
  • Sensor Type: Full-Frame
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • Aperture: f/2.8
  • Autofocus: Yes

Some of the best Nikon lenses for videography are being used by content creators on YouTube and other video platforms. If you’re looking to upgrade the gear that’s in your home studio, this lens is what you need.

Take Your Content Creation Game To A New Level

This lens gives you the versatility you need to improve your at-home videography. The 17 mm low end is ideal for helping make your home studio look a little fuller while the 35 mm “zoom” lets you have a more natural, filmic look.

Pros

  • You can finally get great shots in cramped spaces
  • Makes your home studio feel larger for the audience
  • This is a huge step up in quality from a kit lens or iPhone

Cons

  • It could be argued that the prime 35 mm is simply a better lens

Nikon Videography Lens Buying Guide

Got a question about the best Nikon lenses for video? These are some of the biggest questions, debates, and concerns that videographers have about Nikon lenses. Let’s get some answers to these questions.

What Is The Best Cinematic Lens For Nikon?

The best Nikon film lenses are easily going to be the 35 mm and the 85 mm.

If you’re chasing that filmic quality, you’re going to want some lenses that deliver on classic Hollywood feel. 35 mm and 80 millimeter, are going to be the two lenses you want to get first if your goal is to have your videography look a little bit more like cinematography.

The reason for this is deceptively simple. The 35 mm focal length is a staple of Hollywood. This lens will give you access to one of the most well-respected focal lengths for film. The 85 mm lens, on the other hand, is going to give you more options when it comes to the style of your filming and let you get a little closer to some of the big studio director tricks.

How Do I Know Which Nikon Lens Is Best For Video?

The best Nikon lens for video is going to come down to the project you’re shooting. A 35 mm lens might be a great option for a cinematic look, but a telephoto lens also has its appeal. Think about the project you’re going to be filming and what lenses will deliver the look you’re after.

Mirrorless Or DSLR: Which Is Better?

This debate is still going on in photography, videography, and filmmaking. Whether you favor DSLR or mirrorless cameras is going to largely depend on your relationship to the technology inside of them.

Mirrorless cameras offer a lot of superior functioning. There are also fewer mechanical components to break down over time. However, many people are reluctant to give up that classic DSLR feel. Each model of camera has its own unique qualities based on the components used inside of it.

The best way to pick which one is right for you is to look at sample images from either style of camera. You should also consider things like battery life, durability, and what style of shooting you expect to be doing.

How Much Do I Need To Spend On A Good Lens?

This can be a little tricky to answer. The 50 mm lens on our list can be purchased for just around $100, but the Nikon Noct lens is going to cost you several thousand even if used and in bad shape. How much you need to spend on a good videography lens depends mostly on your budget, but also on your goals as a filmmaker.

Where Do I Start If I’m Totally New To Videography?

The best thing you can do if you’re starting out as a videographer is to get out there and film. This might sound a little cliche, but the best way to become a videographer is just to do it.

You can start today with what gear you currently have. Some of the most innovative videographers of our time are filming on their smartphones. This gives you the time to save up and pick a lens on our list that works for you when you’re ready to jump in the more serious gear.

What To Look For In A Good Videography Lens

It can be really intimidating buying your first lens. This is especially true if you’re buying one of the more expensive types of lenses out there. However, there are three easy things to look forward to making sure that you’re getting a lens that’s worth the price.

 The first thing to look out for is fungus or haze which can make images look blurry. Then make sure that there are no scratches on both the front and rear glass components. Lastly, you want to make sure all mechanical features work like auto/manual focus and image stabilization.

Wrapping Up The Best Nikon Lenses for Video

The single best Nikon lens for videography has to be the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm. It’s got a well-rounded set of features, slots into any videography kit, and can help videographers find their style.

Other lenses like the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 35mm and the Nikon NIKKOR Z 58mm Noct have their uses and should definitely make their way into your videography gear bag. At the end of the day, it comes down to finding a lens that helps you grow as an artist.

Which of the best Nikon lenses for videography is the right one for you?

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