5 Best Lenses for Nikon Videography

*Updated Spring/Summer 2018* There is a constant debate in the film-making about the best lenses for videography.  Most of that debate focuses on zoom lenses vs prime lenses and what focal lengths are the best. Both sides have valid points. Filming weddings, events, sports, or even friends and family can be challenging due to the fast pace, constantly changing locations and lighting conditions, and the inability to stop and do things over. For us, we find the lenses below to be the best lenses for events and wedding videos. We’ll also provide some cheap(er) alternatives if you’re on a limited budget to what we consider the 5 Best Lenses for Nikon Videography.

Though lots of filming in our personal and professional lives, we’ve found the best results have come from the Nikon lenses below. We’ll also provide some cheap(er) alternatives if you’re on a limited budget to what we consider the 5 Best Lenses for Nikon Videography.

 

5 Best Lenses for Nikon Videography

 

#1 The Nikon 50mm f/1.8G

Nikon 50mm 1.8 for VideoThe cheapest Nikon lens on our list! This little guy sells for just over $200 and I’m always amazed at how well it performs given its price point. If you have a little room to move (your legs do the zooming in and out), this lens is impossible to beat for the price.   A 50mm lens provides an excellent perspective without the distortion of wide angle or telephoto lens.

For DX/Crop Sensors: If you have a DX camera, consider the Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX. On a crop-sensor body, the 35mm is nearly the equivalent to the 50mm on a full frame.  Cameras that we recommend the 3mm focal length include the D500, D7500, D5600, D3400, or their predecessors (D7200, D5500, D3300, etc.)

 

#2 Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G

Nikon 24-70 VideoIf there’s one lens we could leave on our camera for an entire shoot, it would the Nikon 24-70mm 2.8. It’s ability to zoom in and out allows us to frame a subject quickly and also in tight spaces while being relatively ‘fast’ at f/2.8. Often, bridal or groom prep areas are extremely tight. Some are just small bedrooms with a small perimeter around a bed. While the lighting is often poor in these locations and you may be tempted to go with an even faster prime lens, it would be near impossible to get several shots that are well framed. The zoom of the 24-70 allows you to get wide, medium, and close-up shots quickly – when you may only have minutes (or seconds) available to get the shot.

In addition to tight spaces, the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G is great for details and glidecam work. You may have 5 minutes before guests begin filing into the reception hall, and you want to get clean shots of the cakes, head table, centerpieces, and all the other cute details before grandpa comes and pops a squat in your shot – and the zoom makes quick work of this. Also, if you’re already carrying and adjusting your tripod and a slider, the need to re-adjust those two in order to get the framing you want using a prime lens would be difficult if not impossible in that situation.

For glidecam work, the 24-70 really only works well on a full-frame camera. If using a crop-sensor camera on a glidecam we recommend using something like the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8. Tokina also makes a Canon version)

Updates: Tokina has a new version called the Tokina AT-X 11-20mm f/2.8 Pro DX (for Nikon) , Nikon makes a VR (Vibration Reduction) version of the 24-70 now.  We discussed if it was worth upgrading.

 

Cheaper Alternatives to the Nikon 24-70mm 2.8

For DX/Crop Sensors:  If you want/need an inexpensive zoom lens with this focal length you should try to pick up a Nikon 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G or the Nikon 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S DX. Both are kit lenses for the Nikon D7000 or D7100 and can generally be found pretty cheap on craigslist.

For FX/Full Frame Sensors:
For less than half the price of the Nikon, you can pick up the Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8. While we don’t have first-hand experience with this lens, it’s what you would expect from a 3rd part vendor – a ‘pretty good’ version of the Nikon with a more reasonable price tag.

 

#3 Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G

Nikon 70-200 for VideoBelieve it or not, we actually like this lens more than the #1 lens listed, the 24-70. While the Nikon 70-200 provides the most beautiful images of any lens we have, it just isn’t as versatile. That’s not to say it isn’t important. Today, we shoot nearly the entire ceremony from this focal length. There are some videographers that don’t mind standing in front of guests in the first row. Or worse, in front of the bridal party. This may be necessary to get an appropriate shot with either a shorter zoom lens or a prime. But, using two 70-200mm lenses allows us to be off to the sides, unobtrusive, and able to get amazing shots. Canon also makes a 70-200

Cheaper Alternatives

Sigma makes a Nikon version of its 70-200 for about half the price (Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8), but we think an even better alternative is the Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8D. That lens is a beast, auto-focus is slow, but the optics are great. For video work, 99% is manual focus anyway (without image stabilization) so why not save the money and pick up the 80-200mm? For ceremonies, we don’t have two of the flagship Nikon 70-200’s, we have one of those and one Nikon 80-200mm. The only difference is the 80-200 is a little trickier to focus due to the ring design. With a little practice, it’s perfectly fine.  For the price, the Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8D is one of the best lenses for Nikon videography.

For first-dances and special dances, we use a combo of the 24-70 on a glidecam and/or slider and a 70-200 on a tripod.

#4 Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8

Tokina 11-16 For Video
Update: Tokina now makes an updated version for Nikon and Canon which has helped bring down the price of the 11-16. 
We first bought this lens when we were using only DX cameras to film weddings. We got a LOT of mileage out of it when paired with our glidecam. After the ceremony, this lens stayed on our D7000 the rest of the night – for the entrances, first dance, parent dances, and all-around reception dancing and fun.

We still use the D7000/Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 combo at weddings but for still photography and timelapses. It’s our backup camera and is easy to stick camera/lens combo on a GorillaPod and let it run for 20-30 minutes. This combo also works as our backup to the D800/24-70 combo we now use for glidecam work.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a good cheap alternative for this lens – but for 4-500 bucks (maybe cheaper locally on craigslist) it’s hard to ask for much more.

#5 The Nikon 105mm f/2.8G

Nikon 105mm Ring Shot VideoThe Nikon 105mm f/2.8G is truly a luxury item. It isn’t versatile nor necessary, but if you already have everything mentioned above this is the next step. You can get killer close-up/macro shots, which can be fun for details – especially ring shots for weddings.

New Video Examples (be sure to watch in HD):

What do you think are the best lenses for Nikon videography? Let us know in the comments section what you like to use and why.


2 comments

  1. Awesome job but the Tokina 11-16 is not the equivalent to the 24-70, you may not mean that but it sounds like that by your writings here. Trying to help. Thank you.

  2. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Cheers! Fantastic information.

    viagra function viagra and pulmonary hypertension
    viagra for sale uk
    four hour hard on viagra – https://genericviagramsl.com

    KeithNaf
    Richardbuine
    Ernestoher

  3. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Terrific data, Kudos!

    cialis viagra viagra ingestion are flushing headaches
    generic viagra 100mg
    is viagra safe for minors – https://genericviagrarcp.com

    KeithNaf
    Richardbuine
    Ernestoher

  4. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Thanks a lot! Great stuff!

    stories from women that take viagra louisville commercial viagra
    buy viagra online
    viagra and anesthesia – https://genericviagramsl.com

    KeithNaf
    Richardbuine
    Ernestoher

  5. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Cheers! Excellent information!

    using viagra after a stroke tia viagra no prescription required
    buy generic viagra
    geniric viagra – https://genericviagrarcp.com

    KeithNaf
    Richardbuine
    Ernestoher

  6. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Awesome content, Kudos.

    viagra and hystamine medical journals viagra
    cheap viagra
    tom kaulitz viagra – https://genericviagrantx.com

    KeithNaf
    Richardbuine
    Ernestoher

  7. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Very good posts. With thanks.

    costa rica tico paradise viagra viagra price uk
    viagra generic
    kamagra suhagra generic viagra – https://genericviagrarcp.com

    KeithNaf
    Richardbuine
    Ernestoher

  8. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    You said it very well..

    viagra home recipe other viagra
    generic viagra 100mg
    wal-mart viagra – https://genericviagramsl.com

    KeithNaf
    Richardbuine
    Ernestoher

  9. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Cheers, Loads of facts.

    viagra crohns viagra sex for hours
    buy viagra
    viagra 100 mg price – https://genericviagrarcp.com

    KeithNaf
    Richardbuine
    Ernestoher

  10. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    You suggested it very well.

    viagra affect women what is better viagra or levitra
    viagra generic
    viagra misuse baseball – https://genericviagrarcp.com

    KeithNaf
    Richardbuine
    Ernestoher

  11. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    With thanks. I value this!

    viagra high bloodpressure viagra ace inhibitor carvedilol
    viagra 100mg
    effects of viagra on teens – https://genericviagramsl.com

    KeithNaf
    Richardbuine
    Ernestoher

  12. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Whoa all kinds of awesome information!

    viagra for momen bargain viagra
    generic viagra 100mg
    discount viagra in the usa – https://genericviagrarcp.com

    KeithNaf
    Richardbuine
    Ernestoher

  13. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Truly loads of awesome material.

    compare cialis viagra levitra url viagra url
    buy viagra
    viagra with alcohol and food – https://genericviagrarcp.com

    KeithNaf
    Richardbuine
    Ernestoher

  14. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Appreciate it! A good amount of info.

    purchase of viagra lavitra effectiveness compared to viagra
    cheap viagra
    mark marti viagra car – https://genericviagrantx.com

    KeithNaf
    Richardbuine
    Ernestoher

  15. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    You actually reported that superbly!

    drug interactions flomax viagra man dies from viagra
    viagra without a doctor prescription
    funny viagra gif – https://genericviagrarcp.com

    KeithNaf
    Richardbuine
    Ernestoher

  16. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    You reported this very well!

    viagra heart attack find sites search viagra
    generic viagra 100mg
    side affects viagra – https://genericviagrarcp.com

    KeithNaf
    Richardbuine
    Ernestoher

  17. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    You actually explained it adequately.

    reasons viagra might not work viagra stories real peoples experiences
    viagra for sale uk
    viagra onlines – https://genericviagramsl.com

    KeithNaf
    Richardbuine
    Ernestoher

  18. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Appreciate it! A lot of write ups.

    viagra cost cheap viagra from mexico
    viagra pills
    ever use viagra – https://genericviagrantx.com

    KeithNaf
    Richardbuine
    Ernestoher

  19. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Well voiced certainly. .

    viagra for recreational use viagra and poppers
    viagra online
    viagra after effects – https://genericviagrantx.com

    KeithNaf
    Richardbuine
    Ernestoher

  20. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Truly quite a lot of valuable information!

    viagra faqs viagra fast
    viagra for sale uk
    viagra movie – https://genericviagramsl.com

    KeithNaf
    Richardbuine
    Ernestoher

  21. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Helpful stuff. Many thanks.

    cars in viagra commercial super duper viagra stiffy
    buy generic viagra
    horse viagra – https://genericviagrarcp.com

    KeithNaf
    Richardbuine
    Ernestoher

  22. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Awesome facts. Regards!

    viagra out of date normal dosage for viagra
    generic viagra
    viagra and preejaculation – https://genericviagramsl.com

    KeithNaf
    Richardbuine
    Ernestoher

  23. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    You’ve made your stand quite well!!

    viagra as plants paxil and viagra
    buy viagra
    buy viagra search find free – https://genericviagramsl.com

    KeithNaf
    Richardbuine
    Ernestoher

  24. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Fine material. Thanks.

    viagra istambul secondary pulmonary hypertension viagra
    viagra pills
    herbal viagra largo fl – https://genericviagrantx.com

    KeithNaf
    Richardbuine
    Ernestoher

  25. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    You actually reported it really well!

    mixing valium vicodin and viagra will alcohol effect viagra
    viagra for sale uk
    cialis and levitra viagra – https://genericviagrarcp.com

    KeithNaf
    Richardbuine
    Ernestoher

  26. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Superb facts, Thanks a lot!

    ordering viagra online from canada viagra istambul
    generic viagra 100mg
    viagra soft tabs review – https://genericviagramsl.com

    KeithNaf
    Richardbuine
    Ernestoher

  27. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    With thanks! I like it.

    detumescence priapism viagra niagra to viagra play
    viagra without a doctors prescription
    viagra from tijuana – https://genericviagramsl.com

    KeithNaf
    Richardbuine
    Ernestoher

  28. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    You said it perfectly..

    viagra comercial ringtone viagra overnight get viagra cheapest viagra
    viagra pills
    does viagra work on transsexuals – https://genericviagrantx.com

    KeithNaf
    Richardbuine
    Ernestoher

  29. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    You expressed it fantastically!

    seamus moore viagra song viagra sarasota florida
    generic viagra online
    viagra bestellen – https://genericviagramsl.com

    KeithNaf
    Richardbuine
    Ernestoher

  30. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Superb posts. Many thanks!

    good online place to buy viagra viagra substitute china
    viagra for sale uk
    pictures of patients using viagra – https://genericviagrarcp.com

    KeithNaf
    Richardbuine
    Ernestoher

  31. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Helpful info. Appreciate it!

    instructions for viagra use english viagra
    viagra for sale uk
    hydrochlorothiazide with viagra – https://genericviagrantx.com

    KeithNaf
    Richardbuine
    Ernestoher

  32. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Great data. Thank you.

    richard molinare viagra commercials non-prescription viagra
    generic viagra
    viagra purchase on line – https://genericviagrarcp.com

    KeithNaf
    Richardbuine
    Ernestoher

  33. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    You reported it perfectly!

    viagra adverse reactions viagra pulse rate
    generic viagra 100mg
    viagra australia information stories – https://genericviagrarcp.com

    KeithNaf
    Richardbuine
    Ernestoher

  34. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Lovely stuff. Many thanks.

    cilias vs viagra viagra and amiben online
    viagra without a doctor prescription
    wie funktioniert viagra – https://genericviagramsl.com

    KeithNaf
    Richardbuine
    Ernestoher

  35. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Well spoken really. .

    free viagra catalog bootleg viagra from real
    generic viagra 100mg
    viagra how it worksa – https://genericviagramsl.com

    KeithNaf
    Richardbuine
    Ernestoher

  36. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Wonderful postings. Thank you.

    viagra and benazepril interactions clininc viagra prescriptions charlotte nc
    viagra without a doctor prescription
    lakshmi snow white viagra girl – https://genericviagrantx.com

    KeithNaf
    Richardbuine
    Ernestoher

  37. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Thanks a lot. A good amount of content!

    cyalis versus viagra rezeptfrei viagra
    viagra pills
    viagra demo video – https://genericviagrantx.com

    KeithNaf
    Richardbuine
    Ernestoher

  38. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Seriously a lot of superb material!

    hotmail viagra adware virus the truth about viagra soft tabs
    buy generic viagra
    viagra steroides – https://genericviagrantx.com

    KeithNaf
    Richardbuine
    Ernestoher

  39. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    With thanks! A good amount of information.

    viagra generica hongry hawg texas viagra
    viagra without a doctors prescription
    heartworms cure treat viagra – https://genericviagrarcp.com

    KeithNaf
    Richardbuine
    Ernestoher

  40. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Appreciate it, Lots of material.

    viagra brand generic viagra otc edinburgh site born find
    generic viagra
    cheap viagra canada – https://genericviagrarcp.com

    KeithNaf
    Richardbuine
    Ernestoher

  41. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Thank you, Numerous info.

    viagra useless the seven dwarfs and viagra
    viagra generic
    viagra top ten – https://genericviagramsl.com

    KeithNaf
    Richardbuine
    Ernestoher

  42. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    You expressed this adequately.

    viagra thickening uterus lining search viagra edinburgh cialis charles
    generic viagra 100mg
    big pharma tests viagra – https://genericviagramsl.com

    KeithNaf
    Richardbuine
    Ernestoher

  43. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    You’ve made your position quite clearly..

    cilias viagra europe pas viagra
    viagra without a doctors prescription
    difference between cialis and viagra – https://genericviagrarcp.com

    KeithNaf
    Richardbuine
    Ernestoher

  44. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Effectively expressed really. !

    viagra canadain kamagra viagra jelly
    generic viagra 100mg
    viagra online href foro forum – https://genericviagramsl.com

    KeithNaf
    Richardbuine
    Ernestoher

  45. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Fantastic posts. Thanks!

    best prices on genuine pfizer viagra female viagra chocolets
    viagra online
    cheap order viagra – https://genericviagrantx.com

    KeithNaf
    Richardbuine
    Ernestoher

  46. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Wow lots of good material!

    patent expiration for viagra men viagra
    buy generic viagra
    teen death viagra – https://genericviagrarcp.com

    KeithNaf
    Richardbuine
    Ernestoher

  47. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Superb info. Thank you.

    effects side viagra 50mg codeine buy codeine online viagra
    generic viagra online
    girl viagra tube indian – https://genericviagrantx.com

    KeithNaf
    Richardbuine
    Ernestoher

  48. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    You actually stated it terrifically!

    nature viagra anal injection of viagra
    viagra for sale uk
    viagra coffee – https://genericviagrarcp.com

    KeithNaf
    Richardbuine
    Ernestoher

  49. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Whoa quite a lot of amazing knowledge.

    viagra 6 free sample $2.00 calias viagra
    buy viagra online
    safe lower price viagra – https://genericviagrarcp.com

    KeithNaf
    Richardbuine
    Ernestoher

  50. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    You expressed that perfectly!

    viagra in nanaimo viagra canada ebay
    viagra 100mg
    ambien gift viagra – https://genericviagrarcp.com

    KeithNaf
    Richardbuine
    Ernestoher

  51. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Nicely put. Kudos.

    viagra online canadiain buying viagra in canada
    generic viagra
    canpharm viagra – https://genericviagrantx.com

    KeithNaf
    Richardbuine
    Ernestoher

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *