- 50.1MP* full-frame stacked Exmor RS CMOS sensor w/ integral memory
- 8x more powerful*, next generation BIONZ XR image processing engine
- Blackout-free shooting up to 30fps from fast sensor readout speed
What is the best video lens for Sony A1?
DSLR and mirrorless camera have replaced most of the consumer video camera market. The Sony A1 is part of these cameras that are perfect for video makers, if equipped with the right lens. Which lens should you buy for your video projects ? We prepared for you some tips on the best lenses to get depending on the kind of shots you want to achieve.
What to look for in a video lens ?
Even if some lenses are branded for a specific use in video, you can actually use pretty much any lens for your shootings, even some old school prime lenses. The rules of video making are only there to be transgressed. But generally, videographers may want to have fast and quiet autofocus, as it will take out the need for an expensive follow-focus on moving subjects. Having the brightest lens possible is a big plus for this sweet shallow focus. Finally, stabilized lenses, despite being more expensive, will always be better for a versatile use. As for the rest, follow our guidelines below!
The best video lens for a cinema look
When we talk about cinematic looks, we mostly refer to this classic cinema feel, with little to no distortion. Don’t look further, you need a prime 50 mm lens. This focal length gives results close to the human vision, and are widely used in the industry. Some are pretty affordable, but the stabilized ones will be a tad more expensive. If you have a consequent budget, we recommend you to have a look at anamorphic lenses, which will give you these beautiful lens flares and add to the overall feel.
The best video lens for run and gun
Run and gun is popular for vlogging, skateboard videos, or documentaries. For this setup, you need to be able to just grab your camera and start shooting. A wide angle lens is perfect for this use. 25 mm to 35 mm is good for a versatile use, but you can also go below and go for a fisheye look for these extreme distorted close-ups.
The best video lens for landscapes
Landscapes and cityscape shots are perfect to set your characters in their environment. As for pictures, you may want to invest in either a telephoto lens, or a zoom lens. 70 mm to 90 mm is usually a good range of focal length, but you may want to go beyond if you try to shoot remote locations.
The best all-rounder video lens
If you are on a budget, or want to get as much room as possible for your shots without changing lenses, zoom lenses are a solid bet. A 35-70 mm is perfect to get close-ups as well as scenery shots. Be aware that most affordable zoom lenses are not very bright, so you may need to work around their limitations or have to break your piggy bank.
Note: the product links in this article lead to Amazon.com
Must-have video lenses for filming with the Sony A1:
Weight: 550 g
Filter size: 67 mm
If you’re looking for an upgrade to the kit lens or if you just want one lens for everything, this is the best all-around lens that can even replace a couple of prime lenses. Since it’s relatively small and compact it’s perfect for travel, it’s weather resistant (not weather sealed however…) and its built quality overall is good.
Image quality is excellent, it gives wonderful results thanks to its constant f/2.8 aperture, with a nice bokeh, and it even has good macro performances.
The only downside is that the focal range doesn’t start at 24 mm and you’ll have to get used to the 28 mm. That said, it’s a must-have if you’re looking for the perfect all-around lens, and it’s sold at an incredibly competitive price.
- Superb optical performance, including both outstanding image quality and beautiful background Blur effects (bokeh), provided by fast f/2.8 aperture.
- Comfortably light weight (19.4 oz.) and compact (4.6 in). Maximum Magnification Ratio: 1:2.9 (Wide); 1:4 (Tele)
- Close-focusing; minimum object distance: 7.5 in at wide-angle setting and 15.3 in at the telephoto position.
Released in 2014, it’s the first wide angle lens available for Sony FE hybrids: overall it offers excellent optical performance overall and is a very good lens for landscape photography and videos. It offers impressively sharp images, low vignetting, fast focusing, reasonable distortion and very good manufacturing quality.
Unlike the 16-35mm f/2.8 GM below, the f/4 has no AF/MF button and it’s much more affordable. If you hesitate between the two and wonder if it’s worth switching to the 16-35mm f/2.8 GM, let’s say it depends mainly on the budget you’re willing to put in and whether you want to shoot professional videos. In both cases they are excellent wide-angle lenses that will not disappoint you.
- Ideal for landscapes and the a7 series of full frame cameras, ZEISS T (T star) coating to reduce flare and ghosting
- Minimum Focus Distance: 0.92 feet (0.28 m), Maximum Magnification ratio: 0. 19x, Focal-Length: 5/8 - 1-3/8 Inches
- Three ED glass elements suppress chromatic distortion, constant F4 maximum aperture throughout the zoom range
One of the best-selling lenses for Sony full-format hybrids. This focal range is mainly suitable for street photography, portraits and landscapes. It has a superb quality of construction, with a matt black coating similar to that of the A7 housings and is resistant to dust and moisture. It’s one of the lightest objectives of this ranking but also one of the least cumbersome, it can be carried everywhere easily. Its autofocus is silent, fast and accurate, even in low light.
The highlight of this 55mm f/1.8 is its sharpness, really impressive: the images you get with this lens are very sharp and rich in detail (it’s in the top 5 of dxomark.com).
What about the 50mm f/1.8? Although it’s sold at a very attractive price, its autofocus is really bad and the 55mm f:1.8 is definitely better in every respect, so it’s better to save money to buy it. As for the Sony Zeiss FE 50mm f/1.4 Planar T*, it offers slightly better performance (e. g. a slightly softer bokeh) but not enough to justify the huge price difference.
In terms of quality/price, the 55mm f/1.8 is simply THE best lens you can have to shoot videos with your Sony full-frame hybrid camera.
- This version is originally intended for sale outside the US and may contain adapters, manuals, and warranties not compatible with US standards.
Weight: 445 g
Filter size: 67 mm
The Sony 24mm f/1.4 GM is one of the best 24mm of all camera brands: it’s extremely sharp from corner to corner, very compact, light and discreet, and offers stunning low-light performance. If you shoot at night a lot, you will love that lens. The build quality is very good (like all GM lenses it’s weather sealed) and its autofocus works extraordinarily well, which make it great for shooting videos. The f/1.4 aperture gives a very smooth background blur.
On the negative side, it’s very expensive, but if you work with your camera it’s an investment that will pay off quickly. Anyway, if you can afford one expensive wide-angle lens for your Sony A1, this one is highly recommended.
- Compact Master wide prime Lens w/stunning wide-open resolution
- F1.4 max aperture provides extraordinary exposure and Depth of field
- G Master design combines extraordinary sharpness and smooth bokeh
The Sony 35mm f/1.8 is an interesting choice for Sony A1 owners who want to shoot video: it offers a good optical performance, its focal range is very versatile and it’s compact and discreet. Autofocus is crazy fast, even in challenging situations. The built quality feels really nice in hands. Basically, except the lack of Optical Steady Shot (OSS), it shows no real weaknesses.
Its weight of only 280 g is certainly one of its assets since it is particularly discreet and pleasant to use and makes it easy to fit into any camera bag.
Highly recommended it if you’re looking for a travel lens for videography.
- F1. 8 with 9-blade circular aperture contributes to gorgeous bokeh
- Compact and lightweight sets a new standard for portability
- Aspherical element suppresses aberration to deliver high resolution
There are obviously other photo lenses that work great for shooting video with the Sony A1, so you’ll have to choose based on what you need, and your budget. Here are five additional lenses that round out this list and are among the most commonly used by Youtubers who primarily use it for filmmaking:
- Tamron 17-28mm (great wide angle lens, cheaper than the 16-35 f/4)
- Tamron 70-180mm f/2.8 di iii vxd (very good lens for this price)
- Sony 85mm f/1.8 (sharp, fast, and great price)
- Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 (an absolute beast if you need an exceptionnal image quality)
- Sony 24-105mm f/4 (fantastic for videoshooting if you need an all-in-one lens)
Useful accessories for video
Here is a small selection of extra tools you’ll need with your your Sony A1 to make your video shooting easier and improve the quality of your projects:
If you are wondering what is the best video lens for the Sony A1, you should think in advance about the types of videos you plan to shoot mainly: sporting events, weddings, vlogging… Think about the focal lengths you’ll need for that.
You can also go on Youtube, type in the name of the lens you want and you should find plenty of test footage made with your Sony A1 and the specific lens you want. This will give you an idea of what equipment you will need to get.
Also, if you plan to do a lot of travel videos or travel vlogs, take into account the total weight with the camera body and the lens. If the whole thing is too heavy or bulky and lacks discretion, you won’t want to bother with it and would rather just shoot videos with your smartphone. You may also not want to risk damaging an extremely expensive lens.
And finally, perhaps the most decisive point about choosing the perfect video lens for your Sony A1 will be if you want to have professional quality videos.
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