5 Killer Canon Lenses for Video (SMAPP)

To promote their new app aimed towards making the film making process easier and to help the filmmaker really understand the decisions they are making, SMAPP has put out this quick and concise video on DSLR lens choices for video making.

"when we are first starting out its often easy to shoot with the same lens over and over again. that could be because we only have one lens, it's your favorite lens or because you aren't sure what to use when, but there are a ton of options and just knowing what's available out there can help you in a particular scene or project you are working on.
we always stress to put story first and uses lenses that best fit the scene. while we typically carry our faithful Canon prime kit with us we are always looking to tailor our gear to each shoot so that we are able to make the most out of it. that may mean taking advantage of a specific lens property or the size/weight of a lens and more often than not we find ourselves bringing specific gear that could really makes a difference.
let's take a look at 5 lenses we love from Canon, all of which all been instrumental in our biggest productions over the years. while you've likely heard of some of these lenses before, we'll share some unique applications in how we used it.
SMAPP is slated to be in the App Store this August. for more info on SMAPP, the stillmotion app, visit getsmapp.com
for more info about what we've been up to, other tutorials or educational content check out the blog at

Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM

Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM

Canon EF 135mm f/2.0L USM

Canon 1.4x EF Extender III

Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

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Kenn Tam's picture

Been holding this damn camera in my hand since 1991.
Toronto / New York City

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I agree, the 24-105 is killer for video. 

Ive tried the 24-105 with photography i dont think its very sharp. At least not the one i had.

"Under $1,000" or "Under $500" version with 3rd party lenses included?

how is the 24-105 for photographs? I am shooting videos and looking for something under 50 that can take wedding shots. 

I think the 24-105 is great for wedding photography and cinematography. Its sharp, covers a great range and has IS. 

The 24-70 is a much, much better lens. Especially around the edges when wide.


24-105 is killer even for the price. If you don't need f/2.8, than this is perfect. I use it for travel all the time because it gives me great performance and thanks to IS I don't have to worry about my shutter speed, I just focus on the image. For work purposes I go with 24-70 f/2.8 because that 2.8 aperture.

And that 135 is legendary, one of the sharpest lenses I've ever shot with, right after 200 f/2 ;)

A couple of those lenses are horrible for video. The 24-105 and the 100-400 in particular.

The best lenses for video are prime lenses, both for color quality and optics.

And if you were going to use a zoom the 24-70 is wayyyy better than the 24-105 and the 70-200 is wayyyy better than the 100-400.

Why would you even want a 400mm lens for video anyway. That thing would be so shaky it you couldn’t hold a good shot.

Also, most pro’s don’t zoom in ever on video, but instead move the camera in and out.


I recommend getting either the Canon 50mm f1.4 or the Samyang 35mm f1.4 for video. They are prime lenses, sharp, and very affordable. There's no need to bring a 135mm f2 lens or the 100-400mm lens unless you are doing highly specialized videos. And instead of the 14mm f2.8, it's better to get either the Canon 24mm f1.4 or the Samyang 24mm f1.4. 

The Canon 24-105mm IS is a good choice but I'd recommend waiting though for the 24-70mm mk2

The 24-105 is a humdrum lens for stills, but the IS is quite useful for video (if shooting from the shoulder on a rig, etc). Lens sharpness goes out the window because Canon DSLR's aren't even putting out real 1080p. Any EF lens is sufficient. The 100-400 is probably the second most useful of the lot.

Primes are beautiful and all, but they're worthless if you're trying to sequence in real time. If you're shooting cinematics, then sure - go for the primes and get whatever depth of field you want. But if you're trying to produce professional quality sequences by yourself in as little time as possible, then stick with the zooms. Otherwise, you'll be switching glass every 10 seconds.