You don't have to spend your entire paycheck to get a good lens.
If you're a new filmmaker who doesn't know much about lenses, you might be under the impression that the more a lens costs the better it is. This—is kind of true. I mean, advanced features and higher quality components demand more of your dollars, but that doesn't mean that you can't find a quality lens that can produce great images for a fraction of the price.
This is especially important to remember when purchasing your first lens, which most industry professionals would suggest should be a good ol' nifty fifty, including photographer Kai Wong. He names five 50mm lenses that he considers to be the best in terms of sharpness, bokeh, and build quality in the video below—and video that basically becomes a budget filmmaker's shopping list.
Here is the list of lenses Kai mentions in the video:
- YongNuo 50mm f/1.8
- Jupiter 8
- Helios 44
- Fujinon 50mm f/1.4 EBC
- Takumar 50mm f/1.4
Of all the lenses on the list, the Helios 44, as well as the 44-2 and 44M, is one of the most beloved among budget filmmakers and photographers and considered to be one of the greatest low-cost lenses around. Kai also shares another money-saving tip that you should really consider. Go for lenses with an aperture of f/1.8 rather than f/1.4, because not only can it save you some dough, f/1.8 is still a damn big aperture and, according to Kai, tend to perform better as a whole.
What are some other sub-$100 (or close to) lenses that budget filmmakers should take a look at? Let us know down in the comments.