Sony cameras are some of the most popular in the world, but if you want to get the most out of your Sony camera, you must pair it with the appropriate lens. The problem with this is that there are literally dozens of different lenses, and trying to figure out what the best Sony lenses are can be a nightmare.
Really, this is like being let loose in a candy factory and saying you can only have one piece. It is a hard decision to make, but we have put together a list of the best Sony lenses that are compatible with both full-frame bodies and APS-C bodies to make your life easier.
While you could probably get a third-party lens for cheaper, and while most Sony lenses can be shared across all of their cameras, some are specially designed for certain cameras, and this makes them more appealing. Getting a third-party lens for your Sony camera is comparable to getting stock wheels for your race car. If you have a powerful Sony camera, it only makes sense to get a powerful Sony lens.
Keep in mind that most of the mirrorless cameras from Sony are divided into two categories. They have APS-C cameras that are better for beginners, and they have full-frame cameras that are more expensive and better suited for professionals. But don’t stress. Today we will look at lenses that are great for working with both types of cameras.
The Best Sony Lenses
This is one of Sony’s better G Master lenses. It is a newer, wide-angle prime lens designed to provide maximum resolution, stunning speed, and to do it all in a compact and lightweight package. The image quality is amazing with this lens, and you get a superb amount of sharpness across your frame. The 11-blade circular aperture gives you some of the most amazing bokeh available, making your images that much more impressive. You get silkier and smoother natural defocusing.
With the lens’s enhanced Direct Drive SSM, you get swifter focusing than ever before. The lens gives you super quick AF performance and precision focusing for stills, while the lens still manages to capture exceptional video with the linear motor, which allows for continuously smooth AF. Plus, the entire lens only weighs about 15.7 ounces.
As for reflections, ghosting, and flare – forget about them. The nano AR coating suppresses these three nuisances to give you a better dynamic range with more lifelike detail. The nanostructure ensures you have the best light transmission For the highest quality of images. The nano AR coating is far superior to any normal coating.
- Superior Image Quality
- Stunning Bokeh
- Lightweight & Small
- Fastest Focusing
- Programmable Focus Button
- Fairly Expensive
- Best for Experienced Photographers
Every list of quality lenses deserves a budget option. This is by far the cheapest lens on the list, but that does not mean it is of poor quality. This is still a fantastic 50mm full-frame E-mount lens that is ideal for capturing portraits and beautiful landscapes. It comes complete with a bright f/1.8 aperture, a 7-blade circular aperture, and a marvelously defocused background bokeh for the most impressive image quality ever. Plus, this is one of the lightest and most compact lenses on the list.
With the maximum aperture, you get excellent nighttime photos and stunning photographs in dark indoor places. If you use this lens with an A-series camera that has image stabilization, the low-light capability is even more enhanced. You will find yourself capturing incredibly sharp images of dark scenes without needing to fuss and fiddle with ISO sensitivity.
There are almost countless features with this small yet affordable lens, but I will leave you with a final word about its incredible autofocus. The impressive DC motor focus actuator system gives you precision and speed when snapping photographs, while still operating extremely quietly. Sure, this is not the most expensive piece of equipment, but it is definitely well worth the money for a beginner on a budget.
- Innovative & Affordable
- Improved Optical Performance
- Super Agile Focusing
- Solid Build w/ Excellent Durability
- Great for Night Photography
- Basic Model
- Too Much Fringing
Time to move on to a mid-grade Sony Power Zoom lens. At the time it was introduced, this was top of the line. It is a few years old now, but it is still every bit as good. It also doesn’t cost a fortune anymore, which means you get a sweet deal. This was the very first Sony G Lens created specifically for the E-mount style camera, and it still holds its weight today in terms of quality.
With this lens, you get superior resolution, enhanced contrast, and an absolutely impressive zoom range with advanced optical design. This design incorporates two ED glass elements plus three aspherical elements to make it vastly superior to other lenses of a similar caliber. You can use this lens anywhere between wide-angle and medium telephoto, and you will be pleased to find the lens covers a zoom range of 6x while keeping a continuous F4 aperture.
Additionally, this lens comes with integrated gyro sensors that detect every small movement, while the stabilization lens counteracts any possible blurring that could happen. Basically, this lens comes equipped with serious image stabilization. You get high-quality videos and images even when on the move.
- Fantastic Image Stabilization
- Versatile Focal Range
- Superior Bokeh
- Constant and Consistent Aperture
- Almost No Distortion
- Older Model/Slightly Outdated
- Zoom Slow for Video
Here we have another mid-range lens, but this one is newer and more advanced than the previous lens mentioned. And while it is a fairly large optic, it is actually pretty lightweight. This Medium Telephoto Prime Lens only weighs 371 grams because it is made mostly from plastic. However, it is a well-balanced lens. The design is clean, and it works amazingly for portrait photography. The focusing is quick and sharp, and the 9-blade aperture offers some stunning bokeh.
For all the high-tech features that come with this fantastic Prime lens, it is surprisingly affordable. But that is the way Sony designed it. It is great to be used with full-frame cameras and with APS-C cameras, especially since it delivers phenomenal background defocus. As for the body of the lens, it is totally resistant to dust and moisture, making it ideal for use outside and in harsh conditions.
The motor system is double linear, which works to drive the focus mechanism so that you experience a quiet operation for perfect still images. Also, the spherical aberration contributes to the superior sharpness and the silky smooth bokeh. This is definitely a good affordable lens that can be used by any beginner while still satisfying a professional.
- Extremely Reliable for Portraits
- Cost Effective & High Quality
- Small w/ Quick Autofocus
- Unbelievably Sharp Lens
- Works Especially Well w/ a7ii & a7iii
- Minimal Flare
- No DOF
Last on the list for today is one of the most professional Sony lenses that money can buy. This is the ultimate lens for travel photographers and event photographers who need maximum optical performance. The lens comes equipped with an XA element to drastically reduce aberration while delivering improved resolution regardless of the zoom range or the aperture range. Also, you get crystal clarity from one corner of the image file to the other.
This lens incorporates a lot of new optical technology, and it seriously shows in your photographs. The 9-blade aperture allows for unmatched bokeh, the F2.8 max aperture retains all exposure and depth of field no matter the focal range, the resolution is astonishing, and the Direct Drive SSM adds precision focusing like never before.
If you are a professional photographer and money is no issue, this is the lens for you. It works excellent with the Sony a7Rii, and it is a wise choice for every other Sony camera. Not only is it professional and great at getting realistic images, but the lens body itself is resistant to dust and moisture.
- Ideal Lens for Sony a7Rii
- Fantastic in Low-Light Conditions
- Lifelike Photographs & Natural Image Quality
- Premium Nano AR Coating
- Extremely Professional for Travel Photographers
- Fairly Heavy
- Price is Very High
These are all fantastic lenses. To tell you the truth, Sony hardly ever makes a bad lens. Their quality control is spot on, their design team is fabulous, and their technology is at the front of the pack. If you have a Sony camera, it does not matter if it’s a super expensive professional model, or a budget beginner model – any of these lenses are going to dramatically improve how you capture the world around you.
Sony lenses offer fantastic focusing, their bokeh is unmatched, the quality is always superior to the competition, and the new G Master lenses come equipped with the newest technology. If you are new to the world of camera lenses and don’t know where to start, pick up an affordable Sony lens and begin experimenting. You will quickly discover how much better your photographs are even with a lower-quality lens.
As a side note, don’t be too overwhelmed when making your decision. Since most lenses offer very similar attributes, there is not so much you need to think about other than price, weight, and whether or not it will fit on your camera. Keep in mind that E-Mount lenses are universal across full-frame and APS-C cameras from Sony.