Sony Digital Camera Lenses- The Best Picks

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Sony Digital Camera Lenses- The Best Picks
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In 2010, Sony introduced its mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras with one mount called the “E-mount”. This mount became the only mount for both full frame and APS-C cameras. Sony launched its first full-frame mirrorless camera, the Sony A7 in 2013.

Very rapidly, Sony lenses become one of the best camera lenses to buy. They have four lens series, the top series is the G Master lenses (they are big, expensive, and top quality) for professional photographers, and the other three series are G, standard, and ZEISS for photographers and videographers who need lenses that are lighter, smaller, not quite so expensive, and for certain shooting needs.

Sony has its unique lens abbreviations system, for the full list of lens abbreviations; you can check my post “Camera Lens Abbreviations

Here are some of them:

  • E: E mount lens for APS-C
  • EF: Full frame E mount lens
  • OSS: Optical Steady Shot (Image stabilization system)
  • ZA: Zeiss Alpha, Zeiss branded lens designed for Sony cameras.
  • T*: A special coating on a Carl Zeiss lens to prevent flaring, ghosting

No matter what you are looking for, I hope this tutorial will help you take advantage of the features and quality of your Sony camera.

Image Sensor sizes

Sony uses the common sensor sizes: the full frame and APS-C, among the many sensor sizes in common use, the full-frame is considered a large size while APS-C is a medium size. Both are popular as a result of their individual advantages.

Sony APS-C sensor has dimensions of 23.5mm x 15.6mm (width x height)

The full-frame sensor has  dimensions of 36mm x 24mm (width x height)

Further reading: “Difference Between A Full Frame And A Crop Sensor

Sony lens mounts

Sony produces cameras with two lens mount systems: A-mount and E-mount. A-mount is standard on Sony DSLR camera bodies, while E-mount is used on mirrorless bodies.

You may check my post “Difference Between DSLR And Mirrorless Cameras

In this post, I will stick to the lenses for the mirrorless cameras, the “E” mount

The E-mount connects APS-C to full-frame, Alpha mirrorless cameras to pro camcorders, and entry-level to high-end gear. Use full-frame lenses on APS-C bodies, and even attach E-mount lenses to professional camcorders.

Sony Digital Camera Lenses- The Best Picks

Lens and sensor combinations

Sony offers full-frame and APS-C lenses with image circles that cover the corresponding sensor formats. Although lenses are usually chosen to match the sensor format, different combinations can be used to vary the crop area and angle of view when broader coverage or extra telephoto reach is desired.

The figures below show the various combinations of camera and lens types.

Sony Digital Camera Lenses- The Best Picks

Sony Digital Camera Lenses- The Best Picks

Sony Lens Series

Sony has arranged its lenses into different series. Different series indicate specific feature sets or designs as well as the user types to which they are best suited. These series are:

  • G Master: Gold (G) master (M) is Sony’s new highest-quality range of lenses. It is Sony’s top-of-the-line; G Master Lenses displays the highest resolution, smoothest bokeh, and most robust construction details to match their flagship camera bodies. Spanning a wide range of focal lengths and emphasizing speed, G Master lenses also make use of the most refined optical and focusing technologies available.
  • G: Gold (G) is Sony’s old highest-quality range of lenses. It is Sony’s second tier in lens design, these lenses balance optical excellence with more compact and modest designs compared to G Master Lenses. It covers a versatile range of focal lengths and is comprised of both zooms and primes.
  • ZEISS: Made in collaboration with ZEISS, these lenses blend Sony’s manufacturing with optical designs and construction details from the legendary German optics manufacturer. Utilizing specialized low dispersion glasses and their famous T* anti-reflective coating, these lenses offer a characteristic quality along with distinct physical designs and focal lengths.
  • Standard: Outside of the specialized lens series designations, Sony produces a wide range of additional lenses to suit nearly any shooting need, from landscape to portraiture to wildlife, and are suitable for use on their expansive lineup of camera types, from the flagship pro bodies to the compact carry-everywhere cameras.

Prime vs zoom lens

Sony also offers both prime and zoom lenses. A prime lens has a fixed focal length, which means it cannot zoom from one length to another. While a zoom lens is simply a lens that offers a range of focal lengths all in one, rather than just one focal length. The pros and cons of both prime and zoom lenses are listed below.

FeaturePrime lensZoom lens
Sizesmallerbigger
Weightlighterheavier
Versatilityyou have to walk nearer or away from drom your subjetallow you to take a closer or farther composition of your subject
flexibility Youu need more np of lenses to cover certaln foacal rangeyou can carry fewer lenses in your camera bag to cover the same focal range
Image Qualityhigher image qualitythey can have less image quality
Bokehbest for bokehthey are not as good as prime lenses 
Low Lightcan be used in low light suitationdifficult to shoot in low light
Maximum Aperturethey offer wider apertures (faster)they offer less wide aperture (slowe)
DOFshallower depth of field deeper depth of field 

Best Sony Digital Camera Lenses

Below is our list of the Best Sony Digital Camera Lenses:


  1. Sony E 10-18mm f/4 OSS (ultra-wide-angle) E            OSS
  2. Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM (ultra-wide-angle prime) FE        GM
  3. Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM (premium wide-angle prime) FE        GM
  4. Sony FE 12-24mm f/4 G (Best ultra-wide-angle) FE        G
  5. Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM (Best wide-angle) FE        GM
  6. Sony E 16-55mm f/2.8 G E          G
  7. Sony FE 35mm f/1.8 (versatile prime) FE
  8. Sony Planar T* FE 50mm f/1.4 ZA (all-around FOV) FE        ZA
  9. Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS (best for travel) E        OSS
  10. Sony E PZ 18-105mm f/4 G OSS (Best budget) E          G          OSS
  11. Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 GM Lens (for portraits) FE        GM
  12. Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 Macro G OSS (Best for macro) FE      G          OSS
  13. Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master (Best overall) FE        GM
  14. Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM (Best for portraits) FE        GM
  15. Sony E 55-210mm f/4.5-6.3 OSS (travel zoom lens) E        OSS
  16. Sony E 70-350mm f/4.5-6.3 G OSS (travel zoom lens) E          G          OSS

  1. Sony E 10-18mm f/4 OSS

                E            OSS

Sony Digital Camera Lenses- The Best Picks

Take on ultra-wide landscapes or tight interiors with your APS-C-format E-mount camera using the E 10-18mm f/4 OSS Lens from Sony. Delivering a super wide 15-27mm equivalent zoom range, and offering a constant f/4 aperture, this lens can produce high-quality images in a variety of difficult scenarios. Implementing one Super ED and three aspherical elements guarantees image quality by minimizing aberrations throughout the range. In addition, the lens is equipped with Optical SteadyShot image stabilization for reducing the effects of camera shake

Pros

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Constant f/4 aperture
  • Optical SteadyShot

Cons

  • Mediocre corner-sharpness
  • Not weather-sealed
  • Pricey for its type

Specification

Focal Length10 to 18mm (35mm Equivalent Focal Length: 15 to 27mm)
Max Aperturef/4
Min Aperturef/22
Lens MountSony E
Lens Format APS-C
Angle of View109° to 76°
Min Focus Distance9.84" / 25 cm
Max Magnification0.1x
Diaphragm Blades7, Rounded
Focus TypeAutofocus
Image StabilizationYes
Filter Size62 mm (Front)
Dimensions (ø x L)2.76 x 2.5" / 70.1 x 63.5 mm
Weight7.94 oz / 225 g


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2- Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM

FE        GM

Sony Digital Camera Lenses- The Best Picks

Pairing an ultra-wide-angle focal length with an especially bright design, the FE 14mm f/1.8 GM from Sony is a fast and dynamic lens well-suited to landscape, nature, architectural, and astrophotography applications. Its extremely wide perspective is complemented by an f/1.8 maximum aperture for excellent performance in low-light conditions and its impressively compact form factor makes it a portable and versatile option for everything from casual walkaround shooting to staged architectural shoot

Pros

  • Excellent optical performance
  • Light, compact build for drones and gimbals
  • Dust, splash, and smudge protection
  • Bright aperture for low-light work
  • Rear filter support

Cons

  • Some focus breathing visible
  • Not as versatile as a wide zoom

Specification

Focal Length14mm
MaxiAperturef/1.8
Min Aperturef/16
Lens MountSony E
Lens Format Full-Frame
Angle of View114°
Min Focus Distance9.8" / 25 cm
Max Magnification0.1x
Diaphragm Blades9, Rounded
Focus TypeAutofocus
Image StabilizationNo
Filter SizeGel Filter (Rear)
Dimensions (ø x L)3.3 x 3.9" / 83 x 99.8 mm
Weight1 lb / 460 g


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  1. Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM

    FE        GM

Sony Digital Camera Lenses- The Best Picks

Combining a favored wide-angle focal length with an especially bright design, the FE 24mm f/1.4 GM from Sony is a fast, versatile lens well-suited to landscape, astrophotography, and street shooting applications. The f/1.4 maximum aperture complements its wide perspective and the lens is distinguished by a sleek, portable profile for all-day shooting.

Pros

  • Bright, f/1.4 aperture.
  • Light and compact.
  • Dust, splash, and fluorine protection.
  • Aperture ring with selectable detents.

Cons

  • Pricier than some other options.

Specification

Focal Length24mm
Max Aperturef/1.4
Min Aperturef/16
Lens MountSony E
Lens Format Full-Frame
Angle of View84°
Minimum Focus Distance9.45" / 24 cm
Maximum Magnification0.17x
Focus TypeAutofocus
Image StabilizationNo
Filter Size67 mm (Front)
Dimensions (ø x L)2.97 x 3.64" / 75.4 x 92.4 mm
Weight15.7 oz / 445 g


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  1. Sony FE 12-24mm f/4 G              

    FE        G

Sony Digital Camera Lenses- The Best Picks

Ultra-wide and versatile, the Sony FE 12-24mm f/4 G is a flexible, everyday wide zoom characterized by its nimble design and well-rounded performance that makes it ideal for architectural, interior, and landscape subjects. In addition, as a G Lens, priority has been given to the optical design, which specifically helps to reduce distortion and achieve high sharpness across the frame for accurate rendering and high resolution.

Pros

  • Light, compact design.
  • Quite sharp.
  • Extremely wide field of view.
  • Integrated lens hood.
  • Focus Hold button.
  • Dust- and moisture-resistant construction.

Cons

  • Omits filter thread.
  • No stabilization.
  • Muddy corners at wide apertures.
  • Noticeable vignette.
  • Distortion throughout range

Specification

Focal Length12 to 24mm
Max Aperturef/4
Min Aperturef/22
Lens MountSony E
Lens Format Full-Frame
Angle of View122° to 84°
Minimum Focus Distance11.02" / 28 cm
Maximum Magnification0.14x
Diaphragm Blades7, Rounded
Focus TypeAutofocus
Image StabilizationNo
Filter SizeNone
Dimensions (ø x L)3.43 x 4.62" / 87 x 117.4 mm
Length at Maximum Extension4.61" / 117 mm
Weight1.24 lb / 565 g


Back


  1. Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM

               FE        GM

Sony Digital Camera Lenses- The Best Picks

Offering G Master performance in a compact, fast, and versatile form, the Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM is a wide-angle zoom covering ultra-wide to standard wide-angle fields of view. Ideal for a range of subjects, from landscape to lifestyle to architecture, the lens’s advanced optics and bright f/2.8 design pair with a flexible zoom design to suit working in a variety of shooting conditions.

Pros

  • Very sharp
  • Lightweight for the focal range
  • Rugged and durable
  • Versatile focal range

Cons

  • Expensive
  • No Image Stabilization

Specification

Focal Length16 to 35mm
Max Aperturef/2.8
MinAperturef/22
Lens MountSony E
Lens Format Full-Frame
Angle of View107° to 63°
Minimum Focus Distance11" / 28 cm
Maximum Magnification0.19x
Optical Design16 Elements in 13 Groups
Diaphragm Blades11, Rounded
Focus TypeAutofocus
Image StabilizationNo
Filter Size82 mm (Front)
Dimensions (ø x L)3.5 x 4.8" / 88.5 x 121.6 mm
Length at Maximum Extension5.4" / 136.2 mm
Weight1.5 lb / 680 g


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  1. Sony E 16-55mm f/2.8 G         

    E          G

Sony Digital Camera Lenses- The Best Picks

Positioned as the workhorse lens for APS-C, the Sony E 16-55mm f/2.8 G is a flexible wide-angle to portrait-length zoom featuring a bright constant f/2.8 maximum aperture. Covering a versatile range, this sleek lens is well-positioned for a wide variety of subjects, from landscapes to portraiture, and its portable size makes it a go-to lens for everyday shooting.

Pros

  • lightweight/compact design
  • image quality
  • fast aperture

Cons

  • extends with zoom
  • some distortion at wide focal lengths
  • high price

Specification

Focal Length16 to 55mm (35mm Equivalent Focal Length: 24 to 82.5mm)
Max Aperturef/2.8
Min Aperturef/22
Lens MountSony E
Lens Format CoverageAPS-C
Angle of View83° to 29°
Minimum Focus Distance1.08' / 33 cm
Maximum Magnification0.2x
Diaphragm Blades9, Rounded
Focus TypeAutofocus
Image StabilizationNo
Filter Size67 mm (Front)
Dimensions (ø x L)2.87 x 3.94" / 73 x 100 mm
Length at Maximum Extension5.3" / 133.8 mm
Weight1.09 lb / 494 g


Back


  1. Sony FE 35mm f/1.8

                                            FE

Sony Digital Camera Lenses- The Best Picks

The Sony FE 35mm f/1.8 mixes a versatile wide-angle focal length with a bright design and a sleek form factor. As a wide-angle, this lens excels in a variety of situations, from street shooting to landscapes to travel, and the f/1.8 maximum aperture suits working in available lighting and benefits controlling depth of field.

Pros

  • Good wide-open resolution.
  • Excellent when stopped down.
  • Light, compact build.
  • Dust and splash protection.

Cons

  • Pricey.

Specification

Focal Length35mm
Max Aperturef/1.8
Min Aperturef/22
Lens MountSony E
Lens Format Full-Frame
Angle of View63°
Minimum Focus Distance8.7" / 22.1 cm
Maximum Magnification0.24x
Diaphragm Blades9, Rounded
Focus TypeAutofocus
Image StabilizationNo
Filter Size55 mm (Front)
Dimensions (ø x L)2.58 x 2.87" / 65.6 x 73 mm
Weight9.9 oz / 281 g


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  1. Sony Planar T* FE 50mm f/1.4 ZA             

    FE        ZA

Sony Digital Camera Lenses- The Best Picks

With its normal perspective, fast maximum aperture, and high-end design, the Planar T* FE 50mm f/1.4 ZA Lens from Sony is easy to see as a go-to standard optic for full-frame E-mount shooters. The 50mm focal length excels as an all-around field of view, suitable for portraiture, landscapes, and more, and the bright design offers creative depth of field control and low-light performance

Pros

  • Superb sharpness.
  • No distortion.
  • Solid, weather-sealed build.
  • Physical aperture control.
  • Bright f/1.4 aperture.

Cons

  • Omits optical stabilization.
  • Dim corners at wide apertures.

Specification

Focal Length50mm
Max Aperturef/1.4
Min Aperturef/16
Lens MountSony E
Lens Format Full-Frame
Angle of View47°
Minimum Focus Distance1.48' / 45 cm
Maximum Magnification0.15x
Diaphragm Blades11, Rounded
Focus TypeAutofocus
Image StabilizationNo
Filter Size72 mm (Front)
Dimensions (ø x L)3.29 x 4.25" / 83.5 x 108 mm
Weight27.5 oz / 780 g


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 9- Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS           

E        OSS

Sony Digital Camera Lenses- The Best Picks

Spanning a useful wide-angle to medium telephoto range, the E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS from Sony is a versatile 27-202.5mm equivalent zoom for APS-C-format E-mount mirrorless cameras. This well-rounded lens suits working in a variety of situations, making it an ideal zoom for travel applications, and the image stabilization helps to minimize the appearance of camera shake for sharper imagery when shooting handheld.

Pros

  • Minimal distortion and vignette.
  • Zoom power: 7.5x.
  • 1:3.4 magnification.
  • Optical stabilization.

Cons

  • No dust or splash protection.
  • Dim aperture.
  • Not as wide-angle as some other options.

Specification

Focal Length18 to 135mm (35mm Equivalent Focal Length: 27 to 202.5mm)
Max Aperturef/3.5 to 5.6
Min Aperturef/22 to 36
Lens MountSony E
Lens Format APS-C
Angle of View76° to 12°
Minimum Focus Distance1.48' / 45 cm
Maximum Magnification0.29x
Diaphragm Blades7, Rounded
Focus TypeAutofocus
Image StabilizationYes
Filter Size55 mm (Front)
Dimensions (ø x L)2.65 x 3.46" / 67.2 x 88 mm
Length at Maximum Extension4.41" / 111.9 mm
Weight11.5 oz / 326 g


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  1. Sony E PZ 18-105mm f/4 G OSS

    E          G          OSS

Sony Digital Camera Lenses- The Best Picks

Have all the essential focal lengths covered with this E PZ 18-105mm f/4 G OSS Lens from Sony. Designed for APS-C-format E-mount cameras, this lens offers an extremely versatile 27-157.5mm zoom range and has a constant f/4 aperture for consistency through all focal lengths. Making this lens a great choice for both stills and video is the implementation of a power zoom mechanism and Handycam technology that provides smooth, quiet zooming and focusing.

Pros

  • Zoom ratio5 = 8x.
  • Optically stabilized.
  • Power zoom design.

Cons

  • Extreme pincushion distortion.
  • Inconsistent sharpness.

Specification

Focal Length18 to 105mm (35mm Equivalent Focal Length: 27 to 157.5mm)
Max Aperturef/4
Min Aperturef/22
Lens MountSony E
Lens Format APS-C
Angle of View77° to 15°
Minimum Focus Distance1.48' / 45 cm
Maximum Magnification0.11x
Diaphragm Blades7, Rounded
Focus TypeAutofocus
Image StabilizationYes
Filter Size72 mm (Front)
Dimensions (ø x L)3.1 x 4.3" / 78 x 110 mm
Length at Maximum Extension4.3" / 109.2 mm
Weight15.1 oz / 427 g