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  Sony Alpha telephoto prime lenses
 
 

Lenses with focal lengths above 50mm are commonly known as telephoto models. These fit less in, and are therefore ideal for getting closer to distant subjects or picking out detail; they also give a more flattering effect when taking photos of people. In contrast to wide-angle, lenses with longer focal lengths have an inherently smaller depth-of-field, which means it’s easier to get a blurred background effect – again ideal for portrait, wildlife and sports photography.

Good focal lengths for portraits are typically between 85mm and 135mm – these are often known as short telephotos. Appropriate focal lengths for sports or wildlife are generally much longer – at least 200mm, and ideally 300mm or more. Professional sports and wildlife photographers often use 600mm lenses, or even longer still. These are known as super-telephotos.

Lenses with smaller f-numbers gather more light thanks to their bigger apertures, which makes them better in dim conditions and for minimising the depth-of-field. Bigger apertures however mean a larger, heavier and more expensive lens.

 

As focal lengths increase, the risk of camera-shake becomes greater. Sony's Alpha DSLRs feature built-in anti-shake systems which allow you to handhold shots at slower than normal shutter speeds, but remember these won’t stop a moving subject from blurring, which brings many enthusiasts back to large aperture models.

As always, bear in mind any reduction in field due to your DSLRs sensor when choosing a lens. Sony’s APS-C models like the Alpha A200, A300, A350 and A700 have a reduction factor of 1.5x, which effectively multiply focal lengths by 1.5 times. So if you’re after a portrait lens with an equivalent focal length of 75 to 128mm, you’ll need a model with an actual focal length of around 50 to 85mm. Full-frame bodies like the A900 have no field-reduction factor, so an 85mm lens will deliver 85mm coverage.

Note: For a full explanation of lens specifications and examples of coverage at different focal lengths, check out our Camera Labs Lens Buyers Guide.



   
SAL85F14Z 85mm f/1.4

     
Focal length: 85mm
Aperture: f1.4
Lens mount: A-mount
Equiv on APS-C DSLR: 128mm
Full-frame compatible: Yes
Anti-shake: No
AF motor: requires AF motor in DSLR
  Closest focus: 85cm
Filter thread: 72mm
Lens hood: ALC-SH0002
Construction: 8 el. / 7 groups
Diaphragm blades: 9
Weight: 560g
Size (diam x length): 81x75mm

   
SAL135F18Z 135mm f/1.8

     
Focal length: 135mm
Aperture: f1.8
Lens mount: A-mount
Equiv on APS-C DSLR: 203mm
Full-frame compatible: Yes
Anti-shake: No
AF motor: requires AF motor in DSLR
  Closest focus: 72cm
Filter thread: 77mm
Lens hood: ALC-SH0003
Construction: 11 el. / 8 groups
Diaphragm blades: 9
Weight: 1050g
Size (diam x length): 88x115mm

   
SAL135F28 135mm f/2.8 [T4.5] STF

     
Focal length: 135mm
Aperture: f2.8 [T4.5]
Lens mount: A-mount
Equiv on APS-C DSLR: 203mm
Full-frame compatible: Yes
Anti-shake: No
AF motor: requires AF motor in DSLR
  Closest focus: 87cm
Filter thread: 72mm
Lens hood: ALC-SH0014
Construction: 8 el. / 6 groups
Diaphragm blades: N/A
Weight: 730g
Size (diam x length): 80x99mm

   
SAL300F28G 300mm f/2.8 G SSM

     
Focal length: 300mm
Aperture: f2.8
Lens mount: A-mount
Equiv on APS-C DSLR: 450mm
Full-frame compatible: Yes
Anti-shake: No
AF motor: SSM
  Closest focus: 200cm
Filter thread: 42mm (rear)
Lens hood: ALC-SH0012
Construction: 13 el. / 12 groups (inc filter)
Diaphragm blades: 9
Weight: 2310g
Size (diam x length): 122x243mm

   
SAL500F80 500mm f/8 reflex

     
Focal length: 500mm
Aperture: f8
Lens mount: A-mount
Equiv on APS-C DSLR: 750mm
Full-frame compatible: Yes
Anti-shake: No
AF motor: requires AF motor in DSLR
  Closest focus: 400cm
Filter thread: 42mm (rear)
Lens hood: ALC-SH0015
Construction: 7 el. / 5 groups (inc filter)
Diaphragm blades: N/A
Weight: 665g
Size (diam x length): 89x118mm

 



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