Best Sony lenses

If you’re looking for the best Sony lenses for Sony mirrorless cameras, you’ve come to the right place! On this page I’ve compiled the best Sony lenses I’ve tested for both cropped-frame / APSC and full-frame bodies; note I’ll never include a product in one of my Buyer’s Guides if I’ve not spent some time personally testing it. If a favourite model of yours isn’t listed, it could be that I’ve not tested it yet or are working on a review. So read on for my recommendations and check back for updates! Note like my other guides they’re also listed by review date, not in order of preference.

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Best Sony Lenses

Sony E 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 review

The Sony E 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 OSS is a compact, lightweight and versatile general-purpose zoom for its cropped-frame mirrorless bodies, including the A6000, A5000 and NEX series. The 7.5x range takes you from wide-angle to respectable telephoto and while the focal ratio of f3.5-5.6 isn't anything unusual, it does allow some shallow depth-of-field effects at the long-end, especially at closer distances. And thankfully after a string of disappointing general-purpose zooms for their cropped-frame bodies, the E 18-135mm delivers crisp results across the frame and throughout the range. For the money the E 18-135mm is a no-brainer for all A6000, A5000 and NEX owners looking for a general-purpose zoom or an upgrade from the 16-50mm.

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Sony FE 24-105mm f4G OSS review so far

The Sony FE 24-105mm f4G OSS is a general-purpose lightweight zoom for Sony's full-frame mirrorless cameras upon which it'll take you from wide-angle to short telephoto. The lens sports a constant f4 focal ratio and can deliver reasonably blurred backgrounds and attractive rendering when shot wide-open at 105mm, especially at portrait distances or approaching the minimum focusing of 38cm. There's optical stabilisation to iron-out wobbles on older bodies, or further enhance those with sensor-shift, while weather-sealing keeps it protected against the elements. I shot with it on a full-frame Alpha A7r Mark III and found the combination flexible but surprisingly light while still delivering good quality. As such it's an ideal general-purpose zoom for those who can't stretch to a G-Master or who need a longer range than a 24-70mm in a compact and light form. Recommended.

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Sony FE 50mm f1.8 review so far

The Sony FE 50mm f1.8 is an affordable standard prime lens for Alpha mirrorless cameras. It delivers standard coverage on full-frame bodies making it an ideal walk-around lens, and becomes a short telephoto on APSC bodies, equivalent to 75mm, making it perfect for portraits. Meanwhile the bright f1.8 focal ratio lets you shoot more easily in low light while also delivering shallow depth-of-field effects. Sony's lens catalogue isn't short of 50mm options with many higher-end alternatives available with better quality and faster quieter focusing. But none come anywhere near the low price of the FE 50mm f1.8, making it a no-brainer for Alpha owners starting out in prime lenses. It's also possible to assemble an affordable threesome by adding the FE 28mm f2 and FE 85mm f1.8. All come recommended if you can't stretch to the higher-end options.

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Sony FE 85mm f1.8 review-so-far

The Sony FE 85mm f1.8 is a short-telephoto prime lens for Sony's mirrorless cameras, and corrected for use on full-frame bodies. Costing one third of the flagship FE 85mm f1.4 G Master, it represents a fairly light and relatively affordable option for anyone wanting to shoot portraits, street or details with this classic focal length. Couple it with the FE 50mm f1.8 and FE 28mm f2 and you can have a flexible three-lens kit without breaking the bank or your back - at least compared to the higher-end Sony options. If you're after something halfway between it and the G Master, consider the Zeiss Batis 85mm f1.8, or if you're on a tighter budget and don't mind manual focusing, there's Samyang's 85mm f1.4. But if you're after the 'cheapest' 85mm with autofocus for a full-frame Sony mirrorless, the FE 85mm f1.8 is your lens.

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Sony FE 28mm f2 review-so-far

Sony's FE 28mm f2 is a compact and affordable wide-angle prime lens for Sony mirrorless cameras, that's corrected for use on full-frame bodies. The small size and light-weight make it a perfect companion for Sony's smaller bodies, while a pair of optional adapters transform it into a 21mm ultra-wide or 16mm Fisheye. It may lack the ultimate quality of Sony's higher-end lenses, but the size, weight and price - not to mention the added flexibility of the adapters - are hard to argue with. Indeed along with the FE 50mm f1.8 and FE 85mm f1.8 you can build a compelling triplet of light and low-cost prime lenses.

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Sony FE 55mm f1.8 ZA review-so-far

Sony's FE 55mm f1.8 ZA is a prime lens for Alpha mirrorless cameras that delivers close to standard coverage on full-frame bodies. It was one of the first lenses available for the FE mount, and has since been joined by a selection of alternative 50mm primes, but it remains a popular premium option. The Zeiss optics deliver decent quality and the barrel is fairly light and compact, making it an ideal match for the small Alpha bodies. If you want a shallower depth-of-field, there's two 50mm f1.4 options, a more expensive Sony Zeiss model with autofocus, or a more affordable manual focus model from Samyang; manual focus enthusiasts will also enjoy using the Zeiss Loxia 50mm f2. If you're looking for something cheaper than any of these, consider Sony's budget FE 50mm f1.8 - it may lack the sophistication of the others, but hits a tempting price point.

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Sony FE 35mm f1.4 ZA review-so-far

Sony's FE 35mm f1.4 ZA is a standard wide prime lens that's corrected for both cropped and full-frame Alpha mirrorless cameras. It's one of many 35mm lenses now available for the FE mount bodies, but the only one with a bright f1.4 focal ratio and autofocus. These coupled with the high quality Zeiss optics mean it's also the largest, heaviest and most expensive of the FE 35mm lenses to date, but there's no questioning the results which look fantastic: sharp across the frame, high contrast and lovely rendering which gives the subject a real pop. It's not small, nor light and definitely not cheap, but if you love the 35mm focal length and can accommodate the price and heft, you'll adore the results. Highly recommended, but do familiarize yourself with the alternative 35mm options available before committing - in particular, the original Sony FE 35mm f2.8 if you're after a compact and more affordable walk-around prime, the classy manual focus Loxia 35mm f2, or the two low-cost Samyang options.

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Sony FE 90mm f2.8 Macro review-so-far

Sony's FE 90mm f2.8 Macro G OSS is the first native macro lens designed for its full-frame mirrorless cameras. It delivers the coveted 1:1 or 1x magnification on full-frame bodies at a distance of 28cm, but also provides excellent quality results at all distances. The mid-telephoto length is ideal for portraits, and it also delivers tighter views of urban and landscape subjects. As such it's a more flexible lens than first appears, although if your primary goal is portrait work, you'll enjoy a shallower depth-of-field from more affordable lenses like the FE 85mm f1.8. But if you're driven by Macro photography, you'll love the FE 90mm f2.8 Macro G OSS as it's one of the sharpest lenses in the catalogue.

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Sony FE 70-200mm f2.8 GM OSS review-so-far

The Sony FE 70-200mm f2.8 G Master is a professional telephoto zoom lens for Sony's Alpha mirrorless cameras. One of the first models to carry the G Master badge, it pulls-off that tricky combination of very high resolution details with attractive rendering of blurred areas. As such it's highly desirable to portrait and wedding photographers, as well as anyone shooting close-range sports or wildlife. Meanwhile the innovative floating focus system exploits three motors to maintain high quality right down to the minimum focusing distance of just under a meter. It's understandably larger, heavier and comfortably more expensive than the earlier FE 70-200mm f4G OSS, but it's a stop brighter and optically superior. Indeed it's one of the best 70-200mm f2.8 zooms of any system if you can afford it and don't mind the weight, otherwise go for the slower f4G version. Or if you want longer reach without using tele-converters, consider the FE 100-400mm GM.

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Sony FE 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 GM OSS review

The Sony FE 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 G Master is a telephoto zoom for its e-mount mirrorless cameras, and corrected for use on full-frame bodies. Announced alongside the professional Alpha A9 body, it delivers the longest reach of Sony's native e-mount lenses to date. It's also the fourth lens to join the high-end G Master series and like the others aims to deliver both high resolution across the entire zoom, focusing and aperture ranges, as well as attractive bokeh.

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Sony FE 70-200mm f4G OSS review

Sony's FE 70-200mm f4G OSS was the first telephoto zoom for its full-frame mirrorless cameras and remains one of the best options for fairly close range action. The f4 aperture may not deliver as much (or as attractive) blurring as the FE 70-200mm f2.8 GM, nor will its focal length reach as far as the FE 100-400mm GM, but it's noticeably lighter and more affordable than either, not to mention physically better-suited for Sony's smaller bodies, especially the cropped APSC models where the coverage is reduced to 105-300mm. The optical quality may lack the ultimate bite and smooth rendering of the pricier and heavier G Master telephoto zooms, but it remains respectable across the frame with a high level of detail, while the focusing is quick enough to track fast action when coupled with the right body. A great choice if you want a decent telephoto zoom but don't need an f2.8 focal ratio or a super reach.

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Sony E 10-18mm f4 review-so-far

The Sony E 10-18mm f4 OSS was the first ultra-wide zoom for Sony's cropped-frame / APSC mirrorless cameras, including the original NEX and later Alpha A5000 and A6000 series. Several years after launch, it remains the only ultra-wide option for these cameras from Sony, so it's fortunate it's a decent performer, delivering coverage equivalent to 15-27mm, a constant f4 focal ratio and optical stabilisation. Like other ultra-wide zooms, it's ideal for capturing expansive landscapes, dramatic architecture, large interiors or even big group shots when you can't step back any further, and the presence of a filter thread means you can mount filters for long exposure photography, but do check for potential vignetting if using a large filter mount system.

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Sony E 24mm f1.8 ZA review-so-far

The Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* E 24mm f1.8 ZA is a high quality prime lens for Sony's cropped-frame / APSC mirrorless cameras, including the NEX, A5000 and A6000 series. Mounted on a cropped body it delivers 36mm equivalent coverage, a mild wide-angle that's perfect for general-purpose or street photography. The bright f1.8 focal ratio allows you to keep shooting in lower light without compromising ISO, while also allowing shallow depth-of-field effects. In my tests it can be a little soft in the extreme corners at wide apertures, but it remains a good option for anyone who wants a good quality walk-around prime lens.

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