With the best Sony lenses, you can equip yourself for whatever kinds of photography or videography you have in mind. Sony’s range of E-mount mirrorless cameras is broad and varied, with high-resolution full-frame options, affordable APS-C speedsters, and a bunch of other configurations. Sony’s E-mount has been running longer than most other mirrorless system, combined with the firm’s historic openness towards third-party lens manufacturers, means there is a lot of choice out there. So, we’re here to help!

In this guide, we’ve picked out Sony lenses for all eventualities – and all budgets. We’ve looked ultra-high grade lenses with pitch perfect optics, designed to make the most of megapixel monsters like the Sony A7R V, but we’ve also made space for lightweight and affordable lenses that will fit cameras in the APS-C range, like the Sony A6700. We’ve also looked at lenses that are optimised for video, and will therefore suit those who are using one of Sony’s vlogging cameras like the Sony ZV-E1. The only thing a lens has to do to make it onto this list is impress our review team with its sharpness, handling and value for money – we’ve kept this list just to lenses we’ve reviewed, so you can be sure we’re not recommending you any lenses we can’t vouch for.

Don’t worry if some of the technical terminology has gone over your head – at the bottom of this page we’ve included some buying advice on how to choose the right lens for your Sony camera, as well as answering a few of the most common questions we get from readers. We’ve covered full-frame lenses first, then have moved onto APS-C. Check out our guide to the best Sony cameras if you’re looking for a camera as well as a lens – otherwise, let’s get to it.


Don’t want to wait? Here’s our quick, cut-to-the-chase list of the best lenses for full-frame Sony E-mount cameras:

  • Best multi-purpose tele-zoom: Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II – buy now
  • Best standard prime: Sony FE 50mm F1.4 GM – buy now
  • Best telephoto zoom: Sony FE 200-600mm F5.6-6.3 G OSS – buy now
  • Best macro zoom lens: Sony FE 70-200mm F4 Macro G OSS II – buy now
  • Best lightweight standard zoom: Sony FE 20-70mm F4 G – buy now
  • Best value standard prime: Samyang AF 35mm F1.4 FE II – buy now
  • Best premium prime: Sony FE 35mm F1.4 GM – buy now
  • Best portrait lens: Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM – buy now
  • Best macro lens: Sony FE 90mm F2.8 Macro G OSS – buy now
  • Best portrait lens: Sony FE 85mm F1.4 GM – buy now
  • Best Sigma prime lens: Sigma 20mm F2 DG DN Contemporary – buy now
  • Best all-rounder prime: Sony FE 40mm F2.5 G – buy now
  • Best wide angle prime: Sony FE 20mm F1.8 G – buy now
  • Best standard zoom: Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II – buy now
  • Best zoom all-rounder: Sony FE 24-105mm F4 G OSS – buy now
  • Best 50mm Sony lens: Sony FE 50mm F1.2 GM – buy now
  • Best ultra-wide zoom: Sony FE 16-25mm F2.8 G – buy now

And here are the lenses we rate for Sony E-mount APS-C cameras only:

  • Best APS-C all-rounder: Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC DN Contemporary – buy now
  • Best ultra-wide zoom for APS-C: Sony E PZ 10-20mm F4 G – buy now
  • Best APS-C lens for vlogging: Sony E 11mm F1.8 – buy now
  • Best wide-angle standard for APS-C: Sony E 15mm F1.4 G – buy now

Read on for more details about these lenses, including details from our full review of each one…


Best Sony FE-Mount Lenses for full-frame and APS-C

The following lenses are designed for Sony’s full-frame Sony Alpha cameras, on which they will deliver their stated focal length; i.e. a 50mm lens will deliver a 50mm effective focal length. If you’re using an APS-C Sony mirrorless camera, such as the Sony Alpha A6600, or Sony ZV-E10, these lenses will also work, but with a 1.5x crop factor.

This means they will have a narrower effective focal length than the one listed on the box, e.g. a 50mm lens will behave like a 75mm lens. See our guide to APS-C vs Full-Frame for more on how this works. Some of them may also feel large on the smaller camera bodies.


Best multi-purpose tele-zoom: Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II

The Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II mounted to a Sony A1. Photo credit: Joshua Waller

Amateur Photographer verdict

There’s beautiful bokeh and background blur on offer, as well as crisp detail and sharpness, and combined with a fast and reliable focus system, you get impressive shots time and time again.
Pros
  • Very light for a 70-200mm
  • Excellent sharpness
  • Fast, reliable autofocus
Cons
  • Some corner softness at 200mm

At a glance:

  • New price: $2,798 / £2,599
  • Used price: $2,749 / £2,549
  • Filter thread: 77mm
  • Minimum focus distance: 0.4-0.82m
  • Weight: 1,045g

The Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II is the 2nd generation of the 70-200 f/2.8 lens from Sony, and this new model offers the lightest 70-200mm f/2.8 lens for any system, weighing just 1,045g. It also delivers excellent levels of sharpness throughout the zoom range, making it a great choice for anyone looking for a versatile zoom lens. There’s rapid focus, and direct aperture control on the lens, making it easy to use, with great results time after time.

How well this lens performed in testing blown me away. There’s a tiny bit of corner softness when you zoom all the way in to 200mm, but not enough to seriously worry about. As a G Master lens, it is unavoidably expensive, so if it’s out of your budget, you may want to scroll down and consider the excellent Sony FE 70-200mm F4 Macro G OSS II, a relatively recent release.

Best for: portrait and close range sports and wildlife scenarios

Read our Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II review


Best standard prime: Sony FE 50mm F1.4 GM

The Sony FE 50mm F1.4 GM mounted to an Alpha camera. Photo credit: Andy Westlake

Amateur Photographer verdict

A really fine lens whose all-round excellence goes a long way towards justifying its asking price
Pros
  • Super-sharp even wide open
  • Focuses fast and silently
  • Pleasingly lightweight
Cons
  • Price means it’s for serious shooters only
  • Some focus breathing

At a glance:

  • New price: $1,298 / £1,499
  • Used price $1,100 / £1,050
  • Filter thread: 67mm
  • Minimum focus distance: 0.41m (AF), 0.38m (MF)
  • Weight: 516g

Sony has quite a few 50mm lenses on its roster, including the FE 50mm F1.4 ZA, the FE 50mm F1.8, FE 50mm F2.8 Macro, FE 50mm F2.5 G and the FE 50mm F1.2 GM. As such, the FE 50mm F1.4 GM is faced with a considerable task in distinguishing itself from the pack, and as you can see from our full review, it accomplishes this admirably.

It’s a successor to the Zeiss-badged FE 50mm F1.4 ZA, and if you were to hold the two side by side, one of the first things you’d notice is that the G Master version is about 200g lighter. As I discovered in testing, it’s also optically superior, delivering absolutely superb results even when you’re shooting wide open. This is a truly useful f/1.4 lens, as you can really open it up and make the most of that aperture without compromising on image quality. It’s fast-focusing too, with dual XD linear motors that also acquire focus silently. This makes it useful for video – though videographers should be aware that we did encounter noticeable focus breathing in the course of our testing.

This aside, the only real downside to this lens is something that any photographer wanting to use G Master glass has to contend with – the price. While I’d say it’s definitely worth its price tag for those who can afford it, not everyone is in such a fortunate position. If this lens is too much for you, try the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG DN | Art, a cracking lens delivering the same combination of focal length and aperture at around half the price of this G Master version. Alternatively, if you have a little extra to spend and want something that’s a cut above, you can scroll a little further down this list to meet the fabulous FE 50mm F1.2 GM…

Best for: a general purpose optic, that is useful for a wide range of subjects

Read our full Sony FE 50mm F1.4 GM review


Best telephoto zoom: Sony FE 200-600mm F5.6-6.3 G OSS

The Sony FE 200-600mm F5.6-6.3 G OSS is a highly capable wildlife lens. Photo credit: Michael Topham

Amateur Photographer verdict

Despite the fairly slow variable maximum aperture, and heavy weight it delivers a strong and consistent optical performance with quiet autofocusing and first class build quality
Pros
  • Fast, reliable focusing
  • Excellent optical performance
  • Fantastic value for money
Cons
  • Relatively narrow maximum aperture
  • Weighs more than 2kg.

At a glance:

  • New price: $1,898 / £1,599
  • Used price $1,599-1,749 / £1,349-1,399
  • Filter thread: 95mm
  • Minimum focus distance: 2.4m
  • Weight: 2,115g

For most users, the Sony FE 200-600mm F5.6-6.3 G OSS is going to be the best Sony lens for wildlife photography. It’s a sensibly priced alternative to many of the high-end telephoto primes used by professionals, which generally carry five-figure price tags. The reach it provides makes it in theory an excellent lens for capturing images of birds and wildlife, as well as perhaps aviation shows or motorsport events. But how does the lens fare in practice?

In our full field test, we took the lens for a spin at Bough Beech nature reserve in Kent, aiming to capture bird-in-flight images of the wildfowl that make their home there. Throughout the two weeks our reviewer spent putting the FE 200-600mm through its paces, the lens consistently impressed. Focusing was consistent and reliable, aided by the focus limiter switch that allows you to restrict the focus distance range to 10m-2.4m or infinity to 10m, depending on where your subject is likely to appear. The OSS stabilisation system works extremely well too, and the surprisingly short stature of the lens makes it easier to transport than you might have assumed (though still not exactly a featherweight).

Of course, compromises had to come somewhere, and the relatively modest aperture rating of this lens means you may find yourself pushing up the ISO on your camera more often than you want to. We suspect though that this is a sacrifice a lot of photographers are willing to make for a £10K saving.

Best for: wildlife photography, sports and action

Read our Sony FE 200-600mm F5.6-6.3 G OSS field test.


Best Macro zoom lens: Sony FE 70-200mm F4 Macro G OSS II

Sony FE 70-200mm F4 Macro GM OSS II. Photo credit: Joshua Waller

Amateur Photographer verdict

Delivers sharp and detailed images throughout the zoom range, with it’s versatile, and the compact size and light weight it is a joy to use
Pros
  • Excellent sharpness throughout zoom range
  • Close, fast focusing
  • Teleconverter compatibility
Cons
  • No aperture ring
  • Price hike over previous version

At a glance:

  • New price: $1,698 / £1,749
  • Used price: $1,459 / ‎£1,455
  • Filter thread: 72mm
  • Minimum focus distance: 0.26m-0.42m
  • Weight: 794g

An extremely well-made lens, inside and out, the Sony FE 70-200mm F4 Macro GM OSS II is a highly versatile telephoto zoom with close-up capabilities. If you don’t quite have the budget for an f/2.8 zoom but still want a highly flexible workhorse, this is a tremendous buy. It delivers excellent sharpness, and can throw the background out beautifully even with its relatively narrow maximum aperture of f/4. If you’re looking for a solid lens for product shots, the FE 70-200mm F4 Macro GM OSS II may well be your best bet.

As the name implies, this is a Mark II version of a previous lens, the old faithful FE 70-200mm F4 G OSS that is getting onto a decade on the market. It comes with a price hike, but offers features like 0.5x magnification throughout the zoom range (which isn’t “true” macro, but is still pretty handy) and teleconverter compatibility for pushing the zoom further. The lens is weather-sealed, and the Optical SteadyShot (OSS) stabilisation helps keep images sharp at slower shutter speeds.

Some may bemoan the lack of an aperture ring; for that, you have to fork out for the pricier f/2.8 version. Otherwise, this is a capable, sharp-shooting lens that is definitely worth picking over the previous FE 70-200mm F4 G OSS – though if you already have that lens, it may not quite be worth the price of upgrading.

Best for: macro photography

Read our Sony FE 70-200mm F4 Macro G OSS II review


Best lightweight standard zoom: Sony FE 20-70mm F4 G

We found the Sony FE 20-70mm F4 G to be a thoroughly enjoyable lens to use. Photo credit: Andy Westlake

Amateur Photographer verdict

A fine optic that delivers sharp, detailed images, with its extended wideangle range and impressive close-up capability it provides useful extra creative scope compared to a conventional 24-70mm zoom
Pros
  • Extended wideangle range
  • Very good close up
  • Edge-to-edge sharpness
Cons
  • Very expensive
  • And there are plenty of cheaper options for this range

At a glance:

  • New price: $1,098 / £1,399
  • Used price $944 / £1150Filter thread: 72mm
  • Minimum focus distance: 0.3-0.25m
  • Weight: 488g

The Sony FE 20-70mm F4 G is a standard zoom with an unusually wide field of view at its widest end, giving the user a little more range than they’d get from a standard 24-70mm. Sony touts it as a good choice for vloggers and videographers – a label they slap on pretty much everything they produce nowadays – and also suggests it as a lightweight, portable choice for landscape photography who don’t want to carry too much. With excellent sharpness and a weatherproof build, it certainly makes a good case for itself in this area. Close-up performance is also first-rate.

The only real stumbling block is the cost – at almost $1,098 / £1,399, this is an ambitiously priced lens to say the least, especially when it’s covering a focal range most photographers will already have options for. Still, if you can justify the expense, this is an all-around excellent lens.

Best for: landscape photography

Read our Sony FE 20-70mm F4 G review


Best value standard prime: Samyang AF 35mm F1.4 FE II

The Samyang AF 35mm F1.4 FE II represents good value for Sony full-frame users. Image credit: Andy Westlake

Amateur Photographer verdict

If you want a large aperture prime for selective focus work or shooting in low light, this is one of the most affordable lenses designed for full-frame mirrorless on the market
Pros
  • Great value for money
  • Large aperture with lovely bokeh
  • Consistently good optical quality
Cons
  • No aperture ring
  • Other lenses are better for action

At a glance:

  • Price: $650 / £541
  • Filter thread: 67mm
  • Minimum focus distance: 0.29m
  • Weight: 659g

An update to a lens design that first appeared in 2017, the Samyang AF 35mm F1.4 FE II is yet another compelling argument why mirrorless manufacturers should open up their lens mounts to third-party lens-makers (yes, Canon, that one’s aimed at you). Aggressively priced at $629 / £529, this is one of the cheapest lenses of its type, a wide-aperture prime that produces images with smooth bokeh in the defocused areas of images. Previous Samyang lenses have suffered from middling-to-wonky autofocus, and while the Samyang AF 35mm F1.4 FE II isn’t the fastest lens on the block, our testing revealed its autofocusing to be consistently fast and reliable in most situations.

Best for:  suitable for a wide range of subjects, especially when you require a shallow depth of field or need to shoot in low light

Read our review of the Samyang AF 35mm F1.4 FE II


Best premium prime: Sony FE 35mm F1.4 GM

Sony FE 35mm F1.4 GM mid-testing. Photo credit: Andy Westlake

Amateur Photographer verdict

We were quite happy with its optical performance, but disappointed by its bulk, which made it an awkward match for Sony’s small camera bodies
Pros
  • Superb resolving performance
  • Relatively lightweight
  • Characterful bokeh
Cons
  • Autofocus can be slow on old bodies
  • Very expensive

At a glance:

  • New price: $1,298 / £1,499
  • Used price: $1,099-1,149 / £1,099-1,149
  • Filter thread: 67mm
  • Minimum focus distance: 0.25m
  • Weight: 524g

The Sony FE 35mm F1.4 GM lens is another premium lens from Sony, offering superb sharpness even wide open, with excellent handling and operation, in a relatively small and light lens, with metal construction. The lens benefits from silent, and accurate autofocus, as well as a manual aperture ring with both click and clickless operation. As part of the G Master range, the lens is designed for both excellent levels of sharpness, with beautiful and attractive bokeh or background blur. It’s undoubtedly a pricey lens, especially compared to the Samyang AF 35mm F1.4 FE II lens featured above, but the quality you get for money is inarguable.

Read our Sony FE 35mm F1.4 GM review


Best portrait lens: Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM

The Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM is an exceptional performer. Photo credit: Andy Westlake

Amateur Photographer verdict

If you want the very best short-telephoto portrait lens available for Sony full-frame mirrorless, this is surely it
Pros
  • Exceptional image quality
  • Produces gorgeous bokeh
  • Outstanding for portraiture
Cons
  • Bulky
  • Expensive

At a glance:

  • New price: $2,098 / £1,599
  • Used price $1.089-1,349 / £1.049-1,099
  • Filter thread: 82mm
  • Minimum focus distance: 0.7m
  • Weight: 950g

The Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM lens could be considered the perfect portrait lens for Sony full-frame mirrorless cameras, with superb resolution, even at maximum aperture, as well as attractive bokeh. The lens features fast and accurate autofocus, as well as an aperture ring that can be used with clicks, or clickless.

There are some downsides, in that the lens is rather bulky and heavy weighing 950g, as well as being very expensive, when compared to alternatives from Sigma. However, as we said in our review, the combination of supreme sharpness and gorgeous bokeh is likely to appeal strongly to portrait and wedding photographers.’

Best for: Portraits

Read our Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM review


Best macro lens: Sony FE 90mm F2.8 Macro G OSS

Sony FE 90mm f2.8 G OSS Macro

Amateur Photographer verdict

For macro shooters, the Sony 90mm macro is a fantastic lens. For everyone else, it’s a short telephoto lens that is very difficult to beat in terms of sheer resolution and image quality.
Pros
  • Effective stabilisation system
  • Good at resolving detail
Cons
  • Some corner softness at wide apertures

At a glance:

  • New price: $998 / £849
  • Used price: $650-754 / £579-689
  • Filter thread: 62mm
  • Minimum focus distance: 0.28m
  • Weight: 602g

If you’re looking for a macro lens for your Sony camera, then the Sony FE 90mm F2.8 Macro G OSS Macro lens hits the park running. That is to say, it’s excellent; it offers exceptional image quality, being difficult to beat in terms of sheer resolving power. You also benefit from built-in Optical Steady Shot (OSS), helping you keep shots steady and free from blur. Plus, it doubles as a great portrait lens, and can take detailed photographs of any subject.

Best for: macro photography

Read our Sony FE 90mm F2.8 Macro G OSS review


Best prime portrait lens: Sony FE 85mm F1.4 GM

Sony FE 85mm F1.4 G Master

Amateur Photographer verdict

One of the most expensive 85mm lenses on the market but also one of the best
Pros
  • Very sharp
  • Well-built and sealed
  • Lovely aperture ring
Cons
  • On the hefty side
  • Quite pricey

At a glance:

  • New price: $1,698 / £1,499
  • Used price: $1,059-1110 / £1,300
  • Filter thread: 77mm
  • Minimum focus distance: 0.8m
  • Weight: 820g

The Sony FE 85mm F1.4 GM lens is a bright 85mm lens, that could be the ideal portrait lens, with impressive sharpness in the centre, even when shooting wide-open. There’s also the excellent build quality that you expect from a G Master lens, as well as dust and moisture resistance. Like other G Master lenses, you get an aperture ring with clickless option. However, there are some downsides, as it is quite weighty at 820g, and it’s also rather expensive.

Read our Sony FE 85mm F1.4 GM review


Best Sigma prime lens: Sigma 20mm F2 DG DN Contemporary

The Sigma 20mm F2 DG DN | C undergoing AP’s testing. Photo credit: Angela Nicholson

Amateur Photographer verdict

With the exception of f/22, there’s a fabulous level of sharpness across the frame and both flare and chromatic aberration are kept in check extremely well.
Pros
  • Solid, weather-sealed body
  • Consistently good performance
Cons
  • Aperture ring can’t be de-clicked
  • Some focus breathing

At a glance:

  • Price: $699 / £649
  • Filter thread: 62mm
  • Minimum focus distance: 0.22m
  • Weight: 370g

Third-party lenses are often a good bet when looking to expand your system, offering premium performance at a cut-down price. The Sigma 20mm F2 DG DN | C is a prime lens providing excellent value for money, and is a good budget-friendly alternative to Sony’s own FE 20mm F1.8 G (featured a few entries down from this one). In testing, we found that this lens handled fantastically on the Sony A7R IV, creating a perfectly balanced setup, and its optical performance was superb. It’s sharp throughout the aperture range, only getting a little soft at f/22.

Best for: astrophotography, landscape, interiors and event photography

Read our Sigma 20mm F2 DG DN Contemporary review


Best all-rounder prime: Sony FE 40mm F2.5 G

The Sony FE 40mm F2.5 G. Photo credit: Richard Sibley

Amateur Photographer verdict

In short it’s a lens just to have on your camera at all times when you need to quickly snap a shot
Pros
  • Terrific value for money
  • Very lightweight
  • Good optical performance
Cons
  • f/2.5 is quite limited
  • Some vignetting at wide apertures

At a glance:

  • New price: $548 / £629
  • Used price: $499 / £499
  • Filter thread: 49mm
  • Minimum focus distance: 0.25m
  • Weight: 173g

This compact 40mm prime lens is part of Sony’s range of compact prime lenses, which includes three lenses: a 24mm f/2.8, 40mm f/2.5, and 50mm f/2.5 lens. All compact, with aperture ring and custom function button, making them great if you want to travel light. The Sony FE 40mm F2.5 G lens offers great sharpness, with minimal chromatic aberration, and a metal hood is included. It’s also one of the lightest lenses featured in this list, weighing just 173g.

Best for:  occasional portraits, street photography, or landscape photography

Read our Sony FE 40mm F2.5 G review


Best wide angle prime: Sony FE 20mm F1.8 G

The Sony FE 20mm F1.8 G is an agile wide-angle prime. Photo credit: Michael Topham

Amateur Photographer verdict

It excels in all the key areas a wide-angle prime lens should, providing fast and quiet focusing, mesmerising sharpness at wide apertures in challenging low-light conditions
Pros
  • Great close focusing distance
  • Very sharp, even when wide open
Cons
  • Pricier than the Sigma 20mm

At a glance:

  • New price: $798 / £949
  • Used price: $559-619 / £494-659
  • Filter thread: 67mm
  • Minimum focus distance: 0.18m
  • Weight: 373g

The Sony FE 20mm F1.8 G is an ultra wide-angle prime lens, with a relatively bright aperture of f/1.8, as well as a relatively compact size. The lens has a close focus distance of 18/19cm (MF/AF), and there’s a 67mm filter thread on the front of the lens. There’s direct access to the aperture, with the aperture ring on the lens, as well as the option to use the aperture ring ‘clickless’ meaning that Sony has also considered videographers when making this lens. I found that it performs extremely well, capable of delivering sharp images, even when shooting wide-open at f/1.8.

Best for: landscape, astrophotography, travel, and street photography

Read our Sony FE 20mm F1.8 G review


Best standard zoom: Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II

The Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II impressed us in our testing. Photo credit: Richard Sibley

Amateur Photographer verdict

Good in detail resolution, in both the centre and the edges. If size and weight matter to you, it is worth consideration over its predecessor.
Pros
  • Premium design and build
  • Small and lightweight for a 24-70mm
  • Super detail resolution
Cons
  • Some distortion in raw files (easily corrected in post)

At a glance:

  • New price: $2,298 / £2,099
  • Used price: $1,149-2,099 / £1,739-1,789
  • Filter thread: 82mm
  • Minimum focus distance: 0.21-0.3m
  • Weight: 695g

The Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II lens is relatively small and lightweight, with an aperture ring, making it a great match if you’re looking for a small(er) lens without compromising on image quality. While testing I’ve found the lens’ sharpness to be absolutely outstanding – I would have been happy shooting all day at f/2.8, and things got even crisper as I stopped down.

Elsewhere, there’s an 82mm filter thread, and the lens has a relatively close focus distance of 21-30cm. Thanks to its weather-sealing it’s a perfect match for Sony’s weather sealed mirrorless cameras.

Read our Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II review


Best zoom all-rounder: Sony FE 24-105mm F4 G OSS

The Sony FE 24-105mm F4 G OSS with a full-frame Sony mirrorless camera. Photo credit: Andy Westlake

Amateur Photographer verdict

Impressively sharp, not too bulky, weather-resistant and with a really useful zoom range. A superb general purpose lens for full-frame Sony mirrorless users
Pros
  • Do-everything zoom range
  • Built-in stabilisation
  • Excellent sharpness
Cons
  • f/4 won’t be for everyone

At a glance:

  • New price: $1,198 / £999
  • Used price: $749 / £734-769
  • Filter thread: 77mm
  • Minimum focus distance: 0.38m
  • Weight: 663g

This lens offers a useful zoom range from 24mm to 105mm, with the f/4 aperture helping to keep the size down. Optical steady shot (OSS) means you can use it with E-Mount cameras that don’t feature in-body image stabilisation, and still benefit from optical image stabilisation. When we reviewed this lens we found that it was consistently sharp at all focal lengths, with fast and silent autofocus. The Sony FE 24-105mm F4 G OSS lens is also relatively compact and lightweight, with an impressive resistance to flare. For an all-in-one zoom lens, this one certainly delivers above expectations.

Read our Sony FE 24-105mm F4 G OSS review


Best 50mm lens: Sony FE 50mm F1.2 GM

Sony FE 50mm F1.2 GM. Photo credit: Andy Westlake

Amateur Photographer verdict

It is a serious investment, but if you love low light street shooting or want to shoot portraits with a very shallow depth of field and beautifully blurred backgrounds, this could be your dream lens.
Pros
  • Top-flight sharpness, even wide open
  • Weather-sealed
  • Rapid, silent autofocus
Cons
  • Very expensive

At a glance:

  • New price: $1,898 / £2,099
  • Used price: $1,599 / £1,449-1,529
  • Filter thread: 72mm
  • Minimum focus distance: 0.4m
  • Weight: 778g

The Sony FE 50mm F1.2 GM is the largest aperture prime lens for Sony E-Mount cameras, and has answered the calls of Sony fans who have been asking for a lens brighter than f/1.4. The lens offers superb sharpness even wide-open at f/1.2, and has minimal chromatic aberration. There’s also fast and silent autofocus, an aperture ring (that can be set to clickless), customisable function buttons, as well as excellent build and handling that you would expect from a G Master lens. I loved the bokeh and background blur, it is definitely a great option for portrait photography. It’s also barely bigger than the 50mm f/1.4.

Best for: portrait photography, travel

Read our Sony FE 50mm F1.2 GM review


Best ultra-wide zoom: Sony FE 16-25mm F2.8 G

Sony FE 16-35mm F2.8 G on the Sony Alpha A7R V
Sony FE 16-35mm F2.8 G on the Sony Alpha A7R V. Credit: Andy Westlake

Amateur Photographer verdict

While the zoom range is an undeniable compromise, there’s a lot to like about. this wide-angle zoom. Landscape shooters in particular will appreciate its weather-sealed build
Pros
  • Sharp throughout zoom range
  • Compact, lightweight and weather-sealed
  • Aperture ring
Cons
  • Limited zoom range
  • Cheaper third-party rivals

At a glance:

  • Price: $1200 / £1250
  • Filter thread: 67mm
  • Minimum focus distance: 0.18-0.24m
  • Weight: 518g

There are a few wide-angle zooms jostling for your attention in E-mount, including the the Sigma 16-28mm F2.8 DG DN and the Tamron 17-28mm F/2.8 Di-III RXD. Both are cheaper than this Sony-made version, as well as offering more zoom range. However, the Sony FE 16-25mm F2.8 G has a lot to recommend it, including full weather-sealing, a lovely aperture ring and a pleasingly lightweight build. Image quality is sublime, that much is a given, but for landscape shooters, it’s that weather-sealed build that gives the Sony-made lens the edge. For outdoor shooting, this is a superb pick, and it impressed us greatly in our review.

Best for: landscape, architecture and interiors.

Read our full Sony FE 16-25mm F2.8 G review.


Best Sony E-mount lenses for APS-C only

If you’re using an APS-C Sony camera, you may want to consider an E-mount lens designed specifically for these APS-C models. They tend to be lighter than the full-frame optics, meaning they balance better with the lighter APS-C cameras, which can be particularly useful if you’re using something like the Sony ZV-E10 for run-and-gun vlogging. Below are a few of our favourite E-mount lenses for APS-C.


Best APS-C all-rounder: Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC DN Contemporary

The Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC DN Contemporary is designed for crop-sensor cameras. Photo credit: Richard Sibley

Amateur Photographer verdict

With its reasonable size and weight, large f/1.4 aperture, superior build quality and a good price all mean that the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC DN C is worthy of serious consideration
Pros
  • Full of bokeh-licious character
  • Very lightweight
  • Premium metal build quality
Cons
  • Some noise when focusing

At a glance:

  • Price: $289 / £289
  • Filter thread: 52mm
  • Minimum focus distance: 0.3m
  • Weight: 265g

Built from the ground up for cameras with smaller sensors, the Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC DN Contemporary produces an equivalent focal length of 45mm when combined with a Sony E-mount camera, making it an excellent choice of walk-around lens. Even though it weighs just 265g, the lens has a relatively sophisticated construction of nine elements in seven groups, including two rear aspherical elements, and treatment with Sigma’s Super Multi-Layer coating.

In use, the lens impressed me. Its nine aperture blades deliver soft, rounded bokeh in shallow depth of field, and our testing found it reasonably quick to focus on a Sony A6300 – not as snappy as Sony’s own lenses, but certainly fast enough. It’s quiet, but there is an audible clunk when it engages focus, meaning it’s probably not the best choice for video.

Sharpness, when you nail the focus, really is excellent. This is a lens that’s begging to be used wide open, and your reward for doing so will be crisp and punchy images, with great central sharpness and beautifully blurred backgrounds.

Best for: portraits, travel and documentary

Read our Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC DN Contemporary review


Best ultra-wide zoom for APS-C: Sony E PZ 10-20mm F4 G

The Sony E PZ 10-20mm F4 G pairs well with APS-C bodies., Photo credit: Andy Westlake

Amateur Photographer verdict

Produces impressively sharp and clean images consistently across it’s focal range.
Pros
  • Responsive power zoom
  • Resistant to dust and moisture
  • Good sharpness
Cons
  • No stabilisation
  • Zoom and focus rings hard to distinguish when using viewfinder

At a glance:

  • Price: $648 / £749
  • Filter thread: 55mm
  • Minimum focus distance: 0.4m
  • Weight: 219g

Equipped with a powered zoom mechanism, the Sony E PZ 10-20mm F4 G is well-suited for video shooters using Sony’s APS-C cameras. The electronic mechanism near-eliminates focus breathing, and its mechanics are entirely internal, meaning it doesn’t extend or retract when zooming. This makes it easier to balance on a gimbal – another boon for video shooters.

It holds focus on the subject when zooming, and in a welcome bonus for outdoor shooters, it also boasts comprehensive weather-sealing. While this is a video lens foremost, as we noted in our review, photographers should find a lot to like in its equivalent 15-30mm focal range as well.

Best for: video, vlogging and landscape

Read our Sony E PZ 10-20mm F4 G review


Best APS-C lens for vlogging: Sony E 11mm F1.8

The Sony E 11mm F1.8 is a lightweight wide-angle that’ll suit many kit bags. Photo credit: Amy Davies

Amateur Photographer verdict

Small and lightweight, and compared to other prime lenses in Sony’s line-up, is reasonably priced.
Pros
  • Good close focusing
  • Fast, quiet, reliable AF
  • Solid image quality
Cons
  • Maybe priced a little high
  • No stabilisation

At a glance:

  • Price: $498 / £499
  • Filter thread: 55mm
  • Minimum focus distance: 0.12m
  • Weight: 181g

Suited to stills and video alike, the Sony E 11mm F1.8 is maybe priced a little high to be a take-everywhere lens, but it is a nice option to throw in the kit bag if you don’t mind the cash outlay. The crop factor gives it an equivalent focal length of 16.5mm, and the close focusing distance of 0.15m with AF or 0.12m with manual focus makes it a solid choice for close-up shooting.

This also means you can make the most of the generous f/1.8 aperture, and in our testing we found that the lens delivered consistently good sharpness in a host of different shooting situations. Can you ask for much more than that?

Best for: vlogging, video, architecture and landscape

Read our Sony E 11mm F1.8 review


Best wide-angle standard for APS-C: Sony E 15mm F1.4 G

The Sony E 15mm F1.4 G mounted on an APS-C camera. Photo credit: Joshua Waller

Amateur Photographer verdict

Image quality is extremely pleasing, with very sharp, detailed images and low levels of distortion and good levels of detail into the corners, no matter what aperture is used.
Pros
  • Pleasingly lightweight
  • Very sharp results
  • Reliably rapid autofocus
Cons
  • Pricier than competitors
  • Somewhat plasticky build

At a glance:

  • Price: $648 / £749
  • Filter thread: 55mm
  • Minimum focus distance: 0.17m
  • Weight: 219g

The Sony E 15mm F1.4 G is a new ultra/wide-angle lens for Sony’s APS-C mirrorless cameras, such as the Sony Alpha A6600, with a 22.5mm equivalent view. It’s got a bright maximum aperture of f/1.4, and has a close focus distance to help give blurred backgrounds. You’ll also find there’s an aperture ring on the lens, which adds to the quality feel of this lens, which is particularly small, and lightweight, at just 219g! If you’re looking for a wide-angle lens for stills photography or video, then this is a great choice, particularly if you’re looking for something lightweight, that can still deliver excellent image quality.

Best for: video, landscape, interiors and astrophotography

Read our Sony E 15mm F1.4 G review


How to choose the best Sony E-mount lenses

All the different lens options can be overwhelming, especially to a newcomer to the system. Here are some of the key things to look out for when choosing a Sony lens.

Focal length: This is probably the first consideration on your list when selecting a lens, as the focal length of a lens will radically transform the look of an image. The focal length of a lens is expressed in millimetres (mm), and it governs both the angle of view and the magnification of a scene. Short lenses (8-35mm) produce a wide field of view, and are popular for big expansive scenes such as in landscape photography or group photos at weddings. Long lenses (generally 85mm or more) produce a narrow, zoomed-in view, which brings distant subjects closer and is popular in wildlife photography. Standard lenses (around 40mm-75mm) produce a more naturalistic view, and are often used in street photography.

Zoom or prime? Ah, the age-old question. More ink has been spilled on this than we have space for here, so check out our dedicated guide to zoom vs prime lenses for a rundown on the pros and cons of each type.

Image Stabilisation: The majority of recent Sony E-Mount mirrorless cameras have built-in image stabilisation, or IBIS (In-body image stabilisation), which Sony call “SteadyShot INSIDE” which helps keep your shots sharp and blur free. If you’re looking for additional stabilisation, look for a lens with “OSS” – Optical SteadyShot – as this will work in combination with the in-camera stabilisation to give an even more powerful stabilising effect. If your camera doesn’t feature SteadyShot INSIDE, then you’ll doubly want to look for a lens with OSS, otherwise you’ll have no stabilisation at all.

Aperture ring: While aperture settings can be controlled in camera, many photographers prefer having a physical ring on the lens to change the setting. You may also see references to an aperture ring being “clickless” – this means it doesn’t make any noise when changing setting, which is very handy for video.

Another thing to pay attention to is the crop factor. Sony E-mount lenses come in two varieties – full-frame (Sony FE) and APS-C (Sony E). Full-frame lenses can be used with both the full-frame mirrorless cameras like the A7 series, and APS-C cameras like the A6000 series. The ZV series of vlogging cameras come in both varieties, with the mirrorless ZV-E10 being an APS-C model, while the newer ZV-E1 sports a full-frame sensor.

(For details of the key differences between the two sensor sizes, take a look at our guide to full-frame vs APS-C: which sensor size is best?)

The best Sony E-mount lenses – frequently asked questions

Confused by all the initials and numbers being banded about? Here’s our regularly updated FAQ section where we answer some of the most common questions we get asked about Sony lenses…

What are Sony FE lenses?

While the Sony lens system is officially referred to as ‘E-mount’, you may have noticed that a lot of the lenses are labelled ‘Sony FE’. It’s to do with sensor size – ‘FE’ stands for ‘Full E-mount’, and denotes lenses that are specifically designed to work with full-frame Sony mirrorless cameras. These are the A7 and A9 cameras, as well as the A1 and the newer ZV-E1.

This doesn’t mean that FE cameras won’t work on APS-C cameras like the A6500, they can and do. The key thing to remember is that mounting an FE lens on an APS-C camera will incur a 1.5x crop factor, meaning the effective focal length of the lens will be 1x longer due to the narrower field of view (so, a 50mm lens will effectively behave like a 75mm lens). Also, because they have designed these lenses expressly for the larger and heavier full-frame models, Sony hasn’t worried too much about balancing the lenses with its lighter APS-C cameras. So while you can mount an FE 50mm F1.2 lens on the A6000, you may find that the setup feels very front-heavy.

Which Sony lenses are weather-sealed?

As a rule of thumb, all of the top-end Sony GM (G Master) lenses are weather-sealed, as befitting their status as professional lenses for working photographers. Beyond that, it’s more of a case by case basis – Sony doesn’t have a handy acronym it uses to denote lenses with weather-sealing, so if this is a priority then it’s worth doing a quick Google before you buy a lens. In general, the full-frame FE lenses are more likely to be weather-sealed than the APS-C lenses, but this isn’t a hard-and-fast rule.

Which Sony lens is best for wildlife photography?

As lens choice is so critical in wildlife photography, this is a question we get asked quite frequently. Many of the lenses on the list above would make for excellent wildlife lenses. Our pick for the majority of users would be the FE 200-600mm F5.6-6.3 G OSS, which provides excellent telephoto reach without the staggering cost of premium lenses like the FE 600mm F4 GM OSS lens (currently retailing at $12,998 / £11,999). Other good choices could potentially be the Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II or the FE 135mm F1.8 GM.

Are Sony A-mount lenses compatible with E-mount?

Not natively, as the lens mount from Sony’s abandoned DSLT system is a different size to E-mount. There are adapters available that allow A-mount lenses to be connected to E-mount cameras, including Sony’s LA-EA5, which also enabled functionality of autofocus. Bear in mind that this doesn’t work the other way around – E-mount lenses can’t be adapted to A-mount bodies.


Text by Joshua Waller, with contributions from Jon Stapley.


Have a look at more buying guides, especially if you’re looking for the best Sony cameras, or have a look at our latest lens reviews.


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