The best Sony E-mount lenses in 2023

If you’re looking for the best Sony E-mount lenses, Joshua Waller is here to guide you with great Sony lens options for all budgets.

As Sony’s E-mount system has been running in some form or another for more than a decade now, the lens catalogue is pretty vast, and shooters using Sony’s mirrorless cameras are spoiled for choice. Whether you’re on full-frame or APS-C, there are tons of lenses available to choose from, both new and used, with more coming out all the time.

It might be the case that you’re using one of Sony’s ultra-high resolution cameras like the Sony A7R V, and you need a lens that’s going to be able to resolve all that detail. Or, you might be using an APS-C model such as the new Sony A6700, and while you still want something sharp, you also want it to be lightweight and agile. You might not be interested in stills at all and be using one of Sony’s vlogging cameras like the Sony ZV-E1, in which case you’re going to have a whole different set of priorities, such as silent focusing and minimal focus breathing.

We’ve picked out lenses for all these situations and more. If this is all new to you, scroll to the bottom where we’ve put together some comprehensive buying advice to help you make sense of it all. We’ve divided our guide up into sections, first dealing with full-frame lenses, then picking our favourite APS-C lenses, and have included options for a range of budgets. And if you’re still looking for a camera as well as a lens, or feel it’s time for an upgrade, check out our guide to the best Sony cameras.

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:

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

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 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 feel also a little large on the smaller camera bodies.

Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master OSS II

Sony FE 70-200mm f2.8 G Master OSS II mounted to Sony A1

The Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master OSS II mounted to a Sony A1. Photo credit: Joshua Waller

At a glance:

  • Filter thread: 77mm
  • Minimum focus distance: 0.4-0.82m
  • Weight: 1,045g
  • New price: $2,798 / £2,599
  • Used price: $2,749 / £2,549
  • The Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master 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.

    We were blown away by how well this lens performed in testing. 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.

    Pros:

  • Very light for a 70-200mm
  • Excellent sharpness
  • Fast, reliable autofocus
  • Cons:

  • Some corner softness at 200mm
  • Read our Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS II review

    Sony FE 50mm F1.4 GM

    Sony FE 50mm F1.4 GM specifications

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

    At a glance:

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

    Pros:

  • Super-sharp even wide open
  • Focuses fast and silently
  • Pleasingly lightweight
  • Cons:

  • Price means it’s for serious shooters only
  • Some focus breathing
  • Read our full Sony FE 50mm F1.4 GM review

    Sony FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS

    The Sony FE 200-600mm F5.6-6.3 G OSS being reviewed by the AP technical team

    The Sony FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS is a highly capable wildlife lens. Photo credit: Michael Topham

    At a glance:

  • Filter thread: 95mm
  • Minimum focus distance: 2.4m
  • Weight: 2,115g
  • New price: $1,998 / £1,599
  • Used price $1,599-1,749 / £1,349-1,399
  • For most users, the Sony FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 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.

    Pros:

  • Fast, reliable focusing
  • Excellent optical performance
  • Fantastic value for money
  • Cons:

  • Relatively narrow maximum aperture
  • Weighs more than 2kg.
  • Read our Sony FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS field test.

    Sony FE 70-200mm F4 Macro G OSS II

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

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

    E-M10 Mark III · f/8 · 1/80s · 45mm · ISO800

    At a glance:

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

    Pros:

  • Excellent sharpness throughout zoom range
  • Close, fast focusing
  • Teleconverter compatibility
  • Cons:

  • No aperture ring
  • Price hike over previous version
  • Read our Sony FE 70-200mm F4 Macro G OSS II review

    Sony FE 20-70mm f/4 G

    Sony FE 20-70mm F4 G lens review image

    We found the Sony FE 20-70mm f/4 G to be a thoroughly enjoyable lens to use. Photo credit: Andy Westlake

    At a glance:

  • Filter thread: 72mm
  • Minimum focus distance: 0.3-0.25m
  • Weight: 488g
  • New price: $1,098 / £1,399
  • Used price $944 / £1150
  • The Sony FE 20-70mm f/4 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.

    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
  • Read our Sony FE 20-70mm f/4 G review

    Samyang AF 35mm f/1.4 FE II

    Samyang AF 35mm F1.4 FE II in use.

    The Samyang AF 35mm f/1.4 FE II represents good value for Sony full-frame users. Image credit: Andy Westlake

    At a glance:

  • Filter thread: 67mm
  • Minimum focus distance: 0.29m
  • Weight: 659g
  • Price: $629 / £529
  • An update to a lens design that first appeared in 2017, the Samyang AF 35mm f/1.4 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 f/1.4 FE II isn’t the fastest lens on the block, our testing revealed its autofocusing to be consistently fast and reliable in most situations.

    Pros:

  • Great value for money
  • Large aperture with lovely bokeh
  • Consistently good optical quality
  • Cons:

  • No aperture ring
  • Other lenses are better for action
  • Sony FE 35mm f/1.4 G Master

    Sony FE 35mm F1.4 GM review image

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

    At a glance:

  • Filter thread: 67mm
  • Minimum focus distance: 0.25m
  • Weight: 524g
  • New price: $1,398 / £1,499
  • Used price: $1,099-1,149 / £1,099-1,149
  • The Sony FE 35mm f/1.4 G Master 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 f/1.4 FE II lens featured above, but the quality you get for money is inarguable.

    Pros:

  • Superb resolving performance
  • Relatively lightweight
  • Characterful bokeh
  • Cons:

  • Autofocus can be slow on old bodies
  • Very expensive
  • Read our Sony FE 35mm f/1.4 G Master review

    Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 G Master

    Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM

    The Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM is an exceptional performer. Photo credit: Andy Westlake

    At a glance:

  • Filter thread: 82mm
  • Minimum focus distance: 0.7m
  • Weight: 950g
  • New price: $2,098 / £1,599
  • Used price $1.089-1,349 / £1.049-1,099
  • The Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 G Master 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.’

    Pros:

  • Exceptional image quality
  • Produces gorgeous bokeh
  • Outstanding for portraiture
  • Cons:

    Read our Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 G Master review

    Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 G OSS Macro

    Sony FE 90mm f2.8 G OSS Macro

    Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 G OSS Macro

    At a glance:

  • Filter thread: 62mm
  • Minimum focus distance: 0.28m
  • Weight: 602g
  • New price: $1,098 / £849
  • Used price: $650-754 / £579-689
  • If you’re looking for a macro lens for your Sony camera, then the Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 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.

    Pros:

  • Effective stabilisation system
  • Good at resolving detail
  • Cons:

  • Some corner softness at wide apertures
  • Read our Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 G OSS Macro review

    Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 G Master

    Sony FE 85mm F1.4 G Master

    Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 G Master

    At a glance:

  • Filter thread: 77mm
  • Minimum focus distance: 0.8m
  • Weight: 820g
  • New price: $1,798 / £1,499
  • Used price: $1,059-1110 / £1,300
  • The Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 G Master 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 with clickless option. However, there are some downsides, as it is quite weighty at 820g, and it’s also rather expensive.

    Pros:

  • Very sharp
  • Well-built and sealed
  • Lovely aperture ring
  • Cons:

  • On the hefty side
  • Quite pricey
  • Read our Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 G Master review

    Sigma 20mm f/2 DG DN | C

    Sigma 20mm F2 DG DN | C

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

    At a glance:

  • Filter thread: 62mm
  • Minimum focus distance: 0.22m
  • Weight: 370g
  • Price: $699 / £649
  • 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 f/2 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 f/1.8 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.

    Pros:

  • Solid, weather-sealed body
  • Consistently good performance
  • Cons:

  • Aperture ring can’t be de-clicked
  • Some focus breathing
  • Read our Sigma 20mm f/2 DG DN | C review

    Sony FE 40mm f/2.5 G

    Sony FE 40mm f2.5 G

    The Sony FE 40mm f/2.5 G. Photo credit: Richard Sibley

    At a glance:

  • Filter thread: 49mm
  • Minimum focus distance: 0.25m
  • Weight: 173g
  • New price: $598 / £629
  • Used price: $499 / £499
  • 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 f/2.5 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.

    Pros:

  • Terrific value for money
  • Very lightweight
  • Good optical performance
  • Cons:

  • f/2.5 is quite limited
  • Some vignetting at wide apertures
  • Read our Sony FE 40mm f/2.5 G review

    Sony FE 20mm f/1.8 G

    Sony FE 20mm F1.8G

    The Sony FE 20mm f/1.8G is an agile wide-angle prime. Photo credit: Michael Topham

    At a glance:

  • Filter thread: 67mm
  • Minimum focus distance: 0.18m
  • Weight: 373g
  • New price: $898 / £949
  • Used price: $559-619 / £494-659
  • The Sony FE 20mm f/1.8 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. The lens performs extremely well, capable of delivering sharp images, even when shooting wide-open at f/1.8.

    Pros:

  • Great close focusing distance
  • Very sharp, even when wide open
  • Cons:

  • Pricier than the Sigma 20mm
  • Read our Sony FE 20mm f/1.8 G review

    Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM II

    Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II

    The Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM II impressed us in our testing. Photo credit: Richard Sibley

    At a glance:

  • Filter thread: 82mm
  • Minimum focus distance: 0.21-0.3m
  • Weight: 695g
  • New price: $2,298 / £2,099
  • Used price: $1,149-2,099 / £1,739-1,789
  • The Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 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. In our testing we found the lens’ sharpness to be absolutely outstanding – we would have been happy shooting all day at f/2.8, and things got even crisper as we 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.

    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)
  • Read our Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM II review

    Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS

    Sony FE 24-105mm F4 G OSS

    The Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS with a full-frame Sony mirrorless camera. Photo credit: Andy Westlake

    At a glance:

  • Filter thread: 77mm
  • Minimum focus distance: 0.38m
  • Weight: 663g
  • New price: $1298 / £999
  • Used price: $749 / £734-769
  • 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 f/4 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.

    Pros:

  • Do-everything zoom range
  • Built-in stabilisation
  • Excellent sharpness
  • Cons:

  • f/4 won’t be for everyone
  • Read our Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS review

    Sony FE 50mm f/1.2 G Master

    Sony FE 50mm F1.2 GM

    Sony FE 50mm f/1.2 GM. Photo credit: Andy Westlake

    At a glance:

  • Filter thread: 72mm
  • Minimum focus distance: 0.4m
  • Weight: 778g
  • New price: $1,998 / £2,099
  • Used price: $1,599 / £1,449-1,529
  • The Sony FE 50mm f/1.2 G Master 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. Some lovely bokeh and background blur make this a great option for portrait photography. It’s also barely bigger than the 50mm f/1.4.

    Pros:

  • Top-flight sharpness, even wide open
  • Weather-sealed
  • Rapid, silent autofocus
  • Cons:

    Read our Sony FE 50mm f/1.2 G Master review

    Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS

    Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS

    Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS

    At a glance:

  • Filter thread: 72mm
  • Minimum focus distance: 0.28m
  • Weight: 518g
  • Price: $998 / £1,049
  • If you’re looking for an ultra-wide-angle zoom lens, then this could be a great choice, starting at an ultra-wide 16mm, zooming to 35mm. The Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS lens gives sharp images, and with a constant f/4 aperture, the lens is more compact than it would have been had the aperture been brighter. The lens has a solid all-metal construction, and takes a 72mm filter on the front of the lens.

    Pros:

  • Compact build
  • Premium construction
  • Useful zoom range for landscapes
  • Cons:

  • Sharpness drop-off in corners
  • Read our Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS review

    Best Sony E-mount lenses for APS-C only

    If you’re using an APS-C Sony camera, you may want to consider a E-mount lens designed specifically for these 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.

    Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary

    Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary lens

    The Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary is designed for crop-sensor cameras. Photo credit: Richard Sibley

    At a glance:

  • Filter thread: 52mm
  • Minimum focus distance: 0.3m
  • Weight: 265g
  • Price: $339 / £289
  • Built from the ground up for cameras with smaller sensors, the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary produces an equivalent focal length of 45mm when mounted to 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 impresses. 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.

    Pros:

  • Full of bokeh-licious character
  • Very lightweight
  • Premium metal build quality
  • Cons:

    Read our Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary review

    Sony E PZ 10-20mm f/4 G

    Sony E PZ 10-20mm F4 G

    The Sony E PZ 10-20mm f/4 G pairs well with APS-C bodies., Photo credit: Andy Westlake

    At a glance:

  • Filter thread: 55mm
  • Minimum focus distance: 0.4m
  • Weight: 219g
  • Price: $748 / £749
  • Equipped with a powered zoom mechanism, the Sony E PZ 10-20mm f/4 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.

    Pros:

  • Responsive power zoom
  • Resistant to dust and moisture
  • Good sharpness
  • Cons:

  • No stabilisation
  • Zoom and focus rings hard to distinguish when using viewfinder
  • Read our Sony E PZ 10-20mm f/4 G review

    Sony E 11mm f/1.8

    Sony E 11mm F1.8

    The Sony E 11mm f/1.8 is a lightweight wide-angle that’ll suit many kit bags. Photo credit: Amy Davies

    At a glance:

  • Filter thread: 55mm
  • Minimum focus distance: 0.12m
  • Weight: 181g
  • Price: $548 / £499
  • Suited to stills and video alike, the Sony E 11mm f/1.8 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?

    Pros:

  • Good close focusing
  • Fast, quiet, reliable AF
  • Solid image quality
  • Cons:

  • Maybe priced a little high
  • No stabilisation
  • Read our Sony E 11mm f/1.8 review

    Sony E 15mm f/1.4 G

    Sony E 15mm F1.4 G

    The Sony E 15mm f/1.4 G mounted on an APS-C camera. Photo credit: Joshua Waller

    At a glance:

  • Filter thread: 55mm
  • Minimum focus distance: 0.17m
  • Weight: 219g
  • Price: $748 / £749
  • The Sony E 15mm f/1.4 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.

    Pros:

  • Pleasingly lightweight
  • Very sharp results
  • Reliably rapid autofocus
  • Cons:

  • Pricier than competitors
  • Somewhat plasticky build
  • Read our Sony E 15mm f/1.4 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 f/1.2 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 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 f/5.6-6.3 G OSS, which provides excellent telephoto reach without the staggering cost of premium lenses like the FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS lens (currently retailing at $12,998 / £11,999). Other good choices could potentially be the Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master OSS II or the FE 135mm f/1.8 G Master.

    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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