Mirrorless Cameras are on the rise and one of the reasons is the great quality not only of Sony’s cameras but their lenses as well. If You are not familiar with “Zeiss” then I want to just let You know, that this manufacturer is one of the top-players in optics. They are one of the leading companies for optics of any sorts and they are also producing some of the following Sony lenses.

As far as quality goes, this should show You that the Sony lenses are one of the best that You can get.

But which lens should You get for Your specific needs and what is the advantage of the Sony-E mount?

There are a few things You should keep in mind when buying a Sony lens and it can get a bit confusing with all the different sensor formats, but I am here to help You out and explain how Sony lenses work and which actually works with Your camera.

Sony SEL35F14Z Distagon T FE 35mm f/1.4...
Sony SEL85F18 85mm F/1.8-22...
Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM Lens
Best For
Professional Photographers
Portrait Photography
All Around Professional Quality
Compatibility
Sony APS-C & Full-Frame
Sony APS-C & Full-Frame
Sony APS-C & Full-Frame
Max Aperture
F/1.4
F/1.8
F/2.8
Focal Length
35mm
85mm
24-70mm
Focus Type
Piezoelectric
Auto Focus
Super Sonic Wave Motor
Weight
630g
371g
886g
Customer Rating
Why to Choose
Great Image Quality for professional use
Best Quality for Portrait Photography
The most versatile lens for every situation
Sony SEL35F14Z Distagon T FE 35mm f/1.4...
Best For
Professional Photographers
Compatibility
Sony APS-C & Full-Frame
Max Aperture
F/1.4
Focal Length
35mm
Focus Type
Piezoelectric
Weight
630g
Customer Rating
Why to Choose
Great Image Quality for professional use
Sony SEL85F18 85mm F/1.8-22...
Best For
Portrait Photography
Compatibility
Sony APS-C & Full-Frame
Max Aperture
F/1.8
Focal Length
85mm
Focus Type
Auto Focus
Weight
371g
Customer Rating
Why to Choose
Best Quality for Portrait Photography
Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM Lens
Best For
All Around Professional Quality
Compatibility
Sony APS-C & Full-Frame
Max Aperture
F/2.8
Focal Length
24-70mm
Focus Type
Super Sonic Wave Motor
Weight
886g
Customer Rating
Why to Choose
The most versatile lens for every situation

The Sony E-Mount – An Introduction

Normally I wouldn’t take too much about the mount of a camera and would just categorize them depending on the sensor size. With Sony’s E-Mount though, it is not that easy and there are a few special characteristics with this mount system that You should know of.

The Sony E-Mount has been introduced to supplement the former standard of the A-Mount by Sony. While A-Mount is used in Sony’s DSLRs, the E-Mount has been designed for Sony’s new mirrorless cameras.

That was the idea behind the E-Mount and with the current success of Sony’s mirrorless cameras, the E-Mount and its lenses have been become the new standard of Sony lenses, while the A-Mount isn’t much in use anymore.

Whereas the A-Mount needs more space because of the semi-permeable mirror, the E-Mount cameras can be a lot more compact as there isn’t any mirror.

And when we are talking about compactness You should know that Sony produces the smallest full-frame sensor cameras and they are often even smaller than the APS-C counterparts of Canon, or Nikon.

One of the first full-frame cameras that used the new E-Mount was the Sony a7, which has been released in 2013.

By now, every modern mirrorless camera by Sony does use the E-Mount, but not every lens can be used for every model.

Normally, the manufacturer uses different mounts for their APS-C and Full-Frame cameras. Sony has decided against that, as the E-Mount is already that compact, that they don’t see the need for a second size.

This means, that most of the lenses presented here are designed for both, Sony’s full-frame cameras and their APS-C counterparts.

While most of the lenses can be used for both sensor sizes, some are specifically designed for the APS-C sensor size.

To make it easier for You, I have listed the compatibility of every lens in its specification sheet.

Another great thing about the Sony E-Mount is, that it lets You adapt older manual lenses. Do You have any analog cameras and lenses at home that aren’t in use anymore? Then You should try to adapt them onto Your Sony camera and play around with it. While the auto-focus won’t work, if the lens should have one, the optic can be quite unique and look very different from what we are accustomed to in digital photography nowadays.

So don’t hesitate and try some of Your older analog lenses, the Sony E-Mount is a great way to adapt those older lenses and put them to good use again.

The Best Sony E-Mount Lenses

Sony has a variety of lenses. Although most of them are rather expensive compared to other manufacturers, the quality is undoubtedly one of the highest You can get.

Nonetheless, there are also some lenses that are more suitable for lower budgets.

Whether You are looking for a Portrait, Travel, or Street Photography lens, I present You a selection of the best Sony lenses that You can get.

Sony E 20mm f/2.8

Sony  SEL-20F28 E-Mount 20mm F2.8 Prime...
Best For
Street Photography
Compatibility
Sony APS-C
Max Aperture
F/2.8
Focal Length
20mm (30mm full-frame eq.)
Focus Type
Stepper Motor
Weight
69g
Customer Rating
Sony  SEL-20F28 E-Mount 20mm F2.8 Prime...
Best For
Street Photography
Compatibility
Sony APS-C
Max Aperture
F/2.8
Focal Length
20mm (30mm full-frame eq.)
Focus Type
Stepper Motor
Weight
69g
Customer Rating

Let’s start the list of the best Sony Lenses with a real winner.

The Sony E 20mm f/2.8 doesn’t really look like it could be a real champion, but the lens is designed as a small pancake lens which makes it suitable for a lot of different genres.

When looking at the lens, it becomes clear that it is very much focused on a small size and maximum compactness. Usually, this means that lenses with such a small size trade a little bit of their image quality for the compactness. The Sony E 20mm f/2.8 is no exception in that regards, but that doesn’t mean that the image quality is underwhelming.

Although the size does the lens makes look more like a toy, the image quality still does outperform most zoom lenses that are sold by Sony.

The reduction in size also means that there is no manual focus on the lens. Of course, You are still able to use the manual focus via the Sony menu and in case You want to zone-focus.

On the surface, the built quality doesn’t seem to be all that high and the lens is mainly built out of plastic. On the other hand, there aren’t any moving parts and that should speak for a lens that has a very long life.

The auto-focus is also one of the quickest of the APS-C lenses and very accurate. Since the aperture can be only opened to a modest value of f/2.8, the depth of field doesn’t become too shallow at any point anyway.

Overall, the lens is a great choice for every Street or Travel Photographer who values a small and light-weight lens, that performs well above average. It isn’t meant for high fashion photography at night and there are lenses that perform better in very difficult light conditions, but all in all, the Sony E 20mm f/2.8 is more than just a simple backup lens and should be considered a first choice when traveling.

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Sony 24mm f/1.8

Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T E 24mm F1.8 ZA...
Best For
Documentary Photography
Compatibility
Sony APS-C
Max Aperture
F/1.8
Focal Length
24mm (35mm full-frame eq.)
Focus Type
Micromotor
Weight
225g
Customer Rating
Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T E 24mm F1.8 ZA...
Best For
Documentary Photography
Compatibility
Sony APS-C
Max Aperture
F/1.8
Focal Length
24mm (35mm full-frame eq.)
Focus Type
Micromotor
Weight
225g
Customer Rating

Lenses that are mainly made for crop-sensors often have the reputation that they aren’t really made for professional use and quality. In the end, most professional photographers are using a full-frame camera and why should they invest in expensive APS-C lenses after all?

But there are still a lot of uses for a great APS-C lens and if You are a photographer who wants only the highest quality lens when using an APS-C camera, the Sony 24mm f/1.8 is made for You.

At first, it may seem a little bit expensive to spend more on the lens than on the camera. Since most of the Sony APS-C cameras are available under $1.000, there is a good chance that the Sony 24mm f/1.8 will be a higher investment than Your camera.

That shouldn’t keep You from buying the lens, because often times it is said that the lens has a lot more influence on the quality of the image than the camera. So if You value only the best quality and want to use a Sony APS-C camera for the upcoming years there are a lot of reasons why You should invest in the Sony 24mm f/1.8.

The focal length of 35mm (full-frame eq.) is ideal for a lot of uses. This field of view comes very close to our usual human perception and it lets You adapt to this lens very easily. When using the 35mm lens, You won’t need a long time to get used to its focal length but can shoot high-quality images right off the bat.

The images are the sharpest You will get out of any APS-C lens and at around f/4 lies the sweet spot of the camera, where You will get the highest quality.

But even using the lens fully open at f/1.8 the lens stays sharp and the bokeh is really sweet, which is an exception for a 35mm lens.

If You are using a Sony APS-C camera like a SonyAxxx and You are seeking for the highest quality, You should grab the Sony 24mm f/1.8 as long it is available. It is great for portrait photography, doesn’t weigh too much, which makes it also good for travel photography and if You are doing Street Photography this lens is very good to use as well.

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Sony 28mm f/2

Sony SEL28F20 FE 28mm f/2-22...
Best For
Budget-Friendly Prime Lens
Compatibility
Sony APS-C & Full-Frame
Max Aperture
F/2
Focal Length
28mm
Focus Type
Stepper Motor
Weight
200g
Customer Rating
Sony SEL28F20 FE 28mm f/2-22...
Best For
Budget-Friendly Prime Lens
Compatibility
Sony APS-C & Full-Frame
Max Aperture
F/2
Focal Length
28mm
Focus Type
Stepper Motor
Weight
200g
Customer Rating

Before, I mentioned the Sony 20mm which was one of the budget-friendliest prime lenses that You can get from Sony.

Now I want to speak up for the Sony 28mm f/2 as a great choice for a relatively inexpensive prime lens as well.

The Sony 28mm f/2 is very light and with a weight of only 200g, it is an easy choice to leave the lens on the camera. Being that light-weight, You don’t have to worry about putting that lens away when You are traveling and can just leave it on the camera, even if You don’t need it at the moment.

In comparison to the Sony 20mm version that I presented before, the 28mm f/2 model is also suitable for full-frame Sony cameras making it more versatile in case You are questioning if You should switch from APS-C to Full-Frame very soon.

Another aspect that speaks for buying the 28mm lens even if You are using a crop sensor is the great image quality that full-frame lenses usually offer. At a crop sensor, You get a field of view that is equal to a 42mm lens. With that field of view, You are right in-between the popular 35mm and 50mm range, giving You the best of both worlds.

A great feature of this lens, that makes it great for Wedding or Street Photography is its silent auto-focus. With cameras already featuring a silent mode, where only an electronic shutter is responsible for the image and doesn’t make any noise at all, having a silent lens helps as well. This way, You can take images completely candidly and the bridal couple won’t be disturbed by any loud noises.

The bokeh on this lens has also be mentioned as one of its stronger points. Usually, wide-angle lenses don’t offer too much bokeh, but the Sony 28mm f/2 does a great job in creating at least some sweet blurry background.

If You have just recently invested in a full-frame camera from Sony and are searching for an inexpensive lens that offers a good image quality in the wide-angle range then the Sony 28mm f/2 is a great lens that will make it possible for You to capture outstanding images. Or do You currently own an APS-C Sony camera and are not sure if You switch to full-frame anytime soon? Then this lens can be used on both systems equally well and therefore is a great investment.

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Sigma 30mm f/2.8 DN

Sigma 30mm F2.8 DN Lens for Sony E-mount...
Best For
Travel Photography
Compatibility
Sony APS-C
Max Aperture
F/2.8
Focal Length
30mm (45mm full-frame eq.)
Focus Type
Micromotor
Weight
135g
Customer Rating
Sigma 30mm F2.8 DN Lens for Sony E-mount...
Best For
Travel Photography
Compatibility
Sony APS-C
Max Aperture
F/2.8
Focal Length
30mm (45mm full-frame eq.)
Focus Type
Micromotor
Weight
135g
Customer Rating

Not only Sony is known to create great lenses for its cameras, but there are some third-party manufacturers that also have a good experience in building lenses as well.

Sigma is a very well experienced lens manufacturer that has developed lenses for many different manufacturers. The Sigma 30mm f/2.8 for Sony’s APS-C mount is a very price efficient lens that delivers a good quality. As I have stated before, the lenses by Sony are usually quite expensive so having an alternative that also speaks to the budget-friendly photographer is definitely worth a closer watch.

So let’s watch what the Sigma 30mm f/2.8 is capable of.

At first glance, the aperture of f/2.8 doesn’t seem like a good value. For a prime lens, this is definitely at the lower end. Photography at night or other difficult light situations can become difficult when You are looking just to get as much light as possible.

On the other hand, do You really need the maximum aperture that often?

If You are able to reduce the shutter speed a little bit then You can get well-exposed pictures as well. The depth of field can also be adequately narrow since the focal length of 45mm (full-frame eq.) does increase this effect.

What is more important is that the auto-focus does work well and is very precise. In this discipline, the Sigma 30mm f/2.8 does a really convincing job and the auto-focus is accurate most of the time. Only when there is less light available, the auto-focus can get a bit finicky.

For a lens in this price category, the image quality of the Sigma 30mm f/2.8 is also on a level that should surprise You. The image quality using the maximum aperture is already very good but gets only better if You are using an aperture at f/4.0. Where other lenses are clearly lacking in quality in this price segment, this isn’t the case with the Sigma 30mm f/2.8. Have a look at the sample images below and how well this lens does in real life situations.

I recommend the lens to You if You are doing Street Photography and don’t need the maximum aperture anyway. When You are using the zone-focus technique You will be at around f/8 most of the time and won’t have much use of the maximum aperture.

Additionally, the lens is also ideal for travel photography and leaves enough money in Your pocket to enjoy the trip even more.

Overall, the Sigma 30mm f/2.8 is the best budget solution for Sony lenses.

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Sony 35mm f/1.4

Sony SEL35F14Z Distagon T FE 35mm f/1.4...
Best For
Professional Photographers
Compatibility
Sony APS-C & Full-Frame
Max Aperture
F/1.4
Focal Length
35mm
Focus Type
Piezoelectric
Weight
630g
Customer Rating
Sony SEL35F14Z Distagon T FE 35mm f/1.4...
Best For
Professional Photographers
Compatibility
Sony APS-C & Full-Frame
Max Aperture
F/1.4
Focal Length
35mm
Focus Type
Piezoelectric
Weight
630g
Customer Rating

Let’s skip the budget solutions for a moment and come to a lens that clearly values high-quality images and a great performance.

The Sony 35mm f/1.4 might not come cheap, but compared to lenses by Canon or Nikon, this lens is about $300 less expensive. This should help You to realize how good of a job Sony actually did with this lens and that it is a steal at the current price.

On a full-frame camera, the 35mm focal length is a very versatile choice. You can shoot weddings, do Street Photography, or travel without a problem. The 35mm comes very close to our natural perception and You will get accustomed to this new lens very quickly.

If You are looking for this lens, I also guess You are either a professional or a very ambitious hobby photographer. Therefore I don’t need to tell You how exceptional the max aperture of f/1.4 is. But for a full-frame lens at 35mm, this means, that You can even create a narrow depth of field to blur the background if needed.

The weight of over 600g doesn’t make this lens a lightweight choice. Carrying this lens all day may be a bit tiring, but combined with the Sony full-frame cameras, Your gear will still be a lot lighter than a Canon or Nikon combination. Therefore, the weight of the Sony 35mm f/1.4 should be still comfortable overall.

You can also use this lens on a crop sensor, although I wouldn’t really recommend this setup. The weight of the lens is too dominant and the handling of the camera could suffer.

As You can expect, the image quality is really of professional level and there isn’t really anything better You could buy. If You are a portrait, or wedding photograph and want to deliver only the best images to Your clients, then this lens is a very good investment.

The images are as sharp as it can get and You shouldn’t worry that the images using the max aperture will lose a bit of its great quality. This lens performs outstanding at every f-setting.

In case You have no idea what the Distagon stands for, let me explain that this is a technology and design choice to reduce the image distortion. Usually, the lens at 35mm will show a little bit of distortion, but the 35mm f/1.4 does prevent this unwanted look with an intelligent lens design.

The auto-focus is also very reliable and does work very well. Although this feature is highly dependent on the camera, with a modern Sony a7R the auto-focus performance is equally as good, or even better than its DSLR counterparts.

Whether You are a professional photographer or an ambitious hobby photographer searching only for the best quality, the Sony 35mm f/1.4 should be worth the investment. It isn’t exactly cheap, but there isn’t anything better at the moment that You could buy and with this lens, You have the perfect prerequisite to make Your clients happy.

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Sony 35mm f/1.8

Sony SEL35F18 35mm f/1.8 Prime Fixed...
Best For
Travel & Street Photography
Compatibility
Sony APS-C
Max Aperture
F/1.8
Focal Length
35mm (52mm full-frame eq.)
Focus Type
Stepper Motor
Weight
154g
Customer Rating
Sony SEL35F18 35mm f/1.8 Prime Fixed...
Best For
Travel & Street Photography
Compatibility
Sony APS-C
Max Aperture
F/1.8
Focal Length
35mm (52mm full-frame eq.)
Focus Type
Stepper Motor
Weight
154g
Customer Rating

The previous Sony 35mm f/1.4 has been described as the lens with the best image quality that You can get. While being available for full-frame and crop sensors, there are better choices if You have a crop sensor.

That is not to say that the Sony 35mm f/1.8 is performing better than the Sony 35mm f/1.4, but considering the difference in price and weight, I would always prefer the Sony 35mm f/1.8 for Sony’s crop sensors.

On a crop sensor, the Sony 35mm will have a field of view that is equal to a 52mm full-frame lens. The 50mm focal length is great because it gives a very undistorted view of the world. It can be used very versatile and if You are not sure if You should get a 35mm lens, or an 85mm lens, then a lens that is right in-between with a 50mm field of view could be a great compromise.

APS-C sensors have the disadvantage that they are not performing very well in low light. Pictures get noisy very quickly when the ISO is dialed up a little bit and having a lens that offers a maximum aperture of f/1.8 does help in this regard.

In case You still have troubles with a high ISO and too much noise, You can also reduce the shutter speed by a fair margin. The Optical Steady-Shot technology referred to as “OSS”, is an optical image stabilization system. With the support of the OSS, You can shoot even at slower shutter speeds without risking, that the image will be blurry.

The camera is also very capable of creating a good amount of bokeh, that also looks very smooth. With that help, You are able to blur out some unwanted background and focus the attention more on the subject.

The Sony 35mm f/1.8 is only for APS-C sensors and if You are just starting with portrait photography, this is the right lens to go. The lens doesn’t distort any natural human proportions and everything looks very natural. The image quality is decent and the lens is also very good to use in low light.

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Sony 55mm f/1.8

Sony 55mm F1.8 Sonnar T FE ZA Full Frame...
Best For
Portrait Photography
Compatibility
Sony APS-C & Full-Frame
Max Aperture
F/1.8
Focal Length
55mm
Focus Type
Stepper Motor
Weight
281g
Customer Rating
Sony 55mm F1.8 Sonnar T FE ZA Full Frame...
Best For
Portrait Photography
Compatibility
Sony APS-C & Full-Frame
Max Aperture
F/1.8
Focal Length
55mm
Focus Type
Stepper Motor
Weight
281g
Customer Rating

If You are searching for a full-frame lens in the 50mm focal range, then the previous lens that I have presented won’t help You much.

To still satisfy Your needs, You should consider strongly to get the Sony 55mm f/1.8.

The lens has been released in 2013 along with the just freshly released Sony a7R mirrorless cameras. Although the lens might already be more than 5 years old, keep in mind that even the early Sony a7R cameras had a resolution of 36MP. This means the lens was already built to make the most of a high resolution.

As described before, the 50mm focal length is great for portrait photography as it doesn’t distort any proportions. Furthermore, 50mm can be used for pretty much anything and is great for weddings and Street Photography as well. Only in narrow spaces or in small rooms, I would refrain from using a 50mm lens and be more comfortable with 35mm or even 28mm.

Mounted on an APS-C sensor, You even get the classic 85mm focal length, which is great for portraits. The bokeh does really shine at 85mm and You are able to create a good separation between the subject and the background. Meanwhile, You aren’t too far away from Your model and can still give good instructions.

Should I really need to mention how high the quality of Zeiss lenses is?

To make it short, the built quality of the Sony 55m f/1.8 is excellent. The body is made out of metal and while this may not be the lightest choice, the lens is very sturdy and should even survive minor drops (not recommended to try though). Although the lens body is made out of metal, the weight isn’t really too much and still makes it pleasant to walk around with this lens.

The auto-focus is also very quick and accurate even outshining some modern DSLRs. When it comes to the image quality, the Sony 55m f/1.8 is sharp from edge-to-edge. There aren’t any underwhelming areas and it is a real pleasure to have a look at the images.

If You have a Sony crop sensor camera and want to travel with a bit more focal length, this lens should be Your travel buddy. For portraits, it does an equally good job, whether mounted on the full-frame body, or a crop sensor. It is barely possible to combine high image quality and lightweight, but the Sony 55m f/1.8 does achieve the impossible. A highly recommended lens.

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Sony 85mm f/1.8

Sony SEL85F18 85mm F/1.8-22...
Best For
Portrait Photography
Compatibility
Sony APS-C & Full-Frame
Max Aperture
F/1.8
Focal Length
85mm
Focus Type
Auto Focus
Weight
371g
Customer Rating
Sony SEL85F18 85mm F/1.8-22...
Best For
Portrait Photography
Compatibility
Sony APS-C & Full-Frame
Max Aperture
F/1.8
Focal Length
85mm
Focus Type
Auto Focus
Weight
371g
Customer Rating

When purchasing prime lenses there is usually the choice between purchasing a single 50mm focal length lens, or a 35mm & an 85mm lens to cover every focal range.

The Sony 85mm f/1.8 isn’t a lens that You simply buy as an additional backup to Your other prime lenses. This lens has a lot of qualities that make it desirable as the main prime lens on its own.

Since the 85mm focal length is very popular, there are a few different lenses that You could opt for. When purchasing camera equipment though, I always want to keep the price-performance in mind. Therefore my choice went for the Sony 85mm f/1.8 because it can save You more than a $1.000 compared to the f/1.4 version all while the differences are neglectable.

In all honesty, there isn’t really a reason why You need a max aperture of f/1.4. In low light, You might get an additional f-Stop, but that’s about it.

The bokeh on the Sony 85mm f/1.8 is already very smooth and the depth of field very narrow. Shooting wide open, You can blur pretty much any background, which can be helpful in portrait photography, or when You try to get some wedding shots.

This lens is made mostly out of plastic, but this doesn’t anything away from the great built quality. It is even an advantage because the plastic is a lot lighter which can be helpful if You want to shoot for a fairly long time with this lens.

Mounted on an APS-C sensor, the field of view is equal to more than 120mm. This makes it clearly a telelens and will limit its use a bit. But if You don’t mind shooting with a telelens, then You are good to go. With 120mm You can try out some wildlife photography and sports does also work very well, but certainly, that focal length is a bit more restricting.

The sharpness and contrast on this lens do really satisfy me and while being good at f/1.8, the lens hits its sweet spot at around f/4 to f/5.6.

The Sony 85mm f/1.8 is great for portrait photography and everyone who wants to complete his range of prime lenses. Mounted on an APS-C sensor, the lens does become more limited, but if You are looking to do a bit of wildlife, or sports photography, the lens is still very useful.

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Sony E 10-18mm f/4 OSS

Sony SEL1018 10-18mm Wide-Angle Zoom...
Best For
Landscape Photography
Compatibility
Sony APS-C & Full-Frame
Max Aperture
F/4
Focal Length
10-18mm
Focus Type
Stepper Motor
Weight
226g
Customer Rating
Sony SEL1018 10-18mm Wide-Angle Zoom...
Best For
Landscape Photography
Compatibility
Sony APS-C & Full-Frame
Max Aperture
F/4
Focal Length
10-18mm
Focus Type
Stepper Motor
Weight
226g
Customer Rating

When it comes to wide-angle lenses, the choices for Sony prime lenses are rather limited. To compensate for the lack of prime lenses, Sony does cover this range with a few zoom lenses pretty well.

The Sony 10-18mm f/4 zoom lens is a wide angle lens, that is perfect for landscape photography, or if You are shooting in narrow buildings. On the APS-C sensor, the 10-18mm focal range displays a field of view equal to a 15-27mm focal range, making it one of the shortest lenses that You can get for a Sony camera.

Often, zoom lenses are having a variable aperture, but the Sony 10-18mm zoom lens has a constant aperture throughout its complete focal range. This makes it easier for You to keep the same exposure while changing the focal length.

If You are traveling, I would always recommend using a travel tripod for landscape photography. But the Sony 10-18mm does also work quite well without a tripod. The reason for this is the Optical Steady-Shot, which is an image stabilization, that lets You use very slow shutter speeds while shooting handheld.

Using the zoom is very smooth and the focal length can be changed very easily and accurately. It is possible to change the focal length with one finger, which should emphasize how good the lens is to handle.

The auto-focus is very silent and does work throughout the complete focal range very precisely. There isn’t any difference noticeable when using different focal lengths, which is definitely a plus.

The bokeh is not really the prettiest and a little bit uneasy, but when using a wide-angle lens, the bokeh shouldn’t be one of Your main concerns. Other than the bokeh, the image quality is very good. The sharpness is great and when shooting against the sun there is only minimal glaring.

If You are doing landscape photography on a Sony APS-C camera, there is almost no way around the Sony 10-18mm f/4 zoom lens. The lens offers high-quality images, focuses silently and does work very well overall. The aperture of f/4 isn’t the best, but for landscape photography, it is still a good value.

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Sony FE 12-24mm f/4 G

Sony SEL1224G 12-24mm f/4-22 Fixed Zoom...
Best For
Landscape Photography
Compatibility
Sony APS-C & Full-Frame
Max Aperture
F/4
Focal Length
12-24mm
Focus Type
Auto-Focus
Weight
566g
Customer Rating
Sony SEL1224G 12-24mm f/4-22 Fixed Zoom...
Best For
Landscape Photography
Compatibility
Sony APS-C & Full-Frame
Max Aperture
F/4
Focal Length
12-24mm
Focus Type
Auto-Focus
Weight
566g
Customer Rating

The 10-18mm lens that I have presented previously is a great zoom lens for APS-C sensors.

For full-frame Sony cameras, the Sony 12-24mm f/4 is the counterpart. Considering that zoom lenses in this wide-angle range aren’t very common, the image quality is of special interest. Often times, a heavy distortion can be detected, so how well does this zoom lens perform for the full-frame cameras?

The diagonal angle view is at 122 degrees and one of the widest ever produced for any full-frame camera that You can purchase. Only Canon’s wide-angle monster EF 11-24mm does beat the diagonal degree. With an additional costs of $1.000 though, the few extra degrees come at a great cost.

Sony worked very hard and had to be innovative to create this lens. To create this extreme angle, 17 lenses are built into 13 groups. This does sound very technical, but to sum it up, Sony did the math to create such an outstanding lens.

Not only the inside is very complex. The surface of the lens has a special coating that should reduce the glaring. In conclusion, the lens does perform very well when shooting against the sun, or other light sources. This is a feature that is especially useful when You are doing landscape photography and want to shoot the sunset.

The lens performance is really outstanding. Wide open, there is a little vignetting and the distortion can be visible, when not using any in-camera correction, or using Lightroom. Using the automatic correction, the distortion can be fixed very quickly.

The vignetting does also become less noticeable when going to the longer focal length of 24mm.

One of the strengths of the lens is, the high quality employed in a body that is very lightweight. Usually, lens designers have to sacrifice one for another, but having an outstanding image quality in a light body does make this zoom lens extra special.

The Sony 12-24mm does excel when shooting landscape photography or doing a bit of interior photography. Glancing at the weight and size, the Sony 12-24mm is the best travel lens in the wide-angle range that You can get.

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Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 G

Sony SEL1635GM 16-35mm f/2.8-22 Zoom...
Best For
Landscape & Travel Photography
Compatibility
Sony APS-C & Full-Frame
Max Aperture
F/2.8
Focal Length
16-35mm
Focus Type
Auto-Focus
Weight
680g
Customer Rating
Sony SEL1635GM 16-35mm f/2.8-22 Zoom...
Best For
Landscape & Travel Photography
Compatibility
Sony APS-C & Full-Frame
Max Aperture
F/2.8
Focal Length
16-35mm
Focus Type
Auto-Focus
Weight
680g
Customer Rating

In comparison to the previous 12-24mm version, the Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 does give a little more room to breathe with a bigger zoom range. Covering the very wide angle of 16mm all the way up to the classic 35mm focal length.

Like other camera and lens manufacturers, Sony does also have a premium lens category that indicates, that a lens is ready for professional use. You might have heard from Canon’s L series and their famous red ring. Sony doesn’t have a red ring, but the “G Master” lenses. The symbol is also more unimposing on the lens, but that shouldn’t take anything away from the high-quality, that the Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 delivers.

The differences between the Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 and the 16-35mm f/4 Zeiss are very minimal in every category, but combined the Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 does perform a lot better and is worth the additional money.

First of all, let me clarify that the 16-35mm focal range is a lot more useful than the rather limited 12-24mm. Although both are capable of delivering excellent image quality, the Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 can be used in a lot of different situations.

It is a great lens for landscapes, traveling and even some portrait photography. In wedding photography, this focal range is also becoming the newest trend and it does allow for some great images on the dancefloor.

Compared to Canon or Nikon lenses in the same range, the Sony version is a lot lighter and it is a huge advantage considering, that the mirrorless cameras are lighter as well.

The image quality is excellent, as was expected. In the shorter focal range, the distortion on the edges can be a bit strong and should be taking into consideration, when doing portraits. Other than that, the lens is sharp from edge to edge and with a maximum aperture of f/2.8, there can even be a creamy bokeh created at the 35mm focal length.

Are You a professional, or a very ambitious hobby photographer who wants to start a career in wedding photography? Then the Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 is the best investment that You can do.

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Sony 24-70mm f/2.8

Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM Lens
Best For
All Around Professional Quality
Compatibility
Sony APS-C & Full-Frame
Max Aperture
F/2.8
Focal Length
24-70mm
Focus Type
Super Sonic Wave Motor
Weight
886g
Customer Rating
Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM Lens
Best For
All Around Professional Quality
Compatibility
Sony APS-C & Full-Frame
Max Aperture
F/2.8
Focal Length
24-70mm
Focus Type
Super Sonic Wave Motor
Weight
886g
Customer Rating

There is a heavy dispute going on if prime lenses, or zoom lenses are the way to go nowadays in photography. Prime lenses should have the advantage, that they offer a slightly better image quality and the max aperture is also better.

On the other hand, the Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 pretty much covers the popular focal range of 35mm to almost 85mm singlehandedly. Where You would need 3 prime lenses to be very versatile, You could simply just use the 24-70mm zoom lens and be happy about not changing lenses anymore.

To be honest with You, yes the 24-70mm zoom lens is a very expensive lens. But the questions should always be if it is worth the cost. In the end, You could save at least 3 prime lenses that would cost a lot more, if You would buy them separately.

There are two alternatives available with the 24-70mm f/4 by Zeiss and the 24-70mm f/3.5-f/5.6 by Sony. But if You want to get the best quality, there is nothing better than the 24-70mm f/2.8 that is presented here.

I have said that the zoom lens is capable of replacing up to 3 prime lenses. But how does the image quality compare and is it really useful to replace the prime lenses?

Usually, prime lenses are said to have the best image quality. When compared to the 24-70mm f/2.8 though, the image quality doesn’t really differ. The zoom lens is equally sharp, the contrast is great and the overall quality is on the same level.

The only limitation is in the maximum aperture, which is below its prime lens counterparts. If You aren’t going to do some shots in the night, or are able to use a flash though, the difference in aperture can be neglected.

One point of interest is the bokeh. With a broad focal range of 24 to 70mm the depth of field does change a lot, but how does the bokeh perform? To create a soft and creamy background, the zoom lens has 9 rounded blades. This is more than most other lenses have. With the additional rounded blades, the lens does render a beautiful bokeh. Even at 24mm, the bokeh is quite unique and is a real highlight.

If You are a photographer who values great image quality very high and doesn’t want to change lenses very frequently, the 24-70mm f/2.8 will be able to cover all the focal lengths, that are needed. You don’t have to worry about which lens You have to use anymore and simply can zoom as You please. With this lens, You can shoot pretty much anything You want and the pictures will come out crisp.

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The Best Sony E-Mount Portrait Lens

Portrait photography is an interesting genre where You can try to show the personality of Your subject. Or are You more interested in shooting more creative portraits?

One key feature of portrait lenses is their bokeh. A blurry background helps to center the attention on the subject. For the viewer, it becomes easier to focus on the subject and he isn’t distracted from the background anymore.

To achieve the blurry background, the lenses should have a good max aperture value. That’s why prime lenses reign supreme when it comes to portrait photography.

This kind of photography is also very foreseeable and there aren’t any surprises which force You to change the focal length very quickly. Therefore, I would always recommend a prime lens with a good max aperture for portrait photography.

The weight shouldn’t be much of Your concern since portrait shootings don’t go on for the whole day, but are rather short sessions. With the very light Sony camera bodies, the weight of the lens doesn’t really have an influence on portrait photography and You can choose a “heavier” lens without any doubts.

Here are my recommendations of Sony Lenses for Portrait Photography.

Sony SEL35F14Z Distagon T FE 35mm f/1.4...
Sony SEL35F18 35mm f/1.8 Prime Fixed...
Sony SEL85F18 85mm F/1.8-22...
Best For
Professional Photographers
Travel & Street Photography
Portrait Photography
Compatibility
Sony APS-C & Full-Frame
Sony APS-C
Sony APS-C & Full-Frame
Max Aperture
F/1.4
F/1.8
F/1.8
Focal Length
35mm
35mm (52mm full-frame eq.)
85mm
Focus Type
Piezoelectric
Stepper Motor
Auto Focus
Weight
630g
154g
371g
Customer Rating
Why to Choose
Great Bokeh and Image Quality
Great Price and Performance - The best Portrait Lens for APS-C
Minimal Distortions & Very narrow Depth of Field
Sony SEL35F14Z Distagon T FE 35mm f/1.4...
Best For
Professional Photographers
Compatibility
Sony APS-C & Full-Frame
Max Aperture
F/1.4
Focal Length
35mm
Focus Type
Piezoelectric
Weight
630g
Customer Rating
Why to Choose
Great Bokeh and Image Quality
Sony SEL35F18 35mm f/1.8 Prime Fixed...
Best For
Travel & Street Photography
Compatibility
Sony APS-C
Max Aperture
F/1.8
Focal Length
35mm (52mm full-frame eq.)
Focus Type
Stepper Motor
Weight
154g
Customer Rating
Why to Choose
Great Price and Performance - The best Portrait Lens for APS-C
Sony SEL85F18 85mm F/1.8-22...
Best For
Portrait Photography
Compatibility
Sony APS-C & Full-Frame
Max Aperture
F/1.8
Focal Length
85mm
Focus Type
Auto Focus
Weight
371g
Customer Rating
Why to Choose
Minimal Distortions & Very narrow Depth of Field

The Best Sony E-Mount Travel Lens

Before You go traveling, You should review Your gear very thoroughly. Is there any crucial focal length that is missing, or is there anything that You want to shoot, that You would miss out on with Your current setup?

Although I don’t recommend to go crazy and get a completely new camera setup, or system can do more harm than good. But investing in very purposeful new Sony Lenses can help to make the most out of Your travel experience.

Weight is a huge factor when traveling, as You will probably have Your gear with You all the time and want to shoot as much as possible.

When it comes to travel lenses, lightweight and a compact design is more important for me than getting that last inch of pixel perfection.

A lighter and more compact prime lens is also rather inexpensive. If You are tight on a budget this means that You can spend more for the travel, which I would always prioritize in favor of the camera lens.

Zoom lenses are also a good choice because You are more flexible and travel photography can be a very broad genre.

So here are my recommendations of the best Sony Lenses if You are traveling.

Sony SEL28F20 FE 28mm f/2-22...
Sony SEL1018 10-18mm Wide-Angle Zoom...
Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM Lens
Best For
Budget-Friendly Prime Lens
Landscape Photography
All Around Professional Quality
Compatibility
Sony APS-C & Full-Frame
Sony APS-C & Full-Frame
Sony APS-C & Full-Frame
Max Aperture
F/2
F/4
F/2.8
Focal Length
28mm
10-18mm
24-70mm
Focus Type
Stepper Motor
Stepper Motor
Super Sonic Wave Motor
Weight
200g
226g
886g
Customer Rating
Why to Choose
Great versatile Focal Length
If You want to do Landscape Photography while Traveling
Covers every possible Focal Length
Sony SEL28F20 FE 28mm f/2-22...
Best For
Budget-Friendly Prime Lens
Compatibility
Sony APS-C & Full-Frame
Max Aperture
F/2
Focal Length
28mm
Focus Type
Stepper Motor
Weight
200g
Customer Rating
Why to Choose
Great versatile Focal Length
Sony SEL1018 10-18mm Wide-Angle Zoom...
Best For
Landscape Photography
Compatibility
Sony APS-C & Full-Frame
Max Aperture
F/4
Focal Length
10-18mm
Focus Type
Stepper Motor
Weight
226g
Customer Rating
Why to Choose
If You want to do Landscape Photography while Traveling
Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM Lens
Best For
All Around Professional Quality
Compatibility
Sony APS-C & Full-Frame
Max Aperture
F/2.8
Focal Length
24-70mm
Focus Type
Super Sonic Wave Motor
Weight
886g
Customer Rating
Why to Choose
Covers every possible Focal Length

The Best Sony E-Mount Street Photography Lens

Street Photography and Travel Photography can be very similar. Both have the goal in mind to capture the natural atmosphere of a place and its people.

Street Photography is a candid genre. The advantage of the candid approach is, that You are getting the “real” atmosphere instead of some posed emotions. As the photographer, You are wandering on the street just like anybody else, but You are searching for those little details and stories that You deem interesting to tell.

To be able to walk on the street candidly and take pictures without being noticed, You need a lens that is very inconspicuous. Image quality is great with pretty much every lens that You are seeing in this guide, so that doesn’t make a big difference.

What I value more is lightweight and a small design. This way, You don’t give the vibe of being a professional paparrazi, but appear more like the hobby photographer that You are.

If You are doing Street Photography at night, a good max aperture is great, but if You are shooting in rather standard light conditions, the aperture isn’t a very big factor.

Here is my list of the best Sony Street Photography lenses.

Sony  SEL-20F28 E-Mount 20mm F2.8 Prime...
Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T E 24mm F1.8 ZA...
Sony SEL28F20 FE 28mm f/2-22...
Best For
Street Photography
Documentary Photography
Budget-Friendly Prime Lens
Compatibility
Sony APS-C
Sony APS-C
Sony APS-C & Full-Frame
Max Aperture
F/2.8
F/1.8
F/2
Focal Length
20mm (30mm full-frame eq.)
24mm (35mm full-frame eq.)
28mm
Focus Type
Stepper Motor
Micromotor
Stepper Motor
Weight
69g
225g
200g
Customer Rating
Why to Choose
The lightest & most compact Lens You can get
Great Focal Length and Image Quality
Best Full-Frame Street Photography Lens
Sony  SEL-20F28 E-Mount 20mm F2.8 Prime...
Best For
Street Photography
Compatibility
Sony APS-C
Max Aperture
F/2.8
Focal Length
20mm (30mm full-frame eq.)
Focus Type
Stepper Motor
Weight
69g
Customer Rating
Why to Choose
The lightest & most compact Lens You can get
Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T E 24mm F1.8 ZA...
Best For
Documentary Photography
Compatibility
Sony APS-C
Max Aperture
F/1.8
Focal Length
24mm (35mm full-frame eq.)
Focus Type
Micromotor
Weight
225g
Customer Rating
Why to Choose
Great Focal Length and Image Quality
Sony SEL28F20 FE 28mm f/2-22...
Best For
Budget-Friendly Prime Lens
Compatibility
Sony APS-C & Full-Frame
Max Aperture
F/2
Focal Length
28mm
Focus Type
Stepper Motor
Weight
200g
Customer Rating
Why to Choose
Best Full-Frame Street Photography Lens
Street Photography