Best Lenses For Sony A5100 – 2020 Guide

The A5100 is probably Sony’s best beginner’s camera. This is an APS-C E-mount camera that is very low priced but still gives great quality.

People who are beginners in the field of photography should start off with this one. Considering its price, it has some amazing features like hybrid auto-focus. Although this camera comes with a lens, it is always good to have different options to improve the image quality.

So we have prepared a list of the best lenses of Sony A5100.    

Comparison Chart of the Best Lenses For Sony A5100

PRODUCTDETAILS
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Sigma 16mm F/1.4 (402965)

  • Perfect for nature and event photography
  • Fully accommodates fast Hybrid auto focus
  • Very good lowlight performance
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Sony SEL35F18 35mm f/1.8

  • Offers excellent peripheral sharpness and contrast
  • Built-in image stabilization
  • Silent and smooth high-speed focusing
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Sony - FE 50mm F1.8 (SEL50F18F)

  • Best for the Money
  • F1.8 maximum aperture enhances defocusing effects
  • Design is compact and lightweight
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Rokinon 12mm F2.0 (RK12M-E)

  • Best Sony A5100 Wide Angle Lens
  • Enhanced light transmission and reduced internal reflections
  • Optimized for better optical quality
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Sony - FE 24-105mm

  • Best Sony A5100 Zoom Lens
  • Able to defocus very well
  • Designed to be compact and lightweight
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Sony - E 50mm F1.8

  • Best Sony A5100 50mm Lens
  • Comes with built-in image stabilization
  • Features exceptional defocus effects
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Sony SEL30M35 30mm f/3.5

  • Best Sony A5100 Macro Lens
  • Greatly portable and versatile
  • Simple, compact 6-group 7-element lens
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Are All Lenses The Same?

All camera lenses have the same function, i.e., capturing beautiful images and videos, but they differ in their specifications and when to use them. Some of the various reasons the lenses are different from one another are detailed below.

Aperture

Aperture is the opening in a lens that lets in light to the camera. The bigger the aperture, the better the light-capturing quality is, and the better the photography will be in low light. Lenses made for low light use have an aperture of F1.4 or F1.8. Such wide apertures let you shoot quality images without cranking up the ISO and using the flash, which ends up ruining the image. Some lenses have a fixed maximum aperture, while others have a variable aperture that changes with focal length.

Focal Length

In technical terms, the focal length is the distance between the center of a lens and the image sensor. It is measured in millimeters. Simply put, the focal length determines how much of the scene will be captured in the frame. Lenses are generally divided into two categories depending on the focal length i.e., wide and long. A wide focal length would be 35mm, and anything above 50mm will be considered long. Because wider angles capture more, they are used for landscapes, real estate, and other such things. Longer lenses focus more on one object, so they are perfect for portraits

Sigma 16mm F/1.4 (402965)

Prime or Zoom

Another way focal length can divide lenses into categories is whether or not the focal length is fixed. A fixed focal length is called a prime lens. These lenses are very compact and lightweight because no extra mechanisms and mirrors are put inside to account for different focal lengths. They are perfect for traveling and if you are going to be shooting all day. Zoom lenses have variable focal lengths. They are larger and probably more expensive, and depending on the versatility of the focal lengths included, they can be general-purpose lenses. However, prime lenses have sharper image quality and are easier to handle.   

Mount

Because we are looking at lenses for Sony cameras, we will look at the mount types of a Sony camera. There are two mounts i.e., A-mount and E-mount. The A-mount is for translucent mirror type cameras, and the E-mount is for mirrorless camera bodies.

Why Did These Lenses Make Our List?

There are several qualities that make for a great lens, and all are not specific to the A5100 camera. The features you should look for in lenses are given below.

Compact Size

Because the A5100 has a very compact and lightweight camera body, the lens should be the same. It cannot be ​out of proportion. This camera is not the most professional one, but it is a good one to get started with. Because prime lenses are more compact, it will be a better option. If you must go for a zoom lens, then consider the ones with smaller sizes.  

Sharp Results

It goes without saying that the first and only job of a lens is to produce images that are sharp and don’t have many distortions and blurriness. The quality of the image or video depends on the quality of the lens. High-quality lenses have multiple optical coatings on them to capture maximum light reducing any flares. The quality of the image also determines the color contrast. This is another area where prime lenses come first. Because they have fewer obstructions and a simpler design, they capture better light.

Good Aperture

Other than choosing the right focal length for your photography, the other thing is aperture. Having a good and wide aperture means you can use it anytime and anywhere. They are not only good for night photography but can also be used indoors where the lighting is not good. Even if you don’t expect to do a lot of night photography, it is always good to have a lens with a wide aperture.

Quick Take - Best Sony A5100 Lenses

Before we dive into our review, here are the best lenses for Sony A5100:

  1. Sigma 16mm F/1.4 (402965) 
  2. ​​Sony SEL35F18 35mm f/1.8
  3. Sony - FE 50mm F1.8 (SEL50F18F)

Review of the Best Sony A5100 Lenses

Sony has several different lenses that you can use with this camera. But you have to keep in mind the compact size and mount type, so here are the reviews of the best lenses for Sony A5100.

Sigma 16mm F/1.4 DC DN Contemporary Lens for Sony E (402965)

PROS

  • Compact and portable design
  • Solid and durable build quality
  • Has a dust and splash-proof design
  • Accommodates fast hybrid auto-focus
  • Wide aperture for low light conditions

CONS

  • No image stabilization
  • It is a third party lens and not Sony’s original

What Recent Buyers Report

According to buyers, the lens has a solid feel and seems well built and easy to handle, and the rubber ring has a good grip. The sharpness is strong throughout the frame, even at corners. Even when you open it to F1.4, it gives sharp results. Users have also taken beautiful astrophotographs at its widest aperture.  

Why it Stands Out to Us

The build quality of this lens is very good and doesn’t feel cheap in your hands. It is easy to use with the A5100 because of its compact size. It has 16 elements in 13 groups that produce crisp images from the center to the edges. It is completely dust and waterproof as well. The auto-focus is fast enough, and it has little to no chromatic aberrations.  

Who Will Use This Most

This comes in the extra-wide category of lenses, so it is used for capturing landscapes, architecture, and other such things. Because of the great aperture, it is also perfect for night photography and astrophotography. The fast auto-focus combined with the A5100 is perfect for HD video making as well.   

Bottom Line

This is not a Sony lens, but this is our top pick because of the amazing image quality it produces. It has reasonably fast auto-focus, but it shines in the clarity and resolution of its images. The price is very reasonable, and it has a portable design so you can use it while traveling.

Sony SEL35F18 35mm f/1.8 Prime Fixed Lens

PROS

  • Compatible with polarizing filters
  • Internal and fast auto-focus mechanism
  • 7 circular aperture blades produce beautiful Bokeh
  • In-built image stabilization with Optical Steady Shot
  • Extra-low dispersion glass to remove chromatic aberrations

CONS

  • Some noticeable aberration at the widest aperture

What Recent Buyers Report

For a general-purpose lens, this is a perfect choice. The auto-focus is great, and you don’t need to do a lot of editing afterward. The results look very professional even for a novice user. Its sharpness can be seen throughout the frame, and its compact size is suitable for traveling.

Why it Stands Out to Us

On an APS-C camera body, the lens becomes equal to a 52.5 mm lens, which comes close to a general-purpose lens that can be used in a variety of situations rather than just one. It has a simple design with 8 elements in 6 lens groups. The maximum aperture of F1.8 is also pretty good. Instead of conventional blades, it uses circular blades that make de-focusing and Bokeh more natural. The aspherical lens elements and ED glass keeps chromatic aberrations and distortions to a minimum.

Who Will Use This Most

Because the lens has optical image stabilization and fast auto-focus, it can be used to capture moving objects without the image getting blurry. It can also be used to capture HD quality videos that look more natural and smooth. The internal focusing mechanism makes it easy to use with a polarizing filter to reduce sun glares. It is a 35mm lens but used on the A5100 camera body, it will become equal to 52.5 mm. This means it can be used for both portraits and landscapes. It is also suitable for low light photography.  

Bottom Line

It is always a good idea to use a lens from the same manufacturer as the camera. They suit more with each other and have compatible features. As the A5100 does not have image stabilization, this lens can be paired with it, and you will get steady pictures. It is a little pricey, but the quality speaks for itself and is worth it.   

Sony - FE 50mm F1.8 Standard Lens (SEL50F18F), Black

PROS

  • A low priced alternative
  • Built-in image stabilization
  • Good maximum aperture for low light
  • Minimum distortions and chromatic aberrations
  • Circular aperture and aspherical elements for more natural de-focusing

CONS

  • Auto-focus is not silent and a little slow

What Recent Buyers Report

For a Sony lens, this is probably the best price you will get that does not compromise on quality. The one thing that people have an issue with is the DC motor used for focusing. It does not match Sony’s other FE lenses. But other than that, the image quality and construction of the lens are great. It does produce a beautiful Bokeh and sharp contrast.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The lens has a 7 bladed circular aperture that produces very smooth and natural-looking Bokeh. The aspherical elements reduce aberrations, and it has a double-gauss configuration that gets rid of distortions. This results in images that are clear and sharp throughout. It has a magnification of 0.14x and a minimum focusing distance of 0.45 m.

Who Will Use This Most

When using it with an APS-C sensor camera, the effective focal length of this lens becomes 75 mm. This makes it great for portraits. If you are planning on using it on a full-frame camera, then it can be used for landscapes as well. The F1.8 aperture is very good if you are looking for low light photography lenses. It is probably not the best option for video shooting, though.    

Bottom Line

Looking for a professional quality Sony lens at a budget-friendly price is not easy. But this one checks all the boxes. It is low priced, it is compact and sturdy, and most importantly, it gives high-quality pictures. It can either be an all-purpose or a portrait lens, depending on how you use it.  

Best Sony A5100 Wide Angle Lens:
Rokinon 12mm F2.0 (RK12M-E)

Rokinon 12mm F2.0 NCS CS Ultra Wide Angle Lens Sony E-Mount (NEX) (Black) (RK12M-E)

PROS

  • Comes with a lens hood
  • Has an internal focusing system
  • Compact and lightweight design
  • Minimum chromatic aberrations
  • Nano coating for better light transmission

CONS

  • It does not have auto-focus

What Recent Buyers Report

The build quality of this lens is great. It has a metal mount and a compact design that is easy to handle. At the widest aperture, its sharpness becomes a little soft at the corners but becomes better at higher apertures. If you use it in the right setting, the results are great.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is an ultra-wide-angle lens, and these often have problems at the widest aperture and corners, but this one handles it very well. The aperture is fast at F2.0, but it could be better. It still takes high-quality, low light images. The Nano coating and 6 aperture blades produce sharp images with high contrast.

Who Will Use This Most

When used with an APS-C sensor for which it is designed, the effective focal length becomes 18mm. This still counts as an ultra-wide focal length. For this reason, it is used for landscapes, architecture, indoor, and street photography. Although it might not be the fastest lens for astrophotography, it can still take great low-light images. The aperture can be changed up to F22 according to requirements.  

Bottom Line      

This lens has been specifically designed for Sony mirrorless cameras with APS-C sensors. So, of course, it pairs well with the A5100. It has a very reasonable price and produces sharp photographs for a lens of that focal length and aperture. 

Best Sony A5100 Zoom Lens:
Sony - FE 24-105mm

Sony - FE 24-105mm F4 G OSS Standard Zoom Lens (SEL24105G)

PROS

  • Good maximum aperture for a zoom lens
  • Nano AR coating for reduced flare and ghosting
  • Optical steady shot image stabilization technology
  • 9 bladed circular aperture produces beautiful Bokeh
  • Direct drive Supersonic wave motor for fast auto-focus

CONS

  • A little heavy for the A5100
  • Very expensive compared to other options

What Recent Buyers Report

The lens is pretty big, but given the range of focal length it has, that is to be expected. The images are very sharp and have good contrast. Compared to other zoom lenses of similar range, its price is lower. The build quality also seems good and durable.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is from the Sony G lens series. This is Sony’s original camera lens and the most optically superior. The overall image quality in every focal length is constant and sharp. It uses aspherical elements and ED glass with Nano AR coating to handle aberrations, ghosting, and flares. For a natural-looking Bokeh, it has 9 bladed circular aperture. It is also dust and moisture resistant and has a good aperture for a zoom lens.    

Who Will Use This Most

Considering this lens has a focal range of 24-105 mm, you can do just about anything with it. Granted, it is not the best option for night photography, but it has inbuilt image stabilization and precise auto-focus, which helps and is suitable for videos. It comes in the mid-telephoto range and takes great close-ups as well as landscapes.  

Bottom Line

For a zoom lens, this one is inexpensive and reasonably sized. Often, people want to buy a lens that can do it all, especially if they are traveling or are a general-purpose photographer. This is a great option for mirrorless Sony cameras if that is what you are looking for.  

Best Sony A5100 50mm Lens:
Sony - E 50mm F1.8

Sony - E 50mm F1.8 OSS Portrait Lens (SEL50F18/B), Black

PROS

  • Internal focusing mechanism
  • Quiet and precise auto-focus system
  • Built-in optical steady shot image stabilization
  • Good maximum aperture for low light images
  • Lightweight design with an aluminum alloy body

CONS

  • The auto-focus could be faster

What Recent Buyers Report

This Sony E-50mm lens is used for portraits mostly. The background blur it produces looks very natural and smooth. The pictures are very sharp and professional-looking. 50 mm is already one of the most used lenses, and combined with the clarity this Sony lens gives ​with the low price, it comes highly recommended.  

Why it Stands Out to Us

It has a 4-stop image stabilization that produces sharp and clear images and videos. It has a good aperture and a very compact design, which is perfect for A5100. The aperture blades are circular for smoother de-focusing. The motors used for focusing are quiet and smooth. Because of internal focusing, the lens size does not change while working. 

Who Will Use This Most

This 50 mm lens can be used for anything from portraits to landscapes, but when used with an APS-C sensor, it will equal 75 mm, which is more suited just for portraits. The F1.8 aperture lets it be used for low light photography as well. It is also suited for traveling and street photography.

Bottom Line

A 50 mm lens will always be found on the best lens list because they can do just about anything and are very cheap, hence the name ‘nifty-fifty.’ This Sony lens brings all the high-quality manufacturing and results of a good brand with it.

Best Sony A5100 Macro Lens:
Sony SEL30M35 30mm f/3.5

Sony SEL30M35 30mm f/3.5 e-mount Macro Fixed Lens

PROS

  • Light and compact design
  • Fast internal focusing mechanism
  • 2.4 cm minimum focusing distance
  • ED glass elements for better resolution
  • 7 bladed circular aperture for smooth Bokeh

CONS

  • No optical steady shot
  • Aperture is not good for a prime lens

What Recent Buyers Report

This lens produces amazing close-up pictures. Its design is very simple and compact, which makes it perfect for traveling. Given its price, the quality of the images and the lens body are high. It gives very sharp results, and the internal focusing improves performance.   

Why it Stands Out to Us

Macro lenses are designed to be compact and to capture extreme close-ups. This one has a great minimum focusing distance of 2.4 cm, which lets you do just that. It can also create beautifully de-focused backgrounds because a close up image needs to focus more on the subject. You don’t get a lot of unnecessary glare either.   

Who Will Use This Most

Anyone interested in taking zoomed-in photographs of nature will love this lens. The sharpness of the frame can be seen from corner to corner. Since it is a 30 mm lens, you can also use it for landscapes but not for night photography.

Bottom Line

This is a reasonably priced macro lens that comes in handy when taking creative nature photographs or shooting other small-sized objects. The blurriness of the background, combined with the sharpness and clarity of the subject makes for professional-looking images.

How to Use Sony A5100

Sony mirrorless cameras are made to be smaller, and the A5100 is the best and most technologically advanced novice camera from Sony. To get the best out of this and use it properly, you can follow the following tips.

  1. Use the hybrid focusing system to capture videos and focus in as little as 0.07 seconds.

  2. The BIONZ X processor gives more natural tones and colors.

  3. With the 25600 ISO range, you can increase and decrease it for bright and low light conditions, respectively.

  4. Use the HDMI connection to connect to your computer and transfer images there.

  5. You can also use NFC to transfer wirelessly.

  6. It has a touch screen for easy navigation and also manual focus.

  7. Flip the screen 180° for selfies or group photos.

  8. You can record in 1080p, MP4, XAVC-S, or AVC-HD format.

  9. The zoom lever is located with the shutter button. You can use it to zoom in and out.  

Conclusion

Now that you know all the best A5100 lenses, you can choose the one that will suit you best in your lens kit. Considering the beginner level of the camera body, a simple to handle lens will be a good option. Every model on our list is of high-quality, and they all work well in different situations.

People Also Ask 

If you want to know more about the Sony A5100 camera and its lenses, you can read through the questions given below. The following are commonly asked questions and will help clear up any confusion. 

Is the Sony A5100 Good For Photography?

The Sony A5100 might be an old camera, but for traveling, it still holds up. Its compact size and the APS-C sensor still produces good quality images. It is great for videos because of the fast auto-focus, but photography is also of high-quality.

Is Sony A5100 a DSLR Camera?

Yes, the Sony A5100 is a digital SLR camera as it uses a memory card rather than a film and a digital imaging sensor.

Does Sony A5100 Have Image Stabilization?

The A5100 camera body does not have image stabilization built-in, but you can use a lens that has the feature. In fact, the lens kit that comes with it has an optical steady shot or OSS.

Does the Sony A5100 Have Auto-focus?

Yes, it has auto-focus, which is as fast as 0.07 seconds. It also has 179 point auto-focus coverage. This hybrid system ensures perfect clarity and precision.

Is the Sony A5100 Good For Vlogging?

This camera does not have a 4K video format, but it goes as high as 1080p. For YouTube, it is pretty good and combined with fast auto-focus, you get great quality and smooth videos.