Best Sony Lenses of 2020 – Top Models Reviewed

Sony is one of the big names in electronics, along with owning one of the biggest entertainment companies. It might have gotten into the lens business a litter later then Canon, but its impressive range of lenses and cameras have become top contenders with any other brand.

This article will review the top best Sony lenses. Before that, let’s look at the important features you should know before buying any Sony lens.

Comparison Chart of the Best Sony Lenses

PRODUCTDETAILS
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Sony SEL2470GM FE 24-70 mm F2.8 G

  • Made for full-frame E-mount cameras
  • Zoom lens with a focal length range of 24-70mm
  • Promises the best results with creamy bokeh and no glare
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Sony 35mm F2.8 Sonnar

  • Prime lens of focal length 35mm
  • Minimum focus distance of 1.15 ft.
  • Easy autofocus with a great price for beginners
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Sony 55mm F1.8 Sonnar

  • Best for the money
  • Its angle of view is 43°
  • Prime lens with a focal length of 55mm
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Sony SEL85F18 85mm F/1.8-22

  • Best Sony lens for portraits
  • Minimum focus distance of 2.63 feet
  • Prime telephoto lens with a focal length of 85mm
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Sony FE 70-300mm SEL70300G

  • Angle of view is 107°-63°
  • Zoom lens with a focal length range of 16-35mm
  • Best Sony wide-angle lens and best Sony lens for landscape photography
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Sony - FE 16-35mm F2.8

  • Best Sony zoom lens
  • Minimum focusing distance of 37.8 inches
  • Zoom lens with a focal length of 70-200mm
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Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM

  • Best Sony macro lens
  • Has a maximum magnification of 1.0x
  • Prime lens with a focal length of 90mm
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Sony SEL90M28G FE 90mm f/2.8-22

  • Best Sony macro lens
  • Has a maximum magnification of 1.0x
  • Prime lens with a focal length of 90mm
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Sigma 50mm F1.4 ART DG HSM

  • Best Sony prime lens
  • Prime lens with 50mm focal length
  • Minimum focusing distance of 0.4m
View Latest Price

Are All Sony Lenses The Same?

Every lens has different specifications depending on their focal length, aperture, and mount, etc. One is not less than the other, but some are made for specific camera bodies or types of photography. Some of the main ways one Sony lens might differ from the others are:

Mount

Sony produces two types of mounts i.e., mount-A and mount-E. These mounts are made for different types of camera bodies. A type fits the Translucent Mirror cameras. This type is unique to Sony. It involves a mirror inside the camera that helps direct light to the image sensor and autofocus sensor of the camera. These cameras are used for filming HD videos along with photographs. The E-type lens is used on mirrorless camera bodies. These cameras are built to be more compact by reducing the flange focal distance, among other things.   

Frame

The frame or the sensor of a camera determines the amount of light that gets in and how much of the scene will be captured. Lenses are made for specific mounts so that their focal length and image circles are compatible with the camera frame. The two main types of frames that every manufacturer uses are the APS-C and full-frame. Full frame cameras don’t have a crop factor, and the effective focal length of the lens does not change it. The APS-C frame, on the other hand, is smaller, and in Sony’s case, it is 23.5 x 15.6 mm. Both types of lenses can be used on both frames, but the images might become smaller.

Specifications  

The other main thing that varies is, of course, the focal length and the aperture. A lens might be zoom or prime. With a zoom lens, you can have a range of focal options, including wide and long, or they might focus on one side. Prime lenses have only one focal length and are used for specific photography types. It is a well-known fact that wide lenses are used for landscapes and long ones for portraits. Next is the aperture. Aperture simply determines how much light will get in by changing the lens opening. The bigger the opening, the better the images will be in low-light or night time. Lenses have different maximum apertures with the best being f/1.4 or f/1.8. These apertures might also be fixed or variable like focal lengths. Fixed aperture lenses are usually more expensive and high-end.

How to Choose a Sony Lenses

Choosing a lens for your Sony camera is much like any other camera. After determining your mount type and frame size, you require durable construction and lenses that produce sharp images.

Image Stabilization

Image stabilization is a must-have feature in any modern lens. A lot of the time, when you are shooting, your hands can get shaky, and the final image will not be what you wanted. Image stabilization technology gets rid of the blurring to give sharper images. This also comes in handy while shooting moving objects or low light photography. While shooting at night, you reduce the shutter speed to capture more light. This means more time and more time means more chances for camera shaking.

Versatility

You can choose your lens for a specific focal length, or you can get a zoom lens for different types of photography. Zoom lenses can come in handy for general purpose use or when you are traveling and are going to be shooting different things. These lenses can have a large range of focal lengths. Prime lenses are preferred by professionals as they give more control and generally have larger apertures.

Budget

A good lens doesn’t come cheap. Its price can be even more than $2000 sometimes, so budget is an important consideration when buying any lens. A high-quality lens has many features that factor into the price. Image stabilization, optical coatings, weather protection, and build quality all matter. But that doesn’t mean that every lens has a high price. You can buy a good lens for a lesser price as well. This list contains a variety of price ranges.     

Quick Take - Best Sony Lenses

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

  1. Sony SEL2470GM FE 24-70 mm F2.8 G
  2. Sony 35mm F2.8 Sonnar
  3. Sony 55mm F1.8 Sonnar

Review of the Best Sony Lenses

Sony has a wide range of lenses made specifically for their cameras. These are our top picks of the best Sony lenses available in the market. 

Sony SEL2470GM E-Mount Camera Lens: FE 24-70 mm F2.8 G Master Full Frame Standard Zoom Lens

PROS

  • No glares or ghosting effects
  • Great color contrast and spatial frequency
  • Direct Drive SSM for quiet and precise autofocus
  • Minimum aberration throughout the focal range
  • Creates creamy Bokeh with circular aperture rings

CONS

  • Some distortions at lower aperture settings

​What Recent Buyers Report

This zoom lens gives images that are as sharp as any prime lens. Because its focal range involves a variety of lengths, it is a good everyday lens. It has a very fast and accurate focus with a convenient switch on the barrel. The construction seems very durable and dependable.

​Why it Stands Out to Us

This lens uses an extreme aspherical lens with 50 lines per millimeter spatial frequency. This eliminates any aberrations and produces the highest quality resolution. It has a 9-blade circular aperture ring that, when changed, produces a blurred background for the Bokeh. This lens promises a more natural-looking blur. For autofocus, it has an inbuilt Direct Drive Super Sonic Wave Motor. This motor has both auto and manual focus features that are smooth, fast, and precise. For anti-reflection and anti-ghosting, the lenses are covered with Nano AR coating and Extra-low Dispersion elements. To prevent dust and weather, it has a lens sealing, rubber rings, zoom lock, and hood lock button.

​Who Will Use This Most

The vast focal length range that involves both wide and long focal lengths makes this suitable for different types of photography. It can be used for both portraits and landscapes. For a zoom lens, its maximum aperture is quite good for low light photography as well.

Bottom Line

This lens is our top pick, as it covers a good range of focal lengths along with a good aperture. It involves all of Sony’s top-quality features to achieve high resolution and fast autofocus. It also involves many features for protection against environmental factors like dust and water.

Sony 35mm F2.8 Sonnar T FE ZA Full Frame Prime Fixed Lens

PROS

  • Very compact and lightweight
  • Low priced compared to other Sony lenses
  • Double-sided aspherical rings to eliminate aberration
  • Double-sided aspherical rings to eliminate aberration
  • Internal focusing mechanism makes autofocus fast and easy

CONS

  • This lens does not have image stabilization

​What Recent Buyers Report

This is a lightweight and compact lens, so many people use it for traveling. It is very convenient and easy to use. The images are very clear, and it creates a beautiful Bokeh. It does not have any noticeable distortion or aberration even at the edges of the frame.

​Why it Stands Out to Us

This lens uses Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* coating aspherical lens elements to reduce aberrations and give more natural-looking colors. It uses double-sided circular aperture rings that maintain their circular feature wheatear fully open for closed. This results in a smoother Bokeh. The aspherical elements help reduce any glares as well by restoring light ray alignments. There are also dust and weather-resistant elements, along with internal focusing features. The internal focusing means that the length of the lens does not change focusing, which makes it much more convenient.

​Who Will Use This Most

The 35mm lens is considered close to a natural human view. It is one of the most used focal lengths. Its internal focusing system also involves the filter thread not moving, which makes it easier to use with a polarizing filter. Other than that, the focal length makes it suitable for landscape photography, and the small size is suitable to be used while traveling.

Bottom Line

While zoom lenses offer a lot of variety, a prime lens is often found to be preferred by professionals as it generally gives sharper images and is much cheaper and compact. This lens also has optical coatings and internal focusing with manual override for more control.

Best for the Money:
 Sony 55mm F1.8 Sonnar

Sony 55mm F1.8 Sonnar T FE ZA Full Frame Prime Lens - Fixed

PROS

  • Dust and water-resistant construction
  • Good aperture for low-light photography
  • T* coating to remove glares or reflections
  • 9-bladed rounded aperture for smooth Bokeh
  • Internal linear motor focusing for smooth and quiet operation

CONS

  • Some barrel distortion but it can be easily corrected

​What Recent Buyers Report

This lens is very sharp, with no aberrations throughout the frame and widest aperture. Its price is also low, considering the high resolution. It has the perfect Bokeh and increases the focal length when used with crop frames, which improve portrait quality.

​Why it Stands Out to Us

Prime lenses are generally considered to be sharper, and this lens exceeds expectations in that regard. The wide maximum aperture along with Aspherical elements and T* coating removes any chromatic aberrations and ghosting. The circular blades are made to maintain their shape at all openings to give a natural and creamy Bokeh.

​Who Will Use This Most

This 55mm lens is made for E-mount full-frame cameras. This focal length can be used for full portraits, but it is not too long that you cannot shoot landscapes. It also has lens caps and weather protection for outdoor use. When used with APS-C cameras, its effective focal length goes as high as 82mm.

Bottom Line

Since Sony lenses are pretty expensive, especially the full-frame E-mount ones, this lens is more on the budget-friendly side. Its sharpness and resolution are at match with any Canon 50mm lens. The size is not too big or heavy and can be used easily while traveling or for all-day work.

Best Sony Lens for Portraits:
 Sony SEL85F18 85mm F/1.8-22

Sony SEL85F18 85mm F/1.8-22 Medium-Telephoto Fixed Prime Camera Lens, Black

PROS

  • 9-bladed aperture for a natural-looking Bokeh
  • Both auto and manual focus with a simple button
  • ED glass elements to reduce chromatic aberration
  • Can be used on both full-frame and APS-C for portraits
  • Variable aperture with a good maximum aperture for low-light

CONS

  • Some vignetting at large apertures

​What Recent Buyers Report

This lens gives great value for money. The results are very sharp throughout the frame. It is compared to the same specification G-series lens from Sony, which is more expensive. But most users agree on the high resolution of this lens despite being cheaper. Because of the long focal length, it is, of course, used specifically for portraits.

​Why it Stands Out to Us

This lens has a 9-blade aperture ring with an F1.8 maximum aperture to produce sharp and high-resolution images in all light conditions. It has a very convenient switch on the barrel for manual and autofocus settings. The motor is internal and results in faster and smoother focusing. To remove chromatic aberration and flares, it uses an Extra-low Dispersion glass element.

Who Will Use This Most?

This lens is made for portrait type photography. Its long focal length, along with circular aperture rings, produces sharp images with a natural-looking background Bokeh. These features are perfect for portraits. The F1.8 aperture also helps with capturing good night time images.

Bottom Line

This lens is quite cheap and produces very sharp images with no distortions or chromatic aberration. It is a medium telephoto lens. These lenses are made to capture distant objects and make them appear closer without compromising on resolution. The extra-low dispersion and optical coating on it ensure no flares and ghosting.

Best Sony Lens for Video:
 Sony FE 70-300mm SEL70300G

Sony FE 70-300mm SEL70300G F4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens

PROS

  • Minimum aberration and distortion
  • Optical SteadyShot for sharp images
  • Metal barrel is more durable and sturdy
  • Circular aperture rings for smooth Bokeh
  • Fast and smooth autofocus with internal motor

CONS

  • It is heavier and has a large barrel size

​What Recent Buyers Report

This is a very sharp lens. Its aperture could be improved, but the overall quality is good. The image stabilization helps with moving object photography. The image quality remains the same throughout the focal range. It is a very sturdy lens with a smooth focus ring. Its main use seems to be wildlife photography.

​Why it Stands Out to Us

This lens produces good color contrast throughout the frame, even at edges. It uses a Nano-precision structure that removes reflections while capturing maximum light. These coatings remove flares and give sharper results. The inbuilt image stabilization produces clear images at low-light and of moving objects. It has a 0.31x magnification while maintaining edge-to-edge sharpness.

​Who Will Use This Most

This lens has an internal image stabilization and a linear motor that gives fast, smooth, and precise autofocus. These features make it ideal for producing High-Definition and smooth videos, along with images. This is a telephoto lens, and its range involves extra-long focal lengths. This can be used for capturing nature and distant objects much more clearly.

Bottom Line

This lens, like many other Sony lenses, uses 9-bladed aperture, extra-low dispersion elements, and nano-coatings for high resolution and low-distortion images. The barrel is made of metal and has sealed buttons for dust and moisture resistance. It uses an internal linear actuator for autofocus that results in fast and quiet focusing.

Best Sony Wide Angle Lens and Best Sony Lens for Landscape Photography:
 Sony - FE 16-35mm F2.8

Sony - FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM Wide-angle Zoom Lens (SEL1635GM)

PROS

  • Both manual and autofocusing features
  • 11-bladed aperture produces a smoother Bokeh
  • Good resolution throughout the focal length range
  • Good maximum aperture for low-light photography
  • 50 lines/mm spatial frequency produces more details and contrast

CONS

  • It has some rounded effect on corners at the widest focal length

​What Recent Buyers Report

This lens is solidly built and is very lightweight and compact. It has some fisheye effect at the widest aperture, which might not be for everyone, but some people do prefer it. Its maintenance is also very easy because of the dust-resistant features. Its low weight means many customers use it for traveling.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This lens is from Sony’s G Master Series, which is their best and highest quality line. The 50 lines per millimeter frequency capture more details and give a higher resolution. Extreme aspherical elements, along with 0.01-micron precision, reduce aberrations and distortions. Its aperture ring includes 11-bladed circular rings, which results in a much more natural and smooth Bokeh. For focusing, it uses an internal DDSSM motor that is fast and precise. It also has dust prevention and moisture resistance through fluorine coating on the lens and lens sealing.

Who Will Use This Most

This zoom lens involves only wide focal lengths, which makes it suitable for landscapes and architectural shots. Its aperture is also wide enough for low-light photography. It uses Direct Driven SS motor for smooth and quiet focusing so it can be used for filming HD videos as well.

Bottom Line

This lens is for Sony’s full-frame E-mount lenses from the G series. It is much more expensive, but that comes with the extra high quality, weather protection, and durable construction. Plus, it has XA, ED elements, and Nanocoatings for high resolution and minimum distortions.

Best Sony Zoom Lens:
 Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM

Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS Lens

PROS

  • Inbuilt image stabilization technology
  • Dust and moisture-resistant construction
  • 11-bladed aperture for smooth Bokeh effect
  • Fast and smooth autofocus for videos and images
  • Good maximum aperture for shooting in different light conditions

CONS

  • Much more expensive than other lenses

​What Recent Buyers Report

This is the perfect portrait photography lens. The fast focus and aperture improve video quality as well. It gives a very sharp resolution and a creamy Bokeh. The image stabilization does what it promises and gives sharp results. It is a heavy lens, but telephoto lenses usually are because of the focal length size. It is a zoom lens as well.

​Why it Stands Out to Us

This telephoto lens is from the G series. This means it has a more durable construction and better resolution. It features an 11-bladed aperture that maintains its circular shape at all levels for a natural and creamy Bokeh. Its floating focus mechanism reduces aberrations even at the highest magnification. This lens involves a Parfocal feature that maintains its focus on the subject while zooming like a camcorder. It also has Nano AR coating and ED elements to reduce flares and improve resolution. The focusing mechanism is entirely internal, and it has a 5-axis Optical SteadyShot for image stabilization.

Who Will Use This Most

This is a telephoto lens. These are used for taking images for distant or moving objects. The image stabilization and Parfocal feature make it suitable for video recording as well. Since it involves a good range of focal lengths starting from 70mm along with 11-bladed aperture rings, it takes good portraits as well.

Bottom Line

Telephoto lenses are generally expensive and heavy. They are used mainly by professionals because of their specific use and price. This is why the price of this product is not a big issue. Its construction includes weather protection, which makes it more durable. This lens is mostly used with a tripod as it is much bigger in size.

Sony SEL90M28G FE 90mm f/2.8-22 Macro G OSS Standard-Prime Lens for Mirrorless Cameras with AmazonBasics UV Protection Lens Filter - 62 mm

PROS

  • Circular aperture for smooth Bokeh
  • Dual DDSSM motor for precise focusing
  • Dust and moisture-resistant construction
  • List ElemeFloating focus mechanism for better opticsnt
  • Built-in image stabilization for sharp images

CONS

  • Autofocus motor is a bit slow

​What Recent Buyers Report

This is a great close-up lens. It captures beautiful and sharp details. The construction is sturdy and durable. Along with macro shooting, it is also used for portraits. The sharpness can be seen throughout the frame. The focusing takes some time compared to other lenses, but it is very precise and quiet.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This lens uses two Direct Driven motors that give precise focusing. It also has a built-in image stabilization that helps capture stable images and videos without the need for a tripod. The circular aperture makes the Bokeh more smooth and natural. It also has dust and moisture resistance. The floating focus mechanism gives high-resolution optics throughout the focal length range and magnification.

​Who Will Use This Most

This lens has a 90mm focal length, which is used for portraits and close-ups. It also has internal stabilization and floating focus, which help produce smoother and more natural videos along with photographs. It also has a UV protection filter so it can be used in high heat conditions.

Bottom Line

This lens comes in the macro category. It has a good minimum focus distance to capture clear and no-distortion close-ups. It also has stabilization features and weather protection to prevent dust and moisture from damaging the barrel and the lens.

Best Sony Prime Lens:
 Sigma 50mm F1.4 ART DG HSM

Sigma 50mm F1.4 ART DG HSM Lens for Sony A

PROS

  • Multi-layer coatings for sharp images
  • A cheaper alternative for Sony cameras
  • HSM motor for fast and smooth autofocus
  • Compatibility with Sigma Optimization Pro software
  • Good maximum aperture for low-light photography

CONS

  • Autofocus is not very precise

​What Recent Buyers Report

This is a very durable lens with high-quality construction. The focusing is a bit difficult, but the results are very sharp with good contrast. It gives good Bokeh and has a very good price for its quality. The sealed mount helps prevent weather and dust problems.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is one of Sigma’s lenses for Sony cameras. It is cheaper than Sony lenses, which is always a plus. It has a very good maximum aperture of F1.4, which is not found a lot in Sony lenses. It uses Low-dispersion glass and multi-layer coatings for sharp images and low glare effects. Front and back lens caps are included for weather protection as well.

Who Will Use This Most

This lens has a focal length of 50mm, so it can be used for a variety of different photography types. This focal length captures good portraits and landscapes. The F1.4 aperture makes it suitable for night photography as well. It has different mounts for different cameras. It can fit the Sony A-mount as well.

Bottom Line

Sigma is one of the third-party vendors that make Sony-compatible lenses. Their lenses are some of the best high-resolution lenses. This nifty-fifty has sharp contrast throughout the frame and has no distortions. It can be used on APS-C frames as well, with effective focal length changing to 75mm.

What Do I Need To Know Before Buying?

Some things you should keep in mind before buying a Sony or any lens are.

Mirrorless Camera

Sony makes both mirror and mirrorless cameras, but it’s more known for the mirrorless E-mounts. Most of the lenses you see on our list are of this type as well. The small and compact size of these cameras while maintaining professional image quality is what attracts people to them. These lenses can be found in both full-frame and APS-C frame size.

Expensive

Sony lenses are generally considered high priced. Their range starts from $400 onwards, and many of our top picks have high price tags as well. But the price comes with quality. They are considered some of the best in the market and are built by using durable material.

Optical Coatings

These are thin layers of coatings that are applied to the lenses to remove glares and reflections. These coatings also help improve the amount of light that is captured by the lenses. Optical coatings are applied to almost every lens these days, and without them, you cannot get the quality that an otherwise professional lens gives.

How to Clean a Sony Lens

A clean lens will deliver a sharper image and capture more light. A lot of lenses have weather protection to keep it safe, but they still require maintenance. For proper cleaning, you can follow these steps below.

  1. To check your dust source, turn on your camera, and twist the lens to see if the dust particles move with it. 

  2. To clean just the lens, take a lint-free fabric to wipe the lens. 

  3. Use an air-blower (non-chemical) to blow dust from the lens. 

  4. For sticky dust, use a lens pen and lightly tap the glass. 

  5. To clean the back of the lens, you can use either the blower or the lens pen.  

  6. For cleaning the sensor, just turn on the camera and go to the cleaning mode. 

  7. After that, turn off the camera and then turn it back on. 

  8. You can also do it by turning the camera down and blowing air on the sensor. 

  9. Sensors also have dedicated lens pens to clean sticky dust.

For more tips and details, check the video given below.

Conclusion

Sony lenses initially had some problems, but they have since been addressed and fixed. Sony is starting to compete with big names in camera business like Canon and Sigma. Before buying the lens, you need to check the mount for compatibility as well. Sony makes dedicated mounts for their cameras, but third-party manufacturers like Sigma also make lenses for A and E type mounts.

People Also Ask

If you have any more questions regarding Sony lenses, you can refer to the following frequently asked questions. These will help you find the clarity you’re looking for. 

What is OSS in Sony Lens?

OSS stands for Optical SteadyShot. It is Sony’s image stabilization technology. This feature is found only in Sony’s E-mount lenses. It uses sensors to detect any movement and fixes it by moving the optics.

Where are Sony Lenses Made?

Sony is a Japanese corporation and has its factories all across Asia. Its main factories are in China, Thailand, and Japan.

What is a Sony G Lens?

Sony’s G-lenses are gold standard lenses and refer to the highest quality and professional lenses of the Sony lineup. Sony refers to them as the original Sony lenses with all of their unique Optical features.