Photo by GMax Studios on Unsplash
Whether you shoot with a Sony full frame or APS-C camera, the company has created an enviable lineup of excellent lenses.
From primes to zooms to macro glass, the following lenses should be at the top of your list if you’re in the market to get a new Sony lens this year.
The three lenses listed below were designed for use with Sony’s full frame Alpha cameras. However, these E-mount lenses can be used on Sony’s APS-C format cameras as well.
Best Sony Zoom Lens: Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM
Perhaps the best feature of this lens is its build quality. It’s fully weather-sealed for all you landscape photographers out there, and with 11 rounded aperture blades, it produces bokeh that is deliciously smooth for portraits.
With a big f/2.8 aperture, it’s an excellent performer in low-light situations, and its fast (and silent) focusing system is something that you’ll appreciate whether shooting stills or video.
Above all, the image quality with this lens is next level. The sharpness is superb, colors and contrast are spot-on, and aberrations are at a minimum. The variable focal length from ultra-wide-angle to standard is nice too.
The only issues with this lens are that it’s heavy (1.8 pounds) and very expensive ($2,200 brand-new).
However, if you want to invest in a top-quality lens that is a durable workhorse, this is it. Besides, you might be able to find a good pre-owned version and save some cash.
Best Sony Prime Lens: Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 GM
The Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM was a strong candidate for the best Sony prime lens of 2019. However, the 85mm wins out on this list simply because it is one of the best portrait lenses on the market - Sony or otherwise. It’s also one of the four prime lenses you definitely should own.
Like the 16-35mm lens discussed above, the 85mm f/1.4 GM features 11 rounded aperture blades that produce stunning bokeh - just what you want for portraits.
But more impressive is how sharp this lens is. Even wide open at f/1.4, sharpness is good from corner to corner. Open it up to f/2.8 and the sharpness becomes unbelievably good.
The lens has minuscule fringing, and Sony’s NANO AR coating keeps flare and ghosting at bay as well.
Video enthusiasts will also appreciate the de-click aperture ring option.
Again, this is an expensive lens ($1,800.00), but it’s well worth the price of admission given its absolutely superb performance.
If you covet this lens but don’t have the cash, you can always sell your old, unused lenses and use the proceeds to upgrade your kit with this bad boy!
Best Cheap Sony Lens: Sony FE 50mm f/1.8
As if there were any doubt a cheap nifty fifty would be on this list…
Far and away, the best feature of this lens is its price - a paltry $250.00 brand-new.
But don’t think that because this is a cheap lens that it isn’t a great lens at the same time.
Sure, it doesn’t match the sharpness of the 85mm above, nor is its autofocus system whisper quiet like the one found on the 16-35mm.
However, this lens is small and lightweight, which makes it an ideal everyday or walk around lens. It has good sharpness from edge to edge and excellent contrast, even when shooting wide open.
The only issue is that vignetting is a problem at f/1.8. But if you close it down a stop or two, that problem can be avoided.
The versatility and affordability of this lens cannot be denied. In fact, it’s one of the three lenses every photographer should have in their bag. If you don’t have one, now’s the time to get one!
Wrapping It Up: Top Sony Lenses 2019
Photo by William Krause on Unsplash
As I noted in the introduction, Sony has an excellent lens lineup, so this is by no means an exhaustive list of their best lenses.
However, given the performance, build quality, and versatility of these lenses, I think it would be hard to argue against these three as occupying the top spots for Sony glass.
Don’t let the huge price tag of the first two lenses on this list scare you off, either. Look for sales and specials to get discounts on new lenses or shop around for good used glass to save even more money. Either way, you can add these lenses to your kit and save money at the same time.