Here’s my Ultimate Guide to the Best Sony FE Fullframe E-mount Prime and Zoom Lenses for Sony a7, a7R, a7S, a7II, a7RII, a7SII & a9 Mirrorless Cameras
As the Sony FE lens line-up continues to grow, some of you have been asking for a cheat sheet to the BEST Fullframe E-mount lenses. These are my favorites:
Best Super-Wide Zoom: 12-24mm
Sony FE 12-24mm F4 G Lens | Price: $1698
Ultra-wide zoom lens for full-frame Sony E-mount mirrorless cameras features constant f/4 maximum aperture. Sophisticated optical design incorporates aspherical and low dispersion glass elements to control both spherical and chromatic aberrations for improved sharpness and clarity. Nano AR Coating has also been applied to individual elements to reduce surface reflections, flare, and ghosting for greater contrast and color fidelity when working in bright, backlit situations.
Best Wide Angle Zoom: 16-35mm
Sony FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM Lens | Price: $2198
The sharpest wide angle zoom ever tested by DxO Mark, this G Master wide-angle constant f/2.8 maximum aperture zoom designed for full-frame E-mount mirrorless cameras offers consistent performance throughout the zoom range and benefits working in low-light conditions. The optical design incorporates two extra-low dispersion elements to reduce chromatic aberrations along with two XA elements and three aspherical elements, which significantly controls spherical aberrations for a high degree of image sharpness and clarity. Nano AR coating has been applied to limit ghosting and lens flare for increased contrast and color fidelity when working in strong lighting conditions.
BEST BARGAIN: Sony FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens | Price: $1348
Constant f/4 maximum aperture wide-angle zoom lens designed for full-frame E-mount cameras, can also be used with Sony APS mirrorless cameras. Features a circular aperture that, through the use of curved blades, keeps the aperture almost perfectly circular from its wide-open setting to when it is closed for smoother, more natural defocusing highlights.
Best Standard Zoom: 24-70mm
Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8 G Master Lens | Price: $2198
If you can only afford one lens – this would be my choice. 24-70mm is a great range for portrait photography because it allows you to shoot everything from wide environmental portraits to a tight intimate portrait and this flagship Sony lens is by far the best 24-70 on the market.
BEST BARGAIN: Sony FE 24-105mm F4 G OSS Lens | Price: $1298
Finally the most-requested lens by our readers is here. Designed for corner-to-corner sharpness at all focal lengths, this wide-angle to short-telephoto zoom with a constant f/4 maximum aperture, maintains consistent performance throughout the zoom range. Its advanced optical design, which employs aspherical and extra-low dispersion glass elements to control color fringing, distortion, and a variety of aberrations for greater sharpness and clarity. A Nano AR Coating has also been applied to suppress lens flare and ghosting for high contrast and color accuracy when working in harsh light.
Best Telephoto Zoom: 70-200mm
BEST IN CLASS: Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 G Master Lens | Price $2598
Photojournalists, sports and wedding photographers rejoice! If you’ve been patiently waiting for a 70-200 F2.8 for E-mount, this lens is worth the wait. Like the other lenses in this series it’s incredibly sharp with nice balance for E-mount cameras.
BEST BARGAIN: Sony FE 70-200mm f/4 G OSS Lens | Price: $1498
Versatile telephoto zoom lens that takes over right where the FE 24-70mm leaves off. Nicely balanced in size and weight for Sony a7 Series cameras to give you telephoto reach without weighing you down. The OSS settings on this lens are designed to work with Sony a7 Mark II IBIS.
Best All-in-One Zoom: 24-200mm+
BEST IN CLASS: Sony FE 24-240 F3.5-6.3 OSS Lens | Price: $998
Full-frame E-Mount telephoto zoom lens with the versatility to stretch from true wide-angle to super telephoto perspectives. Its advanced optical design includes 5 aspherical elements and 1 ED glass element for reduced chromatic and spherical aberrations in a compact design. Optical SteadyShot image stabilization facilitates sharper imaging in low light situations and when shooting at long telephoto lengths.
Best Super Telephoto Zoom: 100mm-400mm
BEST IN CLASS: Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS Lens | Price: $2498
The newest and longest FE lens is also the fifth lens in the G Master line. Designed for outstanding resolution and sharpness with minimal aberrations using one Super ED and two ED elements and Nano AR coating. Weighing in at a best-in-class 49.2 oz this compact 100-400mm lens features dual floating elements for fast AF and a 3.2′ minimum focusing distance for 0.35x magnification. It’s equipped with both a Direct Drive SSM autofocus system as Optical SteadyShot image stabilization for outstanding performance at all focal lengths.
Best Ultra-Wide Prime: 15mm and Wider
Voigtlander’s new E-Mount Lens line-up includes the Hyper-Wide 10mm f/5.6 – the widest production full frame lens ever made, plus updated version of their 12mm f/5.6 and their popular 15mm f/4.5 III to the Sony E-mount line.
BEST IN CLASS (TIE) Voigtlander 10mm F5.6 Heliar E-Mount Lens | $1099
The world’s widest production rectilinear full frame lens ever made has a whopping 130 degree angle of view. It features electronic contacts for EXIF info, Lens Menu Correction, Manual Focus Assist, Manual Focus Distance indication, Electronic Front Curtain Shutter capability, 5-Axis Image stabilization and optimized for the thickness of the Sony a7-Series cover glass.
BEST IN CLASS (TIE) Voigtlander 12mm f/5.6 Aspherical III E-Mount Lens $999
This E-mount lens is an updated version of Voigtlander’s 12mm f/5.6 with a 121 degree angle of view. It features electronic contacts for EXIF info, Lens Menu Correction, Manual Focus Assist, Manual Focus Distance indication, Electronic Front Curtain Shutter capability, 5-Axis Image stabilization and they are optimized for the thickness of the Sony a7-Series cover glass.
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BEST IN CLASS (TIE) Voightlander 15mm F4.5 Heliar E-Mount Lens | $799
This E-mount lens is an updated version of Voigtlander’s 15mm f/4.5 III with a 110 degree angle of view. It features electronic contacts for EXIF info, Lens Menu Correction, Manual Focus Assist, Manual Focus Distance indication, Electronic Front Curtain Shutter capability, 5-Axis Image stabilization and they are optimized for the thickness of the Sony a7-Series cover glass.
Best FAST Ultra-Wide Prime for Astrophotography
Venus Optics Laowa 12mm f/2.8 Zero-D Lens | Price: $949
This F2.8 Super wide-angle prime is the perfect fast wide angle lens for astrophotography shots of the Milky Way. Featuring a rectilinear optical design, specifically meant to limit distortion, optical construction also incorporates a pair of aspherical elements and three extra-low dispersion elements to control both spherical and chromatic aberrations for improved sharpness and reduced color fringing. Frog Eye Coating has been applied to repel dust and moisture from the front element of the lens when working in trying environmental conditions. This lens features a precise manual focus design along with a floating optical system to maintain accurate rendering throughout the focus range from 7.09″ to infinity.
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Best Super-Wide Prime: 16mm-25mm
BEST IN CLASS: Zeiss Batis 18mm F2.8 E-mount Lens | Price: $1499
Featuring a Distagon concept with a floating elements design that maintains consistent sharpness and illumination throughout the focusing range, and a series of aspherical and special glass elements help to control both chromatic and spherical aberrations. Well-suited to interior, architectural and astrophotography, the Batis 18mm f/2.8 blends its extremely wide 99° angle of view with a high degree of functionality.
BEST MANUAL FOCUS: Zeiss Loxia 21mm F2.8 T* Lens | Price: $1499
Featuring a compact form factor well-suited for full-frame Sony E mount mirrorless cameras, the latest lens in the Loxia line-up is based on the Distagon optical concept for reduced distortion as well as consistent, even illumination and sharpness from edge to edge. The optical design also incorporates four anomalous partial dispersion elements and one aspherical element to control chromatic aberrations and increase overall clarity and color accuracy. Zeiss T* anti-reflective coating minimizes lens flare and ghosting for greater contrast.
Best Wide Prime: 28mm-40mm
BEST IN CLASS: Sony FE 35 F1.4 ZA Lens | Price: $1598
Classic wide-angle focal length, this fast f/1.4 lens provides low light capability and shallow depth of field control. Its advanced optical design includes aspherical and advanced aspherical (AA) lens elements combined with Zeiss T* coating to deliver outstanding image resolution and suppresses reflections for excellent contrast and clarity. Responsive aperture ring can be clicked or de-clicked with the flip of a switch on the lens barrel.
BEST MANUAL FOCUS: Zeiss Loxia 35mm f/2 Biogon T* Lens | Price: $1299
Marrying traditional handling with a digitally-optimized design, the Zeiss Loxia 35mm f/2 Biogon T* Lens is a prime wide-angle lens for full-frame Sony E-mount mirrorless digital cameras. Utilizing a nearly symmetrical optical layout based on the Biogon concept, this lens incorporates one element made from anomalous partial dispersion glass in order to suppress chromatic aberrations and distortion.
BEST BARGAIN: Sony FE 28 F2.0 Lens | Price: $448
Full-frame compatible wide-angle prime lens for E-Mount mirrorless cameras. Its wide focal length and fast aperture make it a practical and versatile lens. Its optical design features Extra-low Dispersion glass elements which reduce chromatic aberrations and provide improved contrast. Also, aspherical and advanced aspherical elements minimize spherical aberrations and help to maintain the lens’ compact, lightweight form.
Best Normal Prime: 50mm-60mm
BEST IN CLASS (TIE) Sony FE 55mm/1.8 ZA Lens | $998
This is one of the sharpest lenses I’ve ever owned – virtually on par with the performance of the legendary $4,000 Zeiss 55mm/1.4 Otus lens yet at a perfect size for Sony E-mount cameras. Great look when used wide open for shallow depth-of-field portraits.
BEST IN CLASS (TIE) Sony FE 50mm f/1.4 ZA Lens | Price: $1498
This Zeiss Planar-design normal lens features one Advanced Aspherical, one aspherical, and one extra-low dispersion element for ultimate corner-to-corner sharpness along with pleasing bokeh. It joins the FE 35mm 1.4 ZA and 85mm 1.4 GM in a trio of lenses offering a manual de-clickable aperture ring ideal for video.
BEST MANUAL FOCUS: Zeiss Loxia 50mm f/2 Planar T* Lens | Price: $949
Pairing an all-manual control-set with a digitally-optimized design, the Zeiss Loxia 50mm f/2 Planar T* Lens is a normal prime lens for full-frame Sony E-mount mirrorless digital cameras. Based on the symmetrical Planar optical concept, this lens is adept at correcting for chromatic aberrations and distortion throughout the aperture range for maintained image consistency and clarity.
Best Macro: 50mm-100mm
BEST IN CLASS: Sony FE 90 F2.8 Macro G OSS Lens | Price: $1098
Optimized for macro and close-up portrait photography, this medium telephoto lens utilizes an aspherical element along with extra-low dispersion and super extra-low dispersion glass and Nano AR Coating that suppresses reflections for exceptional image quality. Internal focus system in which only the middle optical groups move when focusing provides fast autofocus action and a short minimum focus distance of 11″.
BEST BARGAIN: Sony FE 50mm f/2.8 Macro Lens | Price: $498
Sony’s latest FE lens is a compact, sub-$500 macro that many Sony user have asked for. The optical design also incorporates both an aspherical and an extra-low dispersion element, which work to suppress chromatic and spherical aberrations for increased clarity throughout the focus range.
Best Short Tele Prime: 85mm-100mm
BEST IN CLASS: Sony FE 85mm F1.4 G Master Lens | Price: $1798
This is an absolutely great lens for tight portraits. It’s extremely sharp wide open at F1.4 with shallow depth of field and beautiful bokeh. If you’re a portrait photographer, the FE 85mm F1.4 G Master plus the FE 24-70 F2.8 G Master could easily cover 99% of you your needs.
BEST BARGAIN: Sony’s FE 85mm F1.8 Lens | Price: $598
Joining the FE 28mm f/2 and FE 50mm f/1.8 in creating a more affordable and accessible system while still providing excellent optical performance. It uses an ED element to reduce aberrations, as well as a nine-blade circular aperture for smooth bokeh. It features a double linear motor system for fast, quiet autofocus. The lens is designed for manual focus, as well, and it has a programmable focus hold button.
Best Medium Telephoto Prime: 135mm-200mm
BEST IN CLASS: Zeiss Batis 135mm F2.8 OSS lens | Price: $1999
Mid-length telephoto prime designed for full-frame E-mount mirrorless cameras is perfect for portraiture, weddings and travel photography. Characterized as an apochromat, the Sonnar optical design helps to virtually eliminate chromatic aberrations and color fringing, and also benefits overall sharpness and clarity.
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BEST MANUAL FOCUS: Rokinon 135mm f/2.0 ED UMC Lens | Price: $549
Manual focus telephoto prime lens with fast f/2.0 maximum aperture for low light and shallow depth of field control. With a rounded 9-blade diaphragm, shallow depth of field imaging will be rendered with pleasing out-of-focus highlights. Compatible with both full frame and APS-C format mirrorless E mount cameras.
Best Super Telephoto Prime: 300mm-600mm
No Contenders Yet but look what’s coming…
Sony FE 400mm F2.8 GM OSS Lens Coming Summer 2018! Specs and pricing to be announced…
• Compatible with Sony FE 1.4X & 2X Teleconverters
Best Natural Bokeh
BEST IN CLASS: Sony FE 100mm F2.8 STF GM OSS lens | Price: $1498
Incorporating an apodization lens element to create exceptionally smooth, rounded bokeh while maintaining tack-sharp focus on the subject. This newly designed element nearly eliminates peripheral highlight distortion from vignetting and works with the 11-blade circular aperture to produce pleasing out-of-focus areas. The apodization lens element reduces light transmission to T5.6 when set to the lens’s maximum f/2.8 aperture.
Best Funky Bokeh
BEST IN CLASS: Meyer-Optik Görlitz Trioplan 100mm f2.8 Lens | Price: $1,599
Meyer-Optik Görlitz has announced a modern remake of their cult classic Trioplan 100mm f2.8 known for its dream-like soap bubble ‘bokeh’ effect. The modern remake of the famous lens uses experience and modern technology to emulate this stunning effect more authentically than ever before.
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