When it comes to finding the best Sony mirrorless lenses for your camera, there are a lot of things to consider. What type of photography do you plan on doing? What is your budget? Do you need a lens that is versatile enough to handle a variety of situations or one that is specialized for a particular type of shooting? In this blog post, we will outline the best Sony mirrorless lenses for 2022 and discuss some of the key features that you should look for when making your purchase.
Lens-related terms spoken by Sony
Sony has two lens systems, one for its E-mount mirrorless cameras and another for its older A-mount DSLR and SLT cameras. Older A-mount lenses can be used on E-mount mirrorless cameras with a Sony adaptor, but I’d recommend using native E-mount lenses when feasible.
Sony’s mirrorless lens mount is commonly known as the E-mount, although the single letter E on a model name refers exclusively to lenses corrected for cameras with cropped APSC sensors, such as the A6000 series or full-frame bodies running in cropped / Super-35 modes; regardless, the crop reduces the field of view by 1.5 times. Older NEX bodies also have cropped APSC sensors, but they may not have the firmware to repair distortion on some of the latest lenses; nevertheless, they will still function.
Sony’s mirrorless lenses support full-frame bodies like the A7 and A9 series but do not have a lower field of view when used on those cameras; these are labeled as “FE” and function with cropped bodies or crop modes, albeit with a 1.5x reduction in area. Sony’s A-mount lenses feature SAL in their product codes, while bodies equipped with cropped / APSC sensors are targeted by models labeled with DT.
If you have a Sony full-frame mirrorless camera, you should get FE lenses; if you have a Sony cropped-frame mirrorless camera, you can use either FE or E lenses; but if you upgrade in the future, choosing FF will allow you to utilize them on full-frame cameras.
Sony designates its superior models within each series by the letter G and refers to its flagship mirrorless lenses as G Master or GM for short. The ZA models, which are generally positioned between Sony’s own G and GM lenses in terms of quality, are labeled ZEISs. Meanwhile, PZ lenses feature a Power Zoom for smooth motorized zooming when filming, whereas OSS lenses have Optical SteadyShot stabilization.
The best Zoom or Telephoto Sony Mirrorless Lenses
Sony FE 70-200 mm F2.8 GM OSS II Lens
The 70-200 mm f/2.8 image stabilizer lens is one of the most important pieces in almost every photographer’s arsenal. With high frequency, professionals and amateurs alike employ this lens. Professionals utilize it since there is no better option for many tasks, while amateurs use it as well because this is the longest focal length available in a lightweight, readily available f/2.8 lens.
In a robust, weather-sealed, fixed-size body, this completely professional-grade lens has excellent picture quality, fast and accurate focusing, and Optical SteadyShot. The wide f/2.8 maximum aperture allows for action to be captured in low light while the telephoto focal lengths enable the background to be blurred away. This lens is also compatible with teleconverters, which is a fantastic option when you need more focal length. This lens isn’t cheap, but the version II lens is incredibly light. A benefit of this lens is that it works well with teleconverters, which is a wonderful thing to have when your photography requires a lot of depth.
The best Macro Sony Mirrorless Lenses
Sony FE 90 mm f/2.8 Macro G OSS Lens
Sony offers only one FE macro lens as of this writing, making the evaluation simple. Fortunately, it’s a decent lens, and the price is reasonable when compared to the rest of Sony’s FE lens lineup.
If your current lens can’t make a subject bigger in the frame enough to make it visible, a macro lens is required. Macro lenses are entertaining to use, there are plenty of interesting macro subjects, and the really close look at these little things can be lovely and intriguing. Macrophotography’s outcomes are highly entertaining to share.
Although some lenses have the term “macro” in their names, I pay attention to it only when the specifications say that they have a 1:1 or 1x maximum magnification ratio. This means that on the camera’s sensor, the subject will be depicted at actual size. You may take a photo of something as tiny as a 20 mm-wide subject, which will be shown on the sensor with a width of just 20 mm. The subject will be stretched to enormous proportions on your big display.
As with any macro lens, deciding which focal length is ideal for your macro shooting requirements is, as usual, a part of the lens selection process. Longer focal length macro lenses allow you to work further away from the subject at 1:1, lowering the chance of live objects flying or crawling away. Lenses with a longer focal length have smaller angles of view, which implies that less background must be included in order for an attractive-looking photograph to emerge.
The best Portrait Sony Mirrorless Lenses
Sony FE 35 mm f/1.4 GM
When taking pictures of individuals, it’s usually better to keep the frame smaller. Aside from the risk of distortion, the broad perspective can make your subject appear…well, larger. The 35 mm is a good cut-off for portraits because it offers a natural, distortion-free field of vision similar to that of the human eye.
The 35 mm F1.4 is ideal for street portraiture owing to its wide field of view and deep depth of field. The wider width provides plenty of room to capture your subject as well as their colorful, urban environment. Furthermore, the 11-blade circular aperture reaching F1.4 ensures that the lens performs effectively in low light, as well as creating nice bokeh. The lens also has an Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass element and Nano AR Coating II for reduced distortion, flare, and ghosting.
For photographers with cropped sensor cameras, the 35 mm F1.4 is an excellent choice. The lens on AAPS-C cameras like the Sony a6600 or 6400 has a perspective equivalent to that of a 52.2 mm lens, which is still suitable for street portraiture.
The lens features a lightweight and sophisticated design, in addition to outstanding performance capabilities. The lens weighs 1.16 pounds (524 grams), which is lighter than both the Sigma 35 mm F1.2 and the Sony Distagon T* FE 35 mm F1.4 ZA lenses. The lens also has premium features such as aperture and focus hold buttons that may be customized, as well as dust and moisture resistance.
The Sony 35 mm F1.4 is the most affordable of all options, costing $1,398. It’s less expensive than the Sigma 35 mm F1.2 and Sony Distagon T* FE 35 mm F1.4 ZA overall, making it a fantastic value lens for street portraiture.
The best wide-angle Sony Mirrorless Lenses
Sony FE 16-35 mm f/2.8 GM Lens
The Sony FE 16-35 mm f/2.8 GM Lens is the best ultra-wide-angle zoom lens available. It’s ideal for a wide range of applications. The picture quality it creates is remarkable. The lens is well-made and weatherproofed. If you’re planning an event indoors, such as a wedding or other gathering, this lens should be in your bag. The f/2.8 aperture will come in handy for those shooting the night sky as well. This lens’s largest drawback is its high price.
To photograph the vast environment, you’ll want a wide-angle (35 mm focal length or wider) or an ultra-wide-angle (24 mm or wider) lens. To include a smaller scene in a restricted area, or my favorite usage, to create an image with a close-to-subject perspective that gives the viewer a feeling of presence.
The vast majority of us have at least one general-purpose/standard zoom lens with wide-angle focal lengths built-in, so an extra wide-angle lens is required to obtain even wider angles of view. If your traditional zoom has a max aperture of f/2.8, you may want to consider obtaining a fixed focal length/prime wide-angle lens for better depth of field control.
Budget based Sony Mirrorless Lenses
Sony FE 50 mm f/1.8
A 50 mm lens is the most popular. It’s a lens that you can shoot all day without tiring off. The fast wide aperture of f/1.8 is also quite handy. It can capture a lot of light even in the toughest of situations while still having no problems at all. The angle of view is 47 degrees.
The Sony FE 50 mm f/1.8 is meant for full-frame Sony mirrorless cameras. It also works with APS-C system cameras. The lens has an effective focal length of 1.5x on these systems, which is akin to having a 75 mm lens mounted on a 35 mm camera. This autofocusing lens incorporates six elements in five groups.
This design is rather basic. It includes 1 aspherical element, which ensures that the lens can combat aberrations and distortions. A 7-blade aperture diaphragm operates the lens aperture. In addition, the lens has what’s known as a Double – Gauss Optical Design. This design, which has a focus ring on the front, helps to produce a sharp image quality and minimize the curvature effect that some wide-angle lenses exhibit.
The DC actuator motor that drives autofocusing on the lens is built-in. You get a reasonable degree of speed and accuracy when it comes to automatically focus. The lens’s external construction appears to be of good quality. A metal-made bayonet mount adds some security.