Guide to the best Sony FE lenses

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Guide to the best Sony FE lenses

Looking for the best Sony FE lenses? Sony’s full-frame E-mount mirrorless cameras enjoy one of the best selections of lenses in the business, so you’ve certainly got no shortage of choice. Partly this is because Sony got a significant jump on the competition – its first E-mount full-frame cameras made their debut in 2013. Canon and Nikon didn’t take the wraps off their respective EOS R and Z full-frame mirrorless systems until 2018, while Panasonic’s Lumix S series arrived in 2019.

Another factor is Sony’s openness to working with third-party lens makers. Some manufacturers (*cough*, Canon) have been rather tight-fisted about allowing anyone but themselves to produce lenses for their system. Sony has no such qualms, and as a result there are tons of fantastic FE-mount lenses from the likes of Sigma, Tamron and Samyang.

Our guide to Sony FE Lenses

Unlike our guides to the best Canon RF lenses and Nikon Z lenses, this list is not an attempt to be comprehensive. There are simply too many lenses available for Sony FE-mount for us to list them all in a readable, navigable article! Instead, we’ve aimed to provide a broad selection of the best lenses for Sony FE-mount cameras, with options of all different types and covering a range of price points. .

Here are the key categories we’ve used to divide up this guide:

Prime lenses: Sony FE lenses with a fixed focal length. Offering superior image quality and typically larger maximum apertures, at the cost of reduced shooting flexibility.

Zoom lenses: Here we’ve picked some of our favourites Sony FE zooms, including professional f/2.8 workhorse lenses as well as more affordable options.

Telephoto lenses: For sports and wildlife pros who need as much reach as they can get, here are our picks of Sony telephoto lenses.

Specialist lenses: Here we’ve picked the Sony FE lenses with more specialist applications than general-purpose photography or video.

Teleconverters: Give your Sony FE lenses greater range with Sony’s dedicated teleconverters.

The best Sony prime lenses

Sony FE 14mm f1.8 G Master

Sony FE 14mm f1.8 G Master

This lens represents a high-water-mark achievement in threading the needle. Somehow, Sony managed to come out with an ultra-wide, ultra-sharp, fast-aperture lens that weighs less than 500g. Whoever said compromises were necessary?

With its generous f/1.8 aperture and edge-to-edge sharpness, the Sony FE 14mm f1.8 G Master is an excellent choice for astrophotography. Sony has leant into this, equipping the lens with optical elements specifically designed to reduce the kind of sagittal flare that is known to distort stars. Elsewhere, you’ve also got two XD (Extreme Dynamic) linear motors for fast focusing.

Best for: astrophotography, architecture

Sony FE 20mm f1.8 G

Sony FE 20mm f1.8 G

While it’s not designated a G Master lens, the lovely Sony FE 20mm f1.8 G borrows a fair few features from Sony’s top-end line. These include two XD linear motors for speedy, quiet and reliable autofocus, with the kind of superior tracking that’s useful in videography. The aperture ring has a clickless mode – another useful video feature – and the internal optical design is optimised to suppress sagittal coma flare. Again, good for astro.

While the lens weighs just 373g, it is nevertheless dust- and moisture-resistant for use in outdoor environments. For a long night spent shooting the stars, this lens will deliver the goods. 

Best for: video, astrophotography, landscape, architecture

Sony FE 24mm f1.4 G Master Lens

Sony FE 24mm f1.4 G Master Lens

One of the most impressive aspects of this G Master lens is that it not only delivers the kind of professional-grade quality we’ve come to expect from these lenses, but it’s also amazingly portable. Weighing just 445g and measuring 75.4mm by 92.4mm, the FE 24mm f1.4 G Master also has a filter thread of 67mm. Somehow Sony has managed to include the Direct Drive SuperSonic Motor (DDSSM) focusing system, so the lens performs brilliantly in pretty much all categories. This lens is a truly impressive technical achievement!

Best for: Documentary, reportage, street photography.

Sony FE 28mm f2 Lens

Sony FE 28mm f2 lens

A fantastic budget lens for anyone looking for an affordable, dependable wide-angle prime. The Sony FE 28mm f2 delivers impressive sharpness, and the f/2 aperture puts shallow depth of field in play. This is further helped by the nine-bladed aperture, which enables the creation of beautiful bokeh.

The fixed focal length of the FE 28mm f2 is what has enabled Sony to include such sophisticated optics in a lens of its class; the design includes three aspherical elements and two ED elements. Also, if you want to increase its versatility, you can use the optional converters to change it to a 21mm ultra-wide lens or even a 16mm fisheye, without any impact on optical quality. This cements the lens as a fantastic options for shooters working with a limited budget.

Best for: Landscapes, outdoor photography, shooting on a budget

Sony FE 35mm f1.8 Lens

Sony FE 35mm f1.8 Lens

The humble 35mm is one of the most versatile focal lengths around, and we really rate Sony’s homebrew version of this optic with an f/1.8 maximum aperture. The accurate tracking AF of this capable prime means it’s a great choice for movies as well as stills, while its moisture-resistant design ensures it’s hardy enough for outdoor shooting.

There’s a pleasing amount of customisability to this lens – its Focus Hold button can be reassigned to other functions if that’s not what you want for it. The lens weighs a slender 280g, meaning it won’t weigh you down too much on an extended shoot. Whether you’re roaming the streets or producing landscapes, this dependable lens will make for a great choice of companion.

Best for: Travel, street photography, everyday shooting.

Sony FE 35mm f1.4 G Master Lens

Sony FE 35mm f1.4 DG Master Lens

If you like the sound of a 35mm lens but need something that delivers higher sharpness and brightness in low light, then this is your port of call. The Sony FE 35mm f1.4 G Master Lens is an outstanding optic, made with the latest Sony lens making technology for superior sharpness. Fantastic for low light thanks to the f/1.4 maximum aperture, the lens also sports an eleven-bladed aperture for the creation of vivid bokeh.

The minimum focusing distance of the lens is 27cm, so it’s great for close-up work as well as wider, more expansive scenes. The optical performance is topped off with Sony’s Nano AR Coating II which wards off reflections and ghosting for superior light transmission. ED glass elements reduce chromatic aberrations and XA (Extreme Aspherical) elements deliver excellent image quality in a compact form. An outstanding prime optic.

Best for: Low light, documentary, reportage, weddings.

Sony FE 40mm f2.5 G

Sony FE 40mm f2.5 G

An interesting little prime, the Sony FE 40mm f2.5 G is affordably priced and has a lot to recommend it. For a start, its unusual 40mm focal length, sitting between the standards of 35mm and 50mm, gives it a unique perspective that you may well find feels quite natural for street or documentary photography. 

It’s weatherproof too, and even though it features a premium metal body, it weighs a slender 173g. You’ll find it balances nicely on A7-series cameras, its discreet build making it a great choice for those who prefer not to draw too much attention to themselves when shooting.

Best for: street photography, documentary

Sony FE 50mm f1.4 ZA Planar T* Lens

Sony FE 50mm f1.4 ZA Planar T Lens

Sony’s fruitful partnership with Zeiss has produced many outstanding lenses, and one we particularly like is this nifty fifty. The FE 50mm f1.4 ZA Planar T* is a high performance lens that hugely impresses thanks to its Planar optical design, not to mention its f/1.4 maximum aperture. The T* coating from Zeiss minimises flare and ghosting, while the aperture ring provides hands-on tactile control. Images look absolutely superb from edge to edge and corner to corner, as you’d expect from a Zeiss lens, and this standard, natural-looking focal length means it’s also a good choice for video.

Best for: Street shooting, video, documentary.

Sony FE 50mm f1.2 G Master

Sony FE 50mm f1.2 G Master

The Sony FE 50mm f1.2 G Master is a premium 50mm for those who want it. Not only does it sport that nice big aperture for creating ultra-shallow depth of field; it has also been specifically engineered for dazzling sharpness across the entirety of the frame. The advanced internal construction of 14 elements in 10 groups includes three XA (extreme aspherical) elements for exceptional quality and distortion-free images.

The circular 11-blade aperture helps make the most of the razor-thin depth of field, as does the highly accurate autofocus system powered by four XD (Extreme Dynamic) linear motors. This outstanding lens is tremendous for portraits, for low light – really for just about anything you’d use a nifty fifty for.

Best for: portraiture, general-purpose photography

Zeiss 85mm f1.8 Batis Lens

Zeiss 85mm f1.8 Batis Lens

A fantastic optic in a useful portrait-friendly focal length, the Zeiss 85mm f1.8 Batis Lens is an outstanding choice for anyone who wants to photograph people. Be it studio portraiture or wedding photography, the 85mm f1.8 Batis is a fast, capable lens that will keep up and deliver images of superb quality.

A handy OLED display on the body of the lens helps the user keep track of focus distance and depth of field. The autofocus is fast and quiet, and the lens body is equipped with weather seals to make it suitable for outdoor shooting. Its minimum focusing distance of 0.8m makes it super-versatile, so you can get close to your subjects without fear.

Best for: Weddings, portraits, events.

Sigma 85mm f1.4 Art DG DN

Sigma 85mm f1.4 Art for Sony E mount

Sigma’s Art lenses are all about creativity and expression, and this 85mm f/1.4 is designed to bring that energy to portraits on Sony mirrorless cameras. It produces images with vivid, distinct colours, as well as excellent across-the-frame sharpness, and there’s a lovely quality to the bokeh in the defocused areas of images. The autofocus system is snappy and reliable – it has been revamped from the previous Sigma 85mm version and is much lighter, meaning the lens overall weighs just 630g.

Best for: portraits

Sony FE 100mm f2.8 STF G Master OSS

Sony FE 100mm f2.8 G Master

This telephoto prime is a professional-grade lens that’s useful for a number of different applications. Portraits are a natural choice, with the Sony FE 100mm f2.8 STF G Master OSS boasting an 11-blade aperture that provides beautiful bokeh quality. The unique optical apodization lens element also helps on this point.

However, it’s also a pretty solid close-up lens, featuring a built-in macro switching ring and 0,25x magnification capability. It’s honestly just a pleasure of a lens to use, with that apodization element providing something different and unique compared to similar primes.

Best for: portraiture, fashion, close-ups. 

Samyang AF 135mm f1.8 FE

Samyang AF 135mm f1.8 for Sony E Mount

Lightweight, compact and affordable – what’s not to love about that? Samyang’s AF 135mm f1.8 FE is an excellent tele prime with some real resolving power. While the focal length is arguably more restrictive than the likes of an 85mm or a good-old 50mm, those who don’t mind a tighter field of view will likely find themselves digging this lens. Having an f/1.8 aperture expands your options in low light, and the lens has been extensively weather-sealed, with a micropatterned rubber focus ring that’s easy to grip even when conditions are unpleasant. The lens weighs in at 770g, and balances nicely on Sony full-frame cameras.

Best for: portraiture, action, wildlife

The best Sony zoom lenses

Sony FE 12-24mm f2.8 G Master Lens

Sony FE 12-24mm f2.8 G Master Lens

The FE 12-24mm f2.8 G Master is a wide-angle zoom with professional-grade optics, designed to capture stunning details with minimal distortion. The optical design includes three XA elements, an aspherical element, two super ED (extra-low dispersion) elements and three ED glass elements, all of which adds up to an incredibly sharp image. The inclusion of advanced nanocoatings also helps ensure superior light transmission. Plus, an advanced autofocus system uses XD linear motors to make the focusing action fast, silent and accurate.

Best for: Landscapes, astrophotography.

Sony FE 16-35mm f2.8 G Master Lens

Sony FE 16-35mm f2.8 G Master

For a wide-angle that’s a little less extreme, try the FE 16-35mm f2.8. A high-quality lens for a huge range of shooting situations, the Sony FE 16-35mm f2.8 G Master boasts exceptional corner-to-corner sharpness thanks to its sophisticated optical construction. It consists of two glass XA elements (extreme aspherical), three aspherical and 2 ED glass (extra low dispersion) elements, all of which combine to effectively minimise chromatic aberration.

This combines with a dust- and moisture-resistant construction and a Direct Drive SSM autofocus unit to make for a lens that’ll perform in any situation you care to throw at it. A great, trusty optic for a working photographer to have by their side.

Best for: Landscapes, documentary, everyday shooting

Sony FE 24-70mm f2.8 G Master II

Sony FE 24-70mm f2.8 II G Master

This updated lens builds on everything that worked so well about the first G Master 24-70mm lens, making for a top-tier professional workhorse lens. The optical construction is even more sophisticated than it was before, consisting of 20 elements in 15 distinct groups including two ED (Extra-Low Dispersion), two Super ED, two XA (Extreme Aspherical) and three aspherical elements. All this results in pin-sharp, distortion-free images throughout the zoom range. The diaphragm has also been upgraded from nine-bladed to eleven-bladed. 

Best for: working professionals, photojournalists

Sony FE 24-105mm f4 G OSS

Sony FE 24-105mm f4 G OSS

This is an absolute diamond of a mid-range zoom. Anyone who’s had a few conversations about Sony FE lenses will almost certainly have heard this lens come up, and with good reason. It’s relatively compact and lightweight, weighing in at 663g, but it also delivers absolutely fantastic sharpness right the way through its zoom range. Control of distortion is absolutely superb, as is flare resistance, and the lens has been constructed to professional standards of quality with moisture and dust resistance.

Weighing less than a pro 24-70mm and covering a broader zoom range, the Sony FE 24-105mm f4 G OSS is a terrific do-everything lens for those who can live without f/2.8.

Best for: general-purpose and documentary photography

The best Sony telephoto lenses

Tamron 70-180 f2.8 Di III VXD

Tamron 70-180mm f2.8 Di III for Sony FE

This lightweight Tamron telephoto is a compellingly affordable alternative to Sony’s own FE 70-200mm f2.8 G Master lens (more on which shortly). Sacrificing a little reach at the tele end, the Tamron 70-180 f2.8 Di III VXD delivers extra-fast autofocus via two newly developed VXD (Voice-coil eXtreme-torqueDrive) linear motors. It’s fully compatible with Sony’s focusing modes like Eye AF. The minimum focus distance is also good for a lens of this type; at just 0.85m, it lets you get nice and close.

Best for: portraiture, documentary, travel on a budget

Sony FE 70-200mm f2.8 G Master OSS II

Sony FE 70-200mm f2.8 GM II OSS

Another welcome upgrade to a successful professional lens, this Mark II version of the popular FE 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master boasts an upgraded optical path, just like the Mark II version of the 24-70mm. It adds in specialised lens elements to control for distortion and optimise overall image quality – these include one XA (extreme aspherical), two ED (Extra-Low dispersion), two Super ED elements, and an ED aspherical element that was newly developed for this lens. It also saw the introduction of Sony’s Nano AR Coating II across every element surface, reducing internal reflections to suppress flare and ghosting

Best for: professionals, photojournalists

Sony FE 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens

Sony FE 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens

If you’re not fussed about an f/2.8 aperture but could do with a bit more reach, try the Sony FE 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens as a credible alternative to the 70-200mm f/2.8. It delivers solid optical performance throughout its focal range, with a Nano AR coating to reduce ghosting and flare.

It’s an excellent lens for tele-macro photography, with a close focusing distance of 0.9m and a magnification factor of 0.31x. Autofocus is also fast and quiet, thanks to the linear actuator, and Optical SteadyShot is on board for shake-free images.

Best for: Macro, portraits, events.

Sony FE 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 OSS G Master Lens

Sony FE 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 OSS G Master Lens

We’d recommend 100-400mm lenses to pretty much any working professional – you can read some of our guides to lenses [] and interviews with photographers [] to find out why this is one of the most useful, versatile focal ranges going. Sony’s G Master 100-400mm is a spectacular example of this type of lens, delivering excellent clarity at every point of the zoom range. The linear motor and Direct Drive SSM (DDSSM) autofocusing system is fast and accurate even with fast-moving subjects, and the body of the lens itself is built to withstand the elements. Bring distant subjects into sharp focus – this lens gives you the reach you need.

Best for: Wildlife, events, sports.

Sony FE 200-600mm f5.6-6.3 G OSS Lens

Sony FE 200-600mm f5.6-6.3 G OSS Lens

If you like the versatility of a 100-400mm lens but feel you’re likely to need a little more reach, the 200-600mm FE lens is a great solution. You get that extra focal length but don’t lose sharpness and clarity, as the optical construction includes five ED elements and one aspherical element, suppressing chromatic aberrations and distortion. Distortion can often be a problem with super telephotos, but Sony has worked to minimise this and make the FE 200-600mm a fantastic professional lens.

Best for: Wildlife, sports.

Sony FE 400mm f2.8 OSS G Master Lens

Sony FE 400mm f2.8 OSS G Master Lens

This is Sony going all out. No holds barred, no expense spared – it’s optical perfection at 400mm. The Nano AR coating eliminates flare and ghosting, while the XD Linear Motor ensure autofocus is blisteringly fast and unerringly precise. Weighing just 2,895g, this is impressively light for a lens of its class, with a magnesium alloy construction that balances light weight with superior strength. The quality is exemplary inside and out. This isn’t just one of the best Sony lenses – it’s one of the best lenses, full stop.

Best for: Wildlife, sports, ultra-high resolution shooting.

Sony FE 600mm f4 GM OSS

Sony FE 600mm f4.0 GM OSS

Another stunner of a G Master lens, the Sony FE 600mm f4 GM OSS is the sharpest super-telephoto the firm has produced. You might expect it to consequently be an absolute beast to lug around, but Sony has somehow kept the weight to 3,040g, which is only 150g heavier than the 400mm. 

It’s still big and bulky, but this relatively light weight makes it possible to hand-hold the lens for extended periods – perfect for sports and wildlife photographers who don’t like to be tethered to a tripod at all times. Of course, this is a pro lens, and it’s priced to match.

Best for: professional sports and wildlife photographers

The best Sony specialist lenses

Sigma 70mm f2.8 DG Macro Art

Sigma 70mm f2.8 DG Macro Art for Sony E Mount

This was the first macro lens to grace Sigma’s ‘Art’ line of premium lenses designed to excel at creative expression. With a 1:1 reproduction ratio, it’s a “true” macro lens, with a motor-driven manual focusing action that feels tactile and intuitive. Handily, you can still apply manual focusing tweaks when the lens is in AF mode.

Available for less than £450, the Sigma 70mm f2.8 DG Macro Art represents exceptionally good value for money for close-up photographers. Construction internally consists of 13 elements in 10 groups, and the diaphragm is nine-bladed to aid with the creation of smooth bokeh.

Best for: macro on a budget

Sony FE 90mm f2.8 Macro G OSS

Sony 90mm f2.8 Macro G OSS

This telephoto macro commands a bit more of a cash outlay than the Sigma 70mm, but it packs in a few features to justify the expense. One of the most significant is built-in Optical Steadyshot stabilisation, making it possible to shoot sharp macro images without the use of a tripod. Autofocusing is quick and accurate thanks to the DDSSM (Direct Drive Super Sonic-wave Motor) system, and at the moment you need to override to manual for fine-tuning, this can be accomplished simply by sliding the focus ring.

The ‘G’ designation indicates that this lens produces excellent background bokeh, helping your macro subjects really pop out of the frame.

Best for: close-up, macro

Sony teleconverters

Sony 1.4x Teleconverter

Sony 1.4x Teleconverter

Designed to increase the focal length of select Sony lenses (see below) without compromising optical quality, the Sony 1.4x Teleconverter for E-mount does impressively well. While you do of course lose a stop of light, reducing the maximum aperture of your lens, optical compromises are very minor. Being able to turn the Sony FE 600mm F4 GM OSS into an 840mm f/5.6 lens with little loss in sharpness or resolution is nothing to be sniffed at. 

Sony 2x Teleconverter

Sony 2.0x Teleconverter

Just like the 1.4x, the Sony 2x Teleconverter delivers extra focal range without too much of an image quality sacrifice – though the degradation in sharpness is more noticeable than with the 1.4x converter. You also have to reckon with two stops of light reduction in order to double your lens’ focal length.

Sony teleconverter compaibility

Here are the Sony lenses that are compatible with Sony’s teleconverters:

  • Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS
  • Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II
  • Sony FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 GM
  • Sony FE 200-600 F5.6-6.3 G OSS
  • Sony FE 400mm F2.8 GM OSS
  • Sony FE 600mm F4 GM OSS


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