The Sony A7R V’s 61-megapixel sensor and 8K video capabilities, or the Sony A9 Mark II’s blisteringly fast 20fps, may have persuaded you to switch to the system if you’re an avid photographer or content producer who enjoys taking both still images and video in resolutions ranging from 4K to 8K.
Although cameras undoubtedly do the majority of the “work” on your creative endeavors, we all know that lenses may significantly improve the appearance of your photos or videos while also assisting you by providing you with more reach.
What do Sony photographers truly purchase, then? These are the top 10 Sony lenses that the New York City photo superstore B&H Photo Video(opens in new tab) sold in 2022.
If you’re looking to match optical performance with your Sony A7 IV, or you want to have a “do-it-all” lens for your Sony A6400, each lens on this list is perfect for your budget and need. Scroll down to see what other customers are buying, and why maybe you should too. These range from the best Sony telephoto lenses to some of the best Sony wide-angle lenses for every budget.
1. Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master
Mount: Sony FE | Elements/groups: 18/13 | Diaphragm blades: 9 | Autofocus: Direct Drive SuperSonic Motor (DDSSM) | Stabilizer: No | Min focus distance: 0.38m | Max magnification: 0.24x | Filter thread: 82mm | Dimensions (WxL): 88x136mm | Weight: 886g
- Superb image quality
- High-speed autofocus
- Robust build quality
- Fairly big and hefty
- Expensive to buy
- No optical stabilization
This G Master lens surpasses the Zeiss badged FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS as the best Sony standard zoom available today. It should be, given that it costs around five times as much as the FE 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS kit lens. The lens has an adjustable focus hold function, as well as AF/MF and zoom lock controls, and its weather-sealed build feels substantial and durable.
The absence of an optical stabilizer only affects the first-generation Sony mirrorless full-frame cameras, which also don’t have in-body stabilization. The overall image quality is outstanding, and even when shooting with the aperture wide open, the sharpness is just amazing.
2. Sony Fe 20mm F/1.8 G
Mount: Sony FE | Elements/groups: 14/12 | Diaphragm blades: 9 | Autofocus: Stepping motor | Stabilizer: No | Min focus distance: 0.19m AF, 0.18m MF | Max magnification: 0.2x AF. 0.22x MF | Filter thread: 67mm | Dimensions (WxL): 74x85mm | Weight: 373g
- Super-wide viewing angle
- Astonishingly excellent image quality
- Refined handling
- Fairly expensive to buy
For a long time, independent producers like Sigma, Tamron, Samyang/Rokinon, and Tokina were the only ones selling 20mm ultra-wide-angle prime lenses for E-mount full-frame cameras.
Finally, Sony entered the race with its very own stunning 20mm f/1.8 lens. It boasts a top-notch optical path and a robust, weather-sealed design. The presence of a high-precision manual focus ring, programmable autofocus hold button, and an aperture ring with a de-click switch aid in the combination of high-speed autofocus and outstanding handling.
With breathtaking clarity, excellent color rendering, and incredibly little coma, distortion, and color fringing, the image quality is just outstanding in every way. Although the lens is expensive, you get what you paid for.
3. Sony Fe 200-600mm F/5.6-6.3 G OSS
Mount: Sony FE | Elements/groups: 24/17 | Diaphragm blades: 11 | Autofocus: DDSSM | Stabilizer: Yes | Min focus distance: 2.4m | Max magnification: 0.2x | Filter thread: 95mm | Dimensions (WxL): 111.5x318mm | Weight: 2,115g
- 3x super-telephoto zoom range
- Optical stabilization
- Expensive for a regular ‘G’ lens
- Very heavy
The Sony FE 200-600mm F5.6-6.3 G OSS is no exception to the rule that fast super-telephoto lenses on full-frame cameras are costly. But, when compared to fast super-telephoto primes, it is not THAT pricey and likely just about fits into an amateur photographer’s pricing range. Although it lacks Sony’s G Master seal of optical perfection and has a comparatively small maximum aperture of f/5.6–6.3, this full-frame super-telephoto lens is both efficient and practical in the stratospheric realm of such lenses.
4. Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS
Mount: Sony FE | Elements/groups: 17/14 | Diaphragm blades: 9 | Autofocus: DDSSM | Stabilizer: Yes | Minimum focus distance: 0.38m | Maximum magnification: 0.31x | Filter thread: 77mm | Dimensions (WxL): 83x113mm | Weight: 663g
- Excellent build quality and handling
- Fabulous image quality
- Optical SteadyShot
- f/4 rather than f/2.8 aperture rating
Sony’s ‘best’ basic zoom lens for its full-frame cameras isn’t the FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS. Yet, this lens is more compact, lighter, and more comfortably balanced on A7-series bodies when compared to the best-in-class Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master.
Moreover, it adds optical stabilization, which the larger lens lacks, and has a wider zoom range, all for around two-thirds of the price. Although the 24-105mm is less aperture-rated by one f/stop than the G Master lens, we believe it to be the ideal Sony lens for reasonably priced daily photography.
5. Sony FE 35mm f/1.4 G Master
Mount: Sony FE | Elements/groups: TBC | Diaphragm blades: 11 | Autofocus: Stepping motor | Stabilizer: No | Min focus distance: 0.27m AF, 0.25m MF | Max magnification: 0.23x | Filter thread: 67mm | Dimensions (WxL): 76x96mm | Weight: 524g
- Twin XD AF motors
- Outstanding optical quality
- Fairly expensive
- Not big… but not exactly compact
While the Sony Distagon T FE 35mm f/1.4 has been available for some time, Sony now offers the FE 35mm f/1.4 G Master, a more expensive alternative that stands above the more established lens. The combination of a somewhat wide-angle focal length and a very fast maximum aperture makes it an extremely adaptable lens, suitable for anything from portraits and weddings to landscapes and astrophotography.
It costs more than you may anticipate, yet it offers amazing optical performance. The handling truly impressed us, from the precisely weighted “de-clickable” aperture ring to the smooth and light focus ring. It’s not the tiniest 35mm prime we’ve seen. A beautiful lens, but it unavoidably costs a lot of money.
6. Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master
Mount: Sony FE | Elements/groups: 16/13 | Diaphragm blades: 11 | Autofocus: DDSSM | Stabilizer: No | Min focus distance: 0.28m | Max magnification: 0.19x | Filter thread: 82mm | Dimensions (WxL): 89x122mm | Weight: 680g
- Sumptuous image quality
- Impeccably well built
- No Optical SteadyShot
- Expensive to buy
Before the release of the even wider Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 G Master, Sony’s top wide zoom lens was the exotic Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master, which features two ultra-high-precision XA (Extreme Aspherical) elements (opens in new tab).
Having said that, many people might find the 16-35mm range a little bit more useful because it accepts normal filters as opposed to the 12-24mm lens. Nanostructure coatings, a keep-clean fluorine coating on the front element, and comprehensive weather sealing are other features.
A quick and consistent f/2.8 aperture is present, and an 11-blade diaphragm ensures that the aperture is highly well-rounded even when slowing down. The lens has a programmable focus to hold the button on the barrel in addition to the extremely precise DDSSM autofocus mechanism. This is the finest Sony lens for travel, tight-space subjects, interiors, and various landscapes in terms of overall quality.
7. Sony FE 50mm F1.2 G Master
Mount: Sony FE | Elements/groups: 14/10 | Diaphragm blades: 11 | Autofocus: XD Linear Motors | Stabilizer: No | Minimum focus distance: 0.4m | Maximum magnification: 0.17x | Filter thread: 72mm | Dimensions (WxL): 87x108mm | Weight: 788g
- Great handling characteristics
- Scintillating sharpness, even at f/1.2
- Robust, weather-sealed build quality
- Pricey, if you don’t need the f/1.2 aperture
- A bit bulky
- Heavy vignetting at f/1.2
Even though it seems relatively heavy on a Sony mirrorless camera, this lens is still reasonably small and light for an f/1.2 lens. Yet, it goes above and above in terms of performance and features. Two customizable function buttons naturally rest under the thumb in both portrait and landscape orientation shooting, a weather-sealed construction that feels of professional-grade quality, and a manual aperture ring that includes a de-click switch for step-less control during video capture.
The Sony retains exceptional clarity throughout the whole image frame, unlike the majority of ultra-fast lenses, even when shooting wide-open. The bokeh is wonderfully smooth, and there is hardly any axial or lateral color fringing. While shooting at f/1.2, there is a perceptible vignetting, but this almost completely goes away by f/2, and automated in-camera correction is accessible in any case.
8. Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master OSS
Mount: Sony FE | Elements/groups: 23/18 | Diaphragm blades: 11 | Autofocus: RDSSM + LM | Stabilizer: Yes | Min focus distance: 0.96m | Max magnification: 0.25x | Filter thread: 77mm | Dimensions (WxL): 88x200mm | Weight: 1,480g
- High-end handling characteristics
- Excellent build quality
- Good image quality overall
- Only 2-stop optical stabilization
- Autofocus is not the fastest in class
- Corner sharpness is pretty average
A well-equipped lens, the Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master OSS is a powerful zoom. Four ED (Extra-low Dispersion) elements, two Super ED elements, one double-sided XA (Extreme Aspherical) element, and two additional aspherical components make up a feast of glass.
A double linear motor and an RDSSM (Ring Drive Super Sonic wave Motor) are included in the two autofocus systems, with the latter being utilized for the heavier forward focus groups. The front element has a fluorine coating, and the structure is completely weather-sealed. With an autofocus range limiter, programmable focus hold controls, and dual-mode stabilization for still and panning photos, handling is exceptionally polished.
All of this results in a respectable performance. Across the whole zoom range, image sharpness is very good wide open at f/2.8, and improves to superb at f/4. Although there is no color fringing, the distortion is a bit worse than typical for this kind of lens. Our testing revealed that the autofocus speed was a little disappointing when compared to rival lenses in its class. The 2-stop optical stabilizer is less effective than those found in most comparable lenses, however subsequent Sony cameras that incorporate in-body stabilization improve its effectiveness.
9. Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II
Mount: Sony E | Elements/groups: 20/15 | Diaphragm blades: 11 | Autofocus: XD (eXtreme Dynamic) linear stepping motors | Stabilizer: No | Min focus distance: 0.21m (W) 0.99m (T) | Max magnification: 0.32x | Filter thread: 82mm | Dimensions (WxL): 88x120mm | Weight: 695g
- Stellar image quality
- High-end features
- Refined handling
- Pricey to buy
- No optical stabilization
Naturally, an optical design is a “key feature” of every professional-grade lens. In this instance, the optical arrangement of the lens has been entirely revised from its initial design. Five aspherical elements total, including two XA (Extreme Aspherical) high-precision elements, two ED (Extra-low Dispersion) elements, and two more Super ED elements, are present in the GM II. To reduce flare and ghosting, next-generation Nano AR Coating II is used.
The GM II provides improved sharpness throughout the full image frame, as promised by Sony. In our testing, we discovered a little improvement in the already exceptional center and edge sharpness over the whole zoom range, as well as a significant improvement in the mid-and edge sharpness that endures particularly well even at the widest aperture of f/2.8.
Also, a brand-new floating autofocus system has been developed for maximum speed and accuracy. It is built on no fewer than four XD (eXtreme Dynamic) linear stepping motors. Compatible cameras can take still images and videos at up to 30 frames per second (fps) and 4K 120 frames per second, respectively.
10. Sony FE 50mm f/1.8
Mount: Sony E | Elements/groups: 6/5 | Diaphragm blades: 7 | Autofocus: Yes | Stabilizer: No | Min focus distance: 0.45m | Max magnification: 0.14x | Filter thread: 49mm | Dimensions (WxL): 69x60mm | Weight: 186g
- Compact and lightweight
- Relatively inexpensive
- Smooth bokeh
- Severe vignetting at f/1.8
- Audible autofocus
- No weather-seals
Regardless of whether we use full-frame or APS-C format cameras, a fast 50mm lens is a need for the majority of serious photographers. For a full-frame body, it is the appropriate focal length for a typical viewpoint.
An APS-C camera’s narrow telephoto field of view is perfect for portraits and other uses. This Sony lens isn’t as quick as the f/1.4 lenses some people want, but it’s incredibly small, light, and inexpensive, and it produces high image quality.
As you can see, this list includes a wide range of focal lengths, some of which are the most well-known Sony lenses, and is ideal if you’re searching for the best lens for portraiture or the finest telephoto for photographing birds.
Hopefully, this list has assisted you in some way as you shop for some of the top Sony lenses now available. If you were interested in this, you might want to check out our picks for the best cameras for wildlife photography, and sports photography, or if you earn your living via filmmaking, the finest 6K and 8K cameras.