To help you in your search, we’ve compiled a list of the Best Sony Full Frame E Mount (FE) Lenses, combined with features and price – We pick the best FE-mount lenses for Sony full-frame mirrorless cameras (Sony a7R IV, a7R II, a7S II, a7 II, a7R, a7S, a7) including leading prime and zoom options from wide-angle to telephoto.
In the photography community, Sony’s full-frame mirrorless cameras have created a lot of hype, and with each rendition, they continue to develop. It is true that Sony’s FE lens choices are much more minimal than the Canon and Nikon camera offerings, but in 2019, the range is growing and even more exciting than even a year earlier. We break down the best Sony FE (full-frame) lenses below, including wide-angle zooms and telephoto primes. There are plenty of high-end choices that should make even the most discerning photographers happy, considering Sony’s powerful partnership with Zeiss.
Following is a rundown of the best Sony FE (full-frame) lenses, ranging from wide-angle to telephoto and covering both zoom and prime options. Because of Sony’s longstanding partnership with Zeiss, the company offers a wide variety of high-end solutions that should satisfy the requirements of even the most particular photographers.
Best Sony Full Frame E Mount (FE) Lenses
|1||Sony 28-135mm FE PZ F4 G OSS Full-Frame E-Mount Power Zoom Lens||Check Price|
1. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 GM
focal length range. Enter the 24-70mm f/2.8 GM, a lens that is not only exceptionally sharp but also produces excellent bokeh and is constructed very well. When everything is taken into account, it has the potential to be the best 24-70mm f/2.8 lens available from any brand.
If you’re seeking the best optical quality available in a FE zoom lens, look no further than the 24-70mm f/2.8 GM. However, there are several drawbacks to using this lens. The first drawback is the cost, which comes in at $2,000, making it significantly more expensive than both the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 and the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8. It weighs a massive 31.3 ounces, which is far more than any of those other two lenses. It has the potential to feel like a cumbersome piece of glass when mounted on a compact camera such as the Sony a7R IV. But in terms of image quality, the 24-70mm f/2.8 GM more than makes up for any shortcomings, which is why it is considered the best lens for the FE mount.
2. Sony 16-35mm f/4
To begin, we would like to mention that we were one of the early adopters of the Sony 16-35mm f/4 lens. After conducting a considerable study, we came to the conclusion that it was the best 16-35mm f/4 lens currently available, including those manufactured by industry heavyweights like Canon and Nikon. And due to the fact that this was Sony’s first wide-angle zoom lens for the FE mount, a number of industry experts quickly switched to using it in the interim until the inevitable release of the GM version. And the optical performance of the version with an aperture of f/4 is good in general: the lens is crisp, has tolerable levels of distortion, produces beautiful sun stars, and has a weather-sealed design for protection against the elements. This lens is an absolute necessity for landscape photographers who work with the Sony Alpha system.
Choosing which lens to choose between the 16-35mm f/4 and the f/2.8 GM below is difficult. In some respects, we were hoping that the GM wouldn’t live up to expectations (wishful thinking), and as a result, sticking with the f/4 would have been an easy choice. The f/4 is a lot more affordable (about $900 at the time of publication), and it weighs nearly 6 ounces less than the f/2. These are the two factors that have swayed our decision the most. Last but not least, the majority of landscape photographs are taken outside, where there is usually sufficient natural light, so the photographer does not require an additional stop of aperture (this is typically far less necessary than when using an inside lens). If you routinely capture photographs in low light, the f/2.8 lens might be worth the investment (or better yet, an even faster prime). However, the vast majority of individuals will be content to save with the f/4.
3. Sony 85mm f/1.8
At the 85mm focal length, portrait photographers have a variety of intriguing options to choose from, but the Sony 85mm f/1.8 is our pick for the most impressive of the group. You get exceptional sharpness (even when the aperture is wide open), quick and precise autofocus, superb build quality, and a weight that is fair at 13.1 ounces for the price of about $550. When everything is taken into account, this lens is not only one of the finest bargains on this list, but it is also one of the most enjoyable lenses to have in your bag.
In terms of alternative options, we have listed the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art lens below. This lens is similarly pin-sharp and faster by two-thirds of a stop, but it weighs a massive 39.1 ounces, making it an extremely burdensome option. Another tempting choice comes from Sony in the form of the 85mm f/1.4 GM; the GM series in general and the image quality that it generates are two things that we adore. The f/1.4 lens, on the other hand, costs more than three times as much as the f/1.8 lens and weighs more than twice as much. Additionally, there is a possibility that the f/1.4 lens is a touch less sharp. In the end, all three of these portrait lenses have a high level of quality, but the Sony 85mm f/1.8 is the one that offers the best value.
4. Sony 55mm f/1.8
The 55mm f/1.8 and the below-mentioned 50mm f/1.4 were both strong contenders for the position of best “regular” lens for Sony full frame. The maximum aperture of the latter is a faster f/1.4, which is favored by both professionals and hobbyists. However, the 55mm f/1.8 gives excellent sharpness and is less expensive. Both of these lenses are significantly superior to the underwhelming 50mm f/1.8, which has an appealing price point but is just not up to the standards of Sony’s full-frame cameras. Both of these lenses have a maximum aperture of 50 millimeters.
Surprisingly good when it comes to image quality is the performance of the 55mm f/1.8 lens. For a lens with an aperture of f/1.8, the sharpness and bokeh are quite impressive, and the autofocus is really good. In addition to this, the 55mm f/1.8 is a great deal more portable than the 50mm f/1.4 (9.9 ounces vs. 27.4 ounces). And considering the high ISO capabilities of Sony cameras, there isn’t a whole lot of need to shell out an extra $500 to acquire an aperture advantage that’s only a fraction of a stop smaller. The truth is that either option is a good choice; nevertheless, we like the f/1.8 lens because of its more compact size and more affordable price.
5. Sony 24-105mm f/4
Before the release of the 24-105mm f/4, it seemed as though the Sony lineup was missing a lens that was both versatile and affordable like a Swiss Army Knife. The majority of photographers were underwhelmed by the old 24-70mm f/4 below, which is especially notable when considering the extremely high resolutions of Sony’s most recent mirrorless camera models. And in all honesty, the fact that the 24-240mm lens has such a broad focal length range indicates that it lacks professional-grade optics. However, Sony has a winner on its hands with its 24-105mm f/4 lens. This lens has a price tag of just under $1,100 and boasts remarkable corner-to-corner sharpness across a wide range of photographic applications, from wide-angle shots to portraiture.
Many folks who are considering purchasing this lens are torn between purchasing it and the 24-70mm GM lens that was previously mentioned. Other than the cost, what are the most notable distinctions between the two? When using the 24-105mm lens, you will see increased vignetting and distortion in your images; nevertheless, these flaws are rather easy to fix in post-processing. And because the aperture can only go as small as f/4, the performance in low light and the depth of field will suffer as a result. However, given the high ISO capabilities of Sony’s most recent cameras, this might not be such a big deal when weighed against the potential cost savings and expanded market. The 24-105mm is an excellent choice for those looking for a workhorse lens that can be used for travel as well as day-to-day shooting.
6. Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 GM
It’s possible that by the time you finish reading this post, you’ll be sick of hearing about G Master, but this premium lens series really is that fantastic. Prior to this, we had the 70-200mm f/4 ranked higher owing to availability concerns with the f/2.8 GM; however, those issues have been remedied, and the f/2.8 GM is now readily available in stock both online and in shops. The 70-200mm f/2.8 does not fail to deliver, despite the fact that it is both cumbersome and expensive. The lens provides bokeh that is smooth and silky, focuses quickly and precisely, and is extremely sharp overall. If the quality of the image you capture is your top concern when selecting a telephoto lens, the answer is obvious: go with the GM.
The good news is that the Sony 70-200mm f/4 is not a weak link in the camera’s arsenal. The images do tend to become a little softer near the corners, but other than that, this lens is significantly lighter (29.6 ounces) than the f/2.8, and it costs $1,000 less than the latter. Additionally, image stabilization is included in both of these lenses, which is a feature that comes in extremely handy when working with focal lengths that are closer to the extremes of the range. However, it is quite difficult for us to pass up the opportunity to purchase a G Master lens when one becomes available. In addition, the f/4 aperture is good but not exceptional from an optical standpoint. See the 100-400mm lens down below for even farther-reaching (and yes, it is a GM lens).
7. Zeiss Batis 18mm f/2.8
Due to its lightweight and high-quality sensor, a full-frame mirrorless camera like the Sony a7R IV is an extremely appealing option for landscape photographers who take their craft seriously. And despite the fact that the below-mentioned 16-35mm f/2.8 may be the most adaptable wide-angle option for FE, the Zeiss Batis 18mm f/2.8 is the best prime. The Sony a7R IV with this focal length combination is a match made in heaven.
How great is the Batis 18mm f/2.8 lens, exactly? It boasts very minimal distortion, great color rendering, super-fast AF, and is extremely sharp all the way to the corners (Zeiss primes are famous for their sharpness). In addition, the lens weighs only 11.6 ounces and is constructed to last for a very long time. The 21mm Loxia is one of the other wide-angle prime options available from Zeiss; however, this lens has a manual focus and is not nearly as wide as we desire for landscape photography.
8. Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art
If you do a lot of street or travel photography and are searching for a single piece of glass that can satisfy the majority of your requirements, we strongly suggest that you invest in a 35mm prime lens. If this describes you, then keep reading. Unfortunately, Sony’s two options—the 35mm f/1.8 and the 35mm f/1.4—either do not live up to expectations (the 35mm f/1.8) or are priced excessively (the 35mm f/1.4). Sigma’s Art line, which debuted with Sony mounts and features a 35mm f/1.4 lens, has stepped up to the challenge with a significant offering. When compared to the Sony counterpart, this lens is exceptionally crisp and will save you a significant amount of money.
In addition to the widespread criticism that Sigma lenses are cumbersome and heavy, the slowness of the 35mm f/1.4 Art’s autofocus is the most significant area of concern regarding this lens. When photographing moving things, you will have more hunting than with Sony’s native lenses, and the Sigma may have trouble locking in, which can be rather aggravating. However, there are conflicting reports regarding this topic, and the cost savings are large enough that the value and image quality may be sufficient to compensate any concerns with autofocus.
9. Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 GM
When there was no other lens available but the 16-35mm f/4, we were quite content with the image quality that was delivered by that particular lens. However, Sony eventually added the G Master version, which makes it tough to pass up for serious landscape photographers and other pros who work with wide-angle lenses and routinely shoot at night. To put it another way, the performance of this lens is really astounding. It is exceptionally sharp all the way to the corners, performs exceptionally well in low light for a wide-angle zoom, and produces photos that are sharp and lifelike to an extent that is difficult to achieve with a camera that is not a member of the GM family.
The actual question is whether or whether you should shell out almost $2,000 for the 16-35mm f/2.8 lens, which is rather pricy. The variant with an aperture of f/4, which was mentioned before, is an excellent lens in its own right, produces sunstars of higher quality, and will save you almost $900 in cost and nearly 6 ounces in weight. In addition, the majority of users do not use a 16-35mm lens in low light as frequently as they use a zoom lens that is more conducive to shooting indoors, such as a 24-70mm f/2.8, and the most recent Sony cameras have excellent ISO sensitivity. The response is that either option is a good decision; however, the f/4 aperture setting is preferable for the majority of users and situations.
10. Sony 50mm f/1.4
As was noted earlier, we enjoy the lower price point and smaller size of the 55mm f/1.8, but those who are looking for even better performance in low light and bokeh should consider the Sony 50mm f/1.4. This lens offers creamy bokeh that simply cannot be replicated with a slower lens and possesses exceptional build quality. It is pin-sharp even when used with the aperture wide open. When everything is taken into account, the 50mm version is a genuine article.
The Sony 50mm f/1.4 is an excellent prime lens, but it is prohibitively pricey and disproportionately cumbersome for its focal length. If this is your most frequently used focal length, it is easy to overlook any of them; nevertheless, the 55mm f/1.8 performs a reasonably decent job without either of those negatives. And if you have a true affection for 50mm and deep wallets, there is always the Meyer-Optik Nocturnus 50mm f/0.95 II, which is available for Sony mirrorless at a price of approximately $3,000 and may be purchased with the lens.
11. Sony 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3
To their credit, amateur photographers frequently go toward lenses that combine multiple functions into a single housing. It eliminates the need for the majority of decisions as well as the switching of lenses. Although in past articles we advocate all-in-one lenses more highly, and in particular for APS-C cameras, this recommendation is more difficult to make for such a spectacular system as Sony FE.
The Sony 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 is the only lens on this list that offers a complete range of focal lengths, from wide-angle to telephoto, making it a very versatile option for photographers. It also comes at a price that won’t break the bank: you can replace a complete camera backpack for just $950. On the other hand, this lens just doesn’t cut it when it comes to its optical performance. It lacks exceptional sharpness, exhibits acceptable levels of distortion, and has average autofocus performance. Overall, we appreciate the convenience component and believe it to be an acceptable answer for people on a tight budget; nevertheless, we do not recommend it to serious photographers because it ultimately does not meet their needs.
12. Sony 28mm f/2
The Sony 28mm f/2 is an excellent lens in many respects, but the price is maybe its most attractive feature. This is by a significant margin the most affordable FE lens on this list, coming in at roughly $450. Although Sony did not collaborate with Zeiss on this project, the lens nonetheless has a respectable performance in low light, a reasonable level of clarity, and robust construction. The 28mm f/2 is not designed for professionals, but it is an excellent choice for amateurs who are just starting out on a limited budget.
The focal length is a significant challenge for us when working with the Sony 28mm f/2. The focal length of 28mm is a tad on the broad side for travel and portrait photography, but it’s perfect for capturing expansive landscapes. It is possible to imitate a lens with a focal length of 35mm or 50mm just by moving closer to the subject of your photograph; however, 28mm is not the lens that we would select first. However, 42 millimeters is a more comfortable focal length when used on Sony’s APS-C cameras, which is why a lot of people end up using this lens.
13. Sony 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM
Sony made a significant statement when it introduced the quick a9 camera body, but the company lacked the telephoto lenses to match its capabilities. The highly acclaimed G Master range of lenses from Sony now includes the 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6, which is another premium lens in the lineup. It is going to be relied on to perform well during major events such as the Super Bowl and the Olympic Games since it provides a feasible telephoto zoom option for Sony mirrorless cameras and is designed for professional photographers who specialize in shooting sports and action.
It is remarkable that the 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 is nearly the same size as the 70-200mm f/2.8 lens that was discussed earlier, yet it weighs “only” 49 ounces, which is relatively light for a lens of this type. Both the 1.4x and the 2.0x teleconverters that Sony offers are compatible with this lens when used with the a9 and the a7R IV. These teleconverters are available for those who require even greater reach than what this lens provides. In addition, Sony has just announced the 400mm f/2.8 and 600mm f/4 prime lenses, as well as the 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 zoom lens. It is simply no longer true that Sony’s FE series suffers from a lack of telephoto lenses if that was ever the case in the past.
14. Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art
The long-awaited Sigma Art lenses equipped with Sony FE mounts have at last been released, and early reviews of the lenses are very positive. In terms of image quality, the 85mm f/1.4 is one of our favorites because it is exceptionally sharp, produces gorgeous bokeh, and compares favorably to the Sony f/1.4 GM. When the considerable price reduction is taken into account, this lens offers a number of advantages that should appeal to serious portrait photographers.
The Sigma 85mm f/1.4’s hefty weight is by far and away its most significant drawback. It is 10 ounces heavier than the Sony 85mm f/1.4 GM, which makes it difficult to carry about and maybe a deal-breaker for people who want to reduce the amount of weight in their camera bag. The lens has a focal length of 39.9 ounces and a maximum aperture of 1.4. Additionally, the Sigma is not totally weather sealed; however, it does offer a surface treatment as well as rubber sealing at the mount connection point, which instills a bit more confidence for individuals who are heading into challenging environments.
15. Zeiss Loxia 21mm f/2.8
Zeiss is the brand to go with if you are interested in purchasing a wide-angle prime lens for a Sony mirrorless camera. The fact that the Loxia series can only be focused manually sets it apart from the Batis series in terms of customization capabilities. This is the primary distinction between the two series. This may be a deal-breaker for some people, but those who experiment with manual focus frequently discover that it is not only simple but also accurate and enjoyable.
The Zeiss Loxia 21mm will not let you down in terms of the image quality that it captures. It is extremely crisp all the way to the corners, and it is reasonably quick at f/2.8. Furthermore, it is constructed like a genuine professional lens. It is difficult to choose between this and the Batis 18mm lens that is located above it because it has autofocus and is broader in terms of focal length, but it provides an image quality that is comparable overall. Our opinion is that you can’t go wrong with either one, but if you specialize in wide-angle photography, a Zeiss prime will be a very enjoyable addition to your toolkit.
16. Sony 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6
The Sony 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 was the only lens available that could shoot at a focal length greater than 200mm before the Sony 100-400mm GM was released. However, times have changed, and one example of this is the advent of the Sony 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3, which has led to an increase in the number of telephoto alternatives for FE. Let’s begin with the good news: this is the least expensive genuine telephoto lens that Sony offers, and it costs $200 less than the 70-200 f/4. It is a wonderful method to add a decent level of versatility at the telephoto end of the spectrum without breaking the money, which is something that we really appreciate, as well as the increased reach.
Unfortunately, we are not satisfied with the image quality that this lens produces. It has a tendency to be crisp in the middle but softer toward the edges, and it has a maximum aperture that ranges from f/4.5 to 5.6, so it will struggle in low light. In addition, it is not likely to be able to compete with the high resolution of the image sensor on more recent Sony full-frame cameras, such as the a7R IV. Overall, we feel that the Sony 70-300mm is the finest option for APS-C cameras (its focal length equivalent is a monstrous 105-450mm), but the full-frame version is not as appealing to us.
17. Sony 12-24mm f/4
Not only did Sony announce the release of the 16-35mm f/2.8 GM lens, but they also announced the release of the 12-24mm f/4 lens at the same time. To begin with, we appreciate all of your hard work. We have come to the conclusion that a good 16–35mm lens covers a sufficient amount of ground for the majority of applications; nonetheless, there is undeniably a demand for a genuine ultra-wide lens, and Sony has responded to that demand. Although it is not a GM lens, the 12-24mm has a number of desirable qualities, including sharpness, low falloff at the lens’s corners, and a weight of 19.9 ounces, which is not excessively heavy. This lens is perfect for wide-angle photography experts who enjoy challenging themselves creatively.
Which of the following is not a benefit of the Sony 12-24mm f/4? The first benefit is its adaptability: you should only invest about 1,700 dollars on it if you intend to use it rather frequently (and know how to, which is another challenge). Second, the 16-35mm GM is lacking in terms of its performance in low light as well as its bokeh. Last but not least, due to the bulbous shape of the lens, it is not compatible with screw-on filters. In spite of these drawbacks, it is an extremely enjoyable super wide-angle lens that, in terms of focal lengths, works quite well with the 24-70mm f/2.8.
18. Sony 24-70mm f/4
The f/4 was the first FE lens choice available at this common focal length before the debut of the 24-70mm f/2.8 GM lens, which can be found above. And despite the fact that we really want to like this lens, we have to admit that in terms of image quality, it just doesn’t cut it. There is a lot of distortion, and softness can be seen all over the place, but it is especially noticeable in the corners, and the OSS image stabilization is mostly useless (Sony has added built-in image stabilization to all of its latest cameras bodies). It’s not a horrible lens by any stretch of the imagination, and it works very well with older Alpha cameras, but we find that we get better results with prime lenses that have an aperture of f/2.8 or faster.
The reasonable cost of the Sony 24-70mm f/4 lens is the primary factor in our decision. For somewhere in the neighborhood of $800, you can buy it, attach it to any Alpha full-frame camera, and use it as the only lens you own. In addition, the weight of 15.2 ounces, which is less than half the weight of the f/2.8 GM, is pretty respectable for a zoom lens of this sort. The 24-70mm focal length, which makes it a genuine workhorse lens, is one of the primary selling points of this lens; yet, the lens’s subpar optics make us reluctant to recommend it.