The 9 Best Sony Lenses of 2020

Capture breathtaking images with these lenses

Best Overall A-Mount: Sony 16-50mm f/2.8 DT SSM

The Sony 16-50mm f/2.8 DT SSM is a fantastic, multipurpose telephoto zoom lens. If your budget only allows for one extra lens, consider this one. It performs well in almost all settings, including travel, landscapes, street photography, and portraits. Considering its versatile uses, it’s a solid investment.

This lens offers a range of aperture from f/2.8 to f/22 and seven aperture blades. For macro and portrait photography, it delivers a smooth bokeh, or blurred, background. The 16-50mm also offers Sony’s Super Sonic Wave Motor, quiet and quick autofocus, particularly useful when shooting video. 

It’s a solid lens and weather-sealed for added protection when shooting outside.

Best Overall E-Mount: Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM

The Sony FE 16-35mm is a wide-angle zoom lens that creates gorgeous images in any setting. Although it’s a decent investment, this lens is a top choice with professionals who are after the best. It's multifunctional and performs especially well for travel photography and landscapes, with a sharp focus that also serves itself well in portraits.

It offers an aperture from f/2.8 to f/22, and you’ll appreciate the ability to quickly switch between manual and autofocus, thanks to a switch on the side of the lens. It’s also compact and comfortable to use and weather-sealed for outdoor shooting. The glass is treated with fluorine to help keep it clean. Everything about this lens is top of the line. 

Note, this lens doesn’t include Optical SteadyShot, which may be a dealbreaker if you often shoot without a tripod.

Best E-Mount Prime Lens: Sony E-mount FE 24mm F1.4 GM Full Frame Wide-angle Prime Lens

There’s a wide range of E-mount lenses to choose from, but the pricey Sony E-mount FE 24mm is still our top choice for overall use. However, this wide-angle prime lens certainly produces stunning, clear, and vibrant photos that ought to impress.

Part of Sony’s G Master series, a line of high-resolution products for pros and creatives, this full-frame lens has an aperture from f/1.4 to f/16, and eleven aperture blades which help create gorgeous portraits. It also offers a manual aperture ring.

One unique selling point of the 24mm is its ability to create incredible night shots and astrophotography. It has built-in optical features to reduce something called a sagittal flare, which can ruin the look of your night sky images. As you’d expect, it performs beautifully in most low-light situations.

Best A-Mount Prime Lens: Sony Planar T* 85mm f/1.4 ZA

The Sony Planar T* 85mm f/1.4 ZA is a full-frame prime lens for A-mount frames, treated with Zeiss anti-reflective coating to ensure your images are free of glare. This lens delivers exquisite portraits, candid street snaps, and intricate macro photography. 

It captures flattering snaps of your subjects without distortion, even in shallow depth of field, and performs well in low-light. The focus can be adjusted manually, with easy to access controls on the side of the lens or use autofocus mode. 

It's one of the best A-mount lenses for portraiture, creating a smooth bokeh and sharp focus on your subject. However, users noted the hefty price, and the slight noise made by the autofocus motor when in use.

Best Reasonably Priced E-Mount: Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OS

The Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm is an exceptional full-frame zoom lens at a reasonable price. While it’s a fantastic choice for many users, it may not deliver to a professional-level standard.

It offers a few key features, including Zeiss coating, an anti-reflecting lens treatment that almost completely reduces lens flare and light scattering. This lens also has optical image stabilization, useful if you plan to do a lot of handheld shooting. Aperture ranges from f/4 to f/22. The zoom performs well and this lens consistently produces clear and precise images, indoors and out. 

This is the best Sony lens if you’re looking to replace the lens included with your frame and push your photography further.

Best Reasonably Priced A-Mount: Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM

The Sigma 10-20mm is an exceptional value lens. Despite its low price, it doesn’t feel cheap — this lens is well made and solid and is amazing for creative photography. 

While the Sigma 10-20mm is a super wide-angle lens, it's not a fisheye and doesn’t produce any distortion. It delivers fun landscapes, as it can capture unique and exaggerated perspectives. This lens is popular for architecture shots, travel, landscapes, and also works well for wedding photography. It also performs equally well indoors and outdoors and in low-light settings.

While it’s a great value lens, the results may not be considered on par with professional-level lenses. Some users reported slow autofocus and an issue with soft edging on images.

Best Potrait: Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art

Part of Sigma's Art series of lenses, the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 is an incredibly sharp and focused prime lens. It creates beautiful portraits and macro photos and is popular with professionals.

With a minimum aperture of f/1.4, you can create stunning portraits or street shots where the subject pops from the soft, blurred background (or foreground). The resulting shots are impressive, although the lens is heavy at 2.49 lb.

The autofocus is accurate but can be a bit slow, especially in low-light settings. It’s also not completely weather-sealed. Overall though, this lens gets high marks for its precise isolation of the photo’s subject and for the beautiful bokeh it creates. It is compatible with E-mount Sony frames. 

Best Budget: Sony 16mm f/2.8

If you’re looking for a slim, compact lens for your E-mount frame, consider the Sony 16mm f/2.8. This versatile and budget-friendly wide-angle frame can be paired with Sony's fisheye converter to turn this lens into a fisheye, perfect for creative and abstract shots.

The Sony 16mm f/2.8 takes beautifully clear wide-angle shots and is very travel-friendly, thanks to its small size. Consider this lens if you plan on lots of wide-angle landscapes or travel snaps on your next trip. With an f/2.8-22 aperture range, it also performs well in low-light. 

Although the resulting images may not be of the same quality you'd get from a more expensive lens, as the saying goes, the best camera (or lens) is the one you have with you. If you prefer not to travel with heavy equipment, this light lens will fit easily in a daypack.

Best Telephoto Zoom: Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master OSS

The Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master OSS is an E-mount telephoto zoom lens that will wow you with its precision for detail and high-quality results. It’s an investment, definitely, but for wildlife photographers, or anyone in need of a great telephoto zoom, this is an excellent choice.

It’s part of the G Master series and offers the sharpness and quality build that you would expect from a top-notch product. Optical SteadyShot, Sony’s built-in image stabilizer, is included and helps ensure your images are clear are unblurred, even from a long distance. The lenses are coating to reduce flares and unwanted refractions, and 11 aperture blades create smooth, blurred bokeh.

The lens is large and heavy, just under 5 lbs, and may be a bit more than you want for travel. However, for those who don’t mind the size, this is one of the top telephoto zooms for the E-mount.