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Sony APS-C Lens Roundup

By: j.wilder

Sony lens roundup list guide

It takes an enormous amount of time to get educated on Sony E mount lenses for APS-C sensor cameras.

I feel your pain. So I decided to post my research (very rough notes) on Sony E Mount Lenses for APS-C sensor cameras. I hope it is helpful.

Last Update: 8-10-2021

My Perspective

The best lens is the one that meets your specific needs. I photograph cars where they are. Sometimes I'm on the street, in an alley, across a busy street, in a parking lot, or shooting from a car. So I need a versatile lens.

So far, over the last 15 years, I have kept to a ONE LENS strategy. It works for me because I photograph cars where they are. Sometimes I'm close, and sometimes far away.

However, at some point I might get a prime with a wide aperture for fun.

I am currently looking for a sharper lens with more reach than the kit 16-50. The kit 16-50 is very flat (pancake) and almost pocketable. It's also super light weight. But I really want a cleaner image, at the expense of a smaller, lighter lens (sigh). I do believe that someday software will correct for soft images.

I am considering:

  • Sony 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 OSS $650
  • Sony 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS Vario-Tessar T* $999
  • Tamron 17-70mm F2.8 $799

Sony Lenses

Not all Sony lenses are listed! Prices may be out of date.

Sony E Lenses
Specifically for APS-C sensor cameras.

Zoom

  • 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 OSS $650
  • 18-105mm F4 G PZ OSS $650
  • 16–55mm F2.8 G $1,399.99
  • 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 PZ OSS (Kit) $299
  • 55–210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS (Kit) $299
  • 10–18mm F4 OSS $799.99
  • 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS Vario-Tessar T* ($999)
  • 18–200mm F3.5-6.3 PZ OSS ($1199)
  • 70–350mm F4.5–6.3 G OSS $999

Prime

  • 50mm F1.8 OSS ($349)
  • 35mm F1.8 OSS ($424)
  • 30mm F3.5 Macro ($274)
  • 20mm F2.8 ($299)
  • 24mm F1.8 ZA Sonnar® T* ($1099)
  • 16mm F2.8 ($249)

Sony Lens Abbreviations Decrypted

  • E - E-Mount for Sony mirrorless cameras.
  • PZ - Power Zoom
  • OSS - Optical Steady Shot
  • G - High quality.
  • GM - G-Master. Highest quality.
  • E - Lens is for Sony APS-C sensor cameras.
  • FE - Lens is for Sony Full Frame (35mm) cameras.
  • ZA - Models involving a partnership with Zeiss.

Sony lens link with applied filters:
E-Mount/APS-C/ZOOM
electronics.sony.com/imaging/lenses/c/lenses?query=:...

Sony E Mount Lens Research

Here are my notes on specific Sony lenses, as well as other brands such as Sigma, Zeiss, Tamron, 7artisans, and others.

There are some cut-and-paste chunks of text in order to give more clarity to what is in the article or video.

Disclaimer: I am not recommending any of the information from the links to articles or videos. I include these links as a reference. In some cases, I disagree with the information.

Sony 18-135 F3.5-5.6 OSS

The Sony 18-135 might be the most versatile lens.

It’s a excellent lens for the Sony a 6100.

Sony 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 OSS E-Mount Lens Review, Arthur R
Published on Feb 26, 2018
m.youtube.com/watch?v=9o5ABO67hsU

Sony's New Kit Lens? 18-135 vs 16-50
Mar 2008, 12min
m.youtube.com/watch?v=MIuRse9gZ7U

Sony 18-105 G vs 18-135

1. E 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 OSS $650

This video immediately cleared up questions as to why there are two zoom lenses that are similar and almost cost the same.

Comparison of both lenses.
m.youtube.com/watch?v=HtmYkiGwEys

2. E PZ 18-105 F4 G OSS $650
sony 18-105mm zoom lens review

Video centric features:
Has power zoom.
Constant f4 aperture.

Video review. No hard facts but says it's better than the kit zoom lens.

"If you could only have ONE lens, which lens would it be and why? For me, having a zoom with a constant aperture that can cover me from a decently wide range to a reasonable telephoto range and still give me great quality would be the dream. The closest thing I've been able to find so far is this lens."

m.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9hAHphSX8s

Sony E 16–55mm F2.8 G (full review)

www.cameralabs.com/sony-e-16-55mm-f2-8-g-review/

Sony E 16–55mm F2.8 G

The new Sony E 16-55mm f/2.8 G is designed to be a versatile workhorse lens for crop body cameras, featuring a 35mm equivalent focal range of 24-82.5mm (wide-angle to portrait) and a constant f/2.8 maximum aperture.

Available starting in October 2019 with a price tag of $1,400.

Not a review, but an introduction. Will have to wait until mid/late October.

petapixel.com/2019/08/28/sony-unveils-aps-c-e-mount-...

www.sony.com/electronics/camera-lenses/sel1655g

Tamron 17-70mm F2.8 Review

The one a6000 Ultimate lens kit replacement for $799?

Not only might it replace the two Sony kit lenses, but according to Arthur, the quality is as good as the new Sony 16–55mm F2.8 G at $1,399.

Tamron 17-70mm F2.8 Review + Sony 16-55mm F2.8 G Comparison
Arthur R, 25 min
m.youtube.com/watch?v=gXo00d2b7HU

Sony 16 vs 20 [Comparison]

Why are there two wide-angle lenses with similar focal lengths?!

Lots of videos on this.
m.youtube.com/watch?v=RSE4Zzwcs_w

Sigma 16mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary Reviews

Sigma 16mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary Lens for Sony E

Crisp, fast lens.
Around $450
Auto focus.

Unboxing (meh) Some comments.
Sigma 16mm F1.4: The Best Lens I've Tested All Year
Arthur r, Dec 2017, 7 min.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwz18qjjhgk

Sigma 16mm F1.4 vs Sony 16-50mm Kit Lens
Arthur R, Jan 2018, 13 min.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHD0IZnl3Lc

Oct 18, 2018
In-depth
auto correction of distortion for JPEG images.
Autofocus issue at f1.4 & evf. 13min
m.youtube.com/watch?v=AWN9id7plyY

Sigma 16mm f/1.4 User Experience Review - Best Wide Angle Lens for Sony a6000 a6300 a6400 a6500
Jason Vong, Mar 29, 2018
m.youtube.com/watch?v=VWdlFIro6wo

Sigma 16mm 1.4 Review [Sony e mount] - Is it too good to be true?
Dunna Did It. Jun 11, 2018. 12 min.
m.youtube.com/watch?v=QA06SIXRBMI

Sigma 30 1.4 DC DN Contemporary

Sharpest lens for Sony a6000 series cameras.

www.bestbuy.com/site/questions/sigma-30mm-1-4-dc-dn-...

Best answer: "Yes, this is a perfect lens for your Sony, says this owner of an a6300. The hardest choice is choosing between this and the Sony 35mm f1.8. For photo-primarily shooters I would suggest this excellent Sigma (rated the #2 in sharpness for the e-mount system, second only to the newer Sigma 16mm f1.4 wide angle lens for e-mount). There are lots of discussions about this lens on YouTube. There were once some focus-lag issues at its release, but this has been fixed with a firmware release. For photo+video users, the slight nod goes to the Sony, which lets in a little less light and is not quite as sharp, but DOES have image-stabilization that is handy for your video. The cost differential favors the Sigma and varies between $60 and $110, depending on whether or not Sony is offering rebates (this summer Sony has offered $50 rebates on the 35mm in May/June and now August). One final nod to the more expensive Sony: it is over an inch shorter, thus making it nice for walkabout, all-purpose use. It really is a tough call... But by all means this is a great lens for your Sony a6300." -By OregonianstuckinIndiana

"When Sigma introduced the new 30mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary lens, everyone was amazed. If you don’t have a prime lens and you’re looking to buy one, this lens should be your first choice. Since it doesn’t support Image Stabilization as the Sony 35mm f/1.8 OSS, it is not suitable for videos. However, for portraits it is the sharpest lens for the Sony APS-C cameras confirmed by DXOmark.com and other camera distributors."

www.phototraces.com/best-lenses-for-sony-a6000-a6300...

Buyer's Guide for Sony Lenses

Best Sony Lenses 2021

Includes section on Sony lens terminology.

www.cameralabs.com/best-sony-lenses/

Best Sony a6000 Lenses

Sony 20 mm lens is newer than the 16mm lens.
20mm lens and the ultra wide converter

shotkit.com/sony-a6000-lenses/

What are the best pancake lens options for a6000?

Good conversation about this lens.
www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/4068516

Read. [to do]

Recommends some lenses.

*Might need to remove this. Camera review.

www.colbybrownphotography.com/an-in-depth-review-of-t...

The First Sony E-Mount Lenses You Should Buy

thewirecutter.com/reviews/first-sony-e-mount-lenses-t...

Misc Topics

What is the best street lens for a Sony a6000 series?

E 20 mm F2.8

Ricoh is 18.3mm (Approx. 28mm in 35mm equivalent focal length)
F2.8~F16

"I have recently been going through the same dilemma. I think the two best options are the Sony e-mount 50mm 1.8, and the Sony e-mount 35mm 1.8. There are other more expensive lenses but they won't give you any more bang for your buck. The glass is good enough to get the most out of the body and your are not going to get a much better picture without upgrading to a full frame body." -Jonathan

Via www.quora.com/What-is-the-best-street-lens-for-a-Sony-a6000

How do you get 50mm on APS-C?

Nifty 50 does not apply to APS-C sensor size.

"Multiply the focal length printed on the lens by 1.5 to obtain the 35mm-equivalent focal length of a lens mounted on a camera with an APS-C sensor. For example, if you mount a 50mm lens on an APS-C sensor camera such as the ILCE-6000, you'll get the same view as a 75mm lens on a full-frame camera (50mm x 1.5 = 75mm)."

7artisans 35mm f1.2 (Hmm)

Interesting lens. Wide aperture and low cost, but manual focus.

Night picture test with 7artisans 35mm f1.2. No tripod, no flash: just instant picture with bare hand in the cold winter

James Wilder

James Wilder is the owner, writer, photographer, designer, and developer for CarPhotography.Life.

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