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February 14, 2015

Best Sony E-Mount Lenses for Portraits, Landscapes, and Street Photography

Sony-FF-E-mount-lens

So what is the best E-Mount lens for portraits, landscapes, sports, and street photography with auto focus? I have been getting a ton of questions via email, in the comments, on the forum, on Google, Facebook, Twitter, and on my youtube channel! Therefore, I think it’s about time I write an article breaking down the lenses by popular category and recommend what I think is the best option available. I also have the E-Mount lens guide over here with tons more lens options, but it’s not broken down into categories like in this article which addresses the most common questions I get.

So what is the best E-Mount lens for portraits, landscapes, and street photography with auto focus?

Well first off, it depends if you are using a full frame E-mount camera like the new A7 II, or a crop factor APS-C sized sensor E-mount camera like the A6000, or Nex-6 for example. Both the smaller APS-C sensor sized cameras and full frame cameras use the same E-mount, so it can be very confusing. Knowing what size camera sensor you have is key! Full frame or APS-C are your options for e-mount just to be crystal clear.

As it turns out, Sony is producing lenses pretty fast for the full frame E-mount line and also has a decent inventory for the original APS-C crop factor sized lenses as well. The crop factor lenses can be used on the full frame cameras in crop factor mode, and the full frame lenses can be used on the crop factor cameras with full coverage. I told you it can get confusing!

For this article I am going to stick mostly with auto focus lenses, but I will touch on a few manual lens favorites here and there.

 

Best E-Mount Portrait Lenses?

Portraits are generally taken from ~50mm 200mm in most cases. If you want the background to get blurry, then a fast aperture is preferred as well. If you want a really detailed breakdown, I also wrote a more detailed article specifically on Portrait Lenses: Which is best and Why? Here >>

APS-C E -Mount – (A6000, Nex-6)

I would recommend the 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens or the Sigma 60mm f/2.8 DN Lens. They are both very affordable and a good effective focal length, plus fast aperture for killer separation and lower light shooting. More so the 50mm due to the built in OSS and even faster aperture. I reviewed the 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens here >>, and the Sigma 60mm f/2.8 DN Lens here >>

Nex-5n, Sony E-Mount 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens @ f/1.8 1/320sec, ISO 100, Hand Held

Nex-5n, Sony E-Mount 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens @ f/1.8 1/320sec, ISO 100, Hand Held

sigma E-Mount 60mm f/2.8 DN Lens, @ f/2.8, 1/100sec, ISO 250, Hand-Held, Raw Quality

sigma E-Mount 60mm f/2.8 DN Lens, @ f/2.8, 1/100sec, ISO 250, Hand-Held, Raw Quality

The Zeiss Touit 50mm f/2.8 Macro lens is also a high quality option that can serve as a great portrait lens in addition to macro photography.

Sony Nex-6, Zeiss Touit 50mm f/2.8 Lens @ f/2.8 1/80sec, ISO 1000, raw

Sony Nex-6, Zeiss Touit 50mm f/2.8 Lens @ f/2.8 1/80sec, ISO 1000, raw

If you need more like a 50mm equivalent field of view, then the 35mm f/1.8 OSS lens is a good option. My review of the 35mm f/1.8 lens is this way >>

Sony Nex-5r Review

NEx-5r w/ 35mm f/1.8 OSS Lens @ f/1.8 1/60sec, ISO 640, Handheld, contrast AF only

The Zeiss Touit 32mm f/1.8 lens is also a killer option for the ~50mm field of view equivalent. I reviewed the Touit 32mm lens here >>

Zeiss Touit 32mm f/1.8 Lens @ f/2.2, 1/4000sec, ISO 100, Hand-Held

Zeiss Touit 32mm f/1.8 Lens @ f/2.2, 1/4000sec, ISO 100, Hand-Held

If you need a closer tighter crop then the Sony FE 70-200mm f/4 OSS G Lens is a great option although large due to full frame coverage and quite expensive. My review of the e-mount 70-200mm is this way >>

Sony A6000 w/ 70-200mm f/4 OSS G Lens @ 123mm, f/4, 1/200sec, ISO 160

Sony A6000 w/ 70-200mm f/4 OSS G Lens @ 123mm, f/4, 1/200sec, ISO 160

Sony A6000 w/ 70-200mm f/4 OSS G Lens @ 168mm, f/4, 1/320sec, ISO 1250

Sony A6000 w/ 70-200mm f/4 OSS G Lens @ 168mm, f/4, 1/320sec, ISO 1250

The Sony Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens is also a great option for portraits in the 35-70mm range. A great all around lens really and my 16-70mm lens review is this way >>

Sony Nex-6 w/ 16-70mm f/4 OSS Zeiss Lens @ 70mm, f/4, 1/200sec, ISO 100

Sony Nex-6 w/ 16-70mm f/4 OSS Zeiss Lens @ 70mm, f/4, 1/200sec, ISO 100 – Edited

Update: I wanted to add the 18-105mm f/4 OSS G power zoom lens to this list because it really is a great lens and good for portraits; especially on the longer focal length end. Better than the Zeiss as far as reach is concerned, but does suffer from pretty decent distortion and is not quite as sharp. Regardless, I should have mentioned it, but left it out due to the power zoom honestly. I figured it more for video than photography, but clearly it’s great for both! My highly detailed review of the 18-105mm OSS G lens is this way >>

Sony A6000 w/ 18-105mm f/4 OSS G Lens @ 105mm, f/4, 1/200sec, ISO 100

Sony A6000 w/ 18-105mm f/4 OSS G Lens @ 105mm, f/4, 1/200sec, ISO 100

I would also recommend the 55-210mm kit lens, because when zoomed in you can get get some awesome separation and portrait results!

Disney Vacation - Sony Nex-6

Disney Vacation – Sony Nex-6

 
 

Full Frame E-mount – (A7 II, A7r, A7s, A7)

I would recommend first the prime Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens. It’s an excellent focal length for outdoor and indoor portraits plus a fast aperture for great background separation, 3D pop, and low light capabilities. Especially when using the new Sony A7 II via built in SteadyShot as the lens does not have any OSS built in.

Sony A7r w/ 55mm f/1.8 Zeiss Lens @ F/1.8, ISO 800, 1/60sec, Jpeg

Sony A7r w/ 55mm f/1.8 Zeiss Lens @ F/1.8, ISO 800, 1/60sec, Jpeg

The Sony FE 70-200mm f/4 OSS G Lens for extra reach and closeup versatility would be a good option also. If you want a faster f/2.8 lens the A-Mount version via electronic lens adapter is available.

Sony A7r w/ 70-200mm f/4 OSS G Lens @ 146mm, f/5.6, 1/160sec, ISO 1250

Sony A7r w/ 70-200mm f/4 OSS G Lens @ 146mm, f/5.6, 1/160sec, ISO 1250

The FE 90mm f/2.8 OSS G Macro lens is also a great native portrait lens, but doesn’t have the killer bokeh of the newer Zeiss Batis Lenses!

FE 90mm f/2.8 OSS G Macro lens

FE 90mm f/2.8 OSS G Macro lens @ f/2.8

Zeiss Batis Lenses:

Recently re-leased the Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 and 25mm f/2 lenses are the best option for optical quality with AutoFocus abilities 😉

Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 Lens

Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 Lens

Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2 Lens

Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2 Lens

If you need a wider versatile quality lens, for larger groups or whatever, then the Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens is very good and overall highly praised. The 50-70mm is a good range for separating the subject from backgrounds and below that is perfect for groups or vast landscape style portraits. I reviewed the 24-70mm lens here >>

Sony A7r w/ 24-70mm f/4 OSS Zeiss lens @ 70mm, f/4, 1/80sec, ISO 500, Hand-Held

Sony A7r w/ 24-70mm f/4 OSS Zeiss lens @ 70mm, f/4, 1/80sec, ISO 500, Hand-Held

You can also use the LA-EA4 E-Mount to A-Mount Electronic lens adapter which will allow for using full frame A-Mount lenses on your E-Mount cameras. In this case the A-mount Sony 135mm f/1.8 Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* Lens would be one the “best lens” recommendations, reviewed here on A7r via LAE-A4 >>

Sony 135mm f/1.8 Carl Zeiss Lens @ f/1.8, 1/4000sec

f/1.8, 1/4000sec

The 85mm f/1.4 Carl Zeiss Planar T* Prime Lens is also a killer portrait lens, some sample photos in the A580 review here >>

Sony Alpha 77 and the Carl Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 Lens

Sony Alpha 77 and the Carl Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 Lens

The A-Mount 50mm f/1.4 lenses are also a good option for portraits. I have not had a chance to review many A-Mount lenses yet unfortunately.

 

Best E-Mount Landscapes Lenses

Landscape lenses tend to be on the wider side of things and I actually prefer the ultra wide variety myself!

APS-C

The 10-18mm f/4 OSS lens would be my first choice and recommendation for landscape shooting, because it’s ultra wide angle and has OSS with some range to play with. It’s also very sharp all around and not crazy expensive although fairly large in size. My SEL1018 lens review is this way >>

Sony E-Mount 10-18mm f/4 OSS Lens review

Sample HDR – Sony E-Mount 10-18mm f/4 OSS Lens – Click for High Res!!

The most affordable option is the 16mm f/2.8 pancake lens with the VCL-ECU1 Wide-Angle lens converter. 16mm lens converter reviews this way >>

Sony Nex-5n w/ 16mm lens and Wideangle Conversion lens @ f/8, 1/400sec, ISO 200, AutoHDR, Jpg Handheld

Sony Nex-5n w/ 16mm lens and Wideangle Conversion lens @ f/8, 1/400sec, ISO 200, AutoHDR, Jpg Handheld

The Sigma 19mm f/2.8 DN lens is great optically and very affordable for those looking for that range. My 19mm Sigma DN Lens review is this way >>

Sigma E-Mount 19mm f/2.8 DN Lens - HDR Photography

Sigma E-Mount 19mm f/2.8 DN Lens – HDR Photography

The 16-50mm and 18-55mm kit lenses are also not bad for landscape shooting ranges and price. I prefer the optics on the 18-55mm lens myself.

A top quality prime lens option is the Zeiss Touit 12mm f/2.8 lens which has extremely high end optics with very little distortion and chromatic aberrations. My review of the 12mm Touit lens is Here >>

Nex-6, Zeiss touit 12mm f/2.8 @ f/16, ISO 100, HDR -3,0,+3

Nex-6, Zeiss touit 12mm f/2.8 @ f/16, ISO 100, HDR -3,0,+3

Another higher quality option would be the killer all around Sony Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens A great landscape lens really and my 16-70mm review is this way >>

Sony a5000 w/ 16-70mm f/4 oss Zeiss lens @ f/9, 16mm, 1/80sec, ISO 100, Jpeg

Sony a5000 w/ 16-70mm f/4 oss Zeiss lens @ f/9, 16mm, 1/80sec, ISO 100, Jpeg

Again the 18-105mm f/4 OSS Powerzoom G Lens is a great all around lens and can produce quality landscapes!

Sony A6000 w/ 18-105mm f/4 OSS G Lens @ 455mm, F/20, 1/4sec, ISO 100

Sony A6000 w/ 18-105mm f/4 OSS G Lens @ 455mm, F/20, 1/4sec, ISO 100

Also on the higher quality end is the prime Zeiss 24mm f/1.8 lens. It’s not the widest, but depending on your style it may be perfect for you. I put this more in the street category as a primary option though just so you know.

 

Full Frame E-mount

The 28-70mm kit lens is not a bad option if you are on a budget and want some versatility. Sample Photos via the A7 this way >>

Sony A7 w/ 28-70mm kit lens @ f/5.6, 28mm, 1/60sec, ISO 400, Hand-held - Raw

Sony A7 w/ 28-70mm kit lens @ f/5.6, 28mm, 1/60sec, ISO 400, Hand-held – Raw

The Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens would be my first recommendation for landscape shooting, and my highly detailed review which I just published is this way >> The lens is great quality and super wide with a nice usable range. The built in OSS also makes it easy to hand-hold depending on conditions and lighting.

Sony A7II w/ FE 16-35mm f/4 OSS ZA Lens @16mm, F/8

Sony A7II w/ FE 16-35mm f/4 OSS ZA Lens @16mm, F/8

It’s also noting the 10-18mm f/4 OSS lens designed for the APS-C cameras works really well on the full frame cameras in full frame mode. As wide as ~14mm with full coverage! Beyond that and you will see the corners start to go…

The next option would be the Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens. A good range for those that don’t care for the ultra-wide angle look 😉

Sony A7r w/ 24-70mm f/4 OSS Zeiss lens @ 31mm, f/5.6, 1/400sec, ISO 100, hand-held

Sony A7r w/ 24-70mm f/4 OSS Zeiss lens @ 31mm, f/5.6, 1/400sec, ISO 100, hand-held

Next, we have the new 28mm f/2 lens and wide angle-converterFE 28mm f/2 Lens REview w/ Converters >>

The Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2 lens is currently the best option available for the full frame e-mount camera system with Auto focus.

Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2 Lens

 

Best E-Mount Street Photography Lenses

Street photography varies a bit on the shooter for sure, and the focal lengths I see most common in good street photo scenes are in the ~24-50mm range. I also see higher focal length manual focus prime lenses used a lot!

APS-C

The 18-55mm kit lens is one of my favorite options, because it’s really cheap and lightweight. Some street photography using it on my Nex-6 here >> I also used it while traveling to Disney World along with the 55-210mm and together were a killer affordable and practical pair!

Streets of Monticello - Landfield Ave - Sony Nex-6

Streets of Monticello – Landfield Ave – Sony Nex-6

Nex-6 and 18-55mm kit lens @ 21mm, f/4, 1/1250sec, ISO 100

Nex-6 and 18-55mm kit lens @ 55mm, f/5.6, 1/2000sec, ISO 100

A much better quality option would be the Sony Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens. Again, a great all around lens and my review is this way >>

Sony a5000 w/ 16-70mm f/4 oss Zeiss lens @ f/5, 70mm, 1/200sec, ISO 100, Jpeg

Sony a5000 w/ 16-70mm f/4 oss Zeiss lens @ f/5, 70mm, 1/200sec, ISO 100, Jpeg

The 20mm f/2.8 pancake lens is a common lens choice for street because it’s extremely compact and lightweight. My review is here >>

Nex-6 w/ 20mm f/2.8 E-Mount Lens - SEL20f28 @ f/8, 1/640sec, ISO 100 - Raw

Nex-6 w/ 20mm f/2.8 E-Mount Lens – SEL20f28 @ f/8, 1/640sec, ISO 100 – Raw

The Sigma 19mm f/2.8 DN lens is great optically and very affordable for those looking for that range. My 19mm Sigma DN Lens review is this way >>

Sigma E-Mount 19mm f/2.8 DN Lens, @ f/5.6, 1/640sec, ISO 100, Hand-Held, Raw Quality

Sigma E-Mount 19mm f/2.8 DN Lens, @ f/5.6, 1/640sec, ISO 100, Hand-Held, Raw Quality

The high quality Zeiss 24mm f/1.8 lens is a very common street shooter I see used a lot also. Sample Photos via the Nex-7

Nex-7 w/ 24mm f/1.8 E-Mount Carl Zeiss Sonnar Lens

Nex-7 w/ 24mm f/1.8 E-Mount Carl Zeiss Sonnar Lens @ f/1.8, 1/4000sec, ISO 100

If you need more like a 50mm equivalent field of view, then the 35mm f/1.8 OSS lens is a good option. My review of the 35mm f/1.8 lens is this way >>

Sony sel35f18 Lens Review

Sony E-Mount 35mm f/1.8 OSS Lens – @ f/1.8, 1/60sec, ISO 320, Handheld!

The Zeiss Touit 32mm f/1.8 lens is also a killer option for the ~50mm field of view equivalent. I reviewed the touit 32mm lens here >>

Zeiss Touit 32mm f/1.8 Lens @ f/2.2, 1/60sec, ISO 100, Raw

Zeiss Touit 32mm f/1.8 Lens @ f/2.2, 1/60sec, ISO 100, Raw

I would recommend the 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens if you like a little more zoom which I do personally 😉

 

Full Frame

Well again, the 28-70mm kit lens is not a bad option if you are on a budget and want versatility.

If looking for more range on the wide end and quality then the Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens is the way to go.

Sony A57 w/ 24-70mm f/2.8 Carl Zeiss Lens @ f/10, 1/125sec, 40mm, ISO 100, Handheld, Jpeg Fine

Sony A57 w/ 24-70mm f/2.8 Carl Zeiss Lens @ f/10, 1/125sec, 40mm, ISO 100, Handheld, Jpeg Fine

Primes would be the Sony Sonnar T* FE 35mm f/2.8 ZA Lens which I recently used a lot for the Sony A7 II review here >>

Sony A7s w/ 35mm f/2.8 Zeiss lens @ f/2.8, 1/3200sec, ISO 100, Hand-held

Sony A7s w/ 35mm f/2.8 Zeiss lens @ f/2.8, 1/3200sec, ISO 100, Hand-held

I would also recommend the Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens for those in need of more zoom and separation.

Sony A7r w/ E-Mount Zeiss 55mm f/1.8 lens - @ f/4, ISO 100, 1/1600sec, Raw Quality

Sony A7r w/ E-Mount Zeiss 55mm f/1.8 lens – @ f/4, ISO 100, 1/1600sec, Raw Quality

 

Closing Remarks

That is about it for now, but please feel free to share what lenses you like to use in various situations below in the comments area 😉 I will also update this article as new lenses are released and reviewed, because it took me a long time to put together 😉

I hope this article helps a few of those in need with the basic questions of what lens to get for which occasion! I tried to also show a few relevant sample photos along the way.

Don’t forget to check out the Sony E-Mount Lens Guide where lots more manual focus lenses are also available from Zeiss, Rokinon, Samyang, and more…

Also, please visit the awesome growing SonyAlphaLab forum community if you would like to learn and share photography and much more…

Thanks,

Jay


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Thanks,
Jay

 


About the Author

Jay
Hello, I'm the owner and operator of SonyAlphaLab.com. Please check out the About page for a full background on myself and the Lab ;) Google+ | Twitter | RSS-feed | Email Updates!!




27 Comments


  1. Have you changed your opinion on the FE 24-70 F4?
    It’s came down in price a hell of a lot


    • Jay

      I have to a degree Phiniox and great question btw 😉 A few friends have shown me corner results that are excellent and not like what I was getting. Therefore I believe it was clearly a “soft copy” I had for the review. I have not tried another version unfortunately due to time constants, but the results are impressive that I’ve seen.

      So, yes I do recommend the lens based on a few reliable friends having good copies, but have not changed the review officially until I get my hands on another lens for myself. I want to update the lab photos and so fourth…

      Thanks again for the comments and question,
      Jay


  2. flavioross

    The Zeiss 55 is a suberb portrait lens! My favourite by far!

    On other side, for travel and street I think the 35 2.8 a better option, not only because the wider focal lenght, but how small and unobtrusive the lens is. The lens hood is very small too, its one of the few hoods I don’t mind to leave on the lens.


  3. Francisco Aragao

    Sports?? What are the best lenses for sports?


    • Natively the FE 70-200mm f4 OSS G is the best pick. If out of your price range the basic 55-210 is the next longest bit of glass. Adapted the Sony or Minolta 70-300 is a great choice and I prefer the bokeh, colour, sharpness to that over the 55-210. You will need either the LA-EA4 or 2 to get the auto focus.

      The Minolta AF 70-210mm f4 is much to slow at auto focusing but has a every pretty image. I’ve used the Minolta AF 500mm f8 Reflex to shot motor sports.

      The fastest focusing Native lens I own is the standard FE 28-70mm kit lens. Performed excellent with MotoX.


      • Francisco Aragao

        thanx. comprehensive answer. i’ll bookmark this.


      • I’d also like to see a sports focused part on this guide. I’d like to buy an A6000 and I shoot mainly portraits and sports with my old Canon EOS 20D and it’s 50mm 1.8 and the 70-300 f4-5.6.

        Considering that for portraits these mirrorless are killer and there’s tons of short focal range lenses for them, my main concern is sports. I don’t like the idea of going from a f4-5.6 to an f4(would like something faster) but with a dedicated Sports section on your guide(maybe focusing both on indoors and outdoors) I would have an easier time choosing. Great job on it so far anyway!

        Also, with the kind of photography I do(I want to start landscape and street but for the first type I don’t have a lens, for the second anything around 50mm or shorter is good so I simply never started but should) should I get the plain A6000 and get lenses of my choice, should I get the A6000 with the 16-50 kit lens or the combo with the 16-50 and the 55-210? I’m used shooting portraits with the Canon 70-300 for the compressed background that helps you isolate your subject a lot but I hate the f4-5.6 already as I said, going for a f4-6.4 doesn’t seem a smart choice.


  4. clbea

    Very well done. Thanks!


  5. Jay~
    I’m surprised that the 18-105G didn’t make the cut for any of the APS-C categories.
    I think it would have been worth a mention.

    ~William


    • clbea

      I agree, where is the Sony 18-105mm?


    • Jay

      Good call and the powerzoom was the reason I did not add it and the fact that I had so many other lenses and photos I suppose. More for video users than hard core photography I was thinking. Same for the Full frame 28-135mm monster, although that is really large!

      Sorry about that as it really should be in all the areas under all-in-one like the Zeiss 16-70mm.

      Thanks,
      Jay


  6. Great article Jason, very informative and a great guide. Thank you.


  7. eiu022132

    Have you looked at the 18-105 F4? I’ve been reading a lot of good things about it and was wondering if you had a chance to look at it.


    • I haven’t shot with this lens but it was shown by Cinema5D to have heavy to extreme distortion. Not a massive problem if you shoot raw but if your camera doesn’t have a profile for that lens it becomes unusable in JPEG and video.


      • clbea

        No distortion on video on editing, the distortion in RAW is easily corrected with Lightroom. A superb lens for video, very smooth and silent.


  8. Jonas

    Dumb question, but what’s a G lens???


    • Jay

      It’s just a designation Sony uses to classify certain lenses. It means it has better quality than lenses without the G and often compare to some Zeiss quality!

      Jay


  9. Way

    Hi Jay,

    Nice write up! Too bad you already roped me into buying some of these lenses with your other reviews 😉

    I’ve noticed from another review you’ve now got a LA-EA4. Do you have any f2.8 A-mount zooms that you can review with any of your A7’s? Since as you know there are no native f2.8 zooms yet so I’m sure there are a few people curious like myself dying to know how various setups perform.

    ….even Sigma/Tokina would be interesting.

    With the A7II I’m sure the non stabilised versions would suddenly seem more attractive…

    Perhaps a LA-EA3 vs 4 comparison too?

    Thanks


  10. Bob

    Hi Jay,
    Thank you for great article!

    I was wondering wich lens you recommend as the best ‘all-round’ lens for the Sony 6000
    For me as a starter I would to begin with just one lens, so that’s why my curiosity wich one is the best all-rounder….thanks for you time and answer in advance!

    Kind regards, Bob (Venlo – Netherlands)


    • Clint007

      Bob, it is a tough question, we need to know what kind of photo you prefer to do. For traveling, for home, casual pictures, birds, bugs, portrait etc…??


      • Bob

        A little bit of everything….hahaha That’s why i’m searching for an ‘all-round’ lens.
        I doubt between the Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70 mm F4 ZA OSS or the E PZ 18 – 105 mm F4 G OSS
        Wich gives the best performance…? Thanks!
        King regards, Bob.


    • Jay

      Hi Bob,

      This is a hard decisions for sure and my recommendation may not be the best for you personally, so keep that in mind please. My first all-in-one lens choice for the A6000 would be the Zeiss 16-70mm f/4 OSS Lens. It’s very sharp and optically quality is excellent. The lens is also not to big and heavy in my opinion. The 16-70mm range is very good all around coverage and the f/4 constant aperture is fast enough these days for most stuff.

      The next all-in-one recommendation would be the 18-105mm f/4 OSS G lens. It has a lot of range and a killer power zoom feature for video. The optical quality is very good overall although the distortion is noticeable more than the Zeiss. Real world it’s not bad at all when shooting jpeg quality. Downside in my opinion is the size and weight, but with that comes a sealed lens with no physical size change when zooming.

      If you need more reach than 105mm, then the Sony 18-200mm LE OSS Lens would be my next recommendation. The optical quality is not as good as the 18-105mm G lens or killer 16-70mm Zeiss lens, but it’s still very good in the real world. The extra reach also allows for amazing shots in areas like the zoo, parks, or even street.

      I hope that helps Bob,

      Jay


  11. Hallo,
    wow this is a great article and i like the sample´s very much !
    I must say after using lots of lenses, for NEX7 and A7, that i now only use manual lenses. It´s much faster in my opinion, it´s much better to see the effect of the aperture and also the effect of different focus point´s.
    I know…… not for every body but i you like manual:

    On the end there is 1 manual lens i can highly recommend for NEX and A7.
    It´s the M-Rokkor/Summicron 40mm F2.
    Spectacular optic,very small and has a very good price/quality ratio.

    all the best Andreas


  12. Stephani

    Great article! Question for you… I just purchased the Sony a6000 and am looking for a lens or 2… maybe 5 with your great review.

    I will very soon be taking a vacation to Lake Tahoe and Honolulu. I will have two 4 year olds with me. So i’m looking for what to use for landscape for both lake and ocean, lunches and park play with the kids, museums (Pearl Harbor) and night shots for luaus.

    Any assistance would be appreciated. I currently have the 16-50mm and 55-210mm.



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