Best Lenses for Sony a6500 in 2023

Looking for the best lenses for Sony a6500? Here are our top recommended E-mount lenses for Sony a6500 mirrorless camera.

The Sony a6500 is one of the most popular APS-C E-mount mirrorless cameras on the market. It may look a lot like the a6300, but with 5-axis in-camera optical image stabilization, a touchscreen, and an improved processor. The Sony a6500 combines the world’s fastest AF speed and highest humber of AF points with in-camera 5-axis image stabilization, 4D FOCUS with 425 Phase-Detect Points, 24.2MP APS-C Exmor CMOS Sensor, 3.0″ 921.6k-Dot Tilting Touchscreen, Internal UHD 4K Video & S-Log3 Gamma and more. It is really amazing! So, in order to get a professional-like shot, the next thing is to find the best/right lenses for Sony a6500. Here we selected the best lenses for Sony A6500 camera. All the recommended lenses for Sony A6500 would cover virtually all shooting scenarios.

Below are the top recommended lenses for Sony A6500 mirrorless camera. You can choose the one you need.

Best Lenses for Sony A6500

If you’re in a hurry and need a quick answer regarding lens selection for your Sony a6500 mirrorless camera, here we have listed the top recommended lenses for Sony a6500 mirrorless camera:


Best All-In-One Lenses for Sony A6500

Tamron 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di III-A VC VXD Lens

Tamron 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di III-A VC VXD Lens Specifications:

  • Mount: Sony E
  • Lens Format Coverage: APS-C
  • Focal Length: 18-300mm (27-450mm equivalent)
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Maximum Aperture: f/3.5-6.3
  • Minimum Aperture: f/22-40
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 5.9″ (0.15m) (Wide)/39″ (0.99m) (Tele)
  • Maximum Magnification: 1:2 (Wide)/1:4 (Tele)
  • Optical Design: 19 Elements in 5 Groups
  • Diaphragm Blades: 7
  • Filter Size: 67 mm (Front)
  • Dimensions: 3 x 4.9″ / 75.5 x 125.6 mm
  • Weight: 21.9 oz / 620 g
  • $699 at AmazonB&HAdorama.

Pros:

  • Stunning 16.6x zoom range covers wide to extreme telephoto
  • Advanced weather sealing with 9 seal points
  • Quick, quiet autofocus
  • Very little focus breathing
  • Optical stabilization
  • Low vignette
  • Low distortion outside of 18mm
  • Fluorine coating
  • Powerful VXD focus motor

Cons:

  • Narrow aperture limits low-light use
  • Raw photos require some correction

The Tamron 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di III-A VC VXD Lens is a versatile and powerful superzoom option for photographers seeking an all-in-one solution that can handle various shooting situations. With a remarkable 16.6x zoom ratio and a minimum focus distance of just 5.9 inches, this lens caters to the needs of Sony E-mount mirrorless camera users.

One standout feature is the VXD (Voice-coil eXtreme-torque Drive) linear motor, which delivers exceptional autofocus performance. The lens focuses quickly, quietly, and precisely, making it suitable for both still photography and videography. Additionally, the proprietary Vibration Compensation system ensures stability even at ultra-telephoto focal lengths, effectively eliminating camera shake.

Designed specifically for APS-C-format Sony E-mount mirrorless cameras, this all-in-one zoom lens offers a focal length range equivalent to 27-450mm, providing excellent versatility. The lens incorporates Tamron’s Vibration Compensation technology, which uses gyroscopic sensors to detect and counteract horizontal and vertical vibrations, resulting in sharper images.

Furthermore, the Tamron 18-300mm lens boasts a weather-sealed construction, making it suitable for use in challenging weather conditions. This feature adds to the lens’s durability and ensures it can withstand inclement weather while maintaining performance.

In terms of image quality, this all-in-one zoom lens impresses with its crisp photos and the ability to produce pleasing background blur when conditions allow. It also offers a minimum focusing distance of 5.9 feet when fully zoomed out and a maximum magnification ratio of 1:2 at the wide end of the zoom range, enabling close-up macro photography.

While the lens excels in many aspects, it does have a few limitations. The narrow aperture range of f/3.5-6.3 may restrict its performance in low-light situations, requiring sufficient ambient light for optimal results. Additionally, some minor corrections may be necessary when working with raw photos.

Overall, the Tamron 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di III-A VC VXD Lens is an excellent all-in-one zoom lens for photographers who value convenience and versatility. It delivers impressive performance, reliable autofocus, and image stabilization, making it a highly recommended option for travel, walkabout, and general-purpose photography.

Tamron 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di III-A VC VXD Lens for Sony E: $699 at AmazonB&HAdorama.


Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Lens

A great long-zoom standard lens for travel photography and day-to-day shooting

Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Lens Specifications:

  • Mount: Sony E
  • Lens Format Coverage: APS-C
  • Focal Length: 18-135mm (27-202.5mm equivalent)
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Maximum Aperture: f/3.5-5.6
  • Minimum Aperture: f/22-36
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 1.48′ / 45 cm
  • Maximum Magnification: 0.29x
  • Optical Design: 16 Elements in 12 Groups
  • Diaphragm Blades: 7, Rounded
  • Filter Size: 55 mm (Front)
  • Dimensions: 2.65 x 3.46″ / 67.2 x 88 mm
  • Weight: 11.5 oz / 326 g
  • $648 at AmazonB&HAdorama.

Pros:

  • Versatile zoom range
  • Optical image stabilization
  • Excellent central sharpness at wider apertures
  • Low central CA
  • Lovely bokeh
  • Fast AF
  • Low distortion
  • Bright, colourful images
  • Compact and light

Cons:

  • High edge CA
  • No weather resistance
  • Soft at small apertures
  • Poor edges at 135mm

The Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Lens is a versatile and lightweight zoom lens designed for APS-C-format E-mount mirrorless cameras. With a broad zoom range of 18mm to 135mm, equivalent to 27-202.5mm on full-frame cameras, this lens covers a wide range of subjects and situations, making it an excellent choice for travel photography. The built-in image stabilization helps minimize camera shake, resulting in sharper images when shooting handheld.

Weighing just 326g, the Sony E 18-135mm lens is compact and portable, making it perfect for on-the-go shooting. Despite its small size, it qualifies as a “superzoom” lens, offering a comprehensive range of focal lengths from wide-angle to telephoto. This makes it ideal for a variety of photography styles and scenarios, from landscapes and architecture to portraits and close-ups.

The lens delivers impressive image quality and performance, making it a smart buy at its price point. The optical design includes one aspherical element and two extra-low dispersion elements, which contribute to high resolution and effectively suppress chromatic aberration. The lens also features a rounded seven-blade diaphragm, producing pleasing background bokeh for selective focus techniques.

The Sony E 18-135mm lens is equipped with Optical SteadyShot image stabilization, which is particularly useful when shooting in low-light conditions or handheld. It helps to capture blur-free images, allowing you to shoot with slower shutter speeds. The lens’s minimum focusing distance of 0.45m and maximum magnification of 0.29x enable close-up photography with beautiful background bokeh.

While the lens performs well overall, there are some limitations. Central sharpness is good, but detail can be lost at small apertures and edges may be less sharp at longer focal lengths. However, these limitations can be creatively utilized, especially for portraiture and close-up photography.

In conclusion, the Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Lens is a lightweight and versatile option for APS-C mirrorless cameras. Its broad zoom range, image stabilization, and compact size make it an excellent travel companion. With its impressive optical performance and the ability to capture close-ups with pleasing bokeh, it is a solid choice for general photography needs.

Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Lens: $648 at AmazonB&HAdorama.


Best Portrait Prime Lenses for Sony A6500

Sigma 56mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary Lens

Sigma 56mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary Lens Specifications:

  • Mount: Sony E
  • Lens Format Coverage: APS-C
  • Focal Length: 56mm (84mm equivalent)
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • Maximum Aperture: f/1.4
  • Minimum Aperture: f/16
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 1.6′ / 50 cm
  • Maximum Magnification: 0.14x
  • Optical Design: 10 Elements in 6 Groups
  • Diaphragm Blades: 9, Rounded
  • Filter Size: 55 mm (Front)
  • Dimensions: 2.62 x 2.34″ / 66.5 x 59.5 mm
  • Weight: 9.88 oz / 280 g
  • $429 at Amazon, B&H, Adorama.

Pros:

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Beautifully built lens with some weather sealing
  • Large, bright maximum aperture.
  • Exceptional sharpness across the frame
  • Fast, silent autofocus
  • Very high contrast
  • Good color rendition
  • Excellent flare resistance
  • Excellent focus accuracy (including with Eye AF)
  • Very reasonably priced

Cons:

  • Pronounced pincushion distortion
  • The bokeh is a little busy

The Sigma 56mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary Lens is a highly recommended choice for photographers seeking a fast, short telephoto lens with exceptional performance. Its bright f/1.4 maximum aperture allows for shooting in challenging lighting conditions and provides excellent control over depth of field. The lens features a well-designed optical construction with two aspherical elements and one SLD element, resulting in reduced aberrations and improved sharpness and clarity. The super multilayer coating effectively minimizes flare and ghosting, ensuring contrast-rich and color-accurate images even in strong lighting.

The lens’s autofocus motor is fast, precise, and virtually silent, making it suitable for both photography and videography. Its nine-blade diaphragm contributes to a pleasing bokeh quality, enhancing the out-of-focus areas and achieving smooth transitions in focus zones. The lens’s build quality is impressive, with a metal body and a rubberized focus ring that provides a comfortable and secure grip. It also offers some weather sealing for added durability.

While the lens exhibits some pincushion distortion and noticeable vignetting at its widest aperture, these issues can be easily corrected in post-processing or by using in-camera auto-correction features. The lens’s compact size and lightweight design make it a great match for mirrorless cameras, and it pairs well with both compact and larger camera bodies.

The Sigma 56mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary Lens delivers excellent image quality, sharpness, and bokeh rendering, making it a standout choice for portraiture and still life photography. Its price point is reasonable, offering great value for the performance it provides. Photographers who prioritize image quality and desire a versatile lens for various shooting situations will find the Sigma 56mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary Lens to be an excellent investment.

Sigma 56mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary Lens for Sony E: $429 at Amazon, B&H, Adorama.


Sony E 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens

Sony E 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens Specifications:

  • Mount: Sony E
  • Lens Format Coverage: APS-C
  • Focal Length: 50mm (75mm equivalent)
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Maximum Aperture: f/1.8
  • Minimum Aperture: f/22
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 1.28′ / 39 cm
  • Maximum Magnification: 0.16x
  • Optical Design: 9 Elements in 8 Groups
  • Diaphragm Blades: 7, Rounded
  • Filter Size: 49 mm (Front)
  • Dimensions: 2.44 x 2.44″ / 61.98 x 61.98 mm
  • Weight: 7.13 oz / 202 g
  • $348 at Amazon, B&H, Adorama.

Pros:

  • Wide f/1.8 aperture
  • Affordable and portable
  • Image stabilization
  • Minimal distortion
  • Crisp optics
  • Excellent build quality
  • Near silent super smooth autofocus

Cons:

  • Some softness
  • Omits weather sealing
  • Image quality not as good as Sony’s high-end lenses

The Sony E 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens is a short telephoto prime lens designed for Sony’s APS-C mirrorless cameras. With its effective focal length of 75mm, it is an excellent choice for portrait photography, offering a flattering perspective. The fast maximum aperture of f/1.8 is perfect for low-light situations and creating a shallow depth-of-field effect.

The lens delivers impressive optical performance, providing sharp images with excellent detail. Sony’s Optical SteadyShot (OSS) image stabilization is a valuable feature, effectively reducing camera shake and ensuring sharp results, especially in general photography scenarios. However, it is worth noting that the lens’s exterior, like other silver E-series lenses, is prone to scuffs and scratches.

With its 50mm focal length (75mm equivalent), wide aperture, and image stabilization, the Sony E 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens is an outstanding option for portrait photography enthusiasts. Its affordability and performance make it a compelling choice, and sample photos clearly demonstrate its capabilities.

While the lens excels in specific applications, such as portraits, it may not be the best choice for general-purpose photography. If versatility is a priority, the slightly wider Sony E 35mm f/1.8 OSS Lens would be a better fit. However, when used in conjunction with wider primes like the Zeiss Sonnar T* E 24mm F1.8 ZA, the E 50mm f/1.8 OSS becomes an excellent complement.

In terms of image quality, the lens delivers sharp center performance, although the corners and borders may be softer at wider apertures. However, this is unlikely to be a significant issue for typical applications like portraits. Stopping down to f/4-f/8 improves overall image quality, with the lens almost reaching its full potential on Sony’s 24-megapixel sensor. Lateral chromatic aberrations are minimal, and the lens boasts exceptional bokeh quality, making it a favorite among portrait photographers.

The build quality of the Sony E 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens is impressive, featuring a sturdy metal body and a metal focus ring. Its internal focus design ensures that the lens remains the same length during focus operations, and the front element does not rotate. The built-in optical image stabilization adds value, particularly for low-light photography.

Priced just around $300, the Sony E 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens offers a compelling package with the added benefit of image stabilization. It is a worthwhile investment, and its popularity among photographers is expected to remain high.

Sony E 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens: $348 at Amazon, B&H, Adorama.

If you have a preference for Sony lenses or are considering a future transition to a full-frame system, the FE 50mm f/1.8 is a suitable choice. Priced at $250, it provides an affordable option while maintaining excellent performance.

Sony FE 50mm f/1.8 Lens: $248 at Amazon, B&H, Adorama.


Best Macro Lenses for Sony A6500

Laowa 65mm f/2.8 2x Ultra Macro APO Lens

Laowa 65mm f/2.8 2x Ultra Macro APO Lens Specifications:

  • Mount: Sony E
  • Lens Format Coverage: APS-C
  • Focal Length: 65mm (97.5mm equivalent)
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • Maximum Aperture: f/2.8
  • Minimum Aperture: f/22
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 6.69″ / 17 cm
  • Maximum Magnification: 2x
  • Macro Reproduction Ratio: 2:1
  • Optical Design: 14 Elements in 10 Groups
  • Diaphragm Blades: 9
  • Focus Type: Manual Focus
  • Filter Size: 52 mm (Front)
  • Dimensions: 2.24 x 3.94″ / 57 x 100 mm
  • Weight: 11.82 oz / 335 g
  • $399 at Amazon, B&H, Adorama.

Pros:

  • Relatively small and lightweight
  • Sharp as a Savile Row suit
  • Focuses to infinity
  • 2x magnification
  • Amazing microcontrast
  • Excellent image quality
  • APO design delivers stunningly good optical performance
  • Nice bokeh
  • Low distortion and vignette
  • Robust construction
  • Fantastic price-to-performance ratio

Cons:

  • No automatic /preset aperture
  • No electronic contacts / EXIF
  • No stabilization
  • No weather-sealing

The Laowa 65mm f/2.8 2x Ultra Macro APO Lens is a fantastic option for photographers interested in macro photography. Designed for APS-C-format Sony E-mount mirrorless cameras, this lens offers a greater-than-life-size 2:1 maximum magnification, allowing you to capture incredible close-up shots with fine details. The lens’s apochromatic design, featuring three extra-low dispersion elements, greatly reduces color fringing and chromatic aberrations, resulting in exceptional clarity and color accuracy.

Despite its affordable price, the Laowa 65mm f/2.8 2x Ultra Macro APO Lens delivers impressive image quality, sharpness, and microcontrast. The lens’s lightweight and compact construction make it a versatile companion for both leisure and professional photography, particularly for macro enthusiasts looking to capture ecological subjects while traveling.

While the lens lacks automatic/preset aperture and electronic contacts for EXIF data, it compensates for these limitations with its stunning optical performance. It produces nice bokeh, low distortion, and vignetting, making it a reliable tool for capturing striking macro images.

The Laowa 65mm f/2.8 2x Ultra Macro APO Lens’s manual focus operation may not suit everyone’s preferences, but it offers precise control for macro shooting. The lens’s lack of image stabilization and weather-sealing are minor drawbacks, but they can be worked around with proper technique and care.

Overall, the Laowa 65mm f/2.8 2x Ultra Macro APO Lens is highly recommended for photographers looking to explore the world of macro photography on APS-C mirrorless cameras. Its exceptional image quality, 2x magnification, and competitive price-to-performance ratio make it an excellent choice for capturing stunning close-up shots.

Laowa 65mm f/2.8 2x Ultra Macro APO Lens for Sony E: $399 at Amazon, B&H, Adorama.


Sony FE 50mm f/2.8 Macro Lens

Sony FE 50mm f/2.8 Macro Lens Specifications:

  • Mount: Sony E
  • Lens Format Coverage: Full-Frame
  • Focal Length: 50mm (75mm equivalent on APS-C cameras)
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • Maximum Aperture: f/2.8
  • Minimum Aperture: f/16
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 6.3″ / 16 cm
  • Maximum Magnification: 1x
  • Macro Reproduction Ratio: 1:1
  • Optical Design: 8 Elements in 7 Groups
  • Diaphragm Blades: 7
  • Filter Size: 55 mm (Front)
  • Dimensions: 2.79 x 2.8″ / 70.8 x 71 mm
  • Weight: 8.32 oz / 236 g
  • $548 at Amazon, B&H, Adorama.

Pros:

  • Excellent edge to edge sharpness
  • Minimal distortion
  • 1:1 magnification
  • Very low central CA
  • Resistant to flare
  • Weather-sealed design
  • Focus limiter function
  • Light and compact

Cons:

  • Fairly slow AF
  • Omits optical stabilization
  • Short working distance

The Sony FE 50mm f/2.8 Macro Lens is a versatile and high-performing optic that offers both macro capabilities and a useful normal focal length. With a 1:1 maximum magnification, it excels in capturing sharp close-up shots of subjects. The lens’s edge-to-edge sharpness is excellent, even wide open at f/2.8. Distortions are minimal, and vignetting is not a significant concern. The bokeh quality is pleasing, adding a nice depth to images. The lens’s build quality is solid, and it is also weather-sealed for added durability in challenging conditions.

The lens’s autofocus performance, while functional, can be a bit slow, which may not suit fast-paced shooting situations. Additionally, it lacks optical stabilization, which may be a drawback for handheld shooting, especially at close distances. The working distance for macro photography is relatively short, which may require the photographer to get closer to the subject.

Despite these limitations, the Sony FE 50mm f/2.8 Macro Lens delivers excellent image quality, sharpness, and minimal distortion. Its compact and lightweight design makes it highly portable and suitable for everyday photography. The lens’s comprehensive range of controls, including a focus-mode switch, focus-range limiter, and focus-hold button, further enhance its usability for a wide range of users.

Overall, the Sony FE 50mm f/2.8 Macro Lens is a reliable and well-performing option for macro and general photography. Its exceptional image quality, versatile focal length, and compact design make it an appealing choice for photographers seeking a high-quality lens with macro capabilities at a realistic price point.

Sony FE 50mm f/2.8 Macro Lens: $548 at Amazon, B&H, Adorama.


Best Telephoto Zoom Lenses for Sony A6500

Sony E 70-350mm f/4.5-6.3 G OSS Lens

A great telephoto zoom for sports, wildlife, and landscape photography

Sony E 70-350mm f/4.5-6.3 G OSS Lens Specifications:

  • Mount: Sony E
  • Lens Format Coverage: APS-C
  • Focal Length: 70-350mm (105-525mm equivalent)
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Maximum Aperture: f/4.5-6.3
  • Minimum Aperture: f/22-32
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 3.61′ / 1.1 m
  • Maximum Magnification: 0.23x
  • Optical Design: 19 Elements in 13 Groups
  • Diaphragm Blades: 7
  • Filter Size: 67 mm (Front)
  • Dimensions: 3.03 x 5.59″ / 77 x 142 mm
  • Weight: 1.38 lb / 625 g
  • $998 at Amazon, B&H, Adorama.

Pros:

  • Excellent Weather-Sealed Build Quality
  • Compact size and weight for the zoom range
  • Consistently excellent sharpness and contrast
  • Sharp across frame and across zoom range
  • Extremely fast and quiet autofocus
  • Built-in optical stabilization
  • Good tracking capabilities
  • Great bokeh rendering
  • Excellent control of chromatic aberrations
  • Low vignette

Cons:

  • Slightly expensive
  • Flare prone
  • Some pincushion distortion
  • Not compatible with teleconverters

The Sony E 70-350mm f/4.5-6.3 G OSS Lens is a versatile telephoto zoom lens designed for APS-C-format E-mount cameras. It offers a long reach of 105-525mm equivalent focal length, making it ideal for sports, wildlife, and landscape photography. The lens features Optical SteadyShot image stabilization, which helps minimize camera shake for sharper handheld shots.

One of the standout features of this lens is its optimized optical and mechanical design, delivering excellent image quality throughout the zoom range. Despite its 5x zoom capability, the lens remains compact and lightweight, making it easy to carry and handle. The inclusion of a single aspherical element reduces distortion and spherical aberrations, resulting in sharp and detailed images.

The lens boasts a fast and reliable autofocus system thanks to the XD Linear Motor, providing quick and accurate focusing performance. It also offers an intuitive manual focus control for precise adjustments. With the zoom lock switch, the lens length can be fixed when not in use, enhancing convenience and portability.

The Sony E 70-350mm f/4.5-6.3 G OSS lens has received positive reviews for its image quality, focusing speed, and versatility. While it may not match the ultimate reach and brightness of larger and more expensive telephoto lenses in the Sony lineup, it still delivers respectable quality and performance. It offers a remarkable maximum focal length of 525mm while maintaining a compact and lightweight form factor.

The lens is well-built with weather-resistant construction, providing durability and reliability in various shooting conditions. The built-in Optical SteadyShot image stabilization system helps capture sharp images, even at slower shutter speeds. Despite its relatively modest aperture rating, the lens allows for achieving a pleasing background bokeh effect.

While there are some minor drawbacks, such as pincushion distortions and vignetting at maximum aperture, these issues can be easily corrected through image auto-correction. The lens’s overall build quality, focusing speed, and effective image stabilization make it a compelling option for sports, action, and wildlife photographers using Sony APS-C mirrorless cameras.

In conclusion, the Sony E 70-350mm f/4.5-6.3 G OSS Lens offers excellent image quality, a versatile zoom range, and a compact design. It is a highly recommended option for photographers who prioritize portability and need a super-telephoto lens for their Sony APS-C mirrorless camera system.

Sony E 70-350mm f/4.5-6.3 G OSS Lens: $998 at Amazon, B&H, Adorama.


Sony E PZ 18-105mm f/4 G OSS Lens

Sony E PZ 18-105mm f/4 G OSS Lens Specifications:

  • Mount: Sony E
  • Lens Format Coverage: APS-C
  • Focal Length: 18-105mm (27-157.5mm equivalent)
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Maximum Aperture: f/4
  • Minimum Aperture: f/22
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 1.48′ / 45 cm
  • Maximum Magnification: 0.11x
  • Optical Design: 16 Elements in 12 Groups
  • Diaphragm Blades: 7, Rounded
  • Filter Size: 72 mm (Front)
  • Dimensions: 3.1 x 4.3″ / 78 x 110 mm
  • Weight: 15.1 oz / 427 g
  • $648 at Amazon, B&H, Adorama.

Pros:

  • Excellent build quality
  • Excellent sharpness in the centre of the frame
  • Relatively lightweight
  • Effective optical stabilisation

Cons:

  • Lack of sharpness towards the edges of the frame at 105mm
  • High CA levels
  • Wild distortion at 105mm

The Sony E PZ 18-105mm f/4 G OSS Lens is a versatile option designed for APS-C-format E-mount cameras. With its 27-157.5mm zoom range and constant f/4 aperture, it covers essential focal lengths and ensures consistency throughout the zoom range. This makes it suitable for both stills and video shooting, aided by its power zoom mechanism and Handycam technology, which enable smooth and quiet zooming and focusing.

The lens incorporates two extra-low dispersion elements and three aspherical elements to combat aberrations, resulting in crisp and clean images. It also features Optical SteadyShot image stabilization to minimize the effects of camera shake, particularly at longer focal lengths. The lens’s internal focus design maintains a constant length during focusing, and it offers a minimum focus distance of 1.5 feet. The seven-blade circular diaphragm contributes to smooth bokeh for pleasing background blur.

For video shooters, the Sony E PZ 18-105mm f/4 G OSS Lens excels, delivering excellent performance and smooth zooming capabilities. However, when it comes to still photography, there are some concerns. The lens exhibits poor performance towards the edges of the frame at the telephoto end and suffers from distortion and high levels of fringing. These issues make it less suitable for still photographers, particularly those shooting in RAW. If shooting in JPEG or post-processing with lens correction, the distortion issue can be mitigated.

Despite these compromises, the Sony E PZ 18-105mm f/4 G OSS Lens remains a solid choice for video shooters, thanks to its long zoom range, power zoom design, and image stabilization. It offers a more affordable alternative to the Zeiss 16-70mm f/4 lens, with a longer reach. While it may have some optical shortcomings, it still provides good overall performance and is a worthy option for those who prioritize video capabilities.

Sony E PZ 18-105mm f/4 G OSS Lens: $648 at Amazon, B&H, Adorama.


Tamron 70-180mm f/2.8 Di III VXD Lens

Tamron 70-180mm f/2.8 Di III VXD Lens Specifications:

  • Mount: Sony E
  • Lens Format Coverage: Full-Frame
  • Focal Length: 70-180mm (105-270mm equivalent on APS-C models)
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • Maximum Aperture: f/2.8
  • Minimum Aperture: f/22
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 10.63″ / 27 cm
  • Maximum Magnification: 0.5x
  • Macro Reproduction Ratio: 1:2
  • Optical Design: 19 Elements in 14 Groups
  • Diaphragm Blades: 9, Rounded
  • Filter Size: 67 mm (Front)
  • Dimensions: 3.19 x 5.87″ / 81 x 149 mm
  • Weight: 1.78 lb / 810 g
  • $1,199 at AmazonB&HAdorama.

Pros:

  • Light, comparatively compact
  • Smaller filter size than the competition
  • Bright f/2.8 aperture
  • Excellent sharpness and uniformity at all apertures and focal lengths
  • Very good resolution
  • Nice Bokeh
  • Reliable and fast AF tracking, extremely fast static AF
  • Low vignetting and minimal distortions
  • Very usable close-up performance at 180mm focal length
  • Extensive weather sealing plus fluorine coating against moist and dust
  • Low price when compared with other F2.8 options

Cons:

  • Significant flare and ghosting except at 180mm
  • No internal zooming
  • Some distortion at longer focal lengths
  • No AF/MF switch, relies on camera menu
  • Incompatible with teleconverters

The Tamron 70-180mm f/2.8 Di III VXD Lens is a versatile and lightweight telephoto zoom designed for Sony E-mount mirrorless cameras. With its compact profile and fast f/2.8 maximum aperture, this lens offers photographers a unique and affordable alternative to Sony’s high-end options.

The lens’s optical design includes six low dispersion elements and three aspherical elements, effectively reducing color fringing and spherical aberrations throughout the zoom range. The BBAR-G2 coating further minimizes internal reflections, flare, and ghosting, resulting in improved contrast and color accuracy even in challenging lighting conditions.

One of the standout features of the Tamron 70-180mm f/2.8 is its autofocus performance. Powered by dual VXD linear motor units, the lens delivers fast, accurate, and quiet focusing suitable for both stills and video applications. It offers a minimum focusing distance of 2.8′ at all focal lengths, with a maximum magnification of 1:4.6 at 180mm. Full-time manual focus override is also available, providing additional control and precision.

Despite its compact size, the lens does not compromise on build quality. It features a moisture-resistant construction, making it suitable for use in various weather conditions. The front element is coated with fluorine to protect against dust, dirt, and smudging.

While the lens offers excellent image quality and impressive features, there are a few drawbacks to consider. Flare and ghosting can be significant, particularly at longer focal lengths. The lack of internal zooming and an AF/MF switch means adjustments need to be made through the camera menu. Additionally, the lens is not compatible with teleconverters.

Overall, the Tamron 70-180mm f/2.8 Di III VXD Lens is a compelling choice for photographers seeking a lightweight and affordable telephoto zoom. It delivers excellent sharpness, pleasing bokeh, and reliable autofocus performance. With its extensive weather sealing and compact design, it offers a viable alternative to Sony’s more expensive options. However, photographers should be aware of the lens’s limitations regarding flare, internal zooming, and compatibility with teleconverters.

Tamron 70-180mm f/2.8 Di III VXD Lens for Sony E: $1,199 at AmazonB&HAdorama.


Best Wide-Angle Zoom Lens for Sony A6500

Sony E 10-20mm f/4 PZ G Lens

An ideal lens for for vlogging and content creation

Sony E 10-20mm f/4 PZ G Lens Specifications:

  • Mount: Sony E
  • Lens Format Coverage: APS-C
  • Focal Length: 10-20mm (15-30mm equivalent)
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • Maximum Aperture: f/4
  • Minimum Aperture: f/22
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 0.2m (AF), 0.13-0.17m (MF)
  • Maximum Magnification: 0.14x (AF), 0.18x (MF)
  • Optical Design: 11 Elements in 8 Groups
  • Diaphragm Blades: 7, Rounded
  • Filter Size: 62 mm (Front)
  • Dimensions: 2.7 x 2.2″ (69.8 x 55 mm)
  • Weight: 6.3 oz (178 g)
  • $748 at AmazonB&HAdorama.

Pros:

  • Ultra-wide angle of view (15-35mm equivalent)
  • Constant f/4 maximum aperture
  • Great image quality and handling
  • Consistently excellent sharpness and contrast
  • Power zoom mechanism
  • Quality degree of weather sealing
  • Low focus breathing
  • Good flare resistance
  • Good bokeh rendering
  • Good control of chromatic aberrations
  • Extremely compact size

Cons:

  • No image stabilization
  • Focus and zoom rings too close and too similar
  • Strong barrel distortion at 10mm
  • Quite expensive

The Sony E 10-20mm f/4 PZ G is a lens designed with the hybrid shooter in mind, offering a lightweight and versatile ultra-wide-angle zoom that is perfect for vlogging and content creation. With its Power Zoom feature, intuitive handling, and advanced optics, this lens is ideal for daily shooting applications and excels in video production capabilities.

One of the standout features of the Sony E 10-20mm f/4 PZ G lens is its compact size, making it the smallest ultra-wide APS-C zoom available across all camera companies. This lens offers a full-frame equivalent focal length range of 15-30mm and a constant f/4 aperture throughout the zoom range. The T/W toggle on the side of the lens allows for smooth power zooming, enhancing its usability for video recording.

The lens’s optical performance is impressive, with three aspherical elements and two ED elements contributing to high sharpness, minimal distortion, and excellent color accuracy. The circular diaphragm produces a smooth and natural bokeh quality, adding a touch of creativity to your images.

For video-oriented shooters, the Sony E 10-20mm f/4 PZ G is a great choice. The internal zoom and focus design keep the lens compact and well-balanced, making it suitable for use with gimbals. The linear autofocus system is fast and silent, ensuring smooth and accurate focusing, while the Smooth Motion Optics feature minimizes focus breathing for consistent composition when changing focus.

While the lens is optimized for video, it still offers benefits for still photography. The image quality surpasses the previous E 10-18mm F4 OSS lens, and the lightning-fast autofocus and dust and splash protection are valuable features. However, for still photography enthusiasts, the Tamron 11-20mm F2.8 lens may be a preferred choice due to its mechanical zoom, brighter aperture, and front coating.

In terms of handling, the Sony E 10-20mm f/4 PZ G lens is intuitive and user-friendly. It features an integrated Power Zoom lever on the lens barrel, a dedicated zoom ring, and compatibility with remote zoom control via wireless grip or smartphone. The lens is also weather-sealed, making it suitable for various shooting conditions.

Despite its many strengths, the Sony E 10-20mm f/4 PZ G lens does have a few drawbacks. It lacks image stabilization, which may require the use of additional stabilizing equipment for handheld shooting. Some users may find the focus and zoom rings too close and too similar, leading to potential confusion. At 10mm, there is noticeable barrel distortion, but this can be corrected in post-processing.

In conclusion, the Sony E 10-20mm f/4 PZ G lens is a lightweight, versatile, and high-performing option for hybrid shooters, particularly those focused on video production and vlogging. Its compact size, excellent image quality, and advanced features make it a valuable addition to any APS-C camera kit.

Sony E 10-20mm f/4 PZ G Lens: $748 at AmazonB&HAdorama.


Tamron 11-20mm f/2.8 Di III-A RXD Lens

Tamron 11-20mm f/2.8 Di III-A RXD Lens Specifications:

  • Mount: Sony E
  • Lens Format Coverage: APS-C
  • Focal Length: 11-20mm (16.5-30mm equivalent)
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • Maximum Aperture: f/2.8
  • Minimum Aperture: f/16
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 5.9″ / 15 cm
  • Maximum Magnification: 0.25x
  • Macro Reproduction Ratio: 1:4
  • Optical Design: 12 Elements in 10 Groups
  • Diaphragm Blades: 7, Rounded
  • Filter Size: 67 mm (Front)
  • Dimensions: 2.9 x 3.4″ / 73 x 86.2 mm
  • Weight: 11.8 oz / 335 g
  • $699 at AmazonB&HAdorama.

Pros:

  • Great wide angle zoom range
  • Fast and constant f/2.8 aperture
  • Relatively compact and lightweight
  • Fast, quiet, and accurate autofocus
  • Good coma control
  • Strong aberration control
  • Great build with weather sealing

Cons:

  • Some flare issues
  • No optical stabilizer

The Tamron 11-20mm f/2.8 Di III-A RXD Lens is a game-changer for Sony E-mount APS-C mirrorless cameras, offering a fast-aperture ultra wide-angle zoom that delivers exceptional performance. Designed with landscape, astrophotography, and architectural shooting in mind, this lens is a versatile tool that excels in capturing expansive scenes and delivering stunning image quality.

One standout feature of the Tamron 11-20mm lens is its constant f/2.8 maximum aperture, which remains consistent throughout the zoom range. This aperture not only allows for enhanced control over depth of field but also ensures impressive low-light performance. The lens incorporates advanced optical elements, including XLD, LD, and GM elements, to reduce chromatic aberrations and color fringing, resulting in outstanding clarity and color accuracy. The BBAR-G2 coating effectively minimizes flare and ghosting, delivering images with excellent contrast even in challenging lighting conditions.

Autofocus performance is where the Tamron 11-20mm truly shines. The responsive RXD stepping drive motor enables quick and near-silent autofocus, making it ideal for both stills and video applications. With a minimum object distance of just 5.9″ at the widest end of the zoom range, this lens also offers impressive wide-angle macro capabilities, allowing you to capture unique perspectives and magnify close objects while maintaining sharpness.

Built with durability in mind, the Tamron 11-20mm lens features moisture-resistant construction, providing protection against inclement weather conditions. Additionally, the fluorine coating on the front lens element guards against dust, dirt, and smearing, ensuring consistent image quality.

The lens’s compact and lightweight design adds to its appeal, making it a convenient choice for everyday use and travel photography. With its impressive image quality, versatility, and portability, the Tamron 11-20mm f/2.8 Di III-A RXD Lens opens up a world of creative possibilities.

In terms of drawbacks, some users have reported flare issues in certain shooting conditions. It’s worth noting that the lens lacks an optical stabilizer, which may be a minor concern for those shooting in handheld situations. However, considering its exceptional performance and competitive price point, the Tamron 11-20mm f/2.8 Di III-A RXD Lens remains an outstanding choice for photographers seeking an ultra-wide-angle zoom lens for Sony APS-C mirrorless cameras.

Whether you’re capturing breathtaking landscapes or exploring the wonders of astrophotography, the Tamron 11-20mm f/2.8 Di III-A RXD Lens empowers you to push the boundaries of your creativity, delivering impressive image quality, excellent performance, and reliable build quality.

$130 off on Tamron 11-20mm f/2.8 Di III-A RXD Lens for Sony E: $699 at AmazonB&HAdorama.


Best Wide-Angle Prime Lenses for Sony A6500

Sony E 15mm f/1.4 G Lens

Sony E 15mm f/1.4 G Lens Specifications:

  • Mount: Sony E
  • Lens Format Coverage: APS-C
  • Focal Length: 15mm (22.5mm equivalent)
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • Maximum Aperture: f/1.4
  • Minimum Aperture: f/16
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 6.7″ (17cm)
  • Maximum Magnification: 0.15x
  • Optical Design: 13 Elements in 12 Groups
  • Diaphragm Blades: 7, Rounded
  • Filter Size: 55 mm (Front)
  • Dimensions: 2.6 x 2.7″ (66.6 x 69.5mm)
  • Weight: 7.7 oz (219 g)
  • $748 at AmazonB&HAdorama.

Pros:

  • f/1.4 maximum aperture
  • Superb image quality
  • Consistently excellent sharpness and contrast
  • Fast, quiet focus
  • Low focus breathing
  • Excellent flare resistance
  • Dust and splash protection
  • Nicely built lens with great handling
  • Compact and lightweight

Cons:

  • Slightly expensive
  • Heavy barrel distortion
  • No stabilizer

The Sony E 15mm f/1.4 G Lens is a highly desirable addition to Sony’s APS-C lens lineup. As the fastest APS-C lens from Sony, it offers a bright f/1.4 aperture, making it versatile for various shooting situations. Whether you’re into vlogging, landscape photography, or general walkaround shooting, this lens delivers outstanding image quality and speed.

With a wide-angle prime that offers a 22.5mm equivalent focal length, the lens is suitable for a range of photography genres, from street and landscapes to travel shots. It’s also perfect for vlogging and selfie-style videos, thanks to its shallow depth of field and excellent low-light performance.

The lens features advanced G Series optics, including three aspherical elements that ensure high sharpness and reduce distortion and spherical aberrations. Additionally, one Super ED and two ED elements help achieve greater clarity and color accuracy by minimizing chromatic aberrations. The rounded 7-blade diaphragm contributes to a smooth and natural bokeh quality.

In terms of design, the Sony E 15mm f/1.4 G Lens is compact and lightweight, perfectly complementing Sony’s APS-C mirrorless camera bodies. It features a sturdy build with full weather sealing, providing durability and protection in inclement conditions. The lens has an intuitive handling design, including an aperture control ring and a customizable focus hold button for quick access to settings.

The autofocus performance is impressive, with fast, reliable, and virtually silent focusing. The linear manual focusing ring adds to the smooth operation, and the traditional aperture ring can be de-clicked for seamless aperture control during video shooting.

Optically, the lens delivers excellent center sharpness throughout the aperture range. Chromatic aberrations are virtually absent, and flare is well-controlled even when shooting directly into the sun. The only noticeable optical issue is some barrel distortion in RAW files, which can be easily corrected.

Overall, the Sony E 15mm f/1.4 G Lens is a premium wide-angle prime lens that offers exceptional performance for both still photography and vlogging. While it comes with a higher price tag compared to its competitors, the lens justifies its cost with its sublime optics, quick autofocus, and robust weather protection. Highly recommended for photographers and videographers seeking top-notch image quality and versatility in an ultra-wide-angle lens.

Sony E 15mm f/1.4 G Lens: $748 at AmazonB&HAdorama.


Sony E 11mm f/1.8 Lens

Sony E 11mm f/1.8 Lens Specifications:

  • Mount: Sony E
  • Lens Format Coverage: APS-C
  • Focal Length: 11mm (16.5mm equivalent)
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • Maximum Aperture: f/1.8
  • Minimum Aperture: f/16
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 4.7″ (12cm)
  • Maximum Magnification: 0.2x
  • Optical Design: 12 Elements in 11 Groups
  • Diaphragm Blades: 7, Rounded
  • Filter Size: 55 mm (Front)
  • Dimensions: 2.6 x 2.3″ (66 x 57.5mm)
  • Weight: 6.4 oz (181 g)
  • $548 at Amazon, B&H, Adorama.

Pros:

  • Lightweight and extremely compact
  • Wide-angle view
  • Quick, quiet autofocus
  • Consistently excellent sharpness and contrast
  • Quality degree of weather sealing (8 seal points)
  • Almost no focus breathing
  • On-lens function button
  • Excellent flare resistance
  • Good bokeh rendering
  • Good control of chromatic aberrations
  • Affordable price tag

Cons:

  • Strong barrel distortion
  • Fairly heavy vignette
  • No aperture control ring
  • No image stabilization

The Sony E 11mm f/1.8 lens is a versatile and high-quality option for Sony APS-C mirrorless cameras. With its ultra-wide focal length and bright f/1.8 aperture, it excels in various photography genres such as landscape, architecture, astrophotography, and vlogging.

The lens’s sleek and lightweight design makes it incredibly portable, perfect for travel and walkaround shooting. It is specifically designed for APS-C cameras, providing a 16.5mm equivalent focal length that captures a wide field of view. This makes it ideal for capturing expansive landscapes or architectural interiors.

In terms of performance, the Sony E 11mm f/1.8 delivers excellent image quality with sharpness and lively results for both stills and videography. It maintains sharpness even at close focusing distances, allowing for creative and dramatic viewpoints. The lens also controls distortion effectively, ensuring that straight lines in architectural photography are reproduced accurately.

While the lens is primarily marketed towards vloggers, it offers versatility for stills photographers as well. It can be used for a range of subjects, including portraits, macro-type shots, and low-light photography. The fast autofocus and virtually silent focus transitions make it suitable for video recording, and the minimal focus breathing enhances its performance for video purposes.

Although the lens exhibits some barrel distortion, it can be easily corrected in-camera or during post-processing. Additionally, it offers weather sealing, a customizable focus hold button, and compatibility with dust- and moisture-resistant camera bodies.

Considering its affordable price point, the Sony E 11mm f/1.8 offers excellent value for money. It competes well with other options in the market and stands out as a highly recommended choice for those seeking an ultra-wide-angle prime lens for Sony APS-C cameras. Whether you’re a vlogger, landscape photographer, or simply looking to expand your creative possibilities, this lens delivers impressive results.

Sony E 11mm f/1.8 Lens: $548 at Amazon, B&H, Adorama.


Laowa 10mm f/4 Cookie Lens

A great wide-angle lens for travel photography and vlogging

Laowa 10mm f/4 Cookie Lens Specifications:

  • Mount: Sony E
  • Lens Format Coverage: APS-C
  • Focal Length: 10mm (15mm equivalent)
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • Maximum Aperture: f/4
  • Minimum Aperture: f/22
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 3.9″ / 10 cm
  • Maximum Magnification: 0.15x
  • Optical Design: 12 Elements in 8 Groups
  • Diaphragm Blades: 5
  • Focus Type: Manual Focus
  • Filter Size: 37 mm (Front)
  • Dimensions: 2.4 x 1″ / 59.8 x 25 mm
  • Weight: 4.6 oz / 130 g
  • $299 at Amazon, B&H, Adorama.

Pros:

  • Tiny size and light weight
  • Affordable price
  • Stylish aesthetic
  • Excellent center and mid-frame sharpness
  • Focus and aperture rings move smoothly
  • Very low distortion
  • Great flare resistance overall
  • Good magnification and close focus performance

Cons:

  • Strong vignetting and poor edge sharpness
  • No weather sealing
  • No electronics
  • Manual focus ring can be a little hard to find by feel

The Laowa 10mm f/4 Cookie Lens by Venus Optics is a compact and lightweight wide-angle prime lens designed for APS-C mirrorless cameras. With a focal length equivalent to 15mm and a 109.3° angle of view, it is ideal for architectural, landscape, and everyday photography. This lens stands out as the world’s widest rectilinear pancake lens, measuring only 25mm in length and weighing a mere 130g. It offers excellent image quality with minimal distortion, making it suitable for various shooting situations.

The lens features four extra-low dispersion glass elements and two aspherical glass elements, which effectively reduce chromatic aberrations and distortions, resulting in sharper images. It also has a minimum focusing distance of 4 inches, allowing for wide-angle macro shots. Additionally, the five-blade aperture creates beautiful 10-point sun stars when shooting towards bright light sources.

While the Laowa 10mm f/4 Cookie Lens offers exceptional optics and image quality, it does have some drawbacks. Its maximum aperture of f/4 may limit low-light shooting capabilities and depth of field control. The lack of autofocus and weather sealing may also be a disadvantage for some photographers.

Despite these limitations, the lens’s affordable price makes it an attractive option for those looking to experiment with an ultra-wide manual focus lens. Its unique retro aesthetic and the ability to capture distinctive images with a wide perspective add to its appeal. Photographers who value portability and creativity in their gear will appreciate the Laowa 10mm f/4 Cookie Lens.

Overall, the Laowa 10mm f/4 Cookie Lens is a good choice for APS-C camera users who want an affordable and compact ultra-wide-angle lens. While it may not excel in every aspect, its image quality, portability, and affordable price make it an appealing option for photographers seeking a different shooting experience.

Laowa 10mm f/4 Cookie Lens for Sony E: $299 at Amazon, B&H, Adorama.


Best Standard Zoom Lenses for Sony A6500

Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 DC DN Contemporary Lens

A small, light, and bright standard zoom for landscapes, portraits, street photography, architecture, and events

Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 DC DN Contemporary Lens Specifications:

  • Mount: Sony E
  • Lens Format Coverage: APS-C
  • Focal Length: 18-50mm (27-75mm equivalent)
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • Maximum Aperture: f/2.8
  • Minimum Aperture: f/22
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 0.12m (W) 0.3m (T)
  • Maximum Magnification: 0.36x (W) 0.2x (T)
  • Macro Reproduction Ratio: 1:2.8
  • Optical Design: 13 Elements in 10 Groups
  • Diaphragm Blades: 7, Rounded
  • Filter Size: 55 mm (Front)
  • Dimensions: 2.5 x 2.9″ / 64.5 x 74.5 mm
  • Weight: 10.2 oz / 290 g
  • $549 at Amazon, B&H, Adorama.

Pros:

  • Compact size and light weight
  • Useful focal range with constant F2.8 aperture
  • Close focus for 1:2.8 macro
  • Quick, quiet autofocus
  • Minimal focus breathing
  • Low amounts of chromatic aberrations
  • Good sharpness across zoom range
  • Nice bokeh in most situations
  • Fairly good coma performance
  • Nicely made with a weather sealing gasket
  • Reasonably priced

Cons:

  • No optical stabilization
  • Fairly strong barrel distortion at 18mm

The Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 DC DN Contemporary Lens is a versatile and compact standard zoom lens designed for crop-sensor mirrorless cameras. With its wide range of focal lengths, from 18mm to 50mm, it is ideal for various photography and videography applications such as landscapes, portraits, street photography, architecture, and events. The lens offers a full-frame equivalent zoom range of 27-75mm, providing flexibility in composition and framing.

One of the standout features of this lens is its constant f/2.8 aperture throughout the entire zoom range. This wide aperture allows for excellent low-light performance and shallow depth-of-field effects, giving your images a professional look with smooth background blur. The lens design incorporates three high-precision glass-molded aspherical elements and a special low dispersion element, which minimize distortion, spherical aberrations, and chromatic aberrations. The result is outstanding optical quality with sharpness and accurate rendering.

The autofocus of the Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 DC DN Contemporary Lens is fast, quiet, and precise, thanks to its stepping motor. This makes it suitable for capturing video footage and fast-moving subjects like children and animals. The lens also has a minimum focusing distance of just 4.8″, allowing you to get close to your subjects for macro-style close-up photography.

Despite its compact size and lightweight design, weighing just over 10 ounces (290g) and measuring less than 3 inches (74.5mm) in length, the Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 DC DN Contemporary Lens delivers impressive image quality. The lens features a rounded seven-blade diaphragm, contributing to a pleasing bokeh quality in your images.

While the lens lacks full weather sealing and a fluorine coating, it offers exceptional value for its price point. It is an affordable and capable option for beginner photographers, providing sharp optics, good macro capabilities, and reliable autofocus performance. However, for those with a higher budget, alternatives like the Tamron 17-70mm f/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD or Sony’s high-end E 16-55mm f/2.8 G lenses offer additional features such as image stabilization, extended zoom range, and better weather sealing.

In conclusion, the Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 DC DN Contemporary Lens is a standout choice for Sony APS-C photographers seeking a compact, high-quality, and affordable standard zoom lens. It excels in optical performance, autofocus speed, and versatility, making it an excellent upgrade from kit lenses.

Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 DC DN Contemporary Lens for Sony E: $549 at Amazon, B&H, Adorama.


Tamron 17-70mm f/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD Lens

Tamron 17-70mm f/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD Lens Specifications:

  • Mount: Sony E
  • Lens Format Coverage: APS-C
  • Focal Length: 17-70mm (25.5-105mm equivalent)
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Maximum Aperture: f/2.8
  • Minimum Aperture: f/16
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 7.5″ / 19 cm
  • Maximum Magnification: 0.21x
  • Optical Design: 16 Elements in 12 Groups
  • Diaphragm Blades: 9, Rounded
  • Filter Size: 67 mm (Front)
  • Dimensions: 2.9 x 4.7″ / 74.6 x 119.3 mm
  • Weight: 1.2 lb / 525 g
  • $699 at Amazon, B&H, Adorama.

Pros:

  • Great zoom range
  • Maintains F2.8 aperture
  • Pleasing image quality
  • Excellent image stabilization (VC)
  • Fast, quiet, and accurate autofocus
  • Good flare resistance
  • Strong aberration control
  • Good build with weather sealing
  • Excellent price

Cons:

  • Largest and heaviest lens in the class, a little bulky
  • Sharpness could be better at some settings
  • Noticeable distortions when uncorrected

The Tamron 17-70mm f/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD Lens is a versatile and high-performing option for Sony E-mount APS-C mirrorless cameras. With its wide-to-short telephoto range and bright f/2.8 maximum aperture, it is suitable for various shooting scenarios and excels in challenging lighting conditions. The lens incorporates advanced optics, including aspherical and low dispersion elements, to deliver exceptional image quality with sharpness, clarity, and accurate color reproduction. The BBAR coating effectively reduces flare and ghosting, resulting in increased contrast and better image quality when shooting in backlit situations.

One of the standout features of this lens is the Vibration Compensation image stabilization system, which minimizes camera shake and enables steady photography and videography, especially in low-light environments. The lens is equipped with an RXD stepping motor, ensuring fast and near-silent autofocus performance. It also offers full-time manual focus override and a minimum focusing distance of 7.5 inches, making it suitable for close-up subjects.

In terms of construction, the lens boasts a moisture-resistant design and a fluorine-coated front element to protect against fingerprints and smudges. This makes it suitable for use in various weather conditions.

The Tamron 17-70mm f/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD Lens is a travel-friendly option due to its compact size and lightweight build. It also shows potential as a video lens, thanks to its image stabilization capabilities and lack of focus breathing. The lens comes at a reasonable price, making it an attractive choice for those seeking a versatile, everyday lens without breaking the bank.

While the lens offers a wide zoom range and maintains a constant aperture, some drawbacks should be noted. It is the largest and heaviest lens in its class, which may be a concern for those looking for a more compact option. Additionally, although the overall image quality is pleasing, sharpness could be slightly improved at certain settings. There may be noticeable distortions when uncorrected, but these can be mitigated through post-processing or lens correction tools.

Overall, the Tamron 17-70mm f/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD Lens is a highly capable and versatile lens that offers great value for its price. It delivers excellent image quality, effective image stabilization, and reliable autofocus performance, making it an ideal choice for photographers and videographers in search of an everyday lens with a wide range of shooting possibilities.

Tamron 17-70mm f/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD Lens for Sony E: $699 at Amazon, B&H, Adorama.


Sony E 16-55mm f/2.8 G Lens

Sony E 16-55mm f/2.8 G Lens Specifications:

  • Mount: Sony E
  • Lens Format Coverage: APS-C
  • Focal Length: 16-55mm (24-82.5mm equivalent)
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • Maximum Aperture: f/2.8
  • Minimum Aperture: f/22
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 1.08′ / 33 cm
  • Maximum Magnification: 0.2x
  • Optical Design: 17 Elements in 12 Groups
  • Diaphragm Blades: 9, Rounded
  • Filter Size: 67 mm (Front)
  • Dimensions: 2.87 x 3.94″ / 73 x 100 mm
  • Weight: 1.09 lb / 494 g
  • $1,398 at Amazon, B&H, Adorama.

Pros:

  • Excellent build quality
  • Fast and constant f/2.8 aperture
  • Excellent image quality
  • Quick, quiet autofocus
  • Dust and splash protection
  • Fluorine coating
  • Lightweight and travel-friendly
  • High-end, weather-sealed construction

Cons:

  • Pricey
  • No image stabilization
  • Fair amount of distortion without corrections

The Sony E 16-55mm f/2.8 G lens is a long-awaited addition to the Sony APS-C E-mount mirrorless camera system, and it does not disappoint. This standard zoom lens offers excellent image quality, impressive build quality, and a fast constant f/2.8 aperture. It covers a versatile range from wide-angle to portrait-length, making it suitable for various subjects.

The lens delivers outstanding optical performance with superb sharpness and contrast, and it produces pleasing bokeh when desired. Its handling is refined, featuring a customizable focus hold button, weather-sealing, and a solid build. Autofocus is lightning-fast and highly accurate.

While the lack of built-in optical stabilization may be a drawback for some, the lens compensates with its exceptional image quality throughout the zoom range. Even when shooting wide open at f/2.8, images remain sharp and well-rendered. The lens’s weather-sealing adds to its professional credentials, along with the customizability and solid construction.

Auto-focusing is quick, reliable, and nearly silent, making it suitable for both stills and video shooting. Manual focusing is also intuitive, thanks to Sony’s Linear Response MF feature. However, it’s worth noting that the lens comes with a professional-level price tag.

The Sony E 16-55mm f/2.8 G lens features advanced optics, including aspherical and extra-low dispersion elements, which reduce distortion and chromatic aberrations for accurate image reproduction. The lens also incorporates a Nano AR Coating to minimize surface reflections, flare, and ghosting.

With its compact and lightweight design, the lens is highly portable and pairs well with APS-C cameras. It is dust- and moisture-sealed for use in challenging conditions, and the front element is coated with fluorine to resist dust, moisture, and fingerprints.

In conclusion, the Sony E 16-55mm f/2.8 G lens is an excellent addition to Sony’s APS-C lens lineup. Its professional-grade image quality, versatile focal range, fast aperture, and robust construction make it a top choice for professional stills and video shooters, despite its higher price point. However, the lack of image stabilization and some distortion at the wide end of the zoom range without corrections are worth considering.

Sony E 16-55mm f/2.8 G Lens: $1,398 at Amazon, B&H, Adorama.


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