This is a guide to the best lenses for the Sony a7III full frame mirrorless camera in 2023.
I’ve been shooting with the a7III for several years and have tried all of the native Sony FE lenses.
Despite the emergence of some great 3rd party camera lenses for Sony a7III, I still prefer native glass.
In this guide, I’ve provided my recommendations for the best prime and zoom lenses for this popular mirrorless camera.
You’ll also learn which lenses can be used with the a7III, and which ones provide best bang for your buck right now.
- Got the newer model? Check out my guide to Sony a7IV lenses
Table of Contents
What are the Best Lenses for Sony a7III in 2023?
|Sony 16-35mm f/2.8||View Price →|
|Sony 28mm f/2.0||View Price →|
|Sony 35mm f/1.8||View Price →|
|Sony 55mm f/1.8||View Price →|
|Sony 85mm f/1.8||View Price →|
|Sony 24-70 f/2.8||View Price →|
|Sony 70-200 f/2.8||View Price →|
1. Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM | Best Wide Angle Lens for Sony a7III
Weight: 680 g (24 oz.)
Size (Diameter x Length): 3.5 x 4.8″ / 89 x 122 mm
Filter Diameter: 82mm
Minimum Focus Distance: 0.28m (11 in)
This is by far my number one lens for the Sony a7III. It stays on my camera all day while shooting action sports and events.
I love the versatility that the Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 offers. At 35mm, you can use it to shoot in a documentary style because it allows you to have a semi-wide perspective without getting too much distortion.
Many of the world’s most prominent photojournalists tout the utility of the 35mm focal length, and I have become a believer.
Additionally, this lens also allows you to zoom out to 16mm to capture wide landscapes. I most often use this lens at either 20mm or 35mm.
Beyond the variety of focal lengths it offers, the Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 is extremely sharp throughout the aperture range and produces excellent quality images.
Chromatic aberration and distortion are very well controlled.
In terms of build quality, this lens for Sony a7III edition devices is solid. It has a metal barrel with nice feeling rubber around the zoom & focus rings.
I have dropped it on two occasions when attached to my a7S III, and it has held up to the abuse very well.
As you would expect from a top-quality G-Master lens (Sony’s highest designation of quality), this lens is impressive in almost every specification.
My only complaint so far is about the lens flare. When shooting directly into the sun, it tends to have some green flare that can be difficult to manage.
Aside from the lens flare, the Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 is my current favorite optic and arguably a key, best lens for Sony a7III cameras. If you want a very versatile wide-angle optic among Sony lenses for A7III cameras, this is an excellent choice!
2. Sony FE 28mm f/2 | Best Lens for a7III Owners on a Budget
Weight: 200 g (7 oz)
Size (Diameter x Length): 2.5 x 2.4″ / 64 x 60 mm
Filter Diameter: 49mm
Minimum Focus Distance: 0.29m (11.4 in)
The Sony 28mm f/2 is a favorite lens that has been used on the a7 series of cameras for almost 5 years. It is inexpensive, fast (max aperture f/2), and offers great performance.
I only tried it after owning several other prime lenses in similar focal lengths but was immediately surprised by what great value it offers.
At 28mm it offers an excellent everyday focal length (not too wide or too telephoto) and happens to be very compact.
I appreciated the Sony 28mm f/2’s small size and weight when I used it on a mountain biking photoshoot.
Despite being compact and affordable, the Sony 28mm f/2 offers excellent performance. The f/2 aperture allows you to shoot in low light and isolate close subjects from the backdrop.
The sharpness of this lens is great, and I never had any issues. On paper, some G-Master lenses outperform the Sony 28mm f/2, but I never had any complaints!
If you’re coming from an inexpensive zoom Sony lens for A7III models, this particular optic will feel like a substantial upgrade in sharpness.
Something I have come to love about the Sony alpha mirrorless cameras is how fast their autofocus system works. It’s great to have a lens that can keep up with this amazing performance. Well, the Autofocus on this lens is really fast and silent!
I’m sure you can find an article that describes the detailed specs of how the Sony 28mm f/2 performs, but photographers who make great pictures rarely worry about these details. To summarize, this lens has minimal issues and generally delivers excellent performance. It’s a definite contender for being one of the best lenses for the Sony a7III.
Overall, the Sony 28mm f/2 is a great buy! I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a less expensive prime lens in the 24-35mm focal range.
It will encourage you to zoom with your feet and has a slightly wider field of view than the 35mm f/1.8 lens listed below.
Its diminutive size and weight also pair wonderfully with the Sony a7III and will make it much easier for you to take your camera out much more often for shooting.
3. Sony FE 35mm f/1.8 | Best Prime Lens for Sony a7III (All Around)
Weight: 281 g (9.9 oz)
Size (Diameter x Length): 2.6 x 2.9″ / 66 x 73 mm
Filter Diameter: 55mm
Minimum Focus Distance: 0.22m (8.7 in)
This lens is a much more recent addition to my camera bag, and has quickly become the best all around lens for Sony a7III.
When the Sony 35mm f/1.8 was released I immediately knew it would be added to my kit.
I think this lens is the perfect combination of performance and size. You can read more about it in my Sony 35mm f/1.8 review.
With a maximum aperture of f/1.8, it’s very fast and performs very well in low light. Nonetheless, it’s also compact enough to not worry about its size and weight when taking it on photographic adventures.
Previously, I had been using the Sony 35mm f/2.8 lens which is incredibly compact but I often felt limited in low light by the f/2.8 maximum aperture. It was a very sharp, high-performance lens, except in low light.
Although the Sony 35mm f/1.8 is slightly larger, it makes up for that with a big boost in low light performance.
This lens also produces images with excellent bokeh. I really love the ability to shoot wide open and isolate subjects even with the wider 35mm focal length.
When it comes to sharpness, this is one fantastic lens! I’ve always heard that other 35mm offerings had some sharpness issues but the Sony 35mm f/1.8 offers tack sharp images throughout its focal range.
If you happen to be shooting with the high-resolution a7RIV you might notice a little loss of sharpness in the corners wide open, but otherwise, this lens delivers wickedly crisp image quality!
At 35mm, this lens delivers my favorite focal length. I’ve honed in on this medium-wide prime as my go-to lens for shooting a variety of subjects or taking it with me when I’m not sure what I’ll encounter.
The Sony 35mm f/1.8 is also flexible enough to create a nice portrait without too much distortion and a wide scene setting shot if you step back from your subject. It makes for the perfect combination when attached to a Sony a7III.
I also really love how fast this lens will focus even in the darkest scenes with the f/1.8 maximum aperture! It rarely hunts for focus even with fast-moving subjects in dim scenes.
Overall, this is the most used lens for Sony a7III cameras in my bag and the one I know I can count on to perform in almost any situation.
In general, I’d highly recommend the Sony 35mm f/1.8 prime lens if you’re looking for a fast prime that can do anything well. It may not be the best lens for a Sony a7III or most Sony cameras, but it’s one of them and a key optic to keep in your collection.
4. Sony FE 55mm f/1.8 | Best Bokeh Lens for Sony a7III
Weight: 281 g (9.9 oz)
Size (Diameter x Length): 2.5 x 2.8″ / 65 x 71 mm
Filter Diameter: 49mm
Minimum Focus Distance: 0.5m (1.64 ft)
A 50mm prime lens is a staple in almost every professional photographer’s bag for many reasons. When I switched to the Sony Mirrorless system I knew I would need a lens in this focal range.
I quickly settled on the Sony 55mm f/1.8. My three priorities of performance, size/weight, and affordability made this lens an excellent choice.
It comes in at a svelte 9.9 oz (281g) and balances superbly with the Sony a7III. At one point I thought I had lost this lens because I picked up my satchel and thought it wasn’t in there or had fallen out simply because it was so lightweight!
The performance of the Sony 55mm f/1.8 is excellent and pairs especially well with the Sony a7III. It has a useful focal length, offers spectacular sharpness and great contrast, and it produces smooth bokeh when shot wide open.
At f/1.8, the aperture isn’t as large as on some of the other 50mm lenses I’ve used, but I never had an issue with this.
The low light performance and focusing of this lens are more than adequate, especially when paired with the awesomely high ISO performance of the Sony a7III.
The thing I love most about my Sony 55mm f/1.8 lens is its mid-range focal length. It offers just enough field of view to capture a scene while delivering the ability to bring the viewer into the frame with a hint of compression.
This isn’t the same type of lens compression you get with a telephoto, where the backdrop feels right behind the subjects, but the Sony 55mm f/1.8 offers a narrower field of view that encourages the photographer to be selective about framing.
Because of this perspective, I find myself gravitating towards it when shooting a variety of subjects (portraits, landscapes, products, etc).
The Sony 55mm f/1.8 allows you to narrow in on the important things in an image without it being as confining as a telephoto lens.
Overall, this 55mm is a top performer and fits the bill for a fast, mid-range prime lens! If you don’t have a 50mm lens, or you haven’t had the chance to use one yet, definitely check it out.
5. Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 | Best Portrait Lens for Sony a7III
Weight: 371 g (13.1 oz)
Size (Diameter x Length): 3.1 x 3.2″ / 78 x 82 mm
Filter Diameter: 67mm
Minimum Focus Distance: 0.8m (2.62 ft)
There is nothing like the 85mm focal length for shooting a nice portrait. The lightweight, sharp, and surprisingly affordable Sony 85mm f/1.8 is the ideal choice for this focal length!
Sony offers the 85mm f/1.4 GM lens if you want maximum performance but for me, the 85mm f/1.8 is the perfect balance of performance and value!
It completes my favorite trio of prime lenses (35, 55, and 85mm) and consistently delivers excellent performance.
Many people say that 85mm is the ideal portrait lens focal length because it renders subjects with minimal distortion, but the main factor for me is the bokeh that it can create.
When shooting wide open at f/1.8 with this lens, the background falls nicely out of focus, drawing your attention to the subject.
In addition to beautiful bokeh and minimal distortion, the Sony 85mm f/1.8 offers excellent autofocus performance.
I really love using the eye-track feature of the Sony a7III when shooting portraits with this lens.
Many people just like programming the focus hold button on this optic to “eye autofocus”, making it that much easier to get tack-sharp images. (See my full Sony 85mm f/1.8 lens review for more sample images.)
I also really appreciate how compact his lens is for its performance. It is lightweight and small enough that I rarely hesitate to bring it with me, even when hiking out to a shoot.
As expected, the 55mm f/1.8 offers excellent edge-to-edge sharpness throughout the aperture range. Sometimes sacrifices must be made to make a lens affordable, but I can’t seem to find anything to complain about with this model!
At around 1/3 the price of the 85mm f/1.4 version, the Sony 85mm f/1.8 delivers some truly awesome value for your money!
The difference between f/1.4 and f/1.8 is about 2/3 of a stop of light – i.e. to get the same exposure as 1/60 sec at f/1.8 you would use a shutter speed of 1/95 or 1/100 sec at f/1.4.
However, with the amazing high ISO of the Sony a7III, it’s easy to jump raise your ISO a little to capture a scene in lower light at f/1.8.
Sure, the bokeh will be creamier at f/1.4, but not enough to warrant the huge difference in price between the two lenses.
If you’re in the market for an excellent portrait lens that won’t break the bank, this should definitely be on your list among Sony A7III lenses!
6. Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 | Best Video Lens for Sony a7III
Weight: 862 g (30.4 oz)
Size (Diameter x Length): 3.5 x 5.4″ / 88 x 136 mm
Filter Diameter: 82mm
Minimum Focus Distance: 0.4m (1.25 ft)
At one point or another, almost everyone wants a mid-range zoom lens. When Sony released the 24-70mm f/2.8 GM lens in 2016, it was immediately apparent that quality was their number one priority with this edition!
The 24-70mm f/2.8 GM offers prime-level quality in a very versatile zoom range! As I mentioned above, this lens outperforms the Sony 28mm f/2 prime lens when it comes to sharpness, illustrating how useful it actually is!
This incredible performance does come at the sacrifice of size and weight, but when you consider the wide range of focal lengths this model offers, its bulk seems more manageable.
The Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 was designed with quality and performance in mind. If you want the best quality in a mid-range zoom and aren’t concerned about size/weight, it’s an excellent choice among lenses for a7III cameras.
It’s also the best zoom lens for Sony a7III video shooters since it provides a range of useful focal lengths and a fast aperture for low light.
Something else that becomes immediately apparent when you pick up the Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 is how well built it is – This hefty piece of glass is built like a tank and made to last through the rigors of heavy use in all kinds of situations.
With a consistent f/2.8 aperture, it performs well in low light and offers excellent focus speed. I rarely miss focus, even with moving subjects.
(Check out the Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 review for some more shots taken with this lens paired with a Sony a7III.)
This lens offers a focus hold button as well as a handy zoom lock switch that keeps the lens from unintentionally extending to 70mm.
When you compare the somewhat steep price point with having a series of prime lenses, the Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 becomes a lot more affordable. It also offers the advantage of not having to switch lenses to get a variety of focal lengths.
If you’re on a tighter budget, there’s an f/4 version of this focal length from Sony (see my review of the Sony 24-70mm f/4), which offers great sharpness and decent overall performance in a lighter package, but there’s simply no denying it – the f/2.8 is better in every way.
This lens is a top performer and if you can afford it, don’t think twice! It’s our pick for the best Sony 24-70mm lens, and a key addition to your collection of lenses for sony a7III cameras.
7. Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 | Best Telephoto Lens for Sony a7III
Weight: 1480g (52.21oz)
Size (Diameter x Length): 3.5 x 7.9″ / 88 x 200 mm
Filter Diameter: 77mm
Minimum Focus Distance: 0.96m (3.15 ft)
The 70-200mm is a staple in almost every professional photographer’s kit. If you haven’t tried one for your Sony a7III, the Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 is an excellent choice.
It offers all the top performance characteristics of a G-Master lens and produces spectacular images. The contrast and sharpness of this lens are spectacular – see more in Chad Winstead’s Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 review (the image above was taken by him).
In the focal range of 70-90mm, the Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 shoots spectacular portraits. At the telephoto 200mm end, it delivers excellent compression of a scene or enough zoom to bring a far-away subject into closer view.
I really love this lens’ ability to isolate a subject and draw attention to a far-off landscape.
Some of my favorite images have been taken with this model because of its ability to make the background appear as if it’s right behind a subject instead of way off in the distance.
This lens is fully featured, offering a selectable focus range, optical stabilization mode selection, auto/manual focus switch, and a focus hold button! The zoom/focus rings also feel smooth but stable.
Compared with the Sony 70-200mm f/4 offering, this lens has a full stop more light and a sharper image. This, however does come at an increased size/weight as well as a steep price tag among Sony alpha a7III lenses.
These are my only complaints about the Sony 70-200mm f/2.8, and in my mind and those of so many other photographers, the price difference is completely justifiable – it’s simply a better lens than the f/4 version in every way.
The Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 is an excellent buy if (similar to the 24-70mm above) your top priority is performance/quality. It’s the best of the best in this focal range, and arguably even better than anything Canon or Nikon have come up with.
As I said before, if you’ve got the budget, don’t think twice about picking up this model!
What Mount is Sony a7III?
The Sony a7 III lens mount is known as the ‘e’ mount. The E-mount is specifically designed for Sony’s mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras.
It was introduced in 2010 and has since become the standard lens mount for Sony’s full-frame and APS-C mirrorless cameras, offering a wide range of lens compatibility and options for photographers and videographers.
Any full-frame Sony FE lens can be used on the Sony a7III. This Sony a7III mount type means that you can also use any e-mount lens designed for the crop-sensor APS-C sensor Sony bodies, albeit with a crop.
The camera automatically recognizes the use of an E lens and will switch to its APS-C crop mode, reducing the effective resolution to about 10.2 megapixels. The field of view will be narrower, similar to using a telephoto lens on a full-frame camera.
What is the Sony a7iii kit lens?
The most common kit lens bundled with the Sony a7III is the Sony FE 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS lens. This Sony camera lens offers a versatile zoom range for everyday shooting and features Optical SteadyShot (OSS) image stabilization, making it suitable for various scenarios from landscapes to portraits.
What are the best budget lenses for Sony a7III?
The Sony a7III has several budget-friendly lens options:
- Sony FE 50mm f/1.8: An affordable Sony prime lens that’s great for portraits and low-light situations.
- Samyang/Rokinon AF 35mm f/2.8 FE: A compact and lightweight lens ideal for everyday photography and street shots.
- Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD: A versatile zoom lens with a constant f/2.8 aperture, offering excellent performance for its price.
Almost all the lenses available for the Sony a7III create great photos, but the lenses listed above give you the best picture-making experiences in the whole lineup!
They also offer the best bang for your buck, aside from the two pro zooms mentioned at the end, which are more for professionals and those with larger budgets.
I love the characteristics of each of these lenses, and they all have a place in my camera bag for different reasons.
Sometimes I gravitate toward the simplicity and low light performance of a prime lens, and sometimes I need the versatility of a zoom lens.
I think the most important things to consider when choosing Sony a7 III lenses: what do you shoot? and what is your style?
By answering these questions, you’ll be able to evaluate the above lenses to see which are right for you!
Is it size/weight, overall performance/quality, or price that drives your decision? You can usually pick two out of those three traits.
I hope this article was helpful in deciding what lens to buy for your Sony a7III! I’d love to know if you agree with my selections or if I missed something, so let me know in the comments below!
References: (1) https://digital-photography-school.com/brand-name-versus-third-party-photography-gear-which-is-better/ (2) https://www.sony.com/electronics/lenses