First 5 Lenses for your Sony a7 Series Camera

sony-a7-lenses-shotkit

I’ve been using the Sony a7 series of mirrorless cameras professionally for several years now.

There’s no doubt about it – Sony makes great cameras!

As for Sony lenses, the selection isn’t as wide as some of the other brands, but we’re slowly being treated to some great new zoom lens and prime lens options.

At A Glance: First 5 Lenses for your Sony a7 Series Camera

This is a guide to the first 5 Sony lenses you should consider buying for your Sony a7 series camera body.

Whichever model you own, all the Sony FE (e-mount) lenses below offer the best bang for your buck.

Let’s take a closer look at the recommendations.

Sony 16-35mm f/2.8

fe mount lenses with fixed maximum aperture wide-angle zoom

  • Stabilized: No
  • 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)

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It wasn’t my intention to lead with such an expensive lens for Sony a 7 series bodies, but it’s impossible not to recommend this bad boy.

Yes, there’s a cheaper and lighter f/4 version available that sure looks mighty tempting when you check the price difference, but trust me – it doesn’t even come close.

The Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 is a brute of a lens, but so much fun to use that you quickly forget it’s attached to your camera.

16-35mm is such a useful zoom range, taking you from a perfect everyday 35mm, right down to the OMG width of 16mm – it has to be seen to be believed!

Those epic landscape shots you see in your Instagram feed where the subject is tiny in some panoramic vista? Yep, this lens took it.

excellent image quality aperture of f 2.8

a7III + 16-35mm f/2.8 | 1/4000 f/2.8 ISO 800 | © Marc Bergreen

Image quality is sublime, and there’s even some depth of field if you get close enough to your subject and shoot at f2.8.

Size and weight wise, it isn’t great. You get some weird green flaring when shooting direct into the sun, and there’s no image stabilization, but other than that, there’s nothing major to complain about.

Of all the Sony FE lenses in this list, if you can get only one, start saving for this one – it’ll cover you from ultra-wide to everyday focal lengths, and has image quality that will leave your jaw on the floor.

Great lenses don’t come cheap, but when you can afford the price tag of this G-Master classic, don’t look back – it’s a great e-mount lens for your Sony mirrorless camera.

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Sony 28mm f/2

sony e lens with great performance

  • Stabilized: No
  • 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)

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As one of the few Sony wide angle prime lenses, the Sony 28mm f/2 is my all-round favourite everyday walk-around lens.

When I go traveling, it’s fixed on the front of my a7III for the majority of the trip. When I shoot with a Sony APS-C sensor body like the a6000 series, I use it a lot too.

28mm is an unusual focal length, but it’s much more forgiving than the classic 24mm, which usually distorts heavily in the corners.

Being able to have a fast f/2 prime in such a small, lightweight body is a revelation.

Yes, there’s the new Sony 24mm f/1,8 that’s a contender, but the 28mm is much better value for money right now.

can be used as a portrait lens

a7III + 28mm f/2 | 1/2500 f/2.2 ISO 100

When shot up close at f/2, you’re able to blur the background wth some pleasing bokeh, as in the shot above – there’s also very little noticeable distortion.

Take a step back, and 28mm is wide enough to reveal the world when you’re outdoors and shooting some epic landscape photography.

All in all, the 28mm f/2 is a great all-round lens and the perfect fit for compact mirrorless bodies. Fortunately, it’s also a bargain price too.

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Sony 35mm f/1.8

not g master but great optical performance

  • Stabilized: No
  • 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)

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This has quickly become my all time favourite full frame lens for my Sony a7 III.

I’ve owned 3 different Sony 35mm FE lenses, and I’m happy to say this is the one I’ll be sticking with for good.

The other two 35mm lenses in the FE Alpha line up are the f/2.8 and f/1.4 models – both excellent lenses in their own right, and ones I’ve shot thousands with over the years.

The f/2.8 is small, light and fun to use, while the f/1.4 has exquisite bokeh and is built like a tank.

full-frame autofocus

a7III + 35mm f/1.8 | 1/250 f/1.8 ISO800

However, this Sony 35mm f/1.8 trumps them both, as the perfect all-rounder – it’s small, light, well-built, fun to use, AND has great bokeh and low-light ability to boot.

It’s also reasonably priced for the high quality of image you can get out of it.

The 35mm focal length is a must for any photographer, and this is the best all-round 35mm for your camera.

If I had to choose just one prime lens to use everyday, this would be the one.

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Sony 55mm f/1.8

55mm f:1.8 design for maximum sharpness

  • Stabilized: No
  • 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)

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55mm is such an unusual focal length that it’s easy to pass this quirky lens by, but trust me, it should definitely be on your wishlist.

Once you’ve got used to shooting at 55m, you’ll realise just how versatile it can be, not to mention how it’s a great length to create just enough compression, without the viewer feeling like they’re not part of the action.

55mm can create a flattering portrait, while still be wide enough for group shots, so long as you can step back far enough.

55mm f/1.8 beautiful bokeh

a7III + 55mm f/1.8 | 1/250 f/1.8 ISO200

The Sony 55mm f/1.8 is incredibly sharp, and combined with the shallow depth of field when shot wide open, you can create some amazing subject separation.

The compression from 55mm is quite unique, as seen in the image above – note the out of focus foreground and background elements, despite seeming ‘close’ to the subjects.

f/1.8 is also fast enough for darker situations, while not being too cumbersome like an f/1.4 prime lens.

Finally, it’s a compact, lightweight FE lens which is still robustly built – there’s really nothing negative to say about it!

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Sony 85mm f/1.8

85mm f/1.8 e-mount camera

  • Stabilized: No
  • 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)

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The Sony 85mm f/1.8 is the best value prime lens for photographers who have a bit of distance between them and their subject.

f/1.8 happens to be the sweet spot when shopping for a bargain Sony full frame lens – build quality is good enough, depth of field is shallow enough, and best of all, the price is just right!

When shot wide open at high ISO, f/1.8 also allows enough light to enter your camera for you to use it in everything but the darkest situations.

Yes, an f/1.4 lens can let you shooter in almost pitch black, but it’s also heavier, bigger and lots more expensive!

portrait

a7III + 85mm f/1.8 | 1/250 f/1.8 ISO5000

With the Sony 85mm f/1.8, you’re getting a flattering focal length in a well-built, lightweight body, all for a really attractive price.

Check out the image above – there’s no Photoshopping required when the bokeh balls look this good!

As a wedding photographer, I find I rarely need anything longer than this lens, but in a pinch, I’ll use the APS-C crop mode function on my a7III to turn it into a 127.5mm equivalent.

Don’t waste your money in its f/1.4 big G-master brother – you’ll get the best bang for your buck with this fella.

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Sony Zoom Lens Recommendations

You’ll notice I haven’t included 2 of the most sought-after Sony zoom lenses – the 24-70mm f/2.8 and the 70-200mm f/2.8.

If you have the budget for these two amazing lenses, don’t hesitate – they really are that good.

The only reason I didn’t recommend them in the main list above is their somewhat prohibitive prices – it’s usually only professionals, or enthusiastic amateurs who are willing to spend thousands on lenses!

Out of the two zoom lens options for your Sony Alpha a7 series camera, my recommendation is the Sony 24-70mm f/2.8.

24mm is a great wide angle field of view, and 70mm is perfect for portraits – don’t forget you can also take advantage of ‘crop mode’ available on all the Sony Alpha cameras, allowing you to get another 1.5x reach.

If you’re in need of a longer zoom, the Sony 70-200mm is the gold-standard, and part of the so-called ‘Holy Trinity’.

With its fixed f/2.8 aperture, you can easily blur the background at any focal length, providing incredible subject separation.

In conjunction with the great high ISO capabilities of the full frame Sony alpha 7 cameras, f/2.8 is fast enough for low-light shooting – perfect for inside the sports hall, or for when the sun starts to set.

Final Words

The fact of the matter is, you can get by with any Sony lens on the front of your Alpha series camera – such is the quality of the entire line up.

However, if you’re lost where to start your collection, I hope this roundup will serve as guidance for your first purchases.

Leave your questions below – I’d be happy to answer them!

Disclaimer: All recommendations are impartial and based on user experience, with no bias to the products or the brand. The products in this post may contain affiliate links.

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