sony-A7RIV in hand

Best lenses for Sony a7R IV in 2023

To make the most of the phenomenal resolution of the Sony a7R IV, you need to invest in the right lenses. Thankfully, not all of them are expensive!

This is a roundup of the best lenses for Sony A7R IV in 2023.

From budget to premium and prime to zoom lenses, I’ll help you narrow down which lenses are the right fit for your shooting style and budget. 

It can be overwhelming to look at the extensive lineup of lenses from Sony as well as third-party manufacturers.

Hopefully, this guide will be helpful in narrowing your search to find the best lens for your Sony A7R IV.

Sony 16-35mm f/2.8
Sony 16-35mm f/2.8

Versatile focal range with solid build, incredible image quality, and a fast constant aperture. Perfect to pair with the Sony a7R IV camera.

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I’m a big fan of the Sony A7R IV as a high-resolution camera. (You can check my A7R IV review to hear me gushing about it!)

At 61 mp, it is built for the professional who wants to make big prints or have the flexibility to crop in significantly.

It also boasts some impressive video features with 8k video capture.

To really make the A7RIV sing, you need some awesome glass that will show off how detailed the resolution of this camera can get.

Read on for my guide to the best lenses for Sony A7R IV.

What are the Best Lenses for Sony a7R IV in 2023?

Image Product Features
shk2-table__imageSony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GMOUR #1 CHOICE
  • Razer Sharp
  • Lightweight
  • Useful Focual Length
  • Dust Resistant
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shk2-table__imageSony FE 28mm f/2TOP RATED
  • Beautiful Bokeh
  • Great Value
  • Dust Resistant
  • Aluminium Body
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shk2-table__imageSony FE 35mm f/1.8GREAT VALUE
  • Amazing In Lowlight
  • Great For Travel
  • Only 154g
  • Affordable
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shk2-table__imageSony FE 55mm f/1.8
  • Precise AF
  • Extrememly Reliable
  • Expert In Low-light Conditions
  • Extremely Sharp
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shk2-table__imageSony FE 85mm f/1.8
  • Linear Motor For Precise, Quiet Focusing
  • Super Quiet AF
  • Zero Distortion
  • Fast Focusing
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shk2-table__imageSony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM II
  • Versatile Focal Length
  • Robust Build
  • Little Vignetting
  • Incredibly Sharp
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shk2-table__imageSony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM
  • Value for Money
  • Manual AF Override
  • Solid Build
  • Amazing Bokeh
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1. Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM | Best Wide Angle Zoom Lens for Sony a7R IV

Stabilized: No
 680 g (24 oz.)
Size (Diameter x Length): 3.5 x 4.8″ / 89 x 122 mm
Filter Diameter: 82mm
Minimum Focusing Distance: 0.28m (11 in)

Maximum Aperture: f/2.8

The Sony 16-35mm f/2.8  is my number one lens choice for the Sony A7R IV when it comes to wide angle lenses.

It’s a longtime favorite ultra wide angle lens that makes for a versatile all day lens for shooting landscapes, action sports, and events.

Some people find this to be a little too wide angle for an all around zoom lens but my image library shows this lens to be super effective!

Because the Sony A7R IV is so well suited to landscape photographers, the Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 will be a very popular choice. It has the ability to capture a wide scene which pairs nicely with the incredible detail of the 61mp sensor of the Sony A7R IV.

Additionally, the Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 can be used at the zoomed in focal length of 35mm to capture less distorted, more natural feeling images. This zoom range is especially nice on wide angle lenses because it changes the look significantly.

As much as I can, I opt to shoot closer to 35mm to keep the distortion to a minimum giving a more natural feel, but sometimes you just need a super wide view, making 16mm very nice to have.

In addition to the focal length variety, the Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 is very 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 A7R IV camera bodies is excellent. They are well paired in terms of quality.

The Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 has a metal barrel with nice feeling rubber around the zoom & focus rings. I have dropped it on two occasions, and it has held up to the abuse very well.

The only time I have experienced any trouble is when heavy rain gets between the lens and the camera body. It is weather sealed, but I don’t recommend taking photos in a downpour.

Sony_16-35f2.8 hanggliding

16-35mm f/2.8 image sample | Credit: Marc Bergreen

If you do find yourself in this situation, be sure to put a plastic bag over the camera or consider a camera rain cover.

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.

In the past, I was initially unsure about the lens flare on this lens, but over time, I’ve come to like it. It can create a cool circle effect when shooting directly toward the sun, but otherwise, it is well-controlled.

Aside from the lens flare, the Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 is my current favorite wide angle lens and arguably a key, best wide angle lens for Sony A7 RIV cameras.

If you want a very versatile wide-angle optic among Sony lenses for the Sony A7R IV camera, this is an excellent choice!

2. Sony FE 28mm f/2 | Best EveryDay Walkaround Prime Lens for Sony a7R IV

Stabilized: No
 200 g (7 oz)
Size (Diameter x Length): 2.5 x 2.4″ / 64 x 60 mm
Filter Diameter: 49mm
Minimum Focusing Distance: 0.29m (11.4 in)

Maximum Aperture: f/2

Released in 2015, the Sony 28mm f/2 is aging but still makes this list because of several qualities.

It is super fast, lightweight, and quite inexpensive! For the price, the performance is superb.

Initially, I passed over this lens because it was older, and I had the focal length covered with a 16-35, but I have come to love how small and inexpensive it is.

I don’t have to worry about it as much, and it makes the Sony A7R IV a reasonable everyday carry camera.

Sure, it has some flaws, but the price makes it so appealing!

The 28mm focal length is a close second to the 35mm among street photography enthusiasts and photojournalists. Some photographers find it more versatile than the 35mm when shooting indoors.

This lens is especially compact, which also makes it less intimidating for photographing people because you’re not using a “big camera.” This is why people love it for street photography.

Even at a lower price point, this lens offers solid performance. The wide f/2 maximum aperture makes shooting fast moving subjects in low light very doable.

sony-28mm-f2 sunstar

Sony 28mm f/2 image sample | Credit: Marc Bergreen

Don’t expect a lot of bokeh with this lens simply because of its wide-angle lens perspective, but it does offer some background separation if your subject is close to the camera.

The Sony 28mm f/2 is sharp, especially in the middle of the frame, but it does fade toward the edges of the frame at the widest apertures. You may notice this more on the Sony A7 RIV because of its high resolution.

Compared with a cheap kit lens, this particular optic will feel like a substantial step up in terms of sharpness.

Paired with the impressive autofocus of the Sony A7R IV, this lens will produce sharp images quickly and silently. Even though it’s an older lens, it has no trouble keeping up with the latest camera body autofocus systems.

If you really dig into the specs of this lens, you may start to ruminate on the flaws, but I assure you that if you try it, you’ll enjoy it. The compact nature and minimalist nature of this lens will not disappoint. 

The Sony 28mm f/2 is a great purchase, especially for professionals looking to have an inexpensive backup for their workhorse wide angle lens.

It will teach you to zoom with your feet and give you a good feel for the ever-popular 24-35mm focal length.

3. Sony FE 35mm f/1.8 | Best All Round Prime Lens for Sony a7R IV

Stabilized: No
281 g (9.9 oz)
Size (Diameter x Length): 2.6 x 2.9″ / 66 x 73 mm
Filter Diameter: 55mm
Minimum Focusing Distance: 0.22m (8.7 in)

Maximum Aperture: f/1.8

A solid performance lens with a friendly price point, the Sony 35mm f/1.8 is a popular choice to pair with the Sony A7R IV camera.

It is a step up in performance and quality from the Sony 28mm f/2 mentioned above while still landing under $750.

If I could only have one lens for the Sony a7R IV, this would be it.

The Sony 35mm f/1.8 has it all: lightweight, compact, relatively affordable, high quality, and full featured. This makes it especially well suited to variable situations like street photography.

This lens is an excellent balance of size/weight for the Sony A7R IV camera body.

I knew when it was released that it would become a staple in my kit. With a wide maximum aperture of f/1.8, it excels in low light but is much more compact than the Sony 35mm f/1.4 lens.

When I have to carry my bag up a mountain, the difference between carrying ultra-fast lenses like the Sony 50mm f/1.2 and an f/1.8 version is significant.

My bank account also appreciates the slightly narrower aperture lenses!

With close subjects, this lens will produce a nicely blurred backdrop and give you the separation/bokeh you expect from a high-quality, low-aperture lens.

If you really want bokeh, check out the 85mm f/1.8 below. A telephoto focal length with a wide maximum aperture is going to give you the best bokeh.

The sharpness of this wide-angle lens is excellent. The only time you might notice some loss of sharpness is toward the edges of the frame when shooting wide open.

This isn’t really a problem since the majority of subjects won’t be at the outer edges of the frame.

Because 35mm is my favorite focal length, this lens has become my go-to for photographing weddings and events.

It can shoot a distortion-free portrait or a wider scene if you move further back. It’s a flexible focal length and has enabled me to produce a huge variety of images.

If you want a high-quality prime wide-angle lens in a flexible focal length that won’t break the bank, check out the Sony 35mm f/1.8 for your Sony A7R IV.

4. Sony FE 55mm f/1.8 | Best Inexpensive Standard Prime Lens for Sony a7R IV

Stabilized: No
 281 g (9.9 oz)
Size (Diameter x Length): 2.5 x 2.8″ / 65 x 71 mm
Filter Diameter: 49mm
Minimum Focusing Distance: 0.5m (1.64 ft)

Maximum Aperture: f/1.8

Many professional photographers (me included) love a 50mm lens. The Sony 55mm f/1.8 is an excellent choice to fill that spot in the lineup. 

It offers a great balance of performance in a compact and affordable package. It is super sharp (as you would expect from a 50mm lens) and I reach for it regularly when I want a medium focal length. 

Initially, I thought I might notice the difference between 50mm and 55mm (my old lens was a 50mm) but I can hardly tell the difference.

The difference between a 28mm and a 35mm is significant but the closer you get to a telephoto lens, the less impact a few millimeters have on the final image.

As with some of the other prime lenses in this article, you will quickly notice the sharpness of this lens when compared with cheaper kit zoom lenses. I’ve found it to be one of the sharpest lenses in my kit, even at the widest aperture. It also maintains good sharpness across the frame.

At under 10 oz (281g), the Sony 55mm f/1.8 is very nicely balanced on the Sony A7R IV and works really well as a video lens. I love how easily this combination tucks into bags or even a jacket pocket.

This lens is so sleek that you might even mistake a bag for being empty because it is so lightweight. Another great lens for street photography.

I primarily use this lens when I want a little more subject isolation than the Sony 35mm f/1.8 can provide.

It takes excellent full length portraits and you can get in close to isolate details. It’s not strictly a portrait lens but it works great as a multipurpose prime lens.

The Sony 55mm f/1.8 has excellent bokeh when shot wide open and will give that classic full frame look that people come to expect with professional photographs.

Although it isn’t as wide as the Sony 50mm f/1.2, it does surprisingly well at blurring the backdrop.

I find the minimum aperture of f/1.8 to be plenty bright enough to work in almost any situation. Sure, you can pay more for a f/1.4 or even f/1.2 lens but that’s only one more stop of light at the most and a significant expense.

My other favorite aspect of this lens is the color and contrast that really accentuate how sharp it really is. Over time, you will begin to recognize that each lens has a different feel and I have come to love the character of the Sony 55mm f/1.8.

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 an excellent choice for a high quality low budget mid range prime lens for your Sony A7R IV!

5. Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 | Best Inexpensive Sony Portrait Lens for Sony a7R IV

Stabilized: No
 371 g (13.1 oz)
Size (Diameter x Length): 3.1 x 3.2″ / 78 x 82 mm
Filter Diameter: 67mm
Minimum Focusing Distance: 0.8m (2.62 ft)

Maximum Aperture: f/1.8

If you’re using the Sony A7R IV to take portraits, the Sony 85mm f/1.8 is likely to be your portrait lens of choice! It is a good balance of cost, outstanding image quality, and size/weight.

The 85mm focal length is perfect for creating nicely rendered faces and will be one of the most natural looking focal lengths for headshots among telephoto lenses.

Some people opt for a slightly longer focal length but the 85mm allows you to work in a smaller space because you can get closer to your subject.

Most of the lenses in this article will have a bigger, more expensive G-Master lens that is higher performance, but I tend to opt for the cheaper alternative.

In this case, the Sony 85mm f/1.4 GM lens is nearly triple the price but only a 2/3 of a stop faster in aperture. That’s the difference between 1/60 vs 1/100, a minimal difference in my opinion.

Sure, if you want the best and the price is no concern, go for the best. Among portrait lenses, this lens has outstanding image quality, but you will also have a much bigger/heavier lens to carry around. 

Sony 85mm lens bokeh example

When shot at f/1.8, the Sony 85mm f/1.8 produces some great bokeh at an affordable price.

In comparison, the Sony 85mm f/1.8 is an excellent lens that is cheaper and almost as good. In my experience, the images are tack sharp, the color rendition is excellent, and it is small enough that you won’t hesitate to bring it in your backpack.

This lens also completes the prime trio of 35mm, 55mm, and 85mm. Each has a distinct look and feel that helps me create a certain type of image.

Since the Sony A7R IV is so popular among landscape photographers, the Sony 85mm f/1.8 can be an excellent choice to mix things up.

So many landscape photographers opt for a wide angle prime lens but the 85mm can make for some beautiful compression and bokeh in your images. The compression allows you to make the subject feel closer to the background.

Last but not least, the bokeh of this lens is why most people reach for it. I love this portrait lens when capturing images with city lights in the background.

Those lights will turn into beautiful blurry bokeh backdrops that are classic in so many Hollywood scenes.

When shooting wide open at a maximum aperture of f/1.8 with this lens, the background falls nicely out of focus, drawing your attention to the subject.

When shooting portraits, I love the fast autofocus of this lens when paired with the eye autofocus of the Sony A7IV. When you use the focus hold button, it locks onto an eye or face and always nails the sharpness.

If you’re a wedding, portrait, or commercial photographer, I highly recommend checking out the Sony 85mm f/1.8 prime lens!

6. Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 II GM | Best All Around Zoom Lens for Sony a7R IV

Stabilized: No
695 g (1.5 lb)
Size (Diameter x Length): 3.5 x 4.7″ / 88 x 120 mm
Filter Diameter: 82mm
Minimum Focusing Distance: 0.2m (8.3 in)

Maximum Aperture: f/2.8

The Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 GM II is likely one of the most popular lenses to pair with the impressive specs of the Sony A7R IV. It is highly flexible and works well when shooting in fast paced environments.

I particularly love this lens for outings where I know I won’t want to change lenses because it covers such a wide focal length.

At 24mm you can get a big landscape, and at 70mm you can isolate a small segment of the larger scene.

The top scenarios I find when I don’t want to change lenses are when it is very windy/dusty, when it is very wet/cold, and when dropping a lens could be catastrophic (i.e. climbing photography).

If you find yourself in any of these scenarios, the Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 GM II should be on your list.

Although most of the lenses in this article are on the cheaper end, this lens is not. It was recently re-designed by Sony and has the latest in optical performance. Many of the more affordable lenses in this category will sacrifice a portion of the zoom range (i.e. 28-70mm vs 24-70mm).

While this may seem like a minor decrease in focal length, taking 4mm off the zoom range is actually a big difference at the wide angle end of the zoom range.

sony 24-70-f4 wedding

Image shot at 70mm on the Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 | 1/400s at f/2.8 ISO 500

The difference between 70mm and 75mm isn’t that significant but the change in zoom range from 24-28mm results in a more visible difference.

Sometimes there are also more affordable options with a higher maximum aperture. For example, a max aperture of f/4 instead of f/2.8 will change your ability to blur the backdrop as well as reduce low light performance.

I love this highly versatile lens because it is tack sharp. If you have ever looked at the first generation version of this lens from Sony, you’ll notice the new one is significantly lighter and more compact. About 200 grams lighter in fact.

A few other features to note about this high end zoom lens are its sharpness, outstanding image quality, and fast autofocus.

You’re always going to have to make some compromises when designing a zoom lens but this lens is one of the best on the market in this price range.

While I regularly opt for a cheaper version of a prime lens, it can be a wise choice to step up in build & image quality when buying a zoom lens. Sure, you’re paying over $2000 for this lens but it covers a wide variety of focal lengths.

You would be looking at at least three prime lenses to get the same coverage. With that in mind, you should opt for the best quality with a zoom lens if you want to achieve similar sharpness to a prime lens.

Paired with the Sony A7R IV, this lens is a workhorse. It can capture a wide variety of shots all with the quick rotation of the zoom ring.

I find this video lens especially useful when shooting because I can get a different shot without having to re-balance my gimbal after changing lenses.

The build quality of this lens is top notch, something you would expect from a lens released in  2022. It has all the features you can ask for in a lens: smooth zoom ring, quality focus ring, aperture ring, af/mf switch, focus hold button, and even an aperture de-clicking switch.

If you’re on a tighter budget, there’s an f/4 version of this focal length from Sony (see my Sony 24-70mm f/4 review), 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 excellent and is clearly the king of the 24-70 focal length aka, the best zoom lens for Sony.

Over the past few years, the mid-range zoom lens has become a crowded field with offerings from Sigma, Samyang, and Tamron, but the Sony 24-70 f/2.8 GM II is definitely the best when it comes to build and image quality!

7. Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM | Best All Around Telephoto Zoom for Sony a7R IV

70-200mm Sony lens

Credit: Chad Winstead

Stabilized: Yes
1480g (52.21oz)
Size (Diameter x Length): 3.5 x 7.9″ / 88 x 200 mm
Filter Diameter: 77mm
Minimum Focusing Distance: 0.96m (3.15 ft)

Maximum Aperture: f/2.8

Last but not least, the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM is one of the best telephoto lenses for the Sony A7R IV. It can create beautiful bokeh as well as compress your subject to appear closer to far off backdrops.

As the third lens in the zoom lens trio: Sony 16-35mm f/2.8, Sony 24-70 f/2.8, and Sony 70-200 f/2.8, this lens is an essential piece in many photographers kits. 

It excels as a portrait lens in the 70-100mm focal length. At 200mm, it creates awesome compression. I find this especially useful when capturing action sports in the mountains. It gives that big mountain feel when you zoom in tight on a subject and frame them against a stunning backdrop of jagged cliffs.

Additionally, the minimum aperture of this telephoto lens is f/2.8 which is great for isolating subjects and producing bokeh.

Typically you think of prime lenses for bokeh, but the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM does a great job because of its zoom range. At 200mm and f/2.8, your subject will pop off the backdrop, especially if you get close to the subject.

Even at the minimum aperture, this lens is especially sharp which also helps to make your subject pop off the background. You will quickly come to appreciate the image quality of this lens.

This telephoto 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.

Paired with the compact and lightweight Sony A7 RIV, this lens is on the heavier side, but it comes with a tripod ring that will help balance it when you’re using a fluid head or tripod.

An alternative to the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM is the Sony 70-200 f/4 G lens. It offers one stop less light but many of the same effects and plenty of sharpness. The main reasons to go with the f/4 version are weight and price. If you shoot indoors, I’d opt for the f/2.8 version.

The Sony A7R IV doesn’t have the best high ISO performance, so it can be nice to have an extra stop of light when shooting dark subjects.

If you have the budget, the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM is an impressive lens. I’d say it earns its place as the best telephoto lens in its focal range on the market today!

Final Words

Sony lenses on table

So many great e-mount lenses for Sony a7R IV to chose from | Marc Bergreen

As you consider what lenses to get for your Sony A7R IV, I recommend you think through what subjects you’ll be capturing and what tools will be the most effective for that.

If you only shoot indoor corporate headshots, you’re kit will look much different than someone who captures arctic expeditions. The key is to find the gear that is best suited to your style of photography.

Do you want lightweight, low cost, high performance, zoom lenses, or prime lenses? Select your priorities and buy the gear you need, not just the gear that looks the coolest. Sure that shiny new GM Lens will have the best performance but will it be worth the extra cost?

Hopefully this article helped you narrow in on what will give you the best bang for your buck. From a wide angle prime lens, to an ultra wide lens with a versatile zoom range, to a fantastic portrait lens, I hope you find what you’re looking for.

I am always evaluating what lenses I like and which are going to help me make the photographs I’m interested in creating but really, you can’t go wrong with any of the lenses for the Sony A7R IV. It important to look at both prime and zoom lenses to find the best lens that will fulfill your needs.

Aside from the two pro zooms mentioned at the end, which are more for professionals and those with larger budgets, most of the lenses in this article are relatively affordable and will hold their value quite well if you decide to sell them and get something else.

Additionally, the image quality is nearly as good as the more expensive alternatives.

I love the characteristics of each of these lenses, and they all have a place in my camera bag for different reasons. I hope you are able to find the lenses that fit your style.

If you have any questions about lenses listed here or others that you think should be included in the article, leave a comment below. I love hearing your feedback and helping people find the best gear!

If you’re interested in full frame Sony mirrorless cameras, you’ll also enjoy my other guides:

Sony 16-35mm f/2.8
Sony 16-35mm f/2.8

Versatile focal range with solid build, incredible image quality, and a fast constant aperture. Perfect to pair with the Sony a7R IV camera.

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Shotkit Writer & Camera Gear Reviewer

Marc and Brenda Bergreen are professional wedding photographers and adventurous storytellers based in the Rocky Mountains.

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