In the early days of the Mirrorless Revolution, manufacturers were taken to task for not providing a wide selection of smaller and lighter mirrorless lenses to go along with their new lineups of smaller and lighter mirrorless cameras. They heard and responded. Sony alone now offers a choice of more than two dozen dedicated full-frame E-Mount lenses and more than a dozen lenses to go along with its APS-C format E-Mount lenses. The following is a roundup of Sony’s premium lens offerings.
For the sake of brevity, unless otherwise noted, all the following Sony E-Mount lenses feature Zeiss T* Anti-Reflective coatings, dust- and weather-resistant construction, and lens apertures made up of 7 curved blades, which optimize the natural look of out-of-focus specular highlights, aka, pleasingly good bokeh.
Fixed Focal-length Lenses for Sony Full-Frame and APS-C E-mount Cameras
Sony’s lineup of prime E-mount lenses is well rounded. The widest and fastest of the batch is the Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM Lens, a G Master-series lens that features dual XA and three ED elements, each coated with Nano AR and Fluorine lens coatings. Other features include an aperture ring with a de-click switch for silent video capture, a Direct Drive Super Sonic Wave AF motor, a focus hold button, and an 11-bladed aperture.
Slightly less wide and slightly slower is the Sony FE 28mm f/2 Lens, an internally focusing wide-angle lens that features a Linear AF motor, a 9-bladed circular aperture, dual sets of aspheric and Extra-low Dispersion elements, and a single AA element. Sony’s FE 28mm f/2 is compatible with Sony’s optional Ultra-Wide and Fisheye converters.
If 35mm is your focal length of choice, Sony offers two Zeiss-designed semi-wides: the wider-aperture Sony Distagon T* FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA, which contains a single AA element, a trio of aspheric elements, a de-click switch on its aperture ring, and a 9-bladed circular diaphragm.
If speed isn’t of the essence, Sony’s internal-focusing Sonnar T* FE 35mm f/2.8 ZA contains three double-sided aspheric elements and a Linear AF motor.
Sony offers a choice of three nifty-fifty normal lenses. The fastest of the bunch is the Zeiss-designed Sony Planar T* FE 50mm f/1.4 ZA, which contains AA, aspheric, and Extra-Low Dispersion elements, a de-click aperture switch, internal focusing, a Ring Drive Super Sonic Wave AF motor, and an 11-bladed circular aperture.
A third-stop slower and a few millimeters longer is the Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens, which features three aspheric elements, a Linear AF motor, internal focusing, and a 9-bladed circular diaphragm.
The third option is a macro—the Sony FE 50mm f/2.8 Macro Lens, a dust- and moisture-resistant close-up lens that focuses down to life-size (6.3") and features ED and aspheric elements, a focus-hold button, and a focus range limiter.
For short-telephoto needs, Sony offers two 85mm options. Sony’s FE 85mm f/1.4 GM G Master-series lens contains 3 Nano AR-coated Ed elements and an XA element, internal focusing, a Linear Super Sonic Wave AF motor, a de-clickable aperture ring, and an 11-bladed circular aperture.
Slightly slower and lighter is the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 Lens, which features an Extra-Low Dispersion element, a Double Linear AF motor, a focus hold button, and a 9-bladed circular aperture.
For life-size (1:1) shooting, Sony offers the FE 90mm f/2.8 Macro G OSS , a short-telephoto macro lens that features Nano AR-coated aspheric, ED, and Super ED elements, a Direct Drive Super Sonic Wave AF motor, Optical SteadyShot image stabilization, a focus hold button, and a focus range limiter.
The Sony G Master-series FE 100mm f/2.8 STF GM OSS isn’t a macro, but it’s a wee bit longer in focal length. It contains Nano AR-coated aspheric, ED, and apodization lens elements, a Direct Drive Super Sonic AF motor, Optical SteadyShot image stabilization, a de-clickable aperture ring, a macro switching ring, a focus hold button, and an 11-bladed circular diaphragm.
Sports and nature photographers give thumbs up to the Sony FE 400mm f/2.8 GM OSS Lens. It’s long, fast, and contains the latest Sony imaging technologies including an XD Linear Motor AF system, a trio of Nano AR-coated Fluorite elements, an ED element, Optical SteadyShot image stabilization, power focus, preset focus, and focus limiters, a rotating tripod collar, and an 11-bladed circular diaphragm.
Zoom Lenses for Sony Full-Frame and APS-C E-mount Cameras
Sony currently offers a broad selection of wide-angle and telephoto zoom lenses that cover full-frame and APS-C mount cameras. The widest of the lot is the Sony FE 12-24mm f/4 G Lens, a true ultra-wide that features a quartet of aspheric elements, a trio of ED elements, and a Super ED element, all of which are Nano AR-coated. Sony’s 12-24mm f/4 zoom also sports a Direct Drive Super Sonic Wave AF motor, and a focus hold button.
Slightly longer in focal range and a full stop faster is the Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM, which contains dual Nano AR and Fluorine-coated Extra-Low Dispersion and XA elements, three aspheric elements, Direct Drive Super Sonic Wave motors, and a hold focus button. If you are looking for a nice 16-35mm zoom and you can live with a maximum aperture of f/4, the Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS, which features four aspheric, three Extra-Low dispersion, and a single AA element, is a terrific, image-stabilized alternative.
One focal length that seems to be on everybody’s wish list is a 24-70mm zoom. The Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM is a G Master-series lens containing dual Nano AR-coated aspheric elements along with single ED, Super ED, and XA lens elements. Other features include a Direct Drive Super Sonic Wave AF motor, a hold focus button, and a 9-bladed aperture.
If you can live with a maximum aperture of f/4, you have the option of purchasing the image-stabilized Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS, which features five (!) aspheric elements and a single Ed element, along with a Linear AF motor.
If you need 24mm on the wide side, but prefer farther reach on the telephoto end of the focal range, check out the Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS, which has four Nano AR and Fluorine-coated aspheric and three ED elements, Optical SteadyShot Image Stabilization, a Direct Drive Super Sonic Wave AF motor, and a rounded 9-bladed aperture.
Need even more reach on the telephoto end? How about the Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS, which features five aspheric and a single ED element, a Linear AF motor, and Optical SteadyShot image stabilization?
Equally popular as 24-70mm zooms are 70-200mm zooms and here, too, Sony offers two options. The Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS is the faster of the two. It features four ED, dual aspheric and Super ED elements, and a single XA element, all of which are Nano AR coated. Other features include dual Linear and Super Sonic Wave motors, Optical SteadyShot image stabilization, a focus range limiter, and a bokeh-enhancing 11-bladed aperture. A removable, rotatable tripod collar is also included for easy transitioning between horizontal and vertical.
A stop slower is Sony’s image-stabilized FE 70-200mm f/4 G OSS, which contains dual Nano AR-coated ED and AA elements and single aspheric and Super ED lens elements. For fast focus, Sony’s 70-200 f/4 also features dual Linear Focus motors, multiple focus hold buttons, a focus range limiter, and a removable rotating tripod collar.
If your zoom needs are strictly telephoto in nature, Sony’s FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G OSS, fills the bill with four Nano AR-coated aspheric elements and dual ED elements. Other features include a Linear AF motor, internal focusing, Optical SteadyShot image-stabilization, focus hold and focus range limiters, dust- and moisture-proof construction, and a rounded, 9-bladed aperture.
For the farthest degree of zoom reach for an E-mount camera, we have the Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS. This image-stabilized long zoom features Nano AR and Fluorine-coated Super ED and Ed elements, a zoom torque adjustment ring, internal focusing with a focus range limiter, a Direct Drive Super Sonic AF motor, and a 9-bladed aperture.
Sony E-mount APS-C-only
The following is a selection of the more notable Sony premium APS-C format zoom and fixed focal length lenses.
Your widest option is Sony’s E 10-18mm f/4 OSS Lens, an image-stabilized 15-27mm equivalent zoom that features one Super ED and three aspherical elements, internal focusing, and a minimum close focusing distance of 9.8".
Next up is the Sony Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm f/4 ZA OSS, an image-stabilized 24-105mm equivalent zoom that features a Linear Autofocus Motor, internal focusing, an ED element, a quartet of aspheric elements, and a minimum focusing distance of 13.8".
If a longer focal range would serve you better, check out the Sony E 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS, a 27-300mm equivalent zoom that features Optical SteadyShot image-stabilization, a zoom lock switch, internal focusing, a single ED and four aspheric elements, and a minimum focusing distance of 11.8".
In the fixed focal length arena we have the Sony Sonnar T* E 24mm f/1.8 ZA, a 36mm equivalent semi-wide that features a single ED and twin aspheric lens elements, internal focusing, a Linear AF motor, and a minimal focus distance of an impressively close 6.3".
If you want a normal lens, try the Sony E 35mm f/1.8 OSS, an image-stabilized, internal focusing 52.5mm equivalent normal lens containing one ED and dual aspheric elements, with a minimum focus distance of 11.8".
Need to focus real close? Sony’s E 30mm f/3.5 Macro Lens is a 45mm equivalent, internal focusing macro lens that focuses down to life-size (1:1) with a minimum focus distance of 3.7".
Sony E PZ-series Lenses
Sony’s PZ-series lenses are designed for capturing stills and video using APS-C cameras with Sony E-mounts. PZ-lenses differ from Sony’s other offerings in that they feature power zoom levers and HandyCam technologies, for improved video capture.
The Sony E PZ 18-105mm f/4 G OSS is an image-stabilized 27-157.5mm equivalent zoom that features internal focusing, dual ED and three aspheric elements, and a minimum focus distance of 1.5'.
A bit more advanced and a tad longer is Sony’s E PZ 18-110mm f/4 G OSS Lens, an image-stabilized zoom with focus, zoom, and aperture control rings, Smooth Motion Optics technologies that prevent breathing, servo zoom functionality, internal focusing, and a removable tripod foot.
Slightly longer in focal range is Sony’s FE PZ 28-135mm f/4 G OSS Lens, which features Optical SteadyShot image-stabilization, five aspheric and three ED elements, Smooth Motion Optics support for 4K video, zero focus shift or lens breathing, a Linear AF motor, Power Zoom with a Super Sonic Wave motor, and a removable rotating tripod collar.
Longer still is the Sony E PZ 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens, an image-stabilized 27-300mm equivalent lens that features ED and aspheric lens elements, a variable-speed power zoom, internal focusing, and a minimum focusing distance of 11.8".
Do you have any experience with any of the above lenses? If so, we’d like to hear your thoughts about them in the Comments section.