The Best Budget Lenses for Sony Photographers

Sony has taken the photography industry by storm with their full frame mirrorless system, building upon the already strong system they had built with their APS-C cameras. Lots of photographers are ditching their Canon and Nikon DSLRs in favor of these lighter and smaller Sony bodies, and so naturally, some of you are trying to figure out what your best budget lens options are for the Sony system. This is where we are here to help.

We have a giant master list of what we feel the best budget lenses are for every system, and you can find that here, but in this post we wanted to highlight our picks for the best budget lenses for the Sony system.

Sony Brand Lenses

One of the tough things with the Sony system, especially on the full frame side of things is that native budget options have been slim pickins’. that said, there are still some great budget E mount options that you all should be considering. (As well we will include some great Sony A mount lenses that can be adapted and will work well)

Sony E 50mm F1.8

This is a big one; of any lens made by Sony, the 50mm f1.8 has to be hands down the sharpest optic that we’ve tested for the system thus far. It’s contrasty, sharp, and takes advantage of any Sony NEX sensor to create some beautiful bokeh and images that will leave you bedazzled.

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Sony 35mm F1.8

On an APS-C sensor DSLR it will be around 50mm. Students, hobbyists, street photographers trying to remain incognito, and portrait shooters will come to appreciate the Sony 35mm F1.8. Those of you that want to stick with Sony for the long run should strongly consider this lens because the Sony 35mm F1.4may be out of your price range for a while.

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Sony 28mm F2.8

This is the lens designed for people that want to shoot wider. For the price point, there is little to complain about.

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Sony 85mm F2.8

It’s a pity that Sony doesn’t have an F/1.8 lens in this focal length. However, for the price point (as this is a budget lens compilation) you’ll find that this can be a more affordable option than what the competition has to offer.

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Sony E 35mm F1.8

This a also one of Sony’s sharp optics, but it isn’t as sharp as we originally expected it to be. After some thought though, it made sense as to why it isn’t–and the trade off is that there is image stabilization built into the lens. Generally, when there is stabilization, the image quality can suffer because the elements need to be made smaller for the function to work. But trust us, it’s still very much worth it.

(Read Our Review | [amazon_textlink asin=’B0096W1P5W’ text=’Buy One’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’b9ec5ca9-77c4-11e7-aa91-adcb72243ec1′])

Sony FE 28mm F2

If you’re a Sony A7 series camera user, then the absolute most affordable and bang for your buck lens is the company’s 28mm f2. It offers a 28mm full frame field of view coverage along with great sharpness, fast focusing speed, a fairly small size, a build that can stand up to the elements, and amazing bokeh for what this lens actually is–a fast wide angle prime.

(Read Our Review | [amazon_textlink asin=’B00U29GN6O’ text=’Buy One’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’cbfc62a2-77c4-11e7-bca6-bbc40191fe76′])

Third Party Lenses

Where Sony really has a leg up on its closest mirrorless competition (M4/3 aside) is that its has received extensive third party lens support from companies like Sigma, Rokinon, and Zeiss.

Rokinon 8mm F2.8

This is a fast aperture fisheye lens, but the images that we captured with it were some of the best we’ve seen with an NEX camera. Rokinon lenses render color differently than everyone else and because they are manual focus optics, they can focus much more on putting in some top notch glass.

(Read our Review | [amazon_textlink asin=’B00JD4TA7I’ text=’Buy One’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’114a796b-77c7-11e7-86a8-c52dd39a55c5′])

Sigma 30mm F1.4

The one lens that we’ve become absolutely, positively smitten with for Canon DSLR owners is the Sigma 35mm f1.4–but it’s also available for Sony A mount. It’s the fastest wide aperture 35mm available for the system, and you’ll enjoy every image that you snap with it.

(Read our Review | [amazon_textlink asin=’B00HWQGK2C’ text=’Buy One’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’492d926a-77c7-11e7-9e77-f983bdd294b9′])

Sigma 19mm F2.8

The image quality of both the first and second versions of these lenses are comparable–but what really changed is the build quality. The newer ones have faster focusing and a sleeker body while the older versions have a bit more grip on them. Still, if you want something fairly wide and sharp, look no further than this offering from Sigma.

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Looking for more?

These are just our picks for the top budget lenses for the Sony system in general, if you are looking for good lens options with a specific photographic specialty in mind we highly recommend checking out some of our other lens recommendation posts like: The Essential Budget Portrait Kit: Sony Mirrorless Photographer, Perfect Portraits: 3 Budget Portrait Lenses For the Sony E System under $1,000, The Best Lenses For The Sony A7 II, A7s II, and A7R II, and Under $1,000: 5 Lenses for the Sony Travel Photographer.

If you are looking for more budget recommendations for another system make sure and check out our full listing, here.

Anthony Thurston

Anthony is a Portland, Oregon based Boudoir Photographer specializing in a dark, moody style that promotes female body positivity, empowerment, and sexuality. Besides The Phoblographer, he also reviews gear and produces his own educational content on his website.