Essentials: 4 Budget Lenses for Your Sony FE Camera

What are the basic, essential lenses that every Sony Mirrorless Photographer could use to create their art? 

Photography is a wonderful thing; pick up any camera and any lens and with them you can capture the world, for just a moment, to be preserved as long as the medium which holds it survives. It is a timeless, though under appreciated, a gift to the future. But if you are new to photography, or maybe just new to having a dedicated camera (upgraded from your smartphone, for example) you may be wondering what lenses you need for your new Sony Mirrorless camera.

Well, it’s just your luck that this post is all about that; the essential lenses for your Sony Mirrorless camera system. So, if you are ready, let’s jump on into it…

The biggest rule of photography is that there are no rules. As long as you have captured the image you were attempting to capture, then you did it right – regardless of what some mouth breather screams at you through the clanking of his keyboard echoing off the walls of his mother’s basement. So take the following list of ‘essential’ lenses as some suggestions, because there are many many options out there that you could use to create your art and pursue your passion. These are essential only in that most photographers will find a good use for them in their work.

OK, so with that disclaimer out of the way, let’s get going on this look at the essential lenses virtually every Sony Mirrorless photographer should have.


Sony FE 50mm F1.8

Yes, if you know anything about photography then this lens being at the number one spot will likely not be a surprise. 50mm lenses are among the most versatile focal lengths commonly available to your average photographer, and thankfully this makes them one of the most affordable options. This is true with Sony’s FE 50mm F1.8 too, as it is one of the most affordable and best bang for your buck options available natively on the Sony mirrorless system right now.

Get a Sony FE 50mm F1.8 (Read our Review)


Sony FE 85mm F1.8

This one will also probably be a somewhat obvious choice to some. But 85mm has long been one of the preferred focal lengths for portrait photographers, but in addition to that, it is also a relatively affordable telephoto prime lens that has great versatility in many situations – excluding small rooms and tight spaces (but even then, tight detail shots can easily be achieved with a lens like this). The Sony 85mm F1.8 is also one of the more affordable lens options for a quality portrait prime in the Sony ecosystem right now, so this just makes sense.

Get a Sony FE 85mm F1.8 (Read our Review)


Sony FE 35mm F2.8

Another Sony Prime that makes this list, though not being quite as good of a buy in the ‘bang for buck’ category as 35mm lenses from other systems, the FE 35mm F2.8 is an excellent compact prime lens for every day shooting. Its small, lightweight and offers great image quality. This could easily be a lens that rarely leaves your camera if you are a street photographer or someone who shoots in good light most of the time.

Get a Sony FE 35mm F2.8 (Read our Review)


Sony FE 24-105mm F4 G OSS

For many photographers, having the ability to just throw one lens on your body and have both your wide and telephoto ranges covered is ideal for many situations. While not exactly cheap, by any means, the Sony FE 24-105mm F4 offers an excellent range of coverage for most wide and decently telephoto situations with an solid constant aperture of F4. Oh, and its also got stabilization, which when used in conjunction with Sony mirrorless bodies that have in-body stabilization will make for some super smooth video or stable photos.

Get a Sony FE 24-105mm F4 G OSS (Read our Review)

So, there you have it, our picks for the essential lenses for every Sony mirrorless photographer. Depending on your specialty you could add or subtract options on this list. For example, a sports photographer likely has little use for the 35mm lens, but has a ton of use for a 70-200mm or a 300mm prime. Alternatively, a wedding photographer may find this list to be pretty dead on, with the exception of probably switching out the 24-105mm for a 24-70mm F2.8.

The moral of the story is to know what you want to shoot and let that guide your decisions when it comes to lens purchases. It makes no sense to go out and buy a lens you are never going to use, or never going to use to its full potential. So think about what you want, why you want it, why you need it, and how you will use it. If you can’t come up with an answer for each of those questions, chances are you don’t need that lens.

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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.