Four of Our Favorite Third-Party Lenses for Sony E Mount

Camera deals - Sony a7 III
For the longest time a huge complaint against the Sony mirrorless system was a lack of lens options. That, for the most part, is no longer an issue. 

It’s 2018 and that means that seemingly age old truths about the various brands and systems we all know and love are coming crashing down. Canon is no longer an innovator, Fujifilm is releasing Bayer Sensor cameras in their X-Series, and Sony’s E-Mount ecosystem has gotten some serious reinforcements from third-party manufacturers.

So, in this roundup today we wanted to highlight four of our favorite third-party lenses for the Sony E Mount. 

Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 Di III RXD


The Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 Di RXD is an excellent ‘mount and go’ lens for the Sony E mount system from Tamron. It is more or less a more cost effective 24-70mm f2.8 alternative for those who need to have that capability on a budget or who prefer a slightly longer reach over a slightly wider throw on the wide end.

In our review of the Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 Di RXD we said:

“It’s going to focus slightly faster with Eye AF and it’s going to be slightly sharper. The warmer feel of the optics may also appeal more to certain portrait shooters. But the Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 Di III RXD is arguably just as weather sealed, can focus quickly in most situations, and has more vivid colors that will make landscape photographers want to pick it up. For Sony photographers, it’s going to be akin to the debate between Canon photographers using Sigma Art lenses and Canon L glass. In this case, it’s Tamron’s fantastic lens vs the Sony G Master.”

Interested? Buy a Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 Di RXD on Amazon today!


Rokinon 50mm F1.4 FE

In the DSLR world you may be used to Rokinon being this sort of cheap throw away brand known for decent image quality and manual focus but questionable build quality. In the mirrorless realm, and specifically in the Sony ecosystem, that is not the case. Rokinon has been making some excellent AF capable lenses that are built well, offer great image quality, and remain extremely affordable when compared to their Sony branded competition. This 50mm f1.4 offering is a shining example of that fact.

In our review of the Rokinon 50mm F1.4 FE we said:

“I’m in love with the Rokinon 50mm f1.4 AF FE, and that’s hard to do because I have an ongoing hatred of the 50mm focal length. Rokinon truly nailed it here. Want better build quality? You’ve got it, this lens has a metal exterior. Not only that, but it feels uniquely like a Rokinon lens and not like a Sigma, Tamron, or Zeiss. There is no weather sealing, but I’ll excuse that. Rokinon’s optics have always been top notch and this is no exception. The colors are bold, the contrast is there, the images are sharp, and the bokeh is gorgeous. All of this is thanks to the very good autofocus capabilities.” 

Interested? Pick up a Rokinon 50mm f1.4 FE on Amazon today.

Zeiss Loxia 21mm F2.8

The Zeiss Loxia lineup is an interesting one; these lenses predate most of the AF capable third party lens options in the Sony ecosystem now, but for those who do enjoy a manual focus workflow (like myself) then these lenses really do offer an excellent option for the Sony series. This option, the 21mm in particular, is great for landscape photographers.

In our review of the Zeiss Loxia 21mm F2.8 we had the following to say:

“If you were to go for any wide angle prime that is weather sealed and available for the Sony a7 series of cameras, I would without a double recommend the Zeiss 21mm f2.8 Loxia lens. It’s small, weather sealed, sharp, and has great image quality. Seriously, there simply isn’t a single bad thing I can say about this lens. Landscape and most photographers shooting this wide don’t truly NEED autofocus all the time. So it works perfectly.”

Interested? Check out the Zeiss Loxia 21mm f2.8 over on Amazon for a great deal.


Rokinon 35mm F2.8 FE

Yes, another Rokinon offering has made the cut for this list. Like we said in the other description, the price to performance that Rokinon is offering with their lens lineup for the Sony ecosytem is unmatched at the moment. If you are looking for an affordable lens that can get the job done without going broke, and if you’re shooting Sony, then your best bet right now will likely be a Rokinon lens like this 35mm f2.8 FE.

In our review of the Rokinon 35mm F2.8 FE we had the following to say:

The Rokinon 35mm f2.8 is a pretty awesome lens. For $399, you’re getting an arguably sharper lens than the Sony Zeiss version. But you’re not getting the faster autofocus or the weather sealing. Additionally, you may like the Sony Zeiss colors more. For that price point though, there isn’t a whole lot to complain about with the Rokinon offering. If Rokinon’s lens could focus closer, then it would really push it over the top. But it doesn’t. However, you’re getting an arguably sharper image and colors that don’t look like Sony’s if you’re one of those who doesn’t really digg Sony’s colors… And more importantly, you’re getting a small prime lens that is affordable.”

Interested? Check out the Rokinon 35mm f2.8 FE over on Amazon for the best price available.

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.