Three Must Have Sony Lenses for Newcomers to Sony Cameras

e mount lenses

Photographers have a whole host of Sony lenses to choose from, but some are better than others for newcomers to the platform. 

It’s always an exciting day when you pick up a new camera, but sometimes it can be a little hard to take it all in. From learning the new system, to picking out new lenses, there is a lot going on. Each platform has great glass to choose from, and there are some fantastic Sony lenses that are stellar performers which should be considered must haves.

There are a lot of great lenses for Sony cameras, and whether you are new to photography and Sony, or if you’re an experienced photographer who is switching brands, these Sony lenses should be the first ones you pick up for your new camera. The lenses we have chosen range from primes to telephoto, and they cover a wide range of genres. There is no doubt that these lenses would make a perfect starter kit for new Sony shooters.


Sony 50mm F1.8


It doesn’t matter what platform you shoot with, one of the first lenses you should pick up (especially if you are a beginner) is a nifty fifty. This focal length is about as close as it gets to the field of view that the human eyes sees naturally, so it’s a great lens for documentary photography, street photography, and is excellent for portraits. The Sony 50mm 1.8 is an entry-level prime lens, but there is nothing entry-level about the images it can produce.

In our review we said:

“Generally speaking in terms of nifty 50 lenses, you can’t really get much better here. Sony’s 50mm f1.8 is right up there with the Canon 50mm f1.8 in terms of image quality. It’s got great color output, is very sharp, very little chromatic aberration (and even then you’ve really got to look for it) and bokeh that isn’t bad overall.”

The 50mm f1.8 is a very lightweight lens (0.4lbs) which means you can use this lens for long periods of time comfortably. Inside the plastic housing you will find six elements in five groups, and seven rounded aperture blades. The optics in this lens are very good for the price you are paying, and you can expect to get images that are very sharp with great color rendition. Chromatic aberration is kept under control nicely, and when shot wide open the nifty fifty produces some very nice bokeh. Focusing speeds in good lighting conditions are very fast, and while those speeds do drop a little in low light situations, it still performs very well. If you want to use first party lenses on your new camera, then the 50mm f1.8 is one of the first Sony lenses that you should purchase because the performance to price ratio is incredibly good.

Buy now ($248): Amazon


Sony 50mm F1.8 Image Samples



Pro Tip: Sony cameras are absolutely fantastic, but they can be a little power hungry. Make sure you have plenty of extra batteries with you so that you can keep on shooting long after your first battery drains.


Sony 85mm FE F1.8

Like the 50mm 1.8 above, the 85mm f1.8 FE is another must have lens for new Sony shooters, especially if you are a wedding, event, or portrait photographer. The 85mm f1.8 may well be one of the best bang for your buck lenses in the entire Sony lineup thanks to its outstanding image a quality, and excellent build quality (including weather resistance).

In our review we said:

“This is in many ways, the absolute most perfect portrait lens for most Sony camera users. If you don’t need or can afford the 85mm f1.4 G Master lens, then the Sony 85mm f1.8 FE lens is a fantastic option. It’s sharp, has less saturated colors (only the Loxia is less saturated that this), focuses pretty well with most cameras (the Batis is fastest) and it has weather resistance. But it’s also small and offered at a pretty affordable price point.”

The small footprint of the Sony 85mm, and it’s weight of 1.19lbs makes this lens easy to handle, even if you use it on smaller camera bodies like the a6500. As we have come to expect from Sony, the optics in this lens are remarkable. The lens features nine elements in eight groups, and it has nine rounded aperture blades that help produce incredibly beautiful bokeh. Thanks to the double linear focusing system, the lens is acquires focus at a rapid speed in both good and low lighting. The image quality is bested only by the far more expensive Zeiss Batis, and even then you have to really pixel peep to spot the differences. When it comes to Sony lenses, the 85mm f1.8 FE should be a mainstay in your camera bag.

Buy now ($598): Amazon


Sony 85mm FE F1.8



Pro Tip: Sony cameras offer incredibly burst rates and large RAW buffers. Be sure your memory cards are capable of keeping up with your camera. This Samsung 64GB UHS 3 SD card is designed for rapid burst rates, and 4K video. Be sure to add some to your kit.


Sony 24-105mm F4 G OSS


The Sony 24-105 f4 G OSS may be the most expensive lens on this list, but it is also the most versatile. The 24-105mm focal range is perhaps the most practical range in any lens, and when you factor in Sony’s build quality and the quality of their optics, you suddenly see the value in this piece of glass. The Sony 24-105mm is perfect for many genres of photography. You can go from shooting a wide-angle landscape one second, to shooting up close portraits the next. It may be one of the best walk around lenses on the platform.

In our review we said:

“It can deliver gorgeous image quality and with the right lighting I doubt that anyone would really be able to fault the lens or the photographer. Combine this with the little bit of weather sealing, and I can totally see how this lens can be one that stays glued to your camera in most instances.”

The Sony 24-105mm has a much larger foot print than the other two Sony lenses listed here, but when attached to a camera you will still find that it is well balanced, even on the smaller Alpha range finder bodies. The lens weighs 1.46lbs which really isn’t too bad for a lens in this class. The 24-105mm has 17 elements in 14 groups, and nine rounded diaphragm blades. The optics produce images that are sharp from corner to corner, and color reproduction is nice and neutral. The weather sealing isn’t as good as some other lenses, but you will still be able to use it out in a light rain or snow shower without any problems at all. Focusing is fast, and the constant aperture of f4 across the entire focal range make this a very versatile lens. If you want a first party lens that will quickly become your go-to lens for most situations, the Sony 24-105 G OSS may be the lens for you.

Buy now ($1,298): Amazon


Sony 24-105mm F4 G OSS



Are you Sony shooter? What lenses did you start out with? Let us know in the comment section below!


Brett Day

Brett Day is the Gear Editor at The Phoblographer and has been a photographer for as long as he can remember. Brett has his own photography business that focuses on corporate events and portraiture. In his spare time, Brett loves to practice landscape and wildlife photography. When he's not behind a camera, he's enjoying life with his wife and two kids, or he's playing video games, drinking coffee, and eating Cheetos.