Did you score one of the amazing deals on Sony cameras over the holidays? Perhaps you’re a long time Sony shooter looking to expand their lens collection? Either way you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to weather sealed lenses on the platform. Sony have some excellent weather sealed lenses of their own, and there are some excellent third party options too. After the break we’ll take a look at five weather sealed lenses that love to play outside when the weather takes a turn for the worse.
Whether your looking for prime lenses, wide to telephoto lenses, or telephoto zooms, lens manufacturers have you covered on the Sony platform. The likes of Sigma, Tamron, and Sony all make some truly amazing weather sealed lenses that will stand up to whatever Mother Nature can throw at them. The lenses listed below are all top performers in key areas. They will serve any photographer well. Let’s take a look at the five weather sealed lenses that we recommend for Sony shooters.
Sigma 16mm F1.4 DC DN Contemporary
If you’re a Sony APS-C shooter looking for a wide angle lens, the Sigma 16mm f1.4 could be just the ticket. The 16mm f1.4 DC DN Contemporary is a well built lens designed to be used on the A6000, the A6300, and the A6500. The lens can also be used on Sony Full Frame cameras in crop mode too. The outstanding overall performance from this lens and its price point make this one of the best weather sealed, wide angle lenses on the Sony platform.
In our review we said:
“It’s sharp, has nice bokeh, contrast, manageable fringing, and autofocuses at a fair speed. Plus it has weather sealing. There isn’t a whole lot to hate with the Sigma 16mm f1.4 DC DN Contemporary. If you’re the type of photographer who shoots wide, does documentary style work, and needs a reliable lens in their bag, this is one of the best options you’ve got if you’re a Sony shooter.”
Inside the premium feeling plastic body you’ll find 16 elements in 13 groups, and nine rounded diaphragm blades. The images produced are very sharp from edge to edge from f1.4 and on. Colors rendered are nice and have very natural looking tones to them; a departure from the warm tones you usually find with Sigma glass. There’s a small amount of color fringing, but this can be fixed with a simple click of your mouse in both Capture One 12 and Lightroom. For a wide angle lens the Sigma 16mm f1.4 can produce some really nice bokeh too.
Focusing is a breeze with this lens, autofocus performance is outstanding, and the large focus ring makes it easy to use for those who like to take control. We had no problems acquiring focus in any lighting situation, and, even when out in the falling snow, the lens never missed a beat. The build quality is outstanding, rivaling that of many Art series lenses.
The weather sealing is excellent. We took it into a snow storm and the lens just laughed in its face. You’ll have no issues with this piece of glass when the weather gets nasty. The Sigma 16mm f1.4 feels solid in the hands and doesn’t feel cheap; it feels like a lens that carries a much higher premium. The lens weighs just 0.89 lbs so it’s easy to use for long periods of time, and it won’t feel front heavy on your small Sony Alpha.
The maximum aperture of f1.4 means this lens is a low light beast. It really doesn’t matter what lighting situations you find yourself in; the Sigma 16mm f1.4 will handle them easily. On Sony crop sensor cameras the lens will have the equivalent focal length of 24mm which means it is still wide enough to capture some great landscape and cityscape images. It’s also great for street and documentary photography too.
Sigma makes some wonderful glass and the 16mm f1.4 contemporary is another fine example of this. When it comes to wide angle, weather sealed lenses there aren’t many options out there, but the Sigma 16mm f1.4 tops the list of those you can buy. It’s well built, weather sealed, produces some incredible images, and under $500.
Buy now ($436): Amazon
Sigma 16mm F1.4 DC DN Image Samples
Pro Tip: Having weather sealed lenses is a wonderful thing. They enable you to get out into the world to shoot in conditions that can produce some amazing images. Just remember: your camera must also be weather sealed to be completely safe when out in the elements. If your camera isn’t weather sealed, you do have options. Keep some of these affordable weather proof camera covers in your camera bag and you’ll be good to go in whatever conditions you want.
Sony 35mm f2.8 FE
If you’re a street photographer, an environmental portrait artist, or a documentarian you’re going to love this little beauty. The Sony 35mm f2.8 is compact, produces images that are sharp enough to cut, and it’s weather sealed. This small lens packs a massive punch.
In our review we said:
“It’s an incredible lens. On the A7 it will focus like a speed demon. On the A7r it will resolve more detail than your mom will want to see in her face. Then when you’re all done with that, you can take it out into inclement weather with no problems. Then there is your excellent color rendition and class leading sharpness.”
The Sony 35mm f2.8 features seven elements in five groups, and has seven aperture blades. As you would expect from a lens carrying the Zeiss name, images produced are super sharp from edge to edge, and free from distortion and chromatic aberration. Colors are really beautiful, and have a film like quality about them. Every time you take a shot the colors and the image will make you say wow.
The bokeh this lens produces is also beautiful, especially for such a short focal length and it only being f2.8. The Sony 35mm f2.8 is very quick to focus in good lighting conditions, but there is a small drop off in performance once the light goes down. Overall, this lens is still a great performer.
The 35mm f1.8’s weather sealing is excellent. We took the lens out in a downpour to put it through its paces and it performed flawlessly. Overall build quality is great, and the size of the lens makes it very easy to use. The manual focusing ring feels great and offers some nice grip, and at just 0.26lbs this lens is as light as a feather. It can easily be used for hours on end without problems.
If you’re looking for a high quality 35mm prime lens you should definitely check this one out. Its solid build quality, excellent weather sealing, razor sharp images, and gorgeous colors make this another one of the must-have weather sealed lenses on the Sony platform.
Buy now ($748): Amazon
Sony 35mm F2.8 Image Samples
Pro Tip: Sony really makes some fantastic cameras, but one area that they need help with is in the battery life department. Make sure you keep some extra batteries in your camera bag at all times, especially if you’re shooting in the cold. Cold weather has a negative impact on battery life. These third party Sony batteries work just as well as the original OEM ones and they’re much cheaper.
Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 Di III RXD
One of the best options when it comes to weather sealed lenses for Sony cameras is the new Tamron 28-75mm f2.8. This lens may well be the perfect walk around lens for Sony Mirrorless cameras thanks to its versatile focal range, superb build quality, and the razor sharp images it can produce.
In our review we said:
“One of the things that makes the Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 Di III RXD so appealing is just how good the image quality is. Not only is the lens capable of delivering sharp images, but the colors are very vibrant and the bokeh is smooth and beautiful.”
The Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 Di III RXD is perhaps one of the best third party weather sealed lenses available for Sony cameras. This lens is built to last and will allow its user to cover many different genres of photography with ease. One minute you could be shooting a landscape at the wide end of things, and then within seconds you can zoom up to 75mm for a more personal, up-close portrait. The lens features 15 elements in 12 groups, and has nine rounded aperture blades.
Images produced with this lens will really make you happy. You can expect edge to edge sharpness (even when shot wide open), rich, vibrant colors that pop, and some beautiful, smooth bokeh. We have never seen any chromatic aberration when using this lens, and have seen just the slightest amount of distortion (easily remedied in post production). Autofocus performance is solid and has no trouble finding focus in both good and low lighting conditions. The 28-75mm is also compatible with many of the features of Sony Mirrorless cameras such as eye and face detection, and it will work with all five axis of in-body image stabilization.
When it comes to build quality the Tamron is hard to beat. The lens has a premium feel to it and it feels really nice to hold and use. The focus and zoom rings are big and are well dampened. The weather sealing on this lens is top quality. We took the lens out into decently heavy rain; it kept on shooting and never gave us any issues. Tamron built this lens to last.
If you want to add a do-it-all lens to your collection, the Tamrom 28-75mm f2.8 is a fantastic option. Tamron makes excellent weather sealed lenses, and this one is a top performer in every area.
Buy now ($849.99): Amazon
Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 Di III RXD Image Samples
Pro Tip: Make sure you keep extra SD cards on your person before you head out into the great wide open. The last thing you want to do is run out of storage space, especially if you have made the trek in less than desirable weather conditions. This SD card is fast (U3), reliable, and cheap.
Sony 85mm F1.8 FE
If you’re looking for a portrait lens that just happens to be weather sealed, you’re in luck. The Sony 85mm 1.8 FE is not only weather sealed, it’s also one of the sharpest lenses on the platform. The best part is that it’s super affordable! At just $573 it costs three times less than the G Master 85mm, and only the biggest pixel peepers will see a difference.
“Oh man! Here’s where I was really blown away. This lens is crazy sharp. On the Sony a7r II, you’re getting so much incredible detail. But even on the 24MP sensor on the Sony a7 you’re getting a whole lot. It’s amazing.”
Inside the plastic housing you will find nine elements in eight groups, and nine rounded aperture blades. The Sony 85mm f1.8 lens produces insanely sharp images with nice natural tones, absolutely gorgeous bokeh, and there isn’t a hint of chromatic aberration or distortion to be found.
The lens focuses nice and fast too. We never had a single problem acquiring focus with this lens when using newer Sony cameras. On older bodies such as the original A7 autofocus performance does degrade slightly, but it’s still a strong performer.
While the Sony 85mm f1.8 FE isn’t the best built lens in the Sony lineup it’s still more than strong enough to withstand the odd bump, and will stand up to every day use just fine. The weather sealing on this lens will let you continue shooting outside when the weather takes a turn for the worse. It will be just fine to take out into the rain or snow, and it won’t be bothered by dust particles being blown about by the wind. As long as you don’t take it out to shoot in a hurricane it won’t let you down. Just make sure you have it attached to a weather sealed camera.
The 85mm f1.8 from Sony weighs just 1.1lbs, so it will balance nicely when attached to your Sony Mirrorless camera. It feels nice in the hands despite it being made from plastic. It doesn’t feel cheap at all, but it doesn’t scream premium quality either, and really at this price point it’s hard to complain. The focus ring on this lens is fairly large, easy to grip, and turns easily. Overall it’s just a really nice lens to use.
When it comes to weather sealed lenses aimed at portrait photographers the Sony 85mm f1.8 is impossible to ignore. The image quality is outstanding, the weather sealing and build quality will ensure that this lens lasts a long time, and its price point make this lens a no-brainer. Just go buy it.
Buy now ($573): Amazon
Sony 85mm F1.8 Image Samples
Pro Tip: Weather sealed lenses are made to be used out in the elements, but that doesn’t mean they’re dirt proof. Keep a basic lens cleaning kit in your camera bag or on your person so that you can remove dirt, grease, and water spots that the rain and snow will inevitably leave behind. This will save you time as you won’t have to remove dirt spots in post.
Sony 70-200mm F4 OSS
The Sony 70-200mm F4 OSS is really one of the best weather sealed lenses you can get for Sony cameras. This lens exhibits outstanding sharpness, is built like a tank, and has copious amounts of weather sealing. This bright white lens is perfect for those who like to be outside when the weather gets tough.
In our review we said:
“When it comes to image quality, the Sony 70-200mm f4 OSS lives up to the Sony name and reputation of delivering incredible results. All across the board, you won’t have a major issue with the image quality. This lens renders images to be super sharp.”
Inside the nicely textured white body of the Sony 70-200mm f4 you’ll find 21 elements in 15 groups along with nine rounded aperture blades. These optics are some of Sony’s best to date, and you will honestly be floored with the images this lens can produce. After using the lens for the first time we had to do a double take when we loaded our images into Capture One: this lens is beyond sharp. When shooting at f4 the images are spectacular. You’ll find edge to edge sharpness, colors that are beautifully saturated, and no fringing or distortion.
The bokeh rendered will make your eyes very happy too. You will be amazed that a 70-200mm f4 can produce such dreamy bokeh. Sony absolutely nailed it with this piece of glass. There is no doubt: portrait photographers will absolutely love this lens.
The Sony 70-200mm f4 weighs in at 1.8lbs which is not bad for a telephoto lens that has optical image stabilization. Speaking of which, the image stabilization on this lens is fantastic! It’s good for five stops, which means if you find yourself in a low light situation you can just lower your shutter speed and you’ll still be able to create sharp images when hand holding. Autofocus speeds (even on older Sony bodies) are lighting fast and it never gave us issues.
If you are a portrait photographer, nature or wildlife shooter, or like to dabble in sports photography this lens is for you. It’s one of the must-own weather sealed lenses on the platform.
Buy now ($1,398): Amazon
Sony 70-200mm F4 OSS Image Samples