Get the Most Out of Your Sony APS-C Camera with These Great Lenses

There are some great lenses for Sony’s APS-C cameras that often get overlooked, so we wanted to shine some light on them.

Sony’s E mount has come on in leaps and bounds over the last few years, and now there are lenses for just about every genre of photography on the platform. While lenses for Sony’s Full-Frame cameras are in abundance, lenses specifically for Sony APS-C cameras are harder to come by. Still, the available ones are all fantastic. If you’re thinking about picking up a Sony a6xxx model camera and you want to see what your options are when it comes to lenses specifically designed for APS-C, this roundup is for you.

Captured with the Sigma 56mm f1.4 and the Sony a6400

Lenses designed specifically for Sony APS-C cameras are going to be smaller and lighter than their Full-Frame counterparts, but they are in no way inferior when it comes to quality. The benefits of smaller APS-C cameras can quickly become lost if you start slapping much bigger Full-Frame lenses on them. So, if you want to enjoy the benefits of a smaller system, these are the lenses we recommend for Sony APS-C cameras.

Sigma 16mm F1.4 DC DN Contemporary

Sony APS-C

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Fast aperture
  • Weather sealing to a point
  • Fast autofocus performance for the most part
  • Nice bokeh
  • Sharp, surprisingly sharp

Cons

  • To be honest, nothing

Buy now: $379

Sony 20mm F2.8

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Itty bitty size makes most E mount Alpha cameras feel like a point and shoot
  • Fast-focusing
  • Really good color rendition
  • Pretty darned good sharpness for a pancake

Cons

  • A bit more pricey than we’d like it to be

Buy now: $348

Sigma 56mm F1.4 DC DN Contemporary

Sony APS-C

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Excellent sharpness
  • Gorgeous bokeh
  • Lightweight & compact design
  • Fast and accurate autofocus
  • One of three widest maximum aperture (f1.4) lenses currently available for Crop Sensor Sony E Mount (besides Sigma’s own 16mm and 30mm offerings)
  • Dust and splash proof design with a rubber gasket integrated found around the lens mount
  • 35mm equivalent focal length of 84mm very nearly matches the 85mm focal length preferred by many portrait photographers
  • It’s less than $500

Cons

  • Lacks optical stabilization
  • Pincushioning is especially noticeable in RAW files, although correctable during post-production

Buy now: $409

Captured with the Sony a6100 and the Sony Zeiss 16-70mm f4

Pro Tip: If you’re currently thinking about picking up one of Sony’s APS-C cameras, but aren’t sure which one to get, you should check out our reviews. We have reviewed the a6000, the a6100, the a6300, a6400, the a6500, and the a6600! We put all of the cameras through real-world tests and give honest feedback.

Sony 10-18mm F4 OSS Wide Angle Lens

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Solid metal construction
  • Fast AF acquisition
  • 4-stop image stabilization
  • Very wide

Cons

  • Small zoom range
  • There could always be less distortion
  • Someone would surely like it to be f2.8, but this doesn’t matter to us

Buy now: $898

Sony 16-55mm F2.8 G

Sony APS-C

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Image quality is very good
  • Autofocus speed on Sony’s latest cameras is great
  • Weather sealed
  • Convenient and small every day carry lens
  • It’s great for events

Cons

  • With Sony’s level of innovation, we’re amazed they didn’t give this lens a faster aperture to compete with Sigma’s options
  • Someone is bound to complain about the lack of image stabilization in the lens. So, we guess we have to

Buy now: $1,298

Sony Zeiss 16-70mm F4

Sony APS-C

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Super sharp wide open
  • Fairly compact size
  • Nice feel in the hand
  • You’ll never want to stop it down due to the balance between sharpness and bokeh
  • Fairly good distortion control at the wider focal lengths
  • Fast and flawless focusing

Cons

  • Only f4
  • Wish that the lens incorporated some sort of weather sealing

Buy now: $899

Captured with the Sony a6100 and the Sony 70-350 f4.6-6.3

Pro Tip: Sony APS-C cameras and dedicated APS-C lenses can give you powerful setups more than capable of capturing everything from portraits to sports, wildlife to street photography, and more. No matter what you end up shooting, your camera and lenses will get dirty. Make sure you keep a basic lens and camera cleaning kit with you at all times so that you can clean as you go. You don’t have to spend a fortune either. This one is more than good enough.

Sony 18-105mm F4 G OSS

Sony APS-C

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • The only lens that you’ll ever need for Sony’s APS-C mirrorless camera system
  • Internal zooming and focusing
  • Feels like a big prime
  • OSS does a great job
  • Beautiful bokeh on the telephoto end

Cons

  • You’ll need to get used to the zooming
  • A bit too big and weighty for our liking

Buy now: $648

Sony 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 OSS

Sony APS-C

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Variety of focal lengths in a small body
  • Lightweight
  • Fun
  • Pretty darned good image quality

Cons

  • Price could be a bit lower

Buy now: $648

Sony 70-350mm F4.5-6.3 G OSS

Sony APS-C

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Sharp image output
  • Light and easy to carry around
  • Excellent image stabilization
  • Attractive price point
  • Very fast and very quiet XD Linear autofocus motor
  • Bright, bold, vibrant colors that will please wildlife photographers
  • Some weather sealing and good build quality overall

Cons

  • We wish it had a slightly faster maximum aperture

Buy now: $898