10 Prime Lenses for Sony That Will Amaze (They’re Under $600 Too)

These bargain-priced prime lenses are so good, they’ll never leave your camera.

Lenses can be expensive, but you don’t have to spend a fortune to get great ones. Sony shooters have been blessed with tremendous support from third parties – manufacturers like Rokinon, Tamron, Sigma, and more. The best part is that the super-sharp prime lenses we’ll share cost much less than you think. In this roundup, you’ll find ten prime lenses that will blow your socks off with their performance. How these lenses sell for under $600 each is beyond me, but they do, and you can reap the rewards they give.

The Samyang 45mm f1.8 renders beautiful colors.

Really, for under $600, you can get some stellar lenses. The lenses listed below are top performers. They are sharp, and they take advantage of Sony’s autofocus system. The colors they render are fantastic, and some even have weather sealing. $600 is cheap for a lens. When you see some of these actually cost half that, you’ll be even more amazed. If you want to dabble in the world of prime lenses but don’t want to spend a fortune, these are the prime lenses for you.

Sigma 16mm f1.4 DC DN Contemporary

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: $399

Tamron 20mm f2.8 Di III OSD

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Well built
  • Affordable
  • Nice colors
  • Tamron is embracing Mirrorless with a small and lightweight offering.
  • Weather sealed very well; it survived a few hours in the rain
  • Autofocuses quickly

Cons

  • This is one of the most heavily distorted lenses we’ve tested in a while

Buy now: $299

Tamron 24mm f2.8 Di III OSD M1:2

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Small footprint
  • Lightweight (7.6 oz / 215g)
  • Very robust weather sealing
  • Excellent image quality overall
  • Close minimum focusing distance

Cons

  • Plasticky build quality
  • Quite a bit of optical distortion (although correctable in Capture One)
  • Subpar autofocus performance under low light and low contrast conditions

Buy now: $249

50mm prime lenses rokinon
Captured with the Rokinon 50mm f1.4 FE

Pro Tip: Regardless of how much you spend on lenses, you need to take care of them. Lenses get exposed to all kinds of debris, and it doesn’t take long for grime to accumulate and cause problems. Cleaning your lenses is essential. Just wiping down the front element before a shoot, or doing a deep clean once a week will make a big difference. Looking after your gear will ensure that it remains operational for years to come. This cheap basic lens cleaning kit is all you need. Stick it in your camera bag and be prepared to clean on the go.

Lensbaby Velvet 28

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Solid metal build quality
  • Can be very fun
  • Very soft images at wider apertures
  • Very sharp when stopped down
  • Small

Cons

  • Hard to focus because it’s so soft, and the depth of field scale isn’t always reliable
  • It’s probably about time that Lensbaby started putting exposure and focusing contacts in their lenses
  • If this thing had weather sealing, it would be the single most enjoyable lens to use in the rain

Buy now: $549.95

Rokinon 35mm f2.8 FE

prime lenses

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Sharp image quality
  • Good bokeh
  • Focuses pretty much as closely as the Sony version
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Weather sealing would have been nice but we understand why it isn’t there
  • Focus motors can be a bit loud at times with later cameras

Buy now: $249

Tamron 35mm f2.8 Di III OSD

prime lenses

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Compact (although the Sony 35mm f2.8 Zeiss is still smaller)
  • Lightweight
  • Class-leading weather sealing
  • Excellent image quality overall

Cons

  • Plasticky build quality
  • Low light autofocus can be a tad slow

Buy now: $299

prime lenses
Captured with the Sigma 45m f2.8 DG DN

Pro Tip: Prime lenses are more versatile than you might think. A lot of new photographers tend to shy away from prime lenses, but we always urge you to give them a shot. Primes will force you to think more about how you shoot. They will make you think about your composition, and they are versatile and can be used for many genres, just like zooms can be. If you’re unsure about primes, check out this book to see just how great they can be.

Sigma 45mm f2.8 DG DN

prime lenses

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Small
  • Lightweight
  • Feels like a Leica. A cheap Leica lens
  • Fast autofocus
  • Sharp image quality when stopped down
  • Fun to use!

Cons

  • We wish it was fully weather-sealed
  • For an f2.8 lens, this should be a bit smaller
  • Softer wide open than we’d like

Buy now: $472.80

Samyang 45mm f1.8

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

Cons

  • It can freeze the camera and the autofocus up at times, but that’s a primary hiccup it eventually gets over
  • Incredibly plastic fantastic
  • Has a weird metering problem at times
  • Can’t take full advantage of continuous tracking with lock-on AF

Buy now: $364

Rokinon 50mm f1.4 AF FE

prime lenses

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Contrasty images
  • Sharp photos
  • Beautiful bokeh
  • Metal feeling build on the exterior
  • Autofocus that works pretty darned well

Cons

  • Autofocus isn’t as fast as Sony’s
  • Really wish it had weather sealing, but the price point isn’t really for that
  • Pretty big

Buy now: $399

Rokinon 85mm f1.4 AF FE

prime lenses

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • More affordable than Sony’s higher-end option
  • Good image quality
  • Smooth bokeh
  • Sharp image quality
  • Nice colors

Cons

  • We wish it had more weather sealing

Buy now: $599