The Best Lenses with Character You Want for Sony E Mount

If you want lenses with character and you’re sick of the same clinically clean image quality, you’ve come to the right place. Why shoot a photo only to have to do tons of post-production? Why not be happy with what you get out of the camera? Well, that’s what we’re rounding up in this post on the best lenses with character for the Sony E Mount. Take a look!

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Here’s How We Chose the Best Lenses with Character for Sony E Mount

If you want lenses with character for the Sony E mount system, then use this guide. And here are some more pointers:

  • The Phoblographer’s staff only recommends products we’ve fully reviewed. So, know that we’ve tested and used each of these lenses. You can check out each section to see more in our full reviews.
  • Sony’s lenses tend to be clinically clean. But photographers these days don’t want that; they want lenses with character. There are lots of great ones out there, but these are a handpicked selection that we like.
  • These shouldn’t be your only lenses. In fact, you should use these in addition to the others you have.
  • None of these lenses have autofocus. Keep that in mind when you use them.
  • The Zeiss Loxia lens has weather resistance. The rest don’t.

Meyer Optik 58mm f1.9 II

Pros

  • Beautiful bokeh
  • The sharpest Meyer Optik lens I’ve used
  • Just a bit too sharp for portraits, but that’s fine in many cases
  • Smooth focusing
  • Large focusing range
  • I love manual focus lenses because they slow you down.
  • Beautiful colors on the Sony a7r III

Cons

  • Lacks weather sealing
  • Lacks contacts for AF/AE communication
  • Really only sharp around the four points of the rule of thirds intersection

How’s the Image Quality?

In our review, we state:

“I didn’t run into many issues regarding color fringing or distortion. You might want to consider the swirly bokeh here to be the Meyer Optik 58mm f1.9’s lens character. It’s beautiful, and I wish more modern lenses had bokeh like this.”

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Zeiss 50mm f2 Loxia

Pros

  • The colors of a Zeiss DSLR lens and a bit of the micro-contrast we’ve known
  • Great ergonomics
  • Nice feeling
  • Good enough to make a 35mm lens lover think twice

Cons

How’s the Image Quality?

In our review, we state:

“For the most part, you’ll have nothing to complain about with the Zeiss 50mm f2 Loxia. Take everything you know about the DSLR lens offerings, make it smaller, put an E mount on it, and you’ve got the 50mm f2 Loxia. When it comes to image quality, you’re going to sing praises and become smitten with just how good it is.”

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Lensbaby 35mm f3.5 Edge

Pros

  • Small
  • Very lightweight
  • Sharp in the center
  • Well built despite no weather sealing

Cons

  • I wish it were sharp all over and not only in the center. When you tilt the optic, you start to see how it only puts sharpness at the center and justifies actual tilt shift lenses.

How’s the Image Quality?

In our review, we state:

“The bokeh is the best thing about the design of the Lensbaby 35mm f3.5 Edge. With eight aperture blades, it isn’t like the 11 the Sony G Master lenses offer, but it’s still nice and creamy. Portrait photographers will make the most of this as will anyone who really likes focusing up close and personal on stuff. Tilting the focusing just makes things more and more bokehlicious if you’re into a specific look. Some of the work involved with the Lensbaby 35mm f3.5 Edge is just about messing around and experimenting to see what works. Most photographers can think in terms of straight and linear focusing planes; thinking in terms of shifted planes is rough.”

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The Phoblographer’s various product round-up features are done in-house. Our philosophy is simple: you wouldn’t get a Wagyu beef steak review from a lifelong vegetarian. And you wouldn’t get photography advice from someone who doesn’t touch the product. We only recommend gear that we’ve fully reviewed. If you’re wondering why your favorite product didn’t make the cut, there’s a chance it’s on another list. If we haven’t reviewed it, we won’t recommend it. This method keeps our lists packed with industry-leading knowledge. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.