Among the best things about the E mount is that there are an incredible number of lenses available from both Sony and third-party manufacturers.
Most recently Sony themselves have put an emphasis on APS-C lenses to fit their latest camera offerings, such as the FX30 and ZV-E10. The only unfortunate thing is that it can be paralyzing to pick just one lens from so many.
For those looking for help in sorting through some of the lenses we have a nice guide from Mark Bennett’s Camera Crisis. It is still quite comprehensive but does break it down into wide-angle, studio, general purpose, portrait, and telephoto categories to help you narrow things down.
All (but one) of the lenses mentioned today are designed for APS-C. Also, they all have AF since that let’s you take full advantage of your camera.
Going for a wide-angle lens is usually one of the first places content creators go. They are very versatile as they are useful for vlogging, landscape, architecture, real estate, and astrophotography.
His first pick is the Sony E 11mm f/1.8. He declares it the best vlogging lens for the system since it is small and lightweight with great optics. The speedy f/1.8 aperture is also very nice. It isn’t the cheapest as it goes for $550.
Speaking of price, you can great some better deals if you look at other brands. That’s where the Viltrox AF 13mm f/1.4 XF. \
This perspective is a bit tighter if that is what you prefer and it has a very fast f/1.4 aperture. It’s faster than the Sony for $100 less.
If you would prefer a zoom then the Tamron 11-20mm f/2.8 is a very nice choice. It’s $700 but can be your sole wide-angle lens with it’s range. The f/2.8 aperture is about as good as you can get for a zoom lens.
Sony made their own compact, wide-angle zoom in the E PZ 10-20mm f/4 G. It may give up the f/2.8 aperture of the Tamron but it gains a Power Zoom function that gives you more control over the lens via the camera body.
If you want to get those pro-looking zooms during a take then this is the one to get. The lens is also very, very tiny.
Another Sony option is the now classic E 10-18mm f/4 OSS. It’s unique feature set is the in-body stabilization so it’ll help get your walking shots even smoother and more natural looking.
It’s also got great optics though it is probably getting a bit old compared to current options.
For an even more budget pick there is Samyang/Rokinon with the 12mm f/2 AF Lens for under $400.
There isn’t too much to talk about with this lens as it is small, has okay AF, and good enough optics.
This isn’t exactly a common term, but what he means by “studio” lenses are ones that aren’t the best picks for handheld vlogging but look great when given enough time to set up and proper spacing.
On the premium side is Sony with the E 15mm f/1.4 G. At $750 it is pricey but it could be among the best APS-C lenses currently available for E mount.
It’s sharp, contrasty, and compact with full controls, including an aperture ring. It’s a beautiful lens.
Sigma has a lens that comes very close and it does it at just $350. The 16mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary may be the best deal on this list.
Optically it is nearly as good as the Sony 15mm and it is still small and lightweight, though it definitely is a bit bigger and heavier than the Sony.
Viltrox is again making its way onto the list with the AF 23mm f/1.4 E Lens. You’ll definitely need a bit more space for working with this lens as it has a 35mm equivalent field of view. It has decent glass and is dirt cheap at $280.
Now, Sony does have a very similar lens with the E 24mm f/1.8 and I will attest that it is a gorgeous lens. It’s a bit older now but still holds up and if you can get a deal on a used one then it is very worth it. Otherwise, it might be a bit pricey at $800 new.
These mid-range lenses are good for your everyday shooting. Maybe not selfies or vlogging, but they will look good shooting pretty much anything else.
Starting off here is another Sigma steal, the 30mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary. A great partner for the 16mm and it’s very affordable at $250. This is a great “normal” pick for APS-C and is sharp and contrasty.
That f/1.4 aperture helps a ton and even makes it viable for portraits with shallow depth of field.
If you are just starting out there is the Sony E PZ 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 is fine. It’ll do the job and give you a respectable range to work with. It’s also fairly tiny. If it came with your camera it’ll be a good place to start.
A better “kit” lens is the Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 DC DN Contemporary. Covers nearly the same range as Sony’s kit but with a constant f/2.8 aperture. It’s still very small and only costs $550. Optically it performs very well. You might find this lens on your camera and never want to take it off.
For a bit more range then you might want to look at the Tamron 17-70mm f/2.8. This gives you a very nice bump at the telephoto end and keeps that f/2.8 aperture. Also, it has image stabilization that’ll help keep everything smooth and sharp when you shoot.
Sony’s own mid-range APS-C zoom is the E 16-55mm f/2.8 G. This one aims for top-notch optical quality and it delivers. It is pricey at $1,400 and there is some stiff competition in this space.
These are going to be used when you want to create those flattering images of your subject with shallow depth of field. Less for video unless you have the space to get proper distance and a support system to keep it stable.
It might not be a surprise at this point but leading the pack here is the Sigma 56mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary, which you might as well pick up alongside the 16mm and 30mm since they make such a great set.
It costs around $400 and is sharp, small, and just very good overall. Get this one for your portraits and you’ll get images just as good as an 85mm on full-frame.
For a bit tighter budget you could go with the Viltrox AF 56mm f/1.4 E for $280. It’s fine, but not quite as good as the Sigma.
Sticking with Sony, or if you want to prep to eventually go full-frame, you could go with the FE 50mm f/1.8. It’s cheap at $250 and will do the job.
This section should be fairly obvious. Telephoto lenses are for when you need a bit more reach than your regular lenses will get you.
You also could just get all your lenses in one shot with something like the Tamron 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3. Now that’s versatility. It’ll go from wide to ultra telephoto with its 27-450mm equivalent zoom range.
It’s also only $700. The only downside is the relatively slow aperture range.
If you aren’t looking for an extreme amount of range you could instead get the Sony E PZ 18-105mm f/4 OSS. It has a versatile enough range for everyday use and has optical stabilization and Power Zoom built-in for getting good video as well. This will cost you $650.
A budget telephoto option is the Sony E 55-210mm f/4.5-6.3 OSS. It’s essentially the telephoto version of a kit lens. At only $300 it is accessible for many, though optically it won’t be quite as good as the others and it doesn’t have the range of the Tamron. It can work if it is all you can get though.
Last up is something with the longest range: the Sony E 70-350mm f/4.5-6.3 G OSS. It is a bit more premium at $1,000 and has optics that may deliver a bit better quality. If you want the best and a bit more reach then this will be a good option.
Alright, that was a lot of lenses. Hopefully you can find something here that fits your needs and budget. Any you already have or want to pick up?
[source: Mark Bennett’s Camera Crisis]
- Sony FX30 Cinema Line Camera (B&H, Amazon)
- Sony ZV-E10 Mirrorless Camera (B&H, Amazon)
- Sony E 11mm f/1.8 Lens (B&H, Amazon)
- Viltrox AF 13mm f/1.4 XF Lens (B&H, Amazon)
- Tamron 11-20mm f/2.8 Di III-A RXD Lens (B&H, Amazon)
- Sony E PZ 10-20mm f/4 G Lens (B&H, Amazon)
- Sony E 10-18mm f/4 OSS Lens (B&H, Amazon)
- Samyang/Rokinon 12mm f/2 Lens (B&H, Amazon)
- Sony E 15mm f/1.4 G Lens (B&H, Amazon)
- Sigma 16mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary Lens (B&H, Amazon)
- Viltrox AF 23mm f/1.4 E Lens (B&H, Amazon)
- Sony Sonnar T* E 24mm f/1.8 ZA Lens (B&H, Amazon)
- Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary Lens (B&H, Amazon)
- Sony E PZ 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens (B&H, Amazon)
- Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 DC DN Contemporary Lens (B&H, Amazon)
- Tamron 17-70mm f/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD Lens (B&H, Amazon)
- Sony E 16-55mm f/2.8 G Lens (B&H, Amazon)
- Sigma 56mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary Lens (B&H, Amazon)
- Viltrox AF 56mm f/1.4 E Lens (B&H, Amazon)
- Sony FE 50mm f/1.8 Lens (B&H, Amazon)
- Tamron 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di III-A VC VXD Lens (B&H, Amazon)
- Sony E PZ 18-105mm f/4 OSS Lens (B&H, Amazon)
- Sony E 55-210mm f/4.5-6.3 OSS Lens (B&H, Amazon)
- Sony E 70-350mm f/4.5-6.3 G OSS Lens (B&H, Amazon)