Best lenses for Sony full-frame mirrorless cameras

Note that any APS-C (Sony E) lenses will have a 1.5x crop automatically applied by a full-frame camera by default. Should this feature be turned off, vignetting will be an issue.

For each of the categories below the winner was the lens which we found to offer the best combination of quality and value. In most cases, we've also provided a more budget-friendly option, as well as a choice for those with more to spend.

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Best standard zoom lens

Standard zooms are just what they sound like - versatile, general-purpose lenses that start with a fairly wide angle of view and allow you to zoom in to a focal length traditionally used for portraits.

Our pick: Sony FE 24-105mm F4 G OSS

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The Sony 24-105mm F4 is one of our favorite lenses for the E-mount system. It covers a hugely useful range, is fast to focus, impressively sharp across its aperture range, and does all of this while being conveniently sized. Optical stabilization helps keep the image steady at longer focal lengths.

Also consider:

Best value:
Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 Di III RXD

The Tamron 28-75mm doesn't go quite as wide as you might sometimes want, but it offers a constant F2.8 maximum aperture in a well-priced, sensibly sized lens. It's great way to get the most from your camera.

Money no object:
Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM

The Sony 24-70 GM is an optically excellent lens, as you'd expect given its price. It's Sony's take on the indispensable pro lens and is built accordingly.

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Best prime / single focal length lens (all-around)

Prime lenses are just a single focal length; removing the complexity of a zoom often allows for these lenses to be smaller, lighter and sharper, while letting more light through and being more useful in dimly lit situations.

Our pick: Sony FE 35mm F1.8

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The Sony FE 35mm F1.8 is one of Sony's most versatile primes, worthy of serious consideration by all Sony full-frame shooters who desire high quality in a small, lightweight package. Autofocus is swift, and it's extremely sharp wide open. The lens renders out-of-focus areas very smoothly, but purple and green fringing can be an issue in high contrast situations.

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Best value:
Samyang (Rokinon) AF 35mm F2.8 FE

The Samyang 35mm F2.8 (also sold under the Rokinon brand) is one of the few affordable options in the classic do-everything 35mm focal length. It's worth a look, despite some AF and contrast issues.

Money no object:
Sigma 35mm F1.2 DG DN Art

The Sigma 35mm F1.2 is a super-fast standard prime lens. It's a large lens, but its low light abilities and control over depth-of-field place it at the top of its class.

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Best prime / single focal length lens (for portraits)

Whether you're taking informal headshots or making a living shooting weddings, a fast prime lens with a medium focal length is a must-have.

Our pick: Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG DN Art

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The Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG DN is a relatively compact, lightweight lens perfect for portrait photographers. Sharp across its entire aperture range, and will well-controlled lateral and longitudinal chromatic aberrations, our initial testing of Sigma’s latest prime lens has left us very impressed.

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Best value:
Sony FE 85mm F1.8

The Sony 85mm F1.8 is a compact and affordable portrait prime. It’s not quite up to the optical standard of the GM F1.4, nor can it match that lens’s impressive build quality, but it’s more than respectable, considering the price difference.

An alternative:
Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM

The Sony 135mm F1.8 GM is an incredible piece of engineering, providing portrait specialists with some of the best image quality on the market today. Its longer focal length may limit its versatility for some photographers, but for photographing people and events, it's hard to beat.

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Best wide-angle zoom lens

Wide-angle lenses are often useful for taking photos of interiors, landscapes and architecture.

Our pick: Sony FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM

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The Sony 16-35mm F2.8 'G Master' lens is one one of the best of its kind. It's very sharp across the frame at nearly all focal lengths, even wide-open. The extra stop of light often comes in handy, and the sunstars at smaller apertures are gorgeous.

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Something wider:
Sony FE 12-24mm F4 G

For a similar amount of money to the 16-35mm F2.8 you can get the much wider 12-24mm F4 G. Which you prefer will all come down to what you're shooting, but if you want wider, the 12-24mm F4 is the way to go.

Money no object:
Sony FE 12-24mm F2.8 GM

For those shooting in lower light or want blurrier backgrounds than the F4 version, there's the 12-24mm F2.8 GM. It's large and expensive, but the results are most impressive.

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Best telephoto zoom lens

Telephoto lenses start out being fairly zoomed-in, and allow you to zoom in further so you can fill your frame with more distant subjects.

Our pick: Tamron 70-180 F2.8 Di III VXD

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For similar money you can choose between Sony's own 70-200mm F4 OSS and this, Tamron's 70-180mm F2.8 Di III VXD. The Tamron is a little soft in places, but we prefer its balance of price and performance if you're looking for a bright telephoto zoom. It's also compact, lightweight and weather-sealed to boot.

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Best value:
Sony FE 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G OSS

While offering a slower aperture than our main pick, the extra reach of 300mm adds to this lens' versatility in brighter lighting conditions.

Money no object:
Sony FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 GM OSS

Sony's 100-400mm GM lens is incredibly sharp across its entire focal range. It's also very fast to focus, making it an excellent choice for sports and wildlife. It also offers pleasing bokeh.

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Best macro lens

Macro lenses allow you to focus very close to small subjects, which is very handy for photographing flowers or bugs.

Our pick: Sony FE 50mm F2.8 Macro

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The Sony 50mm F2.8 Macro is optically superb. It's extremely sharp, and the 50mm focal length gives you a reasonable, albeit somewhat close, working distance. It's compact, light and affordable, so is our go-to choice for a macro lens for the system.

Also consider:

Best value:
Sigma 70mm F2.8 DG Macro Art

The Sigma is an excellent choice given its sharpness and its increased working distance. It's also comparatively affordable.

Money no object:
Sony FE 90mm F2.8 Macro G OSS

The Sony 90mm Macro's longer focal length gives you a nice working distance, optical stabilization helps in handheld applications, and linear focusing makes manual focus a breeze.

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Best travel zoom lens

Travel zooms are like standard zooms but taken to the extreme. You still start out with a fairly wide field of view, but you can zoom in almost as much as many telephoto lenses. This is convenient, but these lenses tend to let less light through them, so aren't as useful in dimly lit situations, and they may not always give you the sharpest results.

Our pick: Tamron 28-200 F2.8-5.6 Di III RXD

The Tamron 28-200mm F2.8-5.6 is a compact yet well-built do-everything lens. It's not as wide as, say, the Sony 24-240mm, but it's faster and sharper. It's also capable of close-up work, with a minimum focus distance of 19cm (7.5") at wide-angle and 80cm (32"). Its quiet AF motor makes it ideal for video work, as well.

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Also consider:

Money no object:
Sony 24-105mm F4 G OSS

The 24-105mm F4 gives up some reach, compared to the long zooms we've listed here, but it still packs a lot of flexibility. It also offers superb image quality in a very travel-friendly package.

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