Sony FE lenses: The honest Guide for the A7/A7II/A7III A7rII/A7rIII/A7rIV A7c A9

Choose the right lens for your Sony Alpha with the help of our independent knowledge gained by writing many in-depth reviews.We are a team of four photographers who all use the FE system and this blog is focused on lens reviews. So we have an in-depth knowledge of these lenses not only because we use them all the time but also because we have reviewed most of them in detail. We are also independent from any lens manufacturer and when you check our reviews you will see that we do not hesitate to name any shortcomings of a lens. To easily compare specs check out our Sony FE-list.

In this article we only list lenses which have electronic contacts to communicate aperture and focal length to the camera. There are also quite a few lenses which have an E-mount but no electronic contacts. Most of these are SLR-lenses with a modified mount and  we decided against covering these because we think that most of them are not very attractive lenses. We do however cover the Laowa 5.6/9, 4.5/11, 2/15, 4.5-5.6/10-18, 7Artisans 28mm 1.4 FE+ and Mitakon 0.95/50 because those are attractive lenses for some photographers and have been designed for E-mount.
Last update: November 2020

It is always possible that some new or exotic lens is missing, we work hard on filling these gaps.

If you purchase the lens through one of thee affiliate-links in this article we get a small compensation with no additional cost to you. 

All native full frame lenses for the Sony FE mount (as of November 2020)


Voigtländer 5.6/10 (manual focus)

voigtlander hyper wide heliar 10mm 5.6 review sample
Sony A7rII | Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 HWH E | f/16
Strengths Weaknesses
  • Widest lens available
  • Small size
  • Good sunstars and flare resistance
  • Huge vingetting
  • Corner sharpness not great

Recommendation: now that the Laowa 9mm 5.6 is available (see bonus section) only recommended if you need the best flare resistance or cannot live without Exif data

Length: 68.5mm | Diameter: 67mm | Weight: 375g | Filter Thread: none | Price (February 2018): 1080€/1099$
Review | Sample images | Samples in full resolution | (affiliate links)

Sony GM 2.8/12-24

Strengths Weaknesses
  • everything…
  • …but price

Recommendation: a real achievement in terms of optical engineering. If you need the maximum aperture and at the same time the 12mm focal length (e.g. for astrophotography) and you don’t mind the staggering price tag you will not regret buying this one. 

Length: 137mm | Diameter: 100mm | Weight: 847g | Filter Thread: rear gel  | Price (November 2020): $2998
cameralabs review | | | B&H | ebay (affiliate links)

Sony G 4/12-24

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Sharper than many primes
  • Size/Weight (compared to similar DSLR zooms)
  • Flare resistance
  • Sunstars
  • Size/Weight (compared to some primes)
  • Distortion

Recommendation: if you want an UWA zoom and 16mm is not wide enough or sharpness is the most important aspect for you.. 

Length: 117.4mm | Diameter: 87mm | Weight: 565g | Filter Thread: /  | Price (March 2018): 1999€
MTF-graphs at | | | (affiliate Links)

Voigtländer 5.6/12 III (manual focus) [discontinued]

Sony A7II | Voigtländer 5.6/III E | f/8
Strengths Weaknesses
  • Super Wide
  • Small  size
  • Good sunstars and flare resistance
  • Very little distortion
  • Strong vignetting
  • Corner sharpness not great. Better than 5.6/10, weaker than 4.5/15 and 4/12-24.

Recommendation: If you know how to handle 12 mm and want a small lens which works very well against the light. It is discontinued but there is still some stock available.

Length: 74mm | Diameter: 67mm | Weight: 283g | Filter Thread: /  | Price (March 2018): 849€/$
Review | Jannik’s Samples | | (affiliate links)

Sigma Art 1.8/14 (former DSLR design)

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Image Quality
  • comparatively low vignetting
  • fastest in class
  • Coma
  • flare resistance
  • Very large
  • Very heavy
  • No filter thread

Recommendation: It is a niche lens, especially since the Laowa 2/15 does not perform much worse for astro at less than half the weight.

Length: 126mm | Diameter: 95mm | Weight: 1220g |  Price (June 5219): $1599
lenstip review | | | B&H (affiliate Links)

Samyang FE 2.8/14 AF

Strengths Weaknesses
  •  Low Price
  • Softer corners at wider apertures
  • Rather heavy

Recommendation: We find it hard to recommend because f/2.8 is of limited use and Samyang has a reputation for unreliable lenses.

Length: 98mm | Diameter: 86mm | Weight: 505g | Filter Thread: / | Price (March 2018): $629
Review | | | Ebay (affiliate Links)

Sigma Art 2.8/14-24 DG DN

Strengths Weaknesses
  • sharpness
  • flare resistance
  • CA correction
  • Coma correction
  • some field curvature

Recommendation: if the GM 12-24mm 2.8 is too expensive or you simply don’t need the 12mm angle of view this is a really great alternative and you won’t feel like giving anything up in terms of optical qualities.

Length: 131mm | Diameter: 85mm | Weight: 795g | Filter Thread: –  | Price (November 2020): $1399
lenstip review | | | B&H | (affiliate links)

Voigtländer 4.5/15 (manual focus)

sony a7s milaneo voigtlander 15mm 4.5 e super wide heliar milaneo blue hour
Sony A7s | Voigtländer 15mm 4.5 SWH E | f/11
Strengths Weaknesses
  • Small Size
  • Good flare resistance
  • Nice Sunstars
  • Corners need f/11
  • Strong vignetting
  • Many copies have had corner issues

Recommendation: if you are looking for a small but not so extreme UWA prime with great sunstars this is for you

Length: 67mm | Diameter: 66mm | Weight: 294g | Filter Thread: 58mm | Price (February 2018): 779€/799$
Review | Full resolution samples | | | (affiliate links)


Sony FE 4/16-35 ZA OSS

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Very handy zoom range
  • Very good sharpness across the frame at f/5.6
  • Light for a zoom
  • Flares in demanding scenarios
  • Corner sharpness not up to the highest standards
  • Heavier than many primes

Recommendation: This is a lens for landscape photographers who want a one lens solution and who are willing to accept a few smaller trade-offs.

Length: 98.5mm | Diameter: 78mm | Weight: 518g | Filter Thread: 72mm | Price (March 2018): $1248
Phillip’s | | Ebay | B&H (affiliate links)

Sony GM 2.8/16-35

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Optical performance
  • Very handy zoom range
  • Light for what it is
  • Price

Recommendation: If you need faster or better lens than the 4.0/16-35 and have the necessary funds.

Length: 122mm | Diameter: 89mm | Weight: 680g | Filter Thread: 82mm | Price (February 2018): 2699€/$
Review at Uncle Ken |  Thread at Fred Miranda | | | | (affiliate links)

Tamron 2.8/17-28

tamron 17-28mm f/2.8 2.8 review comparsion sharpness resolution contrast 42mp 61mp test sony a7rIII a7rII a7riv
Sony A7rII | Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8 | 20mm f/11
Strengths Weaknesses
  • good image quality, especially at the wide end
  • flare resistance
  • fast, compact and lightweight
  • limited zoom range
  • color cast in the corners at the wide end

Recommendation: the cheaper alternative to the Sony GM 2.8/16-35 if you are okay with the restricted zoom range

Length: 99mm | Diameter: 73mm | Weight: 420g | Filter Thread: 67mm | Price (August 2019): 999€/899$
Review | Full resolution samples | | | B&H (affiliate links)

Zeiss Batis 2.8/18

carl zeiss batis 18mm 2.8 sony a7s astro astrophotography astroscape coma milkyway milky way star stars
Sony A7s | Batis 18mm 2.8 | f/2.8 | ISO6400 | 20s | panorama from 4 shots
Strengths Weaknesses
  • Great optical performance
  • Lightweight
  • Manual focus experience

Recommendation: if you are looking for a great performing modern UWA with AF.

Length: 80mm | Diameter: 100mm | Weight: 330g | Filter Thread: 77mm | Price (February 2018): 1499€/$
Review | Full resolution samples | | | (affiliate links)

Samyang 2.8/18 AF

Strengths Weaknesses
  • decent sharpness stopped down
  • very small and lightweight
  • high vignetting
  • corner sharpness at wider apertures

Recommendation: not the highest quality lens in this focal length range, but a very affordable and small one that even comes with AF. Those that don’t want to delve into astrophotography or only rarely need an ultra wide angle lens might end up being very happy with it. Check for decent centering though, our review sample was decentered and we had to send it back.

Length: 61mm | Diameter: 64mm | Weight: 145g | Filter Thread: 58mm | Price (November 2020): $299
opticallimits review | | | B&H | (affiliate links)

Sigma Art 1.4/20 (former DSLR design)

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Sharpness
  • fastest in class
  • Price/Performance
  • Coma at f/1.4 and f/2
  • Very large
  • Very heavy
  • no filter thread

Recommendation: Since it doesn’t perform that well for astro we find it hard to come up with a use case. Any suggestions?

Length: 156mm | Diameter: 91mm | Weight: 1050g |  Price (June 2019): $899
lenstip review | | | B&H (affiliate Links)

Sony G 1.8/20

Strengths Weaknesses
  • sharpness
  • flare resistance
  • CA correction
  • Coma correction
  • Size/weight
  • GM-like build (declickable aperture ring, focus hold button, AF/MF switch)
  • uncorrected distortion as well as vignetting are high, but comparable lenses do not do any better, so in the end, none, really

Recommendation: a really great lens which was unfortunately a little late to the party as many of us already bought lenses like the Zeiss Loxia 21mm 2.8 or Sony FE 24mm 1.4 GM before. If you don’t have any of these (or similar) lenses already – but you are looking for one – the 20mm 1.8 G should certainly be on top of your list of lenses to consider.

Length: 85mm | Diameter: 74mm | Weight: 373g | Filter Thread: 67mm | Price (November 2020): $898
cameralabs review | | | B&H | (affiliate links)

Viltrox 1.8/20 (manual focus)

Strengths Weaknesses
  • price
  • Very sharp in the center from f/1.8
  • soft corners at wider apertures
  • heavy
  • large filter
  • vignetting
  • coma

Recommended to: Honestly we find it hard to find a solid use case since it doesn’t perform well for astro.

Length: 102mm | Diameter: 77mm | Weight: 775g | Filter Thread: 82mm | Price (June 2019): $486
lenstip Review |  | | B&H (affiliate Links)

Tokina Firin 2/20 (manual focus)

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Rather affordable
  • Excellent sharpness from f/2
  • Good coma correction
  • At times problematic flare resistance
  • Unexciting sunstars

Recommended to: Astro photographers and landscape photographers on a budget.

Length: 82mm | Diameter: 69mm | Weight: 492g | Filter Thread: 62mm | Price (June 2019): $599
Phillip’s Review |  | | Ebay | B&H (affiliate Links)

Tokina Firin 2.0/20 AF

The same optics as the manual focus Firin 2/20 but with AF, slightly lighter and more expensive.

Length: 81.5mm | Diameter: 73mm | Weight: 464g | Filter Thread: 62mm | Price (December 2018): 949$

Tamron 2.8/20

Strengths Weaknesses
  • sharpness infinity
  • flare resistance
  • lightweight
  • maximum magnification of 1:2
  • not so great image quality at closer distance away from the center
  • slow autofocus
  • very high distortion

Recommendation: the Tamron 20mm 2.8 sounds compelling on paper, especially because of the comparably low price and the 1:2 maximum magnification but in the end you get what you pay for and it might be worth saving some money and then having a closer look at the Tamron 17-28mm 2.8.

Length: 73mm | Diameter: 64mm | Weight: 221g | Filter Thread: 67mm | Price (November 2020): $299
cameralabs review | | | B&H | (affiliate links)

Voigtlander Nokton 21mm F1.4 (manual focus)

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Sharpness and contrast
  • Flare resistance
  • Sunstars
  • Speed
  • Handling
  • Very high Vignetting
  • Field curvature

Recommended to: Most that need a fast manual focus wideangle. It is one of the sharpest ~20mm lens you can buy, it handles beautifully and is faster than the competition, but the super high vignetting makes it an not so obvious choice for astrophotography.

Length: 80mm | Diameter: 70mm | Weight: 540g | Filter Thread: 62mm | Price (August 2019): 1199$

Zeiss Loxia 2.8/21 (manual focus)

loxia 21mm 2.8 coma stars milky way astro astrophotography
Sony A7s | Zeiss Loxia 21mm 2.8 | f/2.8
Strengths Weaknesses
  • Sharpness and contrast
  • Flare resistance
  • Sunstars
  • Build quality
  • Size
  •  Some field curvature

Recommended to: This is the team’s favorite WA for the system. If you are a landscape photographer you should give it a strong consideration.

Length: 72mm | Diameter: 62mm | Weight: 394g | Filter Thread: 52mm | Price (March 2018): 1499€/$
Our Review  | | | | (affiliate links)

Voigtlander 3.5/21 Color-Skopar E (manual focus)

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Sharpness and contrast
  • Flare resistance
  • Sunstars
  • Build quality
  • Size
  • Price
  • Small mid zone dip

Recommended to: those looking for a very small lens for longer hikes.

Length: 63mm | Diameter: 40mm | Weight: 230g | Filter Thread: 52mm | Price (December 2018): 749€/699$
Our Review amazon.comB& (affiliate links)


Sony FE 1.4/24 GM

Strengths Weaknesses
  • sharpness/contrast
  • bokeh
  • build quality
  • strong vignetting

Recommendation: if you need a 24mm 1.4 for environmental portraits this is probably the best money can buy. Surprisingly small and lightweight for what it is.

Length: 92mm | Diameter: 75 mm | Weight: 445g | Filter Thread: 67mm | Price (December 2018): 1599€/$1399
Our Review | | | B&H | | (affiliate links)

Sigma Art 1.4/24 (former DSLR design)

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Price/Performance
  • Very large

Recommendation: The GM 1.4/24 is a better performer in a smaller package so price is really the only argument for this big lens.

Length: 116mm | Diameter: 85mm | Weight: 760g | Filter Thread: 77mm | Price (June 2019): $849 | | B&H (affiliate Links)

Samyang AF 24mm F/2.8

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Tiny size
  • Price
  • flare resistance
  • vignetting

Recommendation: This affordable and tiny lens comes with a number of compromises to achieve a very small size. If small size is very important to you it is a very good addition. As a general purpose lens we would prefer the FE 2/28.

Length: 37mm | Diameter: 61mm | Weight: 93g | Filter Thread: 49mm | Price (June 2019): 280€/$279
Our Review | | | B&H (affiliate links)

Tamron 2.8/24

Strengths Weaknesses
  • sharpness infinity
  • flare resistance
  • lightweight
  • maximum magnification of 1:2
  • slow autofocus
  • manual focus experience
  • very high distortion

Recommendation: the Tamron is merely an easy recommendation if you want a wide angle macro. Beyond that application price is the only argument to get this lens. Even if you shoot mostly nature where the distortion isn’t often an issue you will have to live with the focus issues. Have a look at Samyang 2.8/24, Batis 2/25, Loxia 2.4/25 or a more flexible zoom like Tamron’s own 2.8/17-28 first before making your buying decision here.

Length: 73mm | Diameter: 64mm | Weight: 215g | Filter Thread: 67mm | Price (November 2020): $249
review | | | B&H | (affiliate links)

Sony GM 2.8/24-70

Sony A7II | Sony FE 2.8/24-70 GM
Strengths Weaknesses
  • sharpness
  • bokeh
  • zoom range
  • speed
  • build quality
  • flare resistance
  • size

Recommendation: The ideal no-compromise jack of all trades and behaves pretty much like a long black pipe full of f/2.8 primes. It is equally useful for landscape, portrait, documentation and also for action applications.

Length: 136mm | Diameter: 88mm | Weight: 886g | Filter Thread: 82mm | Price (March 2018): 2198€/$
Our Review | Standard zoom shootout Part 1 | Part 2 | | | | (affiliate links)

Sigma Art 2.8/24-70 DG DN

Recommendation: What has been written about the Sony GM 2.8/24-70 above applies here as well. Which of these two lenses is sharper at what focal length seems to depend more on sample variation than anything else. The Sony might have an edge when it comes to bokeh and AF though, whether this is worth the premium you can only decide for yourself.

Length: 123mm | Diameter: 88mm | Weight: 835g | Filter Thread: 82mm | Price (November 2020): $1099
lenstip review | | | B&H | (affiliate links)

Sony FE 4/24-70 ZA OSS

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Handy zoom range
  • Light for a zoom
  • Good flare resistance
  • Soft corners at 24mm
  • Softer at 70mm
  • Strong Distortion

Recommended to: Photographers who don’t print large often and value flexibility as well as small size.

Length: 94.5mm | Diameter: 73mm | Weight: 430g | Filter Thread: 67mm | Price (March 2018): $1098
Phillip’s Review |  | | Ebay (affiliate Links)

Sony FE 4/24-105 G OSS

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Good sharpness (for a 4x zoom)
  • Very handy range
  • Good bokeh (for a f4 lens)
  • Useful for close up photography
  • Better than 24-70mm 4.0
  • Good build quality
  • strongly relies on electronical correction (high distortion and vignetting)

Recommendation: the best balanced standard zoom lens for the FE system.

Length: 113.3mm   Diameter: 83.4mm | Weight: 663g | Filter Thread: 77mm | Price (March 2018): 1298$/1349€
Standard zoom shootout Part 1 | Part 2 | Review at Opticallimits | | | | (affiliate links)

Sony FE 3.5-6.3/24-240 OSS

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Very handy zoom range
  • Soft corners at 24 mm
  • Softer at longer focal lengths
  • 800 g heavy
  • Distortion

Recommendation: We find it hard to recommend. We would prefer a good bridge like the RX-10 or Panasonic TZ1000 to have a very versatile on-lens-solution.

Length: 118.5mm | Diameter: 80.5mm | Weight: 780g | Filter Thread: 72mm | Price (March 2018): $800
Review |  | | Ebay (affiliate Links)

Zeiss Batis 2/25 

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Very even across field
  • High contrast from f2.8
  • Fully usable across field wide open
  • Nice bokeh
  • AF
  • Light
  • Axial CA wide open (fairly correctable)
  • Slightly busy bokeh wide open at some distances)
  • Size (but not weight)

Recommended to: After the release of the Sony FE 24mm 1.4 GM the Batis 2/25 has become somewhat hard to recommend, especially new. If you find one used at a good price or if you desperately need to save 100g over the GM 24 1.4 it may still be worth a look.

Our review | Length: 78mm | Diameter: 92mm | Weight: 335g | Filter Thread: 67mm | Price (March 2018): 1299€ (affiliate Link)

Zeiss Loxia 2.4/25 (manual focus)

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Class leading sharpness
  • Flare resistance
  • Contrast and clarity
  • Bokeh
  • Build Quality
  • Price

Recommended to: The technically best 24/25mm lens in the system. Recommended to demanding landscape photographers who prefer 25mm over 21mm.

Length: 75mm | Diameter: 62mm | Weight: 393g | Filter Thread: 52mm | Price (October 2018): $1299/ 1259€
Our review | | | B&H | (Affiliate Links)

Sigma Art 1.4/28 (former DSLR design)

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Optical performance
  • Very large
  • Super heavy

Recommendation: A lens for those who put performance above weight, size or price. Otherwise look at the 7Artisans 1.4/28.

Length: 134mm | Diameter: 83mm | Weight: 965g | Filter Thread: 77mm | Price (June 2019): $1399 | | B&H (affiliate Links)

Sony FE 2/28  Budget Recommendation

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Excellent price/performance ratio
  • Small & Light
  • Smooth Bokeh
  • Good central sharpness from f/2
  • Sharp across the frame at f/8
  • Serious Distortion which usually needs to be corrected
  • Softer corners at wider apertures
  • Axial CA

Recommended to: Most photographers since it is a very versatile lens which works well for a wide range of applications like reportage, nature, landscape and others.

Length: 60mm | Diameter: 60mm | Weight: 200g | Filter Thread: 49mm | Price (March 2018): $423
Phillip’s Review |  | | Ebay | B&H (affiliate Links)

Tamron 2.8/28-75  Budget Recommendation

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Sharpness
  • Wide Range of Applications
  • Size
  • Price
  • Macro Feature
  • Bokeh (at longer distances)
  • Flare resistance

Recommendation: The manufacturer’s first E-mount lens only weights 550g which could make it an attractive lens for those who want a fast standard zoom but don’t want to carry the heavy GM 2.8/24-70. This very well balanced zoom should be a first choice for anyone who finds himself confronted with dynamic scenarios like parties, events or family life.

Length: 118mm | Diameter: 73mm | Weight: 550g | Filter Thread: 67mm | Price (October 2018): 799€/$ 
Our Review | Standard zoom shootout Part 1 | Part 2 | | | B&H (affiliate links)

Sony FE 3.5-5.6/28-70 OSS

Sony A7 | Sony FE 3.5-5.6/28-70
Strengths Weaknesses
  • Useful zoom range
  • Very affordable
  • Light weight
  • Softer corners
  • Slow

Recommendation: It is a is a good enough lens with a handy zoom range well worth the $200 you pay for it in a kit.

Length: 83mm | Diameter: 73mm | Weight: 295g | Filter Thread: 55mm | Price (July 2017): 250€/$ used
Review | | || (affiliate links)

Sony FE PZ 4/28-135 G OSS

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Power Zoom
  • Little Focus Breathing
  • Constant aperture
  • Aperture Ring
  • Large
  • Heavy
  • Expensive

Recommendedation: This is a lens optimized for filming and quite impractical for photography. We do not film so we won’t rate it.

Length: 165mm | Diameter: 102mm | Weight: 1215g | Filter Thread: 95mm | Price (March 2018): $2498
Review |  | | Ebay (affiliate Links)

Tamron 2.8-5.6/28-200

Recommendation: None of us is personally using a superzoom lens and we find those hard to recommend, as they rarely allow you to make use of the potential of a full frame camera, being severly limited in terms of maximum aperture. Offering f/2.8 at the wide end is merely some argument for the marketing department. Not because the image quality is not sufficient here, but rather because the maximum aperture drops fast as you start to zoom.
We would prefer a good bridge like the RX-10 or Panasonic TZ1000 to have a very versatile on-lens-solution. Still, the Tamron offers better performance (also at the price of a significantly narrower zoom range) compared to the Sony 24-240mm

Length: 114mm | Diameter: 74mm | Weight: 576g | Filter Thread: 67mm | Price (November 2020): $729
cameralabs review | | | B&H | (affiliate links)


Sigma Art 1.2/35 DG DN

sigma 35mm 1.2 art dg dn sharpness resolution contrast high 42mp a7rii a7riii bokeh za sony
Sony A7rII | Sigma 35mm 1.2 Art | f/1.2
Strengths Weaknesses
  • Excellent bokeh, sharpness and contrast
  • Low Coma
  • GM handling
  • very large and very heavy

Recommendation: the best 35mm lens for wedding/portraiture/reportage money can buy if you don’t mind the size and weight

Length: 137mm | Diameter: 88mm | Weight: 1090g | Filter Thread: 82mm | Price (August 2019): $1499/1529€
Review | | B&H | | (affiliate links)

Voigtlander 1.2/35 SE (manual focus)

Strengths Weaknesses
  • bokeh
  • contrast/sharpness (mostly)
  • flare resistance
  • sunstars
  • size/weight
  • high vignetting
  • visible CA
  • strong coma
  • performance at closer distances

Recommendation: if you are into manual focus this is currently the most compelling 35mm option. Nice bokeh, good contrast, good flare resistance stopped down good enough sharpness and nice sunstars.

Length: 59mm | Diameter: 66mm | Weight: 387g | Filter Thread: 58mm | Price (November 2020): $999
Review | | | B&H | (affiliate links)

Sony FE 1.4/35 ZA

review sharpness 42mp high resolution sample test vergleich comparison bokeh handling build quality a7riii autofocus af close macro
Sony A7rII | Sony FE 35mm 1.4 ZA | f/1.4
Strengths Weaknesses
  • Bokeh (minus the onion rings and CA)
  • AF Speed
  • Very high copy-to-copy variation
  • mediocre sharpness
  • Expensive

Recommendation: unfortunately not a GM, but if you need a 35mm f/1.4 with a very reliable and fast AF may still be worth a look. After the release of the Sigma Art 35mm 1.2 DG DN used prices took a severe hit.

Length: 113mm | Diameter: 79mm | Weight: 630g | Filter Thread: 72mm Price | (June 2019): $1498
Review | | | B&H | | (affiliate links)

Sigma Art 1.4/35 (former DSLR design)

sigma 35mm 1.4 art hsm dg sharpness resolution contrast high 42mp a7rii a7riii bokeh za sony
Sony A7III | Sigma 35mm 1.4 Art | f/1.4
Strengths Weaknesses
  • Sharpness
  • Bokeh (mostly)
  • Price/Performance
  • large and heavy

Recommendation: A slightly slower focusing alternative to the ZA 1.4/35 for a very fair price without the variation issues.

Length: 121mm | Diameter: 79mm | Weight: 740g | Filter Thread: 67mm | Price (June 2019): $774
Review | | B&H | | (affiliate Links)

Samyang 1.4/35 AF

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Cheap compared to the Sony FE 35mm 1.4
  • Sony FE 35mm 1.4 seems to be better in every regard

Recommendation: cheap alternative to the Sony FE 35mm 1.4 with unfortunately less smooth bokeh rendering

Length: 115mm | Diameter: 76mm | Weight: 645g | Filter Thread: 67mm | Price (February 2018): 698$/630€
Comparison to Sony by diyphotography | | | | (affiliate links)

Voigtlander 1.4/35 Classic (manual focus)

voigtlander 35mm 1.4 nokton e classic review sony e-mount emount sharpness bokeh rendering vignetting
Sony A7rII | Voigtlander 35mm 1.4 Nokton E classic | f/1.4
Strengths Weaknesses
  • Small Size
  • Flare resistance
  • Sharpness
  • Coma/Astigmatism
  • Bokeh (unless you prefer it busy)

Recommendation: if you are after that vintage rendering but want to enjoy the benefits of a native lens and modern coatings.

Length: 39.6mm | Diameter: 67mm | Weight: 262g | Filter Thread: 58mm | Price (February 2018): 899$/749€
Review | | | | (affiliate links)

Sony FE 1.8/35

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Small Size
  • Fast AF
  • Sharpness (mostly)
  • Bokeh (mostly)
  • Price

Recommendation: Unless you need ultimate performance or are on a tight budget this is a well balanced 35mm lens in the system.

Length: 73mm | Diameter: 66mm | Weight: 280g | Filter Thread: 55mm | Price (September 2019): 749$/699€
Review | | B&| (affiliate links)

Samyang 1.8/35 AF

Recommendation: The Samyang 35mm 1.8 AF might be a decent cheaper alternative to the slightly overpriced Sony 35mm 1.8, we haven’t tried it ourselves though and currently (November 2020) there are no trustworthy reviews available, so take this with a grain of salt.

Length: 65mm | Diameter: 64mm | Weight: 210g | Filter Thread: 58mm | Price (November 2020): $399
B&H (affiliate links)

Zeiss Loxia 2/35 (manual focus)

sunstar sun sunburst blendenstern diaphragm stroke 10 7 8 14 18
Zeiss Loxia 35mm 2.0 | f/11 | 10 straight blades
Strengths Weaknesses
  • Image quality stopped down
  • Sunstars
  • Size and weight
  • Wide open performance
  • Bokeh

Recommendation: if you are looking for a compact 35mm lens for landscape and architecture which is stellar stopped down.

Length: 66mm | Diameter: 62mm | Weight: 340g | Filter Thread: 52mm | Price: 1099€/1149$ (February 2018)
Review | DatasheetSample images | | | (affiliate links)

Sony FE 2.8/35 ZA

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Sony’s smallest lens
  • Very good sharpness from f/2.8
  • Rather average flare resistance
  • Very strong vignetting

Recommended to: People who like to travel light without compromising on image quality.

Length: 36.5mm | Diameter: 61.5mm | Weight: 120g | Filter Thread: 49mm | Price (March 2018): $698
Phillip’s | | Ebay | B&H (affiliate Links)

Samyang FE 2.8/35

The new Samyang is the smallest native lens. It is not quite as good optically as the FE 2.8/35 but still a good performer and very affordable. There are various reports about loud and unreliable AF though which make it appear less desirable.

Length: 33mm | Diameter: 61.5mm | Weight: 86g | Filter Thread: 49mm | Price (March 2018): $265 | | Ebay (affiliate Links)

Tamron 2.8/35

Strengths Weaknesses
  • sharpness
  • flare resistance
  • lightweight
  • maximum magnification of 1:2
  • slow autofocus
  • manual focus experience

Recommendation: The 35mm 2.8 is probably the best ouf of Tamron’s wide f/2.8 primes, but there are so many (faster) 35mm options available these days, it becomes somewhat hard to recommend unlike you really don’t need a lens faster than f/2.8.

Length: 73mm | Diameter: 64mm | Weight: 210g | Filter Thread: 67mm | Price (November 2020): $299
review | | | B&H | (affiliate links)

Voigtlander 1.2/40

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Superb resolution across the field stopped down
  • Excellent resolution centrally at medium to long distances at wide apertures
  • High contrast
  • Lovely sunstars
  • Character bokeh which is good character, rather than funky, wide open and smooth bokeh a stop or so down.
  • Axial CA at wide apertures
  • Slight field curvature
  • Slight focus shift
  • Noticeably weaker performance near MFD at wider apertures

Recommended to: Anyone looking for an outstanding all purpose manual wide-normal lens which gives them both a wide aperture look for environmental portraits and other bokeh-centric images, as well as great modern performance stopped down.

Sigma Art 1.4/40 (former DSLR design)

sigma 40mm 1.4 art dg sharpness resolution contrast high 42mp a7rii a7riii bokeh za sony vignetting light fall off falloff

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Excellent sharpness and contrast
  • Very good bokeh
  • Almost APOchromatic correction
  • Less light fall off compared to the competition
  • very large and very heavy

Recommendation: one of the best corrected f/1.4 lenses for optical aberrations, but this correction came at a price in terms of size and weight. If you allergic to loCA this is your lens, otherwise we rather recommend the Sigma Art 35mm 1.2 DG DN

Length: 157mm | Diameter: 88mm | Weight: 1265g | Filter Thread: 82mm | Price (November 2020): $1399
Review | | B&H | | (affiliate links)

Zeiss Batis 2/40 CF

Strengths Weaknesses
  • sharp
  • light
  • close focus
  • flare resistance
  • low CA & distortion
  • still mixed reports about AF reliability
  • non linear MF
  • sunstars
  • expensive

Recommended to: Anybody who needs a very good and versatile 40mm performer and who is not put off by the strange AF issues.

Length: 93mm | Diameter: 91mm | Weight: 361g | Filter Thread: 67mm | Price: 1299€/1299$
Datasheet | | B&H | | (affiliate links)

Samyang 1.8/45 AF

Strengths Weaknesses
  • affordable
  • small & light
  • strong CA
  • flare resistance
  • onion rings

Recommended to: Those who like the focal length and are willing to make a few compromises for an affordable and small lens.

Length: 56mm | Diameter: 62mm | Weight: 162g | Filter Thread: 49mm | Price (June 2019): $399
Christopher Frost Review | | B&H (affiliate Links)

Sigma C 2.8/45 DG DN

Strengths Weaknesses
  • nice bokeh
  • very good but not record breaking optical qualities
  • small size, nice build quality, lightweight construction
  • reports of autofocus issues, especially at portrait distances
  • high vignetting

Recommendation: Every once in a while Sigma releases an unexpected lens and this was clearly the case here. This small and slow 45mm 2.8 is a strong contrast compared to the fast yet huge Sigma Art primes. This 45mm clearly has its fans because of its nice bokeh rendering, but most people will probably want to opt for a faster lens which can be had for less money.
If you consider getting one we recommend to do that now, we don’t think this lens was a commercial success for Sigma so they would be stupid not to shift their resources elsewhere.

Length: 46mm | Diameter: 64mm | Weight: 215g | Filter Thread: 55mm | Price (November 2020): $549
lenstip review | | | B&H | (affiliate links)


Voigtlander 50mm 1.2 Nokton E (manual focus)

Strengths Weaknesses
  • great bokeh
  • dreamy out of focus areas at f/1.2 to f/2.0
  • high sharpness and contrast starting at f/2.0
  • flare resistance
  • slight focus shift near the minimum focus distance

Recommendation: the best fast allround 50mm lens if you can live with manual focus

Length: 58mm | Diameter: 70mm | Weight: 440g | Filter Thread: 58mm | Price: 1099€/1099$ (June 2019)
Review | Sample images | CameraQuest | B&H | Robert White | | | (affiliate links)

Sony ZA 1.4/50

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Sharper than the Otus 1.4/55
  • Good CA correction
  • Low Vignetting
  • Smooth Bokeh
  • Larger and Heavy

Recommendation: If you don’t care too much about size and price this lens delivers and exceptional peformance and a rather distinctive look. All-round still be best fast AF fifty for fullframe E mount.

Length: 108mm | Diameter: 84mm | Weight: 778g | Filter Thread: 72mm | Price (March 2018): 1398€/$
Review at admiringlight | MTF chart at lensrentals | | | | (affiliate links)

Sigma Art 1.4/50 (former DSLR design)

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Sharpness
  • Price/Performance
  • Very large
  • Heavy

Recommendation: It plays in the same league as the more expensive ZA 1.4/50 which is outstanding in the center but less sharp in the midzone area.

Length: 126mm | Diameter: 85mm | Weight: 910g | Filter Thread: 77mm | Price (June 2019): $849 | | B&H | (affiliate links)

Samyang 1.4/50 AF

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Very smooth bokeh
  • Affordable
  • Strong CA
  • Sharpness
  • AF issues
  • Rather heavy for the performance

Recommendation: Unless you feel that you absolutely need f/1.4 the FE55 is the better, much lighter and not that much more expensive alternative.

Length: 98mm | Diameter: 74mm | Weight: 585g | Filter Thread: 67mm | Price (March 2018): $479
Sample images |  | | Ebay (affiliate Links)

Sony FE 1.8/50

Sony FE 1.8/50 | f/1.8 | Sony a7
Strengths Weaknesses
  • Good sharpness
  • Decent Bokeh
  • Low Price
  • Light weight
  • AF issues on 2. Gen cameras
  • a little noisy AF
  • Softer Corners at wider apertures
  • Weaker (but still ok) flare resistance than FE 55
  • Axial CA
  • feels a little cheap

Recommendation:  A very affordable lens with solid optical performance.

Length: 60mm | Diameter: 69mm | Weight: 186g | Filter Thread: 49mm | Price (March 2018): $198
Our Review |  | | Ebay | B&H (affiliate Links)

Voigtlander 50mm APO-Lanthar (manual focus)

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Class leading across the frame sharpness
  • CA correction
  • Bokeh (most of the time)
  • Excellent Handling
  • Compact Size
  • Flare Resistance
  • Expensive for an f2 lens

Recommendation: the technically best 50mm lens if you can live with manual focus and slower speed.

Length: 61mm | Diameter: 63mm | Weight: 364g | Filter Thread: 49mm | Price: 1049$ (January 2020)
Review | Sample images | cameraquest | | B&H |  (affiliate links)

Zeiss Loxia 2/50 Planar T* (manual focus)

Zeiss Loxia 2/50 | Sony a7 | f/2
Strengths Weaknesses
  • Sharpness stopped down
  • Nice Sunstars
  • Build Quality
  • A little higher contrast than FE55
  • Nervous bokeh
  • A little softer corners at wide apertures, midzone dip until f/8.0

Recommendation: A favorite of many landscape photographers but for most the FE 1.8/55 with its smoother bokeh, better sharpness and faster AF is the better solution.

Length: 60mm | Diameter: 62mm | Weight: 320g | Filter Thread: 52mm | Price: $949 (June 2019)
Our Review | Datasheet |  | | Ebay | B&H (affiliate Links)

Sony 2.8/50 Macro

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Very good sharpness in any scenario
  • Excellent flare resistance
  • Light Weight
  • Affordable
  • 1:1 Macro
  • Slow AF Drive
  • Only 7 aperture Blades
  • Short working distance

Recommendation: A good choice for your expeditions into nature where optical qualities and low weight as well as close focus abilities count more than a slow AF drive.

Length: 71mm | Diameter: 72mm | Weight: 236g | Filter Thread: 55mm | Price (March 2018): $448
Phillip’s Review |  | | Ebay | B&H (affiliate Links)

Sony FE 1.8/55 ZA

Sony A7R | Sony FE 1.8/55
Strengths Weaknesses
  • Great balance between small size and very good performance
  • Very good across the frame sharpness from f/1.8
  • Smooth bokeh
  • Onion rings bokeh in some scenarios
  • Strong vignetting causes cats-eyes
  • Axial CA

Recommendation: The FE 1.8/55 offers a great balance between small size and very good performance. It can be used for a very wide range of applications. It is a very popular FE lens for a good reason.

Length: 70.5mm | Diameter: 64.4mm | Weight: 281g | Filter Thread: 49mm | Price (March 2018): 898€/$
Our Review | | | | | B&H (affiliate links)


Voigtlander Macro 2/65 APO-Lanthar (manual focus)

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Sharpest FE-mount lens
  • Good bokeh (most of the time)
  • Nearly perfect CA correction
  • Build quality and handling
  • Focuses down to 1:2
  • Affordable for what it does
  • Rather large and heavy
  • Does not focus to 1:1 as other macros do

Recommendation: It isn’t a small lens but a delight to use none the less and the optical performance is impeccable. One of the system-seller lenses in our eyes.

Length: 91mm | Diameter: 78mm | Weight: 635g | Filter Thread: 67mm | Price (March 2018): 999€/$999
Our Review | | | | B&H (affiliate links)

Tamron 2.8/70-180

tamron 70-180mm f/2.8 2.8 review comparsion sharpness resolution contrast 42mp 61mp test sony a7rIII a7rII a7riv distortion sunstars starburst
Sony A7rII | Tamron 70-1 80mm 2.8 | 180mm | f/2.8
Strengths Weaknesses
  • sharpness
  • bokeh (mostly)
  • minimum focus distance
  • size/weight
  • lack of controls
  • non-linear manual focus

Recommendation: the first actually decent fast telezoom for E-mount. Not everything is perfect, but in the end it is a really compelling lens nonetheless.

Length: 149mm | Diameter: 81mm | Weight: 805g | Filter Thread: 67mm | Price (November 2020): $1199
Review | | | B&H | | (affiliate links)

Sony FE 2.8/70-200 GM OSS

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Speed
  • Zoom range
  • Reliability
  • Price

Recommendation: If you use your Alpha for fast reportage work this lens is without alternative because it is very fast and will give you good results most of the time. You should treat it carefully though since it is rather sensitive.

Length: 200mm | Diameter: 88mm | Weight: 1480g | Filter Thread: 77mm | Price (March 2018): $2598
Review | compared to CaNikon|  | | Ebay (affiliate Links)

Sony FE 4/70-200 G OSS

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Handy zoom range
  • Softer corners at the ends
  • Stabilizer less effective than competition

Recommendation: A jack of all trades which delivers solid results for a very wide range of applications but excels at none of them.

Length: 175mm | Diameter: 80mm | Weight: 840g | Filter Thread: 72mm | Price (June 2019): $1398
Our Review |  | | Ebay | B&H (affiliate Links)

Sony FE 4.5-5.6/70-300 G OSS

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Zoom range
  • Small size (for a 70-300 that is)
  • Sharpness up to 200 mm
  • Copy-to-Copy variation
  • Sharpness at 300 mm
  • Bokeh

Recommended to: A decent option if you like to travel a lot.

Length: 144mm | Diameter: 84mm | Weight: 854g | Filter Thread: 72mm | Price (March 2018): 1253€/$
Review | | | | (affiliate Link)

Samyang 1.8/75 AF

Recommendation: The lightest, smallest and most affordable lens in this focal range. But of course there are trade-offs: build quality and handling are inferior to the Sony FE 1.8/85 and bokeh is about on the same level: Smooth most of the time but somewhat nervous in more challenging situations. Sharpness is also inferior unless stopped down quite a bit. Also make sure to check it for decentering as our first copy was severly decentered.

Length: 69mm | Diameter: 65mm | Weight: 230g | Filter Thread: 58mm | Price (November 2020): $399
lenstip Review | | | B&H | (affiliate links)


Sony FE GM 1.4/85

Sony FE 85mm 1.4 GM gmaster portrait bokeh sharpness a7rII a7rm3 a7riii 42mp review
Sony A7rII | Sony FE 85mm 1.4 GM | f/5.6
Strengths Weaknesses
  • Spectacular Bokeh
  • Sharpness
  • Build Quality
  •  A bit noisy and slow AF

Recommendation: Don’t look any further if you need a high end 85mm portrait lens, it is one of the special lenses in the system and offers one of the smoothest bokeh renderings. 

Length: 108mm | Diameter: 90mm | Weight: 820g | Filter Thread: 77mm | Price (March 2018): 1668€/$
Our Review | Jannik’s samples | | | (affiliate links)

Sigma Art 1.4/85 DG DN

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Bokeh
  • Sharpness
  • Build Quality
  • Weight
  • Size
  • Colour correction
Distortion requires correction for architecture (but post correction resolution is still outstanding)

Recommendation: This might be Sigma’s best balanced f/1.4 Art prime so far. With a very complex design they managed to create a lens which is sharper yet almost 200g lighter than the Sony 85mm 1.4 GM. It’s the f1.4 lens for everyone who used to have an f1.8 because they are smaller and lighter. The bokeh connoisseur might still prefer the GM for less cat’s eyes and even smoother bokeh rendering in some circumstances.

Length: 96mm | Diameter: 84mm | Weight: 625g | Filter Thread: 77mm | Price (November 2020): $1199
cameralabs review | | B&H | (affiliate links)

Sigma Art 1.4/85 (former DSLR design)

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Sharper than GM 1.4/85
  • Price/Performance
  • Very large and heavy

Recommendation: Now that the mirrorless version (see entry above) has been released there is little reason to get this lens.

Length: 152mm | Diameter: 95mm | Weight: 1245g | Filter Thread: 86mm | Price (June 2019): $1099 | | B&H (affiliate Links)

Samyang 1.4/85 AF

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Price
  • Sharpness
  • Bokeh (minus cat’s eyes)
  • Weight (compared to the GM)
  • Somewhat Slower AF
  • Samyang’s reputation for less reliable build quality

Recommendation: Nicer bokeh than the FE 1.8/85 and sharper than the GM 1.4/85 in the center this is a really attractive portrait lens. Reliability has been an issue with Samyang lenses in the past but it is too young to come to an assessment.

Length: 99.5mm | Diameter: 88mm | Weight: 568g | Filter Thread: 77 mm | Price (April 2019): 649€/ $699
Review at FM | | B&H Photo (affiliate links)

Sony 1.8/85 Budget Recommendation

Sony A6500 | Sony FE 1.8/85
Strengths Weaknesses
  • Bokeh
  • Sharpness
  • Fast AF
  • Affordable
  • Size
  •  Flare resistance

Recommended to: Photographers looking for a good, small and affordable lens for a range of applications ranging from portraits to landscapes.

Length: 82mm | Diameter: 78mm | Weight: 371g | Filter Thread: 67mm | Price (March 2018): 649€/$
Our Review | | | | (affiliate links)

Zeiss Batis 1.8/85 OSS

Sony A7II | Zeiss Batis 1.8/85
Strengths Weaknesses
  • Sharpness
  • Bokeh
  • Build quality
  • Optical stabilization
  •  Stronger distortion

Recommended to: Since the FE 1.8/85 is very close in performance for half the price we can only recommend it to those, to whom the better flare resistance and superior build quality is very important.

Length: 81mm | Diameter: 92mm | Weight: 475g | Filter Thread: 67mm | Price (March 2018): 1199€/$
Review | | | | (affiliate links)

Viltrox 85mm f/1.8 STM AF PFU RBMH / Viltrox AF 85mm f/1.8II FE

Sony a7II | Viltrox 85mm f/1.8 STM AF PFU RBMH | f/1.8
Strengths Weaknesses
  • Sharpness
  • Bokeh
  • Price
  • Strong distortion
  • Flare resistance
  • AF reliability

Recommended to: We reviewed the first version here which in general is very strong performer. Sharpness is very good combined with very good bokeh. The biggest drawbacks are the mediocre flare resistance and the high amount of distortion. Besides of that I encountered severe back focus issues at certain distances with the first version. AF on the second version seemed to be much more reliable when I tested it. but is was still not perfect.
Bokeh and sharpness are both the same on the MKII but you will get better AF and safe a lot of weight. I don’t know how reliable the construction of the MKII is though as that seems to be the place where they cut weight. The sample of the MKII I bought was decentered so I had to return it..
These days it seems that the first version is discontinued, the second version is widely available.
A good option for who’s on a budget and want a portrait lens with great bokeh.

mkI/mkII | Length: 92mm/92mm | Diameter: 79mm/80mm | Weight: 636g/483g | Filter Thread: 72mm | Price (December 2019): 300€/$
Review | (Affiliate links)


Tokina ATX-M 85mm f/1.8 FE

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Sharpness
  • Bokeh
  • Price
  • Strong distortion
  • Flare resistance
  • AF reliability

This lens seems to be a copy of the Viltrox (first version) above here.
It’s a bit more expensive, performs the same and seems to have the same AF issues.

Length: 93.2 | Diameter: 80mm | Weight: 645g | Filter Thread: 72mm | Price (December 2019): 489€/$

Zeiss Loxia 2.4/85 (manual focus)

loxia zeiss 85mm 2.4 carl sony a7r ii review comparison
Sony A7rII | Zeiss Loxia 85mm 2.4 | f/2.4
Strengths Weaknesses
  • Optical performance (sharpness, contrast)
  • Sunstars
  • Smooth bokeh
  • Weight

Recommended to: whoever values optical perfection over speed and does not mind manual focus.

Length: 95mm | Diameter: 63mm | Weight: 594g | Filter Thread: 52mm | Price (February 2018): 1399€/$
Review | Sample images | Full resolution samples | | (affiliate links)

Sony G 2.8/90 OSS Macro

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Class leading sharpness up close
  • Good CA correction
  • Smooth bokeh
  • Manual Focus clutch
  • Vignetting
  • Stronger copy-to-copy variation
  • A little slower AF

Recommendation: If you are more serious about macro work this is your best lens in the system but it also works well for landscape and portrait work.

Length: 130.5 mm | Diameter: 79mm | Weight: 602g | Filter Thread: 62mm | Price (June 2019): $998  | | Ebay | B&H (affiliate Links)

100mm and longer

Tokina Firin 2.8/100 Macro

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Good sharpness
  • Smooth bokeh
  • above average CA
  • slow AF
  • manual focus feel
  • Extends a lot

Recommendation: If you are looking for a Macro on a budget the better corrected Sigma 2.8/70 appears to be the more attractive option but if you find one for a good price it can yield good results if you are willing to put up with the focus.

Length: 123mm | Diameter: 74mm | Weight: 570g | Filter Thread: 55mm | Price (August 2019): $599
Phillip’s Review |  | | Ebay | B&H (affiliate Links)

Sony GM 4.5-5.6/100-400 OSS

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Sharpness
  • Closeup-abilities
  • Fast AF
  • Large & Heavy
  • Flare resistance could be better

Recommendation: The strongest tele-zoom in the system if 400mm are sufficient..

Length: 205mm | Diameter: 94mm  | Weight: 1395g | Filter Thread: 77mm | Price (March 2018): 2899€/$
Review | Sony 100-400 vs. Contax 100-300 | | | | (affiliate links)

Sigma C 5.0-6.3/100-400

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Sharp
  • Small
  • Light
  • Low aberrations
  • AF fast for a third party option
  • Flare resistance
  • slow maximum aperture
  • build quality is solid but very plastic-heavy
  • No tripod mount in box
  • No AF modes

Recommendation: This lens is optically so good that image quality shouldn’t be a deciding factor between this lens and the Sony FE 4.5-5.6/100-400 GM OSS. The build quality is not up to professional standards which makes this lens very light on the other side. This is the best long telephoto option for everybody on a budget who can get along with the slower speed of the lens.

Length: 197mm | Diameter: 86mm | Weight: 1135g | Filter Thread: 67mm | Price (November 2020): $949
cameralabs review | | | B&H | (affiliate links)

Sony GM 2.8/100 STF OSS

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Super smooth bokeh
  • Sharpness
  • Close to zero vignetting
  • 75% light loss due to STF filter
  • Rather heavy
  • Build quality not up to the expectations

Recommendation: The GM STF 2.8/100 has a very narrow range of applications when you want limited bokeh of excellent quality and here it excels. More often a G2.5/M 1.4/85 will be the better alternative.

Length: 118mm | Diameter: 85mm  | Weight: 700g | Filter Thread: 72mm | Price (March 2018): $1498
Review | another Review | | Ebay (affiliate Links)

Sigma Art 1.4/105 (former DSLR design)

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Excellent optical performance
  • Bokeh
  • Very large
  • Super heavy

Recommendation: It offers outstanding performance and very shallow depth of field but weigths about as much as two bricks.

Length: 157mm | Diameter: 116mm | Weight: 1720g | Filter Thread: 105mm | Price (June 2019): $1599
lenstip review | | | B&H | (affiliate Links)

Voigtlander Macro APO-Lanthar 2.5 /110 (manual focus)

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Among the sharpest FE-mount lenses
  • Good bokeh (most of the time)
  • Nearly perfect CA correction
  • Build quality and handling
  • Rather large and heavy
  • Straight aperture blades detrimental to bokeh stopped down

Recommendation: If you enjoy manual focus and need a longer lens this is an outstanding but also substantial solution.

Length: 100mm | Diameter: 78mm | Weight: 771g | Filter Thread: 58mm | Price (October 2018): $1099 at B&H

Sony GM 1.8/135 

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Superb resolution at all apertures and locations in the field.
  • Low chromatic aberrations
  • Low distortion & vignetting
  • Great contrast
  • 1:4 max magnification
  • Action-ready AF and linear MF
  • Superb build quality
  • Large and heavy in absolute terms (although lightest and smallest lens in class)
  • Flare resistance

Recommended to: Anyone who is looking for an extremely versatile, fast and impressively performing 135mm lens.
Length: 127 mm | Diameter: 89,5 mm | Weight: 950g | Filter Thread: 82mm | Price: 1999€
Our Review | | | | (affiliate links)

Sigma Art 1.8/135 (former DSLR design)

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Excellent optical performance
  • Price

Recommended to: Users who want one of the very best lenses ever made but don’t want to spend the extra money on the Sony GM. Otherwise get the slightly lighter Sony GM which is even sharper and offers superior AF.

Length: 141mm | Diameter: 91mm | Weight: 1225g | Filter Thread: 82mm | Price (June 2019): $1399
lenstip review | | | B&H | (affiliate Links)

Zeiss Batis 2.8/135 APO

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Stunning resolution at all apertures and locations in the field.
  • Superb colour correction
  • Great contrast
  • Great flare control
  • Good close focus
  • Fast AF
  • Good compromise in speed and quality to make a portable moderately fast prime
  • Great typical Zeiss bokeh (i.e. not low contrast)
  • Price
  • Cateyes at f2.8 same as 2/135 Apo Sonnar at f2 (this is not really a weakness in one sense: to get the cateyes at f2.8 the same as the f2 lens would require a front element the same size as the f2 lens, so you may as well have the bigger f2!)
  • Weight a bit higher than some expect for an f2.8 135 (though that’s expected for the performance)

Recommended to: Anyone who wants a high performance 2.8/135. If you want one of these buy this lens. It’s one of the two or three best lenses you can get for the system (but don’t buy it just because it’s optically a great lens if you don’t really want a 2.8/135!)
Length: 120mm | Diameter: 99mm  | Weight: 614g | Filter Thread: 67mm | Price (March 2018): 1999€
Our Review | (affiliate link)

Sony G 5.6-6.3/200-600 OSS

Strengths Weaknesses
  • long reach
  • good sharpness
  • snappy AF
  • affordable compared to super teles
  • Internal zooming
  • well balanced on gimbal across the focal length range
  • sturdy and weather resistant
  • the outer dimensions of the lens may ask for a bigger backpack
  • limited compatibility to A7RIV (AF issues)
  • OSS effectiveness could be better

Recommendation: The only affordable very long lens (>400mm) in the Sony system that is capable of delivering great results. Its light for a lens in this class but still a heavy lens that not everybody can carry and handhold the whole day. A unique feature in this price class is the internal zooming that makes zooming smooth and easy while keeping the physical dimensions constant. A tripod with a gimbal can help here for stationary work.

Length: 318mm | Diameter: 112mm | Weight: 2115g | Filter Thread: 95mm | Price (November 2020): $1998
opticallimits review | | | B&H | (affiliate links)

Sony GM 2.8/400 OSS

Recommendation: A pricy special purpose lens for wildlife and sports photography. If you need it you already know it.

Length: 359mm |  Diameter: 158mm | Weight: 2895g | Filter Thread: 40.5mm (rear) | Price (December 2018): 11998$
B&H (affiliate link)

Sony GM 4.0/600 OSS

Recommendation: A pricy special purpose lens for wildlife and sports photography. If you need it you already know it.

Length: 449mm |  Diameter: 164mm | Weight: 3040g | Filter Thread: 40.5mm (rear) | Price (November 2020): 12998$
B&H (affiliate link)

Bonus lenses without exif

Laowa 5.6/9 FF-RL (manual focus)

laowa 9mm 5.6 ultra wide w-dreamer uwa hyper wide heliar 10mm distortion zero-d
Leica M10 | Laowa 9mm 5.6 | f/5.6
Strengths Weaknesses
  • unrivalled focal length
  • Sharpness and contrast
  • Minimum focus distance
  • Size/Weight
  • no Exif data
  • vignetting/color cast

Recommendation: the world’s widest rectilinear lens and a better performer than either Voigtlander 10mm 5.6 E or Laowa 10-18mm 4.5-5.6.

Length: 74mm | Diameter: 63mm | Weight: 373g | Filter Thread: – | Price (July 2020): 799$
Review | Sample images | manufacturer’s homepage | B&H | | (affiliate links)

Laowa 4.5-5.6/10-18 FE (manual focus)

laowa 10-18mm zoom c-dreamer 4.5-5.6 ultra wide 42mp a7 a7rII a7rIII review sharpness
Sony A7rII | Laowa FE 10-18mm 4.5-5.6 | 10mm | f/5.6
Strengths Weaknesses
  • Very interesting and unrivalled focal length range
  • Sunstars
  • Minimum focus distance
  • Size/Weight
  • no Exif data
  • corner sharpness
  • flare resistance
  • vignetting/color cast
  • distortion at wide end

Recommendation: the only UWA zoom for full frame starting at 10mm. Versatile and fun lens, but comes with a few compromises.

Length: 81mm | Diameter: 70mm | Weight: 499g | Filter Thread: 39mm (rear) | Price (December 2018): 849$
Review | Sample images | manufacturer’s online shop | B&H | (affiliate links)

Laowa 4.5/11 FF-RL (manual focus)

laowa 11mm 4.5 zero-d distortion zero ultra wide w-dreamer uwa hyper wide heliar 10mm distortion zero-d
Sony A7rII | Laowa 11mm 4.5 | f/11
Strengths Weaknesses
  • Sharpness and contrast starting at f/5.6
  • 62mm filter thread
  • Minimum focus distance
  • Size/Weight
  • no Exif data
  • vignetting/color cast

Recommendation: an interesting alternative to Voigtlander’s 10mm and 12mm offerings that unfortunately comes without Exif data.

Length: 58mm | Diameter: 63.5mm | Weight: 254g | Filter Thread: 62mm | Price (August 2020): 699$
Review | Sample images | manufacturer’s homepage (affiliate link)

Laowa 2.0/15 FE Zero-D (manual focus)

laowa 15mm 2.0 fe venus optics review architecture
Sony A7rII | Laowa 15mm 2.0 Zero-D | f/8.0
Strengths Weaknesses
  • Great combination of speed, performance and size
  • Minimum focus distance
  • no Exif data
  • some sample variation

Recommended to: astrophotographers and everyone else looking for a versatile UWA prime.

Length: 83.0mm | Diameter: 77mm | Weight: 520g | Filter Thread: 72mm | Price (February 2018): 850$
Review | Sample images | manufacturer’s online shop | | | (affiliate links)

7Artisans 1.4/28 FE+ (manual focus)

Sony A7rII | 7artisans 28mm 1.4 | f/1.4
Strengths Weaknesses
  • Bokeh
  • Sharpness
  • Size
  • CA correction
  • Build quality
  • Price
  • light falloff
  • color cast in the corners
  • minimum focus distance of 0.7 m
    Recommendation: use it with a helicoid adapter

Recommended to: a great fast 28mm lens equally useful for shallow depth of field photography, environmentral portraiture and stopped down landscape shooting

Length: 69mm | Diameter: 60mm | Weight: 490g + adapter | Filter Thread: 52mm | Price (June 2019): 470€/499$
Review | Sample images | B&H | | | | Make sure to get the FE+ version! (affiliate links)

Zhong Yi Mitakon 0.95/50 (manual focus)

mitakon 50mm 0.95 zhong yi optical dark knight speedmaster a7 series a7rii a7r2 a7rm2 a7s sony e-mount fe
Sony A7s |Zhong Yi Mitakon 50mm 0.95 | f/0.95
Strengths Weaknesses
  • Crazy maximum aperture of f/0.95
  • Bokeh
  • Close up performance
  • Flare resistance
  • Axial CA

Recommended to: everyone into shallow depth of field photography

Length: 87mm | Diameter: 72mm | Weight: 780g | Filter Thread: 67mm | Price (February 2018): 930€/850$
Review of MKII | Review of MK III | Sample images | | | (affiliate links)

Some tips on how to choose a lens

As a team we have bought and sold hundreds of lenses. Some we used a lot more than we anticipated and others a lot less. Based on that experience here are a few tips on how to choose the right lens fro your needs.

  1. Buy a lens because you actually need it. Not because some guy on a YouTube likes it a lot. To learn what focal lengths and  apertures you use most and what characteristics you care about in a lens we can only recommend to get one lens at a time and to really learn to know it. Maybe one of our reviews can help you to identify what exactly you (don’t) like about that lens. .
  2. Don‘t put too much emphasis on performance. For example the 1.4/24 GM is certainly a technically much better lens than the ZA 1.4/35 but a 35mm lens has more applications so it will probably see a lot more use and give you more memorable results.
  3. Think about your whole kit and not just ndividual lenses. For example both Phillip and Jannik were initially deeply impressed by the Voigtlander 2/65‘s performance but ultimately sold it because it didn‘t integrate well into their kit and stayed at home too often.

Manual lenses

Almost any lens can be adapted on the Sony a7/a9 series. We have a guide to very affordable (<$99) manual lenses and one for still affordable (< $499) lenses and also a Manual Lenses on the Sony a7 series Beginner’s Guide.

If any questions remain unanswered don’t hesitate to leave a comment 🙂


  • G – Sony’s equivalent to Canon’s L
  • GM – Sony’s other equivalent to Canon’s L.
  • OSS – “Optical Steady Shot”: Sony’s marketing name for lenses that feature an image stabilizer.
  • ZA – Lenses which have been developed in cooperation by Sony and Zeiss and are produced by Sony. The outer barrel is made from metal which looks nice but scratches easily.
  • (manual focus) – Completely manual lenses. You need to use the focusing ring and the aperture ring on the lens to focus and set the desired aperture value. Exif data is still submitted though.
  • (former DSLR design) – Sigma took their older DSLR lenses and just added a non removable adapter tube to turn them into E-mount lenses. These lenses are usually bigger and heavier than they need to be for mirrorless cameras and it seems they are being replaced piece by piece with improved mirrorless designs.

Other articles

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The Team

The team, that are four gearheads: Bastian, Jannik and Phillip from Germany as well as David from Australia. All like to use manual lenses and have a passion for the outdoors. None the less they are specialized in different areas so they can provide you with a wider perspective.

219 thoughts on “Sony FE lenses: The honest Guide for the A7/A7II/A7III A7rII/A7rIII/A7rIV A7c A9”

  1. Sony FE 4/70-200 G OSS – need English translation.
    Please, delete this comment and the previous one. It’s just – I hope helpful – info for you.

  2. Thanks!

    A very nice summary. I always gets happy when I see that there is an update to this site. You always do such a good job with the reviews and test lenses in a way that I haven’t found elsewhere, like checking flare in depth. And the images that comes with the reviews are always very good as well.

    There are some other lenses available in FE-mount that you didn’t mention. Brian Smith has made a very good list of all available FE-lenses, see here:

    He also keeps an E-mount adapter list updated which complements your extremely fine articles on that matter:

    Best regards from Sweden!

    1. Hi Anders – we drew a different line than Brian. We only included lenses with electronic coupling except of two lenses (Mitakon 0.95/50 / Laowa 2/15) that we see as so good/special and unique to (F)E-Mount that they are worth mentioning. Furthermore, we don’t have broad enough video competence and therefore don’t comment on the Fuji/Zeiss/Sigma Video lenses. Regards, Jannik

  3. Thank you very much for this nice summary based in your experience . I was thinking to order the loxia 21mm when I saw your comments and other reviews about the sony FE 12-24 . If the size doesn’t matter is the image quality of the FE 12-24 close to the loxia 21mm ? I know philippe has a preference for the FE 16-35 f/4 how you compare it to the FE 12-35mm. Thank you a lot Guys.

    1. First of all, the 12-24 focal range is quite different to 16-35. The latter is a versatile lens and suitable for documentary photography as well, the 12-24 is a more specialized lens. Optically, the 12-24 seems to perform a bit better than the 16-35, especially towards the corners.

      At least in my case, the 12-24 (despite of all optical excellence and convenience) could never replace the Loxia, because of:

      – weak flare performance
      – no filter thread
      – odd sun stars

      Regards, Jannik

    2. As far as sharpness is concerned the Loxia and the 12-24 are very close which is an astonishing feat by the 12-24. The Loxia offers less distortion, better flare resistance and nicer sunstars but not better sharpness.

      I find it very hard to compare a 12-24 to a 16-35. The 12-24 seems to be the sharper one though.

  4. Mammoth undertaking! Well done guys!
    I couldn’t agree more with that statement about ZA lens finish, “The outer barrel is made from metal which looks nice but scratches easily.” (So does the Batis finish BTW)
    After 6 months careful use with the ZA 55/1.8 and already that body has picked up more marks than my much used, 45 year old, Minolta MC (scalloped focus ring) 58/1.2. What a backward step. Fashion design over practicality!

    1. Sad but true – you can’t imagine how disappointed I was when I got the 4/16-35 and scratched it already after 2-3 uses. That was by far my most expensive lens at that time. I’ll get the 1.4/50 ZA today and hope that the scratch resistance has improved in the meantime.

      I am always astonished that most of my Contax lenses look still almost like new. I have the impression that the glass scratches more easily than the Contax painting 😉

      Regards, Jannik

  5. Where does the Rokinon 20mm f1.8 fit into this list? I’m pretty sure it’s full-frame and native E mount.

  6. Thanks for the list. Nice work. Loxia 21, Loxia 85, and Batis 18 are my favorite. Please include the Laowa 12mm if you are going to include the Laowa 15mm version.

    1. It is also a DSLR lens with just a built-in adapter.
      But we might include it when we got the chance to test the shift converter.
      Until then you can check out our review of a prototype of that lens.

  7. Very interesting reviews. Thank you for sharing!
    I have a question which no one has answered so far everywhere on the internet: how is the 16-35 GM compared to Batis 18 and 25mm? I have both the Batis-es, but consider to replace them with the GM.
    After reading your praise for the 12-24 I am now a little torn… I love its size/weight and that it doesn’t extend like the GM. But it doesn’t take filters.. I don’t use them so often, but especially for landscape and long exposures in daylight – it is an important aspect.

    1. Hi Stefan, I didn’t use the 16-35 GM and the Batis 25 so far, so I can’t give you a detailed answer. Nevertheless, I think that the GM could be a smart choice over the Batis primes. Sharpness seems to be on a very high level and the GM 16-35 is smaller than the GM 24-70. I’d expect the highest drawbacks in the flare performance. I think you should know if you need a 12-24 or a 16-35 lens, they are quite different tools.

  8. Sony FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM versus F4 ZA OSS.
    Having the F4 version and mostly in landscape photography would it be worth to go for the f2.8.
    Must say that I’m mostly using this lens at f8.0 or f11 on my A7R2.
    Will there be any noticeably difference ?
    One advantage could be to have the f2.8 at 16mm in order to leave my Samyang 14mm home for astrophotography to reduce the carry-on weight when traveling with an airplane.

  9. Just had a 2nd go at comparing the “new” FE 85/1.8 with my Batis 85, (on A7), and I’m ready to sell…..not the FE, but the Batis!
    I didn’t expect that! (My 1st copy of FE was soft/glowy at F/1.8, but I knew from reviews, that the FE was better than that, so I found another. That is a problem with FE lenses, in my experience, much more copy variation.)

    In nearly every comparison the FE equaled the Batis, and in several I preferred the FE…even for flare control, (I really didn’t expect that either!) More veiling flare from the Batis, which is very hard to deal with in Lr etc.
    Not a lot of difference in “sharpness”, but the Batis has a rather warm, “muddy” look in comparison, whilst the FE is cooler and IMO “cleaner”, with an altogether “lighter” touch. e.g., Shadows block up with the Batis, whereas there’s much more shadow detail with the FE.
    Really the only ways I found the Batis better, was in build quality, and a slightly faster AF response.

    Of course, my Batis may not be the very best copy, but it is well centred and as sharp as the FE, so it can’t be a very bad one either…and perhaps I’ve managed to find a very good copy of the FE!

    1. Copy-to-copy variation is something which is not limited to FE lenses, at least in my experience. I tried four Batis 85/1.8 lenses until finding one that was well centered. I actually had better luck with FE lenses (second 24/1.4 GM and third ZA 55/1.8).

  10. Great info, gentlemen. Thank you for putting this together. I hate to lug the Sony f4 70-200mm G around when I travel. A light wight lens between 70-200 would be an ideal replacement but the Batis 135 is US$2000. I tried the Leica Elmar 135 f/4 with an adapter. Not sure if I want to fuss around with setting the IBIS every time I put it on the A7RII.



      1. Thank you Bastian. I decided to get the Contax 135mm f2.8 Sonna and the Techart. Hope it’s good for landscape. The lens is so cheap that If it doesn’t work out, I won’t lose much.



    1. It is an APS-C lens and this list only covers fullframe lenses that is why it isn’t listed. We plan to do a similar list for APS-C lenses but that will take time since it requires quite a lot of research.

  11. Hello Philipp,
    first of all thank you for your effort and time you spend for this blog. I like your tests an this side very much!
    But this time I have also some small critisism:
    1) Please do not write second-hand-experiences in your blog, test it yourself! (example: Sony FE 70-200 f2.8 GM: with most tests it is on the same level as the Nikon and Canon counterparts, not worse)
    2) Do not miscredit new lenses without testing (example: Samyang AF 50 f1.4 and Samyang AF 14 f2.8. I think dpreview opened a AF50 and they were positivly surprised about the build-quality. Who knows, maybe Samyang learned by their mistakes and build the new AF-series with longer lasting quality?
    Even the AF 14 2.8 should be tested properly. The link you included shows no well done sharpness-test. Please test yourself, before making a claim of less sharp corner compared to the MF-Version!
    I hope this article stays a negative exception and you follow your testing otherwise well done tests.
    Please take my critisism in a positive attitude to help make your side consistent on a high quality-level an thank you for the experiences you offer in this blog!

    Greetings from the baltic sea, Reinhard

    1. Hi Reinhard,
      I can’t test every lens so for this guide I had to rely on other pepople’s tests. But I had very high standards none the less. There are many reviews out there which aren’t well done and I can’t follow their assessment.

      I spend several hours to find solid evidence which contradicted lensrentals’ findings on the 70-200 but I didn’t. If you know a well done comparision which supports your assesment please link to it and I will have a look at it.

      For the Samyang 2.8/14 I couldn’t find a well done review so I mostly relied on sample images.

      Some time ago we prepared a guest review on the Samyang 1.4/50 AF under my supervision. In the end we didn’t publish it but from it I am pretty confident in my judgement.

      As I said: if you have evidence that my assesment is too harsh please send me some evidence and I will have a look at it and maybe change my assement. It certainly could happen but not because I didn’t do my research.

    2. I can only second this. If you did not test the lens yourself don’t rate it – else you are just repeating hearsay and Internet myths based on one bad rating (LensRentals). Sony did issue a firmware update for this lens, which also improves AF at infinity. So, LensRentals’ test revealed a firmware flaw which got fixed by Sony but this never got reported in the Net hence everybody thinks this lens is a poor price/value performer. My copy of the Sony FE 70-200 f2.8 GM is the best zoom in this range ever experienced (compared to the Minolta and Sony A-mount versions). It’s basically a range of top primes at 70mm, 100mm, 135mm and most importantly at 200mm – like the 24-70/2.8 GM I have. Tack-sharp at F2.8 in the center and mid-regions with very good corner sharpness, which peaks at F5.6. Lovely color reproduction and Bokeh rendering. It’s only disadvantage is weight – it’s heavy. And AF performance could be better – faster and in some cases more precise.

  12. Hi thank you for this wonderful write up. I am planning to purchase an a7rii or possibly wait for the a7iii, not totally decided yet but I have the a6000 to keep me content right now.

    Anyway, I have been doing tons of research into lenses for when I make the jump and had a few questions on your opinion. I shoot mostly landscapes and enjoy astrophotography, with occasional portraits for friends.

    On the wide end I plan to get the Laowa 15mm, but can’t decide whether I should stick to primes or go with one of the 16-35mm zooms after that. I’m very excited to see what Sigma comes up with for a 35mm, but purchasing it down the road and the Batis 25mm would probably cost nearly the same as the 16-35GM. Do you think that the Batis has enough of an advantage over the 16-35mm lenses to be worth sticking to primes? I would also be open to other lenses in that range, the Batis’ image quality seems great though which is why I refer to it.

    I also enjoy tele-landscapes. Originally I thought the 10-200mm f4 would be a good fit, but based on what I’ve read here and elsewhere I feel like it might not be worth the price tag for either of the 70-200 lenses. I’ve considered the FE85mm, but that leaves a lot of distance not reachable. Do you have a recommendation for which lens in the telephoto range would suit me best for landscapes?

    As a sidenote I plan to fill those gaps with the ZA55mm. Thank you for any advice you can give me! I understand everyone has different preferences and mine may be different than yours, but your experience is much greater than mine!

    1. Batis 25: I think the GM might actually a bit sharper than it but I am not sure about the flare resistance, here the Batis will probably outperform it.

      Landscape tele: Maybe start with the 85 and see how well that works for you? Apart from the expensive Batis 135 there are not many alternatives though.

  13. Hi this review has helped me a lot with deciding on lenses as I move to full-frame for my landscape photography hobby. My remaining dilemma is trying to decide between the 16-35ZA or a couple of prime lenses. (ie. Laowa 15mm, batis 25mm, and a 35mm)

    I like the convenience and versatility of the zoom and if I wasn’t into astrophotography I would probably choose it in a heartbeat. However, do to that I would probably end up with a prime lens like the Laowa 15mm anyway. I also love the 35mm focal length and I’m not sure I would like the softness of the zoom at 35mm.

    Do you have any advice to help me with this decision? Thank you!

    1. I don’t know how much of a pixel hunter you are but I wouldn’t call the ZA 16-35 soft at 35mm. Sure on a a7rii others will be a bit sharper but I think that unless you print really big the difference won’t really matter.

      Personally I don’t like using the ZA 16-35 too much because it is a bit large and the manual focus is kinda meh. BUT I usually enjoy the results I get with it a lot so it is one of two FE lenses I have owned for more than a year.

      The Laowa on the other hand is a very nice lens and for astro there isn’t really a competition between the two. But you would end up with three lenses, not just one.

      1. Thanks Phillip! In the end I think the Laowa will be the lens that convinces me to stick with primes. It might take a bit longer to build my kit due to cost, but the extra speed is pretty important and there are some great wide angle lenses in the Sony lineup to decide between. I could always purchase a vintage lens or two to fill the gaps for the time being 🙂

  14. Please enlighten me.
    Can I use 85GM instead of my beloved Nikon 85AiS for video work?
    Has it real helicoid in MF?
    Has it long travel from 1m to infinity?
    Has it engraved meters on it? DoF markings?
    Has it de-clicked aperture?

    I want ONE lens for both Photography and video.
    Now I use Batis for photo and Nikon AiS for video.

    1. No real helicoid but focus by wire, I think the travel distance depends on the speed with which you turn the ring, no DOF markings or distance scale but declickable aperture. So probably not ideal for your needs.

      1. No, that is wrong. The focus by wire of the Sony 1.4/85 GM features direct transmission of the focus ring movement to the focus distance. That means that the same movement of the focus ring will always cause the same movement of the focus plane, no matter how fast it is turned.

        No graved meters
        Has de clicked aperture
        Makes Noise when focusing
        No DoF Markings

        Not the best lens for video probably, but maybe better than the Batis. I’d prefer the Loxia 2.4/85 or the Sony FE 1.8/85 for that purpose if I were you.


  15. Very nice summary. You guys are doing an amazing work. Altough I don’t own (yet) any Sony A7/9, I never miss your reviews which are among the most valuable on the web. You, lensrental and FM forum are my holy trinity to have an idea about a lens. Keep going the good work!

  16. Man you guys are the best. THANK YOU SO MUCH for the updates on your blog.
    I torn between 60 2.0 voightlander, 85mm 1.4 GM, 135 Batis, 18 batis and the loxia 21mm 2.8.
    I already own 35mm 1.4 Zeiss.

    Love wide angles for nice background portraits and tele portrait lens.

  17. Dear Phillip, You and your team is doing really awesome work. I would personally love the “Voigtländer 4.5/15”, Although it is of manual focus but it is pocket friendly. The pic you shared for this model is a great one. Thanks.

    1. I am very happy with it, although the first pictures were not good, because 15mm is really wide and something in the corner/foreground is destorted therefore, which is typical for such wide angle. F4,5 is enough, F11 is the sweet spot. Poor vignetting does not disturb me. I use it with A7R2 and also with my older NEX 6 with APSC, which makes about 21mm and an overall handy package.
      I also have the Batis 135/2.8, so I can value the quality of the results.

  18. Considering that there are now plenty of options in the 50-65mm range, and adding the huge difference in prices for the different lenses at stake, my thoughts are leaning to the classic 55mm f1.8 or the newer but MF Voigtlander 65mm f2. I know you love both, but would like a hint here because I’m building my pro system now and will always need a fixed combo lens (35mm, and here I will wait for Sigma, and something in the middle range). What do you guys think? And of course many thanks for your help.

  19. BTW, congratulations for the web. By far the best I visit on a daily basis, kind of a sony & MF lovers bible.

  20. New to Sony A7rii, but have used my 5dmkiv since it came out with some great lenses like sigma art 35/85 1.4, nifty fifty, canon 70-200 2.8 us ii. I do event photography in addition to street, portraits and such. I feel that the 50 1.4 is the way to go considering the focusing speed. The other 50/55 are in a better price range, OBVIOUSLy, but I was curious if the autofocus is just THAT much better on the 50 1.4 than the 50 1.8 / 55 .

    FYI – I’ve been exploring manual focus with my canon lenses and the fotodiox adapter. I really enjoy it, but don’t trust myself at events with so many people moving and manual focus. But I’m getting there!!!

    Thanks for article! Has been the most helpful yet!!

  21. Zeiss FE Vario-Sonnar T* 3.3/25-50
    The one lens I really wish Sony (or any other manufacturer) will make is a medium speed 25-50. To be honest I don’t think the A7 needs five 50mms to choose from. What it does need is a SMALL walkabout zoom which is optically superlative and compact. 25mm is wide enough for most landscapes without massive distortions to correct. 50 is perfect for street photography. Keep it a 2x Zoom allows optical excellence to be achieved much more easily. Keep the aperture modest keeps the lens small. Such a lens will be about the size of the 1.8/55 (maybe a smidgen fatter) and it perfectly complements the A7-series’ compact bodies. Keep it simple, keep it this side of $1500. No need for Optical IS, Macro or any non-essentials. Such as lens will be particularly welcome given the lack luster performance of the Sony-Zeiss 4/24-70. As a bonus, this becomes a 38-75 on the APS-C A6000-series. Again, a very useful range.

  22. Hi Philip & collegues.

    I don’t see the new Loxia 25mm included in the guide. Is that because the review is not wrapped-up? This lens will make us to be all on the fence in the search of the ideal landscape light line up.



  23. Hahaha, why did you link Uncle Ken’s review (16-35)? Your reviews are objective and Ken is exactly opposite 🙂
    Let me confess, i like his reviews. Even though he has a standard line for every new lens “Sony 1234 is the greatest lens…”, what i like is some minute data points that he always gives.
    Funniest thing about his reviews is that he will proclaim one camera the best, and in some other review, he will rubbish it in the same breath.
    Review equals entertainment @ken 🙂

  24. Hi. Some comment on the Samyang 35/1.4: I think the sharpness is actually better than Sony Zeiss for portrait distance and infinity. The DIYphotography review was done in macro distance, where the Samyang’s corner deteriorates, like the Laowa 15/2.
    It replaced my Sigma 35 Art for astrophotography because of even better coma correction. The AF also works flowlessly with mark 3 cameras. Of course there are some downsides as mentioned: flare, bokeh, and a slightly warmer tone. An interesting lens nonetheless and I like it more than I expected 😀

  25. Hi, thank you for your reviews and summaries- great job.
    There are some gaps though. I’m using wit my Sa7 also Voigtlander CS 21mm f/4 (great lens, super sharp on both FF and APSC, and very compact) and Samyang FE 35mm f/2.8 (similar to Zeiss pancake for FE, Samyang is cheap, amazing and flawless lens). Any particular reason why those two are not included in this list? They are great and more affordable options among the listed extreme expensive lenses…

  26. Just a thought. There is a lot of Minolta and Sony A-mount glass that actually communicate electronically via the LA-EA3 and LA-EA4 adapter (As this was your stated criteria).
    I know the adapters has somewhat questionable performance in some circumstances, but some combinations are usable. For example, the Minolta 20/2.8 is almost on par with the Loxia 21 at f8 (I’ve compared them on the A7RIII) and a viable landscape option at almost a tenth of the price.
    The 70-400G is also working well on the A7 bodies with the EA3 adapter.
    On the other hand the 135/1.8 is performing so-so with the the EA4 adapter if you want to use AF-C. Hard to get a single frame in absolute focus. Better in AF-S and still a stellar lens in MF.

    1. As do allmost all Canon EF and many Nikon lenses. For this already very expansive list we had to define a cutoff point and we decided on the criterium, that it must have an E-mount, communicate with the camera and cover FF. We have other guides where other lenses are considered but I don‘t think that it would make sense to include even more lenses in this list.

  27. Hey Bastian,

    i would like to hear your opinion to the Laowa 15 2.0 compared to the zeiss 16-35 f4. Is it on the same (or better) level in the optical quality?

    1. This depends on what you want to shoot, the lenses neither share a focal length nor the maximum aperture.
      If you need the f/2 the 15mm will be the obvious choice, if you want the convenience of a zoom lens I wouldn’t bother with the 15mm.
      Theses lenses are so different, the differences in “optical quality” are meaningless for the decision.

      1. Hey Bastian, thanks for your reply. You are right, it is difficult to compare because of the 1mm less and the 2.0. But if i use the Laowa at f8 and the 16-35 on 16mm and f8 too… which one would you prefer ?

  28. Really appreciate such honest reviews. You and your team are a great help to fellow photographers ard the globe.
    With the A7 cameras, I was wondering if there is there a reason non have tried or considered testing the 28-85 Zeiss zoom on the Sony?From the film days, it was said that this zoom is like having a series of primes all in one zoom.

    1. Happy to help 🙂

      I think you refer to the Zeiss C/Y 28-85? To be honest that thing is rather big and Zeiss’ MTF data suggests that it isn’t as good as a prime so none in the team found it interesting. Both Jannik and David own and like the 3.4/35-70 which is reasonable in size and very good in performance.

      1. Apologies for not being clear. Yup, I was referring to the the C/Y 28-85. I tot it was due to some techincal problems that made you guys omit this lens. Thanks, I will take a look at the C/Y 35-70.
        Again, kudos to you and your team. You guys are great!!! 😉

  29. Appreciate your honest reviews. I would like to see some Sigma art lens comparison as well. Especially the Sigma 35mm art, because that lens with mc11 is lighter and cheaper than Za 35 1.4. and, I heard that it focus as fast as native lens on A7Riii with mc11.

  30. I’m looking for a new UWA lens, and am comparing the Sony 16-35mm F4 with the 16-35mm F/2.8. So I ended up on your splendid site! Thanks for all the effort you put in it.
    Now my question: the f/2.8 version is more expensive than the f/4, and it is heavier and bigger (so not a real travel lens).
    Now I wondered, what are the negative consequences of having a f/4 instead of a f/2.8? I could come up with the following: 1) it is, obviously, one stop slower, so for the same exposure a lower shutter time or a higher ISO value is required; 2) an f/4 cannot produce a depth of field that is as shallow as an f/2.8; 3) auto-focus is probably slower in dark situations; 4) the f/2.8 bokeh cannot be achieved.
    What would be other consequences (that I overlook)?
    Thanks for the answer!

    1. The same question also applies for the 24-70 F/2.8 GM versus the 24-105 G OSS. Here I can get a larger range, but at the cost of a stop (but improved IBIS). But what more is (negatively) influenced by choosing for a F/4 instead of an F/2.8?

      1. Did you pay attention to the pro/con lists that we provided for every lens?
        By comparing those you will get a pretty good impression of the differences.

  31. Really glad I came across your website. Great articles and perspective. I no longer need to wait for Dxomark lens reviews which are just not up to par with yours.

  32. What happened to the FE 24-240mm? It’s not on your list. I find that it’s the best full-service travel zoom. It might not equal a G or ART Lens, but no one has produced a competitive lens that lets me shoot a wide shot and then zoom in for a close-up. If Tamron would come out with an FE version of their Canon full-frame 28-300mm, I might consider it. I simply can’t take the time to switch lenses while I’m on the road, so a long zoom is a definite requirement for me.

    1. I can see the temptation; but the peripheral resolution is better on most rx10 series cameras, and the bokeh not hugely different. Of course there are advantages to using a full frame body with a superzoom, especially on a tripod at base ISO, but then that is not the usual use case for superzooms. On balance I think if most of us here were looking to make compromises for an all in one wide range kit that’s what we would do. But as with any set of trade-offs we will all balance them differently…

  33. Hi,

    in the last 4 months I spent quite some time on choosing a 50mm 1.4 for my A7rii as a companion for my Loxia50.

    I hear a lot that the Sony Zeiss 50 is the new king of the hill in terms of 50mm focal lengths. So I testet it in a Shop against the Otus out of curiosity! I can say it is equally as sharp BUT in terms of look and clarity the Otus played a whole different game!

    So much actually that despite the much cheaper price, the great build quality, the great AF AND MF performance, the weather sealing I still purchased the Otus (used).

    Somehow images from the Otus are looking different! I’m not sure other people are seeing this but at least if you guys write the Planar50 is sharper, than you should at least test it for yourself! You never know what is special about the Otus until you own one:-)


  34. Hi Philip I have around $1000 budget for lens.
    I will soon receive Sony A7III body.
    I read your guide like everyday but still getting confused which lens to buy.
    I want all purpose lens. I am not a professional just love to capture landscapes, streets, some friends family pictures.
    Can you please suggest some good lens I should go for?


        1. Hey Phillip.
          That lens seems not available. Are there any other lens that can be on my list?
          Thanks again.

  35. I need your help. Long story super condensed. I’m an amateur that enjoys sharp photos. I come from a Nikon D7000 with 50 1.8, 35 1.8, Tokina 11-15, and my latest and biggest investment Sigma Art 20 1.4

    My needs: Tired of lugging around anything bulky and heavy. I love to shoot at wide angles and after the sigma I am drawn into super sharp looking photos.

    I’m leaning on buying the Sony A7iii. I seek recommendations on a wide angle sharp lens. Budget is around $1000-1300 at the most. I’m intrigued by the $400 Sony 28mm, $1300 Batise 25mm, and anything else you recommend? Thanks!

  36. Hi Phillip,
    Firstly thanks for your reviews, I find them very useful.
    I’m curious as to why you say the 70-200 gm is unreliable. I’m on my second one and both have let me down with focus issues, I’m not a tech but it appears something inside has misaligned. Neither lens has been dropped, although I fly a couple of times a month, all my gear is well packed in pelican cases.
    Have you heard of other people having problems or am i just unlucky,
    Cheers Stu
    Stuart Bryce

      1. Hi Phillip,
        Thanks for replying, it’s sort of what I expected. A shame really, because when they work the lenses are great, an unreliable lens is worse than useless is actually detrimental.
        Sony, take note, any system is only as good as its weakest link.
        Cheers Stu
        Ps if you know of anyone who has had luck repairing these lenses I’d love to know, I’m having trouble here in Australia

        1. HI Stuart. I’m the Australian on the team…
          Complicated AF lenses can’t be serviced by any of the excellent places that can do manual glass here, and basically have to be done by Sony. But Sony Australia has a bad habit of sending it back claiming it’s “in spec”. There is Sony pro service here now: I’m almost tempted to buy a second body just to be eligible to join. I guess but do not know that the pro service stuff is flow back to Japan.
          None of this helps you I’m afraid. The 2.8/70-200 has a bad service record, according to Roger C. Luckily not all Sony lenses do, and the recent ones are getting much better.
          If it’s not too old, I’d be tempted to cite the Trade Practices Act and demand an refund.Then get a new one in the hope it’ll be fine. That usually works if you sound like you might lawyer up.

          1. Hi David,

            I have the Australian Sony Pro Support since a year ago and used it to have my cameras cleaned. The repair is done by Digicam in SA who is the workshop appointed by Sony. They did a fantastic and quick job.

          2. Thats interesting and good news!
            Do you need to have two Sony bodies to qualify? I have an embarrassing riches of lenses, but usually only have one body…

          3. I believe there is no requisites or at least I didn’t see that anywhere. When I joined, besides the A7II, I had an A6000 that I bought under $500. Obviously you have to include what Sony gear you have, website, social media and they come back to you in a couple of days.

  37. Hi David, J.a,
    Thanks again for taking the time to reply.
    My experience with sony and digicam is a little different, it took 3 1/2 months and several attempts at repair for sony to replace my lens.
    The replacement lens developed the same problem so it’s gone to an outside repairer, although as David said and I also argued with sony, it probably needs to go back to the factory. I personally think the lens has a design fault, 70-200 gm. I’ve accepted that I’ve blown my money and the cost of repairs now pushing $5000 Australian.
    Sony got some things spot on, eye af just changed the way I work, shooting at 1.4 and knowing it’s in focus is a game changeR.
    As a comparison if a piece of nikon gear goes down its fixed In acouple of days with loaner.
    Nikon recently replaced a shutter in my d5 even though it was 2 months out of warranty, also nps is free.
    For the record I own a couple of a9s, a7r2 and a handful of sony lenses.
    On the plus side, absolutely love the 85 gm,
    Sorry guys, had my rant, hopefully someone at sony reads this
    Cheers Stu
    Stuart Bryce
    +61 417 010 506

    1. Hi Stuart,

      I met a friend today that told me that his experience was not that positive, he got a camera strap lost and a few scratches on the screen. Hopefully this and your experience won’t happen to anyone else.

  38. Great review, thank you! It will settle in my Favorites folder forever.
    How about the new 40 mm Batis CF?

      1. The Batis 40mm is a huge disappointment. I had preordered it and returned it after about 2 weeks. I would recommend staying away from that lens until Zeiss addresses some pretty serious issues.

        I can confirm the issues with Eye-AF. The lens consistently front-focus when using Eye-AF in AF-C. The camera (A7iii) shows the eye as correctly detected (green bounding box) but the tip of the nose of the subject is in focus, with the eyes out-focus (at f/2). 100% reproducible for me with mostly static subject. My other fast primes (FE 24mm GM and FE 85mm) always nail the focus on the eye in Eye-AF.

        Finally, the lens does not shot at f/2 when focusing closer than a couple of meters or so. The lens automatically stops down. The closer the focusing the more stopping down. It seems to be by 1/3 of a stop at 1m, f/2.8 at 0.4m and f/4 at the minimum focusing distance. This is a mostly hidden behavior since the camera UI always displays and stores in the exif the selected aperture (f/2) not the aperture actually used to take the shot. Zeiss only acknowledged that behavior (but not the specifics) recently (weeks after launch) and announced a firmware update that will increase the focusing range at which the f/2 aperture is available.

        Optically, the lens appears quite good. In focus shots at f/2 can be beautiful. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees that your shot will be in focus or shot at f/2.

  39. Dear Sir,

    Trust his note finds you well!

    To begin, thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience with us readers. Much appreciated!

    I am wondering if you can possibly give us a review or usable inputs on a subject I feel will be consuming a lot of Canon/Sony users –
    Which combination gives a better image quality: A Canon EF 100-400mm f5.6 ver II on a Sony A7 Mk II with adapter against a Sony FE 100-400mm f5.6 on the same A7II body. (In terms of image quality, AF speed & accuracy and IS efficacy.)

    I am not sure how and where I will be able to read your reply. Appreciate it if you can let me know this. Send me a link or a direct reply please, as I am not very computer or internet savvy hence this request.

    Thanks so much! And do excuse me if I intrude in any way.


  40. Excellent recommendation. One time I went with a Tokina firin 20mm but decided to try the 24mm focal length and took a canon nfd 24mm f2. 8. I am very happy with the result and decided to take Loxia 25mm/2.4. I wonder what we have in the secondary market is not actually sold Loxia 25/2.4 but Batis 25/2 on the contrary keeps appearing in the ads. I am impressed with the series Location although it is not so popular.

  41. WE hear and read a lot about consistency, reliability, decentering, poor manufacturing, good and bad lenses ,… which gets me worried as I don’t have the opportunity to test and send back lenses, take the aggravation of challenging the supplier…
    Granted, new recent lenses are much better than vintage lenses. This surely applies to the “good” lenses if you are lucky. But does it also applies to the bad numbers decentered, unreliable, … because let’s face it: paying 3 times the price to get something which is not good either from the start or after a few month does not seem like a good deal.
    How bad is the problem? Can you quantify? Are some bad modern lenses worse than vintage ones?.. or are we talking about bad modern being marginally worse than good modern?

    1. There is a very big difference between modern lenses and I have had more issues with them in general than with legacy lenses. For some Samyang lenses we have had more decentered than ok lenses.

  42. Length and diameter of the voigtländer 21 3.5 are wrong. Just deleat this comment after correting this issue^^ thx for these great Reviews 🙂

  43. Extremely comprehensive and very thorough lense guide that you offer here.
    Just a little note which is not meant to be overly critical –
    As much as I would love to have the Loxia 21mm, and as good as it is indeed, you should add to the cons the rather steep price, as you did with the Loxia 25mm to be fair.
    It is even at least 200 € pricier and also in relation to other lenses you mentioned here ( see the GM 16-35mm 2.8, where you marked the high price as the only disadvantage, which is absolutely true, but regarding the fact that it is so much more versatile covering this big range of focal length, it is rather worth the price for many I guess…)

  44. Thank you for this comprehensive list. I’ve read so many of your reviews. You all have really helped me leap into the Sony system in a way that works for me. Though you haven’t reviewed it yet, I did pick up the 24-105 f4 G OSS. When I’m doing travel photography, this is perhaps my most versatile lens and can stay on my camera for days. Distortion/vignetting can be a bit much at the wide end, but for the price and more importantly (for me) the weight, it’s a compromise well worth making. The next time you’re in Morocco, let me buy you a coffee or something. Cheers!

  45. Thank you for the excellent overview. I am currently searching for a lens set up for landscape as well as documentary photography. I am somewhat torn back and forth between the Sony 24-105 F4 G OSS and combining the Sony 16-35 F4 and a fast aperture prime lens (50 or 85 mm focal length). With regard to the one lens solution, are the 24mm at the wide end too limiting for landscape photography and the aperture of 4 sufficient to achieve a nice bokeh? Or could it even make sense to wait for the newly announced Tamron 17-28 F2.8 and combined it with the Tamron 28-75 (which combination should in total only have a slightly higher price tag)? Thanks in advance, regards Mathias.

    1. Mathias, we cannot tell you which lenses would work better for you and what focal lengths you need for your type of shooting (which we know nothing about).

      Combining different types of shooting in one lens never really worked for me, the demands are too different.
      In most cases I would prefer f/4.0 with stabilizer instead of f/2.8 without, but your mileage may vary here.

  46. Thanks for your prompt reply. Of course there is no one size fits all solution. But as your review said, the 24-105 F4 is the best balanced standard zoom lens. So I was just curious if you find it also suitable for landscape and portrait photography, especially if you have budget constraints (and prefer zoom over prime lenses), or if you would recommend a combination of other lenses (in the same price range in total). Thank you anyway for your valuable hint regarding image stabilization.

    1. It should work well for landscape.
      For portrait f/4 @ 105mm and f/2.8 @ 70mm does not make a big difference.
      Using an 85m 1.8 instead of either does make a big difference.

  47. I have been a Zeiss user for decades coming from the Contax system and then adapted to the Canon 5D – all manual. Of recent I purchased a Sony A7iii and came across a pair of Contax N series – 24-85 and 70-300 and have been giving them the workout.

    I am stunned at the quality of the pictures – gorgeous colors, decent to beauitiful boketh on the tele and a bit busy on occaision with the “normal” lens, but manageable. The sharpness is unbelievable! Crystal clear hair, fine lines in plant leaves, the colors are rich, creamy, pure, outstanding. I compared these to my Canon 70-200 f4L and to be honest, the Zeiss is simply the better performer. It creates art. The pictures are simply the best I have seen in decades. Zeiss does something magical about the picture. I am not a pixel peeper, but if i were, i doubt any other lens could do better. No matter, it is the impact on the viewer that leaves them saying ‘oh, wow’. And i get that a lot. Even over the C/Y Zeiss lenses now. Don’t know what it is, but the impact is undeniable.

    The lenses are huge, monsters in comparison for only f4.5 – f5.6 and heavy. The electronics work reasonably well although I cannot get the peaking to work on them – the other C/Y no problem. Why? have no idea.

    The metabones v does a commendable job, autofocus is pretty good, but then again, I am a manual focus nut and when focus magnifier is on, the sharpness really, really jumps out in clarity that not even the Canon can match..

    Well worth the money big time. And strong arms and hands!


  48. Great work as always guys, but this time You have forgotten to mention one lens. The new Sigma 70mm f 2,8 macro. If You like 70 mm it is a fantastic lens optically, almost without any flaws and to a very decent price. As sharp as my Batis 135mm and works well for all kinds of motifs. Suits the A7r3 perfect.

  49. Good morning, I have a camera sony alpha 7 first version, unfortunately, as you have already mentioned many times, it has a mount that is made of metal and plastic, so I have a question: what maximum weight and length can be attached to this camera so as not to damage the mount camera: maximum 300 grams, 600 grams, 900 grams – 10 centimeters long, 15 cimeters, 20 centimeters. Currently, I have a Sony fe lens 28-70 mm f / 3.5-5.6 oss (it weighs approximately 300 grams length of 8 centimeters) and I would like to buy a better lens, the best macro, macro lenses that interest me weigh from 602-625 grams (Sony fe 90 mm f / 2.8 and Voigtlanger 6 5mm f / 2.0) – the question is whether these lenses will not be too heavy for sony alpha 7 I. There is still Sony fe 50 mm f / 2.8 (236 grams and 7 centimeters in length) but to take a 1: 1 macro picture you have to be very close to -3.5 centimeters from the objects, usually I take pictures from the hand, without a tripod, I have a tripod but mostly I do not find in my closet

  50. Hi to the team,

    Thanky you for the update.
    I have read the update and see that you mention Sigma 35f1.4 is weight 775g but infact the weight for this len is 660g, also filter thread is 67mm not 77mm.

    Thank you

      1. My​ source is​ my​ own len, Sigma​ 35f1.4​ for​ e​ mount.​ I​ can​’t show​ picture​s​ to​ you​ because​ this Web​ can’​t add picture​s​ in​ comment but​ I think my​ info is​ correct.​ The​ box show​ that filter size​ is​ 67mm and​ the​ weight is​ 665g. And​ I​ also feel that​ my​ lens not​ heavy than 700g for​ sure.

          1. May I know your mail? so I can send the pics to you.
            I browse the Sigma website and see that it show 755g also but when you click inside to e mount version, it’s will show the number that I told you.

          2. As far as I understand you have a box which says 655g which I don‘t consider any more reliable than Sigma‘s website. If you tell me that you put it on a scale and it measures 655g I am happy to change it. It is not that I doubt that you have the box, just think it is weak evidence. Or we wait till next week when Bastian gets his and puts it on a scale.

          3. My Sigma Art 35mm 1.4 E-mount arrived today so I put it on a scale:

            Maybe next time you are so persistent about being right, make sure you actually are.

          4. I’m so sorry about the weight but I’m right about the filter size. I’m not lie to you because from the instruction paper on the box it’s also show that the weight is 665g. I don’t know why too. and all the website that sell this Sigma 35f1.4 e mount in Thailand is also show this info to everyone. I mean the popular one here.
            Example website

            Sorry again

          5. The issue is that the E-mount lenses need to be significantly longer to accomodate for E-mount’s much shorter focal distance and are hence all 90-100g heavier than the EF/F-mount versions.

            I am grateful for any tip. Guides like this are a pain in the ass to write and with so much data of course mistakes happen and I am very happy for any tips about possible mistakes. But please don‘t say you measured it if you didn‘t ;).

  51. This is a great contribution to the SONY community. THANK you for myself and everybody who doesn’t acknowledge your great efforts. I also wanted to point out if you were not yet aware that SONY just announced a new 35mm F1.8 lens that will be “about” the same size as the SONY/Zeiss 55mm plus or minus, but is supposed to be a very good lens also, no OSS, like the 55mm, and cost about $7XX.xx. Plenty more info on you tube if you want, and perhaps there is the SONY news release (?). regards,Dan

  52. Could you please add the link to review of Sigma Art 1.4/35? (And probably other recent reviews.)

  53. First off, thank you for your work!

    Regarding the Sigma 105/1.4…
    I myself was hugely disappointed by the auto-focus performance. Only about 10-20% worked with eye-focus to begin with, and about half of the remaining ones were even completely out of focus! We are talking about nice daylight, Sony A7R3. Totally unacceptable for this price and the other shortcomes (size, WEIGHT) one has to cope with already, if you ask me, and it is well within the range of complaints you mentioned yourself.

    Maybe it would be worth putting the unreliable auto-focus into the cons box. It is an important issue, specifically with such a lens.

    1. Because it has no electronic contacts. It might deserve a spot in the bonus section but then I hesitate to recommend a long MF lens to the mostly beginner level readership of this article.

  54. Excellent review!!

    I was looking for an Article like this for a long time.

    Great contribution! Keep this hard work.

  55. Sigma Art 1.4/20
    I love this lens :
    Ideal for landscape, panoramic assemblage or close portrait.
    Sharpness and bokeh excellent.
    Very good to excellent from F2.8 to F11
    Excellent color rendition

  56. You guys are doing a great job reviewing lens that helps me alot in making decision. Im currently looking at sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 hoping you guys have a try on it. Deciding between this and variety of ultra wide zooms.

  57. Hi,
    I think you should consider removing or rewriting this part about the Samyang AF 14mm:

    “Recommendation: We find it hard to recommend because f/2.8 is of limited use and Samyang has a reputation for unreliable lenses.”

    That statement without any proof sounds very unprofessional, like you may be just spreading baseless rumors around. Or that you have some bias against Samyang.

    And about the f2.8 aperture, well actually it’s pretty good for a 14mm and not limiting at all, IMO.
    And it’s also funny that you don’t mention that when writing about the Loxia 21 – the team’s favourite WA 😉

    I don’t even own any Samyang at the moment, I had the 35mm f/2.8 and sold it because the AF wasn’t good enough for me.

    1. It seems you did not get the message and rather read what you wanted to read.
      Problem here is, that the performance at f/2.8 is not exactly great, not that an UWA with a maximum aperture of f/2.8 is bad.
      There are numerous reviews online to back this (e.g. the lenstip review).
      And as you have experienced yourself: there is always something wrong with those Samyang lenses.
      For most they are just a compromise or a step stone until they can afford something better.
      Maybe this is not the case for the new 85mm 1.4 anymore (or the lenses from the XP series), where it seems many people are happy with.

  58. Hi,

    Is the sharpness of the Sony 28mm f2 similar with the Sigma Art 35mm f1.4 or is there a very big difference ?

    Thank you

      1. Thank you for your reply

        I looked at your article about astrophotography and i hesitate between those two lenses. I mainly want to shoot portrait and stars with one of these two lenses.
        I wonder if the photo quality is significantly better in the Sigma f1.4 for these two uses. I think there’s no big difference for portraits but astrophotography is really specific. What do you think about that?

        (I have a Sony A7 III)

  59. Hi,
    what happens to the review of the Sony Fe 28mm f2? The link goes blank.
    Many Greetings

  60. Great and very useful review, thanks !
    Can we expect to read some specialized lenses addition, like the Laowa 25mm f/2.8 2,5-5x Ultra-Macro, which exists in FE mount ?

  61. Jared Polin on YouTube said the Sony FE 2.8/70-200 GM OSS AF was unreliable with back focus issues.

      1. Sony 70-200mm F2.8 back focus,
        YouTube Jared Polin
        Tamron 70-180 2.8 vs Sony 70-200 2.8 | Don’t waste your money on …
        At 2:56 to 3:20 and 13:40 to 14:03

          1. Yes he uses sensational headlines but that review seems credible. Causes enough doubt not to buy the lens.

          2. Well we come to a slightly different assessment here, it could also be that he used an issue with his personal copy for his clickbait headline and other copies don’t have the issue. If you find other sources reporting the same issue then I am happy to include the issue in this guide.

  62. This must be your most read article, and rightly so, if that is true. A great compilation indeed, with objective point of views.

    Some of it maybe dated? I saw Samyang 35:1.4 entry. You have reviewed it since then. You want to rewrite it or some other entries?

    1. We have already updated it several times but it is always a big undertaking since quite a few lenses were released since the last update so we don‘t often find the time.

  63. I wish I had put more trust in your review of the 4/70-200mm, over what I had read elsewhere! I bought one last year, and while it is a decent lens, it never really delivered the sharpness I wanted. The MFD is about a metre, too which is somewhat limiting. “Jack of all trades, excels at none” is the perfect description.

    I have sold it and bought a Sony 100-400mm, which is very, very sharp, and pretty good even at 400mm. It’s very good for shooting stuff that borders on macro, espcially with an extension tube (butterflies, that sort of thing). It weighs nearly twice as much, but feels well built.

  64. I have a suggestion 🙂
    You describe the lens sharpness/resolution as “good” “very good” “Superb” “excellent” and so on…
    If you can standardise these adjective where they can be cross compared? (To a certain extent)?
    Like Batis 135 has superb resolution but Sony 135 has excellent sharpness…so I don’t know which one is sharper 🙂
    Just a humble suggestion..

  65. Nice job, you should probably include the updated sigma art f1.4 which I believe is now smaller than the GM and performs as well as their older laviathan version

  66. The websites opinion on the Tamron 2.8-5.6/28-200 are completely off. My tamron is sharper than my 75-150 Minolta MD 4.0. Its probably one of the best lenses I’ve bought and consistently is sharp enough for landscape photography. Get off your prestigious soap box of it being a super zoom.

    Their should also be mention that the Voigtlander 21mm is rather poor wide open for astro.

      1. Considering there’s only a paragraph on the Tamron 28-200, there’s not much to read!

        I love this website and own 2 Voigtlanders, thanks to it. However there’s certainly some bias on some of the lens reviews
        or whether they get reviewed. The Tamron is probably the best travel zoom and one of the best lenses for serious backpacking where weight and focal range are ways competing.

        1. Adam, do you understand that this is not a professional review site, but a enthusiast/hobbyist blog? The team tests the lenses they find the most interesting and want to use for themselves.
          I think it’s clear that all the Tamrons but the 70-180 disqualify if bokeh rendering is a major criteria. Listing concrete weaknesses for the 28-200 could take a while, because you would have to specify them for a all the different focal lenghts, at least for 28/35/50/85/105/135/200mm. Maybe optical performance is weaker at some of them? But if you prefer convenience over anything else you will know.

          Still i think it would be quite interesting to see how the Sony 24-105 performs compared to the Tamron 28-200 since the Tamron is more versatile cheaper and lighter.

      2. I’m not sure what was the benchmark when testing 28-200. If it was tested against a bunch of high-quality primes, then of course it’s highly compromised. If it’s tested agaist Sony 24-240 then it’s miles better. But what I’ve noticed is the fact that methodology is not the same for 28-200 and 28-75. Let’s take a look at Pro’s of 28-75 and see how those apply to 28-200

        Sharpness – they are very similar sharpness wise, and it seems that 28-200 has a slight edge in corners 28mm wide open
        Wide Range of Applications – being 28-200, it has an even wider range of applications
        Size – they are the same size
        Price – 28-200 is slightly cheaper
        Macro Feature – they have the same maximum magnification on the wide end, and 28-200 has superior magnification on the long end.

        Cons are also very similar, but in addition, 28-200 has even worse bokeh and one-stop slower aperture at longer focal lengths.

        And in the end, 28-75 is highly recommended (and rightly so) while 28-200 is marked as a lens with too many compromises. What are those significant compromises? Is worse bokeh and F/2.8-4 (on 28-75 range) enough to make it that much worse than 28-75 despite all the pros?

        1. Again I am not sure you actually read what was written here.
          1) I wrote that it offers better optical quality than the Sony 24-240mm, and everything else would be a great surprise, one is a 10x zoom starting at 24mm the other one a much easier to design 7.1x zoom starting at 28mm.
          2) Of course it is also compared to primes. Some zooms do not have to fear that comparison while some clearly do.
          3) And this is the most important one – I wrote “none of us is personally using a superzoom” Why? Because for what we use full frame cameras for we already see the idea of a superzoom as too much of a compromise, because what this lens can do you do not need a full frame camera for, you can just as well use an A6000 series camera with an 18-135mm lens or even an RX10 series camera.
          4) maximum magnification: the 70-180mm also has great maximum magnification values on paper, unfortunately the field curvature is so abyssmal that it is hardly usable here.
          5) The 28-75 has a “Budget recommendation” note, that means good price/performance ratio, because it is the cheapest f/2.8 standard zoom that many may find useful for reportage/wedding work.

          As I said before, sharpness of the 28-200mm look sufficient for many tasks, but sharpness is not everything, even though some review sites may tell you otherwise.

          Nevertheless I changed the wording in the article a bit, to make this more clear.

          1. This is my favorite website as far as Sony camera gear goes, and I tend to read every article very carefully, often multiple times 🙂 Maybe I get a bit spoiled with other reviews of yours, hence I think you didn’t give a proper evaluation to 28-200 compared to other lenses.

            You’ve mentioned that it has a better IQ than Sony 24-240 as well as a brighter aperture, but the same can be said for 28-70 kit lens as well as 24-70 F4. And if you compare it to similar lenses for other systems, also compares really favorably. I would be really curious to see a comparison with Sony 24-105 F4, since 28-200 is brighter in 28-54 range, equal in 54-75, and a third stop less bright in 75-115 range. I doubt it would be superior, but simply playing on same level would be a great result, especially for such a light and relatively cheap lens.

            Comparison with APS-C (or bridge) cameras is not valid IMHO. Firstly because there is not APS-C 18-135 F/2.0-4.0 camera that would match both FoV and DoF. And secondly, because those APS-C 18-135 lenses are vastly inferior in image quality. I did a comparison with the Fuji 18-135 lens, which is maybe the best APS-C lens with that focal range, and the difference is significant in any image quality segment.

            Since I really want to have a small and light package, while packing formidable image quality, my kit consists of 28-200 along with 18mm, 45mm, and 75mm Samyangs and Sony 28mm F2. Besides inferior sun stars, I did not notice any significant drawbacks in using 28-200 for landscape scenarios. Granted, those are not the best primes available being rather tiny and cheap, but 28-200 is also tiny and cheap for such focal range/aperture, so I think comparison makes sense.

            Based on my research, there is no system, regardless of sensor size, where you can cover such a zoom range, with solid aperture, solid image quality, and in such a compact, light, and relatively affordable package.

          2. Bastian, I love your photos and the work you do for the website. However, your comment below reeks of pretentiousness and ignorance:

            “…we already see the idea of a superzoom as too much of a compromise, because what this lens can do you do not need a full frame camera for, you can just as well use an A6000 series camera with an 18-135mm lens”

            It’s completely obvious that you guys haven’t used the lens and have a biased opinion because it happens to be a super-zoom by classification. I swear if Tamron had the identical lens and it was simply 28-105 then all of a sudden praise would be made about it! I had an A6000 with the 18-135 lens and it’s nowhere near the image quality I get with either the A7iii or A7RIV with the Tamron 28-200.

            While a superzoom may not fit with your type of photography style, they are indispensable when it comes to landscape photography in harsh conditions where switching lenses can be difficult or ill-advised (blowing sand in deserts or snow in the mountains).

            Toma Paunovic makes salient points about the highly praised 28-75 but somehow the 28-2000 is marked as a lens with too many compromises??

            Take a look at the photos from my album if you want to see what the lens can really do before making blind comments about its compromises.


        2. Below you say you want a light kit with high image quality, and you pack an 18, 28, 45, 75, and the 28-200. That is a lot of overlap!

          If there aren’t any significant compromises, why are you willing to duplicate most of the short end of the Tamron superzoom with primes?

          From the images I’ve seen, the 28-200 is a lot better than I’d expect, and would make a great one-lens kit for backpacking. But in saying that, it is entirely consistent with there being compromises I wouldn’t want to make in normal shooting situations.

          1. I almost never use all of them 🙂 It’s either 18 + 28-200 (when I’m shooting just landscape) or 28-200 + 45 or 75 (for travel, kids etc), or sometimes just primes when I don’t need a telephoto range.

            Compromises with 28-200 compared to my primes are pretty straightforward. I get way less background blur and the quality of background blur is also compromised. I’ve also noticed that it’s harder to get sun stars, and that quality of sun stars is worse than 28mm f/2, but I still need to test this more. But in general, depending on my needs for shallow DoF and wider than 28mm, I need to compliment 28-200 with some primes.

            It would be even better if there was a compact 70-200 for FE mount, but every one of them is significantly bigger/heavier than 28-200. I hope that Sony will release something akin to 28-60, that will cover the telephoto range. But so far, even if you only need 70-200 range, this is the most compact solution.

  67. If You need a small but excellent lens for landscape photography in between Your wide angel zoom and tele zoom I can recommend the not mentioned Sigma 45 mm f2,8. It gives very very good detail on higher resolutions like 42- 60mp up to f14, with is quite unusual these days… and it is actually a joy to use, even with manual focus. I use it often in my professional work as forest and forestry photographer up in the nordic countries. The nordic taiga forest with pine and fur trees and all small needles disclose most lenses…

  68. 99% of new lenses will perform pretty good when stopped down. So are those differences really worth those thousands of euros?
    I believe the most important factors are ease of use, especially for manual lenses, durability, number of aperture blades, minimal focusing distance.

  69. There is no Sigma C 100-400 / 5-6.3 DG DN OS SONY-E lens available yet, but probably because you haven’t tested it yet

  70. Hey guys!

    I have a question regarding the telezooms for the system. If I don‘t need 2.8 would you go for the Sony 70-200 F4 or the new Tamron (70-180)? Regards Mathias

  71. Minha a6000 sofreu um acidente, migrei para a7II, tenho a lente do kit antigo, uma16-50 que quase não uso e uma 55-210 que também rstou do sistema antigo, recentemente adquiri uma Voigtländer 40mm.
    Fotografo na maioria das vezes paisagens, sinto falta de uma grande angular mas também gosto de fundo desfocado e comprimentos focais maiores para a vida silvestre. A moeda brasileira anda muito desvalorizada: R$ 6 para U$ 1. O que você me indicaria, por gentileza?

  72. I have the Samyang 35mm 1.8. Early days with it, and still need to put it through its paces in some respects, but it seems to be what I was hoping for (basically, the same set of compromises as the Sony 1.8, which I’ve hired & like in terms of everything except price). Sharp, good contrast, small, well balanced… For my uses, which are reportage/documentary/Street in the main, it’s in most respects the same lens as the Sony. A welcome alternative if nothing else.

  73. @Team: Thanks for the constant stream of updates.

    @David: Are you planning on writing a full review of the Sigma Art 85/1.4 DG DN? 🙂 Really curious about your detailed impressions.

  74. Christopher Frost had a look at the Samyang 35/1.8.
    It might though have been a pre production sample, judging from his Introducing words.

    (seems I can’t insert the link. Video is from 21.09.2020)

  75. Thank you for all this work! I am new to Sony and after reading your review of the 21mm 3.5 color-skopar voigtlander I grabbed a copy. Love the lens! I am curious about my next purchase. I am thinking between the voigtlander 40mm, 50mm 1.2 or 50mm 2 APO. I mostly shoot landscape while I hike and want something with more zoom. I like the focal length of the 40mm, but the APO seems to provide a very clean image. I would love your opinion(s). Thank you all again for all your work.

  76. Thanks for updating the list. Appreciate the hard work.
    I agree with your general assessment of Samyang lenses but 2 of them shine. 85/1.4 AF and 35/1.4 AF. I do not own 35/1.4 but i shot with it and its great.
    Maybe the Sigma (meant for DSLR) lenses don’t belong here. They were stop gap.
    Stay safe,

  77. Thanks for updating the list. You should consider modify comment abbout Sigma C 45. It was obvious that once the L bayonet was created and the 45 sigma appeared, Sigma would release more in that line. The only question was when would we see them. And now we have 4 and more to come.

  78. You guys are over infatuated with well centered lenses. I’ve never tested any lens for decentering and never ever had any problems! I’ve purchased old new, used off ebay, never had any problems..

    1. I thought the issue was overblown, too, but just recently I got rid of a Samyang 35mm 1,8 that had a really soft right side (even when stopped down and not just the extreme corners either). It was noticeable even at normal viewing (not just 100% peeping) and made the lens unusuable for anything other than wide open close ups.

      Personally I don’t “test” lenses for it and when I notice problems only in 100% crops I don’t care either, but the issue really exists.

  79. Hi there.
    I am new to sony alpha 7III. I have the 28-200 Tamron as my first ( and only lens thus far). I am looking for something sharper, faster and smaller for portraits and landscape.
    Trying to choose between Sony 85mm/1.8 versus Zeiss 55mm 1.8 versus 35mm/1.8 Sony or just get another zoom like 24-105/F4 or Sigma 24-70/2.8 ?
    Also looking at it as I am building my lens kit slowly.
    Any suggestions ?

    1. Hi Rufus,
      you have a very versatile zoom already so I wouldn’t go for another zoom.

      As a first prime I would lean towards the ZA 1.8/55: it has the nicest bokeh of the bunch and also best balance of size and performance in my eyes. While it isn’t a specialist landscape or portrait lens you can do both and a lot more with it. Make sure to not overpay on it though, used it can be had for around $600.

      1. Thank you very much Phillip. You and your team do an amazing job!
        One last Q. Any thoughts on ZA 55/1.8 over Sigma 35mm/1.4 ?

  80. Very disappointed in the dismissal of the 28-200mm, which is a great travel and all-around zoom for hobbyists.

    If you recommend the 24-105mm, then there is zero reason not to recommend the 28-200mm, which is of comparable sharpness and brighter through 56mm.

  81. To the authors
    Thank you very much for this excellent and very comprehensive article. I recently purchased an A7R IV, coming from the Canon EF ecosystem lens mount-wise (mostly; got some EF-M lenses also). This article is extremely helpful.
    Mike H

  82. I greatly appreciate this comprehensive view of E-mount lenses, thank you!
    Can you please bring us all up to speed on the new Sony G-lenses (24mm, 40mm, 50mm).

  83. Hello. Thank you for a great site. It is informative and fun to browse.
    Regarding 85 mm lenses – would you recommend the Sigma Art 1.4/85 DG DN or the Sony 85mm GM?
    I have the 24mm GM and love it. Never have my bad photos looked so good! Seriously though it is fun to use and I like the way it balances and handles. I bought it based mostly on your review so I would be very interested in your opinion on the Sigma Art 1.4/85 DG DN vs the Sony 85mm GM.
    Many thanks.

    1. We will have a review of the 1.4/85 DG DN soon.
      Both are great lenses, the GM seems to still have a little nicer bokeh, the Sigma is a bit sharper and smaller (and cheaper).

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