PHOTOGRAPHY GEAR GUIDE: LENSES
Sony A-Mount Lenses
Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 ZA
If I had to shoot with just one lens – this would be it! Read why 24-70mm is the perfect focal range for portraits. Zeiss glass makes this the sharpest zoom I’ve ever used and unlike Zeiss lenses for other DSLRs – Sony Zeiss lenses are Auto Focus.
Sony 24mm f/2 ZA
Great wide angle lens for low-light shooting or simply to blow out the background. Zeiss glass makes this lens razor sharp and beautiful wide open – so don’t be afraid to open up to F2.
Sony 50mm f/1.4 ZA
This lens joins the Zeiss 55/1.4 Otus and FE 55/1.8 in a trifecta of great normal lenses and nicely fills out Sony’s Zeiss prime line-up.
Sony 85mm f/1.4 ZA
I’ve always loved to shoot portraits with fast 85mm lenses wide open for minimal depth-of-field and the Zeiss glass makes this the sharpest 85 I’ve ever seen. I use this lens when I want a tight portrait to be just a bit “flatter” in perspective than a shot at 70mm.
Sony 135mm f/1.8 ZA
Quite simply an incredible lens. Though I tend to shoot portraits a bit closer, this is a great lens for tight portraits if you want to flatten out the perspective a bit. Every time I shoot with it, I’m reminded that I need to use it more often. Read more about the 135/1.8 ZA here.
Sony 100mm f/2.8 Macro
Based on the classic Minolta design, this remains one of Sony’s sharpest lenses. A favorite lens for tight portraits and beauty photography.
Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 ZA
The Zeiss glass makes this one of the best lenses in this focal range. I rarely go wider than 24mm, but here’s the lens I turn to when I do. The numbers go to 16…
Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 APO G II
Classic telephoto zoom focal length – picks up right where the CZ 24-70/2.8 leaves off. Like all G and CZ lenses this lens is all hand-assembled.
Sony 70-400mm f/4-5.6 G II
Great travel lens. Virtually identical in size to the 70-200mm f/2.8 APO. Perfect when the reach of 400mm is more important than speed. AF performance is greatly improved in version II.
Sony 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G
A bit less reach than the 70-400mm, but much smaller and lighter – making this a great travel telephoto zoom when size and weight is a concern.
Sony E-Mount Lenses – Full Frame
Sony FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS
The FE 16-35mm f/4 is my new favorite wide-angle FE zoom lens. Designed by the same engineers behind the Sony A7/A7R, this lens is great in combination with the FE 55mm f/1.8 and FE 70-200mm f/4.
Sony FE 55mm/1.8 ZA
This is one of the sharpest lenses I’ve ever owned – virtually on par with the performance of the legendary $4,000 Zeiss 55mm/1.4 Otus lens. Great shallow depth of field look wide open for portraits.
Sony E 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS
This Zeiss zoom is the perfect focal range for portraits and travel. Smaller and lighter than it’s F2.8 A-mount brother, it’s nicely balanced for A7 mirrorless bodies
Sony FE 70-200mm f/4 G OSS
Versatile tele-zoom that takes over right where the FE 24-70mm leaves off. Nicely balanced in size and weight for Sony A7/A7R/A7S cameras – it won’t weigh you down.
Sony E-Mount Lenses – APS
Sony E 24mm f/1.8
This Sony Zeiss lens fits nicely in the gap between the Zeiss Touit 12 and 32mm lenses. Great lens for street photography on the A5000 or A6000.
Other Favorite Glass
Voigtlander 21mm f/1.8 Ultron
This is probably the best performing extreme wide-angle rangefinder lens for A7/A7R/A7S. It’s sharp, fast and less corner darkening issues than other extreme wide-angle lens designs.
Voigtlander 50mm f/1.1 Nokton
My vintage rangefinder glass has gotten new life thanks for all the adapters available for Sony E-mount. Though not as sharp as the FE 55mm f/1.8, this a great “speed lens” when you’re looking for more of a vintage feel than you get from modern glass.
Leica 60mm f/2.8 Macro-Elmarit-R lens
Need a great macro for Sony A7, A7R or A7S? Here’s an incredible one and since it’s in legacy Leia R mount, you can find for a great price!
Get it at eBay
Leica Summilux-M 75mm f/1.4 lens
Possibly one of the sharpest portrait lenses ever made in my favorite focal length for portraits. It’s also one of the best Leica lenses ever made – which is not faint praise.
Get it at eBay