Sony APS-C lenses are specifically designed for their compact, mirrorless APS-C sensor E-mount cameras bodies, i.e. the Sony a6700, a6600, a6400, a6100, a6000 and a5100 providing you with versatile focal lengths and outstanding image quality.
In this guide, I’ll focus on selecting the best Sony APS-C Lenses for E-mount cameras with a variety of options ranging from wide-angle to telephoto.
These affordable sharper APS-C prime and zoom lenses will offer you a solution for your photographic needs, whether you are an amateur or a professional.
What Is Sony APS-C Lenses?
Advanced photo system type-C or (APS-C lens) is a type of image sensor used in digital photography a popular variant of Sony E-mount lens especially designed for mirrorless cameras.
When choosing lenses for your Sony mirrorless camera, it’s essential to understand the difference between Sony’s APS-C and full-frame lenses.
APS-C lenses are designed specifically for cameras with an APS-C sensor, while full-frame lenses are made for cameras with a full-frame sensor.
Sony APS-C lenses are labeled as “E” mount, while full-frame lenses are labeled as “FE” mount.
Sony APS-C Lenses Overview
Sony E-Mount Lens Review
Sony offers a wide range of APS-C E-mount lenses for your camera.
These lenses are designed to deliver excellent results with your APS-C camera or even a full-frame camera for unique cropped photos.
Some popular choices include the Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70 mm F4 ZA OSS APS-C Standard Zoom ZEISS Lens with Optical SteadyShot.
This lens provides versatile zoom capabilities and a smooth operation, making it a great addition to your photography toolkit.
Another notable Sony E-mount lens is the Sony FE 35mm f/1.8.
With an equivalent focal length of 53mm, this lens makes a perfect “nifty fifty” for your APS-C camera.
It is extremely sharp (even wide open) and offers excellent low light performance with the f/1.8 maximum aperture.
The design feels very lightweight and compact for the performance it delivers.
Deeper Look into Sony FE Lens
The Sony FE lens lineup expands the capabilities of Sony E-mount cameras, offering a vast range of options to cater to different photography needs.
One of the most talked-about lenses in this category is the Sony E 16-55 f/2.8 G.
Targeted as a rough equivalent to a 24-70/2.8 full-frame lens, this lens is one of Sony’s newest APS-C optics — and one of their most expensive.
In addition to these lenses, Sony has recently announced three new lenses for the E-Mount APS-C lineup, including the 10-20 mm F4 power zoom G lens, the 15 mm F1.4 G lens, and an 11 mm F1.8 lens.
These lenses showcase Sony’s commitment to expanding their APS-C lens offerings, ensuring that you have access to the tools you need to capture stunning images and videos.
When selecting a Sony lens, it is essential to consider factors such as your photography style, the lens’ focal length, aperture, and build quality.
As you explore the world of Sony lenses, remember that the right lens can have a significant impact on your final results, so take the time to choose the one that best suits your needs.
Can I Use Full-frame Lens on APS-C Sony?
Yes, you can use full-frame lenses on your APS-C Sony camera.
In fact, your camera will automatically adjust the image to fit the APS-C sensor by cropping the extra information captured by the full-frame lens.
However, keep in mind that the effective focal length will be increased by a factor of 1.5x when you use a full-frame lens on an APS-C camera. As a result, a 50mm full-frame lens will behave like a 75mm lens on an APS-C camera.
When using full-frame lenses on an APS-C camera, the image quality might be better because the center portion of the lens, which generally has the best optical quality, is being used.
On the other hand, APS-C lenses are designed specifically for the APS-C sensor size, providing optimized image quality and often being smaller and more affordable than their full-frame counterparts.
To make the most of your Sony E-mount camera, it’s recommended to invest in a mix of both APS-C and full-frame lenses depending on your photographic and videography needs.
Remember that APS-C lenses are not compatible with full-frame cameras, so if you plan to upgrade to a full-frame camera in the future, investing in full-frame lenses might be a better long-term decision.
Keep an eye out for quality Sony APS-C lenses to enhance your photography experience.
Best Sony APS-C Lenses – Top Recommendation
- Sony E 24mm f/1.8 lens
- Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master Lens
- Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Art Lens for Sony E
- Sony E 16-55mm f/2.8 G lens
- Sony 20mm f/2.8 lens
When it comes to capturing stunning images with your Sony APS-C camera, choosing the right lens can make all the difference.
To help you find the perfect lens for your needs, let’s dive into some of the top choices and discuss their best applications.
Best fisheye lens: Sony E 24mm f/1.8
This prime lens is an excellent choice for landscape and street photography, offering a 36mm equivalent focal length.
The large f/1.8 aperture allows for excellent low light performance, beautiful background blur, and sharp images.
Its compact size and weight (225g) make it easy to carry around during your photography adventures.
Best telephoto APS-C lens: Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master
As a versatile zoom lens, the Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master is perfect for those who want flexibility in their focal range.
Suitable for landscapes, portraits, and event photography, the f/2.8 aperture ensures stunning image quality and fast autofocus performance across the entire zoom range.
Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Art Lens for Sony E:
Another great option for those seeking a versatile zoom lens, the Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 offers superb image quality and build at a more affordable price point compared to the Sony G Master.
This lens is ideal for those looking to capture everything from landscapes to portraits without having to switch lenses.
Top Rated APS-C lens: Sony E 16-55mm f/2.8 G
With a 24-82.5mm equivalent focal length, this standard zoom lens is perfect for shooting a variety of subjects, including travel and everyday photography.
The constant f/2.8 aperture allows for versatile performance in variable lighting conditions, while its compact size is perfect for traveling light.
Remember that choosing the right lens for your Sony APS-C camera depends on your preferred shooting style and the subjects you like to capture.
Each of these top lenses has its own strengths and best applications, so consider your photography needs before making a decision.
What Sony Cameras are Compatible With Sony APS-C Lenses?
When it comes to finding the right lenses for your Sony APS-C cameras, you have a wide array of options available to you.
Not only are there numerous Sony E-mount lenses designed specifically for Sony’s mirrorless cameras, but there are also third-party lenses that work just as well.
Here, I’ll discuss the compatibility of lenses with popular Sony APS-C cameras such as the a6000, a6400, and a6600.
The Sony a6000 is a versatile 24.3MP APS-C camera that uses the E-mount system, ensuring compatibility with a wide variety of E-mount lenses.
Some of the best lens choices for this camera include the Sony 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS, Sony 10-18mm f/4 OSS, and the Sony 50mm f/1.8 OSS.
In addition to Sony-branded lenses, your a6000 can also be used with third-party options available from manufacturers such as Sigma, Tamron, and Samyang.
The Sony a6400 offers similar compatibility with E-mount lenses, allowing you to expand your lens collection without any concerns.
A 24.2MP APS-C camera, the a6400 is known for its fast autofocus system and wide range of supported lenses.
Among the highly recommended lenses for this camera are the Sony 16-55mm f/2.8 G, the Sony 70-350mm f/4.5-6.3 G OSS, and the Zeiss Touit 32mm F1.8.
Lastly, the Sony a6600, another 24.2MP APS-C camera, brings additional benefits like in-body image stabilization (IBIS) and a larger grip to the table.
But when it comes to lens compatibility, you can rest assured that your collection of E-mount lenses will remain compatible with the a6600 as well.
Some popular choices for this camera include the Sony 16-55mm f/2.8 G, the Sony 70-350mm f/4.5-6.3 G OSS, and the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC DN.
In summary, all three cameras – the Sony a6000, a6400, and a6600 – share the same E-mount system, ensuring compatibility with a broad range of both native and third-party lenses.
This flexibility allows you to experiment with various lenses and expand your creativity while using Sony’s popular APS-C mirrorless cameras.
Benefits of Sony APS-C Lenses
When using Sony APS-C lenses, you’ll appreciate their compact and lightweight design.
This type of lens is intentionally designed smaller and lighter than full-frame counterparts, making them more convenient and enjoyable to use with your camera.
A compact size not only adds to the overall portability of your camera setup but also lets you shoot discreetly in various situations.
Whether you’re capturing street photography, attending events, or traveling, the unobtrusive nature of these lenses allows you to blend in with your surroundings and avoid drawing attention to yourself.
In addition, lightweight lenses enable you to shoot for extended periods without straining your hands or neck.
This is especially beneficial when you need to carry your camera gear around all day or take pictures during a long photoshoot.
The reduced weight will help minimize fatigue and keep you comfortable as you capture your desired shots.
Moreover, compact and lightweight lenses simplify your overall setup, making it easier to pack, store, and transport your gear.
Having a less bulky camera bag means you can swiftly move from one shooting location to another and enjoy a more hassle-free photography experience.
By choosing Sony APS-C lenses, you can take advantage of their compact and lightweight design while still enjoying top-notch image quality.
This winning combination makes these lenses an excellent choice for photographers who value convenience and versatility in their camera setup.
Things to Consider for Sony APS-C Lenses
You should consider while purchasing the Sony APS-C lenses, factors like coverage and depth of field are essential to think about.
The wide-angle lens is a popular choice for landscape photography and interior shots, as it provides a wider field of view and a short focal length.
For Sony APS-C cameras, lenses with focal lengths between 16mm and 23mm are considered wide-angle lenses.
Being aware of the crop factor is important as it affects the equivalent focal length of the lens on your APS-C camera.
The crop factor for Sony APS-C cameras is 1.5x, which means the effective focal length of the lens is 1.5 times the actual focal length.
So, for instance, if you’re using an 18-135mm lens, the 35mm equivalent would be 27-202.5mm.
Using a standard zoom lens, like the 18-135mm, offers versatility and covers a range of focal lengths.
This is ideal for everyday shooting, allowing you to capture a variety of subjects from landscapes to portraits.
However, to achieve a shallower depth of field and better bokeh, it’s recommended to look for lenses with wider apertures, such as f/2.8 or lower.
The depth of field also depends on the focal length, aperture setting, and focusing distance.
For instance, if you want a shallower depth of field in your images, you should go for a lens with lower focal lengths and wider apertures.
This will create a beautiful bokeh effect, isolating the subject in focus from a softer, more blurred background.
Remember, understanding coverage and depth of field while selecting Sony APS-C lenses can vastly improve your photography, allowing you to capture stunning images with the desired effect.
With this knowledge, you can make an informed decision about which lens best suits your needs.
Can you use APS-C lenses on full-frame camera Sony?
Yes, you can use APS-C lenses on full-frame Sony cameras.
However, the camera will automatically switch to APS-C mode, which means it will only use a smaller portion of the sensor, resulting in a lower resolution image.
If you’re on a budget and already own APS-C lenses, this can be a viable option, but for the best image quality, investing in full-frame lenses is recommended.
What size lens is best for APS-C?
The best lens size for APS-C depends on your photography needs and preferences.
Wide-angle lenses, like the Tamron 11-20mm f/2.8 Di III-A RXD and the Venus Optics Laowa 10mm f/2.8 Zero-D C-Dreamer, are great for capturing landscapes, architecture, and interiors.
These lenses provide sharp images with minimal distortion.
For more general photography, consider investing in a kit lens, which typically covers a range of focal lengths (e.g. 18-55mm).
They’re often cheaper and lighter, making them a good option for beginners or those looking for an affordable all-in-one lens.
Is Sony discontinuing APS-C?
No, Sony is not discontinuing their APS-C lineup. They continue to release new cameras and lenses for their APS-C system, such as the Sony a6600, a6700 and a6100.
Sony remains committed to providing quality options for both aspiring and professional photographers using APS-C cameras.
Do professionals use APS-C lenses?
Yes, many professionals use APS-C lenses for various reasons.
Some may choose to use them because they are more affordable than full-frame lenses, while others appreciate their compact size and weight.
Some APS-C lenses also boast excellent image quality, making them suitable for professional use.
Remember, it’s all about the right tool for the job, and professional photographers may use a combination of APS-C and full-frame lenses depending on their project requirements.