Sony has been delivering some of the most incredible lenses over the years. The design, build quality, performance, and innovative features of their lenses have been appreciated globally.
With the constant buzz around Sony, we tested a large number of Sony lenses on the Sony A7III, rated their performance, and reviewed their quality to help you pick the right lens for traveling so you can create a unique photograph during your next trip.
For who’s wondering, the main reason you should consider investing in a pair of good lenses is that they help you get around limitations such as low-light, the field of view, and zoom range.
Next to helping you around these limitations, lenses are a great investment from a financial standpoint because they don’t get outdated; A camera body might become obsolete after a few years considering the rapid rate of tech improvements and evolutions in camera bodies, while a lens will almost always be compatible with your future Sony camera.
Sony’s lens mounts
The only aspect of a lens that might become outdated is the lens mount; this is the interface that connects the lens on to the camera and makes it compatible with the camera body.
When looking for a new Sony lens, you’ll want to keep in mind that Sony’s mirrorless cameras have an E-mount connection, while their DSLR cameras use an A-mount.
However, if you’re fancying a specific lens that doesn’t have the same lens mount as your camera body, a mount-adaptor will help you connect them. Remember that such an adaptor can lead to certain functions’ unavailability, such as auto-focus and image stabilization.
If you are not sure which mount a specific lens has, and if you want to be compatible with your camera, we recommend checking it before buying your lens.
Another accessory which you might want to consider when buying a new Sony lens is the camera lens filter. Lens filters are externally attached to the camera lens to alter the amount of light and colors that enter your lens. Controlling these aspects helps you naturally enhance your photos.
Lens filters come in different types, such as:
- Polarizing filter. This filter blocks unnecessary light reflections from multiple sources, helping you reduce haze and obtain better contrast. This is handy when photographing water bodies such as lakes, ponds, etc.
- Graduated neutral density (GND) filter: GND filters have a variable light transmission range. They are used to neutralize an overly bright region such as the morning sky.
- UV filter: This filter blocks UV rays, which can otherwise lead to a lot of haze in high UV light areas such as high altitudes or extremely sunny regions.
The 3 Best Sony Lenses for Landscape Photography
Landscape photography consists of wide-angles, beautiful silhouettes, and the glorious beauty of the world around us. Throughout the year, we’ve extensively tested many Sony lenses for landscape photography, and these are our favorite ones.
Vario-Tessar T* 16-35 mm F4 ZA OSS
The Vario-Tessar T* 16-35 mm lens performs incredibly well at all its focal lengths. The images retain their sharpness and clarity even when the exposure or depth of field changes. The distortion – even at the highest zoom ranges – is negligible.
When shooting landscapes and water bodies in very bright day conditions, glaring is a significant issue. The ZEISS®️ T* coating on this Sony lens blocks reflections and glare, which in turn helps produce exceptional color contrast.
Sony E 10-18 mm F4 OSS
The Sony E 10-18 mm F4 OSS lens has the lowest focal length (10 mm) and captures the largest field of view among all of Sony’s lenses. The additional field of view captured by the lens adds more depth and dramatic clarity to your photographs, helping you capture stand-out images with perspectives that are never-seen-before.
With an f4 aperture, architectural buildings and moving subjects such as clouds, rivers, and waterfalls look equally captivating. Weighing only 225 grams and measuring 70 x 63.5 mm, you can easily fit this lens in your pocket and click memorable photographs on the move on your next vacation.
- Sony E-mount
- Budget: $ 898.00
- Buy the Sony E 10-18 mm F4 OSS lens on amazon
Sonnar® T* E 24 mm F1.8 ZA
The Sonnar® T* E 24 mm F1.8 ZA lens is a fixed focal length prime lens manufactured by ZEISS with a constant F1.8 aperture. Such a large aperture will help you obtain some of the best sunsets, night sky, and dimly lit architectural spaces. The lens is also an ideal pick if you’re planning to shoot time-lapses.
There is no shaking or blurring of the subject even while taking long exposure shots.
- Sony E-mount
- Budget: $1098.00
- Buy the Sonnar® T* E 24 mm F1.8 ZA lens on amazon
The 3 Best Sony Lenses for City Trips
As an urban and city photographer, you’ll encounter a host of interesting subjects (skyscrapers, monuments, people, and cultures) from which you’ll want to capture their vibe and emotions in a photograph. We’ve listed three lenses that help capture the essence of city life.
Sony FE 24-105 F4 G OSS
The FE 24-105 F4 G OSS lens is a wide range, mid-telephoto zoom lens. The unique aspect of this lens is its fluent focus; it will allow you to shoot your subjects from a distance and still manage to cut the background noise as no other lens can. This ability can be especially beneficial if you’re traveling to a crowded city.
Next to the fluent focus, the FE 24-105 F4 G OSS lens is known to deliver a great image quality.
- Sony E-mount
- Budget: $1398.00
- Buy the Sony FE 24-105 F4 G OSS lens on amazon
Sony DT 16-105 mm F3.5-5.6
Sony’s DT 16-105 mm F3.5-5.6 lens is a great value for your money considering the range of focal length options it provides. You can shoot wide-angle photos at 16 mm focal length and equally good close-ups at 105 mm focal length.
In practice, this means that the 16 mm focal length will help you obtain a better perspective when shooting landscapes, skylines and buildings, while the 105 mm focal length will bring more detail to your pictures when you are capturing birds and wildlife from a distance.
Sony FE PZ 28-135 mm F4 G OSS
The Sony FE PZ 28-135 mm F4 G OSS lens is one of Sony’s prime offerings; it provides vibrant image quality, has a constant f/4 aperture, and is known to deliver sharp images at all focal lengths.
The unique feature of this Sony lens is not its constant f/4 aperture, but rather the fact that the zoom system is so smooth and motorized, making it perfect for filming movies, documentaries, and events in 4K with the smoothest transitions.
Compared to kit lenses, this lens – which costs $ 2399 – is quite pricey, but when you compare it to other lenses with the same specifications, you will realize that it is actually the best deal you can find on the market. Hence the reason why it’s being used by most of the professional cine- and video makers.
The 3 Best All-round Sony Lenses for Travel Photography
Your next adventure might take you to dense forests, breathtaking cityscapes, cultural heritages, mountains, crowded cities, and whatnot. As an adventurer, you’ll always be unsure of what subjects you’ll encounter, which is why you’ll want to bring an all-around lens along.
Sony FE 70-200 mm F4 GM OSS
The FE 70-200 mm F4 GM OSS lens is a high-performance lens known as a G Master Lens, meaning the lens originates from Sony’s top-shelf line of high-quality glasses, giving it a solid build quality to help you shoot in rugged conditions.
The lens has a constant maximum aperture of F4, which helps you capture outstanding photos in low light. When we combine this aperture with the lens, its high-speed auto-focus, and multiple stabilization features, we’ll have an ideal lens for close-ups – delivering a superb bokeh.
Sony E 70-350 mm F4.5-6.3 G OSS
The Sony E 70-350 mm F4.5-6.3 G OSS lens is a telephoto zoom lens that can help you capture a wide range of subjects, from wide-field landscapes to close-ups of wildlife.
The lens is built from extra-low dispersion glasses, minimizing the loss of color and sharpness at higher focal lengths. This makes the image clarity, the level of details, and the sharp contrast obtained at 350 mm focal length highly impressive.
The 70-350 mm lens also contains a focus hold button that keeps the lens barrel locked, making it very convenient when adjusting the focus.
Sony DT 18-250 mm F3.5-6.3
The DT 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 lens is a great entry-level lens; It helps you capture landscapes, portraits, and macros, thanks to its dynamic range.
This Sony lens is known as the lens with the best image quality amongst the traditional Sony A-mounts. Nevertheless, some images might have some blurry edges at higher zoom levels, which can be easily fixed in post-production if you know how to edit in lightroom.
The 18-250 mm Sony lens weighs 440 grams and is, considering its price, a fantastic buy for the functions it offers.
- Sony A-mount (Don’t forget your mount adaptor!)
- Budget: $648.00
- Buy the Sony DT 18-250 mm F3.5-6.3 lens on amazon
The 3 Best Budget Sony Lenses for Travel Photography
We’ve also selected a few different Sony camera lenses priced under $500 and have delivered great performances. This way, you can kickstart your journey with these lenses, even If you’re on a budget constraint or just getting into travel photography.
Sony DT 50 mm F1.8 SAM
The Sony DT 50 mm F1.8 SAM lens is a 50 mm fixed focal length lens priced at only $169.99. Even at such a low price, the lens works great for city and urban photography and offers an incredible field of view even when you’re at a comfortable distance from your subject.
The only downside of this Sony lens is that it is not as versatile as a zoom lens.
Sony E 20 MM F2.8
Priced at only $349.99, the Sony E 20 MM F2.8 lens gives you exactly the kind of image quality, contrast, and sharpness that you expect while shooting with a prime lens.
The fixed focal length of 20 mm is perfect for taking wide-angle shots, making it an excellent purchase when you’re into landscape photography. As it has an aperture of F2.8, you can even capture fluent low light photos.
With a weight of only 69g, this is the lightest lens on our list, making it ideal for traveling.
- Sony E-mount
- Budget: $348.00
- Buy the Sony E 20 MM F2.8 lens on amazon
Sony DT 18–135 mm F3.5–5.6 SAM
If you are looking for a powerful lens that could stay on your camera 99% of the time, you can stop looking. At $499.99, the DT 18–135 mm F3.5–5.6 SAM lens delivers a wide range of focal lengths, and its power zoom and autofocus ensure quality movie shots.
What Sony lens should you buy for landscape photography?
Most travel photographers need a wide range of lenses, such as ultra-wide-angle lenses for landscapes, standard lenses for cityscapes, or telephoto zoom lenses for general photography.
When choosing the lenses you want to travel with, focal length and the zoom range isn’t going to be the only criteria for judging a lens’s performance; You’ll want to consider the build quality, weight, and assistive features, the lens mount, and the price.
A budget lens would help you understand the field of view, perspective, and focus, but the image quality would be lower. Before you pick a lens, always weigh the features with the price that you’re paying.
Our favorite Sony lenses for travel photography listed.
|Lenses and Range||Price||Weight(grams)*|
|Landscape Photography (Wide Angle)|
|Vario-Tessar T* 16-35 mm F4 ZA OSS||$1,348||518 g|
|Sony E 10-18 mm F4 OSS||$898||225 g|
|Sonnar® T* E 24 mm F1.8 ZA||$1,098||225 g|
|City Photography (Tele zoom)|
|Sony FE 24-105 F4 G OSS||$1,398||663 g|
|Sony DT 16-105 mm F3.5-5.6||$698||470 g|
|Sony FE PZ 28-135 mm F4 G OSS||$2399||1,215 g|
|All-round Travel Photography|
|Sony FE 70-200 mm F4 GM OSS||$1,499||840 g|
|Sony E 70-350 mm F4.5-6.3 G OSS||$998||625 g|
|Sony DT 18-250 mm F3.5-6.3||$648||440 g|
|Best Budget Lenses|
|Sony DT 50 mm F1.8 SAM||$169.99||170 g|
|Sony E 20 MM F2.8||$348||69 g|
|Sony DT 18–135 mm F3.5–5.6 SAM||$499||398 g|