So, you’ve either just bought your Sony a7iii, are planning to buy one, or you’re a seasoned vet just looking to pick up an epic new Sony FE lens. Either way, welcome to my post!
Here, I’ll be covering the 9 best lenses for your Sony a7iii (based on photography niche/subject). In each section, I’ll list the very top-of-the-line best along with a much more budget-friendly alternative.
For some of these, I have separate full reviews you can read as well! Let’s dive in.
Best Lenses for your Sony a7iii in 2023
Alright folks, if you just want to cut straight to the answer, here is a brief list of every lens I cover in this post. If you want more information, keep scrolling!
- Best Overall: Sony 24-70mm F2.8
- Budget Overall: Tamron 28-75mm F2.8
- Best Zoom: Tamron 28-200mm F2.8-5.6
- Budget Zoom: ^ that’s it
- Best Portrait: Sony 85mm F1.4
- Budget Portrait: Sony 85mm F1.8
- Best Prime: Sony 35mm F1.4
- Budget Prime: Sigma 35mm F1.4
- Best Wide Angle: Sony 20mm F1.8
- Budget Wide Angle: Tamron 20mm F2.8
- Best Telephoto: Sony 70-300mm F4.5-5.6
- Budget Telephoto: Tamron 70-300mm F4.5-6.3
- Best for Vlogging: Sony 14mm F1.8
- Budget Vlogging: Samyang AF 14mm F2.8
- Best Landscape: Sony 16-35mm F4
- Budget Landscape: Tamron 17-28mm F2.8
- Best for Travel: Sony 24-105mm F4
- Budget Travel: Tamron 28-75mm F2.8
- Best Macro: Sony 90mm F2.8
- Budget Macro: Sigma 105mm F2.8
Sony 24-70mm F2.8 – Best Overall Lens for Sony a7iii
Alrighty ya’ll, let’s get into the meat and potatoes of this list. First up, let’s talk about the best “overall” lens for the Sony a7iii.
Now what do I mean by “the best overall”? Personally, if someone asked me, “what is the one single best lens I should buy for my camera?” I’d tell them the Sony 24-70mm F2.8.
Although it may not have a gigantic zoom range (we’ll get to that later), 24mm offers a decently wide perspective while 70mm stands at the edge of what many would consider getting into the telephoto range.
Whether you’re shooting sweeping landscapes at 24mm or capturing interesting characters on the street at 70mm, this lens covers most of your bases.
Now, it’s not just the zoom range that matters of course, the Sony 24-70 is also one of the sharpest zooms (if not THE sharpest) you can find on the market. Couple that with the F2.8 aperture and you’ve got a pretty beastly setup for pretty much anything you could possibly throw at it.
Plus, as is tradition with Sony GM lenses, you’ll get a bulletproof build (seriously, this thing is built like a tank) along with quick and reliable autofocus.
Unfortunately, this smorgasbord of goodness comes at an incredibly premium cost. The Sony 24-70mm F2.8 is an incredible lens, but it may be slightly out of reach for many.
Best Overall Lens (Budget Alternative)
However, if you’re on a budget, that’s where the Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 comes into play. Fair warning: I might be pretty biased as this was the first lens I personally got to pair with my a7iii when I bought it. It’s living proof that high quality doesn’t necessarily need to mean high pricetag.
Compared to the aforementioned Sony, the Tamron is unfortunately a bit tighter on the wide end of the range, but you do gain a little bit more on the telephoto side. I spent a couple months traveling Europe with this (and many places in the States) and I’ve rarely felt as if I was limited by the focal length.
Just like the Sony, the Tamron offers a consistent F2.8 aperture, so you’re not losing out on any “light” when choosing this more budget-friendly option.
In terms of image-quality, extreme pixel peepers could probably point out some flaws versus the Sony, but I personally haven’t had any beef with it. Pictures are sharp all across the zoom range, and the lens doesn’t seem to struggle with anything besides some minor distortion.
Build-quality wise, you definitely not getting GM levels of ruggedness, but it’s good enough. The lens is weather sealed (just like the Sony) and mine has survived quite a bit of rain and other adverse conditions.
Autofocus is, just like really any modern lens, quick and quiet. It may not be quite as flawless as the Sony, but EyeAF works great and subject tracking (AF-C) is more than adequete.
So, to put it short, if you really like the look of the Sony 24-70mm but can’t justify the high cost, you’ll be more than happy with the Tamron 28-75mm F2.8. If you’re on the fence, feel free to read my long-term review on it.
Tamron 28-200mm F2.8-5.6 – Best Zoom Lens for Sony a7iii
But what if you just want the craziest and most versatile zoom range you can get? The Tamron 28-200mm F2.8-5.6 has definitely got you covered.
The lens starts at 28mm which is wide enough for almost anything from landscapes to sweeping skyline views. On the flipside, you’ve got a 200mm focal length for all your telephoto needs.
Want to photograph a gorgeous mountain valley? You can. Want to zoom way in and capture the subtle details on the trees in that mountain valley? You can do that too, all with the same lens!
Of course, this kind of versatility in photography never comes without sacrifices. The lens does have a variable aperture of F2.8-5.6 which actually isn’t bad considering the zoom range. F2.8 at 28mm is incredibly reasonable.
As for the images it produces, they’re surprisingly great! A lot of superzooms sacrifice not only F-stop but image quality too, but this big boy really doesn’t take much of a hit. Extreme pixel peepers may see some corner softness at various parts of the zoom range, but the average (not-snobby) photographer will be more than happy.
Build quality won’t be perfectly on par with what you may expect from a Sony GM lens, for example, but Tamron is well known for making strong and robust lenses (did I mention it’s weather sealed too?).
Also, autofocus for both stills and video are quick and quiet. If you’re looking for a really solid do-it-all zoom, the Tamron 28-200mm F2.8-5.6 is probably going to be your best bet.
Best Zoom Lens (Budget Alternative)
But wait, the Tamron 28-200 is almost $1000, are there any cheaper alternatives?
Unfortunately, not really. You’re paying a bit premium to get such a powerful lens with this sort of focal range.
As a matter of fact, the Tamron is -actually- the cheaper lens in this class. The Sony 24-240mm is more expensive but, frankly, it’s kind of a bad lens so that’s why the cheaper Tamron took the top spot.
Sony 85mm F1.4 – Best Portrait Lens for Sony a7iii
But what if you want to shoot epic, bokehlicious portraits of people? The Sony 85mm F1.4 GM is likely the best glass you can get. Yes, this lens is huge and yes it is expensive, but if you’re looking for the absolute best portrait lens for your a7iii, this is it (at least until they make an F1.2 version).
The 85mm focal length is oftentimes considered one of the most flattering for portraiture, as it captures people with a natural and “normal” perspective (not to mention the absurdly beautiful bokeh that this thing produces).
As for image quality, you can expect razor sharp quality from edge-to-edge almost regardless of F-stop. This is one of those rare lenses where even the most absurd of pixel peepers couldn’t find anything to burst a blood vessel over.
As for build quality, we’re looking at a Sony GM lens. Obviously, it’s going to be insanely good. Weather sealed, built like a tank, and ready to handle whatever ridiculous situations you put it through.
Autofocus is speedy and quick, just as you’d expect from GM glass. EyeAF is incredibly accurate and subject tracking switches focus on a dime. However, AF is weirdly loud which is incredibly unusual for a GM lens.
The Sony 85mm F1.4 GM is expensive, but it’s a classic case of, “you get what you pay for”. If you want the very best, this is the lens you go with.
Best Portrait Lens (Budget Alternative)
Alright, but what if the Sony 85mm F1.4 is obscenely expensive for you (it’s pretty much out of my budget!). Heck, what if you just don’t want a lens that’s as huge as your forearm? Thankfully, you have not one, but two other good options.
First up, you’ve got the Sony 85mm F1.8. It’s not a GM lens and you lose a bit of light, but it’s still well-built, incredibly sharp and, most importantly, 1/3 of the cost of the GM. I wrote a full review on the Sony 85mm F1.8 if you’d like to read more.
But what if you’re looking to save even more money? Well, consider the Viltrox 85mm F1.8. The Viltrox offers competitive image quality at a competitive price (and quick AF, a solid build, etc.). I, also, wrote a solid hands-on review of this lens as well.
So, if you don’t want to drop an obscene amount of money on the 85mm F1.4 GM, both the Sony 85mm F1.8 and Viltrox 85mm F1.8 are strong competitors. If you had to choose between either of them, however, I’d recommend boosting your budget a bit and picking up the Sony over the Viltrox. It’s just slightly better overall.
Sony 35mm F1.4 – Best Prime Lens for Sony a7iii
Next up, what if you’re just looking for a single prime lens to rule them all? You don’t want to carry around a giant zoom or swap out a bunch of lenses. You want simplicity (I personally love running a single lens for everything).
That’s where a 35mm prime comes into play. Many photographers will agree that, out of all focal lengths, 35mm is arguably the most versatile.
It’s just wide enough to capture fairly sweeping scenes (you can always stitch panoramas if you need “bigger” images) while still being tight enough to create interesting environmental portraits and achieve some sort of subject isolation.
Anyways, that’s why the Sony 35mm F1.4 GM is the all-around best prime lens for your a7iii. The F1.4 aperture is insane, giving you plenty of light to work with in literally all situations. Shooting at night? No problem. Photographing a concert in a dark venue? Also not a problem.
When it comes to photo quality, it’s a GM lens. You’re getting edge-to-edge sharpness along with great clarity and vibrancy. Autofocus is quick and speedy, whether you’re taking static shots of architecture or capturing fast action.
Durability, as we’ve come to expect with GM lenses, is nothing short of incredible. The lens is fully weather sealed and built like a tank.
If you want one prime to rule them all (not to be confused with a particular One Ring), then the Sony 35mm F1.4 GM is the move for you. It’s an absolute beast of a lens.
Best Prime Lens (Budget Alternative)
Of course, the Gucci-equivalent of Sony lenses comes at a steep cost. If you, like most of us starving artists (that’s me!) can’t drop an entire month’s worth of pay on a lens, then you’ll want to look towards the Sigma 35mm F1.4 instead.
Just like the Sony, you get a bright F1.4 aperture so you can conquer any shadows life throws at you (poetic!). Sigma is also rather famous for making lenses that rival or even surpass native lenses in terms of sharpness, and this one is right up there. Sharpness is insane (saving money AND getting amazing images is a win).
As for build quality, you won’t get the pure beauty of a GM lens, but the Sigma 35mm can hold it’s own. You’ll get decent weather sealing, a robust and strong build, plus Sigma generally just has a reputation for longevity.
As for autofocus, all modern lenses have what I would consider “incredible” autofocus, but this one still might lag behind the Sony a bit. EyeAF might not be quite as snappy nor may tracking be quite as quick. Still, though, it’s absolutely more than adequate for 99.9% of photographers (maybe a sports photog might complain).
So yeah, to be entirely frank, if you don’t have boatloads of money to drop on camera gear and are looking for the best prime for your Sony a7iii, just get the Sigma. This lens is incredibly affordable compared to the Sony, yet it offers many of the same features and quality.
Just like cars (I own a Prius…), clothes or almost anything in life, you don’t always need the most expensive option.
Sony 20mm F1.8 – Best Wide Angle for Sony a7iii
Now, what if your forte is sweeping landscapes and stunning city skylines (great game, by the way)? What if you’re a budding real estate photographer?
Then, you’ll need a wide angle lens, and the Sony 20mm F1.8 is arguably the best wide angle you can get for your Sony a7iii.
This lens offers pretty much anything you’d want out of a wide angle. A bright F1.8 aperture so you can either capture sick streetscapes when the sun goes down or just get a nice shot of a house at sunset.
Edge-to-edge sharpness almost no matter the aperture so every detail of your masterpiece shows detail and clarity (I think this is starting to sound too poetic). Plus, despite being a 20mm lens, you’ll find incredibly minimal distortion.
As for durability, it’s rugged and weather sealed (I actually took it through some Minnesota rainstorms during my extending hands-on review and it did great). Whether you’re trekking through the city or out on top of some mountain, you don’t have to worry about this thing catastrophically dying on you.
Autofocus, as you’d expect from a G-series lens, is fast and accurate. EyeAF is typically spot on although you won’t often use it as this thing is so wide. Subject tracking is effective, quick, and snappy.
If you’re looking to expand your horizons (metaphorically AND physically!) into the world of wide angle lenses, the Sony 20mm F1.8 is by-and-large going to be your absolute best option. Remember, feel free to read my full review!
Best Wide Angle (Budget Alternative)
Now, what if you want all that wide-angle goodness but you’re on an extremely tight budget? Luckily, the Tamron 20mm F2.8 is a surprisingly competitive option for an absolutely dirt cheap price.
Offering the same focal length as the Sony, you’ll still be able to capture all sorts of sweeping vistas, except unfortunately without as much light (F2.8). Still, that being said, F2.8 aperture is still no slouch, and it should be fine for a lot of situations still.
In terms of overall image quality, you shouldn’t expect a cheap lens to rival the Sony, but I suspect you’ll still be quite happy with the results. F2.8 can be a bit soft around the corners, but the entire frame sharpens up a bit as you stop down.
As for build quality, you’re not getting rugged durability of the Sony, but what you are getting is a much smaller lens that’s still built pretty well. You shouldn’t have any problems with durability, and this one is half the size!
Autofocus can be a little fussy in comparison, but besides some hunting in low-light conditions, you’re unlikely to find any major faults.
So, if you’re looking to go wide and don’t want to drop fat stacks of cash on the Sony, the Tamron 20mm F2.8 is still a very competitive option. You don’t always need the best gear to take amazing pictures (just look at all the great phone photographers out there).
Sony 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 – Best Telephoto for Sony a7iii
What if sweeping vistas aren’t your thing? What if you prefer to get up close and personal (…but still at a distance) with your subjects? Then you need a telephoto.
In this category, many would consider the Sony 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 to be the absolute best telephoto lens for the Sony a7iii (and it’s not hard to see why).
Boasting a versatile zoom range, you can capture anything with this lens, from a tight-knit sports gathering to a bear trekking down a mountainside. Heck, you could even throw your camera into crop mode to get even more reach.
Aperture-wise, you’re looking at a variable range of F4.5-5.6 which is totally fine. When you’re photographing something at 300mm, the subject isolation from the focal length is insane anyways, so you don’t need a super bright aperture.
Images are typically sharp, but getting stable shots can be a bit difficult at high focal ranges. Luckily, Sony thought about that and included OSS. By the way, even if you have a stabilized body, OSS works in tandem to create even “more” stabilization.
As for durability, we’re looking at a G lens here. While maybe not quite on the same level as a GM lens, you can still expect full weather sealing and an incredibly rugged build. This thing is designed to get you out there so you can capture epic wildlife shots without worrying, “is my lens going to break at the first sight of rain?”.
Autofocus, as we’ve come to expect from Sony lenses in general, is nothing short of fantastic. With a telephoto like this, you want quick focus, and it certainly delivers. Did an elk get spooked and suddenly start running? Toss this thing into AF-C mode and it’ll track it!
So yeah, whether you’re photographing your kid’s baseball game or attempting to track bighorn sheep through the Cascade Range, this lens has got your back.
Best Telephoto (Budget Alternative)
However, what point is there in buying an epic telephoto lens if you then don’t have the money to go out to cool places to actually use it? That’s where the budget alternative, the Tamron 70-300mm F4.5-6.3 comes into play.
Offering the same exact zoom range as the Sony and only taking in a little bit less light, the Tamron is a worthy competitor. Unfortunately, it’s not a perfect match. The lens lacks OSS and also doesn’t offer any sort of weather sealing (no crawling through a swamp chasing bald eagles!).
Still though, image quality is fantastic, if a bit softer than the Sony. If compared side by side, the Sony will win every time, but it’s very… minor. You really have to pixel peep to see a sizeable difference.
Build quality is good (besides the lack of weather sealing) and the autofocus will still be more than adequate for most people’s needs.
So, if you can live without the lens-based OSS and don’t think you’ll be in situations where weather sealing is required, you can save a LOT of money by going with the Tamron 70-300mm F4.5-6.3 instead.
Sony 14mm F1.8 – Best Vlogging Lens for Sony a7iii
For those of you who are aspiring content creators, you need a way to showcase your beautiful smiling (hopefully?) face to your future fans!
When shooting vlog-type videos (anything where the metaphorical and physical focus is you), you’ll typically want to aim for an ultra wide angle lens that’ll keep your entire face in frame.
And that is where the Sony 14mm F1.8 comes into play. Many vloggers consider is the crème-de-la-crème (I’m not French) of vlogging or, in other words, the best vlogging lens for the Sony a7iii.
Ultra wide to capture everything, a bright F1.8 aperture to ensure the lens can actually handle shooting inside, plus a decently compact size all come together to form an epic content-creation machine.
You won’t find yourself out-of-focus with this thing, as it features Sony’s always-amazing AF. Plus, it’s a GM series lens so durability and weather-sealing isn’t a concern either.
So, if you’re looking for the absolute best, top-tier vlogging lens, the Sony 14mm F1.8 is the way to go.
Best Vlogging Lens (Budget Alternative)
However, if you’re just getting into the world of online content creation, chances are you’re working with a limited budget. You can afford to drop $1500 on a single lens (relatable), so you might be looking for something a lot cheaper.
Luckily, the third-party lens manufacturer Samyang has got you covered with the Samyang AF 14mm F2.8 (yes, F2.8, not F1.8).
Now, I want to make one thing clear: this is an incredibly budget lens. Don’t expect Sony GM build quality, extremely fast AF, or absurdly sharp image quality. We’re looking at a Toyota Corolla versus a Lexus SUV. It does the job, but it may not be fancy.
However, you’re still getting competitive glass at an extremely competitive price. Unless you’re shooting super high-action or incredibly cinematic B-Roll, you’ll likely find the Samyang to be 100% adequate for your needs.
Plus, the lens is tiny, especially compared to the Sony. Never underestimate the power of a small lens in getting you motivated to shoot. I always am more likely to go out when I don’t have to lug around a giant brick on the front of my camera.
Doing talking head stuff or just recording your life for the world to see? The Samyang AF 14mm F2.8 provides a nice and affordable way for you to jump into the vlogging world. You don’t always need the best and most expensive stuff.
Sony 16-35mm F4 – Best Landscape Lens for Sony a7iii
For my fellow hippies who enjoy hiking and capturing natural beauty, surely you’ve often found yourselves wondering, “what’s the best landscape lens for my sony a7iii?”. I’ve asked myself that often, especially after lugging my giant zoom to the top of a mountain or being woefully underprepared with a single prime lens.
A good landscape lens is all about finding a good blend between: versatility, image quality, and size. Technically, if we go by pure image quality and versatility, the Sony 16-35mm F2.8 would be the best here, but I’m going to recommend the Sony 16-35mm F4 instead.
Why? Because size, mostly. The Sony 16-35mm F4 still offers you that nice wide-to-standard focal range so you can capture either a sweeping vista or some more intimate details, yet it does so without being stupidly huge like Sony’s F2.8 version.
You can still expect fantastic edge-to-edge sharpness with minimal distortion and excellent clarity. When shooting during the day, you’re typically using higher apertures (F8) for example. When shooting at sunset or night, you’re often using a tripod anyways.
Plus, it’s weather sealed so you can go out in all sorts of absurd conditions. Want to be that photographer who is freezing their butt off on the shores of Lake Michigan during the dead of winter? You can with this lens.
Being a G-series lens, you’re still getting an incredibly rugged build and, not to mention, switch and accurate autofocus.
So yeah, if you don’t care about size, consider Sony’s 16-35mm F2.8, but for the rest of us who don’t want to break out backs (or our wallets), I’d really consider the Sony 16-35mm F4 as the best landscape lens.
Best Landscape Lens (Budget Alternative)
Another option, if you’re looking to save a bit of money (although it’s not substantially cheaper) is the Tamron 17-28mm F2.8.
Yes, you lose quite a bit of range on the tighter end, but you’re also gaining that coveted F2.8 aperture back. Plus, image quality is pretty much on par with the Sony. Sharpness isn’t an issue, distortion is easily manageable, etc.
Both lenses are weather sealed, autofocus is incredibly fast and reliable, and it’s still built like an absolute tank. Tamron has continually put out epic lenses for Sony’s full-frame system, and this one is certainly not an exception.
To be frank, as the price difference is rather small, I’d still consider saving up a bit more and getting the Sony, but the Tamron 17-28mm F2.8 is a solid option if you: want to save a bit more, don’t need the 35mm, and want an F2.8 aperture.
Sony 24-105mm F4 – Best Travel Lens for Sony a7iii
As any avid traveler knows, there is always so much cool stuff that you want to capture on vacation. From wild street performances to far off distant landmarks, sometimes bringing a single prime lens just doesn’t work.
Bringing your camera overseas is all about finding a good mix of versatility and portability. You don’t want a gigantic lens that screams, “I’m rich, take my camera gear!” but you also don’t want a lens that substantially limits you.
That’s where the Sony 24-105mm F4 comes into play. This focal range, from what I’ve found at least, is just right to capture a good range of pretty much everything you’ll want to photograph. From sweeping cityscapes to intimate architectural details, this lens has got you covered.
The F4 aperture might be a bit limiting if you’re the type that likes to shoot at night, but unfortunately you can only get one of three factors in a lens: versatility, aperture, and size. In this case, Sony sacrificed some F-stop to achieve a wide zoom range a a compact size.
Speaking of compact size, the lens, although it isn’t “tiny” by any means, manages to stay pretty small despite having such a wide zoom range. Image quality isn’t sacrificed either. It’s incredibly sharp from edge-to-edge, though as usual stopping down boosts clarity.
Build quality is solid, so it shouldn’t have any issue getting tossed about in a bag on a rickety Portuguese bus (ask me how I know). It isn’t fully weather sealed, but it is “weather resistant” (Sony’s words, not mine).
So yeah, the lens isn’t tiny by any means, but you’re getting an incredibly powerful piece of glass in a package that’s not comically huge. If you’re looking for the best overall travel lens for your a7iii, this is probably the pick.
Best Travel Lens (Budget Alternative)
If you’re not in the market for buying a super expensive Sony lens, however, I can wholeheartedly recommend the Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 as a budget alternative. I’ve written about it once in this article already, but I’ll reiterate: I took it on a 2-month Europe trip earlier this year and it served me well.
It offers fantastic image quality, a consistent F2.8 aperture and, frankly is still decently compact. I still found myself a bit self-conscious carrying it around, but I felt as if it still blended in well versus some other tourist’s cameras.
Versus the Sony, you’ll be missing out on some range in the telephoto end, but I didn’t often feel as if I was substantially missing out. I ended up cropping in some shots, but getting the consistent F2.8 aperture was worth losing those extra millimeters of reach.
Build-wise, it is fully weather sealed, which absolutely saved my butt the first day I was in Lisbon. As I was stepping out of the subway, the sky opened up and started pouring. I was worried, but my Tamron survived just fine and I got some epic rainy-day shots!
Anyway, I am probably extremely biased, but if you’re looking for a budget-alternative to the Sony (or just want a brighter lens and are ok with losing the longer focal lengths), I can absolutely recommend the Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 as an epic travel lens. Feel free to read my extensive review if you need more convincing.
Sony 90mm F2.8 – Best Macro Lens for Sony a7iii
Finally, if you’re the type who is into the world of the minutiae, then you’re probably in the market for the best macro lens you can possibly get for your Sony a7iii.
To capture the little things in life (see what I did there?), your best bet is going to be the amazing Sony 90mm F2.8. It features 1:1 magnification with a minimum focusing distance of just 11 inches.
The F2.8 aperture offers just the right amount of depth of field to really bring a lot of emphasis to your subject without accidentally throwing them out of focus (a common problem with F1.8 macro lenses). Bokeh is creamy and beautiful.
In terms of sharpness, we see fabulous clarity pretty much from edge-to-edge. The lens doesn’t suffer from any major optical flaws such as distortion, vignette, etc.
As for autofocusing and build-quality, we’re looking at a G lens here. Though it may not be GM-series glass, this is still nearly top of the line stuff. This thing is built like a tank and is fully weather sealed.
Oh, a really nice autofocus feature is that there is actually a focus limiter switch on the lens. This means you can force it to only focus “within a certain range” so it doesn’t hunt through the entire focus range when attempting to lock-in on a tiny bug or something.
Not to mention, the lens also features OSS! As you probably know, OSS works in tandem with your camera’s IBIS to get even more degrees of stabilization. This is absolutely critical when doing macro work, where the lightest camera movement can quite literally throw everything out of focus.
If you want to capture the unseen world of insects, plants, etc. then frankly, you can’t get better than the Sony 90mm F2.8 Macro.
Best Macro Lens (Budget Alternative)
But what if you still want to capture the hidden details of the world without dropping copious amounts of cash? Luckily, Sigma has got you covered with their 105mm F2.8.
Functionally, this lens works much the same as the Sony, but it offers a little bit more reach. This extra reach can actually be a blessing when trying to photograph more skittish creatures such as insects or fat buzzing bumblebees.
In terms of sheer optical prowess, the Sony might have an extremely minor edge, but Sigma lenses are known for their nearly-clinical sharpness, so you’re not making much of an optical sacrifice here.
Just like the Sony, the Sigma is fully weather sealed, so you can continue to capture the wonders of… tiny-nature (?) even if there is a drizzle or snowstorm.
Autofocus is also quick. Not as quick and reliable as the Sony, of course, but pretty darn close. The Sigma even features the same focus distance limiter switch!
So, if you’re looking to capture tiny stuff but are on a tighter budget, the Sigma will perform pretty well and also cost you a few hundred dollars less.
You don’t always need the best!
And that is the end of the list! Before we finish out this article, I really want to make one thing explicitly clear: you don’t always need the absolute top-of-the-line equipment.
Yes, buying the $2000 Sony GM lens will give you an edge in your pictures over the Sigma that’s half-price, but it’s often not significant enough to matter if you’re on a budget.
If you’re Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk, go buy all the GM lenses you want! However, if you’re one of us normal people who don’t own billionaire dollar companies, strongly consider whether or not you actually need top-tier glass (true professionals, however, should always aim for the best).
As you probably know, I get (very small) commissions on anything you buy through my links. I should always say, “buy the most expensive stuff!”, however you shouldn’t be buying GM lenses if your budget is tight.
Instead of dropping $2000 on a GM lens, buy the cheaper option, and then use that price difference to take a vacation so you can use it! Or invest that money, or save it, or whatever (I write about cameras, not financial advice).
Still unsure which lens to buy?
Anyways, you’ve gone through all this and you still don’t know what lens to buy. Every lens has it’s own unique strengths, tailored to different subjects/genres of photography, so it can be hard to settle on just one.
As someone who has been in photography for 10 years and worked professionally for a lot of it, here is my advice: buy an F2.8 zoom lens.
If you want to ball out and get the very best, buy the Sony 24-70mm F2.8 GM. If you’re on a bit more of a budget, you should just buy the Tamron 28-75mm F2.8.
Both of those lenses will cover most of what you’ll want to photograph. They won’t be the best for macro or extreme telephoto situations, but they’ll cover travel, portraits, landscapes, etc. If you want just a SINGLE lens, buy one of those two.
Thanks for reading.
Like I mentioned, you can also pick up the Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 if you want to save a LOT of money.
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