Ultimate Guide: 12 Best Lenses for the Sony a6500

by Tom Shu

If you’re in a hurry and just want to find out what the best lenses for the Sony a6500 are, then I’d recommend the following:

Picking out a new lens is one of the most fun, but overwhelming parts about owning a camera.

If you have just started researching what is the best lens for your Sony a6500, I’m going to do everything I can to try to help you find the perfect one!

If you’ve done this before and are trying to find a secondary lens, my hope is that the information here will get some ideas flowing through your mind about how each one of these lenses will compliment your current gear pack.

black camera with black lens on white table

I’m super passionate about Sony lenses so I’m glad you’re here! I started my photography career with Sony’s first-ever mirrorless camera, the Sony NEX 3 before moving onto the Sony a6000, RX100 V, a6500, and finally the a7R III. So, in a sense, you can say I grew up with Sony cameras.

Because of how long I’ve used Sony cameras for, I know just how incredible the Sony a6500 is and what it is capable of if you have the right lens.

Here are the lenses we will be covering today:

 

How to Choose the Best Lens for your Sony a6500?

illustration of cartoon camera lenses on a table

The most important thing to keep in mind is to pick a lens or a couple of lenses that fit with your photography lifestyle. Here are the features and characteristics that you should think about when picking out the best collection of lenses for your Sony a6500:

  • Overall Value: There is a huge range in the price of a lens. Considering the price and what your photography lifestyle is like, how good of a value is the lens.
  • Purpose of the Lens: Will the lens serve a purpose or is this just a symptom of having gear acquisition syndrome (GAS)?
  • Photography, Videography, or Both? Will you be taking photos and videos with the lens? If so, some lenses will be more flexible than others.
  • Compatibility with Current and Future Camera: Do you plan on upgrading to a full-frame Sony camera any time soon? If so, you might want to consider a full-frame lens since it will work with your a6500.
  • Speed of Lens (Maximum Aperture): If you do a lot of indoor photography, shoot handheld at night, or in low-light conditions you might benefit from a faster lens.
  • Prime vs Zoom: There are pros and cons of a prime vs zoom lens, so it’s good to prioritize which type of lens you need first.
  • Constant or Variable Maximum Aperture: If you do decide to get a zoom lens, do you think you’ll need one with a constant aperture? If so, they are usually more expensive.
  • Weather Sealing: Very useful to have if you tend to mostly shoot outside in all sorts of weather conditions.
  • Lens Stabilization: it’s nice to have, but not as big of a deal because the a6500 has built-in image stabilization.
  • Overall Weight: when you pick up just a single lens, it might not seem heavy, but each ounce you save adds up quickly when you consider your entire gear pack.



Overall Value

illustration of a piggy bank

The overall value of a lens when taking into account its price point and features is a hard topic to cover because it really depends on where you are in your photography or videography journey.

When I first started, spending $500 on a single lens seemed crazy and not worth it, but just this year, I spent over $1,000 on a single lens and thought it was a fair price to pay.

As you grow as a photographer or videographer, you will start to learn what lens features fits best with your style and why lenses can get so expensive.

The most important aspect is to stay true to yourself. If your goal is to become a professional and get paid for your work, it probably makes sense to invest in the best quality lens you can afford right now.

On the other hand, if you just go out and shoot every now and then or only when you’re on vacation, then you should probably focus on a well priced all-around lens.

The good thing about lenses is that they usually hold their value in the used market. So you’ll more than likely be able to sell it for at least 1/3 of what you paid for even in a couple of years.

Purpose of the Lens

illustration of questions to ask yourself before getting a lens

Before buying your next lens, take 5 minutes to really think about what the purpose of this lens will be. I have seen way too many photographers and videographers with a huge stockpile of lenses that they never use.

If you can easily see how you will be using this lens, how it will impact your photography or videography, and how it complements the other lenses you might have, then get it!

However, if it overlaps with another lens you already have or if you can only see yourself using it in very specialized situations then you might have a case of gear acquisition syndrome (GAS).

Will you be Mainly Shooting Photography, Videography, or Both?

illustration of a instant camera vs a video camera

The Sony a6500 is one of the most versatile APS-C cameras and it excels in both photography and videography. If you will be mainly focusing on photography, then all of the lenses we cover will work great.

However, if you will be focusing on videography or know you will be changing between both, there are a couple of lens features you should think about which will help you achieve a more cinematic look:

  • Wider Aperture: A lens with a wider aperture like f/2.8 will allow you to throw out the background giving you a more cinematic look. Just keep in mind you will probably have to use a variable ND filter if the light is brighter.
  • Constant Maximum Aperture: When shooting video with a zoom lens, it’s much easier to keep the exposure of a scene consistent if the maximum aperture remains constant when you zoom in or out.
  • Lens Stabilization: It’s not 100% necessary since the a6500 already has built-in image stabilization. However, if your lens ALSO has stabilization it will allow you to get that much smoother footage.

 

Compatibility with Current or Future Camera

sony-a7riii-with-sony-70-200-f4

Some of you might be thinking about upgrading your Sony a6500 to a full-frame Sony camera like the Sony a7III sooner than later. If this is the case, you might want to think about investing in a full-frame Sony lens instead of getting an APS-C lens.

This is because Sony’s full-frame lenses will work on the Sony a6500 and can save you money if you plan to upgrade soon. Just keep in mind that if you do use full-frame lenses on the Sony a6500 there are a couple of downsides to watch out for:

  • Sony’s full-frame lenses are usually more expensive.
  • There is a 1.5x crop factor with the Sony a6500. This means a 50mm full-frame lens is equivalent to a 75mm lens on the Sony a6500.
  • Full-frame lenses are usually bigger and heavier.

 

Speed of Lens (Maximum Aperture)

illustration of aperture comparison

Depending on the type of photography and videography that you do, you might benefit more from a lens with a wider maximum aperture. If any of these situations sound like ones you might find yourself in then a lens with a wider maximum aperture might be a better fit.

  • Shooting photos or video in low-light situations, indoors, or at night.
  • Film cinematic style videos with shallow depth of field.
  • Your primary focus is portrait photography and you want to be able to throw out the background.

 

Prime Versus Zoom Lens

illustration of prime vs zoom lens

There are pros and cons to each type of lens. Prime lenses are usually smaller, lighter, faster, and give you better image quality. On the other hand, zoom lenses are way more versatile and give you a range of different focal lengths instead of a fixed focal length.

Here are the key differences to understand:



Constant or Variable Maximum Aperture

Depending on your photography and videography style, you might benefit more from a zoom lens with a constant maximum aperture versus one with a variable maximum aperture.

Zoom lenses with a variable maximum aperture which changes as you zoom in and out are usually cheaper.

However, if you shoot portraits, work in low-light situations or if you plan to do a lot of video work, this could be an annoyance. This is because as the aperture changes, you will have to readjust your shutter speed or ISO in order to expose correctly for the scene.

Additionally, if you wanted to throw the background out to create more depth of field, you could have some trouble at the higher F stops when zoomed in.

Weather Sealing

illustration of lens weather sealing

This isn’t a must-have feature, but it is nice to have if you ever plan to shoot outside or in bad weather conditions. Additionally, although the Sony a6500 isn’t weather-sealed, it’s still a pretty tough camera that can handle many different weather conditions

Throw in a weather-sealed lens and you should be able to shoot in some pretty bad weather conditions.

Lens Stabilization

illustration of camera on a gimbal

The Sony a6500 already has built-in 5 axis stabilization, so this feature isn’t as important for this camera. However, if you plan to do video work or use a telephoto lens, having lens stabilization is a plus and will help smooth out those micro jitters even more.

Overall Weight

illustration comparing the different weight of a lens

This is self-explanatory but it’s always a good reminder. If you plan to do any bit of traveling with your camera gear, every ounce of weight in your camera pack adds up really fast. As I already mentioned before, take some time to really think about the purpose of the lens you’re getting.

Maybe a smaller, lighter lens would accomplish everything you need. The last thing you want to happen is to carry around a heavy lens only to use it once or twice.



Reviews of the Bests Lenses for the Sony a6500

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Here are my 12 favorite lenses for the Sony a6500. To make it easier for you to find the right lens, I have split the lenses out into 3 categories; Best All-Around Lenses, Best Prime Lenses, and Best Zoom Lenses.

Best All-Around Lenses for the Sony a6500



1. Sony 16-70mm f/4 Zeiss

black lens on wood table

The Sony 16-70mm f/4 is one of the best and most popular all-around lenses for the Sony a6500. It is actually one of the first “real” lenses I invested in, so I will always have a soft spot for this lens.

The 16-70mm focal length (full-frame equivalent of 24mm – 105mm) is an extremely versatile focal length range for your Sony a6500. On the short end, the 16mm is wide enough to allow you to fit most subjects in your frame, while 70mm will give you enough telephoto reach to get close to most subjects.

The first thing you’ll notice with this lens is its association with the Zeiss name. It is based on the Zeiss Tessar lens design which gives you great optical performance in a small compact size.

black lens on wood table

As expected, you get great image quality throughout the different focal lengths on this lens. I have read and watched many reviews online which say this lens gets softer when you go past 50mm. However, I have never had problems with image quality when shooting in real-world situations.

Other than the price point, the biggest difference between this lens and the Sony 18-105mm f/4 OSS is that this lens has a mechanical zoom function versus the built-in internal power zoom on the 18-105mm.

In my opinion, I think the mechanical zoom is much easier to use for photography, while the power zoom is easier to use for video, but it’ll depend on your personal preference.

PROS

  • A very versatile focal range of 16-70mm (full-frame equivalent of 24-105mm) making it one of the best travel lenses for the Sony a6500.
  • Great optical performance that is based on the Zeiss Tessar lens design.
  • The small and compact size especially for its 16-70mm focal range. About 1 inch shorter than the Sony 18-105mm when fully retracted.
  • Has built-in Optical SteadyShot (OSS) stabilization.

CONS

  • It is about $350 more expensive than the Sony 18-105mm with a more narrow focal range. One of the more expensive lenses in this article.
  • It’s not the fastest lens as the widest aperture is f/4. You will be ok in most situations, but you might run into a little trouble if you’re shooting handheld in low-light situations.
  • Not weather sealed which is unfortunate given its high price point.


illustration of box which links to amazon


2. Sony 18-105mm f/4 G OSS

The Sony 18-105mm is another one of the best all-around lenses for Sony a6500 and it shares many similarities with the Sony Zeiss 16-70mm.

Like the Sony 16-70mm, it has a constant f/4 aperture throughout its zoom range, which is nice to have if you’re shooting in low-light, or doing video work. What separates this lens from the 16-70mm lens is that this lens gives you an incredible focal range from 18-105mm. This is equivalent to a full-frame focal range of 27-152mm so you will have even greater flexibility in the focal range.

The other main difference is that the zoom functionality on this lens is all internal, so when you zoom in and out, the lens does not extend or retract like the Sony 16-70mm lens.

The internal zoom is an especially great fit for shooting video with a gimbal as you won’t have to rebalance the gimbal after zooming in. The biggest downside is that each time you turn off your camera, the lens resets to 18mm and you will have to zoom in to the focal length you want again.

PROS

  • An even more versatile focal range of 18-105mm (full-frame equivalent of 27-152mm) making it another one of the best travel lenses for this camera.
  • Great value lens with a reasonable price for the features especially when you compare it with the Sony 16-70mm lens.
  • It has a constant f/4 aperture throughout its focal range.
  • Internal zoom functionality so your lens does not extend out when you zoom. Really nice for shooting video with a gimbal.
  • Has built-in Optical SteadyShot (OSS) stabilization.

CONS

  • It’s not the fastest lens as the widest aperture is f/4. You will be ok in most situations, but you might run into a little trouble if you’re shooting handheld in low-light situations.
  • The maximum aperture of f/4 won’t give you as shallow depth of field as some of the prime lenses we will cover.
  • Not weather sealed, which is understandable given the price point.


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3. Sony 16-55mm f/2.8 G

The Sony 16-55mm f2.8 G is one of Sony’s newest premium lenses for their APS-C cameras like the Sony a6500. Since this is a premium APS-C lens with a high price point, I think you should really only consider this lens if:

  • You know you will not be upgrading to a full-frame Sony camera in the near future and you want the best quality and sharpest images possible out of your Sony a6500.
  • The 16-55mm focal range will cover most situations you are in. I say this as you could buy the Sony 18-105 and one of the prime lenses in the next section at a cheaper price than this lens.
  • You think you will need a constant f/2.8 aperture based on the situations you find yourself in.

If any of this sounds like you, then the Sony 16-55mm f/2.8 G could be a great fit for you.

The lens shares many of the same features as the premium Sony full-frame G Master lenses. It is weather-sealed, has an autofocus / manual switch, a focus hold button, and even has the same grainy black finish.

Sony was also able to keep it very small and lightweight especially for a zoom lens with a constant f/2.8 aperture.

PROS

  • A very premium APS-C lens that will give you incredibly sharp, high-quality images throughout its focal range.
  • Additional features such as an autofocus / manual switch and a focus hold button on the side of the lens, which is usually only found on Sony’s full-frame lenses.
  • A constant aperture of f/2.8 which makes it a great lens in many lighting conditions.
  • It is weather sealed.

CONS

  • Very high price point. You could get the Sony 18-105 and a high-quality prime lens for a lower total price.
  • No built-in Optical SteadyShot (OSS), which is a let down given the high price point.
  • You still may want a zoom lens to give you further reach than the 55mm focal length.


illustration of box which links to amazon


4. Sony 18-200 f/3.5-6.3 OSS

The Sony 18-200 f/3.5-6.3 OSS is another great choice for an all-around lens because of its crazy focal range from 18-200mm.

With this focal range (full-frame equivalent of 27-300) you will definitely be covered in any situation that you might find yourself. On the shorter focal lengths, it will be wide enough to allow you to fit most subjects in the frame, and on the longer focal lengths, you will have enough reach to zoom in on most subjects you’re shooting.

The biggest downside of this lens is that it has a variable aperture from f/3.5-6.3 versus the constant f/4 aperture that you find on the Sony 16-70mm and Sony 18-105mm.

The variable aperture won’t be that big of an issue if you’re shooting in bright lighting conditions or if you’re using a tripod. However, it could become a problem if you’re shooting handheld in low-light situations or for video work. Here is how the aperture changes based on the focal length you are using:

focal length table of lens

PROS

  • Crazy focal range from 18-200mm will give you an incredible amount of flexibility when you’re out shooting.
  • Lightweight and compact for a lens with this wide of a focal range.
  • Has built-in Optical SteadyShot (OSS) stabilization.

CONS

  • The variable aperture as you zoom in and out could be an issue if you shoot handheld in low-light or if you plan to shoot videos.
  • The image quality is not as good as the Sony 18-105mm and its at a higher price point.
  • Not weather sealed.


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Best Prime Lenses for the Sony a6500 + 1 Extra

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5. Sigma 16mm f/1.4

Sigma 16mm vs 30mm Image #4 - witandfolly.co-1

The Sigma 16mm f/1.4 is a direct competitor with the Sony E 16mm f/2.8 (which we will go over next) and is a great prime lens if you’re looking for the best image quality and have the extra budget.

When compared to the Sony E 16mm f/2.8, the Sigma 16mm f/1.4 will give you better image quality throughout and has a maximum aperture of f/1.4 versus f/2.8 on the Sony lens. The wider maximum aperture will give you a greater shallow depth of field when you’re shooting photos or videos and is more flexible in low light situations.

This is one of my favorite lenses to shoot video with.

Surprisingly, even though it’s a third party lens from Sigma, the autofocus is super quick. Add the quick autofocus to the maximum aperture of f/1.4 and you can capture very cinematic footage with this lens.

To give you an idea of what you’re able to do with this lens, check out my short film Spirit of Matsu. I shot 90% this short film the Sigma 16mm f/1.4 lens and the Sony a6500.

PROS

  • Can get an incredible depth of field and produce very cinematic photos and videos with the maximum aperture of f/1.4.
  • Sharper and better image quality when compared to the Sony 16mm f/2.8.
  • Fast and responsive autofocus for photography or video work.

CONS

  • Close to double the price of the Sony 16mm f/2.8.
  • No built-in optical image stabilization which is a bummer considering the price point.
  • Almost 3 times the size of the Sony 16mm f/2.8 so it’s harder to carry around.
  • You still might need to get other lenses to make sure you’re covered at different focal lengths.
  • Not weather sealed.


illustration of box which links to amazon


6. Sony E 16mm f/2.8

The Sony E 16mm f/2.8 is one of the smallest and cheapest lenses you can get for your Sony a6500. It’s a pancake-style lens so even when you put the lens on the body, it’s still small enough to slide in your pocket while walking around.

At 16mm f/2.8 (full-frame equivalent to 24mm), it’s great for street photography, architectural photography, shooting in low-light situations, and vast landscape shots.

When compared with the Sigma 16mm f/1.4, the Sony E 16mm f/2.8 doesn’t have as good of image quality and you lose out on 2 additional stops of light with its aperture of f/2.8 versus the f/1.4 aperture on the Sigma 16mm.

With that said, this won’t matter for everyone. If you’re on a budget and want to save some money, or if you don’t need an f/1.4 lens, then the Sony E 16mm f/2.8 might be a better fit for you.

PROS

  • Small compact and lightweight size. It makes it very easy to carry around with you everywhere you go.
  • Performs pretty well in low-light situations with its f/2.8 maximum aperture.
  • It’s about half the price of the Sigma 16mm f/1.4.

CONS

  • No built-in Optical SteadyShot (OSS) stabilization.
  • The Sigma 16mm f/1.4 produces better quality image quality.
  • The fixed 16mm focal length could limit you in the types of photos you want to take if this is your only lens.
  • Not weather sealed.


illustration of box which links to amazon


7. Sony 35mm f/1.8 OSS

black lens on wood table

The Sony 35mm f/1.8 is a prime lens at the versatile 35mm focal length on the APS-C sensor. This lens has a full-frame equivalent of 52.5mm so it’s the closest you will get to a “Nifty Fifty” lens for your Sony a6500.

The reason photographers/videographers love the 50mm focal length is that it’s the most identical to the human eye. Because of this, the images and videos the lenses at this focal length produce are the most natural-looking, especially if you compare it to a wide-angle lens.

With the maximum aperture of f/1.8, it’s a very fast lens, which will give you flexibility in a variety of different lighting conditions. The combination of focal length and aperture also makes this one of the best portrait lenses for the Sony a6500.

Additionally, this lens also has Optical SteadyShot (OSS) which will allow you to get smoother video footage and will help capture sharp images if you ever take photos handheld at slower shutter speeds.

PROS

  • “Nifty Fifty” focal length on the APS-C sensor with a maximum aperture of f/1.8 makes this one of the best portrait lenses for the Sony a6500.
  • The fast aperture of f/1.8 gives you the flexibility to shoot in a variety of different lighting conditions.
  • You can produce some very cinematic, intimate shots with its 35mm focal length and f/1.8 aperture.
  • Built-in Optical SteadyShot to stabilize your video footage or when you take photos handheld at slower shutter speeds.

CONS

  • The focal length is not very wide so it could limit you in some situations.
  • The Sigma 30mm f/1.4 is a more budget-friendly option with the same or better image quality.


illustration of box which links to amazon


8. Sigma 30mm f/1.4

Sigma 16mm vs 30mm Image #3 - witandfolly.co-1

The Sigma 30mm f/1.4 is one of the best value prime lenses available for the Sony a6500. For about $100 cheaper than the Sony 35mm f/1.8 OSS, you still get incredible image quality that is on par or even better than the Sony lens.

The 30mm focal length (45mm full-frame equivalent) puts it close to the “Nifty-Fifty” focal length too, so you will be able to produce natural-looking imagery like the Sony 35mm f/1.8 OSS.

With the f/1.4 aperture, you also get a slightly faster lens which is nice if you shoot a lot in low-light situations.

Additionally, the bokeh it produces at these wider apertures is beautiful, dreamy, and soft making the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 another one of the best portrait lenses for the Sony a6500.

For such a small lens, you really can get some incredibly cinematic shots.

The biggest downside is that this lens does not have stabilization like the Sony 35mm f/1.8 OSS. Again, it’s not too big of a deal because the Sony a6500 has built-in 5 axis image stabilization. So if you want to skip having lens stabilization and save a little bit of money, this lens is a good choice.

PROS

  • “Nifty Fifty” focal length on the APS-C sensor with a maximum aperture of f/1.4 makes this another one of the best portrait lenses for the Sony a6500.
  • Very good, sharp, image quality throughout the different apertures.
  • You can produce some very cinematic, intimate shots with its 30mm focal length and f/1.4 aperture.
  • Great value for its price point as you can usually find it about $100 cheaper than the Sony 35mm and it has the same image quality.

CONS

  • It does not have built-in lens stabilization, which could make getting smooth video footage a little more difficult than a lens with stabilization.
  • The autofocus does not work as quickly on every autofocus setting as the Sony 35mm because it is not a native Sony lens.


illustration of box which links to amazon


9. Sony E 10-18mm f/4 OSS

It’s not technically a prime lens, but I wanted to throw this one into the mix.

The Sony E 10-18mm F4 OSS is one of the best wide-angle zoom lens options for your Sony a6500. It might not be apparent right away, but the additional 6 mm in width this lens gives you when compared to a 16mm lens, makes a huge difference in how much you’re able to fit in the frame.

However, since this lens is more specialized and that it’s at a higher price point, I think it would only make sense if:

  • Your primary focus is in architecture or interior photography.
  • You shoot video or vlogs and could benefit from the wider angle and the Optical SteadyShot.
  • You already have a primary lens and would benefit from a super wide-angle lens.

The lens is compact, lightweight, and produces great image quality for both photography and video. It’s also nice that you can change your focal length between 10-18mm with a constant aperture of f/4.

The biggest downside is its high price point. For 2/3 of the price, you could pick up the Sony 18-105mm f/4, which gives you much more versatility especially if it’s your only lens.

So again, unless you know you will be using the wide-angle to its full advantage, another lens might be a better choice.

PROS

  • A wide-angle lens that will allow you to capture photography and videos at a unique wide-angle.
  • A constant f/4 aperture throughout the focal lengths which is nice to have especially for video work.
  • Built-in Optical SteadyShot (OSS) stabilization which will give you smoother video footage and will make it easier to take photographs at slower shutter speeds.
  • Great autofocus + super wide-angle combination makes it one of the best vlogging lenses.

CONS

  • It’s a more expensive lens. For about 2/3 of the price, you could get the Sony 18-105 which covers a much wider focal range.
  • The wide-angle focal lengths could limit you if this is your only lens.
  • At 10mm there is some barrel distortion although you can fix that in post-processing.
  • Not weather sealed which is surprising considering its price point.


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Best Zoom Lenses for the Sony a6500

illustration of zoom lenses on a book shelf

10. Sony 70-200 f/4

image of zoom lens on wood table with dark background

This is a full-frame zoom lens made for Sony’s full-frame cameras like the Sony a7III or Sony a9. So, you should only consider this lens if you’re thinking about upgrading to Sony’s full-frame system in the near future.

As I mentioned before, even though it’s a full-frame lens, it will still work with your Sony a6500 because they use the same E Mount System. The reason why it might be worth looking into is that you will save money in the long run if you’re planning to upgrade soon.

If you’re thinking about making the switch to full-frame, I think a telephoto lens is the perfect type of lens to start with. This is because there is a 1.5x crop factor with the APS-C sensor on the Sony a6500 that you have to take into account, which won’t be as big of a deal with a telephoto lens.

If you put a full-frame 35mm lens on your a6500, it would essentially be a 50mm lens with the crop factor which might not be what you’re looking for.

On the other hand, telephoto lenses are meant to zoom in close to a subject. So, even though the 70-200mm will be more like a 105-300mm lens with the crop factor, the additional reach isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

The Sony 70-200mm f/4 is one of the best zoom lenses for Sony’s full-frame system. It has amazing image quality, the zoom functionality is all internal, and it’s pretty light for being a zoom lens. You do lose the extra stop of light when compared to the full-frame Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master, but you also save over $1k by going with the f/4 version.

PROS

  • Will future proof your set-up if you’re thinking about upgrading to a full-frame Sony camera in the near future.
  • One of the best zoom lenses for the Sony full-frame system that produces extremely sharp photos.
  • Has a premium build and includes an AF/MF switch, OSS On/Off switch and focus hold button on the side of the camera.
  • Cheaper and lighter than the f/2.8 version of this lens making it more friendly for travel.
  • Constant aperture at f/4.

CONS

  • More expensive since it is a full-frame lens. Almost double the price than the Sony E 70-350mm f/4.5-6.3 G OSS and it has a much more narrow focal range.
  • Heavier than most APS-C specific lenses.


illustration of box which links to amazon


11. Sony E55-210mm f/4.5-6.3 OSS

If you’re on a budget or if you don’t use a telephoto lens that much, this lens might be for you.

The Sony E 55-210 f/4.5-6.3 is a very budget-friendly variable aperture zoom lens that is made specifically for Sony APS-C cameras like the Sony a6500.

Just to give you an idea of how cheap you can get this lens for, I did a quick search on eBay and found a good selection of used Sony 55-210mm lenses for under $200. You really can’t lose at this price point and it makes for a great secondary lens for your gear pack.

Since it is a budget lens, you can’t expect the same image quality as the Sony 70-350mm lens or the Sony 70-200 full-frame lens, but it’ll still get the job done.

PROS

  • Very low price point and a good value for the wide focal range it has.
  • Includes built-in Optical SteadyShot (OSS) which is nice to have especially when using this lens at longer focal lengths. Even some of the more expensive lenses in this article don’t have OSS.
  • A great companion lens especially given its low price point and lightweight.

CONS

  • It does not produce the sharpest or best quality image, but it still gets the job done.
  • No other negatives given the low price point it is at.


illustration of box which links to amazon


12. Sony E 70-350mm f/4.5-6.3 G OSS

The Sony E 70-350mm f/4.5-6.3 G OSS is Sony’s newest super-telephoto lens for its APS-C cameras.

It’s really crazy how powerful the zoom capability is on this lens. With a max range of 350mm (full-frame equivalent of 525mm), you will easily be able to take unique up-close photos or videos of subjects you normally would not be able to.

To get the same reach with a full-frame Sony lens you would usually have to pay more than double the price

Compared to the Sony 55-210mm, this lens is much more of a premium offering and shares many of the same features like Sony’s full-frame lenses. It includes an AF/MF switch, OSS On/Off switch and focus hold on the side of the camera. On the picture quality side, you can also expect much sharper images throughout the focal range.

It is a bit of a bummer that the lens is a variable aperture lens, but in order to keep it affordable, there really was no other choice. Here is how the aperture varies depending on the focal length you’re using:

PROS

  • A very powerful super zoom lens with a crazy 70-350mm focal range.
  • High quality and sharp image quality at all focal lengths throughout the lens.
  • Has a premium build and includes an AF/MF switch, OSS On/Off switch and focus hold button on the side of the camera.
  • Very good autofocus speed especially for a super zoom lens.

CONS

  • Variable aperture from f/4.5-f/6.3 could be an issue in some lighting conditions depending on if you have a tripod or not.
  • You will probably need another lens to fill the under 70mm focal range.
  • The price is on the higher end.
  • It is not weather-sealed.


illustration of box which links to amazon


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