The E-Mount is one of the most popular lens types for Sony camcorders and mirrorless cameras. With this article, we’re going to cover what we consider to be the best E-Mount lenses available right now.
The choice of E-mount lenses is pretty rich and if you have a Sony camera, then there are a lot of different options for you to choose from. Some of the lenses we feature here will be proprietary Sony lenses, but lots will be lenses created by other manufacturers like Carl Zeiss.
The E-Mount lens for Sony camcorders and mirrorless cameras has gained a lot of attraction in the market and finding the best E-Mount lens from the sea of possible options can be a little overwhelming, especially for beginner photographers or videographers.
For this purpose, my article has rounded up some of the finest E-mount lenses to choose from, which you can add to your bag of lens collection.
The Importance of a Great Lens
A good quality lens is crucial for capturing great video or photos, thus choosing the best type of E-mount lens can help you with that.
Sony alone now offers a choice of more than two dozen dedicated full-frame E-Mount lenses and in addition to this, allows using almost any third party lens (via a separate mount), so that users can take advantage of Sony’s class-leading camera technology.
Moreover, the latest enhancement of Carl Zeiss lens, including the enhancement of standard zoom with G lens for E-mount cameras and camcorders, as well as the introduction of the option for the popular E 50 mm F1.2 lens port, has significantly increased the range of E-mount lenses.
If you’re not familiar with “Carl Zeiss” then let me tell you that this manufacturer is one of the top-players in optics producing Sony lens.
From proprietary Sony lenses to the lenses manufactured by Carl Zeiss and others, this article lists the best among them.
Additionally, the article highlights two of my favorite cameras, i.e Sony a7S and FS7, specifically for more advanced users who want to make the best use of E-Mount lenses.
Let’s get started!
The Best E-Mount Lenses
Currently, the market is full of more than 50 E-mount lenses offered by Sony alone and dozens of other lenses produced by other manufacturers.
Among them, I’ve selected five of the best e-mount lenses which you need to be aware of before taking the money out of your wallet.
All of the lenses are ideal for use with NEX-3, NEX-5, NEX-6 and NEX-7 compact cameras, as well as the new α3000 and NEX-VG900E1 and NEX-VG30EH Full HD video cameras.
Let’s look at 5 of the best E-Mount lenses that are fantastic for Sony cameras, as well as other cameras with the right adapter.
A great E-mount camcorder with replaceable lenses is able to experience the legendary excellence and superiority of a simple and compact zoom like the Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar 16-70mm F4.
This is a practical choice for a great E-mount camcorder with replaceable lenses, covering both wide-distant perspectives to focused portraits, with exceptional image quality.
To start with, it has appropriate optical performance coupled with a quadruple zoom range that provides a 35mm equivalent focal length range of 24-105mm and makes it ideal for shooting video of the most varied situations.
Unlike more fast-paced zooms, the maximum aperture of F4 is achieved in the entire range of focal lengths.
This reduces the need for high ISO settings when zooming, and also allows you to ‘freeze the action’ that is played in front of your eyes, regardless of its speed. Thanks to the circular aperture, the added clarity and naturalness of your image is kept intact.
Advanced Aspherical Lens (AA) lenses combine an AA lens element with three common aspherical elements, reducing the size and weight of the lens without compromising the quality of the image produced.
For minimizing the possibility of blurry and out-of-focus images, Sony’s Optical SteadyShot Photo Stabilization System offers more control over camera blur, resulting in sharper images.
The unique and refined Carl Zeiss T anti-reflective coating minimizes reflection and colour reproduction with the addition of superb resolution and clarity.
The trademark of these lenses is the superior contrast and resolution that can be selected from the zoom settings, coupled with an elegantly refined metal exterior that gives the lens an enviable look and a more pronounced sense of luxury.
- Carl Zeiss mid-range zoom lens; Compatible with E-mount Full Frame cameras and E-mount APS-C cameras
- Minimum Focus Distance : 1.15 feet (0.35 m), Maximum Magnification ratio : 0.23x, Focal Length :...
- High lens technology in a compact body. Filter Diameter (mm) - 55 mm
- Optical Steady Shot image stabilization. Zeiss T anti-reflective coating
- When using a flash, always remove the lens hood and shoot at least 1 m (3.3 feet) away from your...
Providing the best combination of price and performance,, this Sony lens is the rare G lens designed specifically for E-mount cameras and camcorders with replaceable lenses.
The SELP18105G model has a very rich 5.8x zoom range – equivalent to that of 27-157.5mm, making it the first choice for travel and everyday shooters.
The optical design of the ELP18105G model reflects the pedigree of the G lens. Two ED glass elements are associated with three aspherical elements for high resolution and contrast throughout the entire zoom range.
Distinctness and color deviation is minimized, allowing beautiful performances with excellent contrasts at all focal lengths. The Circular Blur guarantees simple and professional effects, regardless of whether you are shooting static photos or full HD motion video clips.
This model with its full-featured performance and effects is highly recommended for video recording in Full HD. The technology was developed specifically for smaller cameras provides incredible autofocus and powerful zoom without any difficulty or distraction from your subject.
Zoom is located at an exceptionally convenient handling site, which ensures you control the zoom speed as much as you need, and all the additional operations you want to eliminate any instability and unwanted changes are placed at the fingertips.
For more significant creative control, independent focus and zoom rings allow manual focus adjustment when zooming. The overall lens length remains unchanged at each zoom and focus, all in order to ensure consistency of comfort while being used.
Like the new SEL1670Z, the SELP18105G keeps the F4 maximizing the aperture for tremendous clarity at all possible zoom settings. The SteadyShot setting eliminates camera shake effects for clearer shots, even in poor lighting conditions.
- High performance E mount lens with excellent contrast; Minimum Aperture (F): 22
- Minimum Focus Distance : 1.48 (Wide) 3.12 ft (Tele), Maximum Magnification ratio : 0.11x, Focal...
- Versatile 27 158mm (35mm equiv.) zoom range. Angle of view (APS C): 76° 15°. Number of aperture...
- Constant F4 maximum aperture throughout the zoom range. Filter diameter (mm):72 mm
- It is recommended that you use a lens hood to reduce flare and ensure maximum image quality.Focal...
In response to user requirements, the 50mm E-mount F1.8 with fixed focal lengths of the lens is now available in a striking black color, and it’s one of the best you can get on a budget.
This clear, wide aperture lens is ideal for capturing very “atmospheric” portraits, and its fast f/1.8 maximum aperture facilitates working in low light conditions. Having appropriate optical performance and peripheral sharpness.
On top of this, the SteadyShot image stabilization eliminates the appearance of camera shake effects for clearer shots, with no fear of blurring.
Autofocus can be slightly noisy, but you do not have to worry about how its effect will negatively impact your work because it does not, actually, mean that the image quality will be disappointing.
- Built-in Optical SteadyShot image stabilization and 7-blade circular aperture for beautiful defocus...
- Minimum Focus Distance : 1.28 ft (0.39 m), Maximum Magnification ratio : 0.16x, Focal-Length : 50 mm...
- Large F1.8 maximum aperture enables beautiful defocusing effects. Angle of View (APS-C) : 32°
- "Compact, lightweight mid-range telephoto prime with elegant aluminum alloy exterior.Diaphragm...
- In-the-box: Hood (ALC-SH116), Lens front cap, Lens rear cap
This is a super wide-angle zoom lens, offering a constant maximum aperture of f/4 through the entire focal length range and a built-in Optical SteadyShot image stabilization system.
The Sony SEL1018 is by no means a cheap E-Mount lens, but with a very good picture quality, it convinces lots of more professional users to make the purchase, especially those who have a slightly higher demand on their lens.
The SEL1018 has consistently received good reviews from review aggregator platforms.
With the aperture of F4.0 you can take beautiful photos during the day, but if you want to shoot many photos at night, the relatively small aperture is quite limiting when it comes to low light performance.
If you’re looking for a wide-angle lens with a larger aperture for a lower price, you’d better look around at some other options.
- Angle of View (APS-C) - 109 ° – 76 °
- Minimum focal length of 10 mm (15 mm in 35 mm-camera equivalency)
- Minimum Focus Distance : 0.82 ft (0.25 m), Maximum Magnification ratio : 0.1x
- Superbly detailed images;Aperture Maximum: f/4 ; Minimum: f/22. 35mm equivalent focal-length (APS-C)...
- In-the-box:Hood (ALC-SH123), Lens front cap, Lens rear cap
The Sony 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 E OSS is a standard mid-range zoom lens for Sony α (or NEX) E-Mount mirrorless digital cameras with APS-C sized sensors, perfect for high-quality images and providing fields of view ranging from wide-angle 18mm to the portrait focal length range at 55mm.
The is an impressive standard zoom lens that ticks a lot of people’s boxes.
Earlier Sony Alpha system cameras came with this kit lens. Compared to the new kit lens (SELP1650), it is much larger and has a slightly longer focal length. Judging by many reviews, this lens has a slightly better sharpness than the new kit lens.
If you have not bought your Sony A6000 with the new kit lens, the SEL1855 is a good all-rounder lens. However, it makes no sense to own this kit lens in addition to the standard kit lens (the SELP1650).
Although the range of zoom lenses for the Sony E-Mount system is somewhat clear, there are a large number of fixed focal lengths for the E-Mount.
Especially notable are Rokinon, Walimex and Samyang, who bring out several fixed focal lengths for the Sony E-Mount every year. But most of them have to be completely manually controlled (ie manual focus and manual iris).
We would advise you to opt for a fixed focal length if you are looking for a high-quality lens that should not cost too much. In general, fixed focal lengths are much sharper, more compact, and often have much faster apertures compared to zoom lenses.
The larger aperture lets you achieve a greater depth of field (also called bokeh ), and your sensor also gets more light, making it easier to shoot in darker environments.
Naturally, though, with a fixed focal length lens you’re compromising on the range of different focal lengths that you’d get with a zoom lens.
To retain as much clarity as possible, the lens also incorporates Sony’s OSS (Optical Steady Shot) image stabilization system which helps reduce the loss of sharpness caused by camera movement.
The lens uses a responsive precise autofocus system designed for both photography and videography. Additionally, a separate telephoto zoom is installed, similar to in Sony E 55-210mm.
E-Mount Lens Buying Advice
Before starting on the list of best e-mount lenses, the articles will begin by highlighting some of the features to consider when choosing a compatible lens for your camera. If you’re a newbie, you will have to take a little care in choosing lenses.
In this way no matter what brand and kind of camera system you have, you should be able to get a good idea from this post which specifications matter when shopping for a camera lens.
Normal fixed focal lengths
Normal fixed focal lengths are fixed focal lengths that have a focal length of 30 to about 60 millimeters, determining whether a lens captures a wide or narrow-angle of view and thus the type of picture you can take.
Since a focal length of 50 mm full-frame (i.e. about 33 mm of APS-C cameras) covers the natural field of view of us humans, these lenses can be used for portraits such as capturing beautiful footage of people talking or can also be used for macro photography.
If you are looking for a new lens, especially for portrait work, you should make sure that it also has a fairly large aperture (preferably F1.8 or smaller). You can also take a look at the portrait fixed focal lengths, which have slightly longer focal lengths.
Achieving Greater Focus with Portrait prime lenses
Portrait fixed focal lengths are fixed focal lengths that have a focal length of 50 to 85 millimeters (75 to 130 mm in full format) and are therefore very suitable for shooting portraits.
One key feature of portrait lenses is their bokeh, i.e. to blur the background in order to center the attention on the subject.
To achieve the blurry background, this type of lens generally has a relative maximum aperture, for instance F1.8, which can easily enable background blur to be achieved.
Macro Prime Lenses to Magnify the World
Macro lenses are usually fixed focal lengths, which are key considerations when it comes to capturing detailed and close-up photos.
Often, you want to make very small things appear very big, such as small insects or flowers, and this type of lens is great for that.
Don’t worry if this isn’t quite clear. For understanding this more effectively, we found a good chart from Digital Camera World that’s very helpful:
Wide-Angle Zoom for Landscape View
Both beginners and professional photographers love to use a wide-angle lens for capturing better quality vast landscape views.
Also, a wide-angle view can often provide a very short focus distance, allowing the photographer to get close to the subject and still include background information.
Wide-angle zoom lenses are zoom lenses that are mostly used in establishing shots of landscapes and portraits, as well as master shots in narrative filmmaking.
Owners of a Sony Alpha 6000, unfortunately, do not have a large selection of wide-angle zoom lenses for the E-mount.
However, there is a much wider selection of wide-angle fixed lenses that I would recommend to most users of this camera.
Thus, the smaller the focal length of the lens, the stronger the “wide-angle look”, which makes the foreground much larger than the background.
As a general rule of thumb, at fixed focal you can get a much better price-performance ratio and, while zoom function you need in the wide-angle range is not actually always necessary.
Check out some great Sony cameras in our article on our favorite slow-motion cameras below:
Economical Solution for High-Quality Lenses
Did you know that most of the other high-quality lenses can also be connected to your Sony camera via an adapter?
Photography is an expensive hobby. Once you’ve bought your camera, you still have to buy a lens and other accessories.
It’s possible to connect other lenses to the E-Mount using specific reasonably priced adapters, as a result you get a lot more options to use different lenses.
Even using a 30 or 40 year old used lens is possible on your modern-day camera. Probably the best option for this is the Pentax K Mount.
Thus look for good conditioned, second-hand lenses, which are compatible with your camera. You get an adapter for about a reasonable price. Then you have the choice between all sorts of used lenses.
In this way, you will have more variety of lenses in your collection, for little money.
Best E-Mount Lenses – In Conclusion
Buying decisions can be tough regardless of the kind of equipment you’re considering. Lens decisions are especially tough, as there are so many variables to consider.
Since using the right kind of lens controls the quality of a picture, the photographers need to choose their lens wisely, keeping in mind different variables such as a choice between prime lenses or wide-angle lenses.
It should be noted that whilst there is a range of options here for the E-Mount, there are only a few manufacturers who make good E-Mount lenses, so this helps us out a little when making a choice.
It should also be noted that these E-Mount lenses won’t work with a lot of cameras, notably your Canon DSLRs and other EF mounts. Even with an adapter, this is just not possible due to the very small flange distance. These lenses are predominantly designed for mirrorless cameras, which Canon EF isn’t.
So whilst you can use something like a Metabones (or similar) to use our Canon EF lenses on you Sony cameras, the same cannot be said in reverse.
We hope this article on the best E-Mount lenses has been instructive for you in making a purchasing decision on these lenses. In a lot of cases, having two or more of these lenses will have you covered for all kinds of shooting situations.
Which of the E-Mount lenses have you found most useful for your projects? Have we missed out one of your favorites here? Let us know in the comments just below here.