The lens you have attached to your camera can make or break your photos, depending on the situation you’re in. It’s helpful to have a few lenses to choose from, but not everyone has the means to invest in a lot of top-end, highly-priced lenses.
Contrary to popular belief, good lenses don’t have to cost you a new mortgage. Unfortunately, with the wide array of lenses out there, it can be difficult to sort through them all and decide on what’s the best value for your hard-earned cash. That’s why we’ve gathered together this list of worthwhile cheap lenses for Sony cameras, to make your decision a little less painful.
1. Sony FE 50mm f/1.8 (Overall Winner)
Sony’s FE 50mm f/1.8, for full-frame E-mount cameras, is ideal for taking portraits, but it can have other applications as well. The f/1.8 aperture delivers outstanding image quality that can cut your subject out neatly from the background. The lens, which is quite compact and lightweight, allows users to shoot night scenes and take photos in dimly lit interiors with ease.
It’s useful to mention that the lens comes with an innovative optical design to achieve clear, high-quality photos by minimizing distortion and chromatic aberration. In addition to the affordable price, this lens is made to be durable, fast, and agile.
It’s easy to think that you can only use Sony lenses on a Sony camera, but it doesn’t have to be like that. A smart hack that experienced photographers will probably tell you is that you can seek for third-party lenses that are compatible with your camera brand and achieve the same effect – high-quality images.
The Meike MK FE 50mm f/1.7 is not only affordable but also compatible with Sony FE E-Mount mirrorless cameras. Due to the aperture of f/1.7, this lens has a high light intensity which allows for precise recording even in poor light conditions. The body of this multi-layered lens is made of metal, and it’s easy to adjust.
Since the front element is multi-coated, the lens effectively reduces flare and ghosting, thus allowing you to capture some creative images. The Meike MK FE 50mm f/1.7 is suitable for portrait photography, but also for product and landscape photography.
Samyang has released a number of cheap lenses for Sony and Canon cameras. The Samyang AF-E 35mm f/2.8 FE is compatible with Sony E-mount cameras. The small pancake lens fits easily with the rest of your equipment and comes in handy when you’re on the go.
The Samyang AF-E 35mm f/2.8 features autofocus, but also comes with seven elements in six groups, two aspherical lenses as well as one high refractive lens with Ultra Multi-Coating.
Thanks to autofocus, minimum focusing distance, and a slightly wide-angle, this lens is particularly useful for environmental portraits, travel photography, street shooting, and taking photos of landscapes. Bear in mind the lens isn’t created for video, just for still photography, and you need to be prepared for some noise when you’re using the autofocus.
Looking for a lens for your Sony A-mount camera? Then this might be the solution. The Sony DT 35mm f/1.8 SAM allows you to shoot anything from landscapes to portraits. The f/1.8 aperture is bright enough to allow handheld shooting in low-light conditions meaning you can take photos at night and in dim interiors.
Its small and lightweight nature is unobtrusive on the camera and makes it ideal for traveling. The glass-molded aspherical lens improves the optical stability and precision to create sharper and more visually accurate images with minimal distortion. It’s also affordable, making it a great solution for aspiring photographers who want to boost the quality of photos at a reasonable price.
Above in the article, we’ve already discussed the Sony FE 50mm lens, but unlike the previous one which is compatible with E-mount cameras, this lens is suitable for A-mount devices.
The Sony DT 50mm f/1.8 SAM boasts a large aperture that will give you great portraits and amazing images even in dim interiors or when shooting at night. Interestingly, this lens is one of the first fixed focal length lenses in the DT series designed specifically for DSLR cameras with an APS-C sensor.
What makes this lens so useful is the variety of features including the smooth autofocus motor (SAM), which directly rotates the focus mechanism for smooth operation and quiet performance. The lens also comes with a distance encoder, which delivers high precision flash metering that is undisturbed by reflections from the background.
Unlike most lenses with conventional apertures, the Sony DT 50mm f/1.8 SAM has a circular aperture which enhances the bokeh effect of the blurred background. For comparison sake, the conventional aperture usually creates unappealing polygonal-shaped defocused points of light.
The Sony E PZ 16–50mm f/3.5–5.6 OSS is compatible with E-mount cameras, but owners of A-mount devices can also use it. The lens is retractable, meaning when powered it expands, but returns to its “starting” position when powered off. When expanded, the lens has a surprisingly large zoom range and its power zoom capability in autofocus mode provides fast, smooth, and quiet shooting experience.
Besides still images, the Sony E PZ 16–50mm f/3.5–5.6 OSS allows you to record videos. The addition of the Optical Steady Shot image stabilization system decreases the effect of camera shake. At the same time, ED glass and aspherical lens elements reduce aberrations and give you images of exceptional quality.
When discussing cheap lenses for Sony cameras, it’s impossible not to mention Sigma’s products. Sigma has a great range of lenses for Sony, Canon, and other cameras, and they come at different prices to suit everyone’s budget.
The Sigma 19mm f/2.8 EX DN is specifically designed for mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras, and it has the equivalent angle of view as a 38mm. Suitable for E-mount cameras, the Sigma 19mm f/2.8 EX DN provides excellent correction for distortion, field curvature, and color aberration thanks to three-glass mold aspherical lenses.
The super multi-layer coating decreases ghosting and flare while providing sharp and high-contrast photos even at maximum aperture. Autofocus operates in a quiet manner and makes the lens an excellent option for both still images and videos.
8. Neewer 35mm f/1.7 (Budget Winner)
Here’s yet another third-party producer that makes cheap lenses for Sony cameras. The Neewer 35mm f/1.7 is compatible with Sony E-Mount digital mirrorless cameras such as NEX 3, NEX 3N, NEX 5, and others.
If you prefer autofocus, this lens may not be for you. But if you’re into manual lenses or you’re up to the challenge, then the Neewer 35mm f/1.7 is worth taking into consideration.
Due to the f/1.7 aperture, the lens allows you to take great photos in dim areas and at night. The compact and sophisticated design makes this lens a truly beautiful piece of equipment in addition to being an amazing performer.
Finding Cheap Lenses for Sony
Finding cheap lenses for Sony cameras is pretty easy because they come at a variety of prices, and one can also find third-party lenses. Throughout this post, you’ve seen some amazing examples of lenses that are not only conveniently priced, but also outstanding in terms of quality of images they provide.
Consider whether you prefer manual or autofocus, both video and still images or just the latter, zoom or no zoom before you make the final decision on which cheap lenses for Sony are most suitable for your camera.
Looking for cheap Nikon or Canon lenses? Check out our top picks for those: