Sony is sometimes overlooked in comparison to Canon and Nikon, but it has a great range of DSLR cameras and quality lenses too. In this guide, we look at four of the top Sony macro lenses under $1000 so you can create excellent macro photography.
For macro photography, the closest focusing distance and magnification ratio are important. The closest focusing distances denotes how close you can get to your subject. Also, the magnification ratio denotes the scale of the subject in correspondence to its real-life dimensions. You want a ratio of at least 1:1 which gives a true representation of the subject’s scale and size.
Sony macro lenses are robust but have minimal features in comparison to other manufacturers’ lenses. Usually, the autofocusing system does not have a special notation. Instead, you’ll need to read the product description to see what autofocusing system it has.
1. Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 Macro G OSS
The Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 Macro G OSS is a high-end lens and is available for under $1000 if you purchase it as a used model. Despite being used, this should have no bearing on the quality or end results.
This affordable lens is compatible with full-frame Sony DSLR cameras and has a great range of features to provide high-quality macro shots. It has a closest focusing distance of 0.28m and a magnification ratio of 1.0x. This means you can get fantastic detail on your subjects from a relatively safe distance.
For moving subjects, the maximum f/2.8 aperture and OSS (Optical Image Stabilization) help greatly. The OSS helps when using the lens handheld and the maximum aperture of f/2.8 means you can shoot steady in low-light macro compositions too.
For autofocusing, this budget lens has a DDSSM motor (Direct Drive SSM), which provides quiet and precise focusing. The lens glass also features Nano AR coating which reduces reflections but also protects from dust and moisture. This is one of the best Sony macro lenses under $1000 and a decent lens for portraits too.
Read our complete review to find out more about the Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 Macro G OSS.
2. Sony FE 50mm f/2.8 Macro
The Sony FE 50mm f/2.8 Macro is a top lens under $1000 that has a smaller focal distance, which means you will have to get closer to your macro subject. However, it still has a great set of features and this Sony prime lens allows you to create quality macro shots.
The closest focusing distance is 0.16m and it has a magnification ratio of 1:1. This offers greater magnification and closer shooting than the FE 90mm.
The lens element also features ED (Extra-low dispersion) glass which helps keep image contrast consistent. It also has a robust external design that is both dust and moisture resistant. You can also benefit from several quick-function buttons including an AF/MF focus switch, and a focus-hold button.
Despite the advanced lens element, the Sony FE 50mm f/2.8 Macro is also lightweight at just 263g. It also has an overall length of 2.78 inches making it incredibly compact. For close-up photography, this is a great macro lens for under $1000.
3. Sony 50mm f/2.8 Macro
The Sony 50mm f/2.8 Macro is a similar lens but has some different features to the Sony FE 50mm f/2.8 Macro. It is a good lens that offers great macro performance, is highly usable, and is compact and lightweight too.
These features include an array of external buttons such as a focus-hold button which allows you to maintain your focus if the lens moves. There is also a handy focus switch button that allows you to quickly change between AF and MF.
The maximum aperture of f/2.8 gives excellent control and also makes this lens suitable for low-light macro photography. Unfortunately, it does not have any built-in image stabilization, but you should still be able to use the lens comfortably handheld.
We also like the circular blades of the aperture which allow you to produce fantastic bokeh effects for your macro photography backgrounds. This is definitely one of the good lenses under $1000 and is also highly compact. It weighs 294g, and has an overall length of 2.83 inches.
4. Sony 100mm f/2.8 Macro (Budget Winner)
Our best value macro lens is the Sony 100mm f/2.8. When purchase as a used lens you can actually get this model for under $500, whereas new, it is approximately $700. If you want telephoto capabilities for your macro photography, this budget lens is a good choice.
It is compatible with full-frame Sony DSLRs and also works with Sony’s Super Steady Shot Image Stabilization which is available in some camera models.
The image quality of this lens produces is consistent and quality. The lens elements provide great contrast and maintain color depth. Also, you will notice minimal distortion like chromatic aberration and lens flare.
It also has some useful features like a focus range limiter that improves the lens’ autofocus capabilities. There is also a focus-hold button that allows you to maintain the same focusing distance for moving subjects etc.
For macro photography, this lens has a closest focusing distance of 1.24ft and a magnification ratio of 1:1. This is a slightly longer minimum focusing distance, but it is compensated for by the greater 100mm focal range. It also weighs just 544g and has an overall length of four inches.
Improve Your Close-ups with Sony Macro Lenses Under $1000
To create accurate and detailed macro photography, you need a specialist macro lens. These high-end Sony macro lenses under $1000 will help you achieve consistent levels of quality and take your macro photography to the next level.
Remember to consider the focal distance of the lens, the magnification ratio, and the minimum focusing distance. These are important features that will determine how you can use the lens, and what type of macro subjects it is suitable for.
You could also consider using a macro tripod to help with stability, or external lighting to help illuminate your macro subjects.