Sony has a solid choice of affordable prime lenses. In this buying guide, we look specifically at Sony prime lenses under $1000. Prime lenses might have a single focal distance, but this encourages photographers to move around and consider their positioning more.
Prime lenses also offer improved quality for that single focal distance, in comparison to a zoom lens that includes that focal range.
When choosing a Sony prime lens, be sure to consider the lens mount and category of lens. Sony has a few different lens ranges. For example, it has the Sonnar range which features enhanced Zeiss glass. Also, it has both E and FE lens variants that are made for either APS-C or full-frame Sony DSLRs.
1. Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 (Overall Winner)
Our top choice for Sony prime lenses under $1000 is the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8. This lens offers excellent image quality and is one of Sony’s best 85mm lenses, period. It has a small and compact design that makes it ideal for transportation, but it still provides great image quality.
The maximum aperture of f/1.8 gives great control and makes this lens suitable for low-light photos. This is the perfect affordable lens for portraits and benefits from a nine-blade circular aperture which creates rounded bokeh effects for out-of-focus background objects.
It also has an advanced lens element construction that includes several ED glass elements. These keep images sharp at all ends of the photo and help to eliminate distortion. This lens benefits from some useful features to like a simple AF/MF switch and a focus hold button which can be customized for a number of important camera functions.
This is our top choice for Sony prime lenses under $1000, and it’s a must-have for professional portrait or event photographers.
2. Sony FE 35mm f/1.8
Next we have the budget Sony FE 35mm f/1.8. This is a Sony 35mm lens that has a decent array of features to create high-end photography. This includes a superb maximum aperture of f/1.8 and a reliable autofocus system with virtually silent operation.
This portable lens weighs just 280g and has a length of 73mm. It is incredibly small and makes an ideal travel lens. Also, interestingly, this lens has a 0.22m closest focusing distance and a 0.24x magnification which means you can take decent macro shots.
The lens element is made from numerous groupings including one aspherical element. This advanced configuration greatly reduces distortions but also provides extremely sharp images with great contrast. You will notice no softening, even at the outer edges of photos.
Finally, this budget lens has a good design and external features with a focus mode switch, a focusing ring, and a programable focus hold button.
3. Sony 16mm f/2.8 Fisheye
If you want a budget specialist lens then why not try the Sony 16mm f/2.8 fisheye lens? This is a high-quality lens that allows you to take ultra wide-angle photos with minimal effort. Despite the huge glass element, the image quality is consistent and the lens provides corner-to-corner sharpness.
Also, it has an excellent minimum focusing distance of just eight inches which means it could be used as a decent macro lens. This budget lens has four built-in filters – Normal, 056, B12, and A12. You can select any one of these filters using the simple filter dial.
The build quality of this lens is durable and great for outdoor use. Due to the large external glass element, the petal-shaped lens hood is essential for extra protection. It also has a useful focusing dial which helps check your focusing distance when using the MF function.
The Sony 16mm f/2.8 Fisheye is a top specialist lens, and certainly one of the best Sony prime lenses under $1000.
4. Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA
Sony has its Sonnar range of lenses that use specialized Zeiss glass for incredible optical performance. The Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA, therefore, offers superior quality and excellent clarity for images. This 55mm prime lens has some great features and provides consistency throughout.
It’s lens element is made from 12 elements in nine groups and includes both Aspheric and ED elements. These reduces distortions and contribute to the image consistency. Also, the aperture is made from 11-blades and when used at the maximum f/1.8, you can create excellent rounded bokeh backgrounds.
This budget lens also has a useful aperture ring which enables you to quickly change the aperture without using your camera dials. Also, it has a dust and moisture resistant exterior casing so that it can easily be used outdoors.
5. Sony FE 50mm f/2.8 Macro (Budget Winner)
Our budget choice is the Sony FE 50mm f/2.8 Macro. This is a good 50mm lens with advanced macro capabilities too. For macro photography, it has a 1:1 magnification, and a close-focusing distance of just 0.16m. This means you can get incredibly close to your subjects.
The maximum aperture of f/2.8 also means that you can comfortably use this macro lens handheld. Moreover, it weighs just 235g making it compact and lightweight.
The lens glass has several special elements including an ED glass element to reduce chromatic aberration and ghosting. Also, the external glass element is both dust and moisture resistant. To improve its usability, this affordable lens under $1000 also has a focus-mode switch, and a focus hold button.
For just over $500, this lens provides consistent quality, and a viable macro lens for Sony FE cameras.
Improve Photo Quality with Sony Prime Lenses Under $1000
We hope you have found this guide on Sony prime lenses under $1000 useful. Sony has a quality range of prime lenses, and you don’t have to spend a fortune to purchase one.
The main downfall with many of these prime lenses, however, is that they lack some form of advanced image stabilization. However, they do provide superior image quality, and the lens elements are always well constructed.