Sony has some good lenses for its A-mount and E-mount camera systems. In comparison to Nikon and Canon, this camera manufacturer is often overlooked without reason. Its lenses offer good quality, strong image performance, and are usually reasonably priced.
In this guide, we look specifically at the Sony telephoto lenses under $1000. A telephoto lens is generally classed as anything with a focal distance over 85mm. Sony has a good selection of lenses in this category and some decent super-telephoto options too.
Key features of Sony lenses to look out for is Optical Image Stabilization (OSS), and autofocus (AF). Unlike other manufacturers, Sony usually doesn’t give a classification to it’s autofocusing systems like Canon’s USM. You have to look in the lens features to see what autofocus capabilities it has.
1. Sony E 70-350mm f/4.5-6.3 G OSS (Overall Winner)
Our top Sony telephoto lens under $1000 is the Sony E 70-350mm f/4.5-6.3 G OSS. This is a versatile high-end lens built for Sony E-mount cameras. On APS-C sensor cameras it provides a focal distance of 112-560mm.
Despite being a telephoto lens, it is still quite compact and lightweight at just 623g. Also, it has Sony’s patented XD linear motor for quick and accurate autofocusing. This is complemented by the built-in optical stabilization.
The exterior glass element is both dust and moisture resistant which makes it ideal for heavy outdoor usage. Also, the aperture is made from seven circular blades which improve the image quality and allow for the creation of smooth bokeh effects.
The programmable focus hold button is convenient as it holds focus natively, but you can re-program it for other functions like aperture preview, shot preview, and bright monitoring.
Next, we have the multi-purpose Sony E 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS LE. This is a top variable zoom lens with telephoto capabilities. It is available for Sony E-mount cameras and accepts 62mm filters. Despite a wide focal range, this budget lens provides consistent image quality with minimal distortion.
Even at the extreme focal distances, the image quality remains sharp with excellent contrast and colors. The lens glass features Extra-Low dispersion technology which reduces chromatic aberration. This quality glass also helps improve image consistency.
When using this affordable lens at telephoto distances you can benefit from the Optical Image Stabilization. This helps reduce camera shake and ensures that you can use this lens handheld. The aspherical lens elements also help reduce spherical aberration but also contribute to the reduced size and weight of this compact telephoto lens.
This lens is incredibly similar to the Sony E 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS LE, but it has a slightly different build, and as a result, is heavier and bulkier. Nonetheless, the Sony E 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS is still a good choice and a top telephoto lens for Sony E-mount cameras.
The maximum aperture range of f/3.5-6.3 is decent and gives greater control over depth of field. It also means that you can easily shoot handheld with this lens when using the Optical Image Stabilization. This corrects for camera shake and can be turned on or off using the exterior OSS switch.
The autofocusing system of this budget lens is OK, and it moves in such a way that doesn’t affect the size of the lens. Also, it enables you to quickly focus on moving objects or in low-contrast situations.
The lens has a quality construction with several unique elements that reduce distortions. The aspherical design of the lens keeps image quality consistent, and at both ends of the focal range, images are sharp and there is minimal softening.
This Sony G-series lens offers excellent quality and is a great Sony telephoto lens under $1000. It provides brilliant quality images and the sharpness and contrast remain consistent regardless of the focal distance.
This affordable lens has a linear actuator that offers smooth, quiet, and accurate autofocusing. This helps when focusing on moving objects at the extreme telephoto and super telephoto focal distances.
The lens construction is made from various elements including two Extra-Low Dispersion and four aspherical. These combine together to eliminate distortions like chromatic aberration and ghosting whilst keeping the image quality consistent.
As the best value Sony telephoto lens in our price range, this product also has a robust build design. It has sealed buttons and an exterior that can resist dust and moisture. If you want a multi-purpose lens with telephoto capabilities, this is an excellent option.
5. Sony DT 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 (Budget Winner)
Our budget option is the Sony DT 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3. This is a simple but effective multi-purpose lens with telephoto capabilities. It is compatible with Sony Minolta Alpha mount cameras. It can also be used on Sony Alpha cameras and other Sony DSLRs using an LA-EA1 or LA-EA2 adaptor.
The lens construction of this budget lens provides superior image quality with minimal distortions. It has both Extra-Low Dispersion glass and aspherical lens elements. These features eliminate chromatic aberration and other forms of aberration whilst also reducing external distortions like lens flare and ghosting.
The Sony DT 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 has a decent internal autofocusing system. It has a complex system that is quiet, fast, and accurate. The main downside of this DT lens is that it does not have any built-in image stabilization. You should still be able to use it handheld, however.
Improve Your Zoom with Sony Telephoto Lenses Under $1000
We hope you have found this guide on the best Sony telephoto lenses under $1000 useful. As you can see you can purchase a telephoto lens without spending a fortune. Sony lenses are versatile and offer great photo quality.
When choosing such a lens always be sure to check the lens mount and which Sony cameras it is compatible with. Generally, Sony separates its lenses into A mount or E mount versions.