Sony has a good range of zoom lenses for its A-mount and E-mount DSLR cameras. To select a suitable Sony zoom lens, you must consider the different lens categories.
For example, Sony has a special range of ZEISS lenses with enhanced optics. Also, it has FE and E mount lenses that are suitable for different camera types. There is also the G-series which has a reputation for producing very good lenses with improved build quality and performance.
Don’t forget to consider other important components like the autofocusing system, and the lens element construction. These contribute to image quality and usability of the lenses. For your benefit, we have compiled a list of the best Sony zoom lenses under $1000. Enjoy!
1. Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS (Overall Winner)
Our top choice Sony zoom lens under $1000 is the excellent Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS. This budget lens features advanced ZEISS glass for fantastic optical performance.
It has a good consistent maximum aperture of f/4. The ZEISS glass features an anti-reflective coating to reduce flare, and the special T* coating eliminates distortions and provides unbelievably consistent image quality throughout the focal distance range.
This lens features Optical Image Stabilization to enable easy handheld usage, which is complemented by the internal autofocusing system for fast and silent focusing. These features mean this budget lens is easy to use in various situations.
If you want a high-end lens under $1000 with a versatile range of features, the Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA is a good option.
2. Sony E 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS LE
The Sony E 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS LE is a multi-zoom lens that could be used as a cheap kit lens for travel photography. Its versatile focal distance is complemented by multiple features that ensure consistent image quality and minimal distortions.
For this budget lens, the Optical Image Stabilization is vital and enables you to use the lens hand-held even at the maximum 200m focal distance. It has a competent internal autofocusing system that means you can quickly track and focus on moving objects.
The lens element features an advanced design with several aspherical and low-dispersion elements. These combine to eliminate distortions and provide clear and sharp images throughout the focal range. The lens also has a circular aperture design which allows you to experiment with artistic bokeh background styles.
At 458g, this lens is decent for portability although there are lighter lenses available. Also, it has a minimum focusing distance of 0.5m.
3. Sony E 70-350mm f/4.5-6.3 G OSS
If you want an affordable telephoto lens, the Sony E 70-350mm f/4.5-6.3 G OSS is a top choice. This budget lens has numerous features to complement wildlife and sports photography including Optical Image Stabilization and an XD linear motor for fast and accurate autofocusing.
This high-end lens is part of the G-series which means it has improved optical performance. This includes an exterior glass element that is both dust and moisture resistant. The circular blade aperture allows you to create excellent rounded bokeh effects for backgrounds.
The exterior of this affordable lens has an array of useful features. Firstly, it has a Focus Hold button that can be re-programmed. You can use this button for functions like aperture and image preview.
The barrel has simple switches to turn OSS on or off, and switch to swap between auto and manual focus. This lens is a good quality telephoto option for Sony E-mount cameras.
4. Sony E 10-18mm f/4 OSS
The Sony E 10-18mm f/4 OSS is a great ultra wide-angle lens and offers solid performance and features. It is made for Sony E-mount APS-C sensor cameras.
Some of its useful features include a minimum focus distance of 0.25m, and a magnification ratio of 0.1x, which means that it can be used as a cheap macro lens. This is complemented by Optical Image Stabilization which allows you to comfortably use the lens hand-held.
The consistent maximum aperture of f/4 gives great control over the depth of field and makes it suitable for low-light compositions.
The lens element features an array of advanced glass to reduce distortions like flare and ghosting, and the ED element helps maintain image consistency. At both ends of the zoom range, the images are sharp with great contrast. This is definitely one of the great Sony zoom lenses under $1000 for wide-angle photography.
5. Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS (Budget Winner)
Our budget Sony zoom is the Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS. This multi-purpose lens covers a great focal distance from wide-angle to telephoto. It has an excellent range of features and provides consistent performance for an affordable price.
It benefits from Optical Image Stabilization which helps when using the lens hand-held. Also, this OSS features works when using the special 7.5x magnification.
Despite having a large focal distance, this lens is still lightweight at just 325g. It is therefore easy to carry and very portable. The lens construction includes an aspherical element and two Extra-low Dispersion elements that provide consistent image quality and minimal distortions.
This is a versatile budget lens and the best value option for Sony APS-C sensor cameras like the Sony a6600, and Sony a6000.
Add Variety to Your Kit with Sony Zoom Lenses Under $1000
Having a versatile zoom lens in your kit is a great idea. Whilst prime lenses excel at one specific focal distance, zoom lenses allow you to experiment with multiple photography types. An affordable zoom lens is perfect for travel, street photography, or even event photography.
When choosing a Sony zoom lens under $1000, always be aware of the performance features. For example, OSS is Sony’s Optical Image Stabilization and helps improve hand-held performance of zoom lenses. Also, some lenses like the Vario-Tessar range feature enhanced optical performance via ZEISS glass.