Sony Full Frame Lenses BUYING GUIDE – Sony a7 III a7RIII a7RII a7SII a9
Articles Blog

Sony Full Frame Lenses BUYING GUIDE – Sony a7 III a7RIII a7RII a7SII a9

October 21, 2019


This helpful shopping
guide is brought to you by our friends over at Squarespace. What’s going on Hybrid Shooters? It’s Jason Vong and welcome
to my full frame lens buying guide for your Sony Alpha cameras. Before we dive right into this video, there are a couple of elephants that we gotta address in the room. In this video, I will not be recommending any specific Sigma or Rokinon
lenses and here’s why. I’ll start off by saying Sigma
lenses are fantastic lenses. They produce incredibly
sharp images and best of all, they are relatively
inexpensive alternatives to Sony and Zeiss lenses. However, there are a few
drawbacks to Sigma lenses. Although a lot of them are available now as native E-mount lenses, they were still originally
designed for DSLR cameras, hence their bigger sizes. To some shooters, it defeats the purpose of
using a mirrorless system, if the setup is still big and heavy. On top of that, the auto
focus with these lenses are not on par with Sony and Zeiss lenses. The auto focus is decent
at best, but not as smooth and sometimes it can be unreliable. So I’ll say this, if you’re
a hobbyist or a professional dealing with static to
slow-moving subjects, Sigma lenses are great options
if you don’t mind the size. If your job, however, relies on fast, accurate, critical focus, stick
with Sony and Zeiss lenses. As for Rokinon lenses or
otherwise known as Samyang lenses in certain countries, I personally haven’t
used any of those myself, but I did hear a lot of
great things from other users who have shot with the 35 one
four, and the 85 one four. Vice versa, I didn’t hear
a lot of great things from users with the 14mm
lens and the 15mm lens. Some people are saying they’re not as sharp as they should be. I would say, if you’re still very curious
about Rokinon lenses, I would urge you to
keep doing your research before committing to buying these lenses. In case you are here for
quick recommendations, I’ll name off a few lenses in categories I often get asked about. If you want more details
about each of these lenses, and other types of lenses
not mentioned here, use the helpful time codes in the description box
below to skip to them. The best overall type of lens
on the budget in my opinion is the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8. The most versatile zoom lens
would be the Sony 24-105 f/4. The best general prime
lens with amazing bokeh, the best to walk around
with for casual photography and for foodies, would
be the 24mm or the 35mm. The best versatile prime lens
would be the Zeiss 55mm f/1.8. And the best portrait prime lens would be the Sony 85mm f/1.8. Whew, okay, let’s get into
the nitty-gritty of things. We’ll start off with prime lenses first. Now prime lenses are generally
just one focal length. They usually have crazy fast aperture that gives you nice
background blur and separation between your subject and the background. Otherwise known as the mystical bokeh. People often say, prime lenses forces you to be more creative, and challenges you to zoom with your feet to
get some interesting shots. At the end of the list, I’ll talk about some of the best pairings
of these prime lenses. Obviously, you don’t want to get them all, I’ll talk about how certain focal lengths will complement each other for
certain types of situations. All right, let’s start off with
the Zeiss Batis 18mm f/2.8, an uber-light, ultra-sharp,
ultra-wide angle prime lens. This is gonna be great for landscape, interiors, architecture,
real estate and travel. I’ve even seen some people use this for astrophotography as well. For videos, this would
be great for vlogging, because it’s wide enough
to fit you into frame. Now I personally love
using this lens on a gimbal to get some nice, wide establishing shots. This 18mm prime lens has
been part of my arsenal for a couple of years now and I love it, it’s still one of my
favorite lenses to this date. Moving on to the brand new
Sony G Master 24mm f/1.4. This is brand new from Sony and of course, with the f/1.4 aperture combined with the lens’ close focusing capability, you’ll get some nice, buttery
bokeh-licious photos at 1.4. A fun fact about this lens is that this is the lightest 24mm 1.4
lens in the market right now. Lighter than Canon, lighter than Nikon and lighter than Sigma. Some great uses for the
24mm would be landscape, environmental portrait,
street photography, you’ll be using the surrounding to give context to your image. This will be great for weddings as well. If you’re looking to build
up your lens collection, I can’t think of any other better lens than this 24mm right here. It’s gonna be a great
general photography lens and a great lens to walk around with. And for my video shooters, you have an option for
a clickless aperture, that means you can turn
this aperture ring here and it’ll give you that gradual
change in your exposure. And of course, because this is light, this is gonna be perfect for
lightweight gimbals as well. Moving onto the Zeiss 35mm f/1.4, another great prime lens
to start with as well. This one in comparison to
the 24mm will be a bit hefty. But that f/1.4 aperture will be worth it. Similar to the 24mm, this is
gonna be great for weddings, landscape, environmental
portrait and street photography. It’s also gonna be a
great travel, walk around, general photography lens as well. Actually, come to think of it,
I think it was the first lens that I started with when
I switched over to Sony. And again, we’re gonna be going
over the pairings of lenses. Obviously, you don’t need to have a 24mm and a 35mm in your collections, so we’ll talk about some
of the best pairings, complementary focal lengths
to either of these lenses. Moving on to the Zeiss 55mm f/1.8, the nifty fifty, the uber-sharp 1.8 lens. The popular focal length
for full frame lenses that just sits in right between
in the spectrum of things. Generally, people like
using the 55 for portraits, for artistic shots, I
mean, look at that bokeh. It gives you separation between your object and the background. And it’s perfect for weddings as well. While some people would say they prefer a wider lens for landscapes, the 55 is not bad for that
type of photography as well, because it doesn’t make
objects view too far away. This is also a crazy
expensive 50mm prime lens, but I promise you, it is worth the dollar, if you have the budget for it. I’ve come across a lot of Sony shooters who have this in their bag, and they can vouch how amazing
this little prime lens is. All right, let’s rewind back a little bit and talk about the Zeiss Batis 40mm f/2. Now that’s the lens that’s
shooting this video right now, so I’m gonna cut to a B-roll. The reason why I waited until
now to talk about the 40mm is because this is a great alternative to the 35 and the 50mm, because it draws the best
aspects from both lenses. It has that wide aspect of the 35, and that portrait aspect of the 50. If that makes any sense. So it shares a lot of
the same applications as the 35 and the 50. Plus, this lens is
capable of close focusing, so you can get in nice and tight and get some detailed shots. And this is the lens that I’ve been using for the past few YouTube videos. I like to get a wide
shot of the product first and then punch in tight to get details of the text, logo or the buttons. Seriously, this is a very versatile lens, something that I wouldn’t normally be able to get with the 55mm. This is a brand new lens
coming out from Zeiss, the reason why I have is because they were gracious enough to loan it out to me for a month to make a review on it, but once my rental period is over, I’m confident to say that I’ll be picking up my
40mm right afterwards. Moving on to the Sony 85mm f/1.8 and damn, is this the best 85 that you can get for the price. Now I did a comparison between this and the G Master f/1.4, wow, almost like two years ago, was it two years ago now? Holy crap, that’s been a while. Unless you really pixel peep, the results of the 85 one eight and the 85 1.4 are gonna
be very, very similar. And mind you, the 85 1.4
G Master is about $1800. This one right here, 600 bucks. You can probably pick this
up for 500 bucks, actually. What is the 85 good for? Generally, this is a great portrait lens. Great for model shots,
great for family portraits, gonna be great for weddings. And to be quite frank
with you, this is actually my favorite lens to do
street photography with. Not only does this lens give
me that nice separation, but also that compression
to make my subject feel like they’re a lot
closer to the background. Seriously, cannot highly
recommend this lens enough. Okay, I forgot to throw this in here, but the best macro lens
would be the Sony 90mm f/2.8. This will give you a
1:1 magnification ratio, so if you like to take
photos of insects, flowers, toys or rings, this
will be the lens to get. And it can also double as
a portrait lens as well. All right, so let’s go ahead
and move on to pairings, how I would pair up these prime lenses. Obviously, there are a
lot that I’ve talked about and it’s probably not too
feasible to own them all. So, these are designed in a way where they’re not too similar
in their focal lengths. Otherwise, it would be very repetitive. For example, if you shot
with a 24mm and a 35mm, you’re gonna get a very
similar field of view. Vice versa, if you shot with a 24mm and then shoot something else with an 85, you’re gonna get two
different sets of images. So here are my recommendations. I would pair up the Zeiss Batis 18mm and the Zeiss Batis 40mm. That 18mm is gonna give you that nice, wide establishing shot and then you can punch in
for details with the 40mm and its close focusing capability. Another pairing would be
the 24mm and the 55mm. In the same vein, you get a
wide and you get a closeup. The last pairing I would suggest
is the 35mm and the 85mm. It’s actually a very popular combination for wedding and event photography. Alternatively, you can sub
out that 35 with the 40mm to get nice closeup shots
of the rings and details and the 85 for the portraits. And actually, the 85
would go really nicely to the two previous combinations
that I suggested earlier. If you need a telephoto option. Before I get into my
zoom lens recommendation, I just wanna give our
friends over at Squarespace a quick shout-out first. I’m sure you’ve heard by now, Squarespace is the all-in-one solution for anybody looking to
create a beautiful website, without the pain and hassle of
knowing any coding, like me! I personally use Squarespace
to house my portfolio work that I can quickly send
off to potential clients where they can see all of
my most recent wedding films and my best of the best photos. With Squarespace easy to use interface, creating a portfolio is as
simple as click and drag. Just ask Vivian, she did
this for me, actually. You could choose from their many clean templates to get started. Check out squarespace.com for a free trial and see how easy it is
to set up your website. And when you’re ready to launch, go to squarespace.com/jasonvong to save 10% off your first
purchase of a website or domain. Now, back to our regular programing. All right, moving on to zoom lenses. And what’s good about zoom lenses is that they cover a wide variety of
focal lengths in just one lens. Zoom lenses are great in
a run-and-gun situation. Let’s say you’re shooting an
event, a concert or a wedding, or you’re traveling, you can
quickly get different looks with zoom lenses on the spot. As opposed to using prime
lenses, let’s just say, if you’re shooting with
a wide angle prime lens, but then you need to quickly
switch to a tight closeup shot, you would have to swap out
lenses and depending on what type of situation you’re
in, it may not be possible or it may be really time consuming. So having zoom lenses will allow you to be quick on your feet. Oh and before I get into it, all of my recommendations for the zoom lenses
have constant aperture, meaning that if I zoom from one end of the spectrum to another,
the f-stop stays the same. Most kit lenses have a variable aperture, meaning that on the wide
end, let’s say a 28 to 75, that 28 could be at f/3.5 and then that 75 could be
like a f/5.6 or something. So if you bought a Sony kit and
it comes with that kit lens, that’s the variable aperture
that you’re working with. So what I really like
about these zoom lenses is that they don’t change when I zoom out to a
different focal length. If I’m at 16 f/2.8 on this
lens, it’s gonna stay 2.8 if I zoom in to 35. All right, so let’s go ahead and start off with the best
ultra-wide angle zoom lens and that is the 16 to 35
f/2.8 G Master from Sony. I really, really, really love this lens. I love using it for vlogging, I love using it for gimbal work, this lens is seriously,
incredibly, incredibly sharp. It’s ridiculous how sharp this lens is. The 16 to 35 is a great walk
around lens that can be used for general photography,
landscape, nature, architecture, giant group shot, street
and environmental portraits. Even though this is the
best lens in my opinion, this is also a very, very expensive lens. So I’m gonna suggest
you a few alternatives. If you really need a wide angle lens with that f/2.8 aperture, again, there’s the Zeiss Batis 18, you just won’t have that
versatility of a 16 to 35. Otherwise, the Zeiss 16 to 35 f/4 is also a great alternative as well. And some people would argue that when you’re shooting that wide anyway, you don’t need an f/2.8 aperture, you would want something
like an f/4 anyways. But seriously though, this
is one of my favorite lens in my collection and one
that I use a whole lot. I would say I would use this
lens with the 55 and the 85 a whole lot whenever we go out traveling and it’s what I have been using to shoot a lot of my YouTube videos as well. For example, this Cuba
video that we’ve shot for the Tamron 20 to 75 review was shot almost exclusively on
the 16 to 35 G Master. Seriously, this thing is awesome. All right, moving on. The best mid-range zoom
lens and coincidentally, we just talked about the
Tamron 20 to 75 f/2.8 lens and my God, is that lens solid. If you need a mid-range zoom
lens and you are on a budget, the Tamron 20 to 75 is the one to get. Because this is a mid-range zoom lens, it’s incredibly versatile. You can do street photography, portraits, travel, weddings, you name it. Now my only complaint
of the 20 to 75 is that 28, is it really wide enough? In my opinion, it’s not as
simple as just taking a step back to get the shot, you’re just
not getting that wide look. But I’m willing to overlook
that because it is a small lens. If you also feel the
28 is not wide enough, go ahead and pick up one of
the ultra-wide angle lenses that I’ve recommended. A great mid-range alternative
zoom lens would be the 24 to 105 f/4 lens from Sony. In my opinion, that’s
the one-and-done of lens, the only lens that you need,
the lens that’s gonna bring you from point A to point B, from 24 to 105. It is a fantastic lens
to have for traveling, and for events as well. Now I know some people are
gonna ask me about my thoughts on the Zeiss 24 to 70 f/4. To be honest with you, for the dollars that you’re
spending for that lens, you could use it and buy
the Tamron 20 to 75 f/2.8 or even go for the 24 to 105 from Sony, just because you have that extra 105. I feel like the dollar
spent is just better on those two lenses instead
of the Zeiss 24 to 70. All right, moving on to the
best telephoto zoom options. We’ll start off with this one right here, the 70 to 200 f/2.8 G Master from Sony. I personally own this
lens and I guarantee you, it’s flippin’ sharp. 70-200 is terrific for
portraits, weddings, sports and even action photography. It has a long reach that will allow you to capture the action up close, without actually being up close. And this lens generally pairs up nicely with a mid-range lens like a 24 to 70. Unfortunately, it is a highly priced lens, if you need a telephoto
alternative with a 2.8 aperture, there is the Zeiss Batis 135 f/2.8, which is a thousand dollars cheaper but still incredibly sharp. You do, however, lose out on the versatility of the zoom lens. Otherwise, if you’re okay with an f/4, the Sony 70 to 200 f/4
is still just as good and just as sharp. However, if you need even more of a reach, there is also the Sony
100 to 400 G Master. Pair it up with a Sony A9 and you’ll be ready for any sports, any wildlife and any aviation photography. All right, hopefully
this has helped you guys make the best decision in picking out which lens is right for you. And don’t forget to let me know which one you end up going
with after watching this video. And feel free to let me know what you guys think of my recommendations. And if you need help selecting
your next full frame camera, check out my buying guide right here. Thanks for watching guys, I’ll see you guys in my next video, peace!

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Sony bias guy is here…Sigma art and new Tamron lenses are better image quality lenses compare to Sony GM ans Sony Zeiss lenses with only 1/3 to 1/2 price. Read DxO mark for the scientific tests!!!

  2. I have the 70-300mm from Sony on my A6000: A great option that gives me portraits from a distance and a very long zoom of 450 with the crop factor. You can do wildlife but it is just not made for very low light condition.

  3. It seems that with all reviewers, everyone remembers to say "…for the price", like they afraid to lose face to say that actually some cheap lense IS better than expensive one.

  4. Are prime lenses just better overall for the focal length. Like why buy a 16 and a 40 separate lens instead of just buying a 16-35

  5. For my a7III, I have the kit lens with the $200 50mm f1.8, 24-70 f4 (used $375), the 85mm 1.8 $550, and coming soon the 70-300 which will be all of the lens I ever buy unless I actually do some paid work for which upgrading will be necessary. I'm just a hobbyist on the verge of enthusiast. I also have a Nikon d3400 and d7500 with about 5 lenses for that setup. I'm probably going to sell those to get a Sony aps-c camera or the Fuji t30.

  6. Hi Jason, I just got the A7 III and I don't have any lenses. I was thinking maybe to get the Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 GM and the Zeiss 55mm f/1.8 or Sony 85mm f/1.8 and Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 GM. What do you recommend I should get for music videos and car dealership commercials?

  7. I may rent the 18mm f2.8, 24-105mm f4, and 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 for a kit when I do get my Sony A7 Mark 3. Maybe the Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 or something like that.

  8. I have 16 35 gm, 90mm G macro.. 135gm.. 70 200 gm or 100 400gm? Suggestion for 1 telephoto and 1 prime lens please..

  9. I got 24mm GM and 85mm 1.8. I am looking to get 50mm lens and what I am looking at is 50mm F1.4 Zeiss. Should I go for that or should I go with 55mm F1.8 Zeiss? I like the apateur ring and the bokeh on that 50 f 1.4 zeiss but wanna get some opinion… Thanks.

  10. I went with samyang 24 f2.8 because it's ultra light, focues fast and silent and reasonably sharp for street shooting … I don't shoot this wide usually so I didn't want to spend much. I took your advice went with Zeiss 55 prime and I absolutely don't regret it. Amaaaazing prime and it's so darn light. For my tele needs (hockey and cheer dad) I am rocking the Sony 70200f4: with stadium and stage lighting being really bright anyway, I was ok with f4 and I really like the light weight advantage…. As it is my trio theme. Thanks for the video dude.

  11. Is it worth giving up some focal length for bigger aperture? I'm thinking about 28-75 f2.8 vs 24-105mm f4.
    I want to have one lens to do it all, mostly travel photography

  12. Thank you for another great video, Jason.

    Can you specifically do a review about this super long zoom lens??

    Sony FE 24-240 lens.

    this lends was definitely worth the price tag for the ultra extreme zoom versatility.

    https://www.bestbuy.com/site/sony-fe-24-240mm-f-3-5-6-3-oss-full-frame-e-mount-telephoto-zoom-lens-black/4615017.p?skuId=4615017

  13. Hi I buy the sony a7iii, which I will use for video with crane3 and photos, which objectives do you recommend me to take immediately? In the video are 3 perfect ones to make a prudent purchase at the beginning?

  14. Your recommendations are ridiculously expensive. If you are buying g master lenses and still need to watch videos about what lens to buy, I think you are targeting the wrong audience

  15. I would like to make short films and music videos, what lenses do you suggest, I am completely new to movie making. Please list all of them you suggest, I really want to invest in a good lenses even it is costly.

  16. Hi Jason thanks for the awesome content! Could you give your opinion also on sony 24-70 2.8 gmaster and how would you compare it with tamron 28-75 2.8? I honestly can't decide which one I should pick for shooting videos? is g master worth the price or would you still go with tamron? thanks!

  17. 15: 17 I got this at almost half the usual price which in part is why I'm so chuffed with having it but I get why it's not on peoples recommendation lists from what I've seen

  18. Is this combination good for indian wedding cinematography

    1. SONY 16-35 F2.8
    2. SONY 55MM F1.8 T*VARIO ZEISS
    3 SONY 85 F1.8 BATIS ZEISS LENS

  19. I own the Tamron 28-75mm f.2,8 lens for Full Frame Sony and I love it, especially when paired with my 85mm f/1.8 lens (I could live with a third party 85mm f/1.4 such as the Viltrox) when I want a shallow DOF for portraits. I would expect that adding the Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8 and the upcoming Tamron 70-180mm would give a photographer a wide range of focal lengths. Now.. if Tamron would come out with a 300mm or 400mm f/4.0 I could be very happy with my A7iii without a single Sony lens…

  20. Is the Sony FE 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Lens – kit lens that it comes with decent? Or is it worth it to get the Tamron for someone on a budget?

  21. hey hey hey only got an A7, rly want a 70-200 F4 but im broke! who else is crying after watching this video…

  22. As a beginner Im planing to buy Sony 85mm f1.8 lense and Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 Di iii RDX for Sony A7iii hoping that these two will cover almost everything from exploring places to weeding. Is my choice right? (I shoot 70% video and 30%photos)

  23. Very helpful, but I have to wonder if it would be best to do separate recommendation videos for those who focus mostly on video, and those who focus more on stills – shrug.

  24. I notice the Zeiss Batis 25mm, would you recommend the 24mm song 1.4 over the Batis. Is it worth the extra $400 ? Thank you and love all your content

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *