Sony’s mirrorless “A” range of cameras created quite a storm when they first came into the limelight, and their A6000 is one of the most popular products available in this particular range of cameras to date. Photographers love how the compact size combined with the APS-C sensors produces photos with phenomenal quality.
Most people reading this guide will have some kind of “kit lens” that came with their A6000. As far as starter lenses go, they are pretty darn good. But as is often the case with photography, there is always something better a few clicks away.
Perhaps you are looking for something that can zoom into details from afar, or take intimate photos without being in the face of your subjects. Or perhaps you are looking to get up close and personal with a macro lens to bring out the tiniest details of the smallest subjects. Or perhaps you are just looking for something that does a bit of everything better than your current kit lens.
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Whatever you are looking for, the huge popularity of the A series cameras means you are probably going to be able to find what you want, at the price point you require.
In this article, we are going to look at 8 of the best lenses compatible with the a6000 that each has their own distinct advantages (and disadvantages) compared to one another. The one you should choose depends on what kind of photography you are interested in.
The Absolute Best Lens For Sony A6000 – Sony SEL35F18
The first product we will be looking at is the Sony SEL35F18 is a 35mm f/1.8 prime lens. Prime lenses are one of the best ways for new photographers to develop their new found interest and increase their skill. This is mainly due to the fact that prime lenses resemble the way things look with the human eye.
(Note: A prime lens is a technical term for a lens that doesn’t zoom).
Your composition will improve dramatically because of the no zoom “limitation”. Instead of twisting and zooming you will have to physically move around your subject to get the perfect shot. It can be a little annoying at first – especially if the lens you are already using has a zoom on it. But trust us, over time you will become a much better photographer by using a prime lens.
And while the new form of composition might take a little bit of getting used to, there is a whole range of things you will immediately love about the SEL35F18. It’s one of the best lens for Sony a6000.
One of the first things you will probably notice when using a wide aperture lens like this is that the photos you take mimic what you are actually seeing with your own eyes incredibly closely. If you see something that looks great from exactly where you are standing, and you want to capture it in its purest form – a prime lens is what you are looking for.
This is something you will find yourself doing incredibly regularly. A good prime lens is considered to be a reliable “workhorse” by both professional and amateur photographers alike.
The super wide f/1.8 aperture is probably the most tantalizing specification this lens can boast of. The larger aperture allows a significantly larger amount of light into the sensor, which enables you to captcha much better photos in sub-optimal lighting conditions (while keeping the speed fast). This is actually why you might hear some people refer to wide apertures as fast lenses. They are referring to the fact that you can use them in low light conditions with a fast shutter speed, and still take great, nonblurry, nongrainy shots.
The low blur that this lens can boast about is not just from the wide aperture, however. The lens itself contains high-tech image stabilization technology. The specific details on how this works are a little out of the scope of this article (but it is incredibly interesting if that is your sort of thing). But basically, there is a little mechanical motor inside the lens that automatically adjusts and compensates for any minor wobbles and shakes you may have while shooting.
Now this image stabilization technology is not going to stop you taking blurry pictures if you are driving down a cobblestone road with a flat tire, so don’t get too excited. However, it will let you take photos without having to worry about handshake affecting the quality of the image.
It is an incredibly sharp Sony a6000 lens, especially when operating below the maximum wideness of the aperture. It is more than capable of going toe to toe with some of the hyper expensive Nikon lenses in certain situations.
This is a great lens for anyone who is new to photography and is a little unsure of what to get. A good quality prime lens is an essential part of any photographer’s toolkit and it’s a purchase you won’t regret. The wide aperture and the image stabilization technology make it one of the best lenses for people that want to shoot in low light conditions (concerts are an immediate usage that comes to mind). But it is also equally comfortable shooting in full daylight too. Overall this is a great lens that is worthy of anyone’s consideration.
The Second Best Lens For The A6000 – Sony E 55-210mm
There is almost something comical about a large telephoto lens being attached to a camera as small and compact as the A6000. But while it may look a little bit strange, the performance is not to be laughed at.
The best lens for a6000 of this category for us was the Sony E 55-210mm. This f/4.5 to f/6.3 zoom lens boasts some serious magnification and excellent image quality. This is an ideal lens for people who have slightly outgrown the standard kit lens that came with their a6000 and is looking for something with a little more potential.
It’s only when you own a high powered zoom lens like this that you truly begin to understand and fully appreciate the inbuilt image stabilization technology. Without it, tripods are almost always required (when taking pictures at maximum zoom) the wobble is just too great. Luckily this lens has Sony’s OSS technology built into it. This technology works hard to ensure every shot you take is as stable as it can be. You are still going to notice a little bit of wobble, but with a good stance and good breathing technique, it’s possible to take great shots at maximum magnification without any blurring.
Appearance isn’t something we really talk about that often when it comes to lenses. They are designed to take good photos, not look good in photos. However, we would feel a little irresponsible if we didn’t mention just how good this lens looks. It’s beautiful gunmetal tones contrast wonderfully with the lenses controls. It really is a thing of beauty (but can scratch easily if you are not careful with it).
The focusing on this lens is incredibly fast and is actually pretty quiet – something that you don’t see too often on telephoto lenses. The higher focal length of the lens may mean it is less capable in low light conditions, but it makes up for this with its performance in normal lighting conditions. It can create incredible bokeh shots with creamy blur to die for. (Like a few of Sony’s other lenses it also has a circular aperture to reduce polygonal blur when taking a bokeh shot.)
This is the best Sony alpha lens for people that want to work at higher focal lengths and have a large amount of creative freedom. It’s a little bit difficult to hold steady due to the size of the lens creating an unnatural center of gravity when attached to the light a6000. But the OSS stabilization takes care of most of this anyway. Overall this is a great starter lens for people who may have outgrown the lens that came with their camera. Worthy of anyone’s consideration.
The Third Best Lens For Sony Alpha a6000 – Sony Vario-Tessar T E 16-70mm
Without a doubt, the best zoom lens for sony alpha is the Vario-Tessar 16-70mm from Sony. This is a serious lens, for serious photographers, and it’s a premium product provided at a premium price point. But if you want the best money can buy, this is the lens you need.
The Vario-Tessar is a 16-70mm f/4 E-mount lens that is almost unequaled in any way shape or form. The one (and only) downside to this lens is the weight. Sony has packed a huge amount of technology inside the lens, and to be honest, it looks far too big for the camera. But apart from the weight, this lens the undisputed champion of the E-mount zoom lens world.
Firstly let’s talk about the focusing. This is one of the quickest focusing lenses we have ever reviewed. In normal circumstances, you are probably going to be looking at around a 0.2 second focus time – it’s quick by anyone’s standards. The focusing motors are incredibly quiet (which is great news for those of you who like to shoot video), and there is minimal hunting while attempting to focus.
This is an incredibly sharp lens at all focal lengths, it’s quite astounding. This is probably something to do with the incredible build quality (and the Carl Zeiss optics). The Vario-Tessar fills a unique niche in the a6000 lens market. There are currently no other zoom lenses on the market that are this lightweight and compact but also have a constant aperture.
The circular aperture of this lens is a unique feature that allows the photographer to take high-quality bokeh shots. Normal aperture blades create a polygonal shape when they slide together. When being used for bokeh this can result in the focal points of light taking on a polygonal appearance. While this is what some photographers like, on the whole, a more uniform and smooth edged appearance is preferable. The circular aperture removes this polygonal issue and when the blades combine they make a perfectly circular edge. The result is perfectly circular light sources and stunning shots.
It has built-in image stabilization technology which really helps the lens perform in low light conditions. The reasonably narrow aperture of the lens would otherwise make pictures taken in sub-optimal lighting conditions a little bit blurry.
The final feature that the Vario-Tessar can boast about is image stabilization. It has some of the best image stabilization technology of any lens that’s compatible with the a6000 – it can compensate for a whole 4 stops. But at this price point, you would probably expect that anyway.
We love the Vario-Tessar, it’s one of those sony alpha zoom lenses that are always going to get used. It’s a great option for photographers that are looking to upgrade from their standard kit lens who don’t want to buy a whole host of prime lenses to perform the same function. It’s a premium product at a premium price point – but in our opinion. It’s worth every cent.
The Fourth Best Sony Alpha A6000 Lenses – SEL30M35
One of the main issues with the Sony alpha a6000 lenses (and other cameras that use Sony’s e-mount lenses) is that a number of lenses on the market are currently limited compared to more standard mounting types. We searched high and low to try and find a second candidate for the title of best macro lens, but there are no other lenses (that don’t cost as much as a house) on the market.
However, lucky for us the only lens that can be included in this category is pretty good. It’s not without its shortcomings, but as far as macro lenses go – it’s more than acceptable.
We love using macro lenses. The shots that they can take are nothing short of magical – even in the hands of a novice. They essentially turn your camera into a super high-quality microscope that will bring out the smallest (and usually unnoticeable) details, and bring them to life.
You will never forget your first macro lens, you start to see the world in a whole different way. A whole new host of potential photographic opportunities presents themselves to you anywhere and everywhere. Most people start with fairly obvious subjects like insects or flowers. But there is beauty in everything, and we encourage you to shoot outside the box.
The SEL30M35 is a 30mm f/3.5 lens that has a 1:1 focus ratio and can focus on objects that are a maximum of 4 inches away from the camera. This is a respectable distance, but if we are honest it could be a little better.
Objects the size of a matchbox will fill the frame at the 4” distance, so if you want to take pictures of smaller objects you are going to have to get the lens within an inch or so. This can cause issues if you are trying to capture images of insects (which are one of the most popular macro lens subjects). Trying to stick a camera in the face of a bug usually results in it running away pretty quickly.
However, despite this, small limitation, it is a sharp lens that provides about as much quality as you would expect at this price point. The manual focus ring is particularly useful on the SEL30M35. Sony includes this on most of their lenses, it’s kind of their thing. But the ability to be able to fine-tune focus on a macro lens should not be overlooked and is something we felt worthy of a mention.
To be totally honest, this is far from a perfect Sony alpha camera lens. There are much better options available at this price point for cameras that do not use Sony’s e-mount technology. However, considering that this is the only macro lens available for the a6000 (that is not a silly price) then this should do the job nicely. It’s well priced and provides as much quality as you would expect. It’s more than enough for a new or amateur photographer to have hours of fun with.
The Fifth Best Sony Alpha Lenses – Sony SEL20F28
We have a little bit of a love-hate relationship with pancake lenses, but we do understand their appeal. Their super slim nature makes them extremely portable, and can often fit inside a coat pocket without any trouble whatsoever. However, on the other hand, they are not much smaller than a prime lens but usually have a significantly reduced image quality.
Unfortunately, this is true of our top pick the Sony SEL20F28, one of the many pancake style sony alpha lenses. It is a 20mm f/2.8 prime fixed lens which performs about as well as a pancake lens can. Compared to some of the prime lenses on this page the SEL20F28 lets in half as much light. This means that in low light conditions, you are going to have to use a tripod or accept some grain from a higher ISO.
In better light conditions the lenses SEL20F28 performs much better, but it still leaves a lot to be desired. There is a large amount of chromatic aberration in certain shots, but to be honest this is an issue with most pancake lenses, not just the SEL20F28. Other issues include images that are much less sharp compared to a good prime lens, and overall image quality is slightly poorer.
Despite our reasonably biased opinions of pancake lenses, the SEL20F28 is actually a reasonably good lens – if you compare it to other pancake lenses.
There is a long list of perfectly valid reasons for needing to use something this slim. For many people, the additional portability means they are more likely to take their camera out with them more often. This obviously presents many more photographic opportunities and results in a larger number of great shots.
If the trade off of a little quality is worth the additional portability is a personal choice. All we can say is that if you have thought about it and you still want a pancake lens, then this is more than worthy of your consideration. It’s one of best products on this Sony alpha lenses list.
The Best Wide Angle Lens For Sony Alpha 6000 – Sony SEL1018
Compared to other camera types, there are not that many wide angles Sony E-mount lenses on the market. Which has narrowed down the potential lenses we could recommend in the section significantly. Luckily there are one or two lenses that really stand out, and the one we decided to recommend in the end was undoubtedly the best wide angle lens for Sony alpha – the Sony SEL1018.
The SEL1018 is a 10-18mm, f/4 wide angle zoom lens that allows you to simultaneously zoom and capturing a wider subject area with ease. It’s a great multi-purpose lens that can be useful in a wide range of situations. It’s super light nature makes it an excellent choice for people that do much of their photography off the beaten track (or for people who travel a lot).
There is a range of features that make this the worthy winner of this category. We particularly like how quickly it focuses (which can be an issue for many wide angle lenses). With the SEL1018 you will never miss another time critical shot again because your lens is taking too long to focus on the subject.
The main thing we are talking about here, to be honest, is image stabilization. It’s not something we often see in wide angle lenses, but Sony has decided to include their OSS (optical steady shot) filter to allow you to shoot at one or two shutter speeds slower than normal before your shots get a little bit too blurry.
The other feature that is notable is the quietness of the motor in the lens. Many people are using their a6000s to record video and audio at the same time. The sound that some lower quality lenses can make is often audible when the video is played back. The SEL1018, however, is basically silent when zooming, making it perfect for those moments when a photo will just not capture the scene well enough.
The crowning jewel of the SEL1018 is the metal hood. Again this is something that many other lens manufacturers tend to leave off their wide angle offerings (which is a shame because they are incredibly useful). The high-quality petal style hood of the SEL1018 is a little addition that earns a lot of extra points in our book.
When we first started to deliberate which lens we should recommend in the wide angle category we were slightly worried at first. The limited number of options available almost forced us into a position where we would be recommending a product that was lacking in some respect.
But luckily the SEL1018 performs much better than we could ever have hoped for. We highly recommend the lens to both amateur and professional photographers alike. You will find it hard to find a wide angle lens that has this much technology packed into a super light body at this price point. Two thumbs up from us!
The Best Sigma Lens For The Sony Alpha 6000 – 30mm F2.8 DN | A
Sigma is one of the most respected and loved lens manufacturers in the world. Their wide range of lenses often earns them critical acclaim, and no professional photographers lens collection is complete without one (especially as they are so affordable).
Our pick for the best Sigma lens for the Sony alpha 6000 is the 30mm f/2.8 DN | A.
The very respectable f/2.8 aperture will let in loads of light (especially if you are accustomed to a zoom lens). We feel this product is a great option for people who liked the look of the SEL35F18 we talked about earlier but were a little bit put off by the price tag.
Like the SEL35F18 it is a prime lens, which means it does not have a zoom. Again from this you get many compositional choices “forced” on you by the restriction, but it will make you a better photographer. Also like the SEL35F18 its a great workhorse and will be one of your go-to lenses for many situations, particularly low light shots. But it does have a few weaknesses compared to the SEL35F18 that you should be made aware of.
To make the difference between these two lenses even more significant, the Sigma does not contain image stabilization technology like the SEL35F18. This again means you are going to need to either decrease the shutter speed or increase the ISO to avoid blurry unusable pictures.
But don’t let these two weaknesses put you off the Sigma. It really is a great lens that is capable of taking amazing pictures in reasonably low light conditions. The SEL35F18 we are comparing it to is twice the price, and as such we would expect there to be some differences in quality.
We really like the Sigma (despite us giving it a little bit of harsh critique there). The truth is that it is a weaker lens when compared to the SEL35F18, but that is fine by us. The Sigma is much better than many other lenses and is more than worthy of your consideration – especially if you are on a budget.
A great choice for both professional and amateur photographers alike.
Best Tamron Lens For Sony Alpha 6000 – Tamron NEX 18-20mm
The NEX from Tamron was one of the first lenses to be made available for the a6000 and it has stood the test of time well. Considering its price point it’s probably the best Tamron lens for Sony alpha 6000.
The NEX is an 18-20mm f/3.5 to f/6.3 lens that provides excellent picture quality. It focuses reasonably quickly at all magnifications but does seem to perform better on closer subjects instead of ones that are a little further away. It is more suited to day shots, but with a tripod it’s possible to get some great low light photos too.
The zoom functionality is crisp and firm, and there is minimal zoom creep (if any at all). The focusing is incredibly quiet, almost silent which makes it a great option for those who like to shoot video on their a6000.
This is another great all-rounder lens that very well priced. It’s a good option for those who don’t want to specialize with their next lens purchase and want something that can be used in a variety of different situations. Overall this is a great all rounder lens that considering the price is well worth adding to your shortlist.
So there you have it, a long list of some of the best lenses for the Sony a6000 on the market right now. Each of them has their own strengths and weaknesses, but they are all great lenses.
Which lens you should pick from this list entirely depends on your personal preference. If you have a certain kind of shooting you want to experiment with, there is a good chance there will be a lens that does what you want, at the price point you want it.
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