Best Sony a7S II Lenses – 2019 – Reviews, Buyer’s Guide & FAQs

The Sony a7S II that you have purchased is a really pricey piece of hardware. Capable of flawless 4k video, it is probably one of the most competent mirrorless models available.

Boasting of a 50- 409600 ISO range it is capable of full-frame images that are clear and crisp. In spite of the rather small 12 MP sensor the camera is excellent.

But it comes without any kit lens. You do need a prime, a wide-angle, and telephoto to extract the maximum from this device. 

We have done a complete review of both Sony and third-party manufacturers and come up with the most suitable lenses for your prized Sony a7S II.

1. Sony 16-35mm Vario-Tessar T FE F4 ZA OSS E-Mount Lens

The Sony 16-35mm lens is ideal for taking pictures of landscapes, especially during sunrise and set. It is suitable for the A7 series of cameras will full frames. It comes with ZEISS (T star) coating which reduces ghosting and flares. 

The ZEISS (T-star) coating enhances the performance of the lens. It suppresses reflections and produces images with natural contrast. This feature is especially useful while you are shooting landscapes.

The lens is not only resistant to moisture and dust but also comes equipped with an image stabilization feature. This feature comes in handy when the camera shakes while shooting with hand. This makes it easy for you to take clear nightscapes and sharp photos, even in dim lighting. All of this comes without increasing noise and without any need to increase ISO sensitivity. 

The Aspherical Lens technology makes sure that there is no compromise on the image quality. The lens combines 3 Extra-low dispersion glass elements with one AA lens to deliver breathtaking shots.

The shutter priority feature allows you to restrict the amount of light coming towards the camera. This is especially useful for taking photos near windows and light sources.

The lens is perfect for taking videos as well. The zoom function is remarkably sharp with minimum distortion. You will find no soft edges even while shooting at a 16mm end.

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Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Moisture and dust resistant 
  • Zooming function is excellent 
  • Wide-angle lens 
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Cons
  • Barrel distortion 
  • Could have been wider

2. Sony SEL2470GM E-Mount Camera Lens: FE 24-70 mm F2.8 G Master Full Frame Standard Zoom Lens

The Sony SEL2470GM Lens is the ultimate choice for event, travel, and portrait photographers. It’s meant for photographers who want the highest possible visual quality. 

The lens comes with 3 aspherical elements. One of them is the XA element with exact surface precision. This element of the lens delivers high-resolution pictures while reducing aberration from one corner to another.

The constant F2.8 max aperture helps with maintaining depth and exposure regardless of the zoom range. When photographers try to change aperture for de-focusing the background, the out of focus areas become blurred. This blurred background can be improved and enhanced using the aperture blades of this lens.

Most regular aperture blades create unpleasant points of light. This is because most of them have flat sides. However, this lens keeps the aperture blades circular. As a result of this, you achieve natural de-focusing of backgrounds. 

The Nano AR coating of the lens reduces ghosting and flares. It also helps with taking images with lifelike details. The nano-structure allows accurate transmission of light, which produces high-quality pictures. It suppresses reflection which improves the contrast and clarity of the photos. 

If you are looking for a professional lens and have no problems with carrying it around, then this is the lens for you. 

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Pros
  • Resistant to dust and moisture
  • Absolute focus
  • Out-of-focus areas blend into the images 
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Cons
  • The lens is quite heavy 
  • Distortion

3. Sony SEL24240 FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Zoom Lens for Mirrorless Cameras

Sony SEL 24240 FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS is a compatible lens for full-frame cameras. It offers ten times zoom compared to the three or four times in most full-frame lenses.

Sony calls this an SEL lens because it is meant for its E-mount mirrorless cameras. FE lenses are specially used in full-frame Sony alpha mirrorless cameras though they are compatible with APS-C cameras too.

This lens has a telescopic design. The front elements do not rotate and move when extended. So, you can comfortably use filters and polarizers. The stiff zoom ring prevents zoom creep. It is moisture and dust resistant.

Even in its full telescopic length, the lens manages to keep its balance. That is because the maximum weight is at the base of the lens.

The optical steady shot (OSS) image stabilization corrects camera shake during hand-held photography. The gyro-sensors help adjust the lens position to counter any movement. The linear motor helps in focus adjustment in all length of zoom. 

It has five aspherical elements and one ED element. These help in bringing sharpness and precision to the image. The unique design of the aspherical elements has reduced the need for too many elements. This has made the lens lighter, which minimizes aberration in images too.

Defocusing is smooth, giving excellent ‘bokeh.’ The background blurs are round due to circular aperture blades.

Sony SEL 24240 FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS has a fast but quiet auto-focus. You will be able to switch quickly from wide-angle to telephoto without missing any shot.

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Pros
  • All-in-one lens for a full-frame camera
  • High sharpness, contrast, and colour
  • Good build
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Cons
  • Stiff zoom ring
  • Heavy for a light mount

4. Sony SEL70200G FE 70-200mm F4 G OSS E-Mount Full-Frame Interchangeable Lens – International Version

Sony SEL70200G FE 70-200mm F4 G OSS E-mount is a full-frame lens most compatible with alpha 7 range cameras. It is an interchangeable lens with all the qualities of a prime lens.

It is an SEL lens because it is compatible with E-mount cameras. FE indicates that it is a full-frame lens. OSS is optical steady shot image stabilization for blur-free images. Thus, you get clear photos without high ISO or loud noise.

The special ‘G’ lenses are individually checked for exacting tolerance and creative control. It is an all-weather, all-location lens as it is dust and moisture resistant.

It has a circular aperture with a 9-blade design to give perfect defocusing. This ensures a beautiful bokeh. Also, the constant F4 aperture saves you from changing exposure settings while zooming.

It has one aspherical element and two advanced aspherical (AA) elements. It has two extra-low dispersion glass elements and one super ED element. These together help in reducing aberrations, astigmatism, and coma.

Capturing action or shooting movies are all easy with Sony SEL FE 70-200mm F4 due to the dual linear motors. Dual linear motors make focusing fast, quiet, and precise. Internal focusing keeps the front elements steady. So, polarizers and filters can sit well on the lens.

This lens has a nano AR coating to handle light dispersion effectively, which reduces flare and ghosts to almost non-existence. The image stabilization switch provides a ‘panning mode.’ You can capture horizontally panned shots with minimum blur.

The body of Sony SEL70200G FE 70-200mm F4 G OSS E-mount lens is designed attractively. The focus range limiter switches, focus hold, and other controls are made for convenience.

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Pros
  • AA and super ED reduce distortions and aberrations
  • Dual linear motor for super-quick focus
  • Circular aperture for great bokeh
  • Nano AR coating for clarity
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Cons
  • Quite heavy
  • Not for wildlife photography

5. Sony FE 70-300mm SEL70300G F4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens

Sony FE 70-300mm SEL70300G F4.5-5.6 G OSS is the telephoto zoom lens with a variable maximum aperture. You can consider it as a pseudo-macro lens. Sony designed it for its full-frame E-mount cameras. It is compatible with APS-C cameras too.

It is less expensive than Sony’s other G-series lenses. Sony FE 70-300mm SEL F4.5-5.6 G can become a favorite for landscape and wildlife photographers.

The body is made of matte black plastic and has a rubber focus and zoom ring. It has weather sealing features. The barrel is made of magnesium alloy, and it has a metal mount. The front part extends out when zoomed.

There is a zoom lock switch that helps avoid zoom creep. The lens barrel has three switches. The first is AF/MF switch to move from autofocus to manual. The second is the focus distance limiter, which prevents the lens from focusing too close. The third switch is for a steady shot.

An AF stop button will allow you to operate through the camera menu. The optical steady shot (OSS) image stabilization is better than other 70-300mm lenses in the market. Coupled with the IBIS feature of mirrorless cameras, this gives excellent results.

It shows excellent tracking capabilities but disappoints in low-light. Low-light makes focus locking take time. Whereas in bright light, locking is fast and accurate.

The sharpness of the images is intact throughout the focal length of the lens. Zooming out at 300mm shows a slight negative impact on the sharpness. Things improve if stopped down to f/8. 

Both background and foreground bokeh are reasonably good. The nano AR coating controls flare. A minor amount of vignette is present at a wide-open aperture and ends of the range. You will notice almost non-existent chromatic aberration.

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Pros
  • Sturdy build for a full-frame lens
  • No aberration, low flare, great bokeh
  • Least expensive G-series lens
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Cons
  • Relatively slow
  • Sharpness remains an issue at low light

6. Zeiss Batis 2.8/18 Wide-Angle Lens for E-Mount

If you are looking for a sturdy and dependable camera lens, then the Zeiss Batis 2.8/18 Wide-Angle Lens is a suitable option. With a decent aperture, autofocus feature, and other standard functionalities, the lens is excellent for beginner-level photography.

The 2.8/18 wide-angle lens is perfect for landscape and portrait modes. We tried capturing low- angle shots of buildings, the city skyline, and bokeh frames as well and very pleasantly surprised by its performance.

The Zeiss Batis lens is especially effective for astrophotography. You can get a clear, sharp shot of the stars and the skies on a clear night. The autofocus is adjustable and can be tweaked to suit your needs. Plus, you can even remove pixels, blurring, and vignettes around the edges.

The lenses are also suitable for shooting moving objects, small objects, and up-close photography. You can get extremely wide-angled shots with minimum distortion.  

Moving to the framework, the Zeiss lenses are lightweight, portable, and designed for outdoor locations. The lens is also dust-proof, weather-resistant, and durable with advanced anti-scratch construction.

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Pros
  • The autofocus feature works well
  • Supports all photography modes, especially wide-angled shots
  • Large aperture for capturing images in low lighting
  • Can be used for car shows, astral photography, up-close shots of small objects and architectural shots
  • Works well for night photography and outdoor shoots
  • Light durable and portable construction
  • Requires little to no maintenance
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Cons
  • Some users have complained of dust accumulation around the edges of the lens
  • Doesn’t come with a lens guard or covering
  • Not very suitable for handheld shots in dimly lit locations

7. Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2 Lens for Sony E Mount

The smooth, sleek, and stylish Zeiss Batis 25mm lens is optimised for most Sony E Mount models. The autofocus is steady, reliable, and extremely sharp- helping us get the perfect shot every time.

The lenses come with advanced features like zoom-in and sensors for getting sharp, up-close images even when the object is far away or very small. We also like how versatile the model is, supporting all kinds of photography modes from landscape to bokeh and portrait frames.

About the framework, physical construction is ergonomic, adjustable, and very lightweight. You can easily carry the lenses to an outdoor location and get wide-angle shots of the area or the skyline. Plus, the fact that you don’t need any extra adapters and cables to fit the lenses to the Sony A7SII camera is an added plus.

The lenses also support panoramic views and 3D photography. All the images are saved in the JPEG format and can be transferred to other devices via a USB cable. And it is okay if you don’t have killer editing skills- the lenses always manage to get the perfect shot.

The dust resistant, weatherproof construction is easy to clean and maintain. You even get a lens cap or guard with the model for extra protection.

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Pros
  • Offers good contrast and sharpness to the images
  • Portable, user-friendly and versatile enough to be used by amateurs
  • Amazing autofocus support
  • Wider aperture for low-light photography
  • Hassle-free operation- doesn’t require any cables or adapters
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Cons
  • Some users have voiced concerns about the precision of the lens
  • Also, the lens hood is fragile, brittle and breakable
  • Doesn’t have the image stabilization feature

8. Sony SEL35F18 35mm f/1.8 Prime Fixed Lens

Then Sony SEL35F18 model is all that you expect from a decent camera fixed lens. Armed with an in-build image stabilization feature, stunning autofocus, and a gamut of editing options, this 35mm f/1.8 model is tailor-made for beginners.

The coloration and contrast offered by this Sony lens are pretty powerful and versatile. You can adjust the gradation, add special effects, reduce blurring and vignettes around the edges of the frame, and so much more.

The wider aperture allows for faster photography; you can now shoot a series of still images in a sequence with zero errors. It is a great mode for capturing moving objects or getting a wide-angle shot of the landscape without breaking down into pixels

The 35mm opening is accurate and very sharp- working well even in dim lighting. Plus, the framework is designed in a way that requires no cleaning or maintenance. The lens doesn’t collect dust; it is moisture-proof and can be carried anywhere you want.

The SEL35F18 model is also compatible with a gimbal and supports both handheld and automatic shots. We even tried connecting it to other camera models by Sony and found it to be quite efficient.

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Pros
  • The autofocus offered by Sony lenses are way better than any you’ll find in the market
  • The lenses work great for sweeping landscape shots and close-ups alike
  • The lenses look very professional and are an excellent choice for beginners who want to experiment with their skills
  • Optimized for super bright and low-light backgrounds alike
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Cons
  • The lenses are a bit on the heavier side
  • Users have had complaints about the lenses producing a strange squeaking noise

9. Sony 55mm F1.8 Sonnar T FE ZA Full Frame Prime Lens – Fixed

The smooth, well-rounded, and ribbed Sony 55mm F1.8 Sonnar T lens the perfect companions for outdoor photoshoots. The rugged construction is lightweight, very stable, and easy to handle. The aspherical design complements the camera well and effectively reduces aberrations

The picture quality is excellent, with really sharp edges, crisp color schemes, and contrast settings. The lenses also come with the standard functionalities like autofocus and image stabilization for clicking accurate and attractive shots.

The construction is ergonomic with a robust unbreakable framework and lens guard protecting the fragile lenses from dust and moisture. The wide lens opening allows photographers to click pictures even in dim or lowly lit backdrops. You can also click low angle shots, wide landscape shots, close-ups and portrait shots with these lenses.

Simple, stunning, and straightforward, the Sonnar lenses can be handled by amateurs and professionals alike. Although, we would like to recommend the f/1.4G version lenses for experts as its more stable and well-balanced.

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Pros
  • Heavy-duty construction which is surprisingly lightweight
  • Suitable for houses, dim settings, outdoor locations and photo studios alike  
  • Smooth and accurate bokeh finish
  • Compact and compatible with Sony A7R iii model
  • F1.8G lens is ideal for entry-level photography
  • The lens supports super-fast photography and is fantastic at capturing moving objects
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Cons
  • Doesn’t work well with a clear filter
  • Doesn’t support zoom either
  • You need to keep the hood up constantly to avoid unnecessary blurring and blobs

10. Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 Lens for Sony E Mount

Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 Lens has a durable rubber sealing to the mount. This means the lens is virtually all-weather resistant. Sand, water, dust – nothing phases the lens. Another notable advantage is the Zeiss T coating which reduces flares and reflection that could otherwise ruin a good picture.

Portrait photographers highly seek batis as we’ve found, and for good reason. The wide-open 1.8 lens greets you with the sharpest, high definition images. Every feature of the subject is defined while there’s considerable depth in the out of focus area.

Batis lens is considerably smaller than lenses from other companies with similar specifications. The Optical Steady Shot of the E-mount system is up to par. Combine it with the bokeh, and we have got almost perfect portraits. The colour rendition and contrast are notable. Even the most grey-toned colours look defined and brighter under this lens.

While the lens is best suited for portrait photography, if you plan on using it for videos, then you have nothing to fear either. The lens makes absolutely no sound and what it does sound like is a whisper. The bride walking down the aisle would be in full length, with the wedding guests at the back thanks to the wide-angle.

We really couldn’t find any reason not to buy this lens, especially considering the lightweight body and cheaper price range when held against lenses of similar qualities of other companies. 

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Pros
  • Sharp Images
  • Phenomenal Contrast
  • Good Color Rendition
  • Nice Bokeh
  • Fast Focus
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Cons
  • Slight Vignetting
  • The focus ring is a little gritty

Sony a7S II Lenses Buying Guide

  • Sensor Size – It is important but not the only determining factor. A 12 MP expensive camera like Sony a7S II is better than 24 MP Nikon priced at $400.
  • Sony Abbreviations – The most suitable lenses will have SEL (Sony Autofocus E Mount Lens) and FE for full-frame mirrorless Sony. OSS means Optical Steady Shot which is lens-based image stabilization.
  • Weatherproof – It is better to buy weatherproofed lenses. They are much more expensive but can keep out dust and moisture.

FAQ

1. What is the equivalent focal length? Why do I read in lens description – 200 mm (300 mm equivalent)?

That is a conversion from APS-C to full-frame. 35 mm equivalent of a 200 mm lens used on an APS-C sized sensor is 300 mm. The multiplication factor is 1.5 for conversion between full-frame and APS-C.

2. What does f range like f/4.5-5.6 mean in a lens?

Usually, lenses get slower once the focal length increases. 55-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 means that at 55 mm focal length, the max aperture is f/4.5 and at 300 mm focal length max aperture is f/5.6.

3. Do mirrorless cameras need different lenses than DSLR?

You can use any DSLR lens on a mirrorless as long as they share the same mount. The difference between mirrorless and DSLR is in the viewfinder and not in the part of the camera that handles the interchangeable lens.

4. How do I clean my Sony lenses?

Like a DSLR, a mirrorless camera too needs regular maintenance. It is a delicate piece of equipment and needs caring for.

Use a camel hair brush to remove dust from the lens. For the surface of the lens, you can use tissue paper soaked in rubbing alcohol.

For cleaning inside of the camera, use a small blower bulb that pushes out compressed air. Never use a compressed air can since the mirrors, and internal systems are very fragile.

5. What happens if I drop my lens?

Not only are the elements made of glass, but most modern lenses have a very sensitive motor drive. A lens might survive a fall if it is in a case. If the lens is not in a case, it most probably will not survive a fall on a hard surface.

Verdict

The Sony FE 70-300mm SEL70300G F4.5-5.6 G OSS clearly emerged on top in our tests. It is a very high-quality telephoto lens that is very sharp. The images are clear across the width of the frame. Very little vignetting can be observed and is, for the most part, negligible.

The second spot went to Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8. An excellent telephoto prime lens that is capable of providing great depth of field. Not only can you use it indoors with particularly good results but also perform street photography.

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