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The 15 Best Lenses for Sony a6500: Let’s Find the Perfect Choice!

Best lens for Sony a6500

Have you finally found the courage to pick up a Sony a6500 but can’t figure out which lens to get? Allow us to help you look for the best lenses for Sony a6500!

Let the shoot begin in 3…2…1!

The Best Lenses for Sony a6500: Our Top 10 Picks

Sony E 24mm F/1.8 – Best Overall

Looking for a first-class 24mm prime lens? Sony presents the Sony E 24mm f/1.8 with its outstanding sharpness and contrast throughout the frame.

It’s one of the larger E mount lenses for APS C to recognize its quick aperture.

Sony wasn’t joking when they developed these prime lenses. It’s a favorite among photographers for the right reasons, with its dramatic maximum magnification of 0.25x.

And if all this wasn’t enough yet, it also has staggering quality when it comes to low-light photography.

Without a doubt, it’s at the top list of great prime lenses for any photographer looking into street photography and others!

Portraits, landscapes, and travel? Bring in all of your subjects, and expect this Sony lens to deliver!

Pros:

  • Stunning optical steady shot and sharpness across the entire frame
  • Features a fast and clear autofocus
  • Stunning bokeh effect
  • Focus ring is conveniently smooth and easy to grip
  • Sturdy build quality

Cons:

  • Slightly heavier (when compared to other lenses)
  • Design is not as compact

Sony E 10-18mm F/4 OSS -Best Value

Next up is the Sony E 10-18mm f/4 OSS, which features Sony’s compact and lightweight ultra wide-angle zoom lens for APS C mirrorless cameras.

This is a great value lens option for any photographer looking into getting wide angles without getting a separate one.

On top of that, our favorite Sony lens allows you to have a constant maximum aperture throughout the entire zoom range.

This best zoom lens candidate also gives you a natural bokeh effect, a feature you would get from a specific portrait lens!

And of course, one can’t forget about the Optical Steady Shot technology for image stabilization.

Want your Sony cameras to be everything about optical performance? These wide lenses for the Sony a6500 are just over here, waiting for you to shoot.

Pros:

  • Lens features ED glass and aspherical elements for minimization of aberrations and color fringing
  • Provides high quality bokeh effects
  • Contains internal focusing system for fast and responsive autofocus
  • Extreme wide-angle view

Cons:

  • Doesn’t do well in dark conditions

Sony E 20mm F/2.8 – Best Budget Pick

Does a compact design happen to be on top of your priority list when looking for the best lens on a Sony a6500? This E mount lens might be the one!

Mounted on a Sony a6500 camera, it’s going to have a better feel of a point-and-shoot camera instead of a mirrorless camera setup.

On top of its compact design, it also features an equivalent focal length of 30mm. That is, it sits between the typical everyday lens and a wide-angle.

Dare to say BEST OF BOTH WORLDS in one lens? This product would make Hannah Montana proud!

It does a great job of capturing a wide variety of subjects, from being one of the portrait lenses to applying shoot street photography in no time!

At f/2.8, it’s also no surprise that the moderately fast aperture can shoot in poor light and can pretty much act as an astrophotography lens as well.

A VERSATILE and BUDGET lens at fixed focal length? Say no more!

Pros:

  • Budget-friendly
  • Light and compact design
  • Features a quick and highly effective autofocus
  • Comes with a lens hood for protection
  • Great for a variety of subjects

Cons:

  • May have some wide-angle distortion

Sony E 16-70mm F/4

You’ve heard of people talking about zoom lenses and professing their love for prime lenses.

But if you were looking for an option for the best lenses with an image quality that’s incomparable to others, the Sony 16-70mm f/4 is the lens to get for your Sony a6500!

Not to mention its INCREDIBLE zoom range, too.

Everyone loves a mid-range zoom, and this isn’t one to fail you. The Sony 16-70mm f/4 will always be ready to shoot any of your subjects!

Thinking of street photography, this lens is great for shooting landscapes.

However, it ALSO works great as a telephoto lens and does a great job at creating a smooth bokeh for sharp portrait photography with utmost character!

Above all of these features, what makes the Sony E 16-70mm f/4 even better for your Sony a6500 is its compact design.

This zoom lens is the perfect lens to take everywhere with you, and so is the Sony a6500 camera body.

Honestly, it’s pretty much a match made in heaven!

Pros:

  • Wide focal range
  • Weighs less than the Sony a6500 for a balanced and light setup
  • Exceptional image quality at its versatile focal range
  • Autofocus quality is comparable to travel lenses
  • Able to capture sharp images with great versatility

Cons:

  • Some distortion at wider focal lengths (due to crop factors of APS C cameras)
  • Doesn’t do that well in poorly lighted photography

Sony E 35mm F/1.8 OSS

Are you looking for a budget lens in a compact design? This Sony E 35mm f/1.8 OSS is one for those who would like a BRIGHT and WIDE aperture that’s able to provide a stunning bokeh effect!

With this lens for Sony a6500, neither stills nor cinematography is a problem.

The 35mm focal length is roughly the equivalent of a 50mm on APS C, so it’s a great option for anyone who’s into portrait photography.

Moreover, with such a fast and wide aperture lens of f/1.8, one can expect to get a good, shallow depth of field with the background blur and bokeh!

And most of all, the f/1.8 aperture will also allow you to shoot at low light situations!

We’ve seen so many lenses by now, and you can probably tell that lenses for Sony a6500 that work great in low light situations are a gem.

This high quality prime lens is also manufactured with image stabilization technology and only produces a minimum level of barrel distortion.

Many options fit the criteria for the best prime lens on a Sony camera, and this Sony lens is NO exception!

Pros:

  • Great value
  • Extremely wide aperture
  • Manufactured with Optical Steady Shot technology
  • Camera lenses have quick, silent, and accurate auto-focus
  • Works well in low light photography

Cons:

  • Doesn’t provide the same sharpness as other Sony lenses

Sony E 50mm F/1.8 OSS

When we’re talking about the best lenses, we’re more likely to look for the camera’s sharpness when measuring its capabilities.

Well, in terms of sharpness, the Sony E 50mm f/1.8 OSS isn’t going to disappoint you!

It’s one of the sharpest lenses for Sony APS C cameras and a must for photographers looking to capture sharp and STUNNING shots!

It also comes with the versatility for portraits, landscapes, or even acting as a macro lens.

While it’s most certainly not a telephoto lens, it’s still able to provide a short telephoto field of view which is great for portrait photography.

Excellent color combination and shots? Sign us up! You know you’ve got yourself the best and versatile lens for a Sony a6500 when you can feel the scenes sitting in the photographs.

On top of that, this great prime lens also comes at an affordable price and compact design.

Basically, you’ve got yourself an extremely shallow depth of field without compromising image quality with a still-full wallet!

Pros:

  • Sits at an affordable price
  • Extremely sharp image quality
  • Designed with OSS and internal focus mechanism
  • Unfailing dreamy bokeh
  • Compact design

Cons:

  • At f/1.8, sharpness may slightly fall at the edges

Sony 16-70mm F/4 Zeiss

If we’re looking for an all-around lens for your Sony a6500, then you’ve probably heard of the Sony 16-70mm f/4 Zeiss countless times. But for the right reasons!

The 16-70mm focal length is as versatile as you can expect such a focal range for your Sony a6500.

16mm is wide enough to allow most subjects in your full frame, while 70mm will allow your camera to have a super-telephoto lens!

So now you can provide landscapes and backgrounds for your subjects, but with the telephoto focal length and variable maximum aperture, you could also reach REAL CLOSE to your subject itself.

It really has everything and anything you need if you ask us.

Despite its spectacularly small and compact size, no one can deny the optical performance of this lens at the full frame!

On top of all of this, this prime lens also has a mechanical zoom function which makes it easier for photography purposes!

Pros:

  • Versatile focal length range
  • Stunning optical performance
  • Features a small and compact design
  • Designed with the built-in optical image stabilization technology

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Not weather sealed
  • At a maximum aperture of f/4, it’s not the fastest lens

Sony 18-105mm F/4 G OSS

The Sony 18-105mm f/4 G OSS is another candidate for the “best lens for Sony a6500” title, and here’s why.

Like the model we’ve just tackled, it has a constant aperture of f/4 throughout its entire focal length and zoom range but is optical for working in low-light situations or performing video work.

Moreover, this lens also gives you an incredible focal range of 18-105mm. That’s equivalent to a full frame focal range of 27-152mm!

Let’s admit it! Even if one didn’t know how photography worked, that’s a pretty IMPRESSIVE focal length range. But technically speaking, that really should give you a ton more flexibility in your shoots!

Above all, the good thing about the zoom functionality of this lens at extreme focal lengths is that ALL of its zoom functionality is internal.

That just means that the lens won’t physically extend or retract when you’re zooming in and out.

There are some setbacks to this function, but we’ll talk about that later. In the meantime, just think about the image quality and maximum aperture such a versatile lens could give you!

Pros:

  • Extremely versatile focal length range
  • Constant aperture of f/4 throughout entire focal length range
  • Features internal zoom functionality system
  • Contains built-in optical image stabilization technology

Cons:

  • At a maximum aperture of f/4, it’s not the fastest prime lens
  • Lack of depth of field
  • Not weather sealed

Sony 16-55mm F/2.8 G

Allow us to introduce to you the Sony 16-55mm f/2.8 G!

It is one of the NEWEST premium lenses for the APS-C cameras (Of course, including the Sony a6500, but the [Lens Comp.: Distortion] setting will be set to “Auto”).

The focal length range of 16-55mm can cover most subjects and situations you’ll be in as a photographer.

But more than that, it’s also been proven and tested to give you the best quality and sharpest images out of the Sony a6500.

On top of its great image quality output, the Sony 16-55mm f/2.8 G is also designed with an autofocus and manual switch.

So whether you’re out covering a fast-paced situation or want to add a dash of CREATIVITY to your work, this handy Sony a6500 lens will deliver its focal lengths for your work and your work only!

The catch is that you’re going to be left with a constant aperture of f/2.8. So for a zoom lens, that’s for you to figure out.

On that note, it’s also designed to be small and lightweight in comparison to a typical zoom lens for the Sony a6500.

Pros:

  • Incredibly sharp and high image quality output
  • Compact and lightweight design
  • Features a focus hold button (typically only found on Sony’s full frame cameras)
  • Great in most lighting conditions
  • Weather sealed design

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • No built-in OSS technology
  • 55mm focal length range (shorter than most zoom lenses)

Sony 18-200 F/3.5-6.3 OSS

If you’ve gone through all the lenses and you’re still in the search for one that you’re going to love, we also highly suggest getting the Sony 18-200 f/3.5-6.3 OSS!

With a focal length range of 18-200mm, there’s not a single doubt in us that you will definitely be able to find yourself covering all situations in your capacity.

If anything, we actually think you’ll be able to INCREASE and IMPROVE your capacity with this zoom lens!

On shorter focal lengths, it’s wide enough for you to fit most subjects in the frame. As for the longer focal lengths, there’s enough reach for you to zoom into most subjects you want to shoot.

So yes, that’s right. Whether you’re looking for a portrait lens or a wide-angle lens, this is a great option!

Just let your CREATIVITY run WILD and trust this lens to provide you with sharp images while you’re at it!

However, the variable maximum aperture makes it quite difficult to shoot in low-light situations or for when you’re shooting videos.

But hey, if flexibility and image stabilization were all you were looking for in a Sony a6500 lens, we’d say it’s an understatement to even call this a candidate!

Pros:

  • 18-200mm focal length range for utmost flexibility and variability
  • For full frame lens with such a wide focal length range, it’s lightweight and compact
  • Designed with built-in image stabilization technology

Cons:

  • Doesn’t work as well in low light situations and videos
  • Not weather sealed

The Best Lenses for Sony a6500: Honorable Mentions

Honestly, there are just so many great lenses in the market that it’d be quite a shame to name just 10 of them.

And besides, the more options, the better, right?

These lenses are also great for beginners just starting to get a feel of photography!

So let’s get to it!

Sigma 30mm F/1.4

Sharpness, vibrant colors, brightness, and image quality? Say no more!

The Sigma 30mm f/1.4 works absolutely well with the Sony a6500. It’s a lightweight premium quality lens with beautiful bokeh, shallow depth of field, and edge-to-edge sharpness.

With such a wide aperture of 1.4, there isn’t a single doubt in us that it’ll produce stunning and crisp portraits and videos!

Pros:

  • Works extremely well in low light conditions
  • Designed with Thermally Stable Composite for usage in a variety of temperatures
  • Stunning bokeh quality
  • Features high refractive index, dispersion glass, and two aspherical elements
  • Provides a stepping autofocus motor system

Cons:

  • No image stabilization

Sigma 16mm F/1.4 DC DN Contemporary Lens for Sony E

Now, if you’re looking for a beautifully crafted lens with a wide and fast aperture for your crop sensor cameras, allow the Sigma 16mm f/1.4 to deliver!

While it doesn’t sound as impressive, the 16mm focal length is extremely versatile and can be used to shoot landscapes and nature photography. Even in bad weather conditions, too.

And while it’s used to shoot landscapes, it still does a great job of producing a bokeh effect and shallow depth of field!

Pros:

  • Designed with multi-layer coating for contrast-rich photos
  • Precise autofocus system
  • Weather sealed construction
  • Works well in low light conditions

Cons:

  • Lacks image stabilization
  • Sharpness drops at the edges of the frame

Sony 16-50mm F/3.5-5.6

If you’re looking for a great investment, the Sony 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 could be a great option, but take into consideration that the [Lens Comp.: Distortion] setting will be set to “Auto”. and the rotational direction of the zoom lens cannot be assigned.

This lens comes with a built-in image stabilization technology, ED glass, and a smooth performance during zoom-in and zoom-out situations.

With proper lighting inside your studio, you’re for sure going to get the best image quality photos!

Pros:

  • More than capable of taking beautiful wide-angle shots
  • Features built-in image stabilization
  • Smooth transition between zooming in and out
  • Maximum aperture at real-life render

Cons:

  • Doesn’t work well in low light conditions

Sony E 55-210mm F/4.5-6.3

With such a wide focal length range, the Sony E 55-210mm is the ideal pick for anyone who wants to shoot a long distance from their subjects!

More than its wide capacity, it’s also known for producing vibrant colors and sharp images during shooting. It also works absolutely well as a macro lens, so there’s a lot of options for you to explore!

Wildlife photography, street, sports, and macro? Let your creativity go crazy!

Pros:

  • Works well in a studio setup
  • Produces sharp and vibrant images
  • Features image stabilization
  • Designed with smooth, accurate, and quiet autofocus

Cons:

  • Doesn’t do well in low light situations

Rokinon 12mm F/2

If you’re looking to get vibrant shots of cities and landscapes, this would be a great lens to get for your Sony a6500!

It features a 110 degree perspective on your shots, which is definitely more than a typical wide-angle lens. If anything, the widest on this list is 115, so it’s not far off at all!

With an aperture of 2.0, you don’t have to worry about problems in low light conditions, either.

Go get those vibrant night cityscape shots with all the freedom possible!

Pros:

  • Features 110 degree perspective
  • Works well in low light conditions
  • Produces bright and sharp images

Cons:

  • No autofocus

How to Buy the Best Lens for Your Sony a6500: An Information Guide

We firmly believe that knowledge is power when choosing the best lenses for the Sony a6500 or any other camera.

So here’s a guide on the information we believe you should know to make the right choices and choose the lens for you.

Without further ado, let’s begin!

Aperture

Maximum aperture is a value we all know you’re quite familiar with. However, being merely familiar with it isn’t enough.

The aperture tells you how much light can get through the sensor of your lenses.

So basically, the more light reaching your full frame lens, the better you’re able to do in low light conditions. And come out with sharp images, too!

Small Aperture: More Light

One thing to remember about the aperture is that the smaller the number, the more light will be entering your lens.

Typically, the brightest lenses are offered at a maximum aperture of f/1.2. But as you can see from the list, that’s pretty rare. And typically not affordable, either.

But there is the f/1.8, just like the Sony E 24mm f/1.8, which happens to be our first choice!

Higher Aperture Number: More Budget

Generally, the higher the aperture number, the cheaper the lens is, too. So if budget is your priority for your Sony camera, then poor light’s the drawback.

Pro tip: Typically, a super-telephoto lens will have larger aperture numbers.

Focal Length

Without a doubt, the focal length range is supposed to be the first thing to consider when you’re looking for a new lens.

That is, regardless of whether you’re getting one for the Sony a6500 or any other camera!

The focal length range tells you whether the lens is a wide-angle lens or a telephoto lens.

In translation, this should also be able to tell you whether you’re getting a landscape lens, a portrait lens, or a versatile one.

Telephoto Lenses

With a telephoto lens, you’re able to get closer to subjects from a far distance.

These are typically used as portrait lenses as they keep the proportions of a subject better than a typical wide-angle lens.

Moreover, they also have less depth of field than wild angle lenses, so getting a blurred background or a bokeh isn’t as hard.

They do, however, get less light inside the camera lens and are more susceptible to camera shaking and blurriness.

Wide Angle Lenses

On the other hand, wide-angle lenses for the Sony a6500 (or any other camera) are great for nature photography. That is, you’ll be able to capture more of the landscape.

These lenses for Sony a6500 are great when you’re considering the brightness and the depth of field, and they’re also typically smaller and lighter than a telephoto lens.

So if you tend to move around a lot during your shoot, now you know what to pick up.

However, a wide-angle lens tends to have more distortion, as straight lines tend to bend into the edges of the image, even with a full-frame lens.

In terms of portraiture, you’re also more typically not going to get the right proportions with a wide-angle lens. Usually, it causes your model to have a bigger nose and even sunken eyes.

Normal Lenses

In the middle, we have the normal lens.

Typically at a focal length of 50mm, this lens renders the environment of the camera the SAME way we see everything with our own eyes.

So if realistic photography was what you were looking into, now you know!

Any lens with a smaller focal range than 50mm is considered a wide-angle lens, while larger ones are telephoto lenses.

Zoom Lens

In a zoom lens, you’re able to get several focal lengths in the same lens.

This means that you can get away with buying less lenses overall, as a zoom lens will already provide you with a multitude of options.

Generally, this also means more space for your creativity and style to explore!

It’s also a great option for anyone looking for convenience, as there’s no need to switch between lenses!

Prime Lens

A fixed lens or a prime lens is smaller, lighter, and brighter when compared to zoom lenses.

Moreover, since there’s ONLY ONE focal length, it’s easier to correct various lens errors as you’ll be able to find the error and the cause of the error pretty quickly.

The good news is you won’t have to take into account the zoom features.

On that note, it’s also more typical for a photographer to get themselves an improved image quality.

Macro Lens

For extra information, let’s tackle the macro lenses pretty quickly, too!

A macro lens is a special type of camera lens that’s optimized for extremely close focusing distances.

This means that a photographer will now be able to take sharp and detailed images of microscopic subjects.

Sony actually has a few lenses for this category, so if that seems up your alley, you know where to go!

Crop Factor

Most camera manufacturers use different sizes of image sensors in their cameras. Usually, this gives you difficulty finding out the actual capacity of a telephoto or a wide-angle lens.

To figure that out, you can convert the focal length to its full frame equivalent to the crop factor.

For Sony cameras, including the Sony a6500, the crop factor is 1.5!

Image Stabilization

Image stabilization is what you think it is. This technology tries to lessen and eliminate camera shaking during the shooting to prevent the immersion of blurred images or even distorted ones.

It’s done by moving the elements in the lens, while some manufacturers decide to add the stabilization technology in the cameras themselves.

For Sony, the technology you should be looking for would be the Optical Steady Shot (OSS) label.

Why so? It uses a gimbal mechanism for capturing smooth and professional-looking images without the bulky external equipment.

Color Refractive Correction

It’s no secret to anyone that everything photography-related is centered on light. However, light is also a peculiar thing with strange abilities.

One of these strange abilities is that the different colors of light tend to bend differently when they pass through a lens. This leads to color shifts, which usually happen at the edges of the image.

So if you’re out looking for the best lenses for the Sony a6500, it’s worth asking about how much the lens responds to different color temperatures and how severe such color shifts may be.

Distortion

On the other hand, distortion is a lens error that causes straight lines to bend either inward or outward of the image. Typically at the edges of the frame.

A great way to combat this as a photographer would be to keep any straight lines in the image as close to the middle as possible.

That is, there’s definitely going to be LESS DISTORTION around here as opposed to if you kept those straight lines at the edges.

Don’t be shy to ask about the distortion tendencies of the camera lens you’re trying to buy for your Sony a650o, either!

A Recap of the Best Lens for Sony a6500

Sony E 20mm F/2.8 – Best Budget

If you want to go for all these features (versatility, sharpness, lightweight style) at an affordable price, definitely go for the Sony E 20mm F/2.8!

Sony E 10-18mm F/4 OSS -Best Performance

Surely, you can rely on the CRISP and SHARP image quality of this camera lens! Camera shaking? This lens doesn’t have these words in its dictionary.

Sony E 24mm F/1.8 – Best Overall

An outstanding 0.25x magnification, user-friendly focus ring, and unique bokeh effect? Check, check, and check!

It’s everything you could ask for in one lens! Other lenses don’t come close to the BEST OVERALL choice!

Conclusion

Frankly, there is more than one lens for Sony a6500, making it difficult to narrow them down to the best.

Whether your lens has slower shutter speeds or you have master lenses, the lens you choose should still ultimately rely on what you’re using it for!

The lens and your abilities will follow.

Happy shooting!

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