Sony makes a lot of great lenses, but which are the best Sony zoom lenses?
Our pick for the best Sony zoom lens overall is the Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM II lens. This lens is ready for anything, but other options like the Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS II lens and the Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM lens just might be better for your needs.
Here are My Top Zoom Lenses for Sony!
BEST SONY TELEPHOTO LENS FOR WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY
Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS II Lens
Let’s jump into our roundup of the best Sony zoom lenses.
1. Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM II Lens
Sony Best Zoom Lens Overall
Why Buy The Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM II Lens?
- You’ll be able to take this lens outdoors without worry thanks to the dust and moisture-resistant build quality
- Fans of lightweight mirrorless cameras will enjoy the 22% lighter and 18% smaller design
- The Aperture De-Click switch allows you to silently adjust your aperture meaning you can weave through weddings and capture high-value shots without disturbing the guests
The Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM II lens is easily the best Sony Alpha zoom lens.
This zoom lens really has it all. Not only does it have the most versatile focal lengths to pick between, it’s also got one of Sony’s best overall build qualities.
This lens can stand up to some serious use whether you’re a professional wedding photographer or you plan on going on a long distance hike with nothing but this lens.
The new version of this lens is lighter and smaller than any previous model. This makes it feel even more comfortable when connected to a small mirrorless camera body.
This is the best Sony travel zoom lens, but it’s also the best for pretty much every style of photography. Unless you need to go wider than 24mm, or you need to go closer than 70mm, you should pick up this lens!
What You’ll Love About The Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM II Lens?
- You’ll get smooth bokeh thanks to the Rounded 11-Blade Diaphragm
- The Floating Focus and Four XD Linear Focus Motors provide a fast and smooth autofocus
- The crispness of your image will be protected thanks to the multiple coatings and optical elements which reduce lens distortion
What You Won’t Love About The Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM II Lens?
- This is a very expensive lens
- The focal length offers a lot to love, but it does lack in telephoto and wide angle performance when compared to other lenses
Overall, the Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM II lens is the best Sony zoom lens for portraits, street photography, and a variety of general photography styles.
The Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM II lens is the lens you want to grab if you’re picking up your first Sony zoom lens or if you need to upgrade to the best professional zoom lens Sony has to offer.
2. Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM Lens
Best Sony Zoom Lens For Landscape Photography
Why Buy The Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM Lens?
- The ultra-wide angle focal length options on this lens let you handle even the most cramped shooting conditions or let you get artistic with some fisheye style images
- The f/2.8 aperture of this lens is very bright and lets you handle nighttime shooting
- A Nano AR Coating II protects the quality of your images while the Fluorine Coating helps prevent any damage to your lens
The Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM lens is easily one of the best lenses Sony has ever made when it comes to landscape photography and any other wide-angle style. You can push this lens to the extreme with the 12 mm side of things or capture a much more restrained landscape shot at 24 mm.
Since this is a professional lens, all of the other features are designed to help improve your photography overall. The coatings, optical elements, and high-tech features are going to help you make the most out of this ultra wide-angle lens.
Because this is a zoom lens, you can also do more than just landscape photography with it. It’s a good option if your mainstay is wide-angle shooting, but you don’t always need a dedicated fisheye prime lens.
What You’ll Love About The Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM Lens?
- This lens has plenty of coatings and optical elements which help to combat the noticeable distortions these dramatic focal lengths would otherwise have to manage
- This lens features a dust and moisture resistant design, so it’s ideal for taking on long trips to capture stunning landscape shots
- The f/2.8 aperture is going to be great for photographers who want to use this ultra wide-angle lens to capture astrophotography
What You Won’t Love About The Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM Lens?
- The ultra-wide angle focal lengths might not be useful for some photographers
- This is a professional lens which commands a price tag that could be more expensive than your camera body
The Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM lens is one of the best Sony zoom lens e mount options. This lens lets you shoot ultra-wide without having to sacrifice any performance.
You’ll love taking this lens out for some landscape or architectural photography, but it can also handle some other styles thanks to the 24mm top end.
3. Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS II Lens
Best Sony Telephoto Lens For Wildlife Photography
Why Buy The Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS II Lens?
- This large lens has been recently redesigned and is now a full 29% lighter than the original model which means it’s even more comfortable on a small mirrorless body
- The new blend of coatings and optical elements create “corner to corner” sharpness no matter what conditions your are shooting under
- This telephoto lens can help you stabilize your shots thanks to the Optical Steady Shot Image Stabilization which can compensate for camera shake even at a full 200mm zoom
The Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS II lens is the best Sony zoom lens for wildlife, sports, and birding photography.
The Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS II lens is widely considered to be part of the Sony Holy Trinity lenses. This lens is a must-have for most photographers, but it’s not always a first purchase.
This is a specialized lens that offers some telephoto zoom utility. Focal lengths closer to the 70 mm end are ideal for portraits while the focal lengths closer to the 200 mm end can help you out with wildlife, bird, and sports photography.
This lens has been built to Sony’s highest standards. It’s a great choice for anyone who’s headed out into a wilderness expedition and wants to catch wildlife photos without risking getting too close.
You can create an excellent two-lens travel photography kit using the Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS II lens and any of the other wide-angle lenses from our list.
The best feature on the Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS II lens has to be the smaller body and lighter weight.
Mirrorless cameras are so small which makes these large lenses a little hard to use. The redesigned Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS II lens is actually pretty comfortable on a smaller camera body.
What You’ll Love About The Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS II Lens?
- The 11-bladed aperture helps create smooth bokeh in video and in regular shooting
- Focus Hold, Focal Range Limiter, and OSS toggle buttons let you quickly change up your settings to match your needs
- The new model has a physical aperture ring giving photographers even more in the moment control over their style
What You Won’t Love About The Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS II Lens?
- This is another expensive lens not suitable for budget shoppers
- This lens still might be too large and too heavy for some
If you want the best Sony zoom lens full frame camera photographers need, pick up the Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS II lens.
This lens can get you through pretty much any shoot from backcountry wildlife expeditions to studio sessions.
4. Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM Lens
Best Sony Zoom Lens For Video
Why Buy The Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM Lens?
- You’ll get near silent focussing thanks to the Direct Drive Super Sonic Wave AF Motors
- Videographers will enjoy the 16mm to 35mm focal lengths which help you capture a variety of shots whether you’re shooting YouTube videos in a bedroom or you’re putting together head and shoulders shots for a documentary
- The weather-resistant construction means that you can take this lens outdoors for some creative video shooting
Sometimes you need one of the best zoom lenses for Sony full frame e mount cameras for your next video project. That’s where the Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM lens comes in.
Videography is very demanding and that means that you need a lens that can respond quickly to your needs. The autofocusing motor on the Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM lens combined with its flexible focal lengths allows you to always capture the shot no matter how quickly your shooting environment is changing.
This lens will be at home whether you plan on doing some running gun street videography or you’re filming a documentary, and you need crystal clear shots for a head and shoulders interview.
The Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM lens also makes a great first videography lens. It’s going to help you handle most videography situations, but it’s also flexible enough to work for photography as well.
This isn’t just the best video zoom lens, but it’s also the best Sony zoom lens for street photography.
This is a great travel lens since it’s wide enough to handle astrophotography and landscapes, but the 35 mm high end of the focal length can also help you do portraits and street photography.
What You’ll Love About The Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM Lens?
- The Rounded 11-Blade Diaphragm allows this lens to double for not just video, but also street photography and 35mm portraits
- The Focus Hold Button allows you to keep your focus while changing composition which is ideal for anyone working on a video project
- The bright f/2.8 aperture is great for shooting in dim conditions and can help you isolate your subjects from their backgrounds
What You Won’t Love About The Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM Lens?
- This is another pro-level lens that is very expensive
The Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM lens is the best Sony telephoto lens for video.
Videographers often find themselves shooting in very demanding conditions. The Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM lens is going to help you handle cramped shooting environments that are common in videography. This lens is also ideal for anyone who plans on doing wedding videography or just about any other style.
5. Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS Lens
Best Budget Zoom Lens For Sony E Mount
Why Buy The Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS Lens?
- This lens offers an interesting array of focal lengths which makes it perfect for anyone who wants a lot of coverage, but who doesn’t want to spend money on multiple lenses
- This lens features a Dust and Moisture-Resistant design which is great to see even at these lower price points
- This lens features plenty of options that we usually associate with more expensive equipment like a focus hold button, several switches on the barrel of the lens, and Sony’s professional design
The Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS lens is our pick for the best cheap Sony zoom lens.
In general, there are two things that we recommend that you look for in a budget zoom lens. The Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS lens has them both.
You want to find a zoom lens that covers a wide range of focal lengths. This means you only need to purchase one lens to cover everything from wildlife photography to sweeping landscape panoramas.
You also want to find a lens that has some great professional features. This lens has all of the important features from Sony’s pro level lenses, but without the price.
Yes, the aperture on this lens is a little slower than on more expensive lenses. However, this is something that you can overcome by changing your other settings and improving your skills as a photographer.
What You’ll Love About The Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS Lens?
- The internal focus means that this lens doesn’t physically change length to focus which is ideal if you want to focus without losing your composition
- The 4 Aspherical Elements and 3 ED Elements are just a few of the elements and coatings on this lens that reduce your odds of getting chromatic aberration or other types of distortion
- Tired of blurry images? The Optical SteadyShot Image Stabilization keeps your shots steady no matter how tough your shooting conditions are
What You Won’t Love About The Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS Lens?
- The aperture might not be bright enough for your needs
- There are cheaper lenses out there
Buying a budget lens is all about finding a piece of equipment that meets your needs, but doesn’t stress your wallet.
The Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS lens offers a unique blend of savings and features. This has all of the features that are incredibly important for any zoom camera such as Optical Image Stabilization and a weather resistant design, but it doesn’t come in at the same high price tag of other Sony lenses.
This makes the Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS lens a great budget option for someone who wants a Sony zoom lens, but doesn’t necessarily need to spend $5,000 to complete a partial kit of pro level lenses.
6. Sony E PZ 18-105mm f/4 G OSS Lens
Cheap Zoom Lens For Sony E Mount
Why Buy The Sony E PZ 18-105mm f/4 G OSS Lens?
- The focal lengths of this lens are very generous and have a 27-157.5mm 35mm equivalent
- This lens features Sony’s Handycam Technology Power Zoom which is great for photographers who want the camera to handle the zooming for them
- The minimum focussing distance is 1.5’ which lets you get a surprisingly close picture of your subjects
This lens is easily one of the most affordable budget zoom lenses ever made by Sony.
The Sony E PZ 18-105mm f/4 G OSS Lens features some impressive specifications even though it’s designed to target a cost-conscious market. It’s got Optical Image Stabilization, power zoom, and is built to the Sony G design specifications.
The focal length options on this lens also make it a great choice for anyone who’s traveling around with a crop sensor camera. This lens is definitely good enough to be a single lens kit for anyone into travel photography.
What You’ll Love About The Sony E PZ 18-105mm f/4 G OSS Lens?
- Even though this is a budget lens, it features Sony’s Optical image stabilization technology
- This is another lens that features an internal focus design which makes it even easier to use for beginner photographers
What You Won’t Love About The Sony E PZ 18-105mm f/4 G OSS Lens?
- This budget lens makes more sacrifices when it comes to features than other options on this list
- There’s a good argument to either saving up, or shopping used, for any of the pro level lenses on this list rather than spending money on a budget option
The Sony E PZ 18-105mm f/4 G OSS lens is one of the best zoom lenses for Sony if you’re on a budget.
You don’t need to break the bank to get a great Zoom lens. This lens is ideal for anyone who is just testing out their skills behind the camera or who doesn’t want to spend a lot of money but still get a great zoom lens.
7. Sony E 16-55mm f/2.8 G Lens with Lens
Fastest Zoom Lens For Sony APS-C Cameras
Why Buy The Sony E 16-55mm f/2.8 G Lens with Lens?
- This lens has the fastest aperture out of any Sony zoom lens for APS-C and is tied for fastest aperture in general
- This lens has attractive focal length options letting you cover everything from wide-angle photography to a more naturalistic normal telephoto range
- This lens has four aspherical elements and several optical coatings which reduce the risk of chromatic aberration and other forms of distortion
The Sony E 16-55mm f/2.8 G Lens with lens is the best Sony APS-C zoom lens if a fast aperture is what you’re looking for.
The f/2.8 aperture is currently the fastest that Sony offers on any of its zoom cameras. This camera just happens to be one of the most affordable options that also has this incredibly bright aperture.
This lens also features a flexible focal length that covers most of the popular photography styles. It’s also got some features that you should look for in any zoom lens like image stabilization, a quiet autofocus motor, and a weather seal design.
What You’ll Love About The Sony E 16-55mm f/2.8 G Lens with Lens?
- This lens has a dust and moisture-resistant design which makes it great for everyday carry
- The linear audio focus motors are fast and very quiet which means that you’ll be able to discreetly snap some street photography shots without drawing too much attention to yourself
What You Won’t Love About The Sony E 16-55mm f/2.8 G Lens with Lens?
- The focal length options on this lens might not be right for every photographer as they wind up being a bit in the middle rather than covering a wider range or being better at a more dedicated range
- This lens is surprisingly expensive for a crop sensor lens which means you might be better off buying a higher-end model
If you’re shopping for Sony’s best zoom lenses, then you should know that there’s nothing faster than f/2.8.
You’ll be able to pick up this lens and enjoy everything from wide-angle photography to normal focal lengths that are similar to what the human eye naturally sees.
The only noticeable downside to this lens is it does ride the line when it comes to whether or not it’s a good budget option. There are certainly cheaper lenses that have less desirable features or more expensive lenses that are top of the line.
The Sony E 16-55mm f/2.8 G Lens with lens is definitely the right choice for photographers looking to step up their game when it comes to the zoom lenses that they shoot with every day.
Sony Zoom Lens Buying Guide & FAQ
Do professional photographers use zoom lenses?
Professional photographers regularly use zoom lenses. Event photographers, wedding photographers, street photographers, and a variety of other styles ranging from travel photography to studio photography all rely on zoom lenses. You can find zoom lenses that are built to the standards needed by professional photographers.
What are zoom lenses best for?
Zoom lenses are best for situations where you’re going to need a variety of focal lengths to meet your goals as a photographer. This is ideal for sport photography, wildlife photography, and street photography when you want to quickly switch between one focal length and another.
What is the longest zoom Sony lens?
The longest Sony zoom lens is the Sony FE 200-600mm F5. 6-6.3 G OSS. This is an ultra-telephoto lens that can go even longer when paired with one of Sony’s telephoto converters.
What is the best zoom lens for Sony a7iv?
There’s no one lens that’s the best for any Sony Alpha camera. However, these three zoom lenses are often recognized as being the best overall: Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM II Lens, Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS II Lens, and the Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM Lens.
Do you lose quality on a zoom lens?
Optical zoom lenses do not lose quality even when they zoom in very far. Zoom lenses are more susceptible to camera shake which makes image stabilization even more important for a zoom lens. Zoom lenses also produce less sharp Images than prime lenses because they have more optical elements that light needs to pass through before it hits the camera sensor.
How do I choose a good zoom lens?
The best way to pick a zoom lens is to consider your needs as a photographer. You’re going to want to find a lens that covers the focal lengths that you expect to be using when taking pictures. It’s also important to find a lens that has other features that you need such as image stabilization, weather-sealed construction, and a budget that works for your needs.
Conclusion – The Best Sony Zoom Lenses
At the end of the day, the best Sony zoom lens is the lens that gets you taking more pictures!
At the top of the best Sony zoom lenses is the Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM II lens, but another lens might be better for you. The Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM lens is great for landscapes and wide-angle work while the Sony E PZ 18-105mm f/4 G OSS lens makes a cheap alternative to other more expensive E-mount lenses.
Let us know which lens is right for you in the comments below!