Best lenses for a new E mount customer?

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Lenses' started by Danboverholt, Jun 15, 2016.

  1. Danboverholt

    Danboverholt New to TalkEmount

    Jun 15, 2016
    Dan Overholt
    Hey E mount folks, I'm a photographer and videographer for a small nonprofit organization. I am making the switch to the sony a7 system from Pentax due to the continued lack of clean HDMI outs or reasonable video codecs in video mode and I'm very unfamiliar with the e mount lens landscape.

    What are some good workhorse first or third party lenses that won't break my entire production budget ($500 USD street price or lower)? I strongly prefer primes but a constant aperture wide/standard zoom would be great.

    I appreciate your suggestions in advance!

  2. Hawkman

    Hawkman TalkEmount All-Pro

    Sep 10, 2013
    Virginia, USA

    Welcome to TalkEMount and to the Sony E-mount system!

    Based on your post, I'm going to assume (and I know the risks there) that you have either purchased or are about to purchase a Sony A7 full-frame mirrorless camera body without a kit lens. So, with that in mind, while I do not myself have a full-frame E-mount body - just a couple of APS-C format bodies, including the super a6000 - I do keep up with the various lenses available for both sensor sizes, as all lenses work with all sensors sizes (to varying degrees of capabilities).

    Given your budget of under US$500, there is an admittedly limited selection of native first-party lens in the full-frame format. Indeed, I think there may be only about three, but all three of those have decent reputations. First, there is the original A7 kit zoom, the SEL2870, a 28-70mm f/3.5-6.3 zoom lens for full-frame format cameras. Then there is the well-regarded SEL28F2, a 28mm f/2 wide-angle prime lens. And finally, there is the SEL50F18F, a 50mm f/1.8 normal prime lens only recently released. It appears to be getting mixed reviews, with the consensus seeming to indicate it produces excellent image quality but has a sluggish focusing system and may not be the best choice for video.

    As for third-party lenses, in the under US$500 range there is not much as so far only Zeiss seems to have offered any full-frame (or FE in Sony E-mount parlance) lenses. Neither Sigma nor Tamron has jumped on the FE bandwagon yet.

    But, if you are comfortable with manual focus, well, then the market really opens up thanks to a whole range of new lenses from Rokinon/Samyang and a bunch more makers. Plus, there are always a dizzying array of older, legacy manual focus lenses that can easily and cheaply be adapted for use on Sony's E-mount camera bodies... including those from Pentax.

    And finally, if you are okay with the crop factor of the APS-C format lenses for E-mount there are a bunch of options, but I'll leave that for another post.

    P.S. - By the way, don't get me wrong... it's not there there aren't a good selection of full-frame FE lenses overall, it's just that the majority so far are over US$500.
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2016
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  3. Hawkman

    Hawkman TalkEmount All-Pro

    Sep 10, 2013
    Virginia, USA
    And, if you are on a budget, and you haven't already invested in an A7 body, you may want to consider dipping your toes into the APS-C side of the E-mount world. An a6000 body can be had for under $500 itself, and the SEL18105G, a constant f/4, 18-105mm power zoom makes a great video and stills do-it-all lens to start. :)
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  4. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    I agree with Steve above.
    Full Frame lenses are always going to be more expensive than their APSC counterparts...
    You'll be having a hard time even finding these lenses in the used market for $500