Sony has a lot of lenses. There’s definitely too many for anyone to actually get all of them, not that anybody actually needs all of them. What you do need is a solid selection to pull from to make sure all your filmmaking needs are covered.
If you are looking for insight on what some of the best Sony lenses there are then this list of six put together by filmmaker Kofi Yeboah may help. He runs through his favorites – all of which are full-frame – and explains what makes each one good and useful.
Maybe you’ll find your next lens in this video.
FE 14mm f/1.8 GM
The ultra of the ultra-wide lenses is the FE 14mm f/1.8 GM. This thing is going to give you and immense field of view which is useful for real estate and tight locations.
It is also helpful when you can get in really tight with your subject and create an interesting perspective with a lot of the background. The fast f/1.8 aperture even helps get decent bokeh.
If you were looking for a downside here then you’ll need to look at the front element of the lens. It’s a bulbous design that makes it impossible to use conventional screw-on filters, like those variable NDs that are so common for filmmaking.
You’ll be fine on an FX6, but anything without its own ND system will be difficult. There is a rear filter holder for cut gels for those scenarios if you can deal with that process.
Distortion is decent for the 14mm considering its focal length. However, you will still see some perspective distortion with this lens even with relatively straight lines.
FE 20mm f/1.8 G
Moving on to another wide we get perhaps the best deal on this list in the FE 20mm f/1.8 G. It’s very wide, but a bit more reasonable than the 14mm if you don’t need that extreme perspective.
Optically this lens is very sharp and has the same aperture ring and function buttons as the G Master lenses.
This is a great lens for getting a decent amount of background while keeping the focus on your main subject. It not being as wide also allows it to work with standard filters.
Great lens for a great price.
FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM II
This is the zoom to get if you are looking for a solid all-around lens. The FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM II is one of the best mid-range zooms around and the version II is even better optically while trimming down in size and weight.
It’s sharp and contrasty. It is going to cost you a fair amount though. If you only have money for one lens and you need some extra versatility you can’t go wrong here.
The f/2.8 aperture is going to give plenty of depth of field control when you need it and the latest version has the aperture ring for smooth iris pulls.
FE 35mm f/1.4 GM
Now, if you want just one super useful prime that will be great for handheld work and just good all over the place then the FE 35mm f/1.4 GM is something to check out.
35mm is one of my favorite focal lengths since it gives a great look with enough background but without getting into the wide angle distortion territory. A little more interesting and easier to use handheld but with a close-to-normal look.
The GM is an outstanding 35mm with a fast f/1.4 aperture and a impressively small form factor. The price isn’t all that bad either.
FE 50mm f/1.2 GM
Now for perhaps the most gorgeous lens on this list: the FE 50mm f/1.2 GM. That super shallow look and the classic 50mm perspective can do no wrong.
The lens is incredibly sharp and just looks good no matter what you do. For B roll and talking heads it is amazing. Portraits are totally doable thanks to that aperture as well.
Honestly though most people should go for the cheaper and smaller f/1.4 model and if I didn’t already have the f/1.2 when that came out I probably would’ve gotten the f/1.4 instead.
FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS II
For telephoto lenses it is hard to beat the versatility of the FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS II. It’s got everything going for it with a fast f/2.8 aperture, a great range, and built-in stabilization for smoother footage.
Footage is going to be very good looking and it’ll give you the reach you need for certain shoots. Having a 70-200mm in your bag can be the only telephoto you need if you don’t always shoot at these longer focal lengths.
Keep in mind that none of these lenses are particularly cheap. They are fully features with autofocus and full support with Sony cameras.
Being of the same Sony G and G Master series means the color will match up between them. Plus, the physical controls include programmable function buttons and physical aperture rings.
This is a solid set if you can get your hands on it. Any lenses you would add or swap out here?
[source: Kofi Yeboah]
- Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Lens (B&H, Amazon)
- Sony FE 20mm f/1.8 G Lens (B&H, Amazon)
- Sony FE 35mm f/1.4 GM Lens (B&H, Amazon)
- Sony FE 50mm f/1.2 GM Lens (B&H, Amazon)
- Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM II Lens (B&H, Amazon)
- Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS II Lens (B&H, Amazon)
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