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The Best Lens for Sony a7S III

Best Lenses for the Sony a7S III thumbnail

A high-quality lens for the Sony a7S III can be a crucial factor in the success of your videos. It ensures accurate color reproduction and sharpness while minimizing distortion and flaring. However, after reviewing dozens of lenses over the past years, we have found that most fall short of at least one of these characteristics. Some are very soft towards the edges, some are unusable on sunny days because of flaring, and others distort your subjects. If you want a versatile, top-performing option for a reasonable budget, we recommend the Sony 24–105mm f/4 G OSS. If you can spend more to get better quality, we recommend the Sony 16–35 mm f/2.8 GM. And if you are looking for something cheaper and versatile that’s still pretty good, we suggest the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8.

Things to consider

  • Image quality

    How well the lens controls cromatic abberation, sharpness, color reproduction, distortion, and flaring all affect the quality of your photos.

  • Build quality

    Materials used and the precision of how a lens is built affect the durability and longevity of a lens. It can also affect whether or not a lens is weather-sealed.

  • Zoom or prime

    Zoom lenses are more versatile, while the prime lenses are more speciliazed and have better image quality.

  • Price

    The price of a lens is related to the image and build quality, performance of autofocus and image stabilization, and focal length.

If you don’t have highly specific needs, I recommend the Sony 24–105mm f/4 G OSS. Its 4.3x zoom range has proven useful numerous times in every situation. Although you might get better image quality with the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art, it’s not as versatile. If you’re a beginner, the Sony 24–105mm f/4 G OSS is your hands-down best option. For that price, you won’t find better image quality. Also, thanks to the wide focal length range, you won’t need another lens, thus saving even more money.

Upgrade pick

Sony 16–35 mm F2.8 GM

The best Sony a7S III for serious videographers

The Sony FE 16-35mm f2.8 G Master is a wide-angle zoom for mirrorless E-mount cameras that’s been corrected for use on full-frame cameras. It offers good optical quality and a useful 2.2x focal length range. At 35mm, it almost achieves a "normal" focal length, which makes it useful for general purposes.

$2,198 at Amazon $2,198 at Adorama

On the other hand, when image quality is your highest priority, the Sony 16–35 mm f/2.8 GM is the undisputed winner. It’s an incredibly sharp lens that even professional photographers use for all kinds of photography and videography. The bright f/2.8 aperture produces superb bokeh that’s absolutely a must for high-quality videos. So, if the video quality is your main concern, the Sony 16–35mm f/2.8 is an intelligent investment, as it will pay off quickly. However, if you prefer to make videos of distant objects, there’s no doubt you should go for the best telephoto choice, the Sony FE 70–200mm F2.8 GM OSS.

Budget pick

Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8

The best Sony a7S III lens for beginners

Tamron has improved their standard zoom lens for mirrorless cameras with their new 28-75mm f2.8 Di III G2. This lens offers optically superior performance compared to other manufacturers, especially at the short end.

$899 at Amazon $899 at Adorama

This new lens from Tamron is an excellent upgrade from the original A036 and is very similar in price. Everything from the build quality to the autofocus to the optics has been improved, making the A063 an excellent choice for professionals. Although it doesn’t have all the features of the G Master lens, it’s still a great lens.

Sony 24-105mm f/4 G OSS Review

Sony 24–105mm F4 G OSS

Pros

  • Impressive 4.4x zoom range.
  • Image stabilization.
  • Lightweight and compact.
  • Constant maximum aperture.
  • Dust and splash sealing.

Cons

  • Vignetting.
  • Soft at f/4 at wide angles.

The Sony 24-105mm f/4 G OSS is another premium yet more practical lens than the Sony 16-35mm. The lens creates sharp images at any focal length with a constant f/4 aperture throughout the zoom range. It’s made of high-quality and durable plastic, while the weather seal is metallic and ensures the lens clicks tightly onto the camera.

Its built-in optical image stabilization substantially reduces the visible camera shake while recording videos or taking photos. Sony’s 24-105mm f/4 also features an auto/manual focus switch, a focus hold button, and an optical steady shot button, and it comes with Sony’s Direct Drive SSM (DDSSM) Auto Focus that is quick, precise, and silent. Therefore, the autofocus works as expected for a professional lens, making it suitable for recording films and capturing photos.

The Sony Nano AR coating prevents oil or grime from sticking to the glass and prevents flares and ghosting. The lens hood is included in the package.

It’s a versatile lens, most suitable for travel photography and videos. The 24-105mm range is perfect for capturing landscapes and close-up portraits. You can also use it for wildlife photography, to some extent. However, it is more suitable for event photography, street photography, and portrait photography. This lens is available to buy online for just over a thousand dollars.

Sony 16-35 mm f/2.8 GM Review

Sony 16-35 mm F2.8 GM

Pros

  • Fast autofocus.
  • Dust and moisture sealing.
  • Fixed f/2.8 aperture.
  • Focus Hold button.

Cons

  • Vignetting at f/2.8.
  • Not compatible with IBIS.
  • Soft edges at 35mm.

The Sony 16-35 mm f/2.8 GM is one of the premium E-mount Sony lenses. The 16-35mm focal range helps you capture beautiful landscapes and portraits. The “G” tag signifies impressive build quality and image quality. The lens has a bright f/2.8 aperture that guarantees sharp images even in low-light conditions.

The Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 GM sports an 11-blade circular aperture that guarantees beautiful, top-notch bokeh. It features two DDSSM (Direct Drive SSM) systems that contain the original Sony piezoelectric Auto-focus motor that works surprisingly fast with great precision. DDSSM works silently, which makes it ideal for shooting films.

The lens is also compatible with older Sony cameras. Its compact size makes it easy to carry around without any hassle. It also accommodates an auto/manual focus button and a focus hold button on the side. The body of the lens is made of rigid plastic and weighs just 680 grams, which makes it more convenient to use for longer shoots. The Nano-AR coating on the surface of the lens suppresses flare and ghosting in backlit conditions. Its metallic weather-sealing O-ring prevents dust and moisture from entering your Sony a7s III body.

The picture quality is impressive. The images are sharp not just in the center but throughout the frame. It is one of the finest and fastest lenses available for Sony’s full-frame cameras for under two thousand dollars.

Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 Di RXD lll Review

Tamron 28 75mm F2.8 Di RXD lll

Pros

  • Well-built.
  • Exceptionally sharp.
  • Cheap.
  • Wide aperture.

Cons

  • Strong vignetting.
  • No image stabilization.
  • Best for mid-res cameras.

The Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 Di RXD III (Model A036) lens is only compatible with Sony Alpha-E mount cameras. This lens has always been in great demand due to its convenient focal length range and constant F2.8 aperture.

This lens, too, does not feature in-built image stabilization. Instead, the surface of the lens has Tamron’s BBAR (Broad-band anti-reflection) coating that reduces ghosting and flaring and preserves crisp image quality. In addition, this Tamron lens has an integrated new high-speed precision AF drive system with an RXD (Rapid extra-silent stepping drive) motor unit. The AF motor is fast, precise, and surprisingly silent.

The nine-bladed circular aperture produces perfectly round defocused light and creates an impressive background bokeh. The build quality is exceptional, with all the appropriate weather sealings to prevent your equipment from moisture and dust. It is balanced for vibrant image quality, superb bokeh, compact size, and lighter weight.

The focal length of 28–75 mm is handy for everyday photography, but it’s ideal for portrait, street, and event photography. This lens is a good option for photojournalists and other media personnel. But you could use it to capture landscapes and cityscapes, too. It is available for purchase for under a thousand dollars. 

Why you should trust us

I’m Photutorial’s founder and editor of the camera, graphic design, and photography coverage. I have owned cameras and used cameras for over 20 years, during which I got used DSLRs, mirrorless (now), and even film cameras. I researched Sony lenses when I was choosing between buying a Nikon or Sony camera. In my years as a promoter in tech stores, I’ve got to test loads of cameras and lenses.

Who should read this

If you’re buying a new lens for your Sony a7S III or even buying the camera as well, this article gives you all the necessary information to make an informed choice. After all, who wants to read articles with unending lists of lenses? These tell you absolutely nothing (I feel you).

Other Great Lenses for Sony a7S III

Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art

The Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM is one of the most impressive lenses available for Sony full-frame cameras. Although Sigma designed it to work with full-frame cameras, it’s also compatible with APS-C sensors. Its huge f/1.4 aperture is advantageous when shooting in poor lighting conditions while achieving an extremely shallow depth of field. The label ‘A’ signifies that it belongs to the “Art” category of lenses, a prestige line of Sigma lenses.

Sigma 35mm Art comes with a Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM), ensuring a fast, precise, and refined autofocus. The f/1.4 DG HSM has One F-Low Dispersion (FLD) element and four Special-Low Dispersion (SLD) elements that reduce color fringing and chromatic aberration. It provides improved clarity and color accuracy in both pictures and videos. Unlike its predecessors, this lens has an all-metal barrel with a metal mount. It is, surprisingly, not as bulky and heavy as its Sony counterpart.

This Sigma lens could be a significant value-for-money product for professional portrait photographers. Because the lens has a brass bayonet mount and a thermally stable composite, it will last a lifetime. The TSC (thermally stable composite) has 25% greater elasticity than polycarbonate, which further contributes to the high-precision construction of the lens. The 35mm focal length also makes it perfect for street photography. It is also well-suited for portrait photography and event photography. You can get a Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art for under a thousand dollars.

Sony FE 85mm f/1.8

The Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 is a compact and lightweight lens, weighing just 371 grams. Its lightweight design makes it portable and easier to handle in real-life situations. It creates a smooth bokeh effect that does not distract the subject from the background. The large F1.8 aperture promises good image quality even in low-light conditions.

It features a double linear motor system for precise, quiet operations that is ideal for film-making. The lens has a circular 9-blade aperture that creates a beautiful defocus effect. Like other lenses from Sony, it has a customizable focus hold button and an AF/MF switch. However, this lens does not offer built-in optical image stabilization. Most recent cameras from Sony now come with an image stabilization feature embedded in the body itself.

The lens feels ergonomically well-built. The large focus ring responds quickly and feels grippy enough for a smooth operation. Chromatic aberration is virtually invisible thanks to the innovative Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass elements. Its dust and moisture-resistant design and other refinements make it reliable in just about every weather condition (according to Sony, you may use this lens in light-rain and windy conditions). This mid-range telephoto prime lens is built for extra sharpness and clarity for portraits, making the Sony FE 85mm F1.8 ideal for portrait photography. Alternatively, you may even use it for landscape and architectural photography. You can get it for just over five hundred dollars.

Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM II OSS

The Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM II OSS is a high-performance telephoto zoom lens. The constant F2.8 aperture throughout the focal length range is an outstanding feat. Its large aperture and maximum focal length enable you to shoot distant objects even in low light conditions while simultaneously creating decent bokeh.

The G Master design and technology offer unmatched rendering abilities with a fast and precise AF. It has advanced double linear and ring Super Sonic Motor (SSM) actuators, which provide the power and precision required for autofocusing in stills and videos for this heavy/full-size lens. With the built-in optical image stabilization, it can conquer close-up shots in challenging situations. The lens comes with an Extreme Aspherical (XA) element contributing to an extraordinary resolution and superb bokeh. In addition, it can provide natural images with four ED and two Super ED glass elements. These elements further suppress chromatic aberration to achieve maximum resolution throughout the focal length range. Its minimum focusing distance is just 0.40 meters, which is very good for a 70-200mm lens.

It is sure to break barriers when it comes to close-up performance. The physical features include a focus mode switch, focus range limiter, focus hold button, shake compensation switch, and a shake compensation mode switch. Therefore, I recommend Sony FE 70-200m for wildlife photography. It is available to buy online for just under three thousand dollars.

Similar alternative

The older version of the same lens is a good alternative—Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS. It’s around $500 cheaper than the v2, but it has a longer minimum focus distance and suffers from more corner softness.

Tamron 70-180mm F2.8 Di III VXD

The Tamron 70-180mm F2.8 Di III VXD (Model A056) telephoto zoom lens is only compatible with Sony Alpha-E mount full-frame mirrorless cameras. However, the large, constant F2.8 aperture throughout the zoom range guarantees high image quality at even higher focal lengths. Furthermore, Tamron’s newly developed VXD (Voice-coil eXtreme-torque Drive) linear motor focus mechanism ensures super-fast autofocus with precise and silent metering. In addition, its floating autofocus mechanism can achieve excellent performance at all focal lengths.

It weighs only 810 grams, which is quite remarkable for a telephoto zoom lens, and as it turns out, it does wonders for any full-frame mirrorless camera in the long run. This lens depends on the host camera body for optical image stabilization as it does not have vibration control. According to Tamron, this lens has the highest autofocus speed and precision in its 70-year history. The new BBAR-G2 (Broad-Band Anti-Reflection Generation 2) coating reduces ghosting and flaring more effectively. It also helps to render subjects evenly under backlit conditions. This lens also has leak-resistant seals throughout the barrel to save your equipment from the weather. This high-performance telephoto zoom lens is ideal for wildlife photography and event photography. It is available online for just over a thousand dollars, making it a good and cheaper substitute for the Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS.

Specifications: How our picks compare

Min focus distance/Max magnification

  • Sony 24-105mm f/4 G OSS: 0.38m/0.31x
  • Sony 16-35 mm f/2.8 GM: 0.28m/0.19x
  • Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 Di RXD lll: 0.19m/0.34x
  • Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art: 0.30m/0.19x
  • Sony FE 85mm f/1.8: 0.80m/0.13x
  • Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM II OSS: 0.40m/0.3x
  • Tamron 70-180mm F2.8 Di III VXD: 0.27m/0.5x

Elements/groups (diaphragm blades)

  • Sony 24-105mm f/4 G OSS: 17/14 (9)
  • Sony 16-35 mm f/2.8 GM: 16/13 (11)
  • Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 Di RXD lll: 15/12 (9)
  • Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art: 13/11 (9)
  • Sony FE 85mm f/1.8: 9/8 (9)
  • Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM II OSS: 17/14 (11)
  • Tamron 70-180mm F2.8 Di III VXD: 19/14 (9)

Autofocus/stabilizer

  • Sony 24-105mm f/4 G OSS: Yes/Yes
  • Sony 16-35 mm f/2.8 GM: Yes/Yes
  • Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 Di RXD lll: Yes/No
  • Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art: Yes/No
  • Sony FE 85mm f/1.8: Yes/No
  • Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM II OSS: Yes/Yes
  • Tamron 70-180mm F2.8 Di III VXD: Yes/No

Filter Size

  • Sony 24-105mm f/4 G OSS: 77mm
  • Sony 16-35 mm f/2.8 GM: 82mm
  • Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 Di RXD lll: 67mm
  • Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art: 67mm
  • Sony FE 85mm f/1.8: 67mm
  • Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM II OSS: 77mm
  • Tamron 70-180mm F2.8 Di III VXD: 67mm

Dimensions (weight)

  • Sony 24-105mm f/4 G OSS: 3.28×4.46″ / 83.4×113.3 mm (1.46 lb / 663 g)
  • Sony 16-35 mm f/2.8 GM: 3.5×4.8″ / 88.5×121.6 mm (1.5 lb / 680 g)
  • Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 Di RXD lll: 2.87×4.64″ / 73×117.8 mm (1.21 lb / 550 g)
  • Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art: 3.03×4.72″ / 77×120 mm (1.66 lb / 755 g)
  • Sony FE 85mm f/1.8: 3.07×3.23″ / 78×82 mm (13.09 oz / 371 g)
  • Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM II OSS: 3.46×7.87″ / 88×200 mm (2.3 lb / 1045 g)
  • Tamron 70-180mm F2.8 Di III VXD: 3.19×5.87″ / 81×149 mm (1.78 lb / 810 g)

FAQ

Which lens is best for Sony a7S III?

Based on versatility, Sony 24-105mm f/4 G OSS is the best lens for Sony a7S III. Its focal length allows you to take great portrait and street photos, as well as landscape photos. It is also an excellent lens for Sony a7s III filmmaking.

What lens mount is Sony a7S III?

Sony a7S III has a Sony E lens mount, which is compatible with Sony’s FE (full-frame E-mount) and E-mount APS-C format lenses. Sony FE lenses are generally more expensive.

Is Sony A7S III worth it?

Sony a7S III can 4K UHD video recording at 10-bit and 8-bit color depth. At $3,500, it’s worth buying for filmmaking and cinematics.

What is the difference between Sony a7iii and a7S iii?

The main difference between Sony a7S III and Sony a7 III is video recording. Both can record 4K videos, but Sony a7S III can record 4K/60 at full width and 4K/120p with a 1.1x crop. The a7 III can record a maximum of 30fps with no crop.

What lenses work with Sony a7S III?

Any lens with E or FE mount works with Sony a7S III, regardless of its manufacturer. The best-known manufacturers of Sony a7S III lenses are Nikon, Sigma, and Tamron.

Sources

  1. Jim Fisher, Sony a7S III Review, PCMag, July 9, 2022.
  2. DJ Pangburn, Cinematic Footage and the Types of Camera Lenses You Should Use, Artlist, July 9, 2022.
  3. Alyssa Maio, What is Lens Flare? How to Get It & How to Avoid It, Studiobinder, July 9, 2022.
  4. Dvir Barkay, Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS review, Photographylife, July 9, 2022.
  5. Ken Rockwell, Sony 16-35mm f/2.8, Kenrockwell, July 9, 2022.
  6. Sony, Sony product pages, July 9, 2022.
  7. Dustin Abbott, Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 Di III VXD G2 (A063) Review, Dustinabbott, July 9, 2022.

About your guide

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Matic Broz

Matic Broz is a photographer, graphic designer, and stock photographer. For over ten years he's been helping photographers improve their photos and graphic designers find the best images for their designs. His work has been featured by Lifewire, Skylum, and PetaPixel. In his free time, he enjoys photography, hiking, and petting random dogs. Read more

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