The best lenses for the Sony A7 IV in 2024

In many ways, the Sony A7 IV is the perfect camera for wedding, social, and event photography. Its 30MP resolution is more than enough and a useful step up from 24MP rivals, and Sony has some of the best AF tech there is, including eye AF and real-time tracking.

The A7 IV is also ideal for video, because unlike higher-resolution Alphas like the A7R V, it can still capture full-width oversampled full-width 4K for best quality with no crop factor. More and more social photographers need to shoot video as well as stills, which makes the Sony A7 IV one of the best professional cameras and perhaps one of the best cameras for filmmaking. The highest-resolution cameras are great for stills, but more limited for video capture.

Client expectations are generally high for this kind of photography, so we think Sony’s G Master lenses, although expensive, are some of the best Sony lenses to get. You don’t need to get every lens on our list, obviously (!) and if we can suggest a cheaper alternative, we will.

We’ve chosen a range of lens focal lengths and lens types according to what we think the Sony A7 IV will be most used for, so here are our recommendations and why we think they are an ideal match for this camera and its users.

Rod Lawton testing Sony A7 IV
Rod Lawton

Rod is an independent photography journalist and editor, and a long-standing Digital Camera World contributor, having previously worked as DCW's Group Reviews Editor. He has used practically every interchangeable-lens camera launched in the past 20 years, from entry-level DSLRs to medium-format cameras, – and he was one of the first people to use the Sony A7 IV when it was launched.

The Quick List

Best lenses for the Sony A7 IV in 2024

Why you can trust Digital Camera World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out how we test.

Best standard zoom lens for the A7 IV

(Image credit: Matthew Richards)
Everyone needs a standard zoom, and the recently-refreshed 24-70mm G Master II is the best

Specifications

Focal length: 24-70mm
Maximum aperture: f/2.8
Elements/groups: 20/15
Diaphragm blades: 11
Stabilizer: No
Min focus distance: 0.21m (W) 0.99m (T)
Max magnification: 0.32x
Filter thread: 82mm
Dimensions (WxL): 88 x 120mm
Weight: 695g

Reasons to buy

+
Stellar image quality
+
Constant f/2.8 maximum aperture
+
Refined handling

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive to buy
-
No optical stabilization

The original Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master lens became the standard zoom lens of choice for any Sony pro, but it is a big and hefty lens to lug around. This new 'Mark II' version is shorter, lighter and has a new and more advanced optical construction. There’s handling exotica aplenty. 

The zoom ring has adjustable torque, thanks to a smooth/tight switch on the underside of the barrel. There are two customizable function buttons, typically used for focus-hold, which fall naturally under the thumb whether you’re shooting in landscape or portrait orientation. 

There’s also a new aperture control ring which comes complete with a click on/off switch, enabling precise aperture adjustment for stills and smooth de-clicked operation for movie capture. If the Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master II is just too expensive, though, we'd also recommend the rather good Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Art.

Read more: Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master II review

Best wide-angle lens for the A7 IV

(Image credit: Digital Camera World)
This constant-aperture ultra-wide-angle zoom is optically excellent and highly practical too

Specifications

Focal length: 16-35mm
Maximum aperture: f/2.8
Elements/groups: 16/13
Diaphragm blades: 11
Stabilizer: No
Min focus distance: 0.28m
Max magnification: 0.19x
Filter thread: 82mm
Dimensions (WxL): 89x122mm
Weight: 680g

Reasons to buy

+
Sumptuous image quality
+
Impeccably well built

Reasons to avoid

-
No Optical SteadyShot
-
Expensive to buy

Featuring exotic glass that includes two ultra-high-precision XA (Extreme Aspherical) elements, the Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master was Sony’s top-quality wide zoom until the arrival of the even wider Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 G Master

For event photography, however, we think a 12-24mm is just too wide. This 16-35mm, however, doubles as an ultra-wide lens and a semi-wide everyday lens. For indoor shooting, it's an ideal 'standard' lens. 

Other highlights include nano-structure coatings, a keep-clean fluorine coating on the front element, and extensive weather seals. There’s a fast and constant f/2.8 aperture and, when stopping down, the aperture remains extremely well-rounded thanks to an 11-blade diaphragm. 

The DDSSM autofocus system is incredibly accurate and the lens also features a customizable focus hold button on the barrel. It is expensive, though, so you might also want too consider the rather good and much cheaper Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8 Di III RXD.

Read more: Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 G review

Best telephoto lens for the A7 IV

Potentially one of the most useful lenses of all for weddings and events

Specifications

Focal length: 70-200mm
Maximum aperture: f/2.8
Elements/groups: 23/18
Diaphragm blades: 11
Stabilizer: Yes
Min focus distance: 0.96m
Max magnification: 0.25x
Filter thread: 77mm
Dimensions (WxL): 88x200mm
Weight: 1,480g

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent build quality
+
Good image quality overall

Reasons to avoid

-
Autofocus not the fastest in class
-
Corner-sharpness is pretty average

Why a 70-200mm f/2.8? Because the longer focal range is ideal when you can't get up close to your subjects – very common at weddings! – and because the f/2.8 maximum aperture can give you really shallow depth of field, especially at 200mm.

 In many ways, a 70-200mm f/2.8 is a better portrait lens than an actual portrait lens! The Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master OSS is one seriously well-specced optic, with one double-sided XA (Extreme Aspherical) element, two other aspherical elements, four ED (Extra-low Dispersion) elements, and two Super ED elements. 

There are not one but two autofocus systems, incorporating a double linear motor plus an RDSSM (Ring Drive Super Sonic wave Motor), the latter being used for the heavier forward focus groups. The construction is fully weather-sealed and includes a fluorine coating on the front element.

Handling is particularly refined, with an autofocus range limiter, customizable focus hold buttons, and dual-mode stabilization for static and panning shots. All this translates into decent performance.

Image sharpness is very good indeed wide-open at f/2.8, throughout the entire zoom range, becoming excellent at f/4. Color fringing is minimal but distortion is a little worse than average for this type of lens. You might also want to take a look at the much cheaper Tamron 70-180mm f/2.8 Di III VXD.

Read more: Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master OSS review

Best lens with a wide reach for the A7 IV

(Image credit: Matthew Richards)
Standard and super-telephoto shooting options at the twist of a ring

Specifications

Focal length: 50-400mm
Maximum aperture: f/4.5
Elements/groups: 24/18
Diaphragm blades: 9
Stabilizer: Yes
Min focus distance: 0.25-1.5m
Max magnification: 0.5-0.25x
Filter thread: 67mm
Dimensions (WxL): 88.5x183.4mm
Weight: 1,115g

Reasons to buy

+
Powerful standard-tele zoom range
+
Lightweight for this type of lens
+
Impressive handling and performance

Reasons to avoid

-
Weighty for standard length shooting
-
Tripod mounting ring sold separately

For action, sports and wildlife photography when you need to swap between a standard field of view and serious telephoto reach for different compositions, there’s always the risk of missing a great shot while you’re changing the lens on your camera body. This Tamron lens solves the problem with its unusual 50-400mm zoom range, giving you both options in one package. 

It’s quite weighty for standard focal length shooting, at more than a kilogram, but has refined handling, fast autofocus and effective optical stabilization. It also delivers impressive image quality at all zoom settings. Ultimately, it can replace two separate lenses and is very good value at the price.

Read more: Tamron 50-400mm f/4.5-6.3 Di III VXD review

Best 50mm lens for the A7 IV

(Image credit: Gareth Bevan)
The best Sony 50mm for almost everyone

Specifications

Mount: Sony FE
Full frame: Yes
Image stabilization: No
Autofocus: Yes
Lens construction: 14 elements in 11 groups
Diaphragm blades: 11
Aperture: f/1.4 - f/16
Minimum focusing distance: 0.45m
Maximum magnification ratio: 0.15x
Filter size: 67mm
Weight: 516g

Reasons to buy

+
Very sharp results in the center
+
Fast and quiet autofocus
+
Water and dust-resistant

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Some vignetting on wider apertures

The Sony FE 50mm f/1.4 is the lens that is most suited to most Sony shooters, impressively light and compact, but not compromising one bit on optical quality, this lens is almost perfect when it comes to sharpness in the center. With only a small falloff towards the edges of the frame and some vignetting wide open, this lens gets almost full marks.

The 50mm perspective offers a very versatile focal length, and it is definitely a lens that can be left on your camera for a moment's notice. If you don't need the extra aperture stop, or the added size, weight, or considerable cost of the FE 50mm f/1.2 GM, then the Sony FE 50mm f/1.4 will serve you perfectly.

Unfortunately, the downside is the lens is expensive when compared to similar rivals, with much cheaper third-party glass out there that will achieve similar visual results. However, few which share quite the same size and weight, lightning-fast autofocus, and solid moisture-resistant construction that this lens offers.

Read more: Sony FE 50mm f/1.4 GM review

Best street photography lens for the A7 IV

(Image credit: Rod Lawton/Digital Camera World)
The perfect candid prime lens for any event, wide enough for indoors, fast enough for beautiful bokeh

Specifications

Focal length: 35mm
Maximum aperture: f/1.4
Diaphragm blades: 11
Stabilizer: No
Min focus distance: 0.27m AF, 0.25m MF
Max magnification: 0.23x
Filter thread: 67mm
Dimensions (WxL): 76x96mm
Weight: 524g

Reasons to buy

+
Twin XD AF motors
+
Outstanding optical quality

Reasons to avoid

-
Fairly expensive
-
Not big… but not exactly compact

A 24-70mm zoom and a 16-35mm will both cover the 35mm focal length, but neither will produce the results this lens can. A 35mm prime is often considered the perfect candid/street lens, offer a semi-wide angle of view for a large range of subjects – and the f/1.4 maximum aperture of this lens combines that wide view with strong background blur for unique environmental portraits. 

It's a very versatile lens, suited to anything from portraits and weddings, to landscape and astrophotography. As you'd expect, it isn't cheap, but it delivers a spectacular optical performance. 

It's not the smallest 35mm prime we've seen, but the handling really impressed, with a perfectly weighted ‘de-clickable’ aperture ring for video, to the smooth and light focus ring. 

It’s a lovely lens, but it inevitably comes at a hefty price. Alternatively, why not consider the pint-sized Sony FE 40mm f/2.5 G? It's nowhere near as fast, but it's light and easy to shoot with and might be perfect for filming on a gimbal – and it too has a de-clickable aperture ring.

Read more: Sony FE 35mm f/1.4 G Master review

Best portrait photography lens for the A7 IV

(Image credit: Sony)
If you're shooting people, you're going to need a portrait lens, and this is a cracker

Specifications

Focal length: 85mm
Maximum aperture: f/1.4
Elements/groups: 13/10
Diaphragm blades: 11
Stabilizer: No
Min focus distance: 0.8m
Max magnification: 0.12x
Filter thread: 77mm
Dimensions (WxL): 90x108mm
Weight: 820g

Reasons to buy

+
Stunning image quality
+
High-end handling
+
Top-quality construction

Reasons to avoid

-
Fairly weighty
-
Expensive to buy

A portrait lens is practically a must for anyone shooting weddings and events. The 85mm focal length gives natural-looking facial perspectives and the f/1.4 maximum aperture gives a beautiful background blur, helping to isolate your main subject against a blurred background. 

As well as being super-sharp, the quality of the bokeh is wonderfully soft and dreamy, and remains so even when stopping down a little, helped by a very well-rounded 11-blade diaphragm. 

It’s undeniably a very pricey lens but its performance more than justifies the cost. Talking of cost, though, there is a cheaper option which is almost as good. The Sony 85mm f/1.8 loses a little in maximum aperture, but its lighter and cheaper and a pretty stellar performer in its own right.

Read more: Sony FE 85mm f1.4 GM review

Best macro photography lens for the A7 IV

(Image credit: Future)
A macro lens is great for those evocative close-ups, like wedding rings and table decorations

Specifications

Focal length: 90mm
Maximum aperture: f/2.8
Elements/groups: 15/11
Diaphragm blades: 9
Stabilizer: Yes
Min focus distance: 0.28m
Max magnification: 1.0x
Filter thread: 62mm
Dimensions (WxL): 79x131mm
Weight: 602g

Reasons to buy

+
Full 1.0x magnification
+
High-precision auto and manual focusing

Reasons to avoid

-
Lackluster stabilization for full macro
-
Fairly expensive for its class

Most of the lenses on our list will focus close enough for flowers and decorations, but if you want to capture something as small as a ring, you need a proper macro lens. At its minimum focus distance of 0.28 meters, the Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 Macro G OSS lens delivers full 1.0x or 1:1 magnification. 

That basically means that small objects are reproduced on the camera’s image sensor at full life size. Naturally, if you’re filling the whole image frame with something as small as a postage stamp, the potential for massively enlarging tiny details is enormous. 

Beautifully built, this lens has up-market handling attractions including a customizable focus hold button, autofocus range limiter switch, and Optical SteadyShot. 

Given that manual focusing is often preferred for extreme close-up shooting, there’s also a handy push-pull mechanism in the focus ring, for switching between auto and manual focus modes. It is pretty big and expensive, but keep in mind that it could also double as a portrait lens. You won't get the same background blur from its smaller f/2.8 maximum aperture, but you will still get the same flattering portrait perspective.

Read more: Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 Macro G OSS review

Best astrophotography lens for the A7 IV

(Image credit: Matthew Richards)
The fastest-ever 14mm lens is made for astrophotography

Specifications

Focal length: 14mm
Maximum aperture: f/1.4
Diaphragm blades: 11
Stabilizer: No
Min focus distance: 0.3m
Max magnification: 0.08x
Filter thread: None (Rear gel slot)
Dimensions (WxL): 101x150mm
Weight: 1,170g

Reasons to buy

+
Extreme wide-angle view
+
Super fast maximum aperture 
+
High-end build quality

Reasons to avoid

-
Big and heavy

This is a beast of a lens that is designed for astrophotographers - offering an impressive f/1.4 maximum aperture, with an ultra-wide 14mm focal length that is great for photographing nightscapes of the Milky Way. Sigma's previous 14mm for DSLR cameras could only manage f/1.8 - so this mirrorless-only version is a world-record breaker. Its light-gathering powers come into their own after dark but this is no one-trick pony –  it’s also great for shooting landscapes, cityscapes, and architectural interiors, giving fabulous image quality backed up by superb handling and excellent build quality. In our laboratory tests, we remarked that the levels of sharpness are thoroughly excellent across the whole frame, even when shooting wide-open at f/1.4.

Read more: Sigma 14mm f/1.4 DG DN Art review

How to choose the best lens for the Sony A7 IV

The A7R III and A7R IV, like all Alpha 7 cameras, use the Sony E lens mount. Sony’s own E-mount lenses have either FE or E in their model names: all work on the A7R III and A7R IV. FE lenses are designed for use with full-frame Sony cameras, including the A7R III and A7R IV, so these should be your first choice. If you are buying a third-party E-mount lens, check that the lens is designed for use with full-frame Sonys.

Sony lenses with an E (rather than FE) prefix are designed for APS-C format cameras such as the A6000 series. On the A7R III and A7R IV, they produce a cropped image, so they’re not an ideal choice.

Check out our guide to the best Sony lenses if you want to know more

How we test lenses

The lens experts in our testing lab run a range of tests under controlled conditions, using the Imatest Master testing suite. Photos of test charts are taken across the range of apertures and zooms (where available), then analyzed for sharpness, distortion and chromatic aberrations.

We use Imatest SFR (spatial frequency response) charts and analysis software to plot lens resolution at the centre of the image frame, corners and mid-point distances, across the range of aperture settings and, with zoom lenses, at four different focal lengths.

There's more to it than just the technical side, though! Beyond the lab, our reviewers test lenses in real-world environments – and sometimes on professional shoots! We work with lenses both indoors and outdoors, in studio conditions and in natural light, with as many different subjects as is possible (or appropriate – there's no point testing a landscape lens' ability to shoot a portrait!). 

We take into account everything from handling and ease of use to speed of autofocus and the overall quality of the images produced. 

Find out more about how we test and review on Digital Camera World

Rod Lawton
Contributor

Rod is an independent photography journalist and editor, and a long-standing Digital Camera World contributor, having previously worked as DCW's Group Reviews editor. Before that he has been technique editor on N-Photo, Head of Testing for the photography division and Camera Channel editor on TechRadar, as well as contributing to many other publications. He has been writing about photography technique, photo editing and digital cameras since they first appeared, and before that began his career writing about film photography. He has used and reviewed practically every interchangeable lens camera launched in the past 20 years, from entry-level DSLRs to medium format cameras, together with lenses, tripods, gimbals, light meters, camera bags and more. Rod has his own camera gear blog at fotovolo.com but also writes about photo-editing applications and techniques at lifeafterphotoshop.com