The best lenses for Sony A7 IV in 2022

Best lenses for Sony A7iv - hands holding Sony A7 IV with FE 35mm f/1.4 GM lens
(Image credit: Sony)

In many ways, the Sony A7 IV (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) and perhaps one of the best 4K cameras for video (opens in new tab). The highest-resolution cameras (opens in new tab) 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.

Best lenses for the Sony A7iv in 2022

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(Image credit: Matthew Richards)
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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

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

Reasons to avoid

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Expensive to buy
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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.

(Image credit: Digital Camera World)
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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

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Sumptuous image quality
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Impeccably well built

Reasons to avoid

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No Optical SteadyShot
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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 (opens in new tab) was Sony’s top-quality wide zoom until the arrival of the even wider Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 G Master (opens in new tab). 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.

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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

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Excellent build quality
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Good image quality overall

Reasons to avoid

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Autofocus not the fastest in class
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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’s 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, customisable 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.

(Image credit: Rod Lawton/Digital Camera World)
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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

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Twin XD AF motors
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Outstanding optical quality

Reasons to avoid

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Fairly expensive
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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 vide, to the smooth and light focus ring. 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.

(Image credit: Sony)
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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

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Stunning image quality
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High-end handling
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Top-quality construction

Reasons to avoid

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Fairly weighty
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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 maximu aperture gives beautiful background blur, helping to isolate your main subject against a blurred background. As well as being super-sharp, the quality of 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.

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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

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Full 1.0x magnification
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High-precision auto and manual focusing

Reasons to avoid

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Lackluster stabilization for full macro
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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 metres, 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 customisable 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.

How we test lenses

We test lenses using both real-world sample images and lab tests. Our lab tests are carried out scientifically in controlled conditions using the Imatest testing suite, which consists of custom charts and analysis software that measures resolution in line widths/picture height, a measurement widely used in lens and camera testing. We find the combination of lab and real-world testing works best, as each reveals different qualities and characteristics. You can find out more about how we test and review on Digital Camera World (opens in new tab).

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