Choosing the best lenses for the Sony A7C means taking into account its compact, rangefinder-style design, its orientation towards content creators and videographers, and its low price point as the cheapest current full-frame Sony Alpha mirrorless camera.
The A7C is one of the best cameras for vlogging, not to mention one of the best filmmaking cameras. We've been a bit lukewarm about it since its launch, given that it's a fairly modest reheat of existing Sony camera technologies, but at the price, we have to admit it is one of the best Sony cameras, at least for beginners or new Sony users.
But this isn't simply going to be a repeat of our main guide to the best Sony lenses. We like to match the lenses with the camera. There are lots of high-end constant aperture Sony G Master lenses that would be fine on a Sony A7R IV or Sony A1, but would be overkill on this cheaper model – both financially and physically.
The Sony A7C is the company’s smallest full-frame camera and isn’t blessed with the best grip, so it makes sense to choose lenses that are going to balance with it as nicely as possible. Sometimes the ‘best’ lens to put with a particular camera isn’t necessarily the ‘best’ lens you can buy!
We’re also keeping an eye on the price because one of the reasons for buying the A7C is for its relatively low cost – so owners of this camera are likely to be looking for cost-effective lenses too.
So with all that in mind, these are what we think are the best lenses for the Sony A7C right now.
best lenses for the Sony A7C: our top picks
This Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8 Di III RXD fits the bill perfectly. No full-frame ultra-wide zoom will be small, but the Tamron is neater and certainly easier to carry than Sony's own wide-angle monsters – and a lot easier to afford, too.
Best for most users
It's true that for a kit lens, it has an extremely modest 2.1x zoom range. That’s the bad news. The good news is that it performs extremely well – far better than you might expect from a retracting kit lens. As a kit lens it’s limiting, but still rather good.
Best budget tele-zoom
Tamron has managed to shoehorn nearly the same telephoto range as a classic pro telephoto into a much smaller and lighter package while retaining the same fast and constant f/2.8 aperture rating
The best lenses for the Sony A7C in 2023
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Every photographer needs an ultra-wide zoom, whether they realize it straight away or not. And given the Sony A7C's special suitability for travel, this Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8 Di III RXD fits the bill perfectly. No full-frame ultra-wide zoom will be small, but the Tamron is neater and certainly easier to carry than Sony's own wide-angle monsters – and a lot easier to afford, too.
Despite the Tamron's price, it features high-end, weather-sealed build quality, a fast and constant f/2.8 aperture rating, quick and virtually silent RXD (Rapid eXtra silent stepping drive) autofocus system, and, best of all, terrific image quality. Corner-to-corner sharpness is particularly impressive for an ultra-wide-angle lens, even when shooting at the widest aperture. It doesn’t quite match Sony’s 16-35mm lenses for maximum viewing angle but it comes very close, and it’s great value at the price.
Read our full Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8 Di III RXD review for more details
Sony fans are spoilt for choice when choosing a standard zoom. But while the Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master is the professionals' choice, it costs a fortune and weighs a ton. The Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Art is half the price but still huge, and while there are also worthy rivals from Samyang and Tamron, it's the modest Sony FE 28-60mm f4-5.6 kit lens that we'd recommend as the perfect everyday companion for the Sony A7C.
It's true that for a kit lens it has an extremely modest 2.1x zoom range. That’s the bad news. The good news is that it performs extremely well – far better than you might expect from a retracting kit lens. As a kit lens it’s limiting, but still rather good. It was initially launched as the kit lens for the Sony A7C, but now it's available separately and when it's fitted to a regular Sony body you get a camera/lens combo that's really compact for a full-frame camera.
Read our full Sony FE 28-60mm f/4-5.6 reivew for more details
The Sony A7C is not a sports camera and it's unlikely you would use it for wildlife either, so we wouldn't suggest any long-range super-telephotos for this camera. But a short-medium constant-aperture telephoto is useful for all sorts of other subjects, from portraits to weddings and event photography – and this Tamron, again, undercuts Sony's own offerings in both weight and cost.
By shortening the maximum focal length slightly to 180mm and utilizing some clever design work, Tamron has managed to shoehorn nearly the same telephoto range as a classic pro telephoto into a much smaller and lighter package, while retaining the same fast and constant f/2.8 aperture rating. There’s no real compromise in image quality and all-round performance, making this lens a real winner at the price.
Read our full Tamron 70-180mm f/2.8 Di III VXD review for more details
Sony's latest lens could completely change the standard zoom lens of the future. In a world first, the lens covers an extremely versatile focal range making it perfect for traveling. It's light and portable which is another big tick and the fact it's "only" f/4 isn't much of a compromise - had it been f/2.8 it would be considerably heavier and a lot more expensive.
It's vast, it's sharp and distortion-free (so long as you correct in the post). It might not have optical image stabilization but since the Sony A7C has in-body stabilization, it isn't much of a concern. For anyone who shoots a lot of wide-angle shots, the Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM will probably give you a more usable zoom range but if you're after just a little bit more on the wide end than you'd get from the Sony FE 24 - 70mm f/2.8 GM II the 20-70mm is a very good contender.
Read our Hands on: Sony FE 20-70mm F4 G review for more details
We haven't included a true macro lens in our list of the best lenses for the Sony A7C but this lens (pun warning) is the closest thing. It's also a great substitute for the brilliant but bulkier Tamron 17-28mm ultra-wide zoom if the space in your kit bag is tight. In fact, Tamron offers a trio of wide-angle primes for Sony full-frame E-mount cameras, with 20mm, 24mm and 35mm focal lengths.
But if you're going to go wide, it may as well be the widest of the bunch. All three lenses share a common aperture rating of f/2.8 and a filter size of 67mm. The primes have a tough act to follow, as we’ve been hugely impressed with the Tamron 17-28mm and 28-75mm constant-aperture f/2.8 zooms. Keeping in step, this 20mm lens is very lightweight in build and price tag, but goes large on performance with sumptuous image quality.
Read our full Tamron 20mm f/2.8 Di III OSD M 1:2 review for more details
The Sony FE 40mm f/2.5G is the middle lens in Sony’s new series of compact full frame mirrorless lenses, and a perfect size and portability match for the Sony A7C. For anyone fed up of the front-heavy feel of Sony’s big, heavy zooms, it's perfect, completely changing the balance and feel of the camera.
Like the other two primes in this new series (24mm and 50mm), it’s small and light, and has an aperture ring which can be de-clicked for video. These three lenses are even the same size and weight (near enough), and share the same 49mm filter thread. Compact prime lenses have gained popularity amongst vloggers because they are so easy to use and balance on a gimbal.
Read our full Sony FE 40mm F2.5 G review for more details
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 our full Sony FE 50mm f/1.4 GM review.
Sony does make a premium FE 85mm f1.4 G Master lens, but it's very expensive and too much for the modest A7C, which is why we recommend the Sony FE 85mm f1.8 for this camera instead. It's only about a third of the cost and less than half the weight of its f/1.4 G-Master stablemate, so it lightens the load for handheld shooting and is much easier on your bank balance.
Handling is refined, build quality is impressive and image quality is excellent in all respects: center-sharpness is absolutely outstanding, even when shooting wide-open, and it remains highly impressive right out to the extreme corners of the frame. Indeed, there’s virtually nothing to be gained in sharpness by stopping down to f/2.8. The quality of bokeh doesn’t match that of the f/1.4 G-Master lens but it’s nevertheless very dreamy, and remains smooth when reducing the aperture a little.
Read our full Sony FE 85mm f1.8 review for more details