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Best lenses for Sony A7RIII and A7R IV

Best lenses for Sony A7RIII and A7R IV - man holding Sony A7R iv
(Image credit: Rod Lawton/Digital Camera World)

The best lenses for the Sony A7RIII and A7R IV cameras are the other half of a tremendously powerful imagine equation. The A7R cameras are some of the highest-resolution cameras around, with full-frame sensors capable of capturing a tremendous amount of detail and dynamic range. But all that imaging power isn't worth much if you don't have a lens to match – which is where this guide comes in.

Sony has done a tremendous job of beefing up the top ends of its lens range, and users of the A7R III and A7R IV are fully able to reap the benefit. The Sony G and G Master lens ranges are some of the most advanced and sharp around, and they enjoy some of the advantages of this particular system. For instance, the fact that the cameras have sophisticated 5.5-stop in-body image stabilization means that the lenses don't need it – which in turn means they can be lighter and more portable.

We've picked out all sorts of lenses for the A7R III and A7R IV in this guide. From wide-angle primes to telephoto zooms and everything in between, we've got something for everyone here. The only thing a lens needs to do to earn a place on this list is be an absolute brilliant partner for an A7R III or A7R IV, and we've got some absolutely cracking examples here. 

The aforementioned G Master lenses are some of the best not just for Sony, but in imaging full-stop, so expect to see them heavily represented on this list. As far as optical clarity, lens coatings, element design and handling goes, they're just absolutely superb. We've reviewed many of these lenses, and have included the insights we discovered through testing where relevant to this list. 

So whether you’re looking for a wide aperture, wide angle prime for landscapes, or a fast, sharp telephoto zoom for gig photography, we’ve got you covered in our guide to the best lenses for the Sony A7R III and IV.

Best lenses for the Sony A7R III and A7R IV in 2022

(Image credit: Sony)
This 24-70mm is super sharp with a circular aperture design for smooth bokeh

Specifications

Maximum aperture: f/2.8
Image Stabilization: No
Lens Construction: 18 elements in 13 groups
Dimensions: 87 x 136mm
Weight: 886g
Filter size: 82mm

Reasons to buy

+
F/2.8 aperture throughout zoom range
+
Almost no chromatic aberration

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive compared with competitors
-
No in-lens stabilization

As a high-end 24-70mm zoom for the Sony A7R III and IV, this comes stacked with sharpness. An extreme aspherical (XA) lens element is specially designed to enhance sharpness edge to edge as well as maintaining that clarity throughout the zoom range. It lacks image stabilization and instead relies on the A7R III and IV’s in body image stabilization which offers a whopping 5.5 stops of IS.

We reviewed this lens and found it to be one of the finest standard zooms on the market full stop, never mind just for Sony. Its superb handling, near-faultless image quality and whip-quick autofocus all add up to a lens that's good in just about any situation – which is exactly what you want from an all-purpose standard zoom like this. 

Touted as having amazing bokeh, this lens’s diaphragm has 9 blades for a more circular shape, providing soft and even bokeh shapes even when stopped down to narrower apertures.

Sony FE 35mm F1.4 G Master

(Image credit: Rod Lawton/Digital Camera World)
A semi-wide prime that's impressively sharp even when wide open

Specifications

Maximum aperture: f/1.4
Image Stabilization: No
Lens Construction: 14 elements in 10 groups
Dimensions: 76 x 96mm
Weight: 524g
Filter size: 67mm

Reasons to buy

+
Good results at f1.4
+
Twin XD AF motors

Reasons to avoid

-
Requires meticulous focusing
-
Fairly sizeable

A 35mm f/1.4 lens is nothing new, but the Sony FE 35mm F1.4 G Master is something quite special, if only for how good its results are at that maximum aperture. After all, more than a few lens have come with this aperture rating, while delivering wide-open results so soft that you might as well not bother. Not so with this G Master prime, as we discovered when we reviewed the lens – provided you nail the focusing,  the wide-open image quality is astonishingly good. It really expands the utility of the lens.

A good 35mm is ideal for street and general-purpose photography, and as such, it needs an autofocus system that can keep up. The Sony FE 35mm F1.4 G Master passes this test admirably thanks to its twin XD linear motors, which deliver friction-free autofocus with no moving parts. It is just silky smooth in every aspect of operation, including its declickable aperture ring. Every aspect of the lens feels well thought-through, and its quality makes it the ideal complement for the high-resolution sensors of Sony A7R cameras. 

Best lenses for Sony A7R III and A7R IV: Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 G Master

(Image credit: Future)
The best super-telephoto zoom for Sony A7R cameras

Specifications

Maximum aperture: f/4.5-5.6
Image Stabilization: Yes
Lens Construction: 22 elements in 16 groups
Dimensions: 94 x 205mm
Weight: 1,395g
Filter size: 77mm

Reasons to buy

+
Great handling
+
Impressively sharp
+
Compatible with teleconverters

Reasons to avoid

-
Somewhat modest aperture range

We were hugely excited to see the coveted G Master line-up of lenses getting a 100-400mm optic, and the Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 G Master OSS did not disappoint. Blending superb sharpness with well-pitched handling that supports hand-held shooting, this is an ideal lens for long day capturing sports or wildlife on an A7R camera.

Indeed, in our review we couldn't say enough good things about this lens. Its impressively complex optical path gives it excellent image quality across the board, while the handling is nothing short of impeccable. The focus operates smoothly, the three customisable buttons give you real customisability, and the ‘zoom smoothness’ ring lets you adjust the torque required to move the zoom in accordance with your preferences.

Best lenses for Sony A7R III and A7R IV: Sony FE 50mm F1.2 G Master

(Image credit: Future)
It's heavy and pricey, but we promise it's worth it

Specifications

Maximum aperture: f/1.2
Image Stabilization: No
Lens Construction: 14 elements in 10 groups
Dimensions: 87 x 108mm
Weight: 788g
Filter size: 72mm

Reasons to buy

+
Amazingly sharp
+
Rugged and weather-sealed

Reasons to avoid

-
Unavoidably bulky
-
Vignetting at f/1.2

Full-frame Sony users finally get an in-house f/1.2 lens, and what a lens it is. The Sony FE 50mm F1.2 G Master is a spectacular nifty-fifty, boasting impressive sharpness right the way through its aperture range – yes, even at f/1.2. Sony has built this lens from the ground up with sharpness in mind, and its optical path includes three XA (extreme aspherical) elements that have been engineered to a surface-precision tolerance of 0.01 microns.

What this means, as we found in our review, is that the lens performance is absolutely stellar – blowing away its rivals from the likes of Canon and Nikon. Our lab tests reported basically nothing in terms of imperfections, except for some pincushion distortion, and a little vignetting at f/1.2 

The handling too is excellent. It's a heavy lens, as it needs to be with specs like these, but not exceptionally so in the pantheon of 50mm f/1.2 lenses. This is an all-around fantastic optic, and if its asking price isn't too dear for you, it'll deliver nothing short of spectacular performance. 

(Image credit: Future)
An ultra-wide, ultra sharp zoom lens with a constant f/2.8 aperture

Specifications

Maximum aperture: f/2.8
Image Stabilization: No
Lens Construction: 17 elements in 14 groups
Dimensions: 97 x 137mm
Weight: 847g
Filter size: N/A

Reasons to buy

+
Anti-flare coatings are superb
+
Small and lightweight design

Reasons to avoid

-
Much more expensive than f/4 version
-
Lens hood isn’t removable

This ultra wide zoom kicks things up a notch compared with its f/4 cousin, both in terms of optical quality and price. However, for those that want uncompromising quality for their A7R III and IV this is the ultra wide to have. Capable of shooting as wide as f/2.8 makes it perfect for astrophotography and low light, and the Nano AR Coating II reduces flare and ghosting impressively.

Autofocusing is fast and accurate, capable of tracking subjects with ease because of the XD Linear Motors which operate speedily and quietly. There’s no traditional filter thread on the front element though – for that, you’ll need to attach gel filters to the rear of the lens.

(Image credit: Rod Lawton/Digital Camera World)
A pocket rocket, this wide prime is ideal for those on a stricter budget

Specifications

Maximum aperture: f/2.8
Image Stabilization: No
Lens Construction: 8 elements in 7 groups
Dimensions: 68 x 45mm
Weight: 162g
Filter size: 49mm

Reasons to buy

+
Lightweight design suits A7 bodies
+
Strong, stylish build quality and design
+
De-clickable aperture ring

Reasons to avoid

-
Quite pricey for a 24mm f/2.8

This is the 'wide' model of a trio of lenses from Sony that offer portability in a compact design with the same external appearance, (the other two are a 40mm and 50mm). Three aspherical elements and one extra-low dispersion element help to minimize flare when shooting toward light sources, and minimize color fringing on contrasted subjects.

A fairly fast aperture makes it suitable for interior or any kind of low light shooting scenario and its circular aperture blades produce soft, flattering bokeh. Two linear motors in the lens make it speedy and precise when autofocusing, and a minimum focusing distance of 24cm keeps it versatile for up-close details, too.

(Image credit: Sony)

7. Sony Planar T* FE 50mm f/1.4 ZA

A premium 50mm that’s super sharp and worth every penny

Specifications

Maximum aperture: f/1.4
Image Stabilization: No
Lens Construction: 12 elements in 9 groups
Dimensions: 83 x 108mm
Weight: 778g
Filter size: 72mm

Reasons to buy

+
Ultra wide f/1.4 aperture
+
Great lens coatings reduce flare

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive for a 50mm prime
-
Not fully weather sealed

If you took a nifty fifty and put it on steroids, this might be the result. As expensive as it is, this 50mm gives you a big bang for the buck. It comes with an unsurprisingly wide aperture of f/1.4 which aids subject isolation and favors low light shooting and a T* lens coating is used to reduce ghosting and flare.

It’s able to produce smooth bokeh for gorgeous out of focus backgrounds because of an 11 blade aperture design that’s specially shaped to produce a round aperture for circular bokeh results. The Super Sonic wave Motor (SSM) enhances the lens further with fast, silent autofocus response.

(Image credit: Sony)

8. Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 Macro G OSS

A true 1:1 macro lens with in-built stabilization

Specifications

Maximum aperture: f/2.8
Image Stabilization: Yes
Lens Construction: 15 elements in 11 groups
Dimensions: 79 x 130mm
Weight: 602g
Filter size: 62mm

Reasons to buy

+
In lens image stabilization
+
Excellent macro working distance
+
Great value for money

Reasons to avoid

-
Bulky

Fitted with helpful distance markers, this true to life macro lens has a 1:1 reproduction ratio (1.0x magnification) which a lens has to reach before it can be considered a true macro lens. It’s great value for money and focuses to infinity so it can be used as a standard lens too. It’s ideal for portraiture due to the longer focal length and wide f/2.8 aperture.

Optical SteadyShot (OSS) stabilization keeps the frame steady when shooting, which aids enormously when photographing macro subjects. A minimum focusing distance of 28cm brings tiny details to the fore and the autofocus/manual switch can be engaged via a pull on the focus ring itself.

(Image credit: Sony)

9. Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS

A solid choice for gigging pros or enthusiasts that want reliability and clarity

Specifications

Maximum aperture: f/2.8
Image Stabilization: Yes
Lens Construction: 23 elements in 18 groups
Dimensions: 88 x 200mm
Weight: 1480g
Filter size: 77mm

Reasons to buy

+
Good Optical SteadyShot stabilization
+
High quality sharpness and bokeh

Reasons to avoid

-
Quite big and very heavy
-
Feels oversized on A7 bodies

A classic 70-200mm telephoto zoom lens makes it into almost every professional photographer’s kit bag at one time or another, and many enthusiasts’ too. It’s so versatile that it performs well at a wide variety of subjects, perfect for low light concert photography because of its wide f/2.8 aperture which is constant throughout the zoom range, and ideal for portraits due to easy subject isolation.

The G Master quality shines through in this lens in the form of an XA (extreme aspherical) element and ED (Extra-low Dispersion) elements that keep color fringing and lens distortion to a minimum.

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-word testing works best, as each reveals different qualities and characteristics.

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Jason Parnell-Brookes is an Internationally award-winning photographer,  writer, and former Technique Editor of N-Photo magazine. He won Gold in the Nikon Photo Contest 2018/19 and was named Digital Photographer of the Year in 2014. Jason is a qualified teacher, Masters graduate and works with many high profile international clients.