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The best lenses for Sony A6000 cameras in 2021: how to expand your Sony system!

The best lenses for Sony A6000 cameras
(Image credit: Future)

Let us help you find the best lenses for Sony A6000 cameras! These snappy APS-C mirrorless shooters are some of the most popular and versatile cameras around, and an ecosystem of high-quality lenses has spring up around them. 

But why would one start with A6000 cameras at all? Well, we'd happily recommend the original Sony A6000 to basically anyone. Even though it's an older camera that pre-dates the 4K boom, its fundamentals are so solid that it's still completely useable and competitive today, and there's a reason it's still both produced and popular. 

Of course, there have been successors, and newer versions like the A6100 and A6600 are some of the best-selling and most popular cameras of all time – we particularly like the Sony A6400's balance of features and price. Of course, all this means that the original A6000 is only getting cheaper, to the point where it is one of the best camera deals you can get today. 

The series now represents some of the best APS-C photography and videography tools you can get right now. These super-fast cameras sport cutting-edge hybrid autofocus systems, using both phase- and contrast-detect technology for lighting-speed results. This pairs beautifully with burst shooting rates of up to 11fps.

Of course, none of this would matter if the images weren't up to snuff, but the A6000 series cameras produce gorgeous stills and sublime video. They make the most of the generous size of the APS-C sensor, and handling is also excellent, with OLED viewfinders and moveable rear screens. Small, sturdy and speedy, this are cameras to be taken everywhere, and they exemplify everything that's great about mirrorless shooting!

The enhancements only keep coming in newer cameras. More recent models like the A6500 and A6600 boast features like Face Tracking, 4K video and in-body stabilisation. We've put together a guide to all the different cameras to help you sort through which to choose, which you can check out below:

Sony A6000 vs A6100 vs A6300 vs A6400 vs A6500 vs A6600: how do you choose?

When you buy one of these cameras new, it tends to be bundled in a kit with Sony’s E PZ 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OSS zoom lens. This is a perfectly fine lens, small and sharp, with a clever retractable design. However, if you want to push these cameras further and expand your shooting versatility, then it's time to think about picking up more lenses. And that's where we come in!

We've divided our guide up into sections. First, we list the best standard zoom lenses, for a naturalistic perspective and a do-it-all zoom range. Next, we go through wide-angle zooms, providing a broad perspective that's excellent for landscapes. After that we run through telephoto zooms, for those who want to get a little more reach, and lastly we run through the best prime lenses, which offer the top of the range in terms of image quality.

Here are what we think are the best lenses for the Sony A6000, A6100, A6300, A6400, A6500 and A6600 cameras.

Standard zooms

(Image credit: Sony)

1: Sony E 16-55mm f/2.8 G

An outstanding standard zoom upgrade

Mount: Sony E | Effective focal length: 24-82.5mm | Elements/groups: 17/12 | Diaphragm blades: 9 | Optical SteadyShot: No | Minimum focus distance: 0.33m | Maximum magnification: 0.2x | Filter thread: 67mm | Dimensions (WxL): 73x100mm | Weight: 494g

Superb image quality
Fast constant aperture
Lacks optical stabilisation
New, so full price everywhere

Brilliantly engineered, inside and out, the Sony E 16-55mm f/2.8 G Lens has been a welcome sign that Sony really is taking its APS-C range seriously as professional photographic tools. It's a fantastic workhorse lens with a focal ranger suiting a huge range of applications and a constant f/2.8 aperture that lends it real versatility in all different shooting situations. Whatever your plans for your A6000-series camera, this lens will keep up with them and enable you to produce superb images, rich with detail. Our only real gripe is the lack of optical image stabilisation; as long as you can get past this, it's an absolutely superb lens that deserves a spot in all Sony APS-C users' kit bags.

best lenses for Sony A6000 cameras: Sony Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm f/4 ZA OSS

(Image credit: Sony)

2: Sony Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm f/4 ZA OSS

If you need a standard zoom with just a little more reach

Mount: Sony E | Effective focal length: 24-105mm | Elements/groups: 16/12 | Diaphragm blades: 7 | Optical SteadyShot: Yes | Minimum focus distance: 0.35m | Maximum magnification: 0.23x | Filter thread: 55mm | Dimensions (WxL): 67x75mm | Weight: 308g

Outstanding image quality 
Constant aperture rating
Bigger than the 16-50mm 
No retractable mechanism

The perfect step up from the Sony E PZ 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OSS kit lens that’s sold with the A6000, this is a much higher-quality optic. It’s based on a Zeiss design that includes four aspherical elements and one ED (Extra-low Dispersion) element, as well as Zeiss’s high-performance T* coatings. It lacks the space-saving, retractable mechanism of the 16-50mm lens but gives a greater overall zoom range, along with a constant-aperture design that makes f/4 available at any focal length. It’s not as ‘fast’ as the more pro-grade Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master but is much more compact and affordable. Weighing in at 308g, it feels perfectly balanced on an A6000 body and is absolutely ideal for daily shooting.

(Image credit: Sony)

3. Sony E 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 OSS

A great long-zoom standard lens for A6000-series cameras

Mount: Sony E | Elements/groups: 16/12 | Diaphragm blades: 7 | Stabilizer: Yes | Minimum focus distance: 0.45m | Maximum magnification: 0.29x | Filter thread: 55mm | Dimensions (WxL): 67.2x88mm | Weight: 325g

Effective zoom range of 27-202mm
Optical SteadyShot
Compact and lightweight
Relies heavily on digital corrections

The choice of standard zoom lenses for Sony's APS-C mirrorless cameras is narrower than you'd expect. The 16-50mm 'pancake' standard zoom sold with many A6000-series cameras is very small and convenient but not terribly good optically. Otherwise the Zeiss Vario-Tessar (above) is a good buy but has a constant f/4 maximum aperture, and while the brand new Sony E 16-55mm F2.8 G fixes that with a constant f/2.8 aperture, it's big and expensive... and none of them have much of a zoom range. This is why we really rate the Sony E 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 OSS. It's compact, neat and affordable, it offers a really good zoom range and – unlike almost every other long-zoom lens – it holds it performance even at full zoom. If you use a raw processing program that doesn't automatically apply lens corrections you'll see how much the digital corrections are needed, but if that's the price you pay for this level of optical quality, we'll take it!

Wide-angle zooms

(Image credit: Sony)

4: Sony E 10-18mm f/4 OSS

Best wide-angle zoom for Sony A6000

Mount: Sony E | Effective focal length: : 15-27mm | Elements/groups: 10/8 | Diaphragm blades: 7 | Optical SteadyShot: Yes | Minimum focus distance: 0.25m | Maximum magnification: 0.1x | Filter thread: 62mm | Dimensions (WxL): 70x64mm | Weight: 225g

Ultra-wide viewing angles 
Constant aperture 
Fairly pricey
Lacklustre sharpness at f/4

Fit this lens to your A6000 and it can feel like taking the blinkers off your camera. The shortest focal length of 10mm is equivalent to using a 15mm lens on a full-frame camera, delivering a massive viewing angle of 109 degrees. The lens is very similar to the Sony Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm f/4 ZA OSS in terms of layout and handling, with a constant-aperture f/4 rating and Optical SteadyShot built in. Ideal for cramped interiors, sweeping landscapes and any time you want to exaggerate the effect of perspective, this lens takes over where the 16-70mm leaves off, with a bit of overlap to play with. Image quality is very good apart from slightly mediocre sharpness when shooting wide-open at f/4, mostly in the longer half of the zoom range.

Telephoto zooms

(Image credit: Sony)

5: Sony E 70-350mm f/4.5-6.3 G OSS Lens

A useful telephoto with real range

Mount: Sony E | Effective focal length: 105-525mm | Elements/groups: 19/13 | Diaphragm blades: 7 | Optical SteadyShot: Yes | Minimum focus distance: 1.1m | Maximum magnification: 0.75x | Filter thread: 67mm | Dimensions (WxL): 77x142 mm | Weight: 625g

Generous zoom range
Optical stabilisation
Slow maximum aperture

Considering how new this lens is and its impressively broad telephoto zoom range, the price it's set at is incredibly reasonable. It's well-suited to a huge range of fast-paced photographic genres like wildlife and sports, making it a perfect partner for the speedy A6000 cameras. Its optical design includes an aspherical element and three extra-low dispersion elements, all of which contribute to superb image quality right through the zoom range. Controls are customisable too, and Optical SteadyShot expands usability in low light. A fantastic lens for a great price.

(Image credit: Sony)

6: Sony E 55-210mm f/4.5-6.3 OSS

Best low-cost telephoto zoom for Sony A6000

Mount: Sony E | Effective focal length: : 82.5-315mm | Elements/groups: 13/9 | Diaphragm blades: 7 | Optical SteadyShot: Yes | Minimum focus distance: 1.0m | Filter thread: 49mm | Dimensions (WxL): 64x108mm | Weight: 345g

Serious telephoto reach
Long ‘effective’ zoom range 
Narrow aperture at long end 
Sharpness drops off

Costing only about a third of the price of the Sony 16-70mm and 10-18mm lenses we’ve looked at so far, this one maintains a fairly compact and lightweight build, especially considering that it’s a telephoto lens. Thanks to the 1.5x crop factor of the A6000 and other Sony APS-C format E-mount camera bodies, the lens gives an ‘effective’ zoom range of 82.5-315mm in full-frame terms, with powerful telephoto reach at the long end. Downsizing is mostly thanks to the fairly narrow aperture rating, which shrinks from f/4.5 to f/6.3 as you extend through the zoom range. Physically, it enables a much better balance on an A6000 camera than lenses like the more-upmarket Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 and f/4 constant-aperture lenses, which are also much more expensive to buy. However, sharpness from the lightweight 55-210mm drops off a bit at longer zoom settings and could be better at the widest available apertures.

(Image credit: Sony)

7. Sony FE 200-600mm F5.6-6.3 G OSS

A full frame supertelephoto Sony zoom that's almost affordable!

Mount: Sony FE | Elements/groups: 24/17 | Diaphragm blades: 11 | Autofocus: DDSSM | Stabilizer: Yes | Min focus distance: 2.4m | Max magnification: 0.2x | Filter thread: 95mm | Dimensions (WxL): 111.5x318mm | Weight: 2,115g

3x supertelephoto zoom range
Optical stabilization
Expensive for a regular 'G' lens
Very heavy

Fast supertelephoto lenses on full frame cameras are always expensive, and the Sony FE 200-600mm F5.6-6.3 G OSS is no exception, but compared to fast supertelephoto primes it's actually not THAT expensive, and probably just about falls within an achievable price range for keen amateurs. Strictly speaking, this is a full frame FE lens, but it will work just as well on an APS-C A6000-series camera, where it gives a huge effective focal range of 300-900mm! When you’re shooting wildlife, birds, aircraft or sporting action and you can’t get as close as you might like, this lens really covers the distance. Designed for Sony’s full-frame E-mount cameras, it picks up the baton from our previously recommended Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 G Master OSS, extending the telephoto reach by 50 per cent, with virtually no compromise in all-round performance and at a substantially lower price.


(Image credit: Sony)

8: Sony E 20mm f/2.8 Pancake

Best street photography lens for Sony A6000

Mount: Sony E | Effective focal length: 30mm | Elements/groups: 6/6 | Diaphragm blades: 7 | Optical SteadyShot: No | Minimum focus distance: 0.2m | Maximum magnification: 0.12x | Filter thread: 49mm | Dimensions (WxL): 63x20mm | Weight: 69g

Super-small and lightweight 
Great for street photography
Mediocre image quality at f/2.8
No optical stabilization

A mere slip of a thing, this pancake lens measures just 63x20mm and weighs a mere 69g. Couple it with an A6000 and you have a perfect package for street photography. The effective focal length of 35mm is ideal, and the outfit is small enough for you to shoot candidly without drawing attention to yourself. It’s one of the few lenses in our roundup that lacks Optical SteadyShot but the f/2.8 aperture rating is faster than that of most zoom lenses. The only catch is that, when shooting wide-open, sharpness is merely good rather than great and vignetting (darkened image corners) is quite noticeable. At apertures of between f/4 and f/8, image quality really comes alive.

(Image credit: Sony)

9: Sony FE 35mm f/1.8

Best standard prime for Sony A6000

Mount: Sony E | Effective focal length: 52.5mm | Elements/groups: 11/9 | Diaphragm blades: 9 | Optical SteadyShot: No | Minimum focus distance: 0.22m | Maximum magnification: 0.24x | Filter thread: 55mm | Dimensions (WxL): 66x73mm | Weight: 280g

Sharp wide open
Fast focusing
Balances nicely
Maybe a touch pricey

The so-called ‘nifty fifty’ is a highly popular lens category on full-frame cameras, where it gives a standard viewing angle and natural perspective. Take the 1.5x crop factor of the Sony A6000’s image sensor into account, and this lens has an almost identical 52.5mm focal length and typically fast aperture of f/1.8. This new lens is a better option over the much older Sony E 35mm f/1.8 OSS, with a number of improvements. This includes a 9-blade aperture diaphragm that sees out of focus areas rendered beautifully smooth, while focusing is fast and precise. Finally, the optical performance is excellent, delivering sharp results even wide open. 

Best lenses for Sony A6000 cameras: Samyang AF 12mm F2.0 E

(Image credit: Samyang)

10: Samyang AF 12mm F2.0 E

An affordable lens that's great for astro and wide-angle shooting

Mount: Sony E | Effective focal length: 18mm | Elements/groups: 12/10 | Diaphragm blades: 7 | Optical SteadyShot: No | Minimum focus distance: 0.19m | Maximum magnification: 0.09x | Filter thread: 62mm | Dimensions (WxL): 70x59mm | Weight: 224g

Affordable and durable
Fast, near-silent AF
Fringing/vignetting require correcting
No external focus switch

Samyang gives an arguably overdue refresh to its ultra-wide 12mm lens in the form of an autofocus motor, which it somehow packs into an impressively lightweight 224g body. At a price significantly lower than a lot of Sony's native offerings, this is a tempting lens for any A6000 photographer who wants to expand their repertoire a little. Its wide perspective (18mm equivalent) is hugely versatile, and can be very effective once you get used to using it. The fast f/2 aperture rating also makes the lens useable for astrophotography. Handling of the lens is good, with a pleasingly robust build quality that's also weather sealed. 

Lab tests do reveal a few visual aberrations in the lens, notably lateral chromatic aberration in the corners of frames, and a little barrel distortion. All of this is easy enough to correct, and indeed this can be done in-camera, but it is something to be aware of. This is an impressive lens for the price and the size, and makes for a solid addition to any A6000 stable. 

(Image credit: Sony)

11: Sony FE 35mm f/1.4 GM

Sony’s G Master is ideal as a ultra-fast standard prime

Mount: Sony E | Effective focal length: 52.5mm | Elements/groups: TBC | Diaphragm blades: 9 | Optical SteadyShot: No | Minimum focus distance: 0.27m | Maximum magnification: 0.23x | Filter thread: 67mm | Dimensions (WxL): 76x96mm | Weight: 524g

Twin XD AF motors
Outstanding optical quality
Fairly expensive
Big on an A6000-series camera

Want a standard prime faster than the Sony FE 35mm f/1.8? You're in luck. The Sony Distagon T FE 35mm f/1.4 has been around for a while now, but Sony's blessed users with another fast 35mm prime with the arrival of the FE 35mm f/1.4 G Master. Be under no illusions, this is a premium optic that delivers a spectacular optical performance, though it comes at a price. It's not the smallest 35mm prime we've seen, so the balance on an A6000-series camera is as good as when it's mounted on a full-frame Alpha, but the handling really impressed. A great lens, but you will have to pay for it. 

(Image credit: Sony)

12: Sony E 50mm f/1.8 OSS

Perfect portrait lens for Sony A6000

Mount: Sony E | Effective focal length: 75mm | Elements/groups: 9/8 | Optical SteadyShot: Yes | Minimum focus distance: 0.39m | Maximum magnification: 0.16x | Filter thread: 49mm | Dimensions (WxL): 62x62mm | Weight: 202g

Ideal for portraiture
Fast aperture and Optical SteadyShot
Lackluster corner-sharpness 
Aperture could be better rounded

With an effective focal length of 75mm on an APS-C format Sony body like the A6000, and a fast f/1.8 aperture, this is a great lens for portraiture. You’ll be able to take head and shoulders and half-length portraits from an ideal distance, not crowding your sitter while being close enough to engage with them. The f/1.8 aperture enables a tight depth of field, so you can throw the background out of focus and make the person you’re photographing really stand out in the image. Corner-sharpness is a little poor at apertures wider than f/5.6 but that shouldn’t be an issue in portraiture. The aperture remains fairly well-rounded when stopping down a little from f/1.8 but, based on seven rather than nine diaphragm blades, it could be better.

Read more:
The best Sony cameras
The best 150-600mm lenses
The best 100-400mm lenses
The best 50mm lenses
The best 70-200mm lenses
The best budget telephoto lenses
The best macro lenses
The best fisheye lenses
The best lenses for astrophotography