Photography Tips | Travel Gear Guides

12 Best Lenses for Sony a6500 in 2022 (Reviewed by a Travel Photographer)

There are so many lenses for Sony cameras, but which of them are the best lenses for Sony a6500? I wrote this lens comparison article to make choosing your next lens for Sony a6500 easy.

Your camera Sony a6500 is a great purchase and let’s complement it with some awesome Sony a6500 lenses to boost your creativity and skills as a photographer.

Why trust me? As you know I’m a travel blogger but I am also a travel photographer documenting my adventures as I travel around the world. I also work as a content creator for various travel-related brands and companies. I love Sony alpha cameras and I currently use Sony a7iii.

Lenses for Sony a6500
Using my Sony alpha camera in Bali

As I mentioned earlier, the Sony a6500 camera is a great pick up to an intermediate photography level. It’s very intuitive to use and there is a huge range of excellent third-party and Sony lenses for a6500 to choose from! Now, the big question is which lens is the best a6500 lens for you specifically. We will get to it later on in detail, but for now, I’d like you to think about what kind of photos do you enjoy taking the most? Do you mostly take photos of landscape and city architecture? Or perhaps, you take snaps of your family or wildlife?

In this post, I review the best lenses Sony a6500 can be paired with, including the best Sigma lenses for Sony, best prime lenses for Sony, best sony lenses for portraits, best Sony lenses for video, telephoto, macro and best wide angle lenses for Sony.

Let’s get started!

Best Lenses for Sony a6500 – Table

Here are the best lenses for Sony a6500 based on the type of photography you enjoy the most. The list includes Sony best lenses, superb Sigma lenses for Sony e mount cameras, an excellent lens from Tamron for Sony e mount and a Samyang lens for Sony.

How to choose the best lens for a6500 Sony camera?

Before we can move into the detailed reviews of the best Sony a6500 lenses, let’s talk about things to consider before making the choice.

Sony a6500 has E-mount

Your Sony a6500 has an APS-C sensor, which is a crop sensor (there are also the full-frame sensor cameras) and it comes with an E mount. So the first thing to remember when shopping for lenses for a6500 is to choose one of the E mount lenses Sony compatible. E mount lenses for Sony are small to go with the small camera body and are usually affordable.

An example of a compact & affordable lens for a6500 camera is Sigma 16mm f/1.4, perfect for landscape photography.

It is also worth knowing, that the Sony a6500 is also compatible with FE mount lenses that have a full-frame sensor. Full-frame lenses come with higher specs and often a premium price tag.

When does it make sense to purchase full frame lenses for Sony e mount? Consider buying a full-frame lens for Sony a6500 when there is a chance that you will upgrade your camera in the future to Sony A7 iii for example. This way, you will be able to use the same lenses with your new camera. If you don’t plan to upgrade your camera, stick to the lenses for Sony E mount because you won’t benefit fully from the premium lens on a crop sensor camera.

Third-party lenses

The most obvious choice of lenses for Sony alpha 6500 are Sony won lenses. However, it is always worth considering third-party manufacturers that often are really good and much cheaper. Some Sigma ART lenses for Sony are even better than Sony-own lenses! Tamron also boasts an excellent lens range and it’s known for its affordability. Finally, there are Samyang lenses for Sony E mount that are also very well-priced.

An example of a superb Sigma full frame lens for Sony cameras is Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8.

Budget

Camera lenses can be super pricy, so an important factor (if not the most important) to consider, when choosing the best Sony a6500 lens, is your budget. Only buy the lens if you know you’re going to use it more than once! If you’re relatively new to photography, choose a solid all-round lens that can take many different types of photos. Often, it is better to have one expensive premium lens than many cheap lenses of poor quality.

Choose Tamron 17-70 mm F2.8 for the best all round lens for Sony a6500.

Weight & size

The weight and size are also very important when selecting lenses for Sony a 6000 – a 6700. Sony a6500 has a small body, perfect for taking out and about. If you pair it with a large lens, it may cause an imbalance and be super uncomfortable to use. After all, you bought a compact camera for a reason. If you’re looking for the best Sony lenses for travel, pay attention to their portability. Trust me, you’ll struggle to find the motivation to carry bulky camera gear on your adventures.

Photography style

Finally, think about what sort of photography you enjoy the most. Let’s face it, lenses are pricey, they can cost anything between $250 and $1,500. So, make sure you choose a lens that you can get the most out of.

If you love taking photos of interesting buildings during your city breaks or landscape, buy a wide-angle lens. Or, maybe you’re a portrait or macro photography enthusiast or want a telephoto lens to capture wildlife during your weekend breaks? Figuring this out will make choosing the best lens Sony a6500 compatible, easy.

Check out the summary of the best lenses for a6500 camera below.

Best Sony a6500 Lenses – Summary

Best all round lens for Sony a6500Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8

Best Tamron lens for Sony a6500 (Budget Pick)Tamron 17-70mm F2.8

Best wide angle lens SonySony 10-18mm F4 OSS

Best Sony zoom lensSony 18-135mm F3.5-5.6

Best Landscape Sigma lens for Sony a6500 Sigma 16mm F1.4

Best Sony prime lensSony G-Master Lens 24 mm F1.4

Best Sony lens for portraitsSony E 50mm F1.8

Best portrait lens for sony a6500 from SigmaSigma 30mm f1.4

Best macro lens for Sony a6500Sony 90mm F2.8

Best Sony telephoto lens Sony 70-350mm F4-6.3

Best Rokinon lens for SonyRokinon/Samyang 12mm f2.0

Best Sony lens for videoSony E 18 – 105mm F4 G OSS

12 Best Sony Lenses for a6500

Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 AF DG DN Art – The Best Lens Sony a6500 (Multipurpose)

Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN Art for Sony E Lens
SPECS
Weight: 830g (29.3 oz)
Size: 88 x 125mm (3.5 x 4.9 in.)
Filter diameter: 82mm
Min focus distance: 0.18 – 0.38cm
Min focus distance: 0.18 – 0.38cm
Autofocus: Yes
Image Stabilisation: Yes

Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG DN ART is a premium lens and one of the best Sigma full frame lenses for Sony cameras. It is a superb lens that outperforms more expensive lenses from Sony and Canon for a much modest price tag. If you’re looking for a premium multipurpose lens for shooting landscapes, portraits and even macro, this is the best lens for a6500 camera that will even outlive it!

*Note that Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 is suitable for full-frame cameras as well as cameras with crop sensors such as Sony a6500. So, if you’re planning to upgrade your camera one day, this lens is a great choice.

Full Review

Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 from the ART line is a gorgeous multipurpose all-round lens and it also happens to be my favourite lens for travel content! I shoot with it most of the time landscapes as well as portraits.

The lens takes photos with stellar quality, which is handy if you want to work on the image in editing software. Just remember to always shoot in RAW, so that the camera can capture as much information as possible. The image sharpness and contrast are also on point throughout the entire focal range, even when shooting wide open, which will allow you to use this lens for landscape photography with a wide-angle view and lots of detail.

Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 is one of the best Sigma lenses for Sony in terms of high versatility. Thanks to the high maximum aperture of F/2.8, this lens will also allow you to capture stunning portraits with a nice bokeh effect. And, if you photograph children on the move the accurate and fast autofocus will make sure you can capture their movement without any delay. This function will also come in handy in photographing animals on the move and fast-paced city life. The autofocus is virtually silent.

The best Sigma lenses for Sony full frame cameras come with in-body image stabilisation, and this lens is no exception. This function will further enhance the 5-axis stabilisation system Sony a6500 is equipped with under low light conditions when a higher ISO or slower shutter speed is required.

The DG version is an upgrade on the previous Sigma lens that fixed its shortcomings in the area of ghosting and flare. In terms of lens distortions, Sigma 24-70mm F/2.8 ART can create barrel distortion and vignetting (dark edges) at certain lens settings. However, both of them can be easily corrected in post-production applications such as Lightroom.

Sigma 24-70mm F/2.8 looks and feels like a premium lens. The only downside is its relatively large 830g body that may feel a little bulky. If this is a problem for you, consider the Tamron lens that I review next.

Overall, Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 ART is the best Sigma lens for Sony a6500 and one of the best lenses Sony a6500 compatible to use every day. It offers extreme versatility with superb quality for a very affordable price.

PROS
  • Superb image quality at all focal lengths
  • Extremely versatile and multipurpose
  • Super-fast autofocus
  • Silent shooting
  • Built-in image stabilisation
  • Quality built and handling
  • No fringing distortion
  • Weather-sealed
  • Can be used with full-frame cameras
CONS
  • Large lens body
  • Heavy
  • Noticeable barrel distortion but can be corrected
  • Prone to vignetting distortion (darkened image corners)
Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN Art for Sony E Lens

Tamron 17-70mm F2.8 – Best Tamron Zoom lens for Sony (Multipurpose Budget Alternative)

Tamron 17-70mm f/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD Lens for Sony E APS-C Mirrorless Cameras
SPECS
Weight: 525g (18.5 oz)
Size: 74 x 119mm (2.9 x 4.7 in.)
Filter diameter: 67mm
Min focus distance: 0.17m
Max magnification: 0.2x
Autofocus: Yes
Image Stabilisation: Yes

If you’re after cheap lenses for Sony e mount without compromising the image quality, Tamron 17-70mm F/2.8 is one of the best Tamron lenses for Sony a6500 to consider. Also, if you don’t plan on ever upgrading to a full-frame camera, you can save some bucks by choosing this Tamron lens over Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 reviewed in the previous section.

Full Review

For the affordable price tag, this Tamron lens boasts superb versatility and can be used in multiple scenarios. If you’re looking for a landscape lens, Tamron will do a great job, capturing a lot of details at a wide-angle focal length. It can also double as a portrait lens being equipped with a maximum aperture of F/2.8. Shooting with an F-stop of 2.8, you will be able to defocus the background nicely and bring the focus into the foreground. And, if you’re a macro photography amateur, with Tamron focusing at 17 cm from the subject, you will be able to capture small flowers and insects creating casual macro images.

Tamron 17-70mm F/2.8 comes with fast and accurate autofocus enabling shooting on the go and capturing moving objects. It also is equipped with Tamron VC, which stands for ‘vibration compensation‘. Turned on, Tamron own in-body image stabilisation will further smooth handshakes when shooting videos handheld, making Tamron one of the best e mount lenses for video shooting.

When it comes to the physical build – Tamron has practical rubber rings and grippy ridges that make handling the lens comfortable. It is made of durable materials and is also fully weather-sealed. Tamron17-70mm F/2.8 weighs 525g and it’s considerably lighter than the Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 lens, which is perfect for the small body of Sony a6500.

Some of the downsides of this lens include a lack of physical controls for turning on/off the vibration compensation and autofocus and some lens distortion such as vignetting (dark edges). However, the controls can be accessed through its electronic menu and distortions can be adjusted in Lightroom.

All in all, Tamron 17-70mm F/2.8 is one of the best lenses for a6500 for everyday use that boasts excellent versatility and superb image quality for a great bang for your buck.

PROS
  • Extremely versatile
  • Built-in image stabilisation
  • Fast and quiet autofocus
  • Excellent image quality
  • Quality built
  • Comfortable grip
  • Portable
  • Weather sealed
  • Superb value for money
CONS
  • Lacks controls for auto/manual focus
  • Some minor lens distortions
Tamron 17-70mm f/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD Lens for Sony E APS-C Mirrorless Cameras

Sony E 10-18mm F4 OSS – Best Wide Angle Lens for Sony a6500 for City Scenes

Sony - E 10-18mm F4 OSS Wide-Angle Zoom Lens (SEL1018),Black
SPECS
Weight: 225g (7.9 oz)
Size: 6.4 x 7cm (2.5 x 2.7 in.)
Filter diameter: 62mm
Min focus distance: 0.25mm
Max magnification: 0.1x
Autofocus: Yes
Image Stabilisation: Yes

Sony E 10-18mm F4 OSS is the best wide lens for Sony a6500, ideal for photographing city architecture and city skyline. It is ultra-light and super portable – a perfect match for your camera!

Full Review

With a 10-18mm focal length, Sony E 10-18mm F4 OSS is an excellent lens to take with you on a city break weekend. The wide-angle will help capture large buildings when there is not much space to move back, which would be required with a standard lens. Also, the ability to capture a lot of detail, makes this lens perfect for landscape photography.

Sony E 10-18mm F4 OSS is equipped with good autofocus that accurately captures moving objects. The lens takes super sharp images with excellent resolution edge to edge at the optimal aperture range of f/8 and f/11.

Its in-built image stabilisation will enhance your camera performance in low light when you choose to use a higher ISO setting or slower shutter speed and when you don’t have your tripod. In-body stabilisation coupled with a wide-angle focal length, make this lens one of the best Sony lenses for vlogging and video taking.

Sony E 10-18mm F4 is also one of the better if not the best travel lens for Sony a6500 due to its extremely compact and light body weighing only 225g! Despite its size and wide-angle length, it supports a front filter, unlike most other similar lenses.

When it comes to drawbacks, this Sony lens lacks weather sealing (waterproofing is standard amongst best lenses for Sony full frame such as Sony FE 12-24mm F4 G) and it lacks physical controls for turning on/off the autofocus. The lens is also prone to some of the most common wide-angle lens distortions at certain focal lengths. As with any other lens distortions, you can easily fix them in Lightroom.

Overall, Sony E 10-18mm F4 OSS is the best wide angle lens for a6500, perfect for capturing city architecture, large buildings and various landscapes.

PROS
  • Excellent quality images
  • In-built optical stabilisation
  • Portable
  • Great for videos
  • Able to use a filter with
CONS
  • Some minor lens distortion correctable in Lightroom
  • No dust or splash protection
  • Not the best in low light
  • Pricey
Sony - E 10-18mm F4 OSS Wide-Angle Zoom Lens (SEL1018),Black

Sony 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 – Best Sony E mount Zoom Lens

Sony 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 OSS APS-C E-Mount Zoom Lens
SPECS
Weight: 325g (11.5 oz)
Size: 6.7 x 8.8cm (2.6 x 3.4 in.)
Filter diameter: 67mm
Min focus distance: 0.45mm
Max magnification: 0.29x
Autofocus: Yes
Image Stabilisation: Yes

Sony 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 is the best zoom lens for Sony E mount cameras such as a6500 due to its small body with a weight of only 325g, which is very lightweight for a zoom lens. Its compact body makes this lens one of the best a6500 lenses to take on travels.

Full Review

Sony 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 is the best zoom lens for a6500 not only in terms of portability but also because of its versatility. It comes with a wide focal length of 18-135mm and an F3.5-5.6 aperture range that will allow you to shoot a wide range of photos from landscapes to portraits and even some macros! If you value the ability to zoom in over a high aperture range, this lens is an excellent alternative to the multipurpose lenses reviewed earlier – Tamron 17-70mm F2.8 and Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 and it’s more affordable!

The lens is equipped with premium features such as super fast and accurate autofocus and in-built image stabilisation. These features combined with other characteristics ensure stellar sharp image output at all focal lengths – even when shooting wide open at 135mm.

Sony 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 comes with plastic ridges instead of rubberised ones seen in other premium lenses which is not ideal and it also lacks weather sealing. These are some sacrifices to be made when spending less on a lens. Another feature that may be an issue for some photographers is its focal length which is not the widest out there. If that’s a deal-breaker for you, you may want to consider the more premium Sony 16-70mm f/4 instead.

All in all, Sony 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 is the best zoom lens for Sony a6500 for travel thanks to its compact size and one of the affordable Sony a6500 zoom lenses with great image quality.

PROS
  • Very compact
  • In-built stabilisation
  • Minimal distortion and vignette
  • Affordable
CONS
  • Not weather-sealed
  • Not the widest angle standard on zoom cameras
  • No rubberised control rings
Sony 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 OSS APS-C E-Mount Zoom Lens

Sigma 16mm F1.4 – Best Landscape Lens for Sony a6500

Sigma 16mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary Lens for Sony E (402965)
SPECS
Weight: 405g (14.3 oz)
Size: 72 x 92mm (2.8 x 3.6 in.)
Filter diameter: 67mm
Min focus distance: 0.25m
Max magnification: 0.1x
Autofocus: Yes
Image Stabilisation: No

With a lightweight body, strong performance and wide-angle focal length, Sigma 16mm f/1.4 is one of the best Sigma prime lenses for Sony cameras in landscape photography, all that for a highly affordable price tag.

Full Review

There are so many excellent Sigma lenses for Sony E mount, and Sigma 16mm f/1.4 is one of them taking razor-sharp images edge to edge at superb resolution and contrast, even at the widest aperture settings and with minimal lens distortions compared to other similar lenses. If you can live with a lens that doesn’t zoom in/out, you will get much better image quality and superb low-light performance, and this Sigma lens is no different.

If you’re a big bokeh effect enthusiast, you will be pleased to know that this lens is one of the best prime lenses for Sony a6500 when it comes to creating a beautifully defocused, creamy background thanks to its ultra wise aperture up to f1/4! The bright aperture combined with the wide-angle focal length will give you an excellent creative tool for awesome full-length shots of people with a blurry background. This kind of photography is used by fashion influencers, Instagram and travel bloggers. Sigma 16mm f/1.4 focuses at a minimum of 25 cm from the subject which is also adequate for product shots and different types of detail shots with a focus on the subject.

Additionally, Sigma 16mm f/1.4 comes with super-accurate autofocus designed to work in harmony with the Sony Fast Hybrid AF system. This allows for smooth transitions when shooting videos and vlogs as well as 100% precision when capturing moving objects. Sigma has a well-made exterior with smooth manual focus rings.

In terms of weaker points, the lens is not weather-sealed and it’s not equipped with in-built image stabilisation. However, this should not be a deal-breaker because your Sony a6500 camera already comes with a fantastic 5-axis stabilisation.

Overall, Sigma 16mm f/1.4 is one of the best prime lenses for Sony a6500 that is perfect for travellers due to its compact body and wide-angle length. It produces stellar quality images even at low light and what’s important, its price won’t break the bank.

PROS
  • Excellent image quality
  • Extremely light and portable
  • Affordable price point
  • Fast aperture
  • Comes with a hood
  • Silent operation
  • Minimal lens distortions
CONS
  • No image stabilisation
  • Not weather-sealed
Sigma 16mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary Lens for Sony E (402965)

Sony G-Master Lens 24 mm F1.4 – Sharpest Sony Lens + Best Prime Lens for Sony a6500 for Instagram Travel Photos

Sony E-mount FE 24mm F1.4 GM Full Frame Wide-angle Prime Lens (SEL24F14GM), Black
SPECS
Weight: 445g (15.7 oz)
Size: 75 x 92mm (2.9 x 3.6 in.)
Filter diameter: 67mm
Min focus distance: 0.24m
Max magnification: 0.17x
Autofocus: Yes
Image Stabilisation: Yes

Sony G-Master Lens 24 mm F1.4 is one of the best premium prime lenses for Sony E mount and FE mount cameras, excelling in virtually all possible areas, you name it. You can’t really go wrong with this lens, as long as you can afford it. It is also one of the best Sony full frame lenses, so if you ever decide to upgrade from your current camera this lens will go with you all the way.

Full Review

Sony G-Master Lens 24 mm F1.4 lens takes razor-sharp photos and it is undeniably the sharpest lens out there. If you’re looking for the highest available quality and professional-looking photos, this lens is for you.

Its wide-angle focal length makes it also one of the best Sony lenses for landscape within the prime lenses range. It is also one of the best lenses for bokeh. It comes with a super bright f/1.4 aperture that will allow you to beautifully defocus the background on your photos bringing all the attention to the photographed subject. Sony GM Lens 24mm f/1.4 is also one of the best lenses for Instagram photography, especially for travel and fashion accounts.

Moreover, with the maximum aperture of f/1.4, Sony 24 mm F1.4 is also the best low light lens for Sony a6500, ideal for indoor photography such as inside churches, museums and also shooting product shots. This lens has the ability to capture lots of light and is also the best Sony lens for street photography at nighttime including starry sky and street lights being able to produce extremely sharp images even when shooting handheld.

Sony 24 mm F1.4 has a professional look and a premium build including complete weather selling and a manual aperture ring for adjusting f/stops. It is also very light in comparison to the Sigma equivalent, ideal for taking it out and about.

Overall, Sony 24 mm F1.4 is a superb lens if you’re looking for a wide-angle focal length in the prime lenses range. The premium features, however, come at a high price but if you’re ready to pay it, you won’t be disappointed.

PROS
  • Light & compact for a lens with those specs
  • Excellent quality images
  • Weather-sealed
  • Manual aperture ring
  • Silent autofocus
  • Virtually no lens distortions
  • Can be used with full-frame cameras
CONS
  • Pricey compared to alternatives
  • Edge fringing (removable in Lightroom)
Sony E-mount FE 24mm F1.4 GM Full Frame Wide-angle Prime Lens (SEL24F14GM), Black

Sony E 50mm F1.8 – Best lens for Sony a6500 for Portaits

Sony - E 50mm F1.8 OSS Portrait Lens (SEL50F18/B), Black
SPECS
Weight: 202g (7.1 oz)
Size: 62 x 62mm (2.4 x 2.4 in.)
Filter diameter: 49mm
Min focus distance: 0.39m
Max magnification: 0.16x
Autofocus: Yes
Image Stabilisation: Yes

Sony E 50mm F1.8 is the best Sony a6500 lens in portrait photography that will pair like a dream with your Sony a6500 with its 202g body! This lens comes with a specialised narrow telephoto field, so it is not your multipurpose lens. However, if you’re looking for one of the best portrait lenses for Sony camera that takes superb pictures and won’t break the bank, this could be it.

Full Review

Sony E 50mm F/1.8 is capable of taking photos of excellent quality. At its highest aperture setting of F/1.8, the middle of the frame is razor-sharp but it produces a slight softness on the edges. At 50mm focal length, this Sony lens is one of the best, out of portrait lenses for Sony Alpha cameras ideal in portrait photography and the bright aperture of up to F/1.8 will allow you to create an attractive bokeh effect on the photos.

It also comes with fast and accurate autofocus that won’t let you down when shooting on the go and photographing people on the move, for example, children. The in-body image stabilisation will further enhance your camera ability to smooth handshake when shooting handheld with higher ISO settings or slower shutter speed that are required at low light conditions. The in-built image stabilisation and the super-accurate autofocus makes this lens an excellent tool for shooting vlogs and one of the best lenses for Sony a6500 video taking.

Due to its super-light body, this is also an excellent Sony travel lens that you can take on any adventure without being weight down. Regrettably, Sony E 50mm F1.8 lacks weatherproofing. It is equipped, however, with a reversible hood and comes in a black or silver finish.

All in all, Sony E 50mm F1.8 is one of the best lenses for Sony E mount when it comes to portrait photography. It takes good quality photos with excellent bokeh and its small body makes it a great lens to complement your travel photography gear. It is also extremely affordable. However, this lens comes with a too narrow depth of field for a day to day use.

PROS
  • Quality and crisp images
  • Optical image stabilisation
  • Portable and light
  • Very Affordable
  • Minimal distortion
  • Easily removable hood
  • Great bokeh
CONS
  • Not weather-sealed
  • Electronic manual focus
  • Dim corners (can correct in Lightroom)
Sony - E 50mm F1.8 OSS Portrait Lens (SEL50F18/B), Black

Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC DN – Best Sigma Portait Lens for Sony

Sigma 30mm F1.4 Contemporary DC DN Lens for Sony E
SPECS
Weight: 265g (9.3 oz)
Size: 65 x 73mm (2.6 x 2.9 in.)
Filter diameter: 52mm
Min focus distance: 0.30m
Max magnification: 0.14x
Autofocus: Yes
Image Stabilisation: No

Sigma 30mm F1.4 is one of the best lenses Sony E mount specific in terms of low light performance and creating a beautiful bokeh effect. In fact, it is the only crop sensor (E Mount) lens that comes with an F/1.4 maximum aperture!

Full Review

As expected from a prime lens with a maximum aperture as bright as F/1.4, this Sigma lens takes razor-sharp photos and is a great performer even in low light conditions. It works in harmony with the Sony face detect and AF autofocus function. However, compared to Sony-own lenses, the autofocus may take a few moments longer to work.

If you’re looking for the best portrait lens, this Sigma lens has the perfect focal length of 30mm to do the job including close-ups and details shots. Not to mention its ability to beautifully defocused the background to bring all the attention to the person you are shooting, thanks to its incredibly bright aperture of F/1.4.

And, if versatility is something important to you, 30mm focal length is equal to 45mm equivalent field of view on a full-frame camera, which basically means that you can even use this lens for day to day shooting. This is not the case with the Sony E 50mm F1.8 reviewed above.

Also, compared to equivalent Sony own – Sony 35mm f/1.8, this Sigma lens offers a higher maximum aperture at a much lower and extremely affordable price, which is always good news! Moreover, Sigma 30mm F/1.4 lens has a solid build and comes with grippy rubber rings for easy handling.

Unfortunately, the lens lacks weatherproofing and its body is a little bigger than the Sony equivalent lens. But these are the trade-off to make for a much cheaper price. It also doesn’t come equipped with in-body image stabilisation, but this should not be a big deal because your Sony a6500 has a fantastic 5-axis image stabilisation inbuilt.

All in all, Sigma 30mm F/1.4 is an excellent affordable portrait lens with superb image quality including low-light photography and because of that, it is one of the better lenses Sony alpha compatible.

PROS
  • Extreme sharp image quality
  • F/1.4 Aperture
  • Extremely affordable
  • Relatively versatile focal length
CONS
  • No imagine stabilisation
  • Not weather-sealed
  • Some barrel distortion present
  • Not the most compact lens
Sigma 30mm F1.4 Contemporary DC DN Lens for Sony E

Sony FE 90mm F2.8 G OSS – Best Sony Macro Lens for Photogrpahing Insects and Flowers

Sony SEL90M28G FE 90mm f/2.8-22 Macro G OSS Standard-Prime Lens for Mirrorless Cameras,Black
SPECS
Weight: 602g (21.3 oz)
Size: 79 x 131mm (3.1 x 4.1 in.)
Filter diameter: 62mm
Min focus distance: 0.28m
Max magnification: 1.0x
Autofocus: Yes
Image Stabilisation: Yes

This Sony 90mm macro lens is a premium lens and one of the best lenses Sony Alpha camera compatible. It can be used with E and FE mounts, so if you ever upgrade your Sony a6500 camera, this lens will be suitable with a full-frame camera too. Sony 90mm F/2.8 is one of the sharpest macro lenses out there, and it hits the sweet range of 90mm to 105mm, perfect for macro photography.

Full Review

Sony 90mm F/2.8 is a premium lens for macro photography for those that are serious enthusiasts. The lens takes razor-sharp images corner to corner and even when shooting at the brightest aperture of F/2.8.

The lens focuses at a minimum 28 cm distance from the photographed subject and because of that, it is able to capture a lot of small details such as texture and tinny elements when shooting insects, small plants and other close-ups. In addition, thanks to its versatile focal length, you can use this lens in portrait photography too.

Sony FE 90mm F2.8 is a strong performer in low light conditions, for example when shooting indoors and in night photography. It produces virtually no lens distortions. Its ability to take sharp images at low light is further enhanced by in-build image stabilisation (a feature that is expected from the premium and best lenses for Sony Alpha cameras).

Thanks to features such as Sony’s Optical Steady Shot and a physical aperture ring that allows for a seamless transition from in-focus to the de-focused background, this lens is one, if not the best lens for Sony a6500 video taking. Whether you’re recording a family gathering or your Machu Picchu adventure, with Sony FE 90mm F/2.8, you will achieve outstanding results!

Sony FE 90mm F2.8 looks and feels professional and comes with a solid build including complete weatherproofing. With the 600g weight, it’s not a compact lens, however, this is the case with most macro lenses. Another great feature is its rubberised ring for more comfortable handling the pull/push switch for manual to autofocus modes, handy in shooting macros.

All in all, Sony FE 90mm F2.8 is the best Sony E mount macro lens capable of taking stellar sharp macro shots and thanks to its versatile focal length, this lens can also be used in portrait and some landscape photography.

PROS
  • Sharpest macro lens out there
  • Excellent resolution corner to corner
  • Great for portraits too
  • Super quiet autofocus
  • Built-in image stabilisation
  • Handy aperture ring
  • Can be used with full-frame cameras
  • Weather-sealed
  • Excellent build
CONS
  • Expensive
Sony SEL90M28G FE 90mm f/2.8-22 Macro G OSS Standard-Prime Lens for Mirrorless Cameras,Black

Sony E 70-350mm F4-6.3 G OSS – Best Telephoto Lens for Sony a6500 for Wildlife and Sports Photography

Sony E 70-350mm F4.5-6.3 G OSS Super Telephoto Lens SEL70350G for E-Mount Mirrorless APS-C Cameras Bundle with Deco Gear Backpack + Pro Filter Kit UV/CPL/FLD, Macro, Graduated + Monopod & Accessories
SPECS
Weight: 625g (22 oz)
Size: 77 x 142mm (3 x 5.6 in.)
Filter diameter: 67mm
Min focus distance: 1.1m
Max magnification: 0.23x
Autofocus: Yes
Image Stabilisation: Yes

Sony E 70-350mm F4-6.3 is the best telephoto lens for Sony a6500 designed specifically for compact crop sensor Sony cameras!

Full review

Sony E 70-350mm F4-6.3 takes superb images at the razor-sharp quality and excellent contrast even when zoomed all the way into 350mm. It also produces virtually no lens distortion. It is a strong performer in terms of capturing, at the excellent resolution, objects in movement with high ISO settings, something that is crucial for the best wildlife lens for Sony a6500.

The lens is also equipped with a super-telephoto lens capacity of 5x zoom range, which equates to 105 – 525mm on a full-frame camera body. This range will enable you to shoot birds and other animals at a far distance on your next nature exploration. It will also come in handy to shoot aeroplanes at air shows or players in movement at sports events such as football or rugby.

The lens comes with in-body image stabilisation which will smooth those handshakes when shooting at the long end of the zoom range with a slower shutter or in low light. Sony E 70-350mm F4-6.3 is also equipped with superb autofocus, excellent for capturing those once in a lifetime moments accurately.

Sony E 70-350mm F4-6.3 has a solid build and is fully weather-sealed. It weighs 625g which is relatively light for a telephoto lens. This is great news as the Sony a6500 camera body is not suitable for super large lenses.

On the downside, the lens is prone to pincushion distortion in the middle of the frame, something that is common in most telephoto lenses and can be adjusted with in-camera lens compensation. Another downside is that it has a modest aperture range for a fairly expensive price.

Overall, Sony E 70-350mm F4-6.3 is the best Sony E mount telephoto lens with a wide zoom range, light body excellent autofocus and stellar sharp quality images.

PROS
  • Excellent image quality
  • Super-fast & accurate autofocus
  • Silent shooting
  • Built-in image stabilisation
  • Small & lightweight for a telephoto lens
  • 5x zoom range
  • Weather-sealed
CONS
  • Expensive
  • Small aperture range
  • Prone to pincushion distortion
Sony E 70-350mm F4.5-6.3 G OSS Super Telephoto Lens SEL70350G for E-Mount Mirrorless APS-C Cameras Bundle with Deco Gear Backpack + Pro Filter Kit UV/CPL/FLD, Macro, Graduated + Monopod & Accessories

Rokinon/Samyang 12mm F2.0 – Best Pancake Lens for Sony a6500 Night Photography

Samyang SY12M-E-BK 12mm F2.0 Ultra Wide Angle Lens for Sony E Cameras, Black
SPECS
Weight: 224g (7.9 oz)
Size: 70 x 59mm (2.7 x 2.3 in.)
Filter diameter: 62mm
Min focus distance: 0.19m
Max magnification: 0.09x
Autofocus: Yes
Image Stabilisation: No

Samyang 12mm f/2.0 lens is one of the better Samyang lenses for Sony crop sensor cameras such as a6500, excellent for stargazing and astrophotography that comes with a very affordable price tag.

Full Review

The most important thing to have in mind when considering purchasing this lens is that it is a fully manual lens and it may not be suitable for everyone. You can adjust focus and aperture by twisting the control rings located on the lens body as there is no electronic link between the lens and the camera.

*If a manual lens is not your cup of tea, opt-in for Sigma 16mm f/1.4  instead.

If you can live with the manual controls, this lens is one of the best Rokinon lenses for Sony that captures razor-sharp images corner to corner, even at the brightest aperture. When it comes to lens distortion, Samyang produces no ghosting or flare but can be prone to the barrel and lateral chronic aberration. However, these lens distortions can be easily fixed in photo editing programmes such as Lightroom.

Thanks to the bright maximum aperture, this Samyang lens is a superb lens when it comes to capturing images at low light. It will do fantastically in indoor photography and thanks to its wide aperture it is an excellent lens for stargazing, capturing northern lights and the city skyline.

Moreover, its focal length is versatile enough for landscape and city photography where you can also benefit from its wide-angle view. The lens will capture lots of detail without having to move too far back, which comes in handy in capturing large buildings in narrow spaces. This type of lens can also be used when shooting for real estate because it makes rooms appear more spacious.

Samyang 12mm f/2.0 has a solid build, is made of durable materials and comes with complete weatherproofing. It is also one of the best lenses Sony E mount compatible to take on travels, due to its light and compact body.

If you’re looking for a budget wide-angle, versatile lens to use for astrophotography as well as for landscape and city shoots, and you don’t mind the manual handling, Samyang 12mm f/2.0 is a great choice.

PROS
  • Superb image quality
  • Affordable price point
  • Fast autofocus
  • Silent shooting
  • Sturdy built
  • Extremely light & compact
  • Weather-sealed
CONS
  • No image stabilisation
  • Fully manual lens
  • Some lens distortion present- vignetting & fringing
  • Non-reversible hood for storage
Samyang SY12M-E-BK 12mm F2.0 Ultra Wide Angle Lens for Sony E Cameras, Black

Sony E 18 – 105mm F4 G OSS – Best Video Lens for Sony a6500

Sony SELP18105G E PZ 18-105mm F4 G OSS , Black
SPECS
Weight: 482g (17 oz)
Size: 78 x 110mm (3.1 x 4.3 in.)
Filter diameter: 72mm
Min focus distance: 0.45m
Max magnification: 0.11x
Autofocus: Yes
Image Stabilisation: Yes

Sony E 18 – 105mm F4 G OSS is the best vlogging lens for Sony a6500 due to its superzoom function excellent for taking professionally looking videos, in-body image stabilisation and an extremely affordable price.

Full Review

Sony E 18 – 105mm F4 G OSS is the best E mount zoom lens in terms of versatility. Its focal range translates to 27mm to 158mm equivalent field of view on a full-frame camera. If zoom is important to you, this could be your everyday lens for shooting virtually anything.

What makes this lens one of the best APSC lenses for Sony video and vlogging? It is due to its super smooth electronic zoom. The lens comes with a zoom rocker on the side of the barrel that controls the speed of the zoom. This function will give your videos a professional look with a steady zoom speed that can either be set for fast or slow movement.

Furthermore, Sony E 18 – 105mm F4 comes with an image stabilisation already in-built that will further enhance your camera specs and will result in even smoother videos without having to use a gimbal or a tripod. The stabilisation function also comes in handy in shooting at low light with higher ISO settings or slower shutter speed.

When it comes to portability, regrettably, this Sony lens is not the most compact. Its design is fairly bulky due to the power zoom feature, weighing 482g. It also comes with a few optical compromises, not being the sharpest lens on the market. It is however made of durable materials and comes with rubberised rings for comfortable handling.

Overall, Sony E 18 – 105mm F4 is a superb lens for video due to its superzoom feature, in-body image stabilisation and versatile focal length and it is undeniably a great bunk for your buck.

PROS
  • Built-in image stabilisation
  • Power zoom design
  • Extremely versatile focal range
  • Reversible hood included
CONS
  • Not the sharpest lens out there
  • Prone to large pincushion (can correct in Lightroom)
  • Large body
Sony SELP18105G E PZ 18-105mm F4 G OSS , Black

Sony a6500 Accessories

Best gimbal for Sony a6500

Sony a6500 Grip

Best Flash for Sony a6500

Best Mic for Sony a6500

Sony a6500 Battery Grip

Sony a6500 Case

Best SD Card for Sony a6500

Sony a6500 Remote Control

ND filter for Sony a6500

Lens cap for Sony a6500

Best Lenses for a6500– What Specs are Important?

Bokeh effect

bokeh effect in a6500 camera lenses
best sony lenses for a6500

Would you be able to take photos of people, animals or objects with a professionally blurry looking background? Defocusing the background (in photography also called the bokeh effect) is an excellent way to bring all the attention of the viewers to the photographed subject. When there is a lot going on, the viewer gets distracted by looking at a lot of details in the background.

By narrowing the depth of field, by using a lower F-stop (also called aperture), we can smooth the detail of the background and leave the foreground sharp. This way we’re directing the viewer’s attention to the subject of the photo.

The higher the aperture (or the lower the F/ number), the more blur we can achieve. The wider the aperture range on a lens, the more expensive the price is. The highest available maximum aperture is f/1.2 and a lens with that aperture will be very expensive. However, most of us won’t be able to tell the difference between the aperture of f/1.2 and f/1.4.

*If you’re a bokeh enthusiast aim for a lens with an aperture of at least f/2.8.

Low light performance

low light lens for Sony a6500
best sony lenses for a6500

Buying a lens that is good at taking sharp images in low light can be a good option, if you enjoy taking photos indoors, for example in museums, churches, castles and at home, as well as at sunset or sunrise and at night. The best low light lenses are prime lenses with a high maximum aperture such as F/2.8 – F/1.2. They are able to capture a lot more light than the zoom lenses, resulting in better quality images.

Built-in image stabilisation

Why would you want this feature? The short answer is for enhancing the image quality at low light when capturing a movement or recording a video.

Some best lenses for Sony cameras come with a mechanism called optical SteadyShot, which works like a gimbal inside your lens. The gimbal mechanism compensates for the shake of the camera with a physical movement, resulting in sharper photos, especially when shot at low light or with the use of slower shutter speed. Some premium Sigma and Tamron lenses for Sony Alpha cameras are also equipped with a similar mechanism.

Best lenses for Sony mirrorless cameras come with this feature, however, because your Sony a6500 camera already comes with a 5-axis image stabilisation, this should not be a deal-breaker when choosing the best lens.

Tamron 17-70mm F2.8 is an excellent budget multipurpose lens with in-body image stabilisation.

Zoom

Meteora shot with a zoom lens, Best Lenses for Sony a6500
best lenses for sony a6500

Generally, lenses can be divided into zoom lenses and prime lenses. Zoom lenses, as the name suggest, have a range of available focal lengths and give the freedom of capturing the subject from a distance. They cannon however compete with prime lenses when it comes to image quality and low light performance.

It is a good idea to have at least one zoom lens in your camera kit for everyday use. However, the bigger the zoom range, the more expensive the lens. Zoom range also affects the lens weight and size.

For everyday use, I recommend a range of 24-70mm. I use Sigma lens 24-70mm f/2.8 for most of my travel photography. Just to give you a comparison, if you wanted to shoot the moon you would need a lens with a range of around 15-600mm.

A good all-rounder lens will have a zoom range of 24-70mm for example Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8

Types of lenses

Wide-angle lenses

Best Lenses for Sony a6500 Guide
best lenses for sony a6500

Wide-angle lenses are excellent for landscape and city photography. Shooting with a wide-angle lens gives more depth of field, which means you can capture more detail by keeping elements of your background sharp.

They allow you to capture more in the frame of the image by not going too far. This is particularly useful in photographing architecture in a city with tight spaces when it’s impossible to move too far away from the photographed buildings.

It is also perfect for capturing a city skyline or a landscape because you will be able to fit more into the frame of your image. Wide-angle lenses are also used for real estate photography because they make the spacer appear bigger.

Telephoto lenses

best lenses for sony a6500
best lenses for sony a6500

Telephoto lenses allow for capturing sharp images of objects that are very far away and are usually used for taking photos of wildlife from a distance. Another good example where telephoto lenses are used is at sports events for the pictures of players in action.

Telephoto lenses also make the foreground, and the background appear to be closer together which can give an interesting angle in travel photos, for example.

Macro lenses

macro photography, Best Lenses for Sony a6500

Macro lenses are useful for taking pictures of small objects from a very close distance of a few cm. They can capture a lot of detail and have a shallow depth of field. Macro lenses are typically used for capturing nature – photos of insects, flowers, leaves etc. Most common macro lenses come with a focal range between 60 and 105 mm or 30 to 50 mm. This gives a 9 to 12-inch working distance from the object for a 1:1 macro. Both ranges are also suitable for taking flattering portrait photos.

Tele-macro lenses with a focal range of 15 to 200mm will allow you to take a macro shot being further away from the object but come with a much hefty price tag.

Prime lenses

Best Lenses for Sony a6500
best lenses for sony a6500

Prime lenses have fixed focal points, which means that you can’t zoom in or out on them. Despite the fact that prime lenses don’t have zooms, there are many good reasons why you should have at least one prime lens in your travel photography gear.

  • Prime lenses are perfect for portraits and close up photos.
  • They can create a beautiful bokeh effect (blurry background) thanks to the higher aperture going all the way to f\1.2.
  • They also capture the light better and produce spectacular sunset/sunrise photos with defined sunrays. In those low light scenarios, zoom lenses would create a blurry image.
  • Prime lenses also capture the sharpest images since they don’t have the extra glass inside that zoom lenses have in order to move.
  • Also, prime lenses can gather more light on the sensor and capture beautiful images at lower light and using lower ISO that typically would be required on zoom lenses. The higher the ISO, the more grain is visible on the pictures, so it’s best practice to use as low ISO as possible.
  • In addition to all the benefits above, prime lenses are also very portable and light which means you can fit them easily in your backpack and take on any adventure you like.

Zoom lenses

best lenses for sony a6500
Shooting for Instagram in Santorini
best lenses for sony a6500

As the name suggests, zoom lenses are lenses that have the ability to change the focal point (you can zoom in and out on an object). They tend to be more cost-effective and give you more versatility.

While a zoom lens can’t compete with a quality of a prime lens in taking portrait shots, with a zoom lens, you will be able to capture people and objects being far away from them. Zoom lenses are also great at capturing moving objects in wildlife and city.

Like me? Pin me for later! 🙂

Best lenses for Sony a6500 for travel | best Sony e mount lenses | Sony a6500 best lenses | best Sony lenses | best travel lenses for Sony a6500 | best lenses for sony Cameras | Sony lenses Guide

THIS POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS. THIS MEANS I MAY EARN A COMMISSION SHOULD YOU CHOSE TO SIGN UP FOR A PROGRAM OR MAKE A PURCHASE USING MY LINK FOR NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU. IT’S OKAY – I LOVE ALL OF THESE COMPANIES ANYWAYS, AND YOU WILL TOO!

Similar Posts