Full-frame doesn’t have to mean full-price. Here we pick some of the best sub-£1000 lenses available for the Sony A7 III
If you’re using the Sony A7 III then it’s safe to say you’re serious about your shooting. This full-frame mirrorless camera is one of the best in the business, capable of producing sublime images and exceptional videos in all sorts of different conditions. It’s the all-rounder of the series, less resolution-oriented than the A7R III and less video/low-light focused than the A7S II.
While it’s not a cheap camera, there are plenty of lenses available for it that don’t cost the earth, so if you’re looking to save some money on glass for your A7 III, it’s well worth taking some time to shop around. Here we’ve made that task a little easier for you by collating our list of our favourite affordable lenses for the Sony A7 III. We’ve arranged our picks in rough price order so you can find the level that’s appropriate for your budget – so scroll on to find your next favourite lens for the Sony A7 III...
Let’s start with a capable nifty fifty, a do-it-all lens at the popular focal length, great for street shots, documentary, portraits, and really whatever else you throw at it. The images it produces are crisp and clear, while the body is both lightweight and strong for portability and durability. A quick, efficient lens that does everything you need from a 50mm prime – it’s hard to say fairer than that, especially at this price!
Sony FE 50mm f1.8 Lens
The Sony FE 50mm f1.8 Lens is designed for photographers and videographers looking for a fast, full-frame prime. Weighing in at less than 192g, this lightweight, high-performance lens features a new optical design and delivers all the benefits of a wide aperture prime lens: beautiful, crisp imagery with smooth, circular bokeh for the out-of-focus areas. For extended durability, the lens is built with a solid metal mount.
Go a little wider with this wonderfully versatile prime lens, sporting not only an f/2 maximum aperture but also a 9-bladed aperture to produce brilliant bokeh effects. Thanks to its prime focal length, the Sony FE 28mm f2 Lens is able to incorporate advanced optics to ensure pin-sharp images right through its focal range, whether you’re working close up or at a distance. It also weighs just 200g, so won’t weigh down your setup and leave you free to shoot at length without getting fatigued.
Sony FE 28mm f2 Lens
The Sony FE 28mm f2 lens is an excellent choice as a second lens to supplement a basic lens kit. This full-frame 28mm wide-angle prime features a bright f2.0 maximum aperture and outstanding overall optical performance. Advanced optics deliver excellent sharpness right out to the image edges plus beautifully smooth bokeh when needed. A maximum aperture of f2.0 makes it easier to shoot clear images handheld indoors or in dim lighting. An inner focus mechanism achieves stable, quiet autofocus operation that is ideal for movies as well as stills.
It’s always worth looking at third-party optics if you’ve got an eye on saving some cash. The Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC Lens boasts an optical construction featuring 14 elements in 12 groups, and all its elements are Ultra Multi-Coated (UMC) with the highest-quality, new-generation, anti-reflective layers, so you can be sure you’re still getting a premium lens for your Sony A7 III.
Sigma’s “Art” label denotes a range of lenses designed with the ultimate in artistic expression in mind, and this 50mm f/1.4 optic for Sony E-mount is no exception. Its large maximum aperture is perfect for shooting in low light, and it also produces excellent images right across the frame. Hyper Sonic Motor autofocus is snappy and accurate, meaning it’s a good choice for weddings, gigs and other situations requiring quick shooting.
Sigma 50mm f1.4 DG HSM Art Lens - Sony E Fit
The Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM Art joins the highly regarded Sigma Art series of lenses as a favourite amongst photographers. We have found it is particularly popular for wedding, portraiture and gig photographers due to the focal range and wide maximum aperture. The F1.4 aperture is not only perfect for lower light conditions that you might find at weddings or gigs, but you have the ability to really play with your depth of field to create unique and interesting images.
If you plan to shoot portraits with your Sony A7 III then this is definitely a great choice, with a perfect mid-telephoto focal length and a generously large f/1.8 maximum aperture. Create spectacular portraits, pin-sharp and full of contrast, with aesthetically pleasing defocused areas and beautiful bokeh – the Sony FE 85mm f1.8 does it all, and for a pretty great price too. Now that’s tough to argue with!
Sony FE 85mm f1.8 Prime Lens
Suitable for APS-C and full-frame compact system cameras, the Sony FE 85mm f1.8 Prime Lens with FE-mount is a mid-telephoto prime with a wide f/1.8 aperture and 85mm fixed focal length. The ideal choice for portraiture, the lens features a 9-bladed aperture to deliver smooth bokeh, and a double linear motor system to ensure quiet focusing. The lens is also dust-and moisture-resistant and offers a minimum focusing distance of 0.8m.
This workhorse zoom from Tamron is a great way to cover your bases without having to commit to a more expensive 24-70mm professional optic. It’s still a great lens in its own right, boasting an RXD stepping motor autofocus unit that is fast and silent, and with a minimum focusing distance of just 0.19m. All this gives it really strong versatility as you might expect, allowing you to be confident that you and your A7 III will be able to handle any shooting situation you encounter.
Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 Di III RXD Lens for Sony E
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The Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 Di III RXR Lens is a standard zoom designed for Sony E-mount, full-frame mirrorless cameras. It combines quick, precise AF with a bright f2.8 aperture to ensure excellent image quality with beautiful bokeh and fine detail throughout. As well as catering for a variety of photographic subjects, the lens is also ideal for video work thanks to the RXD stepping motor.
We’re moving up in the world now – here’s a premium prime that’ll help you really make the most of your A7 III’s remarkable full-frame sensor. The Sony FE 35mm f1.8 boasts quiet and reliable autofocus tracking that makes it as capable for video as it is for stills, while its design is also resistant to dust and moisture, so it’s a solid choice for outdoor work. All that and it only weighs 280g!
Sony FE 35mm f1.8 Lens
Offering outstanding image quality even at its maximum F1.8 aperture, the Sony 35mm f/1.8 FE is a compact, lightweight 35mm prime lens for full-frame cameras is a versatile choice for everything from table-top photography to the great outdoors. Fast, precise, quiet AF operation and reliable AF tracking make it suitable for shooting videos as well as stills.
Alternatively, try this optic from Sigma, boasting the same focal length, but with a little larger aperture for your buck. This really opens up your options in low light, and given that this is another Art lens, you can be sure that your images are going to look fantastic from edge to edge and corner to corner. If you love shallow depth of field, this is a really strong pick for your Sony A7 III.
Incorporating superb optical design from Carl Zeiss, the Sony FE 55mm f1.8 ZA Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* Lens is an uncompromising prime for those who live and breathe sharpness. Also built to be resistant to dust and moisture, it’s a truly strong choice for lots of different types of photography, while that f/1.8 maximum aperture is nothing to sneeze at.
Sony FE 55mm f1.8 ZA Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* Lens
The Sony FE 55mm f1.8 ZA Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* Lens is the ideal choice for portraiture, low-light work, travel and general purpose photography. This dust and moisture resistant E-mount lens offers a bright f1.8 maximum aperture which provides a natural, bokeh effect for out-of-focus subjects.
Finally, get the signature Zeiss look with this superbly engineered prime lens from the makers themselves. It’s designed specifically for close focusing, able to focus on subjects at distances as short as 24cm, and it features an OLED display with range and depth of field information for high-definition zones. The Zeiss T* anti-reflective coating is present and correct, ensuring superb images with minimal flare and ghosting.
Zeiss 40mm f2 CF Batis Lens - Sony E Mount
Thanks to its close focusing distance and fast autofocus, the ZEISS Batis 2/40 CF is ready to capture every unique moment. Its 40mm focal length makes the lens a versatile companion for a whole range of shooting situations. The close focusing distance of 24cm (9.4 inches) and large aperture f/2 enable photographers to integrate the main objects cut-out into a creative shot.
About the Author
Jon Stapley is a professional journalist with a wealth of experience on a number of photography titles including Amateur Photographer, Digital Camera World and What Digital Camera. See more of his writing on Jon's author page.