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3 Lenses To Consider For Your Sony A6500 Or A6300

By Wendell Weithers on July 5th 2017

I’ve recently made the jump to Sony from Nikon earlier this year, with my old D610 shooting weddings somewhere in Georgia, and my D7200 off on safari somewhere in Africa. While I was certain I wanted the A6500, choosing the right lenses was a bit more difficult. Sony’s current APS-C lens lineup can prompt a fierce bout of indecisiveness, but for the wrong reasons. So what is a newly initiated Sony user supposed to do? Here are lens some options you should consider.

Standard Prime

Sigma 30mm 1.4 (45mm equiv.) – $339

This lens doesn’t boast the famed ‘A’ from Sigma’s Art lineup but, if it did, it could easily be twice the current $339 asking price. What makes this lens truly unique is that it is currently the fastest native E-Mount lens with autofocusing capability.

According to DXO mark, this lens is also sharper than Sony’s 35mm 1.8 OSS (Optical Steady Shot) at apertures f1.8 and f2.8, and it’s even sharper at f1.4 than the Sony at f1.8. The Sony lens is stabilized, which is certainly helpful for video use, but that advantage of the Sony 35mm is partially mitigated by the A6500’s In-Body-Image Stabilization.

This could certainly be used as you would a 50mm, so great for street photography, travel, and at the right distances, portraiture.

You can pick up a Sigma 30mm 1.4 Contemporary Lens here.

Medium Telephoto Prime

Sony 50mm 1.8 (75mm equiv.) – $298

This budget-friendly option is also a fast native E-Mount autofocus lens, and was a relief to many who didn’t want to part with as much cash as would be required for the Sony/Zeiss 55mm 1.8 . It’s actually the fastest at this focal length for APS-C E-mount.

Two advantages it holds over its rival, the Sigma 60mm 2.8 Art, is the f1.8 aperture and the (OSS) feature. For a popular portrait focal length, these are significant advantages and make the lens a better option for video use, and it does serve well for portraits.

But if you have your eye on Sony’s full frame cameras in the future, the budget Sony FE 50mm  1.8 or pricey Sony/Zeiss 55mm 1.8 would serve you now and ease you into that system with a lens ready to go.

You can find a Sony 50mm 1.8 OSS lens here.

All-In-One Zoom

Sony 16-70mm f4 (24-105mm  equiv.) – $998

You can often find the Sony a6500 bundled with the 16-50mm f3.5-5.6 (24-75mm) lens which doesn’t have a stellar reputation regarding its image quality, but in it’s place there is an alternative. The more versatile but, more expensive bundle comes with the Zeiss 16-70mm f4.

The versatility of a lens like this makes it suitable to be a great travel and walk-around lens, and matching the good high ISO performance of the A6500/6300 and it’s speed, you can capture even sports with it as evidenced above. Racked out at 70mm (105mm equiv.) this actually does a nice job with portraits, and at f/4 you’re still able to isolate your subject well.

It would require you to spend more, but if you want a zoom that combines better quality and a wide range of focal lengths, this is currently your best native E-mount option outside of the 24-70 G Master.

Order your Sony 16-70mm f4 lens here.

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Wendell is based in Atlanta where he shoots events, portraits, and food photography. He also supports his wife Andrea as she runs their cake design business, Sweet Details.

Instagram: Wendellwphoto

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Sridhar Nemani

    I like all suggestions except the Zeiss 16-70 f4 you recommend. I agree it is a wonderful lens, and you cant really find muchwrong with a ZEISS lens. However, in this case I think the sony 18-105 f4 comes so close and offers a longer zoom range. Another perk would be the internal zooming for the 18-105 f4, which is not coming with the ZEISS 16-70 f4. Zeiss will increase or decrease in length based on how much you are zoomed in. This is a problem if you want to use on gimbal’s for video work. With the internal zooming on 18-105 f4, he lens never changes length and thus is perfect for use on gimbal. Other than that, lens performace is on par with ZEISS. Yes pixel peepers will always find that ZEISS that slight extra image quality, but how you will pay more to get less in my opinion.

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    • Chris Duppenthaler

      Unfortunately internal zooming doesn’t mean the lenses don’t change position internally. You may still have problems zooming the 18-105 on gimbals due to center of gravity change, but either one is not heavy and works fine on my rig. I like wide angles on gimbals, so the 12mm rokinon or the 24-70mm would be my picks, typically only using 24-50 or so.

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  2. Brad C

    This is a timely article as I’m considering selling my Nikon 610 and lenses and buying into Sony.  I was considering the A7II or something else in the A7 line but I’m curious how you’ve felt about the 6xxx line since you switched from Nikon full frame? 

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    • Wendell Weithers

      I enjoy the camera even more than I anticipated. That being said, I do miss the Full Frame perks, mainly low-light ability. The D610 will spoil you in that regard. 

      The A7III, whenever that comes out, will be in my kit. Also, I don’t need 42MP nor did I have $2,700 for an A7RII.   : )

      Other than that,  lack of lens options is what holds this camera back. Perhaps, after this latest round of Full Frame lenses, Sony will refresh their APS-C primes. Or maybe a 3rd party such as Sigma or Tamron has some in the pipeline.

      The main reasons I choose this over the A7II are the video features. I don’t shoot a ton of 4k yet, but I want my kit to age well. Also, the higher FPS and the newer AF system were more attractive to me.

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