The Sony a7 III is a fantastic full-frame camera. When paired with an equally impressive lens, the camera can deliver truly stunning visuals. Below we’ve compiled a list of the 5 best lenses for the Sony a7 III.
The lenses were selected based on their performance, price, build, and versatility. Three of the lenses included make up a lens trifecta. That is, three zoom lenses that share an aperture and together cover a large focal range. Investing in a lens trifecta is a great way to ensure you have a lens with an appropriate focal length for every style of photography. The remaining two lenses are primes.
Let’s get into the 5 best lenses for the Sony a7 III.
Sony 12-24mm F2.8 GM
Sony’s G Master lenses are known for their high quality performance and build. The Sony 12-24mm F2.8 is the widest lens in the series, and one of the finest. The lens captures incredibly wide, high resolution visuals with edge-to-edge sharpness. At $2,998, it’s not the most affordable lens on our list. However, you won’t find a better lens at the 12mm focal length.
Despite housing a sophisticated optical design, the lens is relatively small and light. Combined with its dust and moisture-resistant build, you won’t have any problems using it outdoors. This is convenient, considering the ultra-wide focal length makes it a great choice for photographing architecture or vast, scenic landscapes.
The Sony 12-24mm is the first lens in our F2.8 zoom lens trifecta. As a powerful wide-angle lens, it’s an ideal choice for your widest lens.
The Sony 16-35mm F2.8 GM is another popular wide-angle choice for a lens trifecta. We previously touted its impressive qualities in our list of the 5 best lenses for the Sony a7S III. Currently priced at $2,098, it’s also more affordable than the 12-24mm lens. However, the additional 4mm offered by the 12-24mm is more significant than you think, and makes it well worth the price difference. If you’re looking for another affordable alternative, the Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 Art lens is also a great option.
Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN Art
Our second lens, and the second of the trifecta, is Sigma’s 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN Art lens. With a versatile focal range that can be used for most styles, it’s an excellent default lens to leave on your camera. You can use this lens to photograph everything from vast scenery to intimate portraits.
Typically, a lens trifecta includes lenses of the same brand. However, Sony’s 24-70mm F2.8 GM lens will cost you $2,098. The Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 is significantly cheaper at $1099. There is plenty of debate in the photography community over which lens is better. However, it’s clear that if there is a difference in performance, it’s barely noticeable.
If you’re planning to use a consistent focal length for a shoot, a prime lens is always recommended. However, if you need a lens that can handle variety, the Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 is a great choice. Despite the large focal range, the lens consistently captures sharp, high resolution imagery. The F2.8 aperture means it also works well in low-light. Overall, a great lens to have at your disposal.
Sony 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS
The third zoom lens in our trifecta is the Sony 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS. Like the 24-70mm, the 70-200mm offers a dynamic focal length. You can use it for a variety of styles. It’s a great choice for nature, sports, or portrait photography.
One of the Sony a7 III’s best features is its incredible autofocus. Specifically, the Eye AF feature which helps you maintain focus on your subject by locking onto their eyes. The Sony 70-200mm F2.8 works great in conjunction with the a7 III autofocus. You’ll have no trouble keeping your subject sharp, even if they’re moving while you track them from a distance. The lens also has three focus hold buttons and a range limiter switch for added control.
The lens offers excellent stabilization. When paired with the a7 III, the system has 5-axis image stabilization. The lens also benefits from Sony’s Optical SteadyShot modes. This includes Mode 2, which helps stabilize your image while panning. Meanwhile, the removable tripod mount makes it easy to quickly remove the system from your tripod. This is helpful when you need to switch to handheld quickly.
Housing a complex optical design, the Sony 70-200mm F2.8 is a large lens. It weighs 52.21 oz (1.48kg). The $2,398 price tag may also be too steep for some. More affordable alternatives include the Sony 70-200mm F4 G OSS, and the Tamron 70-180mm F2.8 Di III VXD. However, they don’t quite compare to the remarkable power of the Sony 70-200mm F2.8.
The 70-200mm F2.8 makes it very easy for you to capture sharp, stable, and high resolution visuals throughout its long focal range. The 11-bladed F2.8 aperture also means a great low-light performance and creamy, pleasant bokeh. It’s a fantastic telephoto lens to complete your trifecta.
Sony Sonnar T* 55mm F1.8 ZA
Almost every photographer owns a ‘nifty-fifty’ millimeter lens because they are affordable and versatile. However, the low price tag often means a cheap build and a slow or noisy autofocus. The Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm F1.8 ZA does not have these issues.
Made with Zeiss optics and housed within a compact, all-metal build, the 55mm F1.8 looks and feels great. Weighing just 10 oz (281g), you’ll barely notice the weight on your a7 III. At 55mm, it’s slightly longer than a nifty-fifty, yet still incredibly versatile. You’ll be comfortable using it for portraits, events, and on the street.
The lens has a concave front element and superior optics that effectively minimize aberrations. The focus is both fast and quiet, and you can capture incredibly sharp visuals with high contrast. Meanwhile, the F1.8 aperture lets in plenty of light, delivering smooth, visually pleasing bokeh.
There’s a wide price range for prime lenses around the 50mm focal length. At $898, the Sony Sonnar T* 55mm F1.8 is firmly mid-range. Below it, you’ll find nifty-fifty lenses like the $248 Sony FE 50mm F1.8. Above, there’s the Sony Planar T* FE 50mm F1.4 ZA. Another Sony-Zeiss lens that arguably outperforms the 55mm F1.8. However, it costs $1,498 and is nearly 3 times as heavy.
The Sony Sonnar T* 55mm F1.8 ZA is the perfect blend of power and affordability. It will make an excellent addition to your camera bag.
Sony FE 85mm F1.8
Our fifth and final lens is the Sony FE 85mm F1.8. It’s a great value lens that’s ideal for portraits.
The lens outputs crisp visuals with corner-to-corner resolution. Additionally, the wide 1.8 aperture ensures bright imagery and produces creamy, deep bokeh that pleasantly separates your subject from the background.
At $548, the 85mm F1.8 is the most affordable lens in this list. Despite its low price, the lens performs remarkably well in comparison to high-end alternatives such as the Sony FE 85mm F1.4 GM ($1,798) and the Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG DN Art ($1,199).
Compact and lightweight, the lens weighs just 13.1 oz (371g) and pairs very comfortably with the Sony a7 III. Don’t sleep on the Sony FE 85mm F1.8.
That concludes our list of the 5 best lenses for the Sony a7 III. Let us know in the comments below what lenses you like to use with your a7 III, or if there’s another camera model you’d like us to write about next.