Today, I will review my best third-party E-mount lenses for APS-C or crop sensor cameras.
These lenses will also work on a full-frame Sony E-mount camera.
I will write things down and show you what I think are the best third-party e-mount Lenses options.
These are some of my favorites.
Let’s drive in:
Which are the best third party e mount lenses?
This lens might blow your mind as it did mine.
This is the Valtrox 85-millimeter f 1.8 STM prime lens for full-frame Sony E-mount bodies.
F 1.8 means we’re talking low light and potentially sweet bokeh, and STM is a stepping autofocus motor, which in turn means it’s quiet.
This lens is one of their first autofocus lenses, and they’re doing it for a highly reasonable price, with an 85-millimeter focal length, the F 1.8 capability, and it being a prime lens.
We’ll be picky because 85 millimeters is a strong point for several manufacturers, including the camera.
In contrast, the Viltrox is a less expensive option than many of the others.
The bottom line is that it has to deliver.
Or else it isn’t worth it.
It looks like a lot of mirrorless prime lenses in design.
The filter size is 72 millimeters, which weighs 1.4 pounds and 636 grams.
This lens has an 80-centimeter minimum focusing distance over 2/5 feet, so this is not a macro lens.
It is entirely acceptable for a portrait lens or as a short telephoto for other things besides portraits.
This is a valuable option for you.
In short, it’s easy to use and gets us the desired results as third-party lens manufacturers go.
I admire a company that wants to do a few things well and not try too much too fast and sacrifice quality.
Only a few camera brands do that, and it’s better for us as consumers when brands are willing to share like that.
It gives us more choices and, in my view, helps the more open manufacturers with their technology.
I know for me, it increases my loyalty.
I can go for the expensive big header lenses from the cameraman manufacturer and lenses where I don’t want to spend as much but still have very acceptable quality.
My question is, what’s been your experience with either Viltrox or other third-party lens manufacturers?
I used to see the third party as cutting corners and going budget, but my thinking is changing.
This is an interesting lens because it’s one of the first lenses you can get for Sony e-mounts that Sony does not make.
Its autofocus does what you need but doesn’t have VC vibration compensation.
Why doesn’t it have VC in this lens because the Sony cameras have a built-in steady shot?
When I first heard about this, I wondered, why would you make a 28 instead of a 24? And part of the reason and the reasoning I got back from Tamron is the size and weight.
They were able to keep the weight down for the smaller cameras.
You could buy three of these for one of those, but now there’s a little trade-off: the G master lens will be sharper than this lens.
It’s probably not a wrong choice for somebody who just picked up the Sony camera; you may not want to spend or be able to spend 2200 bucks.
So, I took this lens and the Sony A9 to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
I noticed some pretty good vignetting when you’re at 28 millimeters.
I don’t care about vignetting and images; you can correct that in the raw files now very well.
I’m not trying to hide the fact that it’s there; I think I like vignetting in some of my shots, not all of them.
But 90% of the time, I think it helps, adds to my image, then takes away in terms of sharpness and color; the photos look pretty good.
I didn’t mind having 28, and I probably would like to have 24, but if you don’t have that option, you’re not going to miss it.
So, 28 will give you some wider-angle shots for those group shots.
It will allow you to zoom in and get tighter shots; you can also do portraits with this lens.
I don’t think it will be the most outstanding portrait lens in the world, but if you are going to shoot portraits with this.
I recommend that you do it out at 75 millimeters.
I think it’s a good option with the 28 to 75 on the full-frame side.
We tested it: how’s the color, how’s the sharpness, how’s the tone, is there vignetting, is there Boeing going on?
But the shots look pretty good.
They look pretty straight, considering the 28 millimeters and then zooming into 75.
So, the value you’re getting in these Tamron lenses is excellent.
One of the things you can do with the group shot is take a step back and zoom out to maybe 35 millimeters, and you’ll have less bowing at that.
But you also noticed with some of the sample shots, you can see the vignetting around the edges.
You can determine whether it’s good or not for you.
Now, would you use this for video?
Well, you could use it for video, especially on Sony.
It’s already built-in stabilization in the body and will do well.
I did some slow handheld shots, where I shot at one-eighth of a second to see if I could do it, and I could do it, and that’s a testament to the camera because this does not have that VC.
The bokeh in the background of the bobblehead looks fine.
All you want that’s up to you to determine whether that’s good.
So, is this a lens for you?
If you have a Sony, now with more people buying Sony and more third-party companies coming out with a blast for native Sony cameras, would you pick this up?
My favorite portrait lens is the Sigma 30-millimeter F 1.4.
I’ve been taking portraits since last summer and have gone through many lenses through that process.
I’ve used different cameras, and this still is my favorite lens.
So, for this lens, I would only recommend it for portraits; you can use it for other stuff, but it is specialized for portraits, in my opinion.
There are a couple of reasons why I think this.
So the first reason I love this lens for portraits is that it’s not too zoomed in, like a 50-millimeter or an 85-millimeter.
But it isn’t so wide as this is a Sigma lens.
It has the same aperture, the same everything except the focal length is super wide.
When I want to take pictures of models, I will get super close, and they want a full-body photo.
And with this, I didn’t have to stand so far to get that, and they were wondering, you know why, like I was, pretty close to them, and it was taking a full-body photo.
So, with this, it’s not too wide, and you can see a pretty good distance away from the subject, but you don’t have to go to the other side of the street to take a photo.
If you’re in a park or something and you want to take a photo of like a nice picture, or like a portrait, you would have to go over like super far from a person, and you can even imagine with like an 85 millimeter, you would have to stand even farther.
So, with this lens, you don’t have to run on the other side of the street to take an excellent photo, as I have known many times.
Another reason why this is so good is that the 1.4 aperture creates a very blurry background.
I like the focal length being 30.
So yeah, crazy, really blurry backgrounds.
It’s also pretty good for low-light photography; I do many low-light portraits.
The next advantage I think this has over other portrait lenses is it’s pretty lightweight; compared to the different Sony lenses, like the Sony 35 millimeter, it’s not as lightweight.
So, it’s pretty light, pretty small.
This has worse autofocus because it’s not a native Sony lens.
So, it will not be as good, but the autofocus is pretty good compared to other third-party lenses.
If you’re taking portraits, you shouldn’t have a problem.
It’s pretty close to the Sony autofocusing, just slightly slower.
But with video, it’s much slower, so I wouldn’t recommend this for video, but you can still do video.
Sony’s only advantage is that it is lighter, which I don’t care about.
I would think that Sigma would have to make autofocusing better. I also think it’s sharper with this lens than the Sony 35-millimeter.
I think the colors are better on this, and it’s cheaper.
The aperture is better, and it does better in low light.
So overall, this lens is better in all aspects; it’s cheaper, so why not?
Because 30 millimeters is a pretty good focal length for basically everything.
And this is 30 millimeters on a crop sensor.
I took a trip to Vegas in California just last week.
It’s designed for cameras with only a smaller APS C-sized sensor and mirrorless cameras.
So, it’s available for Fuji X cameras, Canon EOS M and Sony E mount, and Micro Four Thirds cameras.
You can get a compact-sized portrait lens with a maximum high-speed aperture of F 1.2.
You can get noticeably faster shutter speeds for shooting in dark situations. More interestingly, it opens up some out-of-focus backgrounds for you and potentially beautiful images.
This lens was born for portrait work and otherwise Creative Photography.
Its primary disadvantage is that it’s a fully manual lens, focus, and aperture.
The 50-millimeter focal length is the full-frame equivalent of about 75 millimeters.
So, manually focusing will take a little care, but it’s easy enough, especially with modern digital cameras.
After some practice, manually focusing is not an issue unless you’re dealing with a particularly fast-moving subject.
The focus ring itself turns very smoothly, indeed.
So, it’s pretty enjoyable to use, but I feel it could be a little more precise.
The aperture ring also turns quite smoothly while still clicking positively every half-stop.
Generally, the lens feels very solid, made of metal and high-quality plastics.
Samyang lenses have always had a good build quality, but their new mirrorless lenses have been tightened up even more; it’s an absolute pleasure.
I checked out this lens with my Sony A6000 camera at that fast maximum aperture of F 1.2.
The lens is pretty sharp in the middle of the image, with just a touch of purple fringing to be expected.
I see fantastic picture quality in the corners; that’s something I’ve noticed about all Samyang lenses.
These Samyang 50 millimeter F 1.2 gives an excellent performance for such an extensive aperture lens; the middle is always sharp, and even the corners are not bad.
For such a small lens at this price point, it’s pretty impressive.
The lens appears distortion-free; even at F 1.2, vignetting is not too high.
The good news is that the close-up image quality at F 1.2 is pretty good and remains quite sharp.
Finally, Bokeh, this lens can give you some very autofocus backgrounds, indeed, of course, and the quality of those backgrounds is generally lovely and smooth.
Occasionally, they can look a tiny bit smudgy.
Overall, the Samyang 50 millimeter F 1.2 for E-mount cameras is a perfect optic, especially considering its low price.
It’s an excellent, sharp lens with superb build quality and little distortion or vignetting.
Anyone with an E-mount camera will want to consider this sharp portrayed lens for that kitbag. It is recommended.
Samyang is some of the most compact and lightweight, and being Samyang, quite affordable lenses are designed for the Sony e mount.
So, after going over the options, I decided to go with the 75-millimeter f 1.8.
75 millimeters will be an interesting focal length for conventional portraits, travel, and street photography.
This is such a small lens, and the lens comes with a pretty decent hood and a nice little clamshell case.
My first impression of the lens was that it was a small lens.
This isn’t like a pancake lens small, but this is incredibly light.
To give you guys an idea of how this feels, this lens, 230 grams, is about 140 grams lighter than the Sony 85 1.8, which is already a pretty small and lightweight lens.
The build quality seems pretty good; it feels quite solid, and there are no loose joints or anything that rattles inside the lens.
The focus ring is also very well dampened; I find it a little stiff, especially for manual focus during video.
But I think it’s suitable for fine-tuning your focus for stills within close distances, and it might get broken over time.
Instead of the traditional autofocus, the lens has a customizable switch that lets you choose what to do with the focus ring.
The most important thing about a lens is the image quality; it doesn’t matter if it has the best hardware or the best price if the images are terrible.
And I’m glad to say I was pleasantly surprised there as well.
This lens is sharp, and I always say sharpness isn’t everything regarding image quality, but it’s never wrong.
I think this is as sharp or sharper as any of them from corner to corner.
It also handled flare and chromatic aberration exceptionally well.
Samyang used a combination of low dispersion and high refractive lenses to control chromatic aberration.
I often find the background blur on some 1.8 lenses quite busy and distracting, but that wasn’t the case with this lens.
I found the bokeh to be quite pleasing.
There was a certain softness and dreaminess that I usually find much more expensive lenses, and they handled hectic background and foreground elements well.
It’s not a macro lens, but you can create incredible results at close range, shooting wide open at this range.
The autofocus, in general, performed exceptionally well.
It’s not the snappiest auto-focusing lens, but it’s far from the slowest, and its speed seems pretty typical for a portrait lens like this.
The fact that it’s a third-party lens didn’t affect the performance negatively.
The annual Eye Autofocus seems to work well without any issues.
So, I think that pretty much sums up this lens.
Its value, image quality, and autofocus performance pleasantly surprised me.
I had a lot of fun using this lens; usually, you buy third-party lenses for the value while giving up some performance, but neither for the price nor the performance.
I really couldn’t find anything negative to say about it.
As I said, power is picky; as I said, it’s not the most durable or expensive feeling piece of hardware, but it’s meant to be light and small.
Its value and performance impressed me, so I highly recommend this.
This will be like the mid-range of Samsung’s current 1.4 lenses with autofocus for Sony E Mount cameras.
The build quality feels solid.
It has no bottoms, switches, or anything else; you only have the focus.
The casing on the lens is made of metal, which gives it this premium look, and it feels perfect when you’re holding it because it gives it this quality feel.
It feels good, and you also have a red trademark ring around the lens.
It weighs 556 grams, which is one point 22 pounds. Even though it’s heavy, it’s not as serious as the other 50-millimeter lenses out there with a 1.4 aperture.
It’s going to feel quite balanced because it’s not too heavy.
The focus ring on this lens is smooth.
This is the only Samyang lens with a weather-sealing gasket in the back, which is good.
It will give you a blurred-out background when you’re using it at that distance.
That brings us to the prosperous performance because that’s the most exciting part, and the 50-millimeter lens will primarily be used for street, landscape, and product photography.
There’s a reason why the 50-millimeter lens is called the nifty 50 because you can use this.
At F 1.4, it does look sharp, but when I stopped the lens down to F 2.8, it was sharper.
If you need a 50-millimeter lens with a 1.4 aperture on a budget, I would recommend this lens.
A low-budget lens for mirrorless cameras, the Sigma 30-millimeter F2.8, is available on Sony E mount and micro four-thirds.
The maximum aperture of F 2.8 is not very bright.
It’s much wider than your everyday kit lens at 30 millimeters to help you get pictures and darker situations and get more out of figures’ backgrounds.
Remember, though, this little lens does not have image stabilization to build quality; the lens is nice and straightforward.
It’s small, although it’s undoubtedly no pancake lens, with its metal lens mount. It does have a little weight to it.
Its main control is the focus ring, which runs smoothly, although it is focused by wire.
It’s electronically coupled to the focus motor Berge when using manual focus and is pretty responsive.
However, one issue with the lens is that while its autofocus motor is almost silent, it’s also relatively slow.
It’s a short little lens.
How about image quality? The lens is exceptionally sharp with excellent contrast over in the corners.
The image quality is a little less biting but still very sharp.
So, 10 out of 10 to Sigma, it may be a budget lens, but it certainly seems to be high performance, and about distortion and vignetting, it’s good news.
Only a little barrel distortion is visible; even at F 2.8, Vignetting is nothing terrible.
The lens can focus as closely as 30 centimeters, which is good enough for more minor subjects at F 2.8.
The image quality closes up and is nice and sharp.
The Sigma 30-millimeter f 2.8 is a well-done lens used on a Sony camera.
Indeed, the focal length of 30 millimeters is handy for all kinds of photography.
The F 2.8 maximum aperture is reasonably bright, if not very exciting.
The build quality is good, and the image quality is excellent.
This is fantastic and highly recommended in terms of image quality.
We will break down everything you need to know to decide if this will suit you.
We will look at everything you need to know today, including building performance, value, and everything necessary.
The first thing you notice, and one of the signs is the best feature, is its size.
With the lens hood installed, this lens measures less than two and a half inches wide by one and three-quarter inches long.
Even better, it only weighs 93 grams with no accessories, making this lens fantastic for travel, street photography, and gimbal work.
You’ll notice that this lens has no buttons or switches, which helps with cost as this is a relatively inexpensive lens.
You’ll find an ultra multi-coating on the front element, which is set to increase clarity and sharpness by reducing lens flare and ghosting.
On the back, you’ll find a metal-looking plastic mount and a complete lack of weather sealing.
The focus ring is firm, accurate, and electronically coupled to your camera.
Although it is a mainly plastic build, it feels well put together and somewhat reliable.
Because of the price of this lens, what it offers, and comparisons, this lens is excellent value for money.
All right, so let’s talk performance. Don’t expect miracles, but expect better than expected, like most things in photography and life.
You get what you pay for, but as I said, there’s value to be had here.
Let’s start with autofocus. When it comes to video, this is not the fastest-focusing lens.
However, it’s pleasantly accurate, and another nice thing about it is it’s silent.
This thing’s perfect for video work, and because of its size, it will be great on a gimbal.
Also, face and eye-tracking work fine on this lens for people and animals.
The autofocus performs better instills than video, but it’s acceptable for both.
So, talk about the sharpness and the optics of this lens. Now wide open at F 2.8 in the center, it’s reasonably sharp.
However, if you tend to venture outside that, it will be noticeably soft quite fast, which is a bit disappointing.
Especially when you stop down to F4, there’s a tiny bit of improvement, but not much.
So, all in all, this lens does suffer a little bit in the corners and is by no means anything extraordinary regarding sharpness.
Also, you’ll notice that this lens suffers from quite heavy vignetting, especially wide open.
Also not the most impressive is the bokeh, and it is a two-point, having a seven-bladed aperture; it’s just nothing out of this world.
When it comes to performance as a whole, there are not many bad things to say about this thing.
Sure, it doesn’t have the fastest autofocus, but it’s not the slowest. It is accurate.
Sharpness is outstanding, but it’s not terrible, but you do have to keep the price in mind.
My final thoughts on this lens are pretty decent, and I like the size. I like the weight.
It’s not a professional lens, but if you’re on a budget and looking for a great walk-around lens, something for travels, street photography, or, as I said, gimbal work.
This is an excellent option for you.
The 16-millimeter f 1.4 DC in C is for contemporary; it’s for Sony’s E-mount cameras and Micro Four Thirds.
It’s a vast angle, giving you dramatically stretched images.
They’re not so wide that everything is pushed away into the distance.
This isn’t quite an ultra-wide-angle territory.
And to have 1.4, you can get fast shutter speeds for shooting indoors or in the dark and get some noticeable background separation, too.
The build quality: it’s not a huge lens, but it is pretty substantial, being a little long and feeling solid and weighty 400 grams.
Its only control point is the large rubberized focus that turns extremely smoothly and not too loosely, and the focus control worked precisely on my Sony camera lens.
The Autofocus motor is accurate, averagely fast, and pretty quiet, although you can hear a little worrying and clicking going on if you listen carefully.
Bear in mind this lens does not have image stabilization.
Overall, excellent build quality.
The image quality as half 1.4 sharpness is excellent right away, and the contrast is also outstanding.
Over in the corners, sharpness and contrast are reduced, but not much.
This is excellent quality for such a wide-angle lens at F 1.4.
Those results speak for themselves; this lens’s image quality is brilliant.
Getting close-up shots with bright aperture wide-angle lenses at F 1.4 is fun.
So, overall, the optical priority of a wide-angle lens such as this is sharpness, and even to have 1.4, the good news is that the Sigma 16-millimeter F1.4 can fly.
Its distortion is relatively strong, and the bokeh can be a little smoother, but its value for money, build quality, high contrast, and close focus distance are brilliant.
And aside from anything else, it’s a handy lens. Combined with a maximum bite aperture, those dramatically wide images make it enjoyable.
It is excellent value for money and has to be highly recommended.
The Tamron 35mm f/2.8 fulfills all the needs of a full-frame E-mount lens with its excellent sharpness, clarity, and contrast while being super compact and lightweight.
This lens will capture your subject beautifully, whether you are shooting portraits on location or street photography in the city.
With close focus up to 1:2 Macro capabilities, you can achieve some stunning detail when portraits come into focus at long-range distances.
The build quality and image quality are top-notch!
Multi-coated lenses protect against flare and ghosting, so your pictures will always look their best.
It captures crisp images with excellent quality thanks to a high MTF performance on all full-frame DSLRs.
The ƒ/2.8 fast aperture lets you shoot handheld at lower ISO sensitivity settings in dimmer situations.
The close focus distance of just 19 inches (48 cm) offers impressive 1:2 Macro performance, making it perfect for capturing small objects and large scenes.
Low Light / Landscape Photography is among the best genres to suit this lens!
Not only does it retain incredible sharpness, but it also provides accurate colors year-round!
The Moisture-resistant construction makes it perfect for all those outdoor adventures you might be taking.
Its 35mm focal length has a fast aperture of F2.8 and allows for various works, from detailed product photography to portraits with pleasing bokeh (out-of-focus effect).
This is a perfect full-frame lens for those just getting started in photography!
Use it and your everyday walk-around lens or vacation to get stunning travel photos while continuously adjusting settings.
It works well with tripods, often the solution for such shots.
With this lens, your Tamron lenses won’t disappoint you when providing excellent photo quality without spending too much money!
Ready to bring some sharp, glorious images to your film?
The Samyang 12mm f2 is the perfect lens for Sony’s APS-C sensors as it delivers an angle of view equivalent to 18mm when mounted on a full-frame camera.
The Samyang 12mm f2 lens is designed with the Sony APS-C shooter in mind.
The manual focus allows precision control, which benefits photography in low-light situations and a macro on any subject.
It will work well with outdoor, nature, and landscape photographers looking to get close-up shots of farther away objects like people at the beach or an animal across a vast clearing.
Sporting a lightweight design and sturdy aluminum alloy build, this affordable lens will surely not disappoint!
Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) is incorporated to minimize blur from camera shake or low-light photography.
The Samyang 12mm f2 has fast aperture benefits that can take care of any scene without having you struggle with noise.
It focuses on 7.9 in and is for APSC-format Sony E-mount cameras.
Not only does it have a fast maximum aperture of f/2.
But it also has an NCS (nano-coating system) for increased light transmission and reduced internal reflections, giving you clear shots no matter the lighting conditions!
This lens is an excellent choice for photographers who shoot on Sony E-mount APS-C cameras and want to save some money.
As one of the best third-party lenses we have ever seen, it has the same features as an expensive, brand-name counterpart and offers numerous benefits, such as a low price point.
Affordability and quality — a great combination!
As one of the best budget Sony E-mount lenses, this ultra-wide-angle camera lens from Rokinon is a must-have.
You’ll be able to get that perfect unobtrusive shot with its super multi-layer coating to reduce flares as well as ghost images.
Thanks to an aspherical lens element for the amazing peripheral image.
With a minimum focusing distance of 0.9′ (28 cm) and a built-in petal-type hood for more excellent contrast, don’t feel shy about getting up close and personal with your subjects.
Because it has razor-sharp construction, which will help you add depth to those shots like no other.
The best budget Sony E-mount lens with an ultra-wide angle of view on both full-frame and APS-C cameras.
This is the “must-have” for anyone interested in landscape photography!
This ultra-wide angle gives a different perspective on what’s out your window or walking down the sidewalk.
With a minimum 28cm focusing range for close-up shots and razor-sharp imaging, it’s perfect for shooting headshots and landscapes with plenty of depth.
They are designed exclusively to work with Sony cameras using E-mount technology.
Its 100% metal body is built to last without all the bells and whistles of more expensive models.
The lens has a maximum aperture of F2.8, which can be opened to capture more light.
Or closed down to create dramatic depth of field effects due to the narrow depth range that appears sharply focused in front of its blurry background.
There’s no autofocus function or zoom capability, so users are expected to rely only on manual focus strictly, but this is the best part!
You choose what portion of the scene you want to be blurry while having everything else razor-sharp.
It is the best lens to buy if you want superior build quality without spending more money.
This is one of the best budget lenses on the market today!
Alright, guys, that concludes all the lenses we will discuss today in this article.
Do you guys have any experience with these lenses? What are your thoughts on them?
Which is the best third-party E-mount lens for you?
Is there a lens I didn’t mention in this article that you love using for E-mount lenses?
Would you please leave your thoughts and comments below?
I am a Professional and Certified Digital Photographer born in the USA. I have been in this field of photography for 22 years, and in these years, I have used many photography lenses and Cameras, which I want to share here on this website about my experience. The idea for Bestoflens.com is to provide honest information about different Lenses and Camera products in the format of a “Best lenses for AYZ” list. I want this website to be the last destination for people to pick the best Cameras and lenses to fit their needs. You can find our unbiased reviews here on Bestoflens.