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Best Sony a7III Lenses in 2022

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The Sony a7III is a mirrorless camera. It can take any Sony E-mount lens built by Sony or a third-party manufacturer. Sony was amongst the first camera manufacturers to enter the mirrorless market. So you have a wide range of Sony a7III lenses to choose from.

Mirrorless cameras have a different design than DSLRs. That means their lenses are often smaller and lighter than the DSLR equivalents. This is especially true with lenses for Sony a7III. Lenses such as the 24-70mm and the 400mm prime lens are incredibly light.

I decided not to compromise on image quality when I bought two Sony a1 mirrorless cameras. I covered all my bases by buying the 12-24mm, 24-70mm, 70-200mm, 400mm, and 600mm G Master lenses. Plus, I bought the 1.4x and 2.0x teleconverters!

Picture of a leopard stretching
Leopard photographed with a Sony FE 600mm F4 lens. © Nick Dale

Best Sony a7III Lenses to Buy

Let’s look in detail at the best lenses for the Sony a7III. I’ve sorted the list by minimum focal length, from the shortest to the longest. It includes the best zoom lenses for Sony a7III. But first, I recommend the best teleconverter for Sony lenses.

To be clear, you can still use a prime lens or zoom lens that doesn’t have the E-mount. But you have to fit an adaptor. That’s inconvenient and means you won’t get the most out of your camera.

So the best approach is to use “native” lenses designed for the Sony a7III. That generally means a Sony lens. But one Sigma lens and one Tamron lens do make our list.

The best lenses and sharpest lenses are in Sony’s premium G Master (or Gold Master) range. These figure highly in this list. If needed, you can read our article on Sony lens abbreviations first.

Best Teleconverter for Sony a7III

There are two general types of teleconverters—1.4x and 2.0x. The first multiplies the focal length of your lens by 1.4 at the expense of a stop of light. The second doubles the focal length but “costs” two stops.

Buying the “wrong” teleconverter might mean you can’t even use it with your lens. Or it won’t work with the autofocus (AF) system due to compatibility issues. It might also mean a deterioration in image quality and focusing speed.

Sony SEL E Mount 14TC 1.4x Teleconverter

Picture of a Sony SEL E Mount 14TC 1.4X Teleconverter

The Sony SEL E Mount 14TC 1.4x Teleconverter gives you even more flexibility with your E-mount lenses. That’s especially true for lenses with a long focal range.

I’m a wildlife photographer, and I used to take two-thirds of my shots with a Nikon 800mm lens. Sony doesn’t (currently) make anything that long. That meant I had to buy the Sony FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS lens and attach my 1.4x teleconverter if I wanted more reach.

Three things to note:

  • You lose a stop of light.
  • The images are a little softer.
  • You get increased vignetting in the corners of your images.

But it’s a great option. It’s only 20 mm long and weighs 4.4 oz (126 g). And it’s compatible with the following Sony lenses for Sony a7III:

Best Wide-Angle Lenses for Sony a7III

Wide angles are essential for landscape photography. Or they’re great for close-up wildlife shots with large animals like elephants. You just need to think about the focal length range.

Ultra-wide-angle lenses start at around 12 mm. They give you a great field of view. But they usually lead to more distortion. That may be a good thing if you can control it. But it’s easy to tilt your camera accidentally and throw off all your vertical lines!

A 35mm lets street photographers take people shots without getting too close. Choosing a 24-70mm or 28-75mm gives you much more flexibility. So you might be able to avoid buying another lens.

1. Sony FE 12-24mm F2.8 GM

Picture of a Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM lens

Sony launched the FE 12-24mm F2.8 GM ultra-wide-angle lens as the “world’s widest f/2.8 zoom.” It’s suitable for astrophotography, landscapes, and architecture. Outside, you can get dramatic leading lines and distorted-perspective views of skyscrapers.

You can also use it for interiors if you need a few flattering shots of your Airbnb rental. But make sure you use the electronic level on your camera to keep the horizon horizontal. Otherwise, there’s a danger of distorting any vertical lines.

The lens contains three XA elements, an aspherical element, two Super ED, and three ED elements. These ensure exceptional sharpness across the frame—even when shooting wide open.

At 12 mm and f/2.8, if you focus at the hyperfocal distance of 5.7 ft (1.7 m), everything is sharp from 3 ft (0.9 m) to infinity!

Focus and tracking are fast, precise, and silent, thanks to a “floating” group of lens elements. Sony split this into two parts, each driven by two powerful Extreme Dynamic (XD) Linear Motors.

It has an Internal Focus (IF) system, which means the lens doesn’t change length when focusing. And the lens minimizes focus breathing, focus shift, and axial shift for zoom for video. This means a more stable and accurate composition when recording.

It doesn’t have image stabilization. But that’s not a problem with the Sony a7III, which has in-body image stabilization (IBIS). It’s also not this type’s smallest or lightest lens at 1.9 lb (847 g). But that doesn’t stop you from shooting handheld for long periods.

I have one myself, and the only problem I’ve found is the distortion at the edges of the frame at short focal lengths. I once took an interior shot of the bar in a safari lodge, and a fire extinguisher looked two feet wide!

2. Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG DN Art

Picture of a Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG DN Art lens

Sigma designed the 14-24mm F2.8 DG DN Art wide-angle lens from the ground up for mirrorless cameras. It’s weather-sealed. And the build quality is excellent—although it weighs only 1.8 lb (795 g).

It has Nano Porous Coating and Super Multi-Layer Coating. They ensure good contrast and resistance to ghosting and flare. It also has these lens elements.

  • Three aspherical elements
  • One fluorite low-dispersion element
  • Five special low-dispersion elements

These guarantee sharp images at all focal lengths—even in the corners of the frame. There is some barrel distortion and vignetting wide open at 14-16 mm. But this gets better at f/5.6.

At the other end of the zoom range, there is pincushion distortion at f/2.8. But you can solve this by turning on the in-camera correction. Or you can also fix it in post-production. For instance, you can tick the Enable Profile Corrections check box in Lightroom.

The two main problems with the lens are the lack of image stabilization and a filter thread. Again, though, solutions do exist. The Sony a7III comes with in-body image stabilization (IBIS), which should do the trick on its own.

There is also a rear holder for gel filters if you need them. Or you can buy an NiSi adapter for conventional filters.

This is our top choice of the best Sigma lenses for Sony a7III. Overall, this wide-angle camera lens offers you stunning sharpness. And it’s a fraction of the price of the Sony G Master model.

3. Sony FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM

Picture of a Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM lens

The Sony FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM wide-angle lens has excellent sharpness and contrast at all apertures. This is true, especially in the center of the frame. There’s also minimal chromatic aberration, color fringing, and barrel or pincushion distortion.

The focal length range also makes it a versatile lens. It’s perfect for landscape photography at the ultra-wide end. And it’s a great street photography lens at 35 mm. This is the best 35mm lens for Sony a7III on our list.

The Nano AR coating prevents ghosting and flare. The lack of “coma” (i.e., smearing of point light sources) makes it ideal for astrophotography.

The 11 circular aperture blades help you get creamy bokeh—and add another couple of points to any sun stars! But if you shoot into the sun, you may get green flare spots that are hard to eliminate.

Autofocus (AF) is quick and silent, thanks to the dual Direct Drive Super Sonic wave Motor (DDSSM). Depending on the camera, you can customize the focus hold button to carry out other functions. These include Eye AF, AF-On, and aperture preview.

It’s weather-sealed against dust and moisture. It’s solidly built with a metal barrel, a rubber zoom ring, and a rubber focus ring. And there is an 82 mm thread if you want to use screw-in filters.

The disadvantages? It does weigh a chunky 1.5 lb (680 g). It also has no image stabilization. But that’s not a problem if you use the Sony a7III or another camera with IBIS.

4. Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II

Picture of a Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM II lens

The best reason to buy a Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II zoom lens? Like all G Master lenses, Sony designed it with the highest image quality in mind. The lens offers phenomenal sharpness at all apertures and distances.

This is due to the 20-element design. It has two extreme aspherical, two extra-low dispersion, and two more Super ED elements. The latter is extremely-low dispersion glass.

Color fringing and barrel distortion are minimal. Focus breathing while shooting video has been reduced even more. The Nano AR Coating II takes care of any ghosting and flare. And the fluorine coating protects against grease and water.

The wide constant maximum aperture is handy for low-light conditions. It also gives you a smooth background bokeh. The 11-blade aperture diaphragm helps this.

The four extreme dynamic (XD) Linear Motors provide fast and accurate autofocus. Autofocus (AF) tracking while zooming is twice as good as on the old version. And continuous focus tracking can comfortably handle frame rates of 30 fps and 4K video at 120p.

The lens also has the following:

  • An aperture control ring (with silent operation for video)
  • An adjustable torque zoom ring
  • Two focus hold buttons
  • A zoom lock

The hood also now has an access window. So it’s easier to rotate a circular polarizing filter.

It’s not stabilized and weighs 1.5 lb (695 g). But that shows how well-built and weather-sealed it is (as it should be for the price!). There is a cheaper Sony F4 version of this lens, but it’s not as good. There’s best, and there’s second best…

5. Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 Di III RXD

Picture of a Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD

The Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 Di III RXD zoom lens is the company’s first native lens designed for Sony E-mount cameras. It’s been so popular. It sold out at many retailers. It offers lovely sun stars, creamy bokeh, and minimal color fringing. And it has excellent sharpness across the frame—even when shooting wide open at f/2.8.

There is some distortion and vignetting. But the overall image quality is close to what you’d get from the Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8. That means there’s a good argument for buying this one instead and making a 50% saving in the process!

Its shortest focal length might also be a little long for landscape photographers. And it also has no stabilization. But that’s not really a problem as the Sony a7III already has IBIS. This is the best budget lens for Sony a7III.

Best Telephoto Lenses for Sony a7III

This is probably the most important category for wildlife and sports photographers. The action might be far away. And your subject might be quite small. So you need the maximum reach you can get.

The Sony lenses are lightweight enough to be handheld. But the exact focal length depends on what kind of subjects you generally photograph. The smaller the focal length, the longer the lens you need.

A zoom is convenient for framing your subject. But that often means a narrower maximum aperture. That’s not as good when shooting in low light or trying to produce smooth background bokeh.

1. Sony FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS

Picture of a Sony FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS lens

The Sony FE 200-600mm F5.6-6.3 G OSS telephoto zoom lens is “the one that got away.” I wanted a long telephoto lens when I bought my first two Sony mirrorless cameras. And I liked the versatile zoom range. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get past the (relatively) narrow maximum aperture.

But this is a good lens if you’re not obsessed with smooth bokeh and don’t often shoot in low-light conditions. It’s not part of the G Master series, Yet it has a useful focal range. And the internal zoom mechanism makes it easy to balance on a gimbal tripod head.

It’s sharper at 400 mm than Sony’s 100-400mm lens. And you can always bolt on a 1.4x or 2.0x teleconverter for extra reach.

Plus, the “short throw” from 200 to 600 mm makes it a very practical lens for wildlife photographers in the field. It’s not even that big or heavy. It’s just over a foot (31.8 cm) in length and weighs 4.7 lb (2.1 kg). It’s a lot lighter than the next two lenses!

2. Sony FE 400mm F2.8 GM OSS

Picture of a Sony FE 400mm f/2.8 GM OSS lens

I bought my Sony FE 400mm F2.8 GM OSS telephoto lens after watching an unboxing video by Tin Man Lee. At one point, the wildlife photographer showed how light the lens was by picking it up with his finger and thumb!

It is a very expensive prime lens. But I loved the combination of the fast maximum aperture and lightweight build. It’s the lightest F2.8 400mm lens on the market. It weighs only 6.4 lb (2.9 kg). Usually, there’s a trade-off between speed and weight. But not this time.

That means you can happily shoot handheld, even with a 1.4x teleconverter. I’ve done this myself in Antarctica. And 560 mm was just about the perfect focal length to take pictures of penguins in a snowstorm!

The lens is exceptionally sharp across the frame. And the autofocus performance is lighting-fast. That makes it ideal for wildlife and sports photography.

Being able to take pictures at f/2.8 is also handy in low-light conditions. Or it’s great if you want to create nice, creamy bokeh in the background.

This makes it a good lens for headshots and close-up portraits. The Sony FE 85mm F1.4 GM lens (discussed below) is better suited to full-body portraits. But out of all of the best prime lenses for Sony z7III, this is likely the best one.

3. Sony FE 600mm F4 GM OSS

Picture of a Sony FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS lens

My Sony FE 600mm F4 GM OSS telephoto lens is not quite as long as my old 800mm Nikon. But it’s probably the best telephoto lens for wildlife photographers.

I can either use it on its own or pair it with my 1.4x teleconverter to get the equivalent of an 840mm lens. That flexibility is ideal as you can’t zoom in and out with a prime lens to help with your framing!

Everything I said about the 400mm lens is true for the 600mm. That’s apart from the maximum aperture, which is a stop slower at f/4. It offers excellent sharpness and rapid autofocus. It’s still a lightweight lens, even at 6.7 lb (3.0 kg). So it’s still possible to shoot handheld.

But it does feel heavier over time. So I’d advise doing anything you can to save weight. That might mean shooting without a teleconverter. Or you might take the battery grip off your Sony a7III to give you a few more minutes of pain-free operation!

Best Portrait Lens for Sony a7III

A focal length of around 85mm is ideal for portrait photography. It lets the photographer stand a good distance away from the model. And it flattens the perspective slightly. A wide maximum aperture lets you separate the subject from the background. And it creates smooth bokeh.

Sony FE 85mm F1.4 GM

Picture of a Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 GM lens

I’ve never owned a Sony FE 85mm F1.4 GM portrait lens (or any other 85mm lens, for that matter!). But that’s because I don’t often find myself shooting portraits or still life shots.

This is an excellent portrait lens that’s well-built and weather-sealed. Its three extra-low dispersion (ELD) elements ensure extremely sharp images across the frame. These are the “sweet spots” of maximum sharpness:

  • f/2.8 in the center
  • f/5.6 in mid-frame
  • f/8 in the corners

There’s minimal chromatic aberration. And the nano-structure AR coating eliminates flare.

Portrait lenses don’t come much better than this. The wide maximum aperture is perfect for working in low light. And the 11-blade diaphragm and high-precision eXtreme Aspherical element? They provide smooth, circular bokeh highlights. (Sony built a new mold-making machine. That way, the lens wouldn’t produce ugly ones shaped like onion rings!)

It’s relatively heavy at 1.8 lb (815 g). There’s no image stabilization. And the autofocus is a bit too slow for moving subjects.

But you can still shoot handheld. And the Sony a7III’s IBIS system can handle camera shake. The lens just wasn’t meant for action photography. There’s also a touch of pincushion distortion. But the camera should correct that internally.

Again, there’s a cheaper f/1.8 version available. But this list contains the best lenses for Sony a7III, not the cheapest!

Best All-Around Lens for Sony a7III

Zooms are good general-purpose lenses. And it helps if the zoom range is in the middle—not too short and not too long. You can always carry a specialist wide-angle or telephoto lens with you, too.

Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II

Picture of a Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS II lens

The Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II zoom lens is an updated (and more expensive) version of its predecessor. I bought mine for three reasons:

  • The enhanced image quality
  • The reduced weight
  • New linear focus motors to speed up the autofocus system

You also get an aperture control ring. But I prefer to change my exposure settings in-camera.

There is slight pincushion distortion at the long end of the zoom that you can remove in Lightroom. You also get misshapen “cat-eye” bokeh around the edge of the frame at f/2.8. But they round out if you stop down to f/4.

It weighs 2.3 lb (1.0 kg).  So it takes over from the Canon RF 70-200mm F2.8 L IS USM as the market’s lightest F2.8 24-70mm lens. The three-mode Optical SteadyShot image stabilization means handheld shooting is a breeze.

I often use my 2.0x teleconverter to make mine into the equivalent of a 140-400mm lens. That gives me slightly more flexibility to frame the larger animals on safari. But it does mean losing a bit of sharpness and a couple of stops of light.

There are several controls on the barrel:

  • A focus limiter
  • An iris lock
  • OSS control switches
  • An AF/MF switch

The Direct Manual Focus (DMF) slider overrides the AF system whenever you need to switch to manual.

It’s weather-sealed with an anti-smudge fluorine coating on the front element. The barrel is painted white to keep the temperature down. This is handy when you’re on safari in Africa!

It has an internal zoom mechanism, which means it doesn’t get longer or shorter as you zoom in and out. It accepts 77 mm screw-in filters. And a handy window in the lens hood lets you rotate a circular polarizing filter if you have one.

The tripod foot doesn’t fit Arca-Swiss mounts. But that’s not too much of a problem at a medium focal range. And I like that you can remove it to save even more weight. This is a must-have lens for Sony a7III.

Conclusion

This list of Sony a7III lenses is fairly extensive. But there are plenty of zooms and prime lenses out there. There are lower price points and different zoom ranges.

I advise buying a Sony lens for optimal image quality and compatibility. But that’s not always the best option. Third-party lenses made by Sigma and Tamron are often significantly cheaper.

It all depends on what kind of photographer you are. Which focal range do you find most useful? And what can you afford?

Picture of a gentoo penguin
A gentoo penguin photographed with a Sony f/2.8 400mm lens and 1.4x teleconverter. © Nick Dale

Recommended Lenses for Sony a7III

Wildlife photographers often take their best pictures with their shortest and longest lenses. Wide-angle lenses are best for close-range encounters with large animals. These can be elephants and rhinos. Telephoto lenses are best for close-ups or bringing distant animals within range.

I often go on game drives with two lenses. I bring my Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM lens on one camera and my Sony FE 600mm F4 GM OSS lens on the other. So I’m ready for anything!

You might need a different focal length if you work in a different genre. Portrait photographers might fall in love with the Sony FE 85mm F1.4 GM portrait lens. Landscape photographers might prefer the Sony FE 12-24mm F2.8 GM wide-angle zoom lens. It has a better viewing angle.

Sony macro lenses. Whatever type of pictures you take, I hope you find a prime or zoom lens for your Sony a7III that work for you.

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