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6 Best Sony Lenses for Macro Photography in 2024

Last updated: March 20, 2024 - 11 min read
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Having the best Sony lenses for macro photography makes sure that you avoid disappointment as you explore the world of macro. They let you capture the minute details of their subjects, making them essential for anyone looking to dive deep into the art of close-up photography. Our top pick, the Sony FE 50mm f/2.8 Macro, is chosen for its exceptional clarity and ability to capture intricate details up close. It’s a great blend of performance and portability. If it’s not quite right for you, don’t worry. We’ve also reviewed five other lenses, each offering a range of options to suit various needs and preferences.

Our Top 3 Sony Lenses for Macro Photography
Sony FE 50mm F/2.8 Macro SEL50M28
Sony FE 50mm F/2.8 Macro SEL50M28
Sony FE 50mm F/2.8 Macro SEL50M28
Sony FE 90mm F/2.8 Macro G OSS SEL90M28G
Sony FE 90mm F/2.8 Macro G OSS SEL90M28G
Sony FE 90mm F/2.8 Macro G OSS SEL90M28G
Tokina FiRIN 100mm F/2.8 FE Macro
Tokina FiRIN 100mm F/2.8 FE Macro
Tokina FiRIN 100mm F/2.8 FE Macro

What Is the Best Sony Lens for Macro Photography?

In choosing the best Sony lens for macro photography, we have carefully considered magnification, focusing distance, and optical quality. Our list includes top picks like the Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 and the Tokina FiRIN 100mm f/2.8, chosen for their ability to capture life-size details with precision. We also considered factors like portability and ease of use, ensuring a range of options for enthusiasts and professionals alike, aiming to improve their macro photography skills.

Our Top Pick
Sony FE 50mm F/2.8 Macro SEL50M28
Sony FE 50mm F/2.8 Macro SEL50M28
Sony FE 50mm F/2.8 Macro SEL50M28
  • Achieves true 1:1 magnification for detailed close-ups
  • Compact and lightweight design enhances portability
  • Weather-sealed construction for durability
  • Excellent sharpness and minimal chromatic aberration
  • Smooth bokeh quality for subject separation
Best Overall Macro Lens
Sony FE 90mm F/2.8 Macro G OSS SEL90M28G
Sony FE 90mm F/2.8 Macro G OSS SEL90M28G
Sony FE 90mm F/2.8 Macro G OSS SEL90M28G
  • Superior optical quality with G series designation
  • Built-in Optical SteadyShot for stable shooting
  • Fast, accurate autofocus with DDSSM technology
  • Durable construction with intuitive handling features
  • Ideal for both macro and portrait photography
Best Budget Macro Lens
Tokina FiRIN 100mm F/2.8 FE Macro
Tokina FiRIN 100mm F/2.8 FE Macro
Tokina FiRIN 100mm F/2.8 FE Macro
  • Life-size 1:1 magnification for detailed macro shots
  • Exceptional sharpness ideal for macro and portraits
  • Durable build without weather sealing for lighter weight
  • True macro capability with 30cm minimum focusing distance
  • High-quality optics at an affordable price point
Best Manual Focus Lens
Samyang 100mm F/2.8 ED UMC Macro for Sony E
Samyang 100mm F/2.8 ED UMC Macro for Sony E
Samyang 100mm F/2.8 ED UMC Macro for Sony E
  • Delivers sharp, high-resolution images across the frame
  • Manual focus allows precise control in macro work
  • Exceptional bokeh quality enhances subject-background separation
  • Solid build quality ensures durability and longevity
  • Compatible with full-frame and APS-C Sony E-mount
Best Value Macro Lens
Sigma 105mm F/2.8 DG DN Macro | A for Sony E
Sigma 105mm F/2.8 DG DN Macro | A for Sony E
Sigma 105mm F/2.8 DG DN Macro | A for Sony E
  • True 1:1 macro capability for stunning close-ups
  • Superior sharpness ideal for macro and portrait photography
  • Pleasing bokeh effect with nine-blade diaphragm
  • Programmable AF lock button
  • Quality construction and weather sealing
Best Compact Macro Lens
Sony E 30mm F/3.5 Macro SEL30M35
Sony E 30mm F/3.5 Macro SEL30M35
Sony E 30mm F/3.5 Macro SEL30M35
  • Compact and lightweight design for easy portability
  • 1:1 magnification ratio for detailed macro shots
  • Fast and accurate autofocus system enhances usability
  • Optimized for APS-C sensors with effective 45mm equivalent
  • Affordable entry into macro photography for enthusiasts
 

Our Favorite Sony Lenses for Macro Photography

Let’s take a closer look at our favorite Sony lenses for macro photography. From the compact Sony E 30mm f/3.5 Macro to the professional-grade Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 Macro G OSS, there’s a lens for every level of interest and expertise. With options to suit various budgets and shooting styles, these lenses ensure that every detail is within reach.

1. Sony FE 50mm f/2.8 Macro

Our Top Pick
Sony FE 50mm F/2.8 Macro SEL50M28
Brand
Brand
Sony
Lens Weight
Lens Weight
236 g
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 2.8
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
50 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
No
The Sony FE 50mm f/2.8 Macro is built with the microphotographer in mind. Not only does it have a true 1:1 reproduction ratio and a minimum focusing distance of 6.3 inches (16 cm), but it has a very useful macro scale on the barrel. This lets you know, as you get closer, what ratio you are achieving. The lens’s optical design, featuring one aspherical element and one extra-low dispersion element, effectively minimizes aberrations, ensuring sharp, detailed images across the frame.

The optical quality of this Sony lens is superb. It’s why it makes the top spot. Sharp from corner to corner, and at every aperture. The images are excellent. Its autofocus can be a little fallible. This might discourage you if you want this as a go-anywhere 50mm. But macro work is often done at a slow speed, where the AF is less vital. The same goes for the lack of image stabilization. It could be a drawback in low light conditions or when shooting without a tripod. 

Compared to the Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 Macro G OSS, which offers built-in Optical SteadyShot (OSS) image stabilization, the FE 50mm f/2.8 might seem at a disadvantage. Yet, its lighter weight, at approximately 8 1/4 ounces (236 g), and compact design make it a more portable option, ideal for photographers who prefer a lighter bag or those who are always on the move. This lens is a good option for those prioritizing portability and optical quality in their macro photography.

 

2. Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 Macro G OSS

Best Overall Macro Lens
Sony FE 90mm F/2.8 Macro G OSS SEL90M28G
Brand
Brand
Sony
Lens Weight
Lens Weight
602 g
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 2.8
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
90 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
Yes
The Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 Macro G OSS is a magnificent macro lens for Sony cameras. Only the price tag keeps it below the top pick—it’s roughly twice the price. But in every other way, it is a superb lens. Its minimum focusing distance of 11 inches (28 cm) lets photographers keep a comfortable distance, avoiding shadows or disturbing live subjects. This lens is built tough, featuring weather sealing that protects against dust and moisture, making it reliable in various shooting environments.

Optically, this lens is amazing, offering exceptional sharpness and minimal chromatic aberration. Even at f/2.8, it is edge-to-edge sharp. And if you want to take advantage of the 90mm focal length for portraits (it’s an ideal length) you won’t be disappointed. The bokeh is about as beautiful as you can get, which is perfect for making your portraits look stunning.

Autofocus is excellent, with selectable limits to prevent unnecessary hunting. There’s also a simple focus lock button, which can be a real time saver. But the best aspect of the focus system on this lens is the simple push-pull manual focus switch. Grab the focus ring and pull it towards the camera to switch to MF. It’s simple but brilliant. The focus ring has macro ratios printed alongside the distance, which is a handy feature.

The built-in Optical SteadyShot (OSS) is a big advantage, helping to reduce camera shake and allowing for sharper images, especially in low light or when shooting handheld. This feature, combined with the lens’s optical quality, makes it a good option for those serious about macro photography or looking for a top-quality telephoto lens for portraits.

 

3. Tokina FiRIN 100mm f/2.8 FE Macro

Best Budget Macro Lens
Tokina FiRIN 100mm F/2.8 FE Macro
Brand
Brand
Tokina
Lens Weight
Lens Weight
570 g
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 2.8
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
100 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
No
The Tokina FiRIN 100mm f/2.8 FE Macro is our choice for the best value macro lens. And at 100mm, it will serve well as a portrait lens too. It’s also a handy macro length, as you won’t find yourself blocking the light falling on your subject. However, its lack of weather sealing might limit its use outdoors in less-than-ideal weather conditions.

Optically, this lens delivers sharp images with minimal chromatic aberration, thanks to its precise construction of 9 elements in 8 groups. The bokeh is smooth and pleasing, enhancing the visual appeal of both macro and portrait shots. I find the contrast a little flat for portrait work. But with well-lit macro, this shouldn’t be an issue. While the autofocus isn’t the fastest and is noisy by modern standards, its accuracy in most conditions is reliable. The manual focus override provides the control needed for critical macro work.

Weighing 20 ounces (570 g), it’s relatively easy to handle, making it a good companion for long shooting sessions. Despite its few drawbacks, such as the slower autofocus and absence of weather sealing, the Tokina FiRIN 100mm f/2.8 FE Macro is great value, making it a solid option for photographers taking their first steps in macro photography.

 

4. Samyang 100mm f/2.8 ED UMC Macro for Sony E

Best Manual Focus Lens
Samyang 100mm F/2.8 ED UMC Macro for Sony E
Brand
Brand
Samyang
Lens Weight
Lens Weight
720 g
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 2.8
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
100 mm
The Samyang 100mm f/2.8 ED UMC Macro for Sony E is a manual focus lens, which is quite rare these days. At a similar price to the Tokina, the pay-off here isn’t noisy AF, but not AF. But we still think it offers enough for the macro photographer to make it worth considering.

Its 100mm focal length provides a comfortable working distance, crucial for not disturbing sensitive subjects like insects. The lens’s sharpness is impressive, particularly at wider apertures, making it ideal for capturing detailed macro shots and portraits with a pleasing background blur. However, its manual focus design demands patience and skill, which might challenge beginners. The color rendition and contrast are a step up from the Tokina as well.

Constructed with high-quality materials, the lens feels solid, though its weight of 1 lb 9 oz (720 g) and lack of weather sealing might limit its versatility in the field. Optically, it minimizes chromatic aberrations and distortion, ensuring clear and accurate images. The smooth bokeh effect, created by its nine-blade diaphragm, enhances the aesthetic appeal of both macro and portrait photographs.

While the absence of autofocus and image stabilization might seem like drawbacks, they encourage a more deliberate approach to photography, emphasizing composition and focus precision. This lens is a good option for photographers who value manual control and the satisfaction of capturing stunning macro and portrait images with a prime lens. Its affordability and optical performance make it a compelling choice for those looking to explore the intricate details of the world around them.

 

5. Sigma 105mm f/2.8 DG DN Macro

Best Value Macro Lens
Sigma 105mm F/2.8 DG DN Macro | A for Sony E
Brand
Brand
Sigma
Lens Weight
Lens Weight
710 g
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 2.8
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
105 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
No
The Sigma 105mm f/2.8 DG DN Macro is a standout choice for macro enthusiasts. It is the perfect blend of quality and price. Not the cheapest lens, nor the priciest, it is one of the sharpest and punchiest in this selection.

Sigma Art lenses are their pro-level range, and this one lives up to expectations. The build is solid, and it is weather-sealed for those damp outdoor shoots (or dusty indoor ones!). The images from this lens are crisp and clear, and they have excellent contrast, no noticeable aberrations, and pleasant bokeh.

The autofocus is quick and near-silent, which is a benefit if your macro subject is alive! There is an AF limiter, to restrict focus hunting, and an AF lock button. This falls naturally under the left thumb while shooting. But, it is also usable as a programmable button through the camera menus. Another very handy feature.

The 100mm focal length is ideal for macro work. It gives you enough distance to avoid crowding the subject or blocking its light. And it will also give you a lovely, fast f/2.8 portrait lens. All for a very tempting price.

 

6. Sony E 30mm f/3.5 Macro

Best Compact Macro Lens
Sony E 30mm F/3.5 Macro SEL30M35
Brand
Brand
Sony
Lens Weight
Lens Weight
138 g
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 3.5
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
30 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
No
The Sony E 30mm f/3.5 Macro lens is a compact and lightweight option for Sony APS-C camera users interested in macro photography. Its 30mm focal length, equivalent to 45mm on a full-frame camera, makes it versatile for everyday shooting and close-up work.

However, its f/3.5 maximum aperture, while sufficient for well-lit conditions, may not provide the shallowest depth of field or perform best in low light compared to lenses with wider apertures. And you’ll be very close indeed to your subject to get the full 1:1 magnification.

Constructed from quality materials, the lens is durable yet not burdensome, weighing just under 5 ounces (138 g). This makes it an easy companion for prolonged shooting sessions, though its lack of weather sealing suggests caution in adverse conditions. Optically, the lens delivers sharp images with well-controlled chromatic aberrations, thanks to its aspherical elements and Extra-low Dispersion glass. The bokeh quality is pleasing for a lens of this class, enhancing the visual appeal of close-up shots.

While the Sony E 30mm f/3.5 Macro lacks built-in image stabilization, its lightweight design and effective optical performance make it a good option for those starting in macro photography or seeking a portable lens for everyday use. Its affordability and solid build quality further establish it as a valuable addition to a photographer’s bag, especially for Sony APS-C camera users looking to explore the world of macro photography without a significant investment.

 

Conclusion: The Best Sony Lenses for Macro Photography

We think that this selection of the best Sony Lenses for Macro Photography should have something for everyone. We’ve picked a range of lenses suitable for various levels of macro photography enthusiasts, from beginners to professionals, ensuring there’s a lens for every need and budget.

Our top choice, the Sony FE 50mm f/2.8 Macro, is chosen for its excellent magnification, sharp image quality, and portability. It stands out as a versatile option. But if it’s not right for you then there are five other lenses, offering options for all photographers.

Our Top 3 Sony Lenses for Macro Photography
Sony FE 50mm F/2.8 Macro SEL50M28
Sony FE 50mm F/2.8 Macro SEL50M28
Sony FE 50mm F/2.8 Macro SEL50M28
Sony FE 90mm F/2.8 Macro G OSS SEL90M28G
Sony FE 90mm F/2.8 Macro G OSS SEL90M28G
Sony FE 90mm F/2.8 Macro G OSS SEL90M28G
Tokina FiRIN 100mm F/2.8 FE Macro
Tokina FiRIN 100mm F/2.8 FE Macro
Tokina FiRIN 100mm F/2.8 FE Macro