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8 Best Sony Lenses for Street Photography in 2024

Last updated: March 13, 2024 - 11 min read
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Using the best Sony lenses for street photography will improve your candid street shots, helping you capture the essence of urban life. With a variety of options available, it’s easy to find a Sony lens to match your street style. 

The Sony E 16-55mm f/2.8 G is our top pick, standing out for its versatility, quick autofocus, and wide aperture. But if this isn’t the lens you need, we have seven more Sony E and FE lenses for street photography. 

Our Top 3 Sony Lenses for Street Photography
Sony E 16-55mm F/2.8 G SEL1655G
Sony E 16-55mm F/2.8 G SEL1655G
Sony E 16-55mm F/2.8 G SEL1655G
Sony E 18-105mm F/4 G OSS PZ SELP18105G
Sony E 18-105mm F/4 G OSS PZ SELP18105G
Sony E 18-105mm F/4 G OSS PZ SELP18105G
Sony E 35mm F/1.8 OSS SEL35F18
Sony E 35mm F/1.8 OSS SEL35F18
Sony E 35mm F/1.8 OSS SEL35F18

What Is the Best Sony Lens for Street Photography?

When looking for the best Sony lens for street photography, you need to consider factors like weight, autofocus speed, and aperture. Our list includes versatile zooms and fast primes that excel in capturing the dynamic urban environment.

We start with E-mount lenses for Sony’s APS-C mirrorless cameras. Then the list moves onto FE lenses for Sony’s full frame mirrorless cameras. 

Our Top Pick
Sony E 16-55mm F/2.8 G SEL1655G
Sony E 16-55mm F/2.8 G SEL1655G
Sony E 16-55mm F/2.8 G SEL1655G
  • Versatile 16-55mm zoom range for diverse shots
  • Constant f/2.8 aperture for low light excellence
  • Superior sharpness and minimal aberration
  • Fast, accurate autofocus with quiet operation
  • Durable build with weather sealing protection
Best All-in-One APS-C Zoom
Sony E 18-105mm F/4 G OSS PZ SELP18105G
Sony E 18-105mm F/4 G OSS PZ SELP18105G
Sony E 18-105mm F/4 G OSS PZ SELP18105G
  • Wide 18-105mm range for versatile shooting scenarios
  • Constant f/4 aperture across all focal lengths
  • Optical SteadyShot stabilization for sharp images
  • Power zoom feature ideal for smooth video
  • High-quality G series optics for clear results
Best APS-C Prime Lens
Sony E 35mm F/1.8 OSS SEL35F18
Sony E 35mm F/1.8 OSS SEL35F18
Sony E 35mm F/1.8 OSS SEL35F18
  • Fast f/1.8 aperture for low-light shooting
  • Optical SteadyShot stabilization for crisp images
  • Compact design for easy portability
  • Smooth bokeh for standout portraits
  • Quick, silent autofocus ideal for video and stills
Best Full Frame Prime Lens
Sony FE 50mm F/1.8 SEL50F18F
Sony FE 50mm F/1.8 SEL50F18F
Sony FE 50mm F/1.8 SEL50F18F
  • Wide f/1.8 aperture for beautiful bokeh
  • Lightweight design enhances camera portability
  • Affordable entry into prime lens photography
  • Fast autofocus system for sharp images
  • Excellent low-light performance for versatile shooting
Best Wide Prime Lens
Sony FE 35mm F/1.8 SEL35F18F
Sony FE 35mm F/1.8 SEL35F18F
Sony FE 35mm F/1.8 SEL35F18F
  • Fast f/1.8 aperture for stunning bokeh effects
  • Compact and lightweight for everyday carry
  • Weather-sealed design for durability
  • Exceptional sharpness and clarity
  • Quick, silent autofocus for discreet shooting
Best Full-Frame Zoom
Sony FE 28-70mm F/3.5-5.6 OSS SEL2870
Sony FE 28-70mm F/3.5-5.6 OSS SEL2870
Sony FE 28-70mm F/3.5-5.6 OSS SEL2870
  • Versatile zoom range for diverse shooting scenarios
  • Built-in Optical SteadyShot for sharp, stable images
  • Compact, lightweight design for easy travel
  • Smooth autofocus mechanism for crisp, clear results
  • Affordable entry into full-frame photography
Best Value Full Frame Zoom
Sony FE 20-70mm F/4 G SEL2070G
Sony FE 20-70mm F/4 G SEL2070G
Sony FE 20-70mm F/4 G SEL2070G
  • Ultra-wide to short telephoto versatile zoom range
  • Constant f/4 aperture for consistent exposure control
  • Dual XD Linear Motors for fast, precise autofocus
  • Professional G series optical quality and reliability
  • Robust build with comprehensive weather sealing
Best Sigma Zoom Lens
Sigma 18-50mm F/2.8 DC DN | C for Sony E
Sigma 18-50mm F/2.8 DC DN | C for Sony E
Sigma 18-50mm F/2.8 DC DN | C for Sony E
  • Constant f/2.8 aperture for superior low-light performance
  • Compact and lightweight design enhances portability
  • Exceptional sharpness across the zoom range
  • Fast and quiet autofocus system for discreet shooting
  • Compatible with Sony's APS-C E-mount cameras
 

Our Favorite Sony Lenses for Street Photography

Let’s take a closer look at our favorite Sony lenses for street photography. From wide-angle zooms to sharp primes, there’s a lens here for every street photographer. Explore these options to find the perfect fit for capturing life’s unscripted moments.

1. Sony E 16-55mm f/2.8 G

Our Top Pick
Sony E 16-55mm F/2.8 G SEL1655G
Brand
Brand
Sony
Lens Weight
Lens Weight
494 g
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 2.8
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
16-55 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
No

The Sony E 16-55mm f/2.8 G is a brilliant zoom lens for street photography. As an E-mount lens, it’s compatible with Sony APS-C cameras like the Sony a6700, a popular choice with street photographers.

As a zoom lens, it gives you more versatility and allows you to react quickly. This is key in street photography where scenes change rapidly. The wide-to-standard focal range is also perfect for street shooting. You can capture large spaces or architectural features with the wide end. Then you have the 55mm end for tighter compositions and portraits. 

The fast f/2.8 aperture helps in low light, allowing you to shoot from dawn till dusk. It’s a constant aperture, so you don’t lose any stops as you zoom in. And it gives you excellent depth of field control. 

If you like the blurred background look, the 9-blade circular diaphragm gives you extra-smooth bokeh with clearly defined bokeh shapes. This looks great when incorporating streetlights into your image.

There’s no image stabilization. But weighing 494 g, it’s light enough to carry around for long periods. Its autofocus is quick, thanks to the XD linear motor. This helps you capture fleeting moments with precision. 

Compared to the Sony E 18-105mm f/4 G OSS PZ, the 16-55mm f/2.8 offers a wider aperture and a lighter body. But the 18-105mm has image stabilization, which can be helpful in low light.

The Sony E 16-55mm f/2.8 G is a great place to start for street photographers with a Sony APS-C camera. 

 

2. Sony E 18-105mm f/4 G OSS PZ

Best All-in-One Zoom
Sony E 18-105mm F/4 G OSS PZ SELP18105G
Brand
Brand
Sony
Lens Weight
Lens Weight
482 g
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 4.0
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
18-105 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
Yes

The Sony E 18-105mm f/4 G OSS PZ is another fantastic zoom lens for Sony APS-C cameras. The wide zoom range gives you excellent flexibility when snapping photos in the street. It lets capture everything from broad cityscapes to detailed portraits without changing lenses.

The constant f/4 aperture, while not as wide as some might prefer for low light, still offers decent performance and helps keep the lens compact. You don’t lose any stops, so the low-light performance is just as good at 105mm as 18mm.

It also has Sony’s Optical SteadyShot (OSS) stabilization, giving you even more exposure control. A powerful AF motor gives you super-fast focusing considering the wide zoom. The power zoom feature is a big advantage for those who also shoot video.

The lens’s sharpness and ability to control aberrations make it a solid performer. This is down to the two advanced aspherical and two aspherical elements in the barrel. You get sharp images at all points in the focal range.

A top option for street photographers and vloggers, the Sony E 18-105mm f/4 G OSS PZ is definitely one to consider. It’s the perfect all-rounder if you have a Sony APS-C mirrorless camera.

 

3. Sony E 35mm f/1.8 OSS

Best Compact Prime Lens
Sony E 35mm F/1.8 OSS SEL35F18
Brand
Brand
Sony
Lens Weight
Lens Weight
155 g
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 1.8
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
35 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
Yes

The Sony E 35mm f/1.8 OSS is the best prime for street photography for APS-C cameras. This lens captures scenes with a natural 35mm perspective, closely matching the human eye’s field of view. Although, as an APS-C lens, the focal length is equivalent to 52.5mm on a full frame camera.

The fast f/1.8 aperture is great for working in low-light conditions. And it helps you isolate subjects from busy backgrounds using a shallow depth of field. The Optical SteadyShot system also gives you even more settings options when working in low light. 

Its autofocus is silent and smooth, helping you capture those fleeting moments while keeping a low profile. 

It’s compact and lightweight, making it easy to carry or stow in your camera backpack. But the lack of weather sealing means you have to take care in wet weather. 

The Sony E 35mm f/1.8 OSS is the best APS-C prime lens for street photography. 

 

4. Sony FE 50mm f/1.8

Best Budget Portrait Lens
Sony FE 50mm F/1.8 SEL50F18F
Brand
Brand
Sony
Lens Weight
Lens Weight
186 g
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 1.8
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
50 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
No

The Sony FE 50mm f/1.8 stands out for street photography with its “nifty fifty” focal length. This prime lens is light and compact, making it easy to carry around for hours. Its f/1.8 aperture excels in low light and helps isolate subjects from their surroundings. Quick to focus, it captures spontaneous moments with ease.

Its excellent optical performance gives consistently sharp images with very little chromatic aberration.

The bokeh it produces adds a professional quality to images, enhancing the storytelling aspect of street photography.

Given its affordability and performance, the Sony FE 50mm f/1.8 is the best full frame prime lens for street photographers. It’s compact, lightweight, and affordable. It belongs in your photography day bag

 

5. Sony FE 35mm f/1.8

Best Versatile Prime Lens
Sony FE 35mm F/1.8 SEL35F18F
Brand
Brand
Sony
Lens Weight
Lens Weight
280 g
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 1.8
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
35 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
No

The Sony FE 35mm f/1.8 is another beautiful prime lens for Sony full frame cameras. Its 35mm focal length offers a view close to the human eye, making it perfect for capturing candid moments in the street.

The lens is light and easy to carry, which is great for photographers who spend hours shooting. Its f/1.8 aperture performs well in low light, compensating for the lack of stabilization. And it gives you depth of field control for creating artistic bokeh backgrounds.

Aspherical elements suppress chromatic aberration and distortion. You get sharp, clean images even in tough lighting conditions. 

A fast linear motor ensures you never miss a moment. Its durable build includes dust and moisture resistance, allowing you to shoot outdoors.

The Sony FE 35mm f/1.8 is a strong choice for street photographers. It combines portability, fast autofocus, and excellent optical performance. All this makes it a top choice for street photographers with a Sony mirrorless camera.

 

6. Sony FE 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS

Best Entry-Level Full-Frame Zoom
Sony FE 28-70mm F/3.5-5.6 OSS SEL2870
Brand
Brand
Sony
Lens Weight
Lens Weight
295 g
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 5.6
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
28-70 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
1

The Sony FE 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS is a versatile zoom lens that suits the demands of street photography. Its range from wide to short telephoto is perfect for capturing a variety of scenes, from expansive cityscapes to intimate portraits.

The lens is lightweight and compact, making it easy to carry around for hours without fatigue. And the optical quality is superb thanks to one Extra-low Dispersion (ED) element and three aspherical elements. 

The variable f/3.5-5.6 aperture means it isn’t the fastest lens on the list. But the OSS stabilization gives you a helping hand in low light, providing four stops of exposure compensation. 

The Sony FE 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS is a good option for street photographers who value versatility and portability. It’s lightweight and compact for a full frame zoom lens. And the price is more than reasonable. It’s a top option for Sony street photographers. 

 

7. Sony FE 20-70mm f/4 G

Best Wide-to-Short Telephoto Zoom
Sony FE 20-70mm F/4 G SEL2070G
Brand
Brand
Sony
Lens Weight
Lens Weight
488 g
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 4.0
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
20-70 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
No

The Sony FE 20-70mm f/4 G is a high-quality standard zoom lens from Sony. Its wide-to-short telephoto range captures everything from sprawling urban landscapes to detailed portraits, all without the need to swap lenses.

With its constant f/4 aperture, this lens strikes a balance between portability and performance, making it ideal for the dynamic nature of street photography.

An f/4 aperture isn’t the fastest. And there’s no optical stabilization to back it up. But the max aperture is constant throughout the zoom range, meaning you don’t lose any stops when you zoom in. 

Its autofocus is super-quick, thanks to two Extreme Dynamic (XD) linear motors. And while the motor isn’t completely silent, it isn’t loud enough to draw attention to you. 

Despite its slower aperture compared to prime lenses, it compensates with a unique focal range that covers most street scenes effectively. The lens is relatively lightweight, enhancing camera portability and reducing fatigue during long shoots. And its build quality is robust, featuring weather sealing that protects against dust and moisture.

The Sony FE 20-70mm f/4 G is a valuable tool for street photographers. It combines flexibility, good optical performance, and compact design. It’s easy to see why street shooters love this zoom lens. 

 

8. Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 DC DN | C for Sony E

Best Compact Standard Zoom
Sigma 18-50mm F/2.8 DC DN | C for Sony E
Brand
Brand
Sigma
Lens Weight
Lens Weight
290 g
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 2.8
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
18-50 mm

The Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 DC DN | C for Sony E is a versatile zoom lens that’s highly suitable for street photography. Its constant f/2.8 aperture across the zoom range is a big advantage, allowing for consistent low-light performance. 

The wide 18mm focal length is great for cityscapes and architectural shots. But you also have the option of more tightly composed images at the 50mm end. You also get superb optical quality throughout the zoom range. 

It’s lightweight and compact, making it an ideal companion for long days of shooting in the urban jungle.

Its quick autofocus ensures that spontaneous moments are captured with precision. However, the lack of optical image stabilization means relying on the camera’s stabilization system, which might be a consideration for some users.

The Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 DC DN | C offers street photographers a blend of versatility, portability, and optical quality. Its wide aperture and focal range give you flexibility in changeable conditions. It gives you complete creative control when shooting street photography. 

 

Conclusion: The Best Sony Lenses for Street Photography

The article highlights the best Sony Lenses for Street Photography. It covers a range of options, from versatile zooms to fast primes, ensuring photographers can find a lens that suits their street photography style. We’ve also seen top-quality street lenses for APS-C and full frame Sony cameras.

The Sony E 16-55mm f/2.8 G is the best street photography lens, standing out for its versatility and quick autofocus. The Sony FE 50mm f/1.8 is the best full frame lens for street photography, perfect hitting the brief. But as you can see, Sony users have plenty of variety when looking for the best lens for street photography.

Our Top 3 Sony Lenses for Street Photography
Sony E 16-55mm F/2.8 G SEL1655G
Sony E 16-55mm F/2.8 G SEL1655G
Sony E 16-55mm F/2.8 G SEL1655G
Sony E 18-105mm F/4 G OSS PZ SELP18105G
Sony E 18-105mm F/4 G OSS PZ SELP18105G
Sony E 18-105mm F/4 G OSS PZ SELP18105G
Sony E 35mm F/1.8 OSS SEL35F18
Sony E 35mm F/1.8 OSS SEL35F18
Sony E 35mm F/1.8 OSS SEL35F18