Sony Alpha 6000 lenses: A simple guide to all E-mount lenses [+6300 & 6500]
The Sony Alpha 6000 is one of the most popular mirrorless system cameras and a perfect choice for beginners and advanced photographers alike. In this guide, we’ll show you all the lenses available for the Sony Alpha 6000 and help you decide which lens is the best choice for you.
We’re always eager to recommend the Sony Alpha 6000 as one of the best cameras for beginners.
One of the downsides that’s frequently cited for this camera is the limited range of available lenses.
But that’s an outdated preconception: Nowadays there are plenty of lenses for the Alpha 6000 to choose from.
Third-party manufacturers such as Tamron and Sigma have burst onto the market with their own lenses for the Sony Alpha 6000, and many others are following suit.
In this post, we’ll give you a rundown of the most important lenses for the Alpha 6000 series.
We’ll tell you which lenses we recommend and which ones to avoid.
Note: We’ve provided a link to the product page on Amazon for each featured lens, so you can check the current prices and look for deals from Amazon Marketplace sellers.
What do you need to consider when buying a lens for the Sony Alpha 6000?
Before we get started with our specific lens recommendations, first we’d like to share a few tips on some of the things to consider when buying a lens.
The right lens for your mount
The cameras of the Sony Alpha 6000 series use a so-called E-mount.
Sony also offers lenses for the A-mount. Unfortunately, these lenses won’t fit on your camera because they’re designed specifically for Sony SLR cameras. So you always need to make sure you’re buying the right mount when shopping for lenses.
All lenses recommended in this post have an E-mount and are designed for cameras with an APS-C sensor. In addition to the Sony Alpha 6000, this includes all successor models (Alpha 6300, 6400, 6500 and 6600), as well as the Sony Alpha 5000 and 5100 and the Sony NEX series cameras.
Using Alpha 7 series lenses on the Alpha 6000 series
Still not satisfied with the choice of lenses? Then you can also take a look at the lenses for the Sony Alpha 7 series.
The cameras in the Alpha 7 series also use the E-mount standard, so those lenses are also compatible with the Alpha 6000.
But that doesn’t work both ways. You can’t use Alpha 6000 series with an Alpha 7 camera. You can mount the lens without a hitch, but it simply isn’t optimized for that type of camera.
If you want to browse the lenses available for the Alpha 7 series, we’ve compiled a handy guide:
Only the latest models of the Sony Alpha 6000 series, the Sony Alpha 6500 and 6600, have an integrated image stabilizer. Unfortunately, the Alpha 6000, 6100, 6300 and 6400 aren’t equipped with this feature.
An image stabilizer ensures sharp photos by compensating for small jolts or an unsteady hand. It’s an invaluable feature that can improve your pictures significantly.
So if your camera doesn’t have an in-body image stabilizer, make sure to buy a lens with one built in. Most lenses for the Sony Alpha 6000 have one, but unfortunately not all of them.
Lenses with image stabilization have the designation “Optical Steady Shot” (or OSS for short). Of course, we’ll always let you know if a lens comes with image stabilization in this guide.
The right lens for the right purpose
The first thing to consider is what you plan to do with the lens.
Each lens has its own strengths and weaknesses, and unfortunately there is no single lens that can do everything equally well.
If you want to shoot portraits, you’re going to need a lens with a high aperture. If landscape photography is more your style, it’s important to use a lens with a very short focal length. Or if you want to take pictures of wild animals, for example on a safari, you should opt for a wide focal length.
Standard lenses for the Sony Alpha 6000
The kit lens: Sony 16-50 mm, f/3.5-5.6
Many people buy this lens directly in a kit with the Alpha 6000. Kit lenses often get a bad rap, but we think they’re a very good solution when you’re just starting out.
The kit lens is a good choice for beginners who are taking their first steps in photography with the Sony Alpha 6000.
The focal length of 16-50 mm is fine for most purposes and the aperture of f/3.5 to f/5.6 is perfectly okay for a zoom lens in this price class. A big advantage is the very compact design and the light weight of the lens, which is just under 120 grams.
The recommended retail price for this lens is 349 euros, but you should generally be able to get one for less than 300 euros.
Buying it separately doesn’t make that much sense though, because it’s much cheaper in a kit with the camera.
The premium zoom lens: Sony 16-55mm, f/2.8
The Sony SEL1655G is a zoom lens in a class of its own for the Alpha 6000 series.
It has almost the same focal length range as the kit lens, but with a fixed aperture of f/2.8, making it that much faster.
The image quality is excellent and the autofocus is particularly fast and precise with this lens.
However, the lens is no lightweight at just under 600 grams, and the price of about 1,200 euros might be a bit steep for some people’s budgets.
A major disadvantage: The lens doesn’t have an integrated image stabilizer, which is a real shame, especially considering the price tag. For that reason, we only recommend using it on cameras with in-body image stabilization such as the Sony Alpha 6500 and 6600.
The perfect compromise: Sony 16-70 mm, f/4
The Sony SEL1670 offers a wider zoom range than the first two lenses.
With a focal length of 16 to 70 mm, you’ll come fully prepared for a wide range of scenarios. The lens has a fixed speed of f/4 and features high-quality Zeiss optics and an image stabilizer.
It weighs about 300 grams and costs about 750 euros.
It’s definitely a significant step up from the kit lens. Although personally speaking, we’d rather opt for the 18-135 mm when shopping for a lens in this price range, which we’ll get to in a moment.
A fast zoom for every situation: Tamron 17-70 mm, f/2.8
The Tamron offers a very practical zoom range with a focal length of 17 to 70 mm, running the gamut from wide angle to light telephoto. And the best part: It has a constant aperture of f/2.8 throughout.
The lens is hardly a lightweight at around 525 grams. But on the plus side, it’s sturdy with a high-quality build, even offering protection against dust and splash water. So you don’t have to worry too much about the weather while traveling.
Very few cameras for the Alpha 6000 series have an integrated image stabilizer. That’s why it’s so great that this lens is equipped with one. That means there’s nothing to stop you from taking blur-free pictures.
The lens currently costs about 850 euros. So not exactly cheap, but still a clear recommendation.
A very high zoom range: Sony 18-105 mm, f/4
The Sony SELP18105G offers an even greater zoom, an image stabilizer, and a fixed aperture of f/4, which is particularly impressive in the high zoom ranges.
The lens weighs relatively much at 426 grams. It costs less than 500 euros and is pretty reasonable for this lens.
The new premium zoom: Sony 18-135 mm, f/3.5-5.6
The Sony SEL18135G has a powerful zoom with a focal length of 18 to 135 mm and an aperture of f/3.5 to 5.6. That means it’s a bit slower than the 18-105 mm in the higher focal length ranges.
It’s also relatively light at 350 grams, making it a good alternative to the 18-105 mm lens. It also comes with an image stabilizer built in and costs about the same at a price of around 520 euros.
Travel zoom #1: Tamron 18-200 mm, f/3.5-6.3
If you’re looking for a real all-in-one lens for your trip, the Tamron 18-200 mm f/3.5-6.3 is a great choice.
Thanks to the wide focal length range, it’s suitable for almost any shot. And you can probably save yourself the trouble of changing lenses with the travel zoom. At about 450 grams, the lens is obviously very heavy and you should definitely consider whether you really want to be saddled with such a juggernaut of a lens on the comparatively tiny Sony Alpha 6000.
If that isn’t a problem for you, this lens definitely isn’t a bad choice. It’s priced at around 580 euros.
Travel zoom #2: Sony 18-200 mm, f/3.5-6.3
Sony also offers a travel zoom lens with nearly identical specs. There are no substantial differences to the Tamron lens.
Which of the two you choose is ultimately a matter of taste – or you could simply pick the lens that’s cheaper at the moment.
The Sony 18-200 mm is also available in a special version optimized for recording videos. The custom-purpose Sony SELP18200 has extra controls for an especially soft video zoom, but unfortunately it costs a bit more, clocking in at around 1,000 euros.
Telephoto lenses for the Sony Alpha 6000
When it comes to telephoto lenses, there aren’t that many options available for the Sony Alpha 6000.
For a greater , you could always mount a telephoto lens for the Alpha 7 series on one of the 6000 series cameras.
Telephoto lens: Sony 55-210 mm, f/4.5-6.3
The range of telephoto lenses for the Sony Alpha 6000 is somewhat limited. The relatively affordable Sony SEL55210A is a good alternative.
You can do quite a lot with a focal length of up to 210 mm. The aperture isn’t that great at f/4.5-6.3, but the price of around 300 euros goes a long way to make up for that.
Of course, you have to ask yourself whether it makes sense to use a telephoto lens and a normal lens for the Alpha 6000. We’d recommend picking up one of the travel lenses profiled above rather than this lens.
Great value telephoto lens: Tamron 70-300 mm, f/4.5-6.3
The Tamron 70-300 mm has a slightly larger focal length range than the Sony profiled above. You can really home in on your subject with its 300 mm zoom.
Unlike the Sony, the Tamron doesn’t come with an image stabilizer. That’s probably because the lens is also compatible with Sony full-frame cameras, most of which have an image stabilizer built directly into the camera.
On the plus side, the lens has a high-quality build, splash water and dust protection, and only weighs about 545 grams. The image quality is also impressive despite the underwhelming lens speed.
The lack of an image stabilizer is a drawback that really shows in telephoto shots. However, if you have a Sony camera with a built-in image stabilizer, this lens is a great alternative, and it’s a bargain at around 550 euros.
Really long focal length: Sony 70-350 mm, f/4.5-6.3
This telephoto lens is a different story because it features a much bigger zoom.
With a focal length of up to 350 mm, you can capture even the most distant subjects in their full glory.
And the integrated image stabilizer ensures sharp photos even at long focal lengths. It’s a heavy piece of equipment at 527 grams, but that’s still pretty reasonable for a telephoto lens considering its massive focal length.
The dust- and splash-proof lens has a built-in image stabilizer and the sharpness of the images is also quite impressive. However, the lens speed drops significantly in the upper focal length range.
The Sony SEL70350G is priced at just under 750 euros. That’s really great value for money.
Wide angle zoom lenses for the Sony Alpha 6000
The range of wide-angle zoom lenses is pretty small. Currently, only two lenses are available for the Alpha 6000 with a built in zoom: one from Sony and one Tamron.
Premium wide angle: Sony 10-18 mm, f/4
If we had to choose a wide angle lens for the Alpha 6000, it would definitely be the Sony SEL1018. It has a focal length of 10-18 mm, a fixed aperture of f/4, and an integrated image stabilizer.
Reviews for this lens are very good across the board. However, high quality has its price, which is about 650 euros for this lens.
Fast wide-angle: Tamron 11-20 mm, f/2.8
A major difference, however, is the initial aperture, which is f/2.8 for the Tamron lens. This can make a world of difference, especially when shooting in low-light conditions or even at night.
Unfortunately, the lens doesn’t have an image stabilizer. Instead, it comes with a new autofocus motor installed that’s reported to be very fast and barely audible. That makes the lens a great choice for recording video.
The lens isn’t exactly cheap, currently selling for about 900 euros. But then again, prices for Tamron lenses tend to come down quickly. And you won’t be disappointed, the lens offers great value for your money.
Prime lenses for the Sony Alpha 6000
When it comes to prime lenses, i.e. lenses with fixed focal lengths, the range available for the Sony Alpha 6000 is considerably larger. Third-party manufacturers like Sigma and Samyang in particular have quite a large selection to choose from in this category.
Prime lenses at the lower end of the spectrum for the Alpha 6000 generally don’t come with an integrated image stabilizer. But then again, some of them really cost as little as 100 euros.
Wide-angle prime lenses for the Sony Alpha 6000
Wide-angle prime lenses with focal lengths of up to about 24 mm are particularly useful for architectural and landscape photography. There’s a much greater selection for wide-angle lenses in the prime range than in the zoom range.
Zeiss Touit 12 mm, f/2.8
For the longest time, Sony’s 10-18 mm was the only game in town in the wide-angle category. But now the 12 mm Zeiss prime lens has emerged as a real competitor.
Although it doesn’t have a zoom, it offers outstanding image quality and sharpness right up to the edges of the image. It doesn’t have an integrated image stabilizer, but that isn’t as much of an issue for wide angle photography.
While it’s a bit pricey at just under 800 euros, it’s definitely worth the money.
Samyang 12 mm, f/2.0
The 12 mm wide-angle lens from the Korean manufacturer Samyang offers very good image quality with a lens speed of f/2.0.
However, this lens is more suitable for advanced photographers, since it doesn’t have autofocus. That means you have to focus manually and also set the aperture directly on the lens.
In some countries, Samyang lenses are also sold under the brand name Walimex. Apart than the name, Samyang and Walimex lenses are completely identical.
So given the choice, you’re always better off choosing the cheaper lens. Samyang is generally a bit cheaper, so we always link to the Samyang lenses in this guide. The price for this lens usually hovers around 300 euros.
Samyang 12 mm, f/2, AF
Samyang have long expanded their range beyond manual focus lenses. The 12 mm is now also available in a new and improved version with autofocus.
Aside from the autofocus, the build quality in general has also been given a makeover. The new lens is protected against moisture, but it’s still as fast as ever with an initial aperture of f/2.
The lens costs about 400 euros, about 100 euros more than the version without autofocus. But if you ask us, the extra 100 euros is money well spent.
Sigma 16 mm, f/1.4
Sigma’s 16 mm prime lens was specially designed for cameras with an APS-C sensor and is one of the best prime lenses for the Alpha 6000 series.
The high speed with an aperture of f/1.4 is outstanding. The lens has an autofocus and guarantees crisp, sharp photos.
It costs about 400 euros, which is really good value for money.
Samyang 16 mm, f/2.0
Samyang also offers a 16 mm prime lens. The other features are hardly any different from the 12 mm lens.
If you’d prefer a slightly reduced wide angle, this lens is a good choice. Overall, it’s also designed to deliver a slightly better image quality than the 12 mm lens. It’s also priced a little higher at 350 euros.
Sony 16 mm, f/2.8
The Sony SEL16F28 is a real lightweight. As a so-called pancake lens, it’s extremely flat and light.
It’s priced at around 250 euros. The lens is only available in silver, there’s no black version.
Sony 20 mm, f/2.8
Like the 16 mm series presented above, the Sony SEL20F28 is an extremely narrow pancake lens.
This lens is only available in black and costs just under 300 euros.
Sony 24 mm, f/1.8
The Sony SEL24F18Z with a Zeiss lens is the best of the bunch when it comes the wide-angle prime lenses. It’s priced at around 800-900 euros.
But it excels with outstanding image quality and an exceptionally fast lens speed of f/1.8.
If you want to treat yourself and your camera to something really special, this would be a great choice.
Normal lenses: Prime lenses for the Sony Alpha 6000
Normal lenses with focal lengths between 30 and 35 mm are a very good introduction to the world of prime lenses. Photos with a focal length of 35 mm approximately correspond to the normal human field of view.
These lenses are suitable for almost all purposes. We like to use them for street, reportage, and portrait shots.
Sigma 30 mm, f/1.4
Sigma also has another 30 mm prime lens in its product range and it’s quite something. The Sigma 30 mm F1.4 DC DN has a lens speed of f/1.4.
That’s really good for a price of just 350 euros. Of course, you have to accept a few minor imperfections, e.g. this lens doesn’t have an integrated image stabilizer. But it’s still really great value for money!
Zeiss Touit 32 mm, f/1.8
The 32 mm from Zeiss is the second lens in the Touit series available for E-mount.
As usual for Zeiss, the image quality is very good. However, the autofocus is gets a lot of flak for being too loud and too sluggish, which isn’t really acceptable at a price of over 500 euros.
Sony 35 mm, f/1.8
35 mm is our favorite focal length and the Sony SEL35F18 offers great value for money.
The lens speed of f/1.8 is very good and the price of around 400 euros is still relatively low.
Samyang 45 mm, f/1.8
Samyang has launched a new series of particularly compact lenses. One of the lenses in the series is the 45 mm f/1.8.
The lens speed is very good, making it easy to play with the focus and blur. 45 mm is an unusual focal length, but from a mathematical point of view, it actually aligns more closely with the field of vision of the human eye. At least when you use the lens on a full-frame camera.
But it also works perfectly well on the Sony Alpha 6000, and the light weight of only 162 grams makes it ideal for the small Sony.
The image quality is beyond reproach, and the lens is an absolute miracle in terms of value for money. It currently sells for about 350 euros.
Portrait lenses for the Sony Alpha 6000
Prime lenses with a fixed focal length of about 50 to 85 mm are particularly well-suited for portrait photography. There’s a wide range of lenses for the Sony Alpha 6000 in this category as well.
Sony 50 mm, f/1.8
With the Sony SEL50F18B, Sony offers a very nice standard lens for the portrait range. The aperture of f/1.8 allows you to shoot with a very low depth of field.
The quality of the pictures is good, the photos have a nice bokeh, and it’s a bargain at a price of about 280 euros.
Samyang 50 mm, f/1.4
Samyang also offers a 50 mm lens for the Sony Alpha 6000. For about 350 euros, it offers a lens speed of f/1.4 and a very high picture quality.
However, you have to focus manually and adjust the aperture on the lens.
Sigma 56 mm, f/1.4
This Sigma lens has a somewhat unusual focal length of 56 mm, but it’s still one of the top prime lenses for the Alpha 6000 series.
The speed of f/1.4 is fantastic and the lens has an autofocus. You can get the lens for under 400 euros, which is really good value for money.
Samyang 75 mm, f/1.8
Like its 45 mm cousin, the 75 mm lens also belongs to Samyang’s series of compact autofocus lenses.
And so the specs are almost identical. This lens also has a fast autofocus and an initial speed of f/1.8, just with a focal length of 75 mm.
The lens is also very compact and only weighs about 230 grams. And it’s almost the same price as the 45 mm lens from Samyang at around 360 euros. Definitely a highly recommended bargain!
Samyang 85 mm, f/1.4
Samyang also offers a portrait prime lens at a real bargain price. For just over 250 euros, you get a lens with an impressive speed of f/1.4.
The lens is no lightweight at 600 grams and like all Samyang lenses for Sony E-mount, it comes without an autofocus. If that isn’t a deal-breaker for you, then this lens is a truly excellent choice.
Fisheye lenses for the Sony Alpha 6000
A fisheye lenses certainly aren’t designed for everyday use. But they’re a lot of fun to experiment with and produce really interesting pictures.
Samyang 8 mm, f/2.8 Fisheye
The only fisheye lens for the Sony Alpha 6000 to date comes courtesy of the Korean manufacturer Samyang. With an ultra wide-angle focal length of 8 mm and an aperture of f/2.8, you can almost capture a 180-degree crop in your photos.
We have this lens ourselves, just with a Nikon mount, and we like to use it now and again for special shots. It’s priced at around 300 euros.
Macro lenses for the Sony Alpha 6000
Sony 30 mm, f/3.5
The Sony SEL30M35 is a great lens for getting into macro photography. At a price between 200 and 250 euros, it’s relatively cheap.
The closest focusing distance is 9.5 cm. So you can get extremely close to your subject and take great detail or macro shots.
Zeiss Touit 50 mm, f/2.8 Macro
There’s also a macro lens from Zeiss available for the Sony Alpha 6000. It has a focal length of 50 mm, which is more practical than the 30 mm from Sony.
The sharpness and image quality are very good, and the closest focusing distance is only 5 cm. There’s currently no better macro lens available for the Alpha 6000 series.
However, quality has its price, which is about 750 euros for this lens.
Which lens for the Sony Alpha 6000 would you recommend?
As you can see, the range of E-mount lenses for the Sony Alpha 6000 isn’t so small after all. Nowadays, there’s at least one lens in every category, and usually even several.
If you have any questions, leave us a comment below the article and we’ll try to get back to you as soon as possible. Deal?
Do you have a lens for your Sony Alpha that you really like? Then please leave a comment so we can all benefit from your experience.