5 Best Sony Alpha a6000 Lenses (APS-C Alpha e-Mount Options)
You might be wondering why, in the year 2023, I’m writing about Sony a6000 lenses. After all, Sony has a lot of other great mirrorless cameras with lenses that can be switched out… So, why would you write a post about the best lenses for the Sony a6000?
The answer is simple: the Sony a6000 is widely thought to be the best-selling mirrorless camera of all time.
Considering its more recent successors and all the other great mirrorless cameras on the market right now, that’s quite a claim.
With so many happy Sony a6000 owners all over the world, it makes sense that there is a lot of interest in lenses and other accessories for the camera.
The Best Sony Alpha a6000 Lenses
Sony E 35mm OSS F1.8
It’s cheap, easy to carry, small, and fun. If you blur the background of your photos, your subject will stand out more. This lens gives you the most for your money.
The Sony a6000 is a great buy for the price. Its image quality and performance are so good that it can compete with DSLR cameras that cost more than $500. It does all of this for less than $500.
Recently, I was able to borrow a few Sony E-Mount lenses so I could try them out with my a6000.
After taking more than 5,000 pictures (thanks, 11 frames per second! ), I’ve put together a list of lenses that I think every Sony a6000 owner should want.
What are the best lenses for the Sony a6000?
Best Sony a6000 Lenses ImageProductFeatures
Our top choice is the Sony E 35mm f/1.8.
Good picture quality
Quickly lock on
All set for FE Bodies?
Good picture quality
Dramatic Point of View
Great build quality, not much warping, great price.
Light and small, with a flexible focal length and a great auto focus.
So, here is my review of the 5 best lenses for the Sony a6000. You can use it as a guide to find high-quality Sony lenses for any of the other APS-C E-mount mirrorless cameras, but I’ve focused on those that work well with the a6000.
To add some variety to my suggestions, I also looked at a few lenses that aren’t made by Sony but work well with the a6000 and are priced similarly.
1. The Sony E 35mm f/1.8 OSS
Focal length is 35mm (equivalent to 52.5mm) 154g (5.5 oz) (5.5 oz.) Weight:
I’m a big fan of prime lenses and think that all photographers should use them. They’re the fastest way to get better at composition, and they make taking pictures easier by getting rid of the need for different focal lengths (as offered by zooms).
Zooms have their place in photography, don’t get me wrong. But I think every photographer should have at least one prime lens that is small and fast… This Sony E 35mm f/1.8 OSS lens is for people who have a Sony a6000.
If you have a small mirrorless camera like the Sony a6000, it doesn’t make sense to put a huge lens on it. With this tiny 35mm lens, the camera will be fun to use and still fit in a jacket pocket, which is something DSLR camera owners can only dream of (see my guide to choosing between a mirrorless and DSLR camera).
On the Sony a6000, which has a cropped sensor (APS-C), this lens will give about a 50mm field of view, which is good for a lot of different subjects. 50mm is a popular focal length because it doesn’t distort the world and can make people look good in portraits without making them feel far away like a longer lens can.
By “fast” prime lens, I mean that the lens aperture (represented by the f-number) is wide enough to allow faster shutter speeds and lower ISOs in low light.
In other words, the f/1.8 of this Sony 35mm f/1.8 lens will make it much easier to take photos without a flash with the Sony a6000 in low light than with a “slower” lens like the one that comes with it. (The aperture is bigger when the f-number is smaller.)
With an aperture of f/1.8, you’ll also be able to get that sought-after blurred background that sets better cameras apart. Even though the “portrait mode” on your iPhone might be able to do something similar, the process is much slower with the phone and its fancy A.I.
Sony 35mm f/1.8 | 1/640 f/4 ISO 200 | © Marc Bergreen
In terms of image quality, the Sony 35mm f/1.8 lens lets you take pictures that you just can’t get with the lens that came with your camera. Sharpness is good at f/1.8, and it keeps getting better until around f/4, where it’s great for a lens this price in terms of both sharpness and contrast.
When it comes to price, you might think twice because it costs around $400 and you can find cheaper Sony Alpha a6000 lenses…
But a camera is only as good as its lens, and if you buy the Sony 35mm f/1.8, you’ll get the most out of your a6000.
The “OSS” stands for “Optical SteadyShot,” which is a feature that isn’t often found on prime lenses. Together with the lens’s fast f/1.8 aperture, this makes it great for shooting in low light. You can keep the ISO on your Sony a6000 as low as possible to get images without noise.
Overall, the Sony 35mm f/1.8 lens is the best prime lens for Sony a6000 owners who want a small, light setup with good optical performance. In many ways, it’s the perfect camera and lens for traveling. We strongly suggest!
2. Sigma 60mm f/2.8 DN
Focal length is 60mm (equivalent to 90mm) 190g / 6.7oz. Weight:
In this guide to the best lenses for the Sony a6000, Sigma throws a bit of a curveball. Remember that you don’t always have to buy lenses for your camera from the same brand.
If this lens didn’t exist, I wouldn’t have thought twice about adding the Sony 50mm f/1.8 OSS lens. It’s faster, has image stabilization, and is a great deal now that the price has dropped to less than $300. But this Sigma has changed everything…
The best portrait lens for the Sony a6000 is the Sigma 60mm f/2.8 DN. With an APS-C equivalent focal length of 90mm, your subject will look in perfect proportion, with their features compressed like in real life (as opposed to distorted by a wide angle lens).
Medium telephoto focal lengths like this one let you stand about 6 feet away from your subject and still fill the frame of your viewfinder with their head and shoulders for a flattering head shot.
Does that mean that this Sigma is only good for taking pictures of people? Not at all. It just means that you’ll need to be able to stand back far enough to fit everything in your frame. When taking pictures of landscapes, telephoto lenses can be used to make the scene look more compact and beautiful. For example, they can make the mountains in the background look closer to something in the foreground.
Even though it’s built well, the Sigma 60mm f/2.8 DN is pretty light, which makes it a great prime lens to pair with your Sony a6000.
Being light also means that focusing is quiet and doesn’t get in the way, which is something that video shooters will like.
Images taken with the Sigma 60mm f/2.8 DN are very sharp and have a lot of contrast right out of the camera. The colors are also very bright. When you combine the focal length and the f/2.8 aperture, you get a beautiful, creamy bokeh that helps separate your subject from the background.
There is no vignetting, distortion, or chromatic aberration that can be seen… Basically, this means that your photos will look pretty good, and you won’t have to do much to them in Lightroom afterward.
As for the price, this impressive little lens costs just under $250. It is by far the best value lens you can put on your Sony a6000. (Click here to see some more of the best Sigma lenses.)
Note that this lens is also available with a different mount for micro-four-third cameras. When you order, check the box that says “Sony NEX” to make sure you get the right one for your Sony a6000. You can also get it in black or silver.
3. Sony FE 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS
Length of the lens: 28-70mm zoom (equivalent to 40-105mm) 295g (10.5oz) (10.5oz.) Weight:
The ‘FE’ instead of the letter ‘E’ in the name of this zoom lens means that it is made for professional full-frame Sony E-mount cameras. It comes with the Sony a7 camera as part of a kit lens. So why do I say that it’s one of the best Sony a6000 lenses?
Normally, I wouldn’t suggest buying an expensive zoom lens made for full frame cameras to use on a cropped sensor body like the Sony a6000. But the rules don’t apply with the high-quality Sony FE 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS.
This Sony zoom lens is a great deal at less than $300, and it works perfectly with the Sony a6000. It also means that if you ever decide to upgrade to a full frame Sony, you’ll already have your first great lens in your camera bag.
The 40-105mm equivalent focal length of the Sony FE 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS zoom makes it great for photographing children or sports where the distance between the subject and the camera changes often.
If you put a full frame lens on a camera with a cropped sensor, the edges of the lens won’t be used. This “missing width” might be a problem on wide-angle lenses, but on longer lenses like this one, it doesn’t really matter.
As an added bonus, when you use the Sony FE 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS on a Sony a6000, you are actually “cropping” the edges of the frame, which gets rid of any softness around the edges that might have been there on a full frame camera. Make sense?!
As you might expect from a lens made for pro-grade full frame cameras, the image quality is very good. It’s sharp, has good contrast, and makes great bokeh. This is less because of the aperture and more because of the focal lengths you’ll be shooting at.
When it comes to aperture, f/3.5-5.6 won’t let you shoot much after dark without a flash. But I’m glad that Sony’s great Optical Steady Shot feature is built in. This feature corrects for small hand movements that are common when shooting at longer focal lengths and can cause blurry images.
Weather sealing is another nice thing about the Sony FE 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS, but you won’t be able to use it with the Sony a6000 because it doesn’t have it. But a weather-sealed lens is also built to last, no matter what kind of camera body you put it on.
If you want a great zoom lens for your Sony a6000 that won’t break the bank, this little beauty is it.
4. Rokinon 12mm f/2 NCS
Length of the lens: 12mm (equivalent to 18mm) 245g (8.64oz) (8.64oz.) Weight:
After you have a small fast prime lens and a telephoto zoom lens for your Sony E-Mount camera, you’ll want a wide-angle lens… or, in this case, a lens with a very wide angle.
The Rokinon 12mm f/2 NCS was made for mirrorless cameras in particular (be sure you get the correct one for the Sony a6000 here). For a wide-angle lens to stay wide-angle on a cropped sensor body like the a6000, it needs to be really WIDE. With its equivalent 18mm field of view, this fun lens lets you make some really interesting, immersive photos.
Wide-angle lenses are most often used to take pictures of large landscapes, but they can also be used to tell more of a story in one picture by including something in the foreground and several things in the background. At 18mm, you can put a subject in the middle of the frame (to minimize distortion) and still have enough “room” around them to show their surroundings. It’s a skill, but a great way to really improve your photography.
The Rokinon 12mm f/2 NCS is a manual focus lens, which means that it does not have autofocus. Usually, I wouldn’t recommend lenses that you have to twist to focus, but with a wide angle lens, it’s okay to not have autofocus because so much of the image will be in focus without much fine-tuning. Objects from about 2 meters away to infinity will all be in focus at the same time.
Since the Rokinon 12mm f/2 NCS has an aperture of f/2, you can use it in low light without having to turn up the ISO on your Sony a6000. Another benefit of wide angle lenses is that small camera movements don’t show up as much in the final image. This means you can use slower shutter speeds without having to increase the ISO.
Sony has a few wide-angle lenses, but none are as fast or as cheap as this one from Rokinon. Part of the price difference is because there is no motor to power any AF, but the brand name is also a factor. True, but sad.
For a lens of this price, the Rokinon 12mm f/2 NCS took pictures that really impressed me in terms of image quality. Images are clear, full of color and contrast, and have a surprising lack of blur. When you zoom in on your photos, you can see how sharp the details are, especially in the middle of the frame.
When photographers see that this lens has a manual focus, they might not even give it a second thought, but I really think you should.
Spending almost twice as much on an alternative with autofocus just doesn’t make sense to me, especially since the focus on wide-angle lenses like this one is so forgiving… And the Rokinon 12mm f/2 NCS is of such high quality.
This is my pick for the best wide-angle lens for the Sony a6000. It will let you capture more of your surroundings and tell more of a story with each shot.
5. Sony E 20mm f/2.8: 20mm focal length (equivalent to 30mm) 69g (0.15 lbs) (0.15 lbs) Weight
I love pancake lenses and wish Nikon made one. If they did, I’d be sure to include it in my list of the best Nikon lenses. With this little gem of a lens, Sony now has one, too, just like Canon (which we reviewed here).
The Sony E 20mm f/2.8 is a great lens to use with the Sony a6000 or any other Sony mirrorless camera with a cropped sensor. It weighs only 69g (0.15 lbs) and is barely thicker than a lens cap.
Having a smaller, lighter, and more pocketable camera isn’t just for portability’s sake, though. With this combination, you’ll be much less obvious and noticeable, which means you’ll get more candid shots and your subject will feel more at ease.
Because of these things, it’s not surprising that the Sony E 20mm f/2.8 is such a popular lens for traveling and street photography, where staying hidden is key to getting a real candid shot.
The 30mm equivalent field of view is also good for shooting quickly in the street. When you shoot wide open at f/2.8, there is a little bit of distortion, and the images could be a bit sharper. However, when you stop down your aperture to around f/5.6, you get better results.
Like other pancake lenses, the Sony E 20mm f/2.8 isn’t known for its high-quality photos. It’s mostly used by photographers who want to keep their small mirrorless cameras, well, small. I’m in this group because I know that most problems with sharpness or contrast can be fixed with one click in Lightroom after the fact.
My Sony a6000 is much more fun to use because it has a tiny lens on the end of it instead of a more powerful one.
On a full frame camera, 35mm is my favorite focal length because it can be used for so many different things. It took me a little while to get used to the Sony E 20mm f/2.8 (that “extra” 5mm is more noticeable than I thought), but it’s perfect for almost everything I need to shoot on a typical day. Obviously, something like the Sigma 60mm f/2.8 DN would be better for just taking flattering portraits.
Also, if you have a little more money to spend, consider the Sony 20mm f/1.8. It’s a full frame lens that works just as well on the crop sensor a6000 and can give you more separation between the subject and the background than the f/2.8 version.
If you want a good deal on a lens that will make your Sony a6000 feel like it was meant to, this is it. Yes, there are Sony lenses with better optics, but none of them can be confused with a camera lens cap. Read more about Sony alpha a6000 review that we have!