It wasn’t too long ago when buying cheap, affordable lenses was a no-no. Now, you can buy incredibly affordable lenses for mirrorless cameras that punch well above their weight. This is especially true for photographers who use Sony APS-C cameras.
You’ll be hard-pressed to see major differences (unless you pixel peep, which is unhealthy) between lenses that cost four figures compared to lenses that cost less than $400! The five affordable prime lenses for Sony APS-C cameras we have rounded up here prove this.
I have used each of the lenses listed below. I can say that the images that they deliver will blow your socks off. They’re well made, some feature weather sealing, they all have incredible optics, and they all render gorgeous colors. To top it off they cost under $400!
If you’re looking for affordable prime lenses for your Sony APS-C cameras, this roundup is for you.
Sigma 16mm F/1.4 DC DN Contemporary (extreme versatility)
The Sigma 16mm f/1.4 DG DN is an exceptional lens for an exceptional price. This fast prime will have an equivalent focal length of 24mm on Sony APS-C cameras, which makes it perfect for many genres of photography. Street, documentary, environmental portraits, landscapes, food photography and more will be easier to capture than ever before.
The maximum aperture of f/1.4 will not only allow you to get a very shallow depth of field but will also enable you to shoot in very low-light situations with ease. The excellent optics will help you create sharp images, even wide open, and a seal at the gives a small amount of protection from the elements. At under $400, this is one of the best affordable prime lenses you can get.
Sony 20mm F/2.8 pancake lens (the perfect match for Sony APS-C cameras)
One of the reasons you probably use Sony APS-C cameras is because you like to keep your kit small and light. If this is the case, the Sony 20mm f/2.8 pancake lens might be right up your alley! This super-compact pancake lens will give you an equivalent focal length of 30mm on the A6xxx series cameras. This makes the lens perfect for street, environmental portraiture, documentary work, landscapes, cityscapes and more.
Somehow Sony crammed three aspherical elements and seven aperture blades into this mini-marvel. The fast f/2.8 aperture makes it ideal for low light situations, and incredibly, it can create some nice bokeh. The lens has a unique rear focusing design which makes autofocusing rapid, and it allows the lens to focus as close as 7.9 inches! The best part, it costs less than $400!
Sigma 30mm F/1.4 DC DN (it’s perfect for photowalks)
Another ultra-fast yet incredibly affordable lens from Sigma. The 30mm f/1.4 will give Sony APS-C shooters an equivalent focal distance of 45mm on APS-C cameras. This puts the lens right between two well-loved focal distances of 35mm and 50mm. So if you find 35mm too wide and 50mm too tight, this lens will probably sing your song.
Like the other f/1.4 lenses in this lineup from Sigma, this lens features optics that punch well above their price point. This lens is sharp, produces vivid colors and the nine rounded aperture blades create creamy bokeh. There’s a fast stepping motor inside for speedy autofocus. Multiple coatings help control flares and ghosting. Can you believe that you can get a lens this loaded for under $300! Incredible.
Sony E 50mm f/1.8 OSS (for those with shaky hands)
Sony has made a few APS-C primes for their cameras. This 50mm f/1.8 OSS (75mm equivalent) is one of the best. Thanks to the crop on Sony APS-C cameras, you can enjoy a near-perfect portrait lens that features built-in stabilization for under $350. There are nine elements in eight groups and seven rounded aperture blades that will help you create gorgeous images.
Thanks to the fast aperture, you’ll be able to shoot in low light easily and create nice bokeh. The optical stabilization will make shooting at slower shutter speeds a breeze, and the compression at 75mm will help you create nice portraits. Like the other lenses in this roundup, this one is also small and light. If you like using first-party prime lenses, this one from Sony should be at the top of your list.
Sigma 56mm f/1.4 DC DN (turns Sony APS-C cameras into a portrait powerhouses)
Yes, another lens from Sigma, but trust me, all of the Sigma f/1.4 lenses are here on merit. They are seriously outstanding for the price. The 56mm f/1.4 is no exception. If you want a classic portrait lens, this is it. With an equivalent focal distance of 84mm, this lens, thanks to its crazy fast aperture, will help you create striking images.
At f/1.4, your subjects will simply pop out of the background. Facial features will become very flattering thanks to the compression this short telephoto prime will give you. This lens is also incredibly sharp, even wide open. The Sigma 56mm f/1.4 is also small and lightweight. It weighs just 0.6lbs (280g). You’ll also find a seal at the mount to help protect it from dust and small amounts of moisture. The price? You guessed it! It’s under $400!