What makes the Sony platform so appealing to new photographers is the low cost of some third-party prime lenses. For under $500, and even much less, you can get some top-drawer optics for your camera.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to spend a small fortune on lenses to get great quality. Just a few years ago, you’d have to spend crazy money to get lenses with weather sealing, blazing fast autofocus motors, fast apertures and top-quality optics. That’s not the case anymore. In this roundup, we’ll showcase four prime lenses for Sony’s E mount that feature all of the above for less than $500 each.
Affordable primes — Sigma 16mm f/1.4 DG DN
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 than ever.
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. This is one of the best affordable prime lenses you can get.
Affordable prime lenses — Tamron 20mm f/2.8 Di III OSD
A few years ago, if we would have said you can get fast prime lenses with top-shelf weather sealing for under $250 you would have laughed at us. Well, you can get such a lens, and it’s a stunner. The Tamron 20mm f/2.8 Di III OSD is a wide-angle lens for Sony full-frame cameras that’s built to withstand whatever Mother Nature throws at it.
Like many modern Tamron lenses, the 20mmm f/2.8 features a body made from tough composites. The optics are fantastic and they help produce colors that will please. The weather sealing is of the same level that we’d expect to see much more expensive pro-grade lenses. If you need a fast wide-angle prime that won’t break the bank, check out this lens.
Affordable primes — Tamron 35mm F/2.8 Di III OSD
Many photographers love 35mm prime lenses thanks to their incredible versatility. These lenses aren’t always affordable, though. Well, this is where the Tamron 35mm f/2.8 Di III OSD comes into play.
You’ll find the same great optics as you would in the 20mm and 24mm variants of this lens. The 35mm has the same excellent weather sealing and the same blazing-fast autofocus motors. The lens works with all of the excellent Sony autofocus features effortlessly. The best part? It’s under $200! Snap one up and never look back.
Affordable prime lenses — Rokinon 50mm f/1.4
Rokinon/Samyang have always made lenses with top-quality optics. More recently, they have been producing lenses with autofocus motors. What’s impressive is that these lenses are still as affordable as ever. The Rokinon AF 50mm f/1.4 is absolute proof that you don’t have to go broke to get nice glass.
For under $450 you’re going to get stunning optics that produce razor-sharp images, smooth bokeh, and natural colors. The lens also has a metal body. Mix in autofocus motors that make the lens work perfectly with Sony’s cameras and you can see why the Rokinon 50mm f/1.4 makes it into the roundup of affordable prime lenses.