Have you just picked up the A6300? Or have you already purchased it but want to upgrade from the kit lens? Well, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’re going to dive into the best Sony lens for the A6300, what makes them so great, and why they should be your next purchase.
If you don’t know already, I’m Jeff. I’ve been within the photography and videography scene for the last 5+ years. My wife and I started our production company JnRPhotoVideo and offer services in the San Diego area! Take a look at our work when you get a chance!
By the end of this article you’ll have a better understanding about what makes the best Sony lens for the A6300 and be more confident in your next purchase!
Before we dive into the lens itself, let’s talk a little about the A6300’s APS-C or crop sensor.
The A6300 has a crop sensor (APS-C) - which isn’t a bad thing…
A crop sensor camera uses a smaller sensor and and less real estate from the light that’s allowed in by the lens. This will give you a narrower field of view from any lens. The crop multiplier (how much it crops) of the A6300 is 1.5x. So, if you purchase a 50mm lens, you aren’t shooting at 50mm. You’re actually shooting at 75mm (50mm * 1.5x = 75mm)
There are many photographers (and videographers) out there that frown upon APS-C cameras. They can’t work or shoot without a full frame camera body, and would never shoot on a crop sensor. While I currently shoot on a full frame sensor myself, I’ve shot plenty on cropped. I never understood why others complain so much about the sensor itself.
You can achieve the same look...
When you think about it, you can achieve the same look and shot with any sensor - you just need the room to do it. You can get a 50mm full frame look from a cropped sensor camera with a 50mm lens mounted to it. All you have to do is back up slightly and take the shot with the same framing. You’ll run into issues of not having the room in tight environments such as real estate photos or indoor event shots.
But the benefits are great as well. You can get more reach from any lens you place on it. For example - a 70-200mm lens becomes a 105-300mm. You can get even more reach if you attach a teleconverter to the camera as well. This means you can purchase less expensive zooms and primes (like the 50mm 1.8) and get a much longer reach out of them.
Just keep in mind that this is a cropped sensor camera and you’ll need to factor this crop into the decision you end up making.
Let’s dive into the lenses now!
I had to start this list with a 50mm equivalent lens. Every portrait photographer and videographer needs a quality 50mm lens. The versatility of this focal length is pretty incredible. It’s not great for just portrait photography, you can get excellent street photos and even astrophotography.
We recommend this prime (fixed focal length) over a zoom (we have a couple later in this article) because it produces a sharper image and it’s faster. You’ll get a sharper image and it'll perform better in low light situations than a variable aperture zoom. The best that most zooms can do is an aperture of 2.8. 2.8 is great, but it isn’t as good as the 1.8 that this lens offers.
It also comes equipped with OSS which is image stabilization built into the lens. This helps quite a bit with shooting at low shutter speeds and while recording video.
The only downside...
This lens’s only downside is price. $400+ for a prime lens is hefty for most people. There are lenses that are less expensive, and more expensive. With that being said, you won’t find much better in the realm of cost for performance. You’ll get incredibly sharp, great aperture and bokeh, along with stabilized shots for around $400. Compare that to the $900 unstabilized 55mm Zeiss f/1.8. The results are very similar for half the price.
You can’t go wrong with this lens for your 50mm needs on the A6300.
This is another prime that we recommend that comes in at 75mm on your cropped sensor. This lens is the perfect focal length for those portrait photographers in our opinion. You’ll get amazing bokeh and subject separation from the background. Videographers love this focal length as well. You’ll get a very cinematic look with the bokeh and separation offered with an aperture this low.
The sharpness is great for a lens at this price point. The center of the image is tack sharp even at f/1.8. You’ll get a bit of softness at the edges, but it evens out around f/5.6 and beyond. You’ll obtain tack sharp images while shooting handheld at lower shutter speeds as well. This is made possible with the built in image stabilization (OSS). Even at shutter speeds of 1/60th in low light conditions, I’ve been able to produce incredibly sharp images.
The lens has its flaws though...
You know they had to fall short somewhere to offer this lens at such a great price point (about $300). In this case it was autofocus. The motors themselves are quite noisy, to start. You’ll also notice, at times, the lens will hunt for the subject in low light situations. These aren’t deal breakers at all but something to consider if you’re shooting in low light conditions often. The Zeiss 55mm f/1.8 would be a significant upgrade over this lens, and eliviates the issues mentioned (but is triple the price at $900).
For $300, you can’t beat the capabilities of this lens. Nothing comes close to this, from Sony, with this performance and price.
This focal length could be considered an “all-in-one” lens. Your APS-C equivalent makes this a 27-158mm. That’s a hell of a range. All of it at f/4 as well.
What makes this lens so great is being able to hit focal lengths offered on prime lenses. You’ll be able to shoot relatively wide (28mm), portrait range (50-85mm) and telephoto range (135-158mm). Needless to say, this could be the lens that you put on and never take off.
Another great perk is the fact that this lens has a fixed aperture. The aperture is constant at f/4. What you’ll find with less expensive lenses is that the aperture changes throughout the zoom range. This directly affects the exposure of your image as you zoom in and out. A common range is f/3.5 to f5.6. You’ll see this on a lot of kit lenses. As you zoom in or out, you’ll go through almost two stops of light. This means your image with almost double it’s brightness, or lose almost twice the light throughout the entire throw of the zoom. This lens doesn’t allow that and will keep it’s aperture constant throughout the zoom throw. A major perk to this lens.
Zoom isn't always the best...
There are a few downsides to this lens. First, it’s not as sharp as a prime would be. With all of the moving parts and the amount of glass within a zoom, you won’t get as sharp of an image. Second, while a constant f/4 is great, it isn’t the best in low light. You might find yourself using slow shutter speeds or higher ISO values in low lit situations. Although, the image stabilization helps quite a bit when using slower shutter speeds to achieve a brighter image. Third, price. This is a pretty pricey investment for most. But keep in mind, the versatility of this lens is pretty incredible. Take a moment and think about the amount of lenses you would have to purchase to achieve all of these focal lengths.
If you find yourself needing a great “all-in-one” lens that you can throw on and take pretty much any type of photo, the 18-105mm might just be the best pick for you.
I know, I know. This isn’t a Sony branded lens. But Sigma has such a great reputation in the lens world. With that being said, this lens doesn’t disappoint. There are some incredible aspects of this lens that allowed it to make this list.
The first, with it being 16mm your APS-C equivalent makes it a 24mm. That’s right, the iconic 24mm look had to be put on this list. You can obtain incredible landscape shots, establishing shots, and shots where you want to show where your subject is located. This is a great focal length for videographers as well. In some cases this is the focal length that videographers only shoot in.
The f stop of 1.4 is where this lens shines. Sigma is great and consistent at offering lenses with an aperture of 1.4. This makes this lens perfect for indoor or low light photography and videography. You’ll also get amazing bokeh and subject separation from the background at this aperture.
Sharpness and some not-so-goods...
Sharpness is amazing as well. It’s a prime. It’s a Sigma prime at that (I’ve always highly recommended Sigma). The image is very sharp even wide open - and improves all the way to F/8.
The downsides to this lens are few, but need to be mentioned. First, you aren’t going to get image stabilization from this lens. That means you’ll have to be quite careful when taking photos with slow shutter speeds. You’ll want to put your camera on a stabilizer when shooting video as well. Second, you’ll get noticeable vignetting out of this lens. It’s not something you can’t fix in post, but it’s another step you’ll have to take when shooting with this lens.
This lens is solid. There is no better way to say it. You’re getting an incredibly sharp 24mm equivalent prime that stops down to 1.4. If you can get past the fact it doesn’t have image stabilization - you’ll have yourself an amazing lens. The price doesn’t hurt too much either (for the quality).
This is another incredible zoom lens that could be one of those “all-in-one” lenses that you’ve been looking for. The big difference between this zoom lens and the others on this list is the glass and the zoom range.
This lens comes equipped with Zeiss glass. What does that mean? A huge step above standard glass lenses. Sharpness, clarity, color, and even focusing will be better on a lens with this glass. You’ll immediately notice a difference between this lens and your kit lens (assuming you purchased the A6300 with one).
This lens was produced for those with an APS-C camera body and wanted the 24-105mm focal distance. There are full frame versions of the 24-105mm because of the versatility. You can get wide angle shots all the way through to the early stages of telephoto. This lens is great for landscapes, portraits, product photography… you name it. It’s also amazing for videographers. You can get establishing shots, medium shots, and detailed shots all out of the same lens.
You get all of this along with a constant aperture of F/4 and image stabilization. You really couldn’t ask for more.
Aperture, sharpness, pricey...
The downsides of the lens are few - but need to be mentioned. An aperture of F/4 is a bit under desired for someone shooting in low light. You’ll find yourself using ISO or slower shutter speeds. Prime lenses will also be sharper (assuming it’s a Zeiss glass prime). All of the “goodness” of the lens comes at a price too. A hefty $900. A price tag that not just anyone can throw at a lens.
If you do have the cash and are comfortable with using higher ISO values... then you’ll be more than happy owning one of the most versatile zoom ranges on the market. Zeiss glass will never let you down!
I know, another zoom. But what makes this zoom different from those already mentioned is the massive range of this lens.
The APS-C equivalent of this lens makes it a 27-300mm lens. That’s a pretty incredible focal range. This range will allow you to get wide angle shots as well as very respectable telephoto shots as well. There isn’t much more range that you’d need out of a lens (aside from wildlife photography).
The sharpness is very respectable, even throughout the entire zoom range. Sharpness is tack sharp in the center of the image and gets a little soft as you go towards the edges. But this is normal for a lens with a zoom and aperture range as this.
It also comes equipped with image stabilization built into it. Another plus when shooting at or near the 300mm equivalent focal length (when it’s hard to keep the camera steady enough for a sharp shot).
Variable aperture can be a pain....
Speaking of aperture, a pretty significant down side of this lens or it’s aperture. It’s variable from 3.5-6.3. So at its widest, the aperture is 3.5 and at its longest zoom it becomes 6.3. That means your exposure will change throughout the zoom range. The price is another downside in my opinion. At $750, you’re throwing quite a bit at a lens with a variable aperture. But, think about it, the 100-400mm Sony GM is variable (but not as severe) - and that lens is $2500. So while it’s expensive, you’re getting 300mm of zoom. Think about that for a minute.
If you can fork out the cash and want an incredibly large zoom range look no further. Yeah, you’ll have to deal with variable aperture and softer images than you would see on Zeiss glass - but you’re getting 300mm of zoom. 300mm!!! Think about the possibilities.
What do we recommend over them all?
Well, that depends on your needs. What do you find yourself shooting or wanting to shoot? Portraits? Landscape? Video? There are so many variables involved in recommending someone a lens. Not every lens is great for every situation. Yeah, there are zooms out there that can hit focal lengths that you need, but is the weight and size of that lens going to hinder you? Do you need the weight to be as light as possible for gimbal? The list can go on and on.
What I will do is recommend the best bang for buck. The lens that’s best well rounded. Price, focal length, image quality, versatility, etc. That lens goes to the…
Sony Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm f/4 OSS
There really isn’t a better lens on the market for the Sony A6300, in my opinion. You have Zeiss glass, the awesome focal range of 24-105mm, image stabilization, constant F/4 aperture throughout the entire zoom range… great autofocus… the list can go on.
I know people who have this lens (in both full frame and APS-C) that don’t take this lens off. They get everything from photos to video with this lens. From portraits to weddings and real estate videos, it’s that versatile.
If I were in your shoes, this would be the lens that I would purchase. Without a doubt.
That’s about it!
Well folks, I hope you’ve learned a thing or two here today. You should have a much better understanding of what the best Sony lens for the A6300 is, and much more confident in your next purchase.
As always I really do appreciate you all taking the time and reading my articles. It mean so much to me. Each of these articles take quite some time to complete, and if it helps just one person, I’ve done my job. I really do thank you.
Until the next one, keep shooting and creating!