Just picked up the Sony A6500? It is one of the great camera models but you might now find yourself in a rut where you are not able to decide on a lens for the camera. I know I have been there before, especially when I got my first camera. With thousands of offerings available from both Sony and other companies, it becomes a bit difficult to find the lens.
Best Lenses For Sony A6500
What lens do you get for the Sony A6500? It is one of the smallest cameras on the market, and putting a massive lens on it just feels wrong. Honestly, it does not matter. The size of the camera should not dictate how the pictures are going to come out. The A6500 is one of the most capable cameras out there.
That is why to ease your confusion, I would suggest that the best lens for A6500 is the Sony – FE 16-35mm. Sure, it is one of the flagship lenses but it delivers top-of-the-line performance and will work with any other Sony camera should you choose to upgrade the body to a full-frame system, as well.
Sony 16-35mm – Best Overall Lens
Sony 16-35mm gives wide-angle coverage with quick and reliable focus.
I normally tell people that there is no point arguing against the GM lineup of lenses by Sony. Why? Well, these are flagship lenses by the company, much like Canon’s L series of lenses, and these are usually without a glaring fault that can hold them down.
The 16-35mm is a classic zoom focal length that is available in multiple lenses. Canon uses the same lens system, and it’s very popular for wide-angle and landscape photography. The best part is that you are also getting a constant f/2.8 aperture, which allows for a ton of light and you get crisp images. I’d say it even makes up for being the best landscape lens for Sony APS-C cameras.
However, that is not all about the lens, to be honest. This lens delivers one of the best autofocusing systems; it is quick and it is accurate 9/10 times and barely misses. Sony has also added a focus hold button on this lens that makes using this lens an absolute treat since you know that you will not be missing your focus.
One more thing that I love about this lens is that it offers dust and moisture resistance, so you do not have to worry about taking this lens out in harsher situations.
There is one thing about this lens that makes very little sense to me; the lens does not bring any optical stabilization and while almost all the Sony cameras do come with OIS, omitting it in the lens seems like a hasty job. Additionally, I noticed some edge softness when you are zoomed in at 35mm.
Overall, I would say that the Sony 16-35mm is one of the best Sony lenses that you can get for your A6500. The best part is that this is the only mainstream 16-35mm for Sony that is available in the market, and well, Sony knows how to nail this one, as this has become my favorite lens in no time. With just a single lens such as this, you can easily get some amazing results. Adding this to your camera gear can more than complete it, and considering how this is a native Sony lens, there is a lot of fun to be had.
Sony 18-135mm – Best Wildlife Lens for Sony A6500
Sony 18-135mm comes with 1:3.4 magnification. The 7.5x zoom power is always great to have.
There is no way to overlook the fact that Sony has been dedicated to its lenses and camera systems. Be it its flagship offerings or the more affordable ones, Sony has always been honest and dedicated to what they have been making.
The Sony 18-135mm might seem intimidating at first because you are getting such a powerful zoom range but the compact nature of this lens makes you forget that this is even a zoom lens until you check the zoom ring out on the lens body and realize what you are dealing with. Whether you want to zoom in or use this as a wide angle lens, this gets the job done just fine for the Sony A6500. Zoom lenses are scary to use but don’t worry as you will not have any issues.
Okay, enough about that. This is the best wildlife lens for Sony a6500 is compact, to the point that it fooled me as well and I have handled 100s of lenses in the past. At the same time, this is one of the sharpest zoom lenses I have handled.
Speaking of handling; the lens does an excellent job against distortion or vignette, and both characteristics are barely there. The 7.5x zoom on these wide angle lenses is good for both wildlife and photography and if you do want to go back to 18mm, it becomes a great lens for landscape photography.
The lens also offers 1:3.4 magnification and Sony has also added optical image stabilization, which is always a must-have feature on a zoom lens that can go this far.
While I love this lens, I do have some concerns. For starters, despite being a lens that is largely meant for sports and wildlife photography, this lens does not offer dust or splash protection. At the same time, the aperture is dim, making this lens hard to use in low-light situations.
Overall, I would say that the Sony 18-135mm is a surprisingly versatile lens. I did not expect this lens to deliver such a good performance across most of the issues. All the concerns I had about the lens simply vanished once I put this lens on the camera.
Sony 70-350mm – Best Telezoom Lens for Sony A6500
Sony 70-350mm offers a 1:1.3 macro focus. It is specifically designed for APS-C cameras.
Sony’s dedication towards its APS-C cameras is commendable, to say the least. The company has created some of the best lenses for the APS-C bodies, and the 700-350mm is just that as this telezoom lens is one of the best that the company has to offer.
Now, let’s be honest, the focal range is intimidating when you realize that on an A6500 or any other APS-C camera, it effectively becomes 105-525mm and this is why I am calling it a super telezoom lens, in the first place. But do not worry, this lens is supposed to be made for those who are not afraid of a little outdoorsy action, and well, the lens does have the chops for it.
For starters, despite having such a massive zoom range, the lens brings a compact design that also has weather sealing so you should not worry about getting the lens in some mud or letting it get wet. The lens is also one of the sharpest sony lens that I have seen and is optically very strong.
Sony has been generous with this lens as this lens brings you a 1:1.3 macro focus and while it is not the most prominent macro focus, it still is something ant works well in almost all situations. As long as you have enough light, you can take some stunning macro shots with this macro lens.
In my experience, I did not run into any issues with the lens, but there are a few that I would like to address. For starters, the aperture is on the dimmer side, and the lens is not compatible with teleconverters. The latter should not be a problem.
In conclusion, the Sony 70-350mm quickly becomes a great lens for you to use. However, I would only suggest this lens if you are looking to macro photography like shoot wildlife or sports because otherwise, this lens has a very closed-up perspective and it might not be suited for everyone.
Sigma 16mm – Best Ultra-wide Angle Prime Lens for Sony A6500
Sigma 16mm provides a wide-angle field of view for stunning pictures. The illumination remains even.
It should not come as a surprise that we have raved about Sigma lenses in the past, and Sigma 16mm is one of the lenses that deserve all the praise in the world. Not only this is one of the sharpest prime lenses on the market but the bright f/1.4 aperture makes this lens a lot more fun than you might think.
Now, it is important to know that this lens is built for Sony’s APS-C cameras, so it would fit perfectly on the A6500, making it one of the best lenses for Sony A6500 that you can pick up. The bright aperture makes this lens a bokeh monster but at the same time, the 16mm focal length makes it versatile as well.
However, this is not all. The lens offers incredible sharpness edge-to-edge in the center and around the corners. Not just that, you are also looking at an even illumination, which is a characteristic that I love about this lens. The splash and dust resistant build on this lens is great and allows you to carry the lens wherever you want without having to worry about getting it ruined.
My only issue with this lens is that there is some degree of barrel distortion but that is not the lens’ fault since, at such a wide focal length, you are bound to run into such issues.
To put it simply, the Sigma 16mm f/1.4 is one of my favorite lenses. It is a great prime lens for Sony mirrorless cameras, and after using it for some time, I can tell you that you are looking at an excellent lens that is not going to give you any problems when you are using it.
Sony 20mm f/2.8 – Best Compact Lens for Sony A6500
Sony 20mm can be used for fisheye and wide-angle converters. Its wide field of view is excellent to have.
Pancake lenses have become a lot more popular than they used to be and while I would credit Canon for doing it with their 24mm. Sony took things further and introduced a 20mm version of the lens, and while it is not a massive difference, the lens itself is excellent.
One of the best things about the Sony 20mm f/2.8 is just how light and slim this lens is. You can fit this one in the pocket of your jacket and then you do not have to worry about anything. Despite being super-slim, the lens has some of the sharpest optics that we have seen in a lens lately.
The wide field of view is excellent even on an APS-C camera, and it works with fisheye and wide-angle converters. So, if you need drastic changes in the optical characteristics of the lens, you can get that.
Last but not least, I also really admire the fact that this is one of the more affordable lenses in the market and you will not have any issues using this lens.
My only problem here is that the lens does run into some barrel distortions, but at 20mm, things like that are expected, to begin with.
Overall, I would say that this is one of the best lenses for Sony A6500 landscape photography because it works well and does not disappoint at all.
Sigma 30mm – Best Travel Lens for Sony A6500
Sigma 30mm offers a bright aperture at f/1.4. This lens does not cost a lot.
Sigma lenses are great and we are all aware of that, the DC series that they make is specifically for the mirrorless cameras, and these lenses, for the longest time have reigned supreme. Their price to performance ratio is one thing but the fact that these are incredibly sharp and deliver consistent image quality is not to be overlooked.
With that said, the Sigma 30mm is a great lens that you should be going for, to be honest. It works well, and the best part is that it is not going to complicate the matter further for you. The bright f/1.4 aperture works like magic, and the lens optics are brilliant as they produce sharp images across the whole field.
Thankfully, these sony a6500 lenses also have even illumination so you are not getting a lens that is not going to deliver the same level of performance, and most importantly, this is one of the more affordable lenses that you can get your hands on.
There are a few things that are lacking, however. For starters, this is the best travel lens for sony a6500 does have some barrel distortion and no optical image stabilization. But considering the price and nature of the lens, asking for optical image stabilization makes little to no sense.
Overall, the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 is one of the best lenses available in the market. Not just that, it is also one of the best travel lenses for Sony A6500 and will deliver exceptionally well-balanced performance regardless of the shooting conditions you are in thanks to its wide aperture.
Sony 10-18mm – Best Ultra-Wide Zoom Lens for Sony A6500
Sony 10-18mm lens has excellent optics. You are getting optical image stabilization.
I am getting closer to the end of the list and there are still some great lenses to check out. Take the Sony 10-18mm for instance. Again, this lens does look a strange one as the field of view on this one is on the ultra-wide side, but when you pair it with a good crop sensor camera like the A6500, you come to realize that this lens is not bad at all quite the contrary.
For starters, you are looking at a lens with some of the strongest optics that I have had the chance to look at. This lens is sharp and delivers excellent image quality across the board. The fact that this has optical image stabilization surprised me but hey, this is one feature that I will take any time of the day.
The lens is also lightweight and compact, which one would expect considering how small the zoom range is, but that is a plus rather than being negative. Another thing that I love about this lens is that it features full support for front filters, which is always great to have.
Honestly, there is a lot to love about this lens and I am surprised that despite not being a flagship lens, it did deliver the performance that makes it worthy of being one, to be honest. I do have some issues with the distortion that comes in the way, and the slightly dimmer aperture at f/4.
However, after spending ample time with this beautiful ultra-wide lens, I realized how good it is for the Sony A6500, and how it might as well be one of the best lenses for the camera. If you can overcome the slightly dimmer aperture, you are good to go.
Sony 35mm f/1.8 – Best Prime Lens for Sony A6500
Sony 35mm offers dust and splash protection. Gets better when you stop the aperture down.
Every photographer needs a good prime lens in their bag, and while some would argue that you can create your photography setup using only prime lenses but that is not going to be the case as some people need zoom lenses, too. I know I need one.
With that said, the Sony 35mm is a classic prime lens that you can get for your Sony A6500 or any other Sony camera, for that matter. It delivers exceptional performance and more importantly, it is not going to let you down in any case, and that is one thing that we can assure you.
Now, the good news is that the lens offers excellent sharpness even when you are using it at f/1.8. However, if you decide to stop the aperture down, you realize the true prowess of this lens and you realize how good it is.
The lens is surprisingly compact and lightweight, which allows you to easily carry it around whenever you feel like it. However, the one thing that I loved about this lens more than anything is the fact that this lens is fully dust and splash-protected. A feature that you normally do not see on prime lenses, but hey, I would rather have this than live without it.
After using it for some time, I can tell you that this lens is not something that is going to disappoint you in many ways, to be honest. At 35mm, you are ought to come across some level of distortion but once you correct the images, you will be good to go and the images will come out looking excellent.
Overall, I had a hard time finding faults in this lens, to be honest. It is not only a good prime lens but it also is one of the best prime lenses that are available in the market, and that makes this an excellent offering for anyone.
Sony 50mm f/1.8 – Best Portrait Lens for A6500
Sony 50mm gets super sharp when you stop it down. Solid build quality with included lens hood.
The last lens that we are looking at is the Sony 50mm f/1.8. Now, it is safe to say that you have seen this lens in different camera systems across the board. Every company has its version of this lens, and almost every lens performs the same way, as well.
The reason to include this is simple, this is one of the most used lenses for a lot of people. Whether you want to take landscape pictures or you want to go ahead and start experimenting with portraiture, this lens is going to serve you the experience and you would love to use it.
Now, the great thing about this lens is that it has excellent optics, and whenever you are taking pictures, the results that this lens produces are always up to the mark. It gets even better if you decide to stop it because then the lens becomes a lot sharper.
Another great thing that I love about this lens is how it is lightweight and compact; if you are looking to carry it around, this lens is not going to stop you from effectively doing that. However, the one thing that surprised me the most is the solid build quality.
Previous 50mm from other companies have had good build quality, but none of them was as solid in terms of the overall build quality. Sony has ensured that this lens is not only built like a tank but they have added a lens hood in the box, as well. Which makes the value proposition even better.
There are a few things though that are not as good. For starters, the focus is on the slower side, and you are going to get some edge softness and dim corners at wide apertures, a common problem with most budget 50mm lenses.
Overall, if you are looking for a good lens for portrait photography, then this is something that will deliver fantastic results. What is even better is that it doubles up as one of the best lenses for videos as well. So, if you want to go set your camera up and shoot videos in your room/studio, you can use this lens to get started.
Frequently Asked Questions
At first glance, the Sony A6500 might look like a camera that one cannot take seriously. However, the more you use it, the more you realize how that notion is wrong. Paired with the right lens, this camera is one hell of a gadget and can take some amazing pictures and even videos.
That is why this roundup is here to take care of all your photography and videography needs as well as we featured the best lenses that you can use on your Sony A6500.
Hey, I’m Gary Sindell from beautiful Vancouver. A passionate photographer turned ‘Lens Guru’, I’ll help you discover the power of the right lens and elevate your photography game.