If you’ve ever wondered why Sony’s E-mount took off to become one of the most beloved mounts, you don’t have to look any further than this roundup of affordable third-party E-mount primes.
When Sony launched their first mirrorless E-mount camera, they knew they had much to do regarding lenses. Sony knew that native first-party lenses would take some time to research and design, so letting third-party lens developers in on the E-mount action was a smart move. It’s definitely a play that Canon could learn a thing or two from.
The fact that you can go out and buy fantastic third-party E-mount primes for under $400 blows my mind. It wasn’t that long ago that even third-party lenses — cheaper than first-party offerings — would still cost closer to $1,000 than under $400. You might think that you have to make a ton of compromises with these cheaper lenses, but you’d be wrong. The lenses listed in this roundup punch well above their weight and could honestly sell for much more.
All of the third-party E-mount primes below have optics and features that will bring a smile to any photographer’s face. They’re sharp, fast, and dependable. All of the lenses render incredible images, and they’re well made. If you’ve opted to join team Sony and want to expand your Sony E mount lens library without destroying your wallet, check out the lenses below.
Sigma 16mm f/1.4 DC DN — One of the best third-party E-mount primes ever made
The Sigma 16mm f/1.4 DC DN is an exceptional lens for an exceptional price. This fast prime will has 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 thanks to this lens.
The maximum aperture of f/1.4 will allow you to get a very shallow depth of field and allow you to shoot in low-light situations with ease. The excellent optics will help you create sharp images, even wide-open, and a seal at the mount gives a small amount of protection from the elements. This lens is one of the best third-party E-mount primes you can get your hands on. You’ll want to use it all the time.
Tamron 20mm f/2.8 Di III OSD — Incredible weather sealing and top optics
The Tamron 20mm f/2.8 Di III OSD should be considered one of the must-have third-party E-mount primes for Sony cameras. Thanks to its price-to-performance ratio (it costs less than $250), you get serious bang for your buck with this lens.
Like many modern Tamron lenses, the 20mmm f/2.8 Di III OSD features a body made from tough composites. The optics are fantastic, and they help produce colors that will please. The weather sealing is the same level as we’d expect to see much more expensive pro-grade lenses. In addition, the lens focuses like a champ and plays nicely with all of the bells and whistles in Sony’s autofocusing systems. So, if you need a fast wide-angle prime that won’t break the bank, check out this lens. Read our full review here.
Tamron 24mm f/2.8 Di III OSD — Rapid focusing performance and beautiful image rendering
Another lens from the holy trinity of Tamron f/2.8 primes. The 24mm f/2.8 Di III OSD has the same excellent optics that can be found in both the 20mm and 35mm (read our 35mm review here) variants of this lens. This means you’ll be able to create sharp images with fantastic colors.
The 24mm has the same excellent weather sealing and blazing-fast autofocus motors as the other two lenses in this series. The lens works with all of the fantastic real-time Sony autofocus features effortlessly, and thanks to its small size and weight, your won’t pop a disc in your back when you take it on long photowalks. The best part? This third-party E-mount prime is under $200! Check out our full review here.
Samyang Autofocus 35mm f/2.8 — A delicious pancake lens
This 35mm f/2.8 pancake lens from Samyang is another beauty in the world of affordable third-party E-mount primes. This lens is tiny, which makes it a breeze to slap on your camera and walk around for hours. The Samyang 35mm f/2.8 weighs just 0.18lbs, so you’ll barely even feel it on your camera.
Don’t think its small size impacts performance either. This lens has fast autofocus motors. The optics and their coatings control distortion, flares and ghosting very well, and it can even create nice bokeh. At under $400, this is another lens that will show Canon users what they’re missing out on when it comes to affordable third-party lenses.
Rokinon Autofocus 50mm f/1.4 FE — A stunningly sharp third-party E-mount prime
Rokinon has always made lenses with top-quality optics. While it took a while for the company to make lenses with autofocus motors, the wait has been worth it. What’s impressive is that the newer autofocus lenses are still as affordable as ever. The Rokinon AF 50mm f/1.4 is proof that you don’t have to go broke to get a nice glass.
For under $400, you will get genuinely stunning optics that produce razor-sharp images, smooth bokeh, and natural colors. The all-metal body even has a small amount of weather sealing. Honestly, if you’re in the market for a fast nifty fifty that defies expectations, this offering from Rokinon could be the one for you. It’s simply one of the best third-party ER-mount primes in this price range that you can buy.