When it comes to shooting great macro photos, there are several key components that ensure your finished product looks good. One of these, is your lens. A good macro lens will help get you good macro shots. In today’s article, we look at the best macro lenses for Sony cameras.
Whether you’re a budget macro photographer or one of the pros, you’re bound to find something that perfectly fits the bill for you.
Here is our list of the best macro lenses for Sony in 2020:
- Sony FE 50mm f/2.8 Macro
- Sigma 70mm f/2.8 DG Macro Art
- Sony E 30mm f/3.5 Macro
- Venus Optics Laowa 25mm f/2.8 2.5-5X Ultra Macro
- Rokinon 100mm f/2.8 Macro
- Sony 50mm f/2.8 Macro
Sony E-mount – Best Picks
Best Entry Level Pick
Great choice for full-frame Sony mirrorless
Great image quality. Fast aperture.
Sony’s FE mount lenses are designed for the full-frame mirrorless camera systems like the a7R III or the a7S II. The major selling point of this lens is the 1:1 magnification ratio that it offers at a minimum focusing distance of 6.3″.
Among the many advantages of the lens is a printed distance and magnification scale indicator. You also have a focus range limiter. The last of the three allows you to set the focusing range so that the lens does not unnecessarily hunt for focus across a large range.
Finally, as an outdoor photographer doing macro photography, you want to have that extra protection of weather sealing. The FE 50mm f/2.8 macro comes with weather sealing. With a weather-sealed body, you will be prepared to go outdoors and shoot in inclement weather.
One of the best third-party options
Fast aperture. Sigma’s Art series lens.
While third-party equipment used to be more hit-and-miss, these days third-party lenses are a great way to get a high-quality lens at a lower price point.
The Sigma 70mm f/2.8 DG Macro Art is a good choice to go for if you’re looking for a third-party steal. The fast wide aperture of f/2.8 gives you great subject separation from the background.
The quality of background blur, also known as Bokeh depends on many things. One of them is the number of aperture diaphragm blades there are in the lens. And this lens has a total of 9 aperture diaphragm blades.
As a true macro lens, you will be able to produce a life-size rendition of anything you choose to shoot from a close focusing distance.
Several elements have been used in the construction of the lens to ensure the quality of images produced. Two FLD elements, two SLD elements, two aspherical elements, and one anomalous partial dispersion element which ensure that light transmission across different wavelengths are in unison and the final images are sharp and contrasty.
Additionally, the lens has also been treated with a Super Multi-Layer coating for additional true color rendition and sharper results overall.
Decent entry level pick
Decent entry level pick for crop cameras
Gets you into the world of macro photography at a budget.
Small macro lenses are cheaper whilst still being effective in producing the desired result. That is 1:1 magnification or life-size reproduction of the subject being photographed. Being cheap they are also the primary target for new macro photographers looking for an entry-level lens.
But the biggest problem of these small focal length lenses is that the minimum focusing distance is small. For the Sony E 30mm f/3.5 that would be 3.74-inches. Also, the minimum working distance is 0.9-inch. And that means you have to get very close to your subject in order to make a good image.
Doing that means you are likely to block the light. We recommend getting a small ring light or a continuous light that can help you to light the subject and get a proper exposure when you are shooting.
The E 30mm f/3.5 Macro lens is designed for the smaller crop camera systems of Sony. The lens’s image circle will cover the smaller area of a crop sensor only.
This is a lightweight, less complicated design consisting of only 7 elements arranged in 6 groups. The design includes one ED element and three aspherical elements. Together, they produce a sharp and contrasty image.
The fact that it is lightweight also goes in its favor. The lens is easy to handle and shoot for considerable amounts of time without any issues.
4. Venus Optics Laowa 25mm f/2.8 2.5-5X Ultra Macro
The closest you can get with a macro lens
Offers up to 5x magnification. Reasonably fast aperture.
This is a full-frame lens designed for Sony’s E mount cameras. So, this lens is compatible with a large number of Sony’s best-selling mirrorless system cameras.
The biggest selling point of this Laowa lens is its fantastic magnification ratio of 2.5 to 5x. This is where this inexpensive lens is so good. Where other lenses will only give you, at the most, 1x magnification which is life-size, this one gives 2.5 – 5x. So, if you always wondered how you can shoot those breathtakingly stunning close-up bug shots. Now you know how it is done.
All this from a minimum working distance of 6.8-inches. That allows a lot more flexibility in terms of working space when it comes to shooting bugs and creepy crawlies.
Another advantage of the lens is it is super cheap. Cheaper than a lot of other lenses and certainly way cheaper than any lens capable of producing 5x magnification. It is undoubtedly one of the best macro lenses for Sony purely in terms of the magnification achieved.
Notwithstanding, all that has been said above, there is however one major problem. This lens does not have a focusing adjustment ring. The only way you can adjust focus is by moving the lens back and forth from the subject you are photographing.
In terms of construction, the lens comes with one ED element. That takes care of chromatic aberrations and color fringing to produce a sharper image.
This is another manual focusing lens. The 100mm Rokinon f/2.8 Macro lens is designed for the Sony E-mount. The longer focal length offered by this lens if great for having a more generous working distance.
The minimum focusing distance is 1″, which is actually a great thing. It allows you to utilize natural light and not obstruct your shot with your own shadow. Additionally, if you are shooting with artificial lights this leaves some room to add them into your shooting space.
It is a good thing that the front element of the lens does not extend when focusing. A lot of OEM and third-party lenses do that and it can result in a number of issues. Including ‘Focus Breathing’, as well as touching the subject with the front part of the lens.
One thing that goes against the lens is the absence of a focusing motor. It is worth noting that this is a manual focusing lens, which may be less desirable for beginners.
Coming down to the construction of the lens there is a single refractive index element and another extra-low dispersion element. Together these elements ensure that the lens is able to control the color fringing problem to a large extent. They are also able to control distortions across the focusing and aperture range of the lens.
Finally, to top everything off, the lens comes with an ultra multi-coating applied that takes care of ghosting and lens flare. Let’s be honest there are some photographers who love that beautiful (an old school) lens flare. But you want that to be an artistic embellishment of a photo, something that is created and not unintended or out of place.
All in all this is one of the strongest contenders among the best macro lenses for Sony cameras.
Versatile standard prime lens
Excellent image quality. Versatile focal length.
Sony’s own 50mm lens is a great beginner choice.
Apart from being a macro lens, this is also a standard prime. A 50mm lens can be used for shooting street photos, portrait shots, and almost everything from the same angle of view that the human eye gives.
The overall construction of the lens contains 8 elements arranged in 7 groups. It consists of one ED element. This takes care of chromatic aberrations. Sony also made sure to improve the lens’ contrast and color rendition abilities.
The presence of an aspherical element ensures that the lens is able to counter astigmatism and other types of monochromatic aberrations.
Finally, the dust and moisture-sealed design make this a versatile lens. You don’t have to plan your shots or check the weather before heading out. Just grab your camera bag and head for the outdoors whenever you feel like it!
The Best Macro Lenses for Sony Cameras: Closing Thoughts
Whether you’re a seasoned photographer looking for a top-quality macro lens, or a beginner just finding their feet, we hope you’ve found this article helpful and informative. With one of the best macro lenses for sony cameras, you’re bound to be on your way to capturing great images!
If you get one of these lenses, or have one that you think is worthy of the best macro lenses for Sony title, why not share it with us in the comments?
Rajib is an avid travel photographer and an overall shutterbug. He loves to test and review new photography gear. He has been writing about cameras and lenses for over 10 years now. You can consider him as your “master guide” here at PhotoWorkout.
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