The Sony a6000 is one of my favorite cameras and one of the best mirrorless camera models that I’ve ever used.
While it comes with a great kit lens there are a variety of different, more suitable lenses for the a6000 that I’d recommend if you’re looking to upgrade to something that can capture higher quality and more detailed images.
There are actually two different kit lenses available and whichever one you get is likely going to be a suitable choice for the majority of photographers.
Right out-of-the-box the camera is able to take stunning, high quality images so for many people there isn’t really a need to upgrade to something better.
However, if you want to take advantage of a better zoom, take higher quality portrait shots, feel like using a prime lens or you just want some more options and features when it comes to taking photos then there are a a few different lenses that you should consider trying out.
It’s hard to pick a single best lens for Sony a6000 cameras because there are so many different shooting types and personal photography styles that one lens isn’t really the “catch-all” for anyone looking to upgrade.
Regardless, I’m going to go over some of the options that I’d recommend as the best lens for a6000 cameras depending on whether you’re looking to use a different kit lens, wide-angle, portrait, telephoto or just an all-around suitable lens for most situations.
Before settling on some new optics I want to remind you that there is a 1.5x crop factor with the a6000 so you’ll want to keep this in mind when you’re looking for a suitable lens.
The Best Lenses for Sony a6000 Cameras
If you’re in a rush and you don’t feel like reading through my description of each lens here’s a quick glance at the different optics that I recommend.
- Sony 18-200mm (f/3.5-6.3): Suitable for a wide range of photography scenarios
- Sony 16-50mm Power Zoom (f/3.5-5.6): A great kit lens or entry level option if you bought the body only
- Sony 10-18mm (f/4): A nifty little wide-angle
- Sigma 19mm (f/2.8): A great wide-angle with quick focus
- Sony Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm (f/4): Well suited for portraits and landscapes
- Sony 50mm (f/1.8): Practical for capturing objects up close, head-shots and architecture
- Sony 55-210mm (f/4.5-6.3): My favorite Sony a6000 telephoto for zoom shots
My Recommendation for Most Photography Scenarios
Sony 18-200mm (f/3.5-6.3)
- Weight: 524g/18.5oz
- 35mm focal length equivalent: 27-300mm
If I had to recommend a single lens to use in the majority of shooting situations with the a6000 it would be the Sony 18-200mm.
I found this to be a very versatile and practical camera lens for traveling, hiking, urban photography and nearly anything else that I needed it for.
Although it’s an all-in-one lens it is a very convenient and easy to use optic. If you’re just looking for something quick to attached to your camera and you’re not worried about switching lenses out in the field then I’d suggest checking out the 18-200mm.
While it’s not going to be an exceptional optic for any one particular focal length, it’s what I use regularly and it’s a suitable choice to take with you on a regular basis and use for just about everything outside of a dedicated shoot.
The images it captures are quite sharp and thanks to the built-in Optical SteadyShot you’re able to take advantage of a steadier photograph and video without the need for an additional tripod.
The only drawbacks I found with the 18–200mm were that it’s quite bulky to carry around and, if you’re traveling or you always carry your camera with you, it’s a little bit heavy at nearly 530g.
Overall, I would definitely recommend the Sony 18-200mm lens if you’re looking for something practical that you want to carry with you regularly or a lens that’s going to be able to allow you to capture photos in a wide variety of the situations and locations you’ll be in depending on your shooting skills and preferences.
Where to Buy?
Sony a6000 Kit Lens
Sony 16-50mm (f/3.5-5.6)
- Weight: 4.1oz/116g
- 35mm focal length equivalent: 25-75mm
One of the lenses that comes with the a6000 kit is the 16-50mm Power Zoom.
It’s typically sold with the camera itself, coming in the box, and it’s another suitable option for most people.
If you’re an amateur photographer or you’re just getting into mirrorless cameras then it’s a good idea to learn using this lens before upgrading to something bigger and better.
This was the first lens that I used on the a6000 and I never had any serious problems with it.
For an optic that comes with the kit I found it to take high-quality images and if you’re traveling or you’re looking for something lightweight to use on a daily basis this is a very portable and compact little lens.
From 20mm is where you’ll find the best range for shooting which makes it a suitable choice for urban photography it’s why I recommend leaving it on if you’re planning on traveling with it.
There are a few minor drawbacks however.
It does take very nice photos but when the lens is open completely wide there is some distortion on the outer edges which have to be corrected in post. There also isn’t a great zoom but portability and a light weight are the trade-off.
Overall, I would recommend checking out the stock Sony 16-50mm lens, or just leaving it on if you picked up the camera kit, if you’re looking for another suitable lens that’s practical to use in the majority of shooting situations.
If you need something with more zoom or you’re interested in taking portrait shots then you might want to consider something else but for many people this a very reliable, lightweight and durable lens.
Where to Buy?
Sony 10-18mm (f/4)
- Weight: 7.9oz/224g
- 35mm focal length equivalent: 15-27mm
Unfortunately, there aren’t so many wide angle options available yet for the Sony a6000 but if you’re set on picking one up I’d recommend checking out the Sony 10-18mm wide-angle that’s currently available.
I don’t use wide-angle lenses too often but I found the Sony 10-18mm to be more than suitable for my wide-angle requirements and I was surprised at how sharp the images were and how quickly the focus was.
There was barely any distortion that I could notice and at just 7.9 ounces the 10-18mm was quite a lightweight and portable lens, especially compared to some of the wide-angle options available for DSLRs.
One of the drawbacks I noticed was that there is only a maximum aperture capability of f/4, which does tend to introduce a bit of shake and vibration in the shot, but it comes with an Optical SteadyShot (OSS) capability that really helps to reduce any vibrations and shakiness.
While I did find it to be a bit pricey it was all that was available for me when I was looking for one of the best lenses for a6000 cameras that was wide-angle.
Overall, if you really need a wide-angle lens I still recommend checking out the Sony 10-18mm wide-angle lens because it’s really one of the only options available that I would want to recommend.
Hopefully Sony will come out with a more improved and more affordable wide angle in the future so if you’re on a tight budget I would definitely keep my eye out.
Where to Buy?
Portrait Lenses and Mid-Range Optics
Sigma 19mm (f/2.8)
- Weight 4.9oz/139g
- 35mm focal length equivalent: 28.5mm
If you’re in need for a lightweight and affordable lens that’s able to take some pretty stunning images and has a quick focus the I’d recommend checking out the Sigma 19mm lens.
Its competitor optic, the Sony 20mm, shoots in same aperture and similar focal length range but I found that the Sigma offers more value when it comes to durability and image quality.
While the Sony 20mm is a little smaller, the Sigma 20m is also quite small and has a very compact profile making it suitable for travelling with or using on a regular basis.
It’s only around 1.8-inches thick and at just 4.9oz it’s hardly going to hold you back when you’re exploring a new city or out on a photo shoot.
Overall, I’d recommend checking out the Sigma 19mm if you’re looking for a nifty little portrait/mid-range lens that makes a great addition to any Sony mirrorless users camera bag.
It’s a bit bigger than the similar Sony 20mm so go with the Sony if you need something small but otherwise the Sigma 19mm is a suitable choice.
Where to Buy?
Sony Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm (f/4)
- Weight: 10.9oz/309g
- 35mm focal length equivalent: 24-105mm
Another one of the optics I kept coming across when I was looking for the best lenses for the Sony a6000 was the Sony Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm.
I needed something that was perfect for shooting landscapes as well as portraits and this is the lens that kept coming up so I picked it up and tried it out.
So far I’ve been very surprised with it and the image quality, picture clarity and vibrant colors even before post processing were very impressive.
Overall, if you’re looking to upgrade to something more serious, I’d recommend the Sony Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm if you’re looking for a lens that’s capable of taking a mix of both portrait and landscape shots.
If you’re travelling I think that it’s especially a good choice and so far it’s the best e-mount travel lens for the Sony a6000 that I’ve used.
Of course, it’s a bit expensive, but for intermediate/professional photographers or anyone looking to take some epic shots with the a6000 i’d definitely consider this lens.
Where to Buy?
Sony 50mm (f/1.8)
- Weight: 7.30z/207g
- 35mm focal length equivalent: 75mm
For the price I believe that the Sony 50mm offers quite a lot of value and is a suitable lens if you’ll be taking a lot of portraits, head shots and anything else up close.
I wouldn’t recommend it as an every day lens or something to travel with, but for taking photographs of people it’s a great choice.
When I was using it I never noticed any distortion near the corners of the image, like the kit lens the a6000 comes with, and I found that it excelled in low-light situations.
For portraits, low light scenarios aren’t really something that you usually have to worry about but if you’re outdoors and shooting in the field it’s a good feature to be able to take advantage of. The maximum aperture is f/1.8 so you can see why it’s able to handle those low-light situations.
The only drawback I had using the Sony 50mm is that sometimes the auto-focus would switch the object it was focusing on and I had to wait a moment for it to correct itself.
If you’re capturing architecture, urban scenes or you’re shooting in nature I’d suggest taking a look at the other options on this list.
Where to Buy?
Sony 55-210mm (f/4.5-6.3)
- Weight: 12.2oz/346g
- 35mm focal length equivalent: 82.5-315mm
For traveling or nature photography a telephoto lens is always a great optic to have and it’s the Sony 55-210mm that I’d recommend for the a6000.
Of all the lenses I found online this one had the farthest reach, at about 315mm, and is able to take great quality images even when it’s all the way zoomed in.
Sometimes I would notice a lack of image quality or some vibrations when zoomed all the way in with my Canon telephoto, but thanks to Sony’s Optical SteadyShot feature I didn’t have that problem with the 55-210mm.
For the price I found that it offered great value, especially for a telephoto, and you could either pick up a kit that comes with the 55-210mm (much better value) or you could buy it on its own if you already have the a6000 and you’re looking for a better zoom lens.
The only drawback I experienced was that I found that this lens doesn’t have the best low light performance.
The maximum aperture is only f/4.5 so in low light situations when there wasn’t any surrounding lighting that I could take advantage of the 55-210mm would choke a little and the image quality suffered.
Otherwise, I’d definitely recommend the Sony 55-210mm lens if you’re looking for what I believe is a great telephoto lens for the a6000.
It’s not an optic I would consider using as an everyday carry, because of its size, but if you’re travelling or you’re heading out specifically to shoot with a zoom then I recommend checking it out.
Where to Buy?
Lens Changing Tips
Whether you’ve decided to pick up a new lens for your a6000 or not, I want to share some lens changing tips so you can quickly and securely get your optic fitted onto your camera.
A problem that i’ve noticed with mirrorless cameras is that some of them tend to be more prone to dust spots, especially when compared to point-and-shoot cameras or DSLRs with amazing self-cleaning lenses.
One way to avoid dust spots, apart from using a camera case, is to properly change lenses in a way that isn’t as conducive to letting dust into the camera body.
Here are some tips you can take advantage of the next time you’re changing your lens.
Keep the Camera Body Facing Downward
One of the main problems I noticed that occurs when people change their lenses is that they hold the camera body upright and once the optic is removed this leaves the sensor and interior of the camera body totally exposed to the elements.
With the sensor exposed it’s a lot more likely for dust to enter the camera body and become stuck on the sensor, leaving behind an unsightly blemish on your photographs.
To avoid having this problem, simply remove the lens with the camera body pointing downwards so that dust and other debris can’t fall into it and get trapped on the sensor.
Have Everything Ready
When you’re ready to add on a new lens make sure that you have it ready beside you.
Never remove the old one and start fumbling around while you look for the new one with the sensor completely exposed.
Have everything laid out in front of you so that when you’re ready to go you can quickly swap the lenses and not have to go searching for any missing parts or pieces.
Change Optics in a Low Dust Environment
Once you’re finally ready to change the optic try to find somewhere in your home, apartment or office where there isn’t a lot of dust present.
To be honest, I actually recommend using the bathroom because they happen to be cleaned quite regularly in most living spaces and the hard surfaces don’t attract as much dust as carpet or furniture.
You can also run the water hot for a few minutes, adding just a small amount of humidity to your bathroom, which won’t even for their help with to trap the dust.
Use the Caps
Both your camera and the lenses you have likely came with a cap that you can use.
It’s a good idea to leave the cap on the camera body if you don’t plan on having any lenses attached and once you remove any optics be sure to add the protective caps on right away to avoid scratching them or damaging them while they’re being stored.