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
Keep reading to learn more about each lens and to see which ones are best suited to your needs, budget, and photography requirements.
The Sony a6000 is one of my favorite cameras. It’s one of the best mirrorless camera models that I’ve ever used!
Though it comes with a great kit lens there are a number of more suitable lenses for the a6000 that I’d recommend. These are perfect if you’re looking to upgrade to something that can capture higher quality and more detailed images.
There are two different kit lenses available. Both are a suitable choice for the majority of photographers.
Right out-of-the-box the camera is able to take stunning, high quality images. For many people, like your casual user, there isn’t a need to upgrade to something better.
However, if you want to take advantage of a better zoom, capture higher quality portrait shots, use 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. This is because here are so many different shooting types and personal photography styles. 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 depending on whether you’re looking to use a different kit lens, wide-angle, portrait, telephoto or something good enough for most shooting scenarios.
Before settling on some new optics I want to remind you that there is a 1.5x crop factor with the a6000. Keep this in mind when you’re looking for a suitable lens.
The Best Lenses for the Sony a6000 Mirrorless Camera
Sony 18-200mm (f/3.5-6.3) [Best for Most Photography Scenarios]
- 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.
This is versatile and practical lens to use for traveling, hiking, urban photography and most general photography needs.
As an all-in-one lens it’s convenient and easy to use.
The images it captures are sharp and full of color. The built-in Optical SteadyShot makes it easier to capture steady photographs and videos before having to rely on a tripod.
While it’s not going to be an exceptional optic for any one particular focal length, it’s a great lens to use regularly. The Sony 18-200mm would be a suitable choice to take with you on a regular basis and use for just everything outside of a dedicated shoot.
There were a few drawbacks that I found with the 18–200mm. For one, it’s quite bulky to carry around. If you’re traveling regularly or carrying your camera on a regular basis it can get heavy at more than a pound in weight.
Overall, I would definitely recommend the Sony 18-200mm lens. This is a great choice if you’re looking for something that’s capable of capturing stunning images and great for being used on a regular basis. Despite being a little heavy the Sony 18-200mm is the best lens for most people!
Sony 16-50mm (f/3.5-5.6) [Sony a6000 Kit Lens]
- 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 right in the box. This is another lens that’s great 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. Once you’ve mastered it you can then consider upgrading to something bigger and better.
This was the first lens that I used on the a6000. With more than two years of regular use there weren’t any problems with it.
The Sony 16-50mm kit lens takes high-quality images and is well-suited for for urban photography. If you’re traveling or you’re looking for something lightweight to use on a daily basis this is a portable and compact lens you’ll want to check out.
There are a few minor drawbacks with this 16-50mm that I’d like to point out.
When the lens is open wide there is some distortion on the outer edges. These have to be corrected in post. Not a deal-breaker but it can get annoying depending on what you’re trying to capture.
There also isn’t a great zoom. For travel and city photos this isn’t a big deal. For anything else you’ll want to take another look at the lens I just mentioned.
The trade-off is that this lens is lightweight and portable. It’s easy to toss into your camera bag and it’s perfect for a backup or spare.
I would definitely recommend checking out the stock Sony 16-50mm lens. Feel free to leave it on if you picked up the camera kit with the 16-50mm stock. This is a great lens that’s practical to use in the majority of photography situations.
Sony 10-18mm (f/4) [Best Wide Angle Lens for the Sony a6000]
- Weight: 7.9oz/224g
- 35mm focal length equivalent: 15-27mm
There aren’t that many wide angle options available for the Sony a6000. For those of you set on picking one up I recommend checking out the Sony 10-18mm wide-angle.
In my opinion, this is the best wide angle for the Sony a6000. I don’t use wide-angle lenses too often but I found the Sony 10-18mm to be perfect for my wide-angle requirements. The sharp images and quick focus was such a pleasant surprise.
There was barely any distortion that I could notice in the photos. At just 7.9 ounces the 10-18mm is a lightweight and portable lens, especially compared to some of the wide-angle options available for DSLRs.
One of the drawbacks I noticed was the maximum aperture capability of f/4. This does tend to introduce a bit of shake and vibration in the shot. Thankfully the lens comes with an Optical SteadyShot capability that helps to reduce any vibrations.
To be honest I did find the lens to be pricey. However, in the wide angle market with the Sony a6000 the options are limited.
Overall, I’d still recommend checking out the Sony 10-18mm wide-angle lens. It’s really one of the only options available that I’m comfortable recommending.
Hopefully Sony will come out with an improved and more affordable wide angle in the future. If you’re on a tight budget I would definitely keep my eye out.
Sigma 19mm (f/2.8) [Best Portrait Lens for the Sony a6000]
- Weight 4.9oz/139g
- 35mm focal length equivalent: 28.5mm
The Sigma 19mm lens is lightweight, reasonably priced, and takes some pretty stunning images. These features along with a low profile design and quick auto-focus make this 19mm an amazing lens that most photographers will love.
Its direct competitor, the Sony 20mm, shoots in same aperture and similar focal length range. I found that the Sigma offered better value when it came to durability and image quality.
While the Sony 20mm is a little smaller, the Sigma 20m is also small and features a compact profile. This makes it great for traveling with or using on a daily basis for general photography.
Overall, I’d recommend checking out the Sigma 19mm if you’re looking for a nifty little portrait/mid-range lens.
Sony 50mm (f/1.8)
- Weight: 7.30z/207g
- 35mm focal length equivalent: 75mm
For the price the Sony 50mm offers a lot of value and it’s a great lens if you’ll be taking portraits, head shots and anything else up close.
For taking photographs of people this is the lens you need to check out.
When I was using it I never noticed any distortion near the corners of the image, like the kit lens the a6000 comes with. I found that the Sony 50mm excelled in low-light situations.
For portraits, low light scenarios aren’t really something that you have to worry about. The maximum aperture is f/1.8 so you can see why it’s able to handle those low-light situations.
The only drawback with the Sony 50mm is when the auto-focus would switch the object it was focusing on. You’ll have to wait a moment for it to correct itself.
Otherwise, the Sony 50mm lens is what you should check out if you’re interested in taking portraits, head shots, and anything of people or objects up close.
Sony 55-210mm (f/4.5-6.3) [Best Telephoto Lens for the Sony a6000]
- Weight: 12.2oz/346g
- 35mm focal length equivalent: 82.5-315mm
The Sony 55-210mm is that lens that I’d recommend if you’re traveling a lot of into nature photography. Telephoto lenses are great to have in this situations and they’re a key tool in any photographers bag.
With a reach of about 315mm this lens is capable of capturing stunning images, even when it’s completely zoomed in.
Thanks to Sony’s Optical SteadyShot feature there isn’t a lack of quality or any noticeable vibrations when taking advantage of the zoom distance.
For the price this lens is a great value, especially for a telephoto. You could either pick up a kit that comes with the 55-210mm (much better value) or buy it on its own if you have the a6000 and you’re looking for a better zoom lens.
The only drawback is that this lens doesn’t have the best low light performance.
The maximum aperture is only f/4.5. In low light settings without any surrounding lighting the lens would choke a little and the image quality suffered.
Otherwise, I’d definitely recommend the Sony 55-210mm lens if you’re looking for a great telephoto lens for the a6000.
Because of its size this is a lens I probably wouldn’t carry with me every day. For travelling or heading out specifically to shoot with a zoom it’s worth taking a look at.
Tips for Changing Your Lens in the Field
Here are some lens changing tips to help you quickly and securely get your lens fitted onto your camera.
A problem i’ve noticed with mirrorless cameras is that they tend to be prone to dust spots, especially when compared to point-and-shoot cameras or DSLRs. These other styles of cameras come with self-cleaning lenses – something you don’t find in mirrorless cameras..
One way to avoid dust spots, apart from using a camera case, is to properly change lenses. You want to do it in a way that isn’t letting dust into the camera body.
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.