What lens to get for your Sony A7 II?
Released in early 2015, the Sony Alpha 7 II (see on Amazon.com), also known as the Sony A7 II or α7 II is a hybrid full-frame sensor camera. It succeeds the Sony A7 and brings a lot of changes, starting with a 5-axis sensor stabilization system, which reduces uncontrolled shaking of the device.
Ergonomically speaking, we have a new slightly wider handle that allows a better grip, but otherwise the case looks a lot like the first A7, with the same electronic viewfinder and the tilting non- touch screen. The weight is always light for a full size (556 grams on the scale).
For the video, it’s only 1080p. No 4K, it will be necessary to switch to A7 III. The range is much better on this last model, and you will certainly need to equip yourself with several batteries if you choose the Sony A7 II.
Overall it remains a very good full-format camera with good overall performance, but if you are demanding on battery life or you absolutely want the 4K you will have to switch to the A7 III. If you don’t have the budget for it, the A7 II is great if you want to see what a full-frame sensor camera looks like.
This selection of the best lenses compatible with the Sony A7 II will help you choose the right tool for your style of photography: it covers all situations, whether for portraits, wide-angle photos or macro.
Note: Product links in this article lead to Amazon.com
- Sony 24-105mm f/4 FE G OSS
- Sony Zeiss SONNAR 55mm f/1.8
- Sony 85mm f/1.8
- Sony 16-35mm f/4
- Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 MACRO G OSS
- Sony FE 70-200mm F4 G OSS
- Comparative Table
- Some terms to know
- Useful accessories
If you’re looking for a versatile lens for your Sony A7II, which you can take on a trip for example, then the Sony 24-105mm f/4 is the one for you!
This lens is part of Sony’s G series, so we are dealing with a lens with outstanding construction quality, which also offers superb image quality. Its focal length range of 24 to 105mm makes it very versatile, and its constant aperture of f/4 is a significant plus.
It offers better optical performance than 24-70mm f/4, and is much lighter and especially much cheaper than 24-70 f/2.8.
With its silent and fast autofocus, it’s very practical in video. In short, it’s one of the best standard zooms available for the Sony A7 II.
This 55mm f/1.8 is perhaps the best lens you can have for your Sony Alpha 7II. Its focal length is versatile enough to make portraits, reports or even landscape photos.
It has a very classy matt black finish, and it’s tropicalized. Autofocus is silent, fast and accurate, even in low light. It’s above all one of the lightest objectives of this selection, and one of the least cumbersome.
As for the image quality obtained with this 55mm f/1.8, the results are impressive, especially in terms of the sharpness and detail (this is one of the best rated on the Dxomark.com website).
In the 50mm category, Sony also offers the 50mm f/1.8 which is sold at a very attractive price but its performance is far from being as good, especially in terms of autofocus and colour rendering. The 55mm f/1.8 surpasses it on these points. The Sony Zeiss FE 50mm f/1.4 Planar T*, offers slightly better performance at 55mm but the difference is far from being huge to justify the big price difference between the two lenses.
If you are unsure about your first lens to buy for your Sony A7 II, the 55mm f/1.8 is an excellent choice.
To take portrait photography with the Sony A7 II, this is the best lens available, and sold at a relatively fair price. Its optical performance is excellent, with superb sharpness, colour rendering and background blur.
Even if it’s not part of Sony’s G range, it remains quite robust, and its plastic construction makes it very light. Focusing is fast and quiet, and makes it a very practical tool if you make video.
In short, if you photograph mainly people, whether they are your family, during a wedding, in concert or to make portraits while travelling, this 85mm f/1.8 will offer you superb results combined with the Sony alpha 7 II.
This is the first ever wide-angle lens available for Sony FE hybrid cameras: overall its optical performance is excellent and it’s a very good lens if you plan to focus mainly on landscape, architectural or indoor photography. It produces very sharp images in the center, with little vignetting and distortion. Its manufacturing quality is excellent and its development is fast.
In terms of price, it’s much cheaper than the 16-35mm f/2.8 GM, which is also very good and has a greater openness, but whose price is more oriented towards professionals or amateurs with a large budget to devote to their A7 II.
In short, this Sony 16-35mm f/4 OSS wide angle is strongly recommended if you own a Sony Alpha 7 II.
For those who would like to take pictures of insects, flowers or any close-up subject, the Sony 90mm f/2.8 offers outstanding image quality, with superb contrast, sharpness and background blur even its aperture is’only’ f/2.8. It has the qualities of a Sony G-range lens: a fast and ultra-quiet autofocus, and a very neat construction quality, while being resistant to dust and humidity. However, there are a few drawbacks: it’s big and cumbersome.
Its focal length is not only designed for close-ups on locusts, it’s also ideal for portrait photography and will give superb results on your Sony A7 II.
One of the best zooms compatible with the Sony a7 II, if you take into account its price and size. It allows you to take very detailed pictures with superb contrast, its construction is top-notch and the focus is fast and silent. In short, it’s an excellent zoom for wildlife photography.
Compared to its big brother, the 70-200mm f/2.8, it’s especially half as heavy and less expensive, and even if its opening is only f/4 it offers a very good bokeh rendering. It’s also compact and light enough to take you everywhere when travelling.
In short, a goal to have in your bag if you are a remote photo enthusiast.
All of the Sony Alpha 7 II compatible lenses mentioned above are included in this comparison chart to help you choose the right equipment. You will be able to compare them according to their price, the weight and the utility of each one to choose which will suit your budget and your style of photo.
|Sony 85mm f/1.8||$$$$$||371g||f/1.8||67mm||portrait|
|Sony Zeiss Sonnar 55mm f/1.8||$$$$$||281g||f/1.8||49mm||prime lens|
|Sony 90mm f/2.8 FE MACRO G OSS||$$$$$||602g||f/2.8||62mm||macro/portrait|
|Sony 24-105mm f/4 FE G OSS||$$$$$||663 g||f/1.8||77mm||zoom standard|
|Sony 16-35mm f/4||$$$$$||518g||f/1.4||72mm||wide angle|
|Sony 70-200mm f/4 FE G OSS||$$$$$||840g||f/4||72mm||zoom|
Because it’s hard to find your way around, here are the abbreviations and terms you’ll often find when choosing your new lens for your Sony A7II:
FE: corresponds to “Full-frame E-mount”. Basically, FE indicates that the lens is optimized for Sony full-format cameras.
G: means ‘Gold’, Sony’s range of high quality lenses for professionals, which are generally quite expensive.
GM: means’G Master’, the best of the best in terms of quality. Even better than the simple objective’G’.
OSS: means ‘Optical Steady Shot’, which is the image stabilization integrated directly into the lens. However, this is no longer a decisive criterion because most of the new Sony hybrid devices that come out have image stabilization integrated directly into their housing.
E: corresponds to E-mount, Sony hybrid devices with an APSC sensor (smaller than those of Sony A7, A7II, A7III, A9 etc…), such as the Sony a6000, a6300 or a6500.
T*: means that the lens has a special Carl Zeiss T-Star coating that eliminates stray light.
ZA: corresponds to ‘Zeiss Alpha’, and means that the lens was designed in collaboration with the German company Zeiss. It’s supposed to be a guarantee of quality.
Macro: designed for macro photography, i. e. the photography of small subjects such as insects, flowers…
A small selection of useful accessories to have in addition to your lenses and your Sony A7II:
- All Sony FE mount lenses on Sony.com
Any ideas to improve this list? Do you disagree on the choice of objectives? Please leave a comment!