what lens to buy for sony a9 ii

The best lenses for Sony A9II

What lens to get for your Sony A9II?

Released in the fall of 2019, the Sony A9 II, a compact full-format hybrid, is the direct heir to the Sony A9. The manufacturer has kept the best technologies of the A9 for this device and has improved the less performing points, such as connectivity and ergonomics. The Sony A9 II is at the top of the list for performance in photography of very fast subjects. It’s designed primarily for professionals.

The Sony A9 II retains the excellent BSI Exmor RS CMOS backlit sensor, full-format, 24.2 MP, 5-axis stabilized. This is coupled with the BIONZ X processor. The winning combination has proven its worth. Continuous shooting at 20 fps is achieved with the electronic shutter and up to 10 fps is possible with the mechanical shutter. The quality of subject tracking, including eye tracking, remains impressive, and the autofocus system uses 693 points for phase detection, in addition to 425 points for contrast detection. Human and animal eye tracking is calculated at 60 times per second.

The electronic shutter, silent for discreet shooting, eliminates blackout during gusts of wind. The subject is constantly visible when the shutter is released. Sensitivity ranges from ISO 50 to 204,800. The shutter speed is up to 1/32,000 sec. The Sony A9 II also records movies in 4K at up to 30 fps and Full HD at up to 120 fps. A novelty, the tracking of human eyes in real time, is now possible in video.

The housing weighs as little as 678 g, with dimensions of 128.9 x 96.4 x 77.5 mm. Waterproofing is improved at the junction points. The deeper handle provides a better grip and the buttons and knobs are arranged to work easily without leaving the viewfinder. Two card slots accommodate SDHC and SDXC compatible cards. The user can determine the assignment of functions for multiple buttons for added convenience. The swivelling touch screen, however, does not provide access to the menus.

Since the Sony Alpha 9 II is primarily intended for professionals, special attention has been paid to the file transfer capability with high-speed Ethernet. The voice memo can be added quickly. WiFi, Bluetooth and NFC are present as well as the USB and HDMI plug, the headphone, microphone and remote control plug without forgetting the accessory shoe. Updates in early 2020 make the Sony A9 II ideal for capturing high quality images in all situations.

Note: Product links in this article lead to Amazon.com  

Sony a9 II Mirrorless Camera: 24.2MP Full Frame Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera with...
  • SONY ALPHA A9 II: Compact professional cameras mastered for sports photography and photojournalism
  • SUPERIOR SPEED: Fastest 35mm full-frame 24. 2MP stacked Exmore RS CMOS sensor with integrated memory
  • FASTER AUTO FOCUS: Up to 20fps at full resolution with 60 AF/AE tracking calculations per second

Summary

  1. Sony Zeiss SONNAR 55mm f/1.8
  2. Sony 24-105mm f/4 FE G OSS
  3. Sony 16-35mm f/4
  4. Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 MACRO G OSS
  5. Sony 85mm f/1.8
  6. Sony FE 70-200mm F4 G OSS
  7. Comparative table
  8. Some terms to know
  9. Useful accessories
  10. Links

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Sony Zeiss Sonnar 55mm f/1.8

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Weight: 281 g
Filter size: 49 mm

This 55mm f/1.8 is the number one lens to buy for your Sony A9II. It offers a relatively versatile focal length that allows you to take both portrait and street photos, as well as landscape photos.

In terms of image quality obtained with this 55mm f/1.8, the results are impressive, especially in terms of the sharpness of the image, which is really sharp and rich in detail (it’s among the best rated on the Dxomark.com site).

Its matt black finish is very neat, and it’s tropicalized. It has a silent, fast and precise autofocus, even in low light. It’s above all one of the lightest lenses of the selection, and one of the least cumbersome.

Sony also offers two other options in the 50mm range: a much cheaper 50mm f/1.8 with performance that is far from as good, especially in terms of autofocus and colour rendering. The 55mm f/1.8 surpasses it on these points. There is also the Sony Zeiss FE 50mm f/1.4 Planar T*, with slightly better performance than the 55mm, but the difference is far from being huge to justify the price difference between these two lenses.

Although still quite expensive, this 55mm f/1.8 is an excellent choice if you are unsure about your first lens to buy for your Sony A9II.

Check the price

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Sony 24-105mm f/4 FE G OSS

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Weight: 663 g
Filter size: 77 mm

If you’re looking for a versatile lens for your Sony A9II, which you can take on a trip for example, then the Sony 24-105mm f/4 is the one for you! It’s part of Sony’s G range, 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 above all much cheaper than 24-70 f/2.8

Its silent and fast autofocus is very useful for making video. In short, it’s one of the best standard zooms available for the Sony A9II.

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Sony 16-35mm f/4 OSS

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Weight: 518 g
Filter size: 72 mm

This is the very first wide-angle lens available for Sony FE hybrid cameras: overall its optical performance is excellent and if you plan to focus on landscape, architectural or interior photography, it’s a very good choice. It produces very sharp images in the center, with little vignetting and distortion. Its manufacturing quality is excellent and its development is fast.

On the same focal range, the 16-35mm f/2.8 GM is also very good and has a larger aperture, but its price is mainly intended for professionals or amateurs with a large budget.

In short, this Sony 16-35mm f/4 OSS is highly recommended if you own a Sony A9II and want to take a wide angle picture.

Check the price

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Sony 90mm f/2.8 FE MACRO G OSS

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Weight: 602 g
Filter size: 62 mm

If you like pictures of insects, flowers or any small close-up subject, the Sony 90mm f/2.8 offers outstanding image quality, with superb contrast, sharpness and bokeh even if its aperture is only f/2.8. It has all the qualities of a Sony G-Series lens: a fast and ultra-quiet autofocus, a very neat construction quality, and it’s resistant to dust and moisture. The only real disadvantage of this 90mm f/2.8 is its size and weight.

Its focal length is not only designed for close-ups on bees or locusts, it can also be used for portrait photography and will offer superb results in combination with the Sony A9II.

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Sony 85mm f/1.8

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Weight: 371 g
Filter size: 67 mm

It’s simply the best lens to portrait with the Sony A9II, sold at a fair price compared to the other lenses in this selection…. Its optical performance is excellent, with a sharpness, color rendering and a superb bokeh.

Even if it’s not part of Sony’s G range, it remains quite robust and its plastic construction makes it very light. Its focus is fast and silent, making it a practical tool in video.

In short, if you photograph mainly people, whether they are your family, during a wedding or to take portraits when travelling, this 85mm f/1.8 will give you excellent images mounted on a Sony A9II.

Check the price

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Sony 70-200mm f/4 FE G OSS

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Weight: 840 g
Filter size: 72 mm

It’s one of the best zooms available for Sony full-format hybrids, if you take into account its price and size. It delivers very detailed images with superb contrast, its focus is fast and quiet and it’s very well built. Combined with the Sony A9II’s silent shutter release system, it’s the ideal tool for taking pictures from a distance while being discreet.

Compared to its big brother, the 70-200mm f/2.8, it’s half as heavy and expensive, and even if its opening is only f/4 it allows a very beautiful bokeh. It also remains compact and light enough to carry in its travel bag.

In short, this is the lens to buy with you if you are a long focal length enthusiast.

Check the price

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COMPARATIVE TABLE

All of the Sony A9II 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.

Lens Price Weight Aperture Filter size Utility
Sony Zeiss Sonnar 55mm f/1.8  $$$  281g  f/1.8  49mm  prime lens
Sony 24-105mm f/4 FE G OSS $$$  663 g  f/1.8  77mm  zoom standard
Sony 16-35mm f/4 $$$  518g  f/1.4  72mm  wide angle
Sony 90mm f/2.8 FE MACRO G OSS $$$  602g  f/2.8  62mm  macro/portrait
Sony 85mm f/1.8  $$$  371g  f/1.8  67mm  portrait
Sony 70-200mm f/4 FE G OSS $$$  840g  f/4  72mm  zoom

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ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS TO KNOW

Because it’s not easy to find your way around, here are the abbreviations and terms you’ll often find when choosing your new lens for your Sony A9II:

FE: corresponds to “Full-frame E-mount”. Simply put, FE indicates that the lens is dedicated to Sony full-format cameras.

G: corresponds to ‘Gold’, Sony’s range of high quality lenses, which are rather professional and generally quite expensive.

GM: corresponds to ‘G Master’, the top of the range in terms of quality. Even better than the simple lens ‘G’.

OSS: corresponds to ‘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 into their housing.

T*: indicates that the lens glass has a 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 (insects, coins…).

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USEFUL ACCESSORIES

A small selection of useful accessories to have in addition to your lenses and your Sony A9II:

Sony a9 II Mirrorless Camera: 24.2MP Full Frame Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera with...
  • SONY ALPHA A9 II: Compact professional cameras mastered for sports photography and photojournalism
  • SUPERIOR SPEED: Fastest 35mm full-frame 24. 2MP stacked Exmore RS CMOS sensor with integrated memory
  • FASTER AUTO FOCUS: Up to 20fps at full resolution with 60 AF/AE tracking calculations per second

LINKS

 

Any ideas to improve this list? Do you disagree on the choice of lenses? Please leave a comment!

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