Best travel lenses for Sony a6000 - Header

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The Sony a6000 is an excellent compact mirrorless camera that continues to grow in popularity even in 2021. The camera easily competes with other mirrorless cameras in the market and is well-loved by both casual and pro photographers.

After deciding on the camera body you’d like to take on a trip, the next thing to tackle is the lens or lenses you’ll be taking along. This might not be an issue for photographers that own one or two lenses. But if you are a proud owner of a number of lenses, then things might begin to get complicated. Chances are that you won’t be able to bring your army of lenses with you on your trip.

This is where travel lenses come in. Travel lenses must be portable (obviously), versatile, and have good performance. You’ll also have to select your travel lens based on the type of photography (or circumstances) you’ll encounter at your destination.

In this article, I’ll be talking about the best travel lenses for the Sony a6000, their pros, cons, and a buying guide to help you choose the one that best meets your situation/needs.

The 7 Best Lenses for Sony a6000 in 2021

Sony 18-105mm f/4 G OSS Lens

Sony SELP18105G E PZ 18-105mm F4 G OSS , Black

 in stock
Amazon.com
as of July 22, 2021 2:59 pm

The Sony 18-105mm F4 G OSS is a zoom lens that’s designed for Sony APS-C format mirrorless models. While this lens is not a perfect lens for any one subject, it’s a very versatile lens that can be used for a wide variety of uses.  The Sony 18-105 mm eliminates the need to change lenses or travel with multiple lenses since it is a general-purpose lens.

Also, the Sony 18-105 possesses two extra-low dispersion (ED) glass lenses and three non-spherical glass elements. These two components give the Sony 18-105 lens an high resolution with optimum contrast, making all the elements of the image produced, clearly distinguishable by the observer throughout the zoom range.

The autofocus is fast and accurate and you get the feel of the high build quality when you hold the lens. I also like the optical stabilization feature which comes in handy for video or when using the telephoto end of the lens (70mm+).

 Quick Specifications

  • Dimensions: 4.33 x 3.07 x 3.07 in / 11 x 7.8 x 7.8 cm
  • Weight : 0.94 lbs / 426 g
  • Focal length range: 18 – 105 mm
  • Aperture range: f/1.4 – f/22
  • Camera mount: Sony E-mount

Pros

  • Lightweight and travel-friendly.
  • Very versatile.
  • Fast and accurate AF.
  • High-image quality.
  • Optical stabilization.
  • Great build quality.

Cons

  • No major shortcomings.

Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Art Lens

Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Art Zoom Full Frame Sony E-Mount Lens with LaCie Rugged Mini 1TB Hard Drive and 64GB SD Card Bundle (3 Items)

$1,099.95  in stock
Amazon.com
as of July 22, 2021 2:59 pm

Sigma may have outdone itself with the manufacture of the Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Art lens which has stunning performance. Thanks to the sophisticated optical design, this lens delivers high resolution throughout the entire zoom range. Chromatic aberrations are also minimal improving the quality of the image you get with this lens.

The small weight will definitely come in handy during travel as this lens is lightweight and easy to pack. Autofocus is fast and accurate and optical stabilizer(OS) helps to reduce the effect of handshaking when pictures are being shot.

I like the performance of this lens in low light situations and you can produce stunning out-of-focus shots with this lens. Being dust and splash resistant, this lens can withstand the harsh conditions of the outdoors and is generally sturdy and durable.

Overall, this lens is a very good mid-range lens that offers you a range of useful focal lengths making it a very versatile lens.

 Quick Specifications

  • Dimensions: 3.5 x 4.2 x 4.2 in / 8.89 x 10.67 x 10.67 cm
  • Weight : 2 lbs / 907 g
  • Focal length range: 24 – 70 mm
  • Aperture range: f/2.8 – f/22
  • Camera mount: Sony E-mount

Pros

  • Fast, silent autofocus.
  • Suitable for a broad spectrum of photography.
  • Optical stabilization.
  • Excellent bokeh.
  • Long-lasting.

Cons

  • A little heavy and might not be well suitable for taking long videos.

Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens

Sony SEL24240 FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Zoom Lens for Mirrorless Cameras

 in stock
Amazon.com
as of July 22, 2021 2:59 pm

The Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens offers a 10x zoom, a feature that will quickly grab the attention of any photography enthusiast. This is because a 10x zoom is suitable for different situations and allows photographers to work more with a single lens. You don’t need to change lenses often thereby minimizing the chances of you missing an important shot.

Also, the Sony 24-240mm is a good travel lens as you can use it for almost any photography situation on your trip barring interior decoration of large field sports. Thanks to the high-quality optics used to manufacture this lens, chromatic aberrations and astigmatism are reduced to the barest minimum.

There are other things to like about this lens such as the high-performing image stabilization, fast, quiet, and accurate AF system as well as nice build quality. Designed to be dust and water-resistant, this Sony lens is able to stand up to weather in the outdoors.

 Quick Specifications

  • Dimensions: 4.69 x 3.19 x 3.19 in / 11.9 x 8.1 x 8.1 cm
  • Weight : 1.72 lbs / 780 g
  • Focal length range: 24 – 240 mm
  • Aperture range: f3.5 – 6.3
  • Camera mount: Sony E-mount

Pros

  • Extremely diversified range, 24mm to 240 mm, offering up to 10x zoom range.
  • Amazing bokeh effect.
  • Suitable for video recording.
  • Fast and accurate AF.
  • Optical image stabilization
  • Dust and water-resistant.
  • Durable.

Cons

  • Focusing can be a bit slow sometimes.

Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 LensOur Top Pick

Tamron 28-75mm F/2.8 for Sony Mirrorless Full Frame E Mount (Tamron 6 Year Limited USA Warranty)

$879.00  in stock
22 new from $879.00
13 used from $759.38
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of July 22, 2021 2:59 pm

The Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD lens is one of the most in-demand lenses in the world. It’s not difficult to understand why photography enthusiasts love this lens when you consider the very useful general-purpose focal length range. This lens becomes more enticing consider the wide f/2.8 aperture and the overall compact and stylish design of the lens.

You are going to love the fast, accurate, and quiet autofocus. Perhaps the most enticing feature of this lens is the high-quality images you get. The lens features one Extra-low dispersion (ED) component and a low dispersion (LD) component which helps to largely reduce any color deviation and fringing effect all through the zoom range improving image clarity and color correctness.

There’s also the amazing bokeh effect which goes gently from the plane of focus to illuminate the image of your subject. It’s water-resistant and has a coating of flourish that makes it suitable even in harsh weather conditions which makes the lens very suitable for travels and outdoor use.

 Quick Specifications

  • Dimensions: 4.64 x 2.87 x 2.87 in / 11.8 x 7.3 x 7.3 cm
  • Weight : 1.21 lbs / 548.8 g
  • Focal length range: 28 – 75 mm
  • Aperture range: f2.8 – 22
  • Camera mount: Sony E mount

Pros

  • Compact and stylish design.
  • General-purpose focal length range.
  • Accurate, fast, and quiet autofocus.
  • Impressive image quality.
  • Dust and water-resistant.

Cons

  • No major shortcomings.

Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD Lens

Tamron 28-200 F/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD for Sony Mirrorless Full Frame/APS-C E-Mount, Model Number: AFA071S700, Black

$729.00  in stock
20 new from $729.00
7 used from $641.51
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of July 22, 2021 2:59 pm

The Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD is a high-quality superzoom lens that can take care of all your photography needs when on a trip. It definitely ticks all the boxes for the requirement of a travel superzoom lens – compact, affordable, and versatile.

Having a 28-200mm focal length range in a lens can only be a good thing as you’ll be able to carry out a wide range of photography – landscape photography, wildlife photography, and so on.

It’s okay for one to be concerned about the image quality of superzoom lenses which usually drops after zooming to a certain extent. Tamron really did some impressive work on this lens as it overcomes all the problems of excessive zooming.

Where other normal lenses would give poor picture quality due to over zooming, in the case of this lens, your image quality is always top-notch irrespective of your extent of zooming. Not just that, the aperture is made to match up with the incredible zoom range, it’s large and fast, as you keep on zooming, light enters very fast assuring you high image quality.

Other notable features include image stabilization, easy and fast focusing, and minimum chromatic aberrations.

 Quick Specifications

  • Dimensions: 4.6 x 2.91 x 2.91 in / 11.7 x 7.4 x 7.4 cm
  • Weight : 1.27 lbs / 575.5 g
  • Focal length range: 28 – 200mm
  • Aperture range: f/2.8 – 5.6
  • Camera mount: Sony E mount

Pros

  • Compact and light.
  • Exceptional high image quality, especially when related to the zoom range.
  • Quick autofocus which is highly reliable.
  • Image stabilization.
  • Very versatile.
  • Suitable for all kinds of weather conditions.

Cons

  • The build quality could be a bit better.

Sony 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 FE OSS Lens

Sony 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 FE OSS Interchangeable Standard Zoom Lens

$398.00  in stock
7 new from $398.00
43 used from $170.97
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of July 22, 2021 2:59 pm

Thanks to the 28-70mm focal length range, the Sony 28-70 mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS lens is a general-purpose lens. This makes this lens a popular choice among pro and casual photographers when it comes to travel lenses for Sony a6000. You’ll also appreciate the lightweight and compact design which makes it easy to transport and store this lens.

Versatility is one of the selling points of this lens as you can use it for portraits, events, parties, weddings, interviews, documentaries, landscape photography, lifestyle, fashion, candids, studio portraiture, and even some sports if the lighting is adequate.

The optical image stabilization helps to reduce blurs that may occur from handshaking when taking pictures. I like that the optical stabilization system is silent. There is also the fast, quiet, and accurate autofocus system. And aberrations and astigmatism are minimal.

 Quick Specifications

  • Dimensions: 3.7 x 2.9 x 2.9 in / 9.4 x 7.4 x 7.4 cm
  • Weight : 0.9 lbs / 425 g
  • Focal length range: 28 – 70mm
  • Aperture range: f/3.5 – 5.6
  • Camera mount: Sony E mount

Pros

  • Lightweight and compact.
  • General-purpose lens.
  • Optical image stabilization.
  • Fast and quiet autofocus.
  • Minimal chromatic aberrations.

Cons

  • Distortion increases when you use the lens at the focal length extremes.

Sony 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Lens

Sony 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 OSS APS-C E-Mount Zoom Lens

$648.00
$548.00
 in stock
8 new from $548.00
22 used from $393.97
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of July 22, 2021 2:59 pm

I found the Sony 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 OSS lens to be much more compact than similar 18-135 lens produced by Nikon and Canon which speaks volume about the portability of this lens. Despite the lightweight design, you’ll find this lens to be pleasantly tough and solid when you handle it. But it is actually the high zoom ratio of this lens which allows it to cover a broad spectrum of photography that makes me add it to this list.

Thanks to the new optical design which involves two ED glass elements, the Sony 18-135mm lens is able to suppress chromatic aberrations to the barest minimum. The image quality is sharp and this sharpness us maintained throughout the zoom range even when you take shots wide open.

Manual focusing is available on this lens but I bet you’ll be using the fast and silent autofocus most of the time. There is the built-in optical image stabilization that allows you to take blur-free images and the minimum focusing distance makes it easy to take beautiful background bokeh.

 Quick Specifications

  • Dimensions: 2.7 x 3.5 x 0.03 in / 6.8 x 8.8 x 0.07 cm
  • Weight : 0.7 lbs / 326 g
  • Focal length range: 18 – 135mm
  • Aperture range: f/3.5-5.6
  • Camera mount: Sony E-mount

Pros

  • Lightweight.
  • Sharp images.
  • Built-in optical stabilization system.
  • Fast and silent autofocus.
  • Beautiful bokeh.

Cons

  • Not weather-sealed.

Best Lenses For Sony a6000 – The Guide

Now that you know the best travel lenses for Sony a6000, I’ll now be taking you through a buying guide. Here, you’ll learn all you need to know about the lenses for Sony a6000 so you’ll be choosing a lens that is suitable for the type of photography you like shooting when on a trip.

What Type of Mount Does Sony a6000 Support?

You want to make sure that any lens you’ll be buying for your Sony a6000 is going to be compatible with it. And that’s why you need to know the type of mount that Sony a6000 supports.

The Sony a6000 comes with a standard Sony E-mount designed for its APS-C sensor. As a result, it’ll support any Sony E-mount lenses. You can also use FE-mount lenses which are designed for full frame Sony mirrorless cameras.

If you see a Sony lens denoted with an “E”, then it will be compatible with Sony’s APS-C sensor mirrorless cameras which includes the Sony a6000 and other cameras in the a6xxx series. Generally, go for lenses that are specifically designed for the E mount which will have ” E” in front of the name of the lens.

How To Choose Your Travel Lens?

Size & Weight

Most people like to travel light and will typically leave any kit that will weigh them down at home. This is why you should consider the size of the lens you’ll be taking along with your Sony a6000 when traveling.

Fortunately, the travel lenses for Sony a6000 are lightweight and compact (or they wouldn’t be called travel lenses). So you can be sure of traveling with a lens that isn’t going to slow you down.

Versatility

This is one of the aspects where these lenses shine. Since you can use these lenses in a variety of settings and scenarios, they offer unparalleled versatility you’ll not find in other lenses. You can use the same lens for “general” travel photography, landscape photography, wildlife photography, portrait, events, and so on.

Zoom lenses are particularly useful for wildlife photography since you’ll most likely be far away from your subjects. You can also use them at wide angle for scenarios where you want to get as much detail as possible like cityscape, landscape, and so on.

Having a general multi-purpose lens means you can travel with just one lens instead of the army of lenses you’ve acquired over the years.

Best travel lenses for Sony a6000 - Guide

 Aperture Range

The aperture of a lens is the opening in the lens through which light enters the camera. The bigger/wider the aperture of a lens is, the more light that is able to penetrate into the camera and this leads to production of bright images. The smaller the aperture of a lens, the darker the images will be.

Having a wide aperture comes in handy during low-light situations as you’ll still be able to get images of good quality. All lenses come with aperture numbers which are clearly specified. The aperture number of a lens is usually f/1.4, f/2, f/3.5, f/4, and so on. The smaller the aperture number, the bigger the aperture of the lens. This is not a typo, I’ll be explaining the reason for this below.

The aperture numbers of lenses are actually fractions. F/2 is actually 1/2 and f/16 is actually 1/16. Now, from our knowledge of basic mathematics, 1/2 is bigger than 1/16. And that’s why a lens with an aperture number of 2 has a bigger aperture size than that of 16. Hope I was able to clear the confusion about aperture numbers.

Built-in Image Stabilization

Small shocks and handshakes usually reduce the image quality as they cause blurs. A lens with built-in image stabilization will compensate for any shakes that may occur while taking pictures allowing you to still end up with sharp images. Lenses that have image stabilization are usually designated as OSS – Optical Steady Shot.

Sharpness & Glass Quality

The quality of images produced by a lens will be largely determined by the quality of the optical components. There are several travel lenses for Sony a6000 that deliver impressive image quality.

All lenses are prone to aberrations and manufacturers usually take steps to make aberrations as minimal as possible. One of such steps involves incorporating ED (Extra-low dispersion) glass in the lens. ED glass reduces chromatic aberrations and improves the quality of the image.

However, shooting at the extremes of the focal length will also affect image quality as there will be more distortions. The lens doesn’t work best at the extremes but somewhere in between.

Final Thoughts

There you have it, the best travel lenses for Sony a6000. There are several options available on the market but these are the best of the very best. The versatility and portability you’ll enjoy from these lenses will be unlike anything you’ve encountered before. Use the buying guide to choose one that best meets your needs and you can always contact me via the comment section if you have any questions.

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