Ever since its release, the Sony A600 has been a favorite among photography enthusiasts. The veteran photography crowd really loves it as it even offers advantages for those who are mere hobbyists. You see, not only is the A6000 a mirrorless camera, but it is also reliable, quick, and excellent for travel photographers or tourists.
However, since lenses are considered to be just as important as the camera’s body, we’re about to launch into a holistic guide to determine the best travel lens for Sony A6000. Before you can make a decision, it is crucial you do your homework while searching for the best travel lenses that you can take along with you on your journeys.
Before we review the 5 best lenses, we’re going to teach you a few things about picking lenses. Or jump straight to our number #1 pick here.
Table of Contents
- What Should You Look For in the Best Travel Lenses For Sony A6000?
- Here’s How We’ve Determined the Best Travel Lenses For Sony A6000
- #1: Sony 35mm Lens for A6000 Camera (Best for Wide-Angle)
- #2: Sony 55-210mm Lens (Best Value)
- #3: Sony 18-105mm Lens (Best Wide-Angle Telephoto)
- #4: Sony E 10-18mm Lens (Best Wide-Angle Zoom)
- #5: Sigma 16mm f/1.4 Lens (Best for Budget)
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Verdict: Your Best Travel Lenses For Sony A6000
What Should You Look For in the Best Travel Lenses For Sony A6000?
From our experience, travel photography is kind of a balancing act, and what kind of lens you choose should depend on your personal preferences. Naturally, you wouldn’t want to bring too many lenses with you on your vacation because you will spend too much time swapping lenses instead of enjoying the scenery.
On the other hand, you will also need a sharp lens to capture all of your memories. Nothing will be worse than finally reaching home and browsing through your pictures and finding out that they are all out of focus or they’re soft, knowing that the trip cost thousands of dollars and you aren’t going back anytime soon.
This is why you need to be absolutely sure that you’ve picked the best travel lenses for Sony A6000 and to do so, you should know exactly how to shop for one. The following are some things that you will have to keep in mind when you’re considering buying the best travel lenses for Sony A6000.
Criteria #1: Overall Value
We could literally spend hours talking about why a particular lens could offer better value than another, but this discussion wouldn’t be very helpful to you. When it comes to determining the price of a product and its perceived value, the discussion will always come down to your level of experience in terms of videography and photography.
For some photographers, spending as much as $1000 on a single lens will sound a little unbelievable. However, there are others that will say that the amount makes a lot of sense. The important thing to know here is your level of experience and what you intend to do with the lens.
If you’re planning on casually shooting photographs while you’re on vacation, you should look for versatility and ease of use before anything else. Generally speaking, you will usually get what you pay for when it comes to lenses.
Another unique aspect about lenses is that they tend to retain their value pretty well. Therefore, if you don’t approve of your lens after you’ve used it or are looking forward to an upgrade, then you will be able to sell it for a reasonable price in just a couple of years.
Criteria #2: Overall Weight
This particular consideration is quite self-explanatory but always works as a great reminder. When you’re traveling with your photography equipment, especially if you plan to walk for most of your time there, every ounce of your camera’s weight will add up quickly.
Therefore, before you buy a lens, make sure that you really consider what your trip will be like beforehand and what kinds of video or photos you’re going to be capturing. The last thing you would want to deal with is carrying around a heavy lens that will only be used a couple of times during your entire trip.
Criteria #3: Speed of Lens
Some photographers may even refer to this particular consideration as, “How wide should the maximum aperture be?” Well, the answer to this question depends completely on where you are planning on going and what kind of photos you are willing to capture. Typically, travel photographers will benefit from lenses that have a maximum aperture leaning towards the wider side. For instance, F/2.8 or F/1.8.
When it comes to lower aperture, some of the situations where these lenses will be applicable include:
- If you are going to be shooting in low-light or perhaps at night time
- If you’re traveling to a destination where you will be spending time in indoor places such as architectural wonders, castles, or even art galleries
- If your primary focus is to shoot portraits, you should be willing to create some more depth in the image field
Here’s How We’ve Determined the Best Travel Lenses For Sony A6000
To find the best travel lens for Sony A6000, we weighed in all of the best specifications of the most popular products in the market. Also, we compared the specs of these products based on the list of considerations we mentioned above to see how well they did and whether they were worth buying.
After double-checking our research, we also checked out blog posts, customer reviews, and other reviewers’ posts about the best travel lenses for Sony A6000. Now that you know where we got our information from, it’s finally time to dip into our list of products
#1: Sony 35mm Lens for A6000 Camera (Best for Wide-Angle)
The Sony 35mm lens is the brand’s standard-angle lens used for their APS-C sized mirrorless camera system. This compact lens doesn’t offer options for zoom and can open up to f/1.8 so that you will be able to capture pristine shots in low-light conditions or to blur the background behind the subject.
This lens also comes with optical stabilization for sports photography which is a plus for both shooting video and stills. Perhaps, the only thing missing from this camera lens is weather protection, which is a feature available in most Fujifilm APS-C sized mirrorless lenses.
Reason #1: Compact and Lightweight
The Sony 35mm lens is a compact little gem. It is lightweight and tiny. Therefore, it wouldn’t add too much weight to your camera bag. However, another great advantage of its compact construction is that it will offer image stabilization. Besides this, it has a bright aperture that is great for working in low light conditions or capturing high-quality images with blurred backgrounds.
Reason #2: Good Wide Open
We tested this lens and found out that it pairs well with 1,933 when it is shot wide open, which is a result that we consider being in the acceptable range. One thing is for sure, your images will look unparalleled on Instagram. However, if you want to print large copies of the picture or crop certain sections of it, they will not be as crisp as those shot by other camera lenses.
#2: Sony 55-210mm Lens (Best Value)
The Sony 55-210mm lens is an ideal complement for various kit zooms, and it opens many doors for Sony A6000’s telephoto perspectives. This is mainly due to its 82.5 to 315mm focal length range across its APS-C sized E-mount cameras.
This particular lens features an optical design that uses 2 extra-low dispersion elements as well as 2 aspherical elements. For this reason, users will be able to enjoy capturing images with very minimal aberrations.
Also, thanks to its Optical SteadyShot feature for image stabilization, the camera’s shake will be reduced dramatically, which will result in sharper images. In addition, its internal focus design will enable very fast and responsive autofocus and a minimum focusing distance of around 3.3 inches. Additionally, this lens comes with a seven-blade diaphragm that allows for rounded and smooth bokeh images.
Moving further, this lens also has an internal focus mechanism that contributes to more responsive and faster autofocus. The minimum focusing distance of around 3.3 inches offers easier handling since it will not change its length while in use.
#3: Sony 18-105mm Lens (Best Wide-Angle Telephoto)
The Sony 18-105mm lens can do wonders for zooming in on the Sony A6000 camera. Sure, a Zeiss 16 to 70mm lens will offer better optics for photographers in a smaller package, but the 18-105mm costs at least 40% less and will have a much better zooming range and sunstars.
Sharpness is rarely an important feature for travel photographers. However, having a sufficiently long focal length, as well as great sunstars, could mean the difference between a great photo and an album full of blurry photos. The only thing you need to worry about this lens is its size, and if this is a non-issue for you, then this lens will take better pictures for you than any Zeiss Lens.
This handy lens may lean a little towards the larger side, but you might wonder if it makes sense for you to carry a bigger, heavy lens even if you have a mirrorless camera. But the biggest advantage of this lens is that it works wonders for landscape photography and for those who prefer focusing very quickly and covering an extremely useful range.
#4: Sony E 10-18mm Lens (Best Wide-Angle Zoom)
You can easily take on tight interiors and ultra-wide landscapes with the Sony E 10-18mm lens. This lens for the Sony A6000 camera delivers a super-wide 15 to 27mm zoom range as well as f/4 aperture and can easily produce high-quality images for a large variety of shooting scenarios. Since Sony has added one Super ED along with three aspherical elements, you can expect more image quality since it minimizes the aberrations throughout its range.
In addition, the lens comes equipped with an image stabilization feature called Optical SteadyShot, which can be used to reduce the effects of shaky cameras. It also features an internal focusing design that allows for very responsive and quick autofocus and a minimum focusing distance of 9.8 inches. Additionally, the lens has 7-blad circular diaphragms to produce that smooth bokeh effect that we all love.
The Sony 10-18mm lens has a constant maximum f/4 aperture which offers photographers a very consistent performance throughout its zooming range and will also lend for greater control in the focus position. This comes in handy for shallower depth of field techniques.
#5: Sigma 16mm f/1.4 Lens (Best for Budget)
Over the past couple of years, Sigma has been among the busiest manufacturers of lenses. Their Sport, Contemporary, and Art lens lineups have been demanded by photographers all over the world and the Sigma 16mm f/1.4 lens is another great addition to their series.
This 16mm crop-sensor lens has been sold for other Micro Four Thirds and APS-C E-mount varieties. Don’t let the price of this lens fool you because it is a very solid lens. It has been constructed using very sturdy Thermally Stable Composite materials (TSC) and as Sigma describes themselves, is weather sealed.
Since this lens has around 16 elements that span across 13 groups, the Sigma 16mm f/1.4 lens has quite a few pieces of glass inside its body, despite its tiny form. Sure, this lens isn’t as sharp as others on our list, but it has certainly proven time and again that it is more than capable of capturing high-quality and detailed images and can also be used to make some nice prints.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Should I Bring Along to Photograph the Northern Lights?
Let’s begin by saying that most photographers tend to over-complicate things when they photograph the Northern Lights. If you’re planning a trip up north, we would suggest packing only 3 things.
If you have a Sony A6000 camera, all you need is a nice travel lens from this list and a nice traveling tripod. Of course, if you have some practice shooting your camera in manual mode, you will be able to manipulate your camera’s shutter speed or focus your lens into infinity.
Why Should You Stick With a Mirrorless Camera During Travel Photography?
Imagine for a second that it is a scorching summer day, and you’re going to be sweating buckets. Now picture that you’re going to be walking for hours to get back to your hotel or guesthouse, which perhaps, may or may not be close by. In such situations, a DSLR will only add to your troubles even though it is a professional choice.
In contrast, mirrorless cameras may require a little more investment than DSLR cameras but are definitely a lot lighter and fun to have around in your exploits. Sure, it cannot produce images that will remain sharp when you explode it for a poster in your bedroom, but it offers more than sufficient quality for Instagram-worthy pictures or perhaps smaller-sized printed images.
Despite everything we’ve mentioned above, we would still like to reiterate the discussion at the beginning of the article. The best camera for travel photography or the best travel lens for Sony A6000 will depend on how you intend to use it.
Verdict: Your Best Travel Lenses For Sony A6000
For starters, if you’re searching for a lens that will do you a favor and shoot beautiful images of indoor architecture, then go with the Sony 35mm Lens for the best wide-angle photography.
On the other hand, if you need more wide-angle zoom because you’re birdwatching or shooting landscape scenes, then get the Sony E 10-18mm Lens.
However, for the best results in wide-angle telephotos, you should stick to the Sony 18-105mm Lens.
If you’re a beginner and don’t really care for all the technical details and have a budget to stick to, then the Sigma 16mm f/1.4 Lens is the perfect solution for your needs.