Best lenses for the Sony A5000: Part II - Best zooms

By Kevin Carter - Thursday May 22 2014

Lens Recommendations
Introduction | Best zoom lenses for the Sony A5000 | Best standard zoom under $500 | Best telephoto zoom under $400

Best standard zoom under $500

Although there aren’t too many models to choose from in this category, we’re going to recommend the full-frame FE28-70mm f3.5-5.6 OSS, if only because it’s something of a surprise compared to the Zeiss 24-70mm f4 and if you have the A5000, you’ll likely already have the 16-50mm. This stabilized lens isn’t cheap exactly, but it compares favorably to the Zeiss in performance – it even outperforms the pricier model at the longer end of zoom range at least at the initial aperture (f5.6). By f8, however, the Zeiss is sharp across much of the field, unlike the Sony which remains sharp only in the center. Sharpness at the shorter end is better but it never really extends to the corners of the frame. Distortion and vignetting are at similar levels but the Zeiss has better control of chromatic aberration, particularly at the shorter focal lengths. Still it’s a good performer overall.