Best lenses for the 24M-Pix Sony SLT-A77: Primes and Zooms

By Kevin Carter - Friday November 15 2013

Lens Recommendations
Introduction | Best prime lens for the Sony SLT-A77 | Best zoom lenses for the Sony SLT-A77 | Best Wide Angle Lenses for the SLT-A77 | Best Portrait Primes for the SLT-A77 | Best Standard Primes for the SLT-A77 | Best Standard Zooms for the SLT-A77 | Best Telephoto zooms for the SLT-A77

Although full-frame primes generally achieve high image quality they’re an expensive option for APS-C format cameras and, like rival makers, Sony has yet to offer much of a choice of DT (APS-C) format equivalents (though to be fair they have more models than most). While the Sony Zeiss 85mm f1.4 ZA is the best performing lens in our database on the A77, as the equivalent to a 135mm it’s usually more suitable for portraits outside than indoors. Sharpness levels are good but still someway behind our expectations, given the maximum 24P-Mpix theoretical maximum score achievable on the A77. At $150, the Sony 50mm f1.8 DT stands out for both image quality and price, but, unusually, as this is a DT (APS-C) format lens it can’t be used on full-frame bodies without cropping, like most other 50mm lenses leftover from the film era.

Sony Planar T* 85mm F1.4 ZA14262615
Tamron SP AF 60mm F/2 Di II LD [IF] MACRO Sony4992213
Sony DT 50mm F1.8 SAM1502014
Sony 50mm F2.8 Macro5802012
Sony 85mm F2.8 SAM2492013
Konica Minolta AF 50mm f/1.42601915
Sony 50mm f/1.4448199

The often-overlooked Sony 85mm f2.8 SAM is another good performer. This lightweight compact full-frame lens is little soft wide open but uniformity across the field is very good and sharpness improves when stopped down. At $249 it’s also modestly priced. Tamron’s SP AF 60mm Macro is also worth a mention. At $499 it’s a little cheaper than the Sony 50mm f2.8 Macro but it has good sharpness across the frame on the SLT-77 and, with an f2.0 maximum aperture, it’s unusually bright for a macro lens. Like the Sony 50mm f2.8 macro, it has a very useful maximum 1:1 (life-size) reproduction ratio without the need for extension tubes.