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

While pricey models such as the $1,599 Sony Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 24-70mm and $1,799 Sony 70-200mm f2.8 G series model head up our database, it’s refreshing to see lenses like the Tamron SP AF 28-75mm f2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF), Sigma 17-50mm f2.8 EX DC HSM as well as some Sony DT models rank highly.

Sony Vario-Sonnar T* 24-70mm F2.8 ZA SSM 15991915
Sony 70-200mm F2.8 G17991710
Tamron SP AF 28-75mm F/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical [IF] Sony4991612
Sony Vario-Sonnar T* 16-35mm F2.8 ZA SSM 15991611
Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC HSM Sony570168
Tamron SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di USD Sony1299159
Sony Vario-Sonnar T* DT 16-80mm F3.5-4.5 ZA7501410
Konica Minolta AF 28-75mm f/2.8 (D)400149
Tokina AT-X 11-16 PRO DX Sony659148
Sony DT 18-70mm F3.5-5.61691210
Sony DT 55-200mm F4-5.6 SAM2301210
Sony DT 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 SAM498127
Sony DT 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 SAM200119
Sony 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G SSM800118
Konica Minolta AF 28-100mm f/3.5-5.6 (D)1491110
Sony 70-400mm F4-5.6 G SSM II2200117
Sony DT 55-300mm F4.5-5.6 SAM350117
Sigma 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 DC HSM Sony699117
Sony DT 18-200mm F3.5-6.353097
Tamron AF 28-300mm F/3.5-6.3 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) Macro Sony42099

The older Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 XR Di model even outperforms their newer 24-70mm f2.8 Di USD version, particularly with regard to sharpness on the smaller APS-C size sensor. However, as a 43-115 mm equivalent, it maybe a touch ‘long’ for a lot of tastes, and the wider Sigma 17-50 mm f2.8 as the equivalent to a 26-77 mm may be more appealing. At $569, the Sigma is also modestly priced for an f2.8 constant aperture zoom.

Although not inexpensive at around $750, the Sony Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* DT 16-80mm f3.5-4.5 is more in keeping with the build of the A77 and it’s a good performer even if it looks to be close in performance to the now discontinued Sony DT 18-70mm f3.5-5.6 kit lens from a few years ago.

As for high-grade telephoto zooms, the Sony 70-400mm and 70-200mm f2.8 G-series models stand out as good performers, the latter coming second in our rankings. However, sharpness is slightly below par at the longer focal lengths on both models on the A77. While this is slightly disappointing in both cases, Sony has announced an upgraded 70-200mm f2.8 SSM II model, which sounds promising, if somewhat pricey at $2,999.