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The 6 Best Lenses for the Sony A57

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Best Sony A57 35mm Film

´╗┐The Sony A57 is a fantastic Single Lens Translucent camera. If you don’t already own a lens or are wanting for another lens, this will cover the best 6 lenses to use on the Sony SLT-A57.

More details are further down, however if you are in a hurry, here’s the list:

Below are the best Sony lenses separated by type of photography. There are additional alternatives covering a variety of costs.

Standard Primes

Sony 50mm f/1.8 SAM DT

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Sony 50mm f/1.8 Lens
  • Outstanding optics.
  • Small and light weight.
  • Can be difficult to find new.
  • Smooth Autofocus Motor (SAM)
  • Circular aperture.
Check prices at: AmazoneBay, KEH, Adorama

A wonderful mix of minimal weight and small size. The autofocus motor is more accurate and quieter than previous lenses that rely on the physically coupled autofocus.

Rounded aperture blades allow you to stop down by 2-stops and keep an almost perfectly circular aperture. This results in beautiful bokeh and more versatility in managing depth of field.

Minolta Maxxum AF 50mm f/1.7

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Minolta Maxxum AF 50mm f/1.7
  • Built-in lens hood.
  • Amazing value.
  • Light and compact.
  • Widely available used.
  • Coupled autofocus.
Check prices at: eBay, KEH, Adorama

This is an initial design from when Minolta initially introduced the A-mount. On account of how old the lens is, the autofocus is controlled by a motor built into the A57.

Autofocus that is mechanically coupled can be jerky and rather noisy. If that is not a huge concern for you the picture quality is beautiful. {The bokeh is attractive and you’ll get a classic image rendering|You’ll get a classic image rendering and eye-catching bokeh.

A further large advantage of the lens is the price. It’s drastically more affordable compared to the Sony 50mm f/1.8 and also may be the lowest priced lens listed.

Sony 50mm f/1.4

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Sony 50mm f/1.4
  • Outstanding optics.
  • Optical multi-coatings.
  • Circular aperture.
  • 55mm filter threads.
Check prices at: eBay, KEH, Adorama

Slightly faster compared to the f/1.8, however that can make an impact when you’re shooting without much light. That as expected comes at an additional expense.

It is still a small and lightweight lens that works nicely on the A57 and can fit into virtually any camera bag.

A potentially more affordable solution is the Minolta AF 50mm f/1.4. Keep in mind that they can be hard to get a hold of in good usable condition. The lens also was built with physically coupled autofocus, which is slower and noisier than lenses with built-in motors}.

Portrait & Telephoto Lens

Sony 85mm f/1.4 ZA

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Sony 85mm f/1.4 ZA
  • Incredible bokeh.
  • Excellent value used.
  • T* coating to reduce flare and increase contrast.
  • Astonishingly sharp wide open.
Check prices at: eBay, KEH, Adorama

Sony wanted to show off what the A-mount is able to do. Zeiss built this lens. The ZA (Zeiss Alpha) means that Zeiss created the lens specifically for the Sony A-mount.

This is an incredible lens. Sharp corner-to-corner with brilliant colors that delivers outstanding portrait photos.

Potential downsides are that it is a lttle bit on the heavy side because it’s built like a tank and the autofocus can seem slow. Bear in mind, that you will come across those same problems with any f/1.4 85mm lens.

Minolta Maxxum AF 85mm f/1.4

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Minolta Maxxum AF 85mm f/1.4
  • Possible to find a good used deal.
  • Superb image quality.
  • Uses autofocus coupler.
  • Double-Gauss design.
Check prices at: eBay, KEH, Adorama

This lens sits inbetween the price range of the other 2 lenses. Acquiring a used lens in good usable condition will be difficult because of a limited supply available.

The lens does have autofocus, but it uses a mechanical coupler and is driven by an in-camera body motor. This makes the lens sluggish to autofocus and fairly noisy.

A Double-Gauss optical design is older and only contains a total of 6 lens elements. That is not a bad thing as the lens gives a distinctive appearance that can not be made with a modern lens.

Sony A57 Zoom Lenses

Sony 28-75mm f/2.8

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Sony 28-75mm f/2.8
  • Very usable zoom range.
  • Great value used.
  • Constant aperture.
  • Smooth Autofocus Motor (SAM).
Check prices at: eBay, KEH, Adorama

If you want to shoot indoor shooting, travel, family photos, and night events, this is a great fast zoom for that. It is a well crafted lens with fairly quiet autofocus.

It is often compared to the excellent Zeiss 24-70mm lens, but it is about half the weight and costs considerbly less. Both create pro images.

Sony 55-200mm f/4-5.6 SAM DT

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Sony 55-200mm f/4-5.6 SAM DT
  • Telephoto zoom range.
  • Great for portrait or wildlife photography.
  • Smooth Autofocus Motor (SAM).
  • Inexpensive.
Check prices at: eBay, KEH, Adorama

A more affordable option that can still produce excellent results. It’s not a professional lens, therefore as long as you do not expect high end technology, it is an excellent lens.

As a telephoto zoom, it gives you an excellent zoom range for shooting pictures of wildlife, children outdoors, and sports.

Image sharpness is very good and the autofocus is quick. The lens is built out of plastic, which will help cut down on weight.

Sony 75-300mm f/4.5-5.6

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Sony 75-300mm f/4.5-5.6
  • Super telephoto zoom lens.
  • Great for portrait or wildlife photography.
  • 2.81 inches in diameter and 4.81 inches long.
  • 55mm filter threads.
Check prices at: eBay, KEH, Adorama

This meets the criteria of a super-telephoto lens. It is a terrific low-cost option for any time you would like a long lens.

It is only 4.8 inches (12.2 cm) long, 2.8 inches (7.1 cm) in diameter, and weighs 1 pound 2 ounces (510g). While that’s not considered light, many pro telephoto zooms are multiple times heavier than that.

For just a little better capabilities try to find the Sony 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 SSM ED G-Series, but plan on paying around twice the price.

Wide Angle Lens

Sony DT 11-18mm f/4.5-5.6

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Sony DT 11-18mm f/4.5-5.6
  • Has a aspherical lens elements.
  • Optical multi-coatings.
  • Great value when purchased used.
  • Circular aperture.
Check prices at: eBay, KEH, Adorama

Fantastic quality for the money if you want to capture beautiful wide angle images that kit zooms can’t get. Distortion, especially of vertical lines is small or non-existent unless you’re trying to have an distorted perspective.

Along with being very good at taking stunning landscapes, it’s also a superb lens to travel with. The lens is wide enough so that when you see something you’ll be able to get everything in frame.

Sony 20mm f/2.8

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Sony 20mm f/2.8
  • Great for landscapes and architecture.
  • Coated optics for clarity and definition.
  • Rear focusing system for fast autofocus response.
  • 72mm filter threads.
Check prices at: eBay, KEH, Adorama

A well engineered lens that does a good job of reducing distortion. On top of that, a great deal of effort has been done to decrease flane and internal reflections.

The result is a terrific lens that is well suited for landscape, astrophotography, and architecture photography. The rear focusing system means the front isn’t going to rotate so you will not have any challenges using a polarizer or different filter.

Tokina AT-X 11-16mm f/2.8 DX II

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Tokina AT-X 11-16mm f/2.8 DX II
  • Wide angle zoom lens.
  • Hardened Alumite finish.
  • Advanced optical coatings.
  • All metallic moving parts.
  • Designed for APS-C Sensors.
Check prices at: eBay, KEH, Adorama

It doesn’t have tremendously fast autofocus, but the auto/manual focus clutch helps make it an ideal option for manual focusing. A push or pull of the focus ring switches the lens from auto to manual focus.

The Tokina is faster when compared to the Sony 11-18mm, which is not a large deal for landscape or architecture images. Where you’ll observe a big difference is with astrophotography. That’s a scenario where you’ll want to have the 1-2 stop advantage the Tokina supplies.

Fisheye

Sony 16mm f/2.8 Fisheye

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Sony 16mm f/2.8 Fisheye
  • Sharp corner-to-corner.
  • 4 built-in filters: Normal, 056, B12, A12.
  • 8 inch minimum focus distance.
  • Aspherical and Extra-low Dispersion elements.
Check prices at: eBay, KEH, Adorama

Having built-in filters is a really good addition due to the fact the lens has a fixed petal-style hood which prevents a lens filter from being put on the front of the lens.

  • 056 - Accented contrast for black and white photos.
  • B12 - Correct color by eliminating red tones.
  • A12 - Correct color by eliminating blue tones.

This lens has pretty much everything you could need from a fisheye. You will get corner-to-corner sharpness without seeing vignetting while still getting exaggerated distortion.

Rokinon 8mm f/3.5 Fisheye

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Rokinon 8mm f/3.5 Fisheye
  • Internal focus.
  • 180 degree angle of view.
  • Manual focus.
  • Minimum focusing distance of 12 inches (0.3m).
  • Designed for APS-C sensors.
Check prices at: eBay, KEH, Adorama

The lens has a round front which means filters cannot be attached. It comes with a snap-on petal-type lens hood that you’ll want to make sure that it is included if you buy a pre-owned lens.

Construction quality can be a little hit or miss as a result of the low price of the lens. Almost all owners are really pleased with the photos they get. It is still important to adequately test out the lens when you obtain it to know for sure that it is not a bad copy.

Macro Lens

Sony 100mm f/2.8 Macro

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Sony 100mm f/2.8 Macro
  • 9 aperture blades.
  • Focus range limiter.
  • High contrast and resolution.
  • 55mm filter threads.
Check prices at: eBay, KEH, Adorama

The best balance of size, working distance, and value for the Sony A57. The autofocus can be a bit noisy, but for b taking macro photos, manual focus is easier than using AF.

For the optimal output at 1x magnification the lens ought to be stopped down by a minimum of 2 stops. Doing that will additionally give you a wider depth of field, which is always important for macro photography.

Sony 50mm f/2.8 Macro

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Sony 50mm f/2.8 Macro
  • 10.4 ounces (295g).
  • Focus range limiter.
  • Focus Hold button for full creative control.
  • 55mm filter threads.
Check prices at: eBay, KEH, Adorama

A 50mm isn’t that good for 1x magnification on account of the limited working distance. At 1x magnification, the front of the lens will end up being approximately 2 inches (5 cm) from the subject.

This lens performs well at copy work, tabletop, and close-up photography. It gives you the option to get closer to a subject than a standard 50mm, which is perfect for nature photography when you need to fill the frame with a smaller sized subject, like a flower.

Tamron AF 90mm f/2.8 Di SP A/M 1:1 Macro

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Tamron AF 90mm f/2.8 Di SP A/M 1:1 Macro
  • Available in a variety of camera mounts.
  • Improved resolution, chromatic correction, and optical coatings.
  • Super Performance (SP)
  • Focus clutch to switch between AF & MF.
Check prices at: eBay, KEH, Adorama

While this lens does have autofocus, the focus ring feels great when manually focusing. Stopped down two or more stops and you’ll get tack sharp pictures.

Additionally, be mindful when buying the lens as it is built in different lens mounts.

Used A-Mount Camera Lens Prices

Prices are frequently changing. Over the past few years, interest in film photography has been soaring. As there are Minolta 35mm film cameras that use the A-mount, some additional demand is added to the price of lenses.

The Sony A-mount also does not hold a big market share. Because of this, there are fewer third party choices available and the lenses built by Sony are quite often on backorder.

To get the best price on what you want to buy, look at prices on different websites. For used lenses, be ready to make a purchase when you find a deal as they generally will not be available for very long.

What Lens Mount Does the A57 Use?

The Sony A57 uses the Sony A-mount. It’s also the same as the Minolta A-mount. This is due to Sony buying Konica Minolta’s imaging division in 2006.

The A-mount was engineered by Minolta for the release of interchangeable lens cameras with autofocus in 1985. It is still actively supported to this day.

Standard Lens Cap Size

55mm, but honestly the filter sizes are sporadic. Minolta lenses mostly feature 49mm filter threads.

You will also find a number of lenses that have filter threads much larger than 55mm. It isn’t uncommon to see 72mm or 77mm filter threads. It would’ve been nice if Sony used only 2 or 3 different filter sizes.

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