Best Sony Lenses For Street Photography
Lenses · Sony

7 Best Sony Lenses For Street Photography in 2024 [Affordable]

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Last Updated/Info Checked on January 8, 2024 by Kimberly K.

Whether you are a paparazzo that wants to capture some sweet street portraits or photographs of celebrities, you can capture unmediated encounters in public places.

Limited time? Take a glance at my top choices.

BEST OVERALL
9.7
Sigma 16mm f/1.4
Sigma 16mm f/1.4
  • Diaphragm Blades: 9
  • Minimum Aperture: F/16
  • Maximum Aperture: F/1.4
  • Weight: 405 g
  • Lens Construction: 16 elements in 13 groups
  • Filter Size: 67 mm
  • Stepping Motor AF System
  • Minimum Focusing Distance: 25cm
EDITOR'S PICK
9.5
Sony - E 10-18mm
Sony - E 10-18mm
  • Diaphragm Blades: 7
  • Minimum Aperture: F /22
  • Maximum Aperture: F/ 4
  • Weight: 225 g
  • Lens Construction: 1 Super ED and 3 Aspherical Elements
  • Filter Size: 62mm 
  • Optical Steady Shot Stablization
  • Minimum Focusing Distance: 0.25mm
PREMIUM PICK
9.1
Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8
Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8
  • Diaphragm Blades: 9
  • Minimum Aperture: F/22
  • Maximum Aperture: F/2.8
  • Weight: 420 g
  • Lens Construction: 13 elements in 11 groups
  • Filter Size: 67 mm
  • RXD Stepping AF Motor 
  • Minimum Focusing Distance: 19cm

Whatever your needs are, it’s best to have a lens that is well-suited to your needs and delivers image results that are up to your standards.

Since Sony camera lineups mostly compromise their compact mirrorless digital cameras, I have sorted out a succinct list of the best sony lenses for street photography that money can buy.

I have cherry-picked these lenses not just on the basis of their ratings but have personally reviewed and tested them thoroughly in my lab so I can form a bias-free review for my beloved readers.

So without wasting any further time, let’s jump straight into the action.

Favorite List of 7 Best Sony Lenses For Street Photography

Here’s my rundown of the top Sony lenses I’ve reviewed after using them for street photography.

BEST OVERALL
1. Sigma 16mm f/1.4

1. Sigma 16mm f/1.4

  • Diaphragm Blades: 9
  • Minimum Aperture: F/16
  • Maximum Aperture: F/1.4
  • Weight: 405 g
  • Lens Construction: 16 elements in 13 groups
  • Filter Size: 67 mm
  • Stepping Motor AF System
  • Minimum Focusing Distance: 25 cm

Another ultra-wide aftermarket lens for your Sony cameras, however, this time it’s a budget-friendly pick for my photographer buddies who are tight on the finances.

Overall Build

Since it is a contemporary lens which is basically a substitute term for the budget lineup, I was expecting it to have poor and cheap overall housing.

But shockingly it had a unique Thermal stable composite material used in its exterior which not only enhances the toughness of the lens but boosts its integrity to extreme levels so that you can easily use it in the harsh cold and hot temperatures. 

So if you are a traveler or a street photographer who likes to take some beautiful snapshots and doesn’t want the extreme weather temperature to ruin your gear, then the Sigma 16mm is the one you should totally invest in.

Beautiful Bokeh Effect

Not every lens is blessed with super wide aperture size and only a few tend to have such a generous aperture size and produce a bokeh effect such as this one.

Moreover, the background looks glamorous but it also enhances the subject’s appearance and makes it look cinematic and significantly sharp.

On the other hand, even while taking pictures from a distance, there was minimal change in terms of quality while snapping some ultra-wide landscape photos and I barely noticed any corner softening which is incredibly praiseworthy.

However, I noticed some purple fringing which kind of felt very annoying at some point and I had to stop down a bit in order to reduce it. 

Fixed Focal Length

To capture large scenes in one frame, there is no better option than opting out for this lens as the 16mm produces some crisp and detailed results which easily take the crown when compared to other wide-angle glass lenses.

I even took some photos in monochrome of some children playing cricket in the street and this lens helped me produce professional-looking snapshots with mesmerizing vibes.

Testing Results

During my build quality tests, I decided not to securitize this lens since it falls under the term “contemporary” which means this class of lens isn’t brawny and strapping.

However, once I got up close and personal, I was truly blown away by its superior build quality and even though it’s made from plastic it’s nowhere near cheap.

As far as the physical dimensions are concerned, once you take the plastic hood off, it’s quite compact and doesn’t take up much as it measures around 9.2cm and weighs 405g.

On the other hand, the fact that it even has a rubber gasket to protect the innards had me captivated as this attribute is usually rare in contemporary lenses.

Reason For Recommendation

If you are looking for portable and lightweight lenses that produce outstanding bokeh effects but budget seems to be the constraint for you, then you might want to consider buying this lens as it has everything you were looking for.

You may also be interested in List of Best Lenses for Sony A7C

EDITOR'S PICK
2. Sony - E 10-18mm

2. Sony - E 10-18mm

  • Diaphragm Blades: 7
  • Minimum Aperture: F /22
  • Maximum Aperture: F/ 4
  • Weight: 225 g
  • Lens Construction: 1 Super ED and 3 Aspherical Elements
  • Filter Size: 62mm 
  • Optical Steady Shot Stablization
  • Minimum Focusing Distance: 0.25mm

An unparalleled choice in the vast Lineup of lenses manufactured by Sony, the Sony E 10-18mm is our contender in the list with some robust features.

Optical Stabilization 

Since most entry-level models lack their own stabilization mechanism, investing in a lens with such capabilities is a wise idea as you can have ample steadiness, allowing you to capture some crisp photography.

The Sony E 10-18mm enforces gyroscopic image stabilization which keeps the lens steady by counteracting against even the slightest or sharpest bit of movement to provide an ultra-smooth experience.

This sort of eliminates the need for an aftermarket gimbal altogether as it can iron out small jitters quite efficiently. I even tried testing this lens stabilization while on a morning stroll while recording a vlog and the results were definitely praiseworthy.

Focusing Encoders

Sony always integrates unique features which you won’t find elsewhere such as a distance encoder that automatically detects the distance and calculates the amount of flash you would be needing in order to support your flash-based photography.

This certainly changes how you perform your photo shoots since otherwise, you will be dealing with harsh, bright flashlight issues which undoubtedly ruin the colors and contrast of image results.

Focal Length & Aperture Size

The focal length of the lens is pretty good and can be used to capture beautiful outdoor candids of individuals as well as sceneries through its Ultra wide-angle focal range of 10-18mm.

The best part is that since it has an aperture size of F4, there is no chance of losing any detail no matter how much crop or zoom in on the photos you capture.

All in all, it’s an amazing lens and surely allows you to record videos and capture cinematic shots of the world around you, however, my only complaint here is that it is quite expensive when compared to other ultra-wide lenses.

Testing Results

Made mainly from alloy, this baby weighs only 225g and it barely weighs your camera down or exceeds your gimbal payload limit, making it a perfect companion during street photography.

Moreover, I love the fact that uses a universal filter thread size of 62mm which means you won’t have to go through the hassle of looking for specialized filters.

The best part about this lens is that even though it’s a mid-tier lens, it still offers optical stabilization right off the bat, preserving the beauty of the outdoors with crisp clarity.

Reason For Recommendation

Lightweight & resilient, the lens lies between a perfect combo of portability and performance all while being under a wholesome price tag.

BEST VALUE
3. Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8

3. Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8

  • Diaphragm Blades: 9
  • Minimum Aperture: F/22
  • Maximum Aperture: F/2.8
  • Weight: 420 g
  • Lens Construction: 13 elements in 11 groups
  • Filter Size: 67 mm
  • RXD Stepping AF Motor 
  • Minimum Focusing Distance: 19 cm

Extremely lightweight and versatile, the Tamron 17-28mm Ultra wide lens excels aggressively in circumstances where rival counterparts fail to deliver.

RXD Stepping Motor Unit

The Tamron 17-28mm certainly packs a punch since it was a “Rapid eXtra-Silent Stepping Drive” (RXD) motor which ensures reliable focusing no matter how fast or dynamic the subject is. 

This technology is by far the fastest in terms of focusing and not to forget the motor that helps in maintaining razor-sharp focusing is virtually silent so you won’t have to deal with pesky coil whining sound.

It’s nice to have such a magnificent design with a reliable focusing system that makes zero sound since noisy motors can be very irritating after performing a session all day long.

Weather Shielding

Since street photographers often spend most of their time outside to capture some beautiful stills and add them to their portfolio, the lens also has a unique countermeasure to moisture build-up inside the lens.

So you don’t have to worry about working in humid or rainy conditions as there is no chance of water droplets entering the lens. 

But you should be mindful that even though the lens might have some form of protection against moisture, the camera you may be using might not have weather shielding and water will certainly ruin the inner mechanism and cause it to malfunction.

Regardless of how safe and secure the manufacturer claims their gear is, you should still protect it.

On the other hand, the optical glass also has a lovely hydrophobic fluorine coating to prevent grime and oils from your hand, just in case you accidentally touch the lens.

So it’s safe to assume with such innovative coating you won’t be dealing with pesky fingerprints at all.

Focal Length & Aperture Size

Coming to its technical aspect, the focal range of the lens is 17-28mm, making it a perfect wide-angle glass lens and quite suitable for your everyday stroll in the streets. 

If you are fond of city-wide vintage architects or simply want to capture landscape shots of beautiful high-rise buildings, this lens can do it all with ease.

On the flip side, it even rocks a constant aperture size of F2.8 which is not that wide but not that small either in order to perform photo sessions in low-light situations.

You can also read my guide for My Favorite List of Lenses For Sony A7iii

PREMIUM PICK
4. Sony E-mount FE 24mm

4. Sony E-mount FE 24mm

  • Diaphragm Blades: 11
  • Minimum Aperture: F/16
  • Maximum Aperture: F/1.4
  • Weight: 445 g
  • Lens Construction: 2 XA Elements, 3 ED Elements
  • Filter Size: 67 mm
  • DDSS Wave AF Motor
  • Minimum Focusing Distance: 24 cm

A highly portable, Spectacular quality lens with mind-boggling aperture size which acts as both prime and wide angle lens. But watch out, it’s got a hefty price tag.

11 Blade Circular Diaphragm

I have reviewed plenty of prime lenses, however, the level of bokeh effect this lens produced is truly remarkable and certainly shocked me beyond my expectations.

The reason behind such high praise is that the lens has an 11-blade circular diaphragm which produces a tremendously shallow depth of field but also has lovely rounded edges that feel smooth like butter and natural.

The background defocusing is so overwhelming that it highly contours the subjects and makes them stand out while the whole background is extremely vague. 

For freelance photographers who often like to take casual portraits on the streets to boost their portfolio, buying this lens and performing photoshoots with the aperture size of F1.4 on a 24mm focal length is like a dream come true to unleash the creativity that would be otherwise impossible.

Direct Drive SSM

Sony also has incorporated a Supersonic motor which is miles ahead of rival leagues, the Direct Drive SSM ensures snappy focusing which compliments the lens output quality by ensuring mind-boggling clarity even while tracking subjects that are moving at considerably high speeds.

Moreover, not only is the motor unit incredibly lightweight to ensure it doesn’t tip off the scales in the weight department and preserve portability but the operations of focusing are pretty silent and barely audible.

I even tested the noise ratio of this lens in my lab where it had soundproof walls to prevent echoes and had virtually radio silence and the motor unit didn’t feel like it was making any noise at all while delivering accurate focusing in scenarios.

Seamless AF Switch

The Lens also allows seamless switching between Manual focus to Automatic focus, which means with the flick of your finger you will be fine-tuning the focusing mechanism by yourself which is quite useful while you are performing videography or recording outdoor skits with your buddies.

MOST RATED
5. Sigma 30mm F1.4

5. Sigma 30mm F1.4

  • Diaphragm Blades: 9
  • Minimum Aperture: F/16
  • Maximum Aperture: F/1.4
  • Weight: 265 g
  • Lens Construction: 9 elements in 7 groups
  • Filter Size: 52 mm
  • Stepping Motor AF System
  • Minimum Focusing Distance: 30cm

A budget-friendly lens but with flagship-level quality, the Sigma 30mm has a lightning-fast AF and color output richer than Elon Musk.

9 Blade Diaphragm

It has a mouthwatering aperture size of F1.4 which means it certainly creates wonders with its mind-blowing bokeh effect that is overwhelming enough to mesmerize anyone looking at your portraits.

However, the secrets of such a marvel lie behind a 9-blade diaphragm mechanism which not only presents a super soft background defocusing effect but ensures it has significant shallowness with a much-improved look than a 7-blade diaphragm.

Motor Type

Since it’s more of a budget-oriented lens, don’t expect cutting-edge technologies built into it. As for its focusing Motor unit, the Sigma 30mm utilizes a small yet nifty Stepping Ring motor which ensures steady and rapid focusing with decent results.

Since the focusing is internal in this lens, the lens won’t elongate which preserves the low profile feel and makes it easy to carry and even handle your camera while it’s hooked onto it.

Sigma claims the motor used in this lens is practically silent but upon personal testing and reviewing, I refute the claims as the noise ratio is quite audible even while snapping images outdoors where background noise is very overwhelming to the ears.

EXPENSIVE PICK
6. Sony Alpha 16-55mm

6. Sony Alpha 16-55mm

  • Diaphragm Blades: 9
  • Minimum Aperture: F/22
  • Maximum Aperture: F/2.8 G
  • Weight: 494 g
  • Lens Construction: 17 Elements In 12 Groups
  • Filter Size: 67 mm
  • XD Linear Motor
  • Dust and moisture resistant
  • Minimum Focusing Distance: 33cm

A versatile proprietary Sony lens that also has Dust & Moisture protection which makes it very suitable for everyday outdoor photography.

Design & Build Quality

Let’s start with the design and its aesthetics, even though it has zoom capabilities and surely elongates when maxed out on its focal range it’s still compact enough to be considered a low profile that does not take up much space.

The overall dimensions of the lens are 7.75 x 4.52 x 4.52 inches while placing it on a measuring scale it had a net weight of around 1.68 pounds.

The lens is extremely lightweight and highly portable and can be easily classified as the best travel companion a street photographer can possibly have.

XD Linear Motor

Unlike any other lens, this one utilizes a flagship level of extreme dynamic linear Motor which works flawlessly no matter the lighting you are performing your photoshoot.

This means you won’t have to deal with “Focus Hunt ” and will have a snappy performance which is quite helpful while taking images of mobile subjects.

Moreover, the lens also has a dedicated switch that lets you toggle between AF and MF so you have complete liberty and control over the subjects you want to keep in focus. 

However, the lack of hard stops surely makes night sky photography a hassle as setting it to infinity can be a bit challenging.

9 Blade Diaphragm

The lens is undoubtedly expensive however you have to keep in mind it rocks a constant aperture size of F2.8 which is pretty impressive and certainly boasts mind-boggling results in both videography and while capturing stills, especially at a focal range of 55mm.

Additionally, the 9-blade diaphragm highly assists in producing one of the most glamorous bokeh effects I have ever seen on a lens, especially due to its circular design. 

On the other hand, the glass of the lens also boasts plenty of crucial elements to keep the fringing as low as possible such as 17 elements arranged in 12 groups including dual advanced aspherical and dual aspherical elements to prevent chromatic aberration.

MID RANGE PICK
7. Sony E PZ 18-105mm

7. Sony E PZ 18-105mm

  • Diaphragm Blades: 7
  • Minimum Aperture: F/22
  • Maximum Aperture: F/4
  • Weight: 427 g
  • Lens Construction: 16 Elements in 12 Groups
  • Filter Size: 72 mm
  • Optical SteadyShot Image Stabilization
  • Minimum Focusing Distance: 45 cm

Lastly, I present to you the 18-105mm zoom lens with mighty magnification and mind-blowing image stabilization.

Gyroscope Based Image Stabilization

To counteract camera shake and wrist jitters, the lens has its own Gyro sensors which precisely detect any movement across all axes and correct the lens element by constantly shifting it to compensate for any movement to ensure buttery smooth footage.

So you can take snaps as well as record videos in your street while on the move or simply record a beautiful vlog for your fans while having a super steady videography experience.

Lens Element

To keep purple cyan fringing and other optical defects such as astigmatism and chromatic aberration from appearing especially while zoomed in at 105mm focal range, the lens has been embedded with 16 lens elements carefully arranged in 12 groups working in conjunction with triple aspherical and Dual extra-low-distortion (ED) elements.

Hats off to Sony for the inclusion of such aspherical lens elements to minimize optical defects by ensuring light wavelength hits at the exact same point without facing problems like dispersion.

Focal Length & Aperture Size

The strongest selling point of the lens is that you can basically use it for wide-angle shots to capture landscape imagery as well as a telephoto lens to lock onto subjects from a distance.

The level of magnification on this compact lens is quite marvelous as it has a focal range from 18mm-105mm which pretty much covers every form of photography.


In other words, you don’t have to carry a multitude of lenses to cover an event since this lens can do it all and then some.

In low light situations, however, this lens struggles due to its smaller aperture size of F4, in addition to that, the bokeh effect is pretty weak and I wish the aperture size on this thing was a tad bit higher so my picture would have a gorgeous and shallow depth of field.

Bottom Line

Not every camera comes with a lens and even so, the ones that do come with a kit lens aren’t worth the time as they lack plenty of features that only an aftermarket lens can make up for.

For street photography, you need to have something lightweight and compact while at the same time being robust enough to pack a punch so you flaunt your portfolio in style to your peers.

That being said, I hope this article regarding the best Sony lenses for street photography has been undoubtedly worth a glance and my in-depth insight has proved beneficial for you to commit to an investment.

Thank you for stopping by, have a nice day.

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