My favorite lens for almost everything is a telephoto lens. It’s easier to isolate your subject for portraits, landscapes, and their way better for any type of action shot.
I wrote whole other article about the best lightweight full frame telephoto lens, but most of those lenses are heavy and inconvenient for travel. And just recently, I’ve ditched my full frame camera and bought into the aps-c lineup. It really all came down to saving weight.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the best lightweight telephoto lenses tailored for Sony APS-C cameras, ensuring you get the most out of your gear without compromising on image quality.
What telephoto lenses are available for APS-C
Here are the lenses that are available for APS-C.
That’s a small list.
Recommended lenses listed by weight
Since there aren’t a lot of aps-c options, I’ve compiled this list of both full frame and aps-c lenses by weight.
|Sony 18-135||$491||11.5 oz / 325 g|
|Sony 55-210 4.5-6.3||$298||12.2 oz|
|Tamron 28-200 2.8-5.6||$729||1.27 lb / 575.5 g|
|Tamron 18-300 f/3.5-6.3||$699||1.37 lbs / 620g|
|Sony 70-350 4.5-6.3||$898||1.38 lbs / 625|
|Sony 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3||$1048||1.72 lb / 780 g|
|70-200mm F4 Macro G OSS II||$1698||1.75 lbs / 796 g|
|Tamron 70-180 2.8||$1199||1.78 lbs/ 807 g|
|Sony 70-200 G f/4||$1498||1.85 lb / 840 g|
|Sony 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G||$1273||1.88 lb / 854 g|
|Tamron 70-180 2.8 G2 (new)||$1299||30.15oz / 855g|
|Sony 70-200 GM ii f/2.8 (New version)||$2798||2.3 lb / 1045 g|
|Sigma 100-400 f/5-6.3||$949||2.5 lb/ 1133 g|
|Tamron 50-400 f/4.5-6.3||$1299||2.54 lb/1153 g|
|Sony 70-200 GM ii f/2.8 + 2x teleconverter (New version)||$2846||2. 7 lbs/ 1250 g|
|Sony 100-400 GM f4.5-5.6||$2498||3.24 lbs /1,469.7g (with foot)|
3.07 lbs /1,393.2g (without foot)
|Tamron 150-500 f/5-6.7||$1399||4.14 lb / 1880 g|
|Sony 200-600 5.6-6.3||$1898||4.65 lb / 2115 g|
The very best APS-C telephoto lens for Sony
- Sony 70-350 4.5-6.3 G OSS
The Sony E 70-350mm f/4.5-6.3 G OSS lens is the clear winner for the best telephoto lens for Sony. It’s also the perfect size and weight and it has OSS.
Weighing approximately 22.2 ounces (630 grams), it offers an impressive 5x zoom range and optical image stabilization. This lens is perfect for capturing distant subjects like wildlife or sports events while maintaining portability.
I would highly recommend this lens if it’s the zoom range you need. I personally plan on purchasing it for my a6700.
The best lens for low light
If you need something faster than the Sony 70-350, I would recommend getting the Tamron 70-180. It’s still light (under 2 lbs), and it’s much faster than any APS-C lens that Sony offers.
The only thing missing from the Tamron 70-180 is image stabilization, and the size savings of having an aps-c lens. Other than that, It’s really the perfect lens for both action and low light scenarios.
Best budget lens
If you’re on a budget the best telephoto lens for aps-c is the Sony 55-210 4.5-6.3.
This lens is inexpensive and it’s not as bad as you might think for a kit lens. It has a great focal range for telephoto and it’s sharp.
Weighing in at just around 12 ounces (343 grams), this lens is incredibly light and easy to carry, making it a great companion for on-the-go photography.
With a versatile zoom range, optical image stabilization (OSS), and a budget-friendly price tag, it’s an excellent choice for anyone looking a telephoto lens without the bulk.
The best full frame alternatives
With aps-c, you’ll save a lot of weight, but there’s not a huge selection. That’s why I’ve listed the best telephoto lenses for full frame below.
1. Sony 70-200 2.8 GM ii (2.3 lb / 1045 g)
The new Sony 70-200 2.8 gm ii is probably my favorite lens from Sony. The lens is one of Sony’s sharpest lenses and it weighs almost the same as the 70-200 f4 lens. It focuses extremely fast and with the 2x teleconverter this lens becomes a 140-400mm with the same aperture speed as the Sony 100-400. It’s better than the 70-200 f4 in every way and only slightly heavier.
Read my full comparison with the 100-400 here.
2. Sony 100-400 4-5.6 GM
The Sony 100-400 is my favorite focal length. I love it because it’s the best in-between telephoto lens, and it’s fast and sharp. It’s a great lens for sports, wildlife, portraits, and landscapes. It’s not as light as the sigma 100-400, but it’s much faster and sharper.
3. Sony 200-600 5.6-6.3 (4.65 lb / 2115 g)
If you’re shooting mostly wildlife, the Sony 200-600 5.6-6.3 is the lens of choice. The autofocus and sharpness is on par with the Sony 100-400 gm. The only downside about this lens is its versatility. It’s not a great lens for portraits or landscapes due to its size and weight.
4. Tamron 150-500 4.5-6.3 (4.14 lb / 1880 g)
The Tamron 150-500 f5-6.7 gives you an in-between option for the Sony 100-400 and 200-600. It’s fast, relatively light, and sharp. It’s not quite as fast as the Sony lenses on this list, but it can compete and it’s about half the price. Similar to the 200-600, this lens is not for portrait or landscape photographers.
APS-C lenses offer the perfect blend of portability and performance, allowing you to take your photography to the next level without the burden of heavy gear. I’ve listed a lot of gear on this page, but most people would be well to using the 70-350 for all their telephoto needs.
I hope this was helpful, and don’t forget to subscribe below for your photography fix.