10 Best Travel Lenses for Sony A7iii for Any Budget (2024)

Best travel lenses for Sony a7iii blog cover image.  Text overlaying an image of a Sony alpha camera and three lenses.

Choosing the best travel lenses for your Sony A7iii comes down to deciding what features are the most important to you as a photographer.

As with all products, higher quality is closely tied to higher prices, so budget has to be considered.

When it comes to travel photography in particular you also have to consider such things as size & weight, build quality & weather sealing, zoom range, autofocus performance, maximum aperture, and more.

This guide walks you through all of your options and helps you decide which are going to be the best lenses for your travels with the Sony A7iii (or any other Sony Full Frame camera).

*Prices are subject to change. All listed recommended retail prices are from the manufacturer’s website and are correct at the time of writing (December 2023).

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๐Ÿ“ธ Choosing the Best Travel Lenses for Sony A7iii

The Sony 24-105mm G OSS is our go-to travel lens.
The Sony 24-105mm G OSS is our go-to travel lens.

Every lens ever made has pros and cons; there is no one lens that provides unbeatable metrics in every category while remaining budget-friendly. With that said, we have chosen what we consider the best travel lenses by finding those that offer the overall value for the cost.

Our selections in each category were made with a general audience in mind. This means that those selected in each class and range will be the best choice for about 80% of you.

The best way to discover the best option for you personally is to think carefully about previous travels and consider how to prioritize the following factors based on past experience:

  • Cost / Budget
    Consider how much your photos are worth to you. Do they need to be good enough to print on a billboard, or just good enough for fond memories?
  • Size & Weight
    Are you going to be walking or hiking a ton? How much are you willing to carry? Is discretion important? Are you concerned with carrying something that looks expensive?
  • Build Quality
    Are you traveling to a place with hostile environmental conditions (sandy, wet, humid, etc)? Is your gear going to be getting thrown around, or can you keep it safe easily?
  • Image Quality
    All lenses will be good, but how good does it need to be? Are you using this for commercial purposes or sales? Is “visibly good” enough, or does it need to be tack sharp?
  • Autofocus Performance
    Are you shooting at low apertures on the go, or are you posing your subjects? Are you shooting in low light, or only in daylight? Can you spare an extra second for focus to lock?
  • Maximum Aperture
    How much bokeh (background blur) do you need? How often are you shooting in low light conditions?
  • Zoom Range
    Do you have the flexibility / desire to compose your frames by simply moving your body, or do you need to be able to zoom in and out quickly?

๐ŸŽž Top 10 Best Lenses for Sony A7iii

Here are our top 10 best lenses for Sony a7iii:

  • Sony 24-105mm G OSS
  • Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN Art
  • Sony Zeiss 24-70mm F4
  • Tamron 150-500mm f/5-6.7
  • Tamron 70-180mm F2.8
  • Sigma 20mm f/1.4 Art DG HSM
  • Sony 20mm f/1.8 G
  • Sony FE 35mm F1.8
  • Sony FE 50mm F1.8
  • Sony 85mm F1.8

We will cover each of these lenses in detail below, including the pros and cons of each, and other comparable lenses.


๐Ÿ๏ธ Best Zoom Travel Lenses for Sony A7iii

The new Tamron 150-500mm f/5-6.7 is one of the best value telephoto lenses for Sony a7iii.
The new Tamron 150-500mm f/5-6.7 is one of the best value telephoto lenses for Sony a7iii.

For those of you who prefer to shoot with zoom lenses, the compromise will always be physical size, maximum aperture, and cost.

Zoom lenses are typically much larger and heavier. They are unideal for low light settings and portrait shooting as they typically come with max apertures of F4 or higher.

The premium zoom lenses can get down to F2.8 and overcome these challenges, but you will be paying a lot more for them.

The exact zoom range you require for your travel photography is based on what you shoot most often.

Landscape photographers typically prefer wide angle lenses (16-35mm), portrait and street photographers tend to use mid-range lenses (24-100mm), and wildlife or discrete shooters typically want something in the telephoto range (100-600mm).

Sony 24-105mm G OSS (SEL24105G)
(Best All Around Lens for Sony a7iii)

Sony - FE 24-105mm F4 G OSS Standard Zoom Lens for Sony A7iii

Pros: Fantastic focal distance range, incredible sharpness, fast & accurate autofocus, all at a very reasonable price.

Cons: Not a small or light lens, F4 can be challenging in very low light conditions.

We are full-time travel photographers who focus on landscapes and nature primarily, but also shoot a lot of lifestyle and subject-based photos. This is the lens that we both use for 90% of our shots and we consider it to be the best travel lens for the Sony A7iii.

The 24-105mm range covers everything from landscapes to close-ups, providing a very flexible range. While it is not small, it is extremely valuable to have a “one-and-done” lens that we almost never have to change in the field, thus keeping our sensor clean of dirt and debris.

It is also sharp corner-to-corner, provides an acceptable max aperture across the entire zoom range, and can typically be found at an amazing price point on sale for about $1100.

  • Full Retail Price: $1299.99*
  • Released: 2017
  • Max Aperture: F4
  • Weight: 23.4 oz (663g)
  • Size (WxL): 3.28 x 4.46″ (83.4 x 113.3 mm)
  • Filter Size: 77mm
  • Build Quality: Great
  • Autofocus: Great
  • Image Stabilization: Yes

Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN Art

Sony Zeiss 24-70mm F4 Vario-Tessar Lens for Sony alpha E Mount

Pros: Excellent weather sealing, low light performance, auto-focus, and overall image quality at half the cost of Sony. It has a similar price point to Tamron & Samyang but is better in nearly every calculable metric.

Cons: Larger and more expensive than an F4 of the same range, which may be enough for most photographers.

The 24-70mm range is the most common preferred focal distance for travel and landscape photographers. The reason for this is that it most closely resembles the equivalent focal distance of our eyes!

Due to the high demand, there are also a lot of options for travel lenses in the approximate 24-70mm range. If it is going to be your workhorse lens, you may want to consider investing a little more money to get a superior piece of glass for all occasions.

With budget, build quality, size, image quality, and overall value in mind, the new Sigma Art 24-70mm F2.8 for Sony E-Mount was selected as the best overall value in the F2.8 category ahead of similar offerings from Sony, Tamron, and even other Sigmas.

  • Full Retail Price: $1099*
  • Released: 2019
  • Max Aperture: F2.8
  • Weight: 1.84 lb (835g)
  • Size (WxL): 3.46 x 4.84″ (87.8 x 122.9 mm)
  • Filter Size: 82mm
  • Build Quality: Excellent (earlier models had dust issue, now fixed)
  • Autofocus: Great
  • Image Stabilization: No

Sony Zeiss 24-70mm F4 Vario-Tessar T FE OSS

Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN Art Sony E Lens

Pros: A very affordable (especially for used copies) sharp lens at a small size in the primary range for most travel photographers.

Cons: Sacrifices some bokeh and low-light ability in the maximum aperture of F4.

As mentioned above, the 24-70mm range is the typical choice for a primary lens, but most people really do not require the ability to shoot at F2.8. If budget and/or size are your priority, consider the Sony Zeiss 24-70mm F4 instead.

This lens is tack sharp across the range and about half the size of the F2.8 lenses in the same focal distance. What you give up in low light ability and bokeh, you get back in daytime performance, sharpness, and size.

Also, because this lens has been around a while and is so popular, bargain seekers can likely find it for less than $500 used!

  • Full Retail Price: $899.99*
  • Released: 2014
  • Max Aperture: F4
  • Weight: 15.03 oz (426g)
  • Size (WxL): 2.87 x 3.72″ (72.9 x 94.49 mm)
  • Filter Size: 67mm
  • Build Quality: Excellent
  • Autofocus: Excellent
  • Image Stabilization: Yes

Tamron 150-500mm f/5-6.7 Di III VC VXD

Tamron 150-500mm f5-6.7 for Sony Alpha

Pros: Best value when factoring price to the most important features of a telephoto lens (max aperture, image sharpness, and autofocus performance). Also lighter than most comparable models. Half the cost of the Sony offerings!

Cons: Those with a higher budget may prefer the extended range of the 200-600mm, or the higher max apertures of the 100-400mm. Lower build quality than the competition.

The latest release from Tamron, their 150-500mm f/5-6.7 Di III VC VXD is the telephoto lens we travel with having tested and compared every other option in the 100-600mm range (excluding those with $10k price tags!)

If your travel photography includes a lot of wildlife or requires some discretion for capturing the moment, a good telephoto lens is essential.

We compared the Sony 100-400mm, Sony 200-600mm, Sigma 150-600mm, and Sigma 100-400mm before deciding on the Tamron 150-500mm. At the price point, this was easily the best value due to its superior autofocus, sharpness, and max apertures.

  • Full Retail Price: $1399*
  • Released: 2021
  • Max Aperture: F5 – F6.7 variable
  • Weight: 4.1lb (1.95kg)
  • Size (WxL): 8.3 x 3.7″ (210.8 x 94 mm)
  • Filter Size: 82mm
  • Build Quality: Good
  • Autofocus: Excellent
  • Image Stabilization: Yes

Tamron 70-180mm F2.8 Di III VXD

Tamron 70-180mm F2.8 Lens for Sony a7riii

Pros: The Tamron 70-180mm is easily the best lens for travel in this focal distance range on the Sony A7iii. It was sharper than the competition, a huge surprise, weighs half as much and is only 40% of the price!

Cons: The biggest con to the Tamron is that the Auto-Focus performance at high speeds was about half as good as the Sony lenses. Of lesser importance, the Sony options had slightly less Chromatic Aberration and fringing. Also does not get to 200mm like the competition.

These are not small lenses by any means, but they are the preferred choice for most photographers whose images strongly feature a human subject with heavy compression.

For shooters who enjoy this mid-telephoto range, the native Sony options are the most popular, but extensive testing suggests they may be the worst choice!

Having compared both the newly released and original Sony 70-200mm against the Tamron 70-180mm, our extensive testing concluded that the Tamron was as good or better in the most important categories.

The Tamron came in sharper corner to corner (a big surprise!) and provided slightly better bokeh while being nearly half the weight and 1/3 of the cost! It also handled flare better than the Sonys.

It is also worth noting the Tamron 70-180mm F2.8 costs about the same as the Sony 70-200mm F4, which is significant for most photographers that chose this focal distance as their primary lens.

  • Full Retail Price: $1199.00*
  • Released: 2020
  • Max Aperture: F2.8
  • Weight: 1.78 lb (810 g)
  • Size (WxL): 3.19 x 5.87″ (81 x 149 mm)
  • Build Quality: Good
  • Autofocus: Fair
  • Image Stabilization: No


โญ๏ธ Best Prime Travel Lenses for Sony A7iii

The prime Sony FE 50mm F1.8 (SEL50F18F/2) is the perfect Sony a7iii travel lens.
The prime Sony FE 50mm F1.8 is the perfect Sony a7iii travel lens.

While we prefer the versatility that a zoom lens provides, many travel photographers prefer shooting with prime lenses.

The major advantage to prime lenses is the higher F-stops, providing better bokeh and low-light performance. Sharpness also tends to superior for the cost, and prime lenses are typically (but not always) more compact.

Last, it is much easier to find a sharp, fast, budget-friendly prime lens than a comparable zoom lens.

Sigma 20mm f/1.4 Art DG HSM

Sigma 20mm f1.4 Art - Best Travel Lenses for Sony a7iii

Pros: The sales price is easy to find and makes this lens a great value for those who like to shoot wide-angle with primes. F1.4 is great for wide-angle portraiture and low-light shooting. No distortion, which is hard to find at such a wide angle.

Cons: This lens is very large & heavy for a travel prime lens, and there is some vignetting on the corners when wide open to F1.4.

While 20mm is wider than what most would consider as one of the best lenses for traveling, there are many street and landscape photographers who prefer the “big picture” aesthetic of a 20mm lens.

Of those offered, the Sigma Art is considered the best in terms of sharpness and speed at the price.

This lens is mostly favored by astrophotographers who want something wide angle and strong in low light for shooting the stars.

  • Full Retail Price: $899*
  • Release Date: 2018
  • Max Aperture: F1.4
  • Weight: 2.1lb (945g)
  • Size (WxL): 3.57 x 5.11″ (90.7 x 129.8 mm)
  • Filter Size: None
  • Build Quality: Excellent
  • Autofocus: Excellent
  • Image Stabilization: No

Sony 20mm f/1.8 G (SEL20F18G)

Sony FE 20mm F1.8 Travel Lens Sony

Pros: Much smaller and slightly sharper than the Sigma, same price.

Cons: Hard to find any discounts or sale pricing compared to Sigma, only gets to F1.8.

The Sony 20mm was released as an alternative to the Sigma in 2020 and may be the better option for many travelers. This lens is about 1/3 the size of the Sigma, which is often a deciding factor for prime lens users.

In addition, it is slightly sharper and comes in at the same price.

The biggest difference besides the size is the max aperture. That said, the ability to shoot at F1.4 with the Sigma comes with some vignetting and corner softness, so many perfectionists may need to step up to F1.8 anyway.

  • Full Retail Price: $899.99*
  • Release Date: 2020
  • Max Aperture: F1.8
  • Weight: 13.16 oz (373g)
  • Size (WxL): 2.89 x 3.33″ (73.5 x 84.7 mm)
  • Filter Size: 67mm
  • Build Quality: Excellent
  • Autofocus: Excellent
  • Image Stabilization: No

Sony FE 35mm F1.8 (SEL35F18F)

Sony FE 35mm F1.8 Lens

Pros: Very compact, very sharp, well built, and priced well.

Cons: There are cheaper options and there are faster options (lower F-stops) for those who most highly prioritize budget or aperture.

The 35mm range is perhaps the most popular for prime-lens users. There is no shortage of options to choose from, from the Sony F2.8 pancake lens to the Sigma Art F1.2.

Having compared the cost, size, image quality, and other relevant factors, it was determined that the newest Sony 35mm is the best value for most photographers.

All of the other options in the 35mm line-up were nearly double the size, except the Sony F2.8 pancake lens, which compromises two full stops of light (unacceptable for most.)

  • Full Retail Price: $749.99*
  • Released: 2019
  • Max Aperture: F1.8
  • Weight: 9.9 oz (281g)
  • Size (WxL): 2.58 x 2.87″ (65.6 x 73 mm)
  • Filter Size: 55mm
  • Build Quality: Excellent
  • Autofocus: Great
  • Image Stabilization: No

Sony FE 50mm F1.8 (SEL50F18F/2)

Sony Travel Lens 50mm F1.8

Pros: Cost, size, weight, image quality, perfect compact travel lens for prime users.

Cons: None.

Every traveler has a nifty-fifty in their bag, and Sony wanted to make sure that you chose theirs. This is the most inexpensive lens you will find in this guide and takes our top choice of primes as the best travel lens for the Sony A7iii when considering size, cost, and quality.

We previously had the Sigma 50mm F1.4 Art lens and sold it in order to “downgrade” to the Sony FE.

For perspective, the Sigma weighed over 800g, compared to 186g for the Sony. In other words, the Sony is 5x lighter and much more compact besides. Beyond that, the images looked sharper at F1.8 and above on the Sony than they did on the Sigma.

  • Full Retail Price: $249.99*
  • Released: 2016
  • Max Aperture: F1.8
  • Weight: 6.56 oz (186g)
  • Size (WxL): 2.7 x 2.34″ (68.6 x 59.5 mm)
  • Filter Size: 49mm
  • Build Quality: Good
  • Autofocus: Good
  • Image Stabilization: No

Sony 85mm F1.8 (SEL85F18)

Sony 85mm F1.8-22 Travel Lens

Pros: This is the smallest and 2nd-most affordable lens of the 85mm Sony Full Frame line up, while offering similar or better image quality at F1.8 as any other option. At a price tag of $599, this lens is a must for prime shooters and at only 371g, its perfect for travelers.

Cons: Not quite as sharp corner to corner as the premium lenses, and not quite as cheap as the Rokinon / Samyang.

An 85mm lens is essential for any travel photographer who prefers prime lenses. This range is perfect for close-up portraits or more discrete street photography.

Having compared the 6 most popular 85mm lens options including those of Sigma F1.4, Rokinon/Samyang F1.4, Zeiss F1.8, and Sony F1.4, we feel strongly that the Sony 85mm F1.8 is the best value for the price.

  • Full Retail Price: $599.99*
  • Released: 2017
  • Max Aperture: F1.8
  • Weight: 13.09 oz (371g)
  • Size (WxL): 3.07 x 3.23″ (78 x 82 mm)
  • Filter Size: 67mm
  • Build Quality: Good but not entirely weather sealed
  • Autofocus: Great
  • Image Stabilization: No

๐Ÿ“ท Sony Lenses Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best travel lenses for the Sony A7iii (and other Sony Full Frame cameras)?
(Which lens is best for travel photography.)

The best overall lens for travel photography on the Sony A7 series is the Sony 24-105mm F4 G lens.

This lens combines incredible corner to corner sharpness at all zooms and apertures, a non-variable max aperture of F4, and the covers the most commonly-shot focal distance for travel photography with the 24-105mm range.

It is considered a “one-and-done” lens in that it can shoot everything from landscapes to portrait to street photography, meaning you can leave all other lenses at home.

Why chose a prime lens over a zoom lens?

Prime lenses give up focal distance versatility in exchange for a higher maximum aperture and are often sharper than similarly-priced zoom lenses. Prime lenses are also typically (but not always) more compact than zoom lenses.

Is the A7iii good for travel?

The Sony A7iii is the perfect camera for travel. It combines a compact size with exceptional dynamic range, extensive features, and a state-of-the-art full-frame sensor that performs well in low light. It also has one of the best auto-focus and stabilization systems in its price range, which is helpful for handheld shots and street photography.

What is the most versatile Sony lens?

The most versatile lens that Sony manufactures is the 24-105mm F4 G lens as this focal range is sufficiently wide-angle enough for landscapes and telephoto enough for portraiture, lifestyle, street photography, and nearby wildlife. The maximum F4 non-variable aperture is also more than fast enough for 90% of its applications.

Which lens do travel bloggers use?

The most popular lenses for travel bloggers are the kit lenses that come with starter cameras, usually something in the 24-105mm F4 range. Additionally, the “nifty-fifty” (50mm prime lens) is extremely popular for vlogging and lifestyle photography.

As professional photographers and travel bloggers, our lens of choice is the Sony 24-105mm F4 G lens as it is budget-friendly and the perfect “all-in-one” lens fitting every occasion and requiring no lens changes in the field.

Final Thoughts on the Best Sony Travel Lenses

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We truly hope you have found this guide useful in helping you decide which travel lenses best suit your needs and preferences for the Sony A7 series.

Now we’d love to hear from you!

Are there lenses you think should be included? Is there information which you feel is lacking? Did this answer all of your questions?

Let us know in the comments below; we read them all and welcome the feedback!

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Adam Marland is a professional travel blogger and landscape photographer from Oregon. After over a decade of experience as a freelance travel photographer, Adam found national acclaim when he became the National Park Foundation's โ€œChief Exploration Officerโ€ in 2021.

2 thoughts on “10 Best Travel Lenses for Sony A7iii for Any Budget (2024)”

    • I have not given those a run yet Tony! I have no doubt they will be very high quality in a nice travel size, but I find lenses that serve such a specific niche are typically aimed at people who KNOW what they need, as opposed to people reading blogs about it :). People reading this guide are more likely to be a bit more amateur and seeking tools with more flexibility, in my experience. If youve tried them though Id love to know what you think!


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