The Best Sony Lenses for Motorsport Photography
Sony was a pioneer in full-frame mirrorless cameras, breaking into the motorsport photography market while Canon and Nikon were still producing DSLRs. While they have well and truly caught out now, Sony camera gear is just as common at race tracks as the other two brands.
With that in mind, I took it upon myself to test out some Sony gear (and ask a couple of other professional motorsport photographers) to determine which of the E Mount lenses are best suited for motorsport photography.
The Best Sony E Mount Lenses for Motorsport Photography
As I mentioned in the introduction, Sony was one of the first camera manufacturers to truly go all in with full-frame mirrorless bodies. And as such, they’ve got a well established and diverse collection of lenses available for the E Mount. So, let’s take a look at which ones are best suited for motorsport photography.
Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II
As always, my first recommendation from any camera, well… lens manufacturer, is the 70-200. For Sony, that is the FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II. This upgraded version, released in 2021, is a solid step up on the original top-of-the-line GM version of the 70-200 with improved autofocus speed and image sharpness, and it’s also significantly lighter.
Just watch out when you are looking to make a purchase, though. Sony actually has several variations of their 70-200 lenses, including a less sharp G version and a couple of F4 models, which can confuse matters, especially if you are looking to snag a deal. Always double-check the model number before making the transaction.
Sony FE 200-600mm F5.6-6.3 G OSS
For a long lens, Sony has two very good zoom options in their Gold range. And while the Sony FE 100-400 GM is a slightly sharper lens, the extra reach of the Sony FE 200-600mm F5.6-6.3 G OSS makes it much more versatile for motorsport photography.
Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II
Sony has been doing the mirrorless full-frame camera thing for a little while now and, as such, has started revisiting the lenses they released when their Alpha range of cameras first launched. One of those key lenses is the Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II. Smaller, lighter, with better image quality and autofocus speed than its predecessor, all make this lens stand out over some of the others with a similar focal range from Sony. The autofocus, in particular, is ideal for motorsport photography.
Sony FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM II
Also recently upgraded (in fact, very recently, being released in late 2023), the Sony FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM II stands out as the best wide-angle lens in Sony’s range. Much like the 24-70, the 16-35 is now smaller and lighter, but it’s the improvements in the autofocus speeds that make it really stand out for use in motorsport photography over some of the other lenses in Sony’s range.
Sony Lens Designations
What do those codes in Nikon’s lens names mean? Let me decode them for you:
- OSS – Optical SteadyShot (Sony’s version of Image Stabilisation)
- FE – Full Frame E Mount
- G or GM – Sony’s designation for its top-tier Gold and Gold Master lenses, with G Master, labelled as GM, being the best for image quality.
- II – Lens Version – Upgraded lenses since their initial launch.
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I've been working as a motorsport photographer in Australia since 2012, building up my business InSyde Media. I am very fortunate that I have been able to work at all sorts of motorsport events including Supercars, F1 and WRC all over Australia and New Zealand. Also, check out my personal website where I document my travels and a few other things.
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