All major camera makers design and sell macro lenses, but today we’re focusing on the macro lenses for Sony A6000. This APS-C mirrorless camera offers unmatched autofocus performance, a superb sensor, and a lens mount that’s very popular. That last means that you don’t need to rely solely on Sony’s first-party lenses for building your kit.
So for this article, I got in touch with 19 experts who use a macro lens with this camera for their client projects, especially for product photography. I also talked to 23 students who use this combination for their routine use and to get a hang of nature photography in their free time. I then tested their recommendations and narrowed it down to top Sony A6000 compatible macro lenses for you.
Note that the difference between other lenses and a macro lens is helpfully defined by the term ‘reproduction ratio’, a more technical term for magnification. Reproduction ratio refers to the ratio between the actual size of the subject being shot, and the size of that subject on the camera sensor.
Macro lenses typically have a reproduction ratio of 1:1, while ultra-wide and telephoto lenses usually max out at around 1:3.
Up to 60 mm, macro lenses are great for macro shots of objects with a somewhat discernible background, and, to some extent, portrait photography. Telephoto macro lenses, preferably ones that go above 100 mm, will offer superlative subject isolation in macro while also serving as excellent portrait lenses.
With a ton of third-party lenses to choose from at nearly every price point, there’s no excuse to not try macro photography.
- Best Sony A6000 Macro Lenses in 2021
- 1. Best Overall: Sony FE 90 mm f/2.8 Macro G OSS
- 2. Best Under $500: Rokinon 100mm f/2.8 Macro
- 3. Best Macro Prime: Sigma 70 F2.8 DG Macro Art
- 4. Best for Product Photography: Tokina Firin 100mm F2.8 Macro
- 5. Best Under 200: 7 Artisans 60 mm macro
- 6. Best For Botany: Voigtlander 110mm F2.5 Macro APO-Lanthar
- 7. Best For Films: Laowa 24 mm f/14 2x probe
- 8. Best For Travelers: Sony E30 F3.5 macro
- 9. Best with 5:1 Reproduction: Venus Optics Laowa 25mm f/2.8 2.5-5X Ultra-Macro
- 10. Budget-Friendly Option: ZhongYi Mitakon 20mm F2
- 11. Cheap Option: MEIKE MK-S-AF3A Metal Auto Focus Macro
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best Sony A6000 Macro Lenses in 2021
Do note that most lenses for Sony’s camera systems are designed to be compatible with Sony’s full-frame mirrorless cameras like the A7S II and A7RIII. These lenses are fully compatible with Sony’s smaller, alpha 6000 series of mirrorless cameras as well, but the equivalent focal length and f-stop (aperture) will be higher.
1. Best Overall: Sony FE 90 mm f/2.8 Macro G OSS
If it’s the best macro lens you need for your Sony A6000 series camera, the Sony FE 90 mm is the one you should get. It’s certainly expensive, but it packs in literally every feature you’d want from a good macro lens.
Being a G series lens, G being the badge Sony gives only to its highest quality lenses, the FE 90 mm promises to be spectacular, and it is. The image is as sharp as it’s possible for a lens to get, and that F2.8 aperture and rounded blades mean that bokeh is creamy and smooth.
This 90 mm lens measures about 5 inches in length and uses a 62 mm filter thread. The body houses 15 elements in 11 groups. These elements include aspherical lenses to reduce spherical aberrations, and there’s a Nano AR coating to reduce lens flare and ghosting. Since the lens focuses internally, the length of the lens doesn’t change.
What sets the FE 90 apart from most other macro lenses is the fact that it’s optically stabilized, and that it has a fast autofocus motor. It’s also designed to let you quickly and easily switch between manual and autofocus modes by simply moving the autofocus ring forwards or backward.
Another useful feature is the focus range limiter, which will speed up AF when working with moving subjects. Additionally, the lens design includes extra-low dispersion elements to deal with chromatic aberration.
At 1.32 lbs, the FE 90 is a heavy lens, but it also packs in more features than most lenses in its class and is optically superb. The FE 90 is truly fantastic if the pricey lens that can be your go-to for all things macro, and even for portrait photography.
- Near perfect optics
- F2.8 aperture
- Autofocus support
- Optical image stabilization
- Internal focusing
- AF performance in low light
2. Best Under $500: Rokinon 100mm f/2.8 Macro
If you’re looking for a lens that’s similar in performance to Sony’s fantastic FE 90 mm macro but at half the price, you might want to give this Rokinon 100 mm macro lens a whirl. The focal length is a bit longer at 105 mm, and it doesn’t feature OSS or AF, but image quality hasn’t been compromised.
With a minimum focus distance of 1 foot and a reproduction ratio of 1:1, the Rokinon is indeed a true macro lens. The long focal length and large aperture also mean that out-of-focus areas or bokeh will look amazing and properly blurry. In fact, some say this lens is even sharper than Sony’s flagship FE 90 G lens.
This 5.87” lens houses 15 lens elements in 12 groups and 9 rounded diaphragm blades (for smooth bokeh). It’s a manual focus lens, which can be a bit of a bother when working with moving subjects, but it won’t be a problem for static objects. Oh, and it’s fully compatible with Sony’s full-frame cameras as well, which is great for long-term use.
What really stands out with this lens is the sharpness and quality of the images it can capture. Specially designed elements for reducing chromatic aberration and distortion also play their part, and while it lacks OIS and AF, everything else about it is fantastic.
As with the Sony FE 90, the Rokinon’s focusing hardware is entirely internal, allowing the lens to maintain its length. The filter thread also doesn’t rotate, which is great if you use polarizing or graduated ND filters.
One problem with this lens is the weight. At 1.61 lbs, this lens will be heavier than your 6000 series Sony camera. You’ll certainly feel this weight during long shoots, and balancing the lens on a gimbal can also prove to be a bit tricky. Still, you’re getting Sony FE 90 quality in a lens that’s half the price. That makes it a great deal in our books.
- Sony FE 90-beating image quality
- F2.8 aperture
- Internal focusing system
- Rounded aperture blades
- Good value
- It’s a heavy lens
- No AF
3. Best Macro Prime: Sigma 70 F2.8 DG Macro Art
The Sigma’s 70 mm Art series macro lens is a fast, autofocusing macro lens that’s great for everyday usage as well as macro photographs. Its short body and relatively low weight also mean that it goes well with Sony’s small, lightweight 6000 series mirrorless cameras.
Optically, this camera is excellent. The two “F” Low Dispersion (FLD) elements transmit light with almost no hindrance, and when they’re paired with two additional Super-Low Dispersion (SLD) elements, you’re left with a lens that shows little to no ghosting or flaring under difficult lighting.
The 10.2” minimum focus distance and 1:1 reproduction ratio help cement its place as one of the macro lenses for Sony A6000. A coreless DC motor handles autofocus duties, and because of that, AF is extremely quick.
This 4” lens features 13 elements in 10 groups and supports 49 mm filters. The 9-bladed and rounded diaphragm is also perfectly designed to allow for rounded bokeh balls for the perfect blurry background. The massive focus ring on the front means that when you have to go manual, you won’t be left wanting.
Sigma’s designed the lens to be fully compatible with Sony’s full-frame cameras so you can carry it forward with you when you finally upgrade from the 6000 series mirrorless systems. The lens also features focus limiting to help speed up the autofocus process. Bear in mind that the 70 mm full-frame focal length translates to about 110 mm on the A6000 series camera.
This Art lens from Sigma is one of the best macro lens for Sony A6000 that will quickly and easily find a place in any photographer’s arsenal. At 1.3 lbs, it’s also not too heavy and will go well with Sony’s smaller mirrorless systems.
- Optical quality
- Autofocus support
- Rounded aperture blades
- 10.2” minimum focus distance
- No image stabilization
- Close working distance limits use of accessories
4. Best for Product Photography: Tokina Firin 100mm F2.8 Macro
One of the few flat-field lenses you can get, the Tokina Firin 100 mm is especially useful for macro product photography. It is cheap for what it does, but that doesn’t mean that image quality has been compromised.
While the Tokina has AF, the focus motors are noisy and slow, which can be a problem when you require fast focus or a silent motor. That being said, this lens is more of a budget, product photography option, and these limitations don’t matter nearly as much for such subjects. Optical quality is also excellent, and you do get a nice, hefty, manual focus ring for when AF isn’t good enough.
This Sony A6000 e mount macro lens features an F2.8 aperture that stops down all the way to F32. The front filter thread mounts 55 mm filters, and the 4.8” length means that it’s compact enough to not feel unwieldy on lightweight mirrorless cameras.
What sets this lens apart from other lenses is that it’s a flat field lens, where the focal plane is completely flat, parallel to the sensor. Objects in the plane of focus will be sharp from the center to the outer edges of the image.
Generally, lenses tend to have a convex focus plane, where focus drops off as you move to the outer edges. Flat-field lenses are especially useful when you’re taking multiple images for focus-stacking.
The barrel does move as you focus on a subject, but the length can be controlled by the user. As a result of this, you also end up getting a variable reproduction ratio, which gives you the flexibility of determining a magnification that suits your subject. A helpfully placed magnification scale helps ease this process.
At 1.26 lbs, this is a very light lens. Its AF might not be up to scratch, but this is one of the few flat-field lenses around. If you’re comfortable with manual focus and don’t mind the design, this can be a great lens for product photography.
- Flat-field lens
- Relatively light and compact
- Autofocus support
- Fast aperture
- Variable magnification
- Slow and noisy AF
- Build feels a little cheap
5. Best Under 200: 7 Artisans 60 mm macro
Looking at the price, one does need to temper expectations from this lens. It’s selling at less than half the price of similar 60 mm macro lenses and with good reason. The lens is excellent at macro photography but doesn’t work as well as a general-purpose or portrait lens. It also lacks autofocus and doesn’t have as complex a lens setup as other lenses. For the price, the results are quite exceptional.
Small and light it may be, but 7Artisans has taken the trouble to ensure it isn’t light on features. The aperture is a large F2.8 and the body houses 8 elements in 7 groups. The aperture blades may not be rounded, but you get 10 of them, so the end result is nearly the same pleasing bokeh as you’d get from Sony’s fantastic, and more expensive, FE 90 mm lens.
The 10.2” minimum focus distance is great for getting close to your subject, and floating lens elements mean that the focus is equally sharp throughout the focus range. A de-clicked aperture also means that you can smoothly vary the aperture, making it ideal for video shooters.
This A6000 macro lens also features clear markings on a large focus scale and a wide focus ring that should help with manual focus. The 7Artisans 60 mm macro is a simple, lightweight lens (a mere 1.21 lb) that’s designed to deliver excellent macro performance at the lowest price possible. On that front, it delivers.
- De-clicked aperture ring
- Clear focus scale
- 10-bladed aperture ring
- Relatively light
- Excellent optical performance for the price
- Limited usefulness as a general purpose lens
- MF ring can be a bit too sensitive at times
6. Best For Botany: Voigtlander 110mm F2.5 Macro APO-Lanthar
Using a special apochromatic lens element to reduce aberrations, the Voigtlander 110 mm APO-Lanthar lens has a unique use-case and will make sense for users willing to spend extra money for one of the sharpest Sony Alpha A6000 macro lens they can get.
With a slightly larger than average F2.5 aperture and an apochromatic lens element, the Voigtlander is expected to be sharp and bright. However, you’ll want to stop down to F4 to really take advantage of the lens’s apochromatic feature as anything below F2.5 shows a noticeable amount of curved-field focus, where the outer edges of the image get noticeably blurry. At F4 and lower, however, this lens delivers sharp, stunning images.
Featuring an all-metal build and large focus ring, this lens feels great to use. At under 4” in length, it’s also quite compact. The body houses 14 elements in 12 groups and is compatible with Sony’s full-frame mirrorless cameras as well as APS-C bodies like the A6000 series.
The one issue with this lens, other than the poor performance wide open at F2.5, is that it’s heavy. At 1.7 lb, this will unbalance your tiny A6000 series camera and you’ll have to compensate with your grip accordingly. Still, the special apochromatic element might make this lens worth your while.
- Apochromatic lens element
- F2.5 aperture
- 10-bladed diaphragm
- Compact design
- Excellent optical performance beyond F4
- Soft at F2.5
7. Best For Films: Laowa 24 mm f/14 2x probe
The Laowa 24 mm lens is expensive, but boy is it special! If you’ve ever seen those epic macro shots where the camera appears to be sliding between the covers of a book, or where it’s recording the interior of a bottle that’s spinning, this is the lens that was used.
Dubbed a probe lens, this macro lens for Sony A6000 is utterly unique. It’s designed like the proboscis of a honeybee. It’s basically a 16” rod of a lens with a ring of LEDs at the end. You set focus before you start and then jab it into anything and everything that looks interesting, be it the pages of a book or the inside of a flower. Performance is exceptional, as is expected from a lens at this price, but it’s also so good that it’ll highlight any issue with your camera, including dirt on your sensor.
This probe of a lens houses 27 elements in 19 groups and features a 7-bladed diaphragm. The aperture is also fixed at F14, which is quite small, requiring you to use bright lights to get a decent shutter speed for photos or video. The lens is also manual focus so you’ll need to set a focus distance before you begin shooting.
The lens is designed for reaching hard-to-reach spaces and excels at that one task. It can otherwise be cumbersome to use, and you’re hardly likely to use it for portraits. Given the tiny aperture, the lens’s array of LED lamps are essential and it’s nice that Laowa thought to include them.
At 1.04 lb, it’s also surprisingly light for a lens that’s this long. The Lawoa 24 mm macro probe is a very unusual lens with a very specific use-case. And while it is expensive, there’s nothing quite like it, and it will bring a radically new perspective to your shoots.
- 1.5” probe diameter means it can get in anywhere
- 2x magnification
- LED ring light
- Light for its size
- Full-frame compatibility
- Tiny aperture requires a ton of light
- Not the handiest of lenses
8. Best For Travelers: Sony E30 F3.5 macro
If you’re looking for a cheap, compact, and lightweight macro lens, you really can’t go wrong with the dinky little 30 mm F3.5 from Sony. The lens also happens to have one of the shortest minimum focus distances around.
With a minimum focus distance of 3.7” and 30 mm focal length, this is a lens you use to get really close and personal with your subject while also maintaining a more natural background. It may be cheap and it may only have an F3.5 aperture, but it also tacks sharp and very versatile for macro as well as general photography. Slap a macro extension tube on this and you’ll boost the magnification well beyond 1x.
This Sony A6000 macro lens packs in 7 lens elements in 6 groups and a rounded, 7-bladed diaphragm for handling aperture. It lacks stabilization but does feature autofocus. The maximum aperture of F3.5 is a stop or two lower than what you’d get on other macro lenses, but again, this is a relatively cheap lens and it’s great value at this price.
The main feature of this lens is its ability to focus as close as 3.74”. At this distance, the camera is practically brushing your subject. The lens is also very sharp, so for subjects that close, you should see a lot of fine, texture detail.
The 30 mm focal length makes it a great short tele / normal macro for Sony’s A6000 series cameras. It is a bit soft for general purpose photography, but that’s a small price to pay for such a small, compact and effective macro lens.
This 0.3 lb lens is so small and light that you won’t even notice that it’s there on your compact mirrorless Sony camera. It’s a fantastic little throw around the macro lens that any photographer will love to keep in their kit. Plus, it is cheap.
- Minimum focus distance
- Exceptionally light
- Optical performance
- A bit soft for general purpose photography
- Small aperture
9. Best with 5:1 Reproduction: Venus Optics Laowa 25mm f/2.8 2.5-5X Ultra-Macro
What if you wanted to capture macro images that were larger than life? What if you could blow up an ant’s face to the size of a football and not loose any resolution?
Macro lenses generally aim for that magical 1:1 magnification. It’s a great magnification range, especially with the sharp digital camera sensors we have these days, but what if you wanted more? For that kind of photography, what you need is the Laowa 25 mm F2.8 macro that can hit a whopping 5:1 magnification.
The optical performance of this lens is excellent, but you need to know what you’re doing to truly take advantage of it. It’s an F2.8 lens, but it also has variable magnification from 2.5x to 5x, which means that the lens moves forwards and backward in a tube.
This motion dramatically reduces the size of the aperture, affecting the amount of light getting to the sensor. On a smaller APS-C camera like the Sony A6000 series, this issue is exacerbated. Bottom line: Make sure you use good lights.
In terms of design, this Sony Alpha A6000 macro lens is rather unusual to look at. It is compact in normal mode, a mere 3.23”, but you can extend it quite a bit for full magnification. Housed in the body are 8 elements in 5 groups, and you don’t get a filter thread for external filters. There’s also no IS or AF, and users have reported that the focus mechanism can be a bit stiff.
This lens is all about the magnification. If you’re not shooting this lens at 3x or above, you’ve wasted your money. However, if you are shooting at such high magnifications, you’re not likely to find a more capable macro lens. You could even throw on a couple of extension tubes and further boost the magnification if you so desire.
At 0.88 lb, this is another lightweight lens that won’t throw off the balance of your A6000 series Sony mirrorless. If you’re looking for an inexpensive, ultra-macro lens for photographing not just insects, but close-ups of their eyes, look no further than this Laowa F2.8.
- Up to 5x magnification
- Supports macro extension tubes
- Compact design
- Fairly light
- Focus ring can be stiff
- Small aperture requires bright lights
10. Budget-Friendly Option: ZhongYi Mitakon 20mm F2
This cheap, compact lens also happens to be one of the most versatile macro lenses you can get for the Sony mirrorless camera system. Its large aperture and wide field of view make it the perfect candidate for close-up shots of subjects in a more natural setting.
The specialized macro lens only does macro photography, and in that regime, it’s perfect. It focuses more closely than almost any other lens, and if we didn’t know any better, we’d assume this was a reversed regular lens. It’s a solidly built lens that is very sharp in its focus range, which also happens to be very narrow.
The construction of the lens is very simple. Being a 20 mm lens only designed for macro, it doesn’t need a complicated internal structure. You get 6 elements in 4 groups, a 3-bladed diaphragm, and manual focus. There is no IS or filter thread.
If you’re buying this lens, you’re getting it for that 0.79” minimum focus distance and awesome 4.5:1 reproduction ratio. The lens is also wide enough (30 mm on APS-C) that you’ll get some nice, blurry background elements in your shot as well.
Given how narrow the depth of field of focus range of this lens is, you’ll need a focus rail to really take advantage of it. Hand-holding it might prove challenging. At 0.5 lb, this Mitakon lens is among the lightest you can get, and it is cheap.
This is one of the cheap lenses for Sony A6000 that require a capable photographer who can fully understand the strengths and limitations of this lens. In the hands of an amateur, the finicky nature of the system can prove to be too much of a challenge.
- Up to 4.5x magnification
- Close-focus distance
- Light and portable
- Compact form factor
- A specialist lens
- It’s not very sharp
11. Cheap Option: MEIKE MK-S-AF3A Metal Auto Focus Macro
This one isn’t a lens, but it happens to be the cheapest way to experience macro photography without breaking the bank. Macro extension tubes are, in their simplest form, simply a plastic tube that moves a lens further away from the sensor. Moving the lens away in this fashion reduces the minimum focus distance of the lens, allowing the subject to move closer, resulting in a larger magnification.
Macro lenses use this same principle, except that they do this by moving all the lens elements within the lens body itself. A good macro extension tube, such as this MEIKE MK-S-AF3A, will allow the lens and camera to communicate with each other.
This Meike kit comes with two extension tubes: a 10 mm and a 16 mm extension. Both can be coupled to form a 26 mm extension tube. The longer the tube, the greater the magnification your lens can achieve. Since these are electronic extension tubes, the aperture and focus can be controller by the camera, just like it would be without the extension tubes installed.
The tubes are made from metal and are quite sturdy, which is great for when you mount expensive, heavy lenses to your Sony mirrorless camera.
Do note that the greater the extension, the smaller the effective aperture of your lens. The camera will not be able to read this modified aperture correctly and your exposure might be a bit off. You’ll need to compensate for this by adjusting your shutter speed and ISO accordingly, or by using additional lights in shoots.
These macro extension tubes weigh nothing and don’t cost more than a Starbucks coffee. There really isn’t a cheaper, more effective way of experiencing macro photography with your existing kit. As a bonus, these extension tubes will help further increase the magnification of your existing arsenal of macro lenses. These are a must-have in any kit.
- Dirt cheap
- Small and light
- Increase the magnification of any lens
- Full autofocus and aperture control
- Tubes can be stacked for further magnification
- Drop in light input must be compensated for
- Can have compatibility issues with third-party lenses
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! Well, mostly yes. Macro lenses can be used for both macro photography as well as regular photography. However, certain specialized macro lenses can only be used for macro photography, and some lenses are quite soft when focusing outside of macro distances.
For macro photography on a modern digital camera, you could even get away with a 1:2 magnification as long you’re willing to crop your image. Given the high resolution of digital camera sensors available these days, this is normally not an issue. For video, however, where you might not be able to crop too much for fear of losing image sharpness, you might want to go for a 1:1 lens.
Lens reversal rings basically allow you to mount your lens to your camera backward. This sounds silly, but it does work. It’s a very risky approach to macro photography, however, and we wouldn’t recommend trying it.
If you’re not careful, you can even scratch your front lens element, or worse, your camera’s sensor, which will be exposed the whole time you’re shooting. Lens reversal rings also don’t give you any control over aperture or focus, so you’ll have to set these manually before you begin shooting. A macro extension tube is a cheap and far safer option. Consider lens reversal only when you have no other choice.
Normally, lenses focus a concave plane to your camera sensor. As a result, the centre of the image is sharp and everything gets progressively blurrier as you progress to the edges. A flat-field lens ensures that the plane of focus is perfectly flat.
For macro photography involving fine details on tiny subjects like insects, you don’t need a flat-field lens. For product shots, however, especially of objects that tend to have large, flat sides, a flat-field lens can be very useful.
You can, but you also need to be careful when shooting. Macro lenses, as a consequence of their design, tend to show a lot of focus breathing, a phenomenon where the subject’s size changes as it is focused. This can be a problem in video, especially when using autofocus. For shooting macro video, it’s best to use a fixed focus and move the camera to change perspectives and focus on different subjects.
And there you have it, a selection of the best lenses for your Sony A6000 series of a mirrorless camera, each catering to a wide variety of budgets and use-cases. Macro photography can be a fun and very rewarding pastime, and as you might have learned from this article, it doesn’t have to be a very expensive one.
- The best, most compatible macro lens you can get is the Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 G series lens. It’s native Sony glass, expensive, but also one of the sharpest macro lenses you can get for the platform.
- If you don’t want to spend as much, you could instead get the 7Artisans 60mm macro, which is also a fantastic lens, but misses out on features like OSS and AF.
- If you’re just looking to have fun, or are into macro video, the most interesting lens you can pick is the Laowa 24mm f/14 2x probe. It’s a lens unlike anything you’ve ever seen, and you’ll be able to take shots you’d never even imagined before. Be warned: This lens needs a tonne of light.