Events photography

The Best Mirrorless Photography Lenses of 2022

Nikon

What to Look for in a Mirrorless Camera Lens in 2022

The mirrorless mount SLR lenses we list here meet a variety of shooting needs, but there are some characteristics they all share. They are shock and weather resistant. They have high level glass inside. And they all produce amazing images.

They’re some of the best mirrorless lenses available from top manufacturers, so bear in mind they’ll be priced accordingly, but we’ll recommend budget alternatives where available.

Advances in mirrorless SLR technology mean that even your standard 50mm f/1.8 lens is miles ahead of the one you got on your first DSLR. Nikon’s and Sony’s standard primes, in particular, produce great images. The lenses here are even more advanced.

When buying a lens, think about what you are shooting. What focal lengths would provide the most utility? Do you need to get closer to the action or do you do most of your filming in the studio? The lens you buy, especially if you’re working on a budget, will depend on the work you do most of the time.

An 85mm lens, for example, works great for portraits, but may not be wide enough for a wildlife shooter. A 15-35mm ultra-wide zoom would make a great addition to an architectural photographer’s bag.

If you usually shoot in natural light, consider lenses with a wider aperture. They allow you to let more light into the lens and take handheld shots in lower light situations. Mirrorless systems also allow you to crank the ISO quite high. This increased ability to use available light is important for someone like a photojournalist who shoots on the fly.

As with any piece of equipment, you will also want something that is well built. Many lenses on this list offer increased image stabilization, weather sealing, and shock resistance to reduce camera shake and enable shooting in less than ideal conditions.

Whether you’ve just gone mirrorless or are looking for the next gear to add to your kit, here are some of the best mirrorless SLR lenses on the market.

Canon RF 15-35mm F2.8 L IS USM on purple background
cannon

Advantages

  • Weather sealing
  • Wide f/2.8 constant aperture
  • Image stabilization
  • Compatible with screw-on filters

The inconvenients

  • Dear
  • Only available for Canon users

The Canon RF 15-35mm F2.8 L is a versatile wide-angle zoom lens with excellent maximum aperture, image stabilization and the sharpness people have come to expect from Canon’s L line of lenses. Cannon. The 15-35mm focal range lets you shoot from ultra-wide angles up to the more standard 35mm, making it perfect for architectural work, interiors and creative portrait photography .

It’s the first native lens in this zoom range for Canon’s mirrorless range, offering a wider coat angle than its DSLR counterpart, dropping to 16mm at the wide end. It also combines a constant f/2.8 aperture with this wide angle.

A bonus – it can take screw-on filters, something you don’t usually get with such wide lenses. These features and weather sealing make it a versatile lens that adds value to any kit.

Best Wide-Angle Mirrorless Lens

Canon RF 15-35mm F2.8L

This top-of-the-range zoom lens from Canon offers superb wide-angle shots at multiple focal lengths.

Sony FE 12-24mm F2.8 G Master on blue background
sony

Advantages

  • Ultra wide variable angle
  • good for video
  • Maximum aperture of f/2.8
  • Professional-grade construction
  • Sharp images, even at wide apertures and wider angles

The inconvenients

  • Very expensive
  • Does not take front mount filters
  • For use with Sony E mount only

Sony continues to earn its reputation for excellent optics with the FE 12-24mm F2.8 G Master lens. Providing a consistently wide aperture for this zoom range at f/2.8, the 12-24mm is a solid addition to the G Master range.

Architectural and interior photographers will love this lens, and the 24mm focal length makes it a good option for video. Like most high-end mirrorless lenses, this ultrawide is weather sealed for added protection.

Despite an ultra-wide lens, which can exhibit barrel distortion and lack of sharpness at wider apertures, this lens produces excellent images even on high resolution cameras. It also focuses quickly and, although slightly heavy for this lens, it is still compact.

One thing to note if you’re using accessories like ND filters: this lens can’t take traditional front-mount filter accessories. Like many offerings from Sony, this lens comes at a pretty hefty price tag. If your budget isn’t in that range, Sigma’s ultrawide 14-24mm is a solid choice that costs over $1,000 less.

Best Ultra Wide Angle Mirrorless Lens

NIKON NIKKOR Z 70-200mm f/2.8 S with background lights
Nikon

Advantages

  • Excellent image quality
  • Wide f/2.8 constant aperture
  • Professional-grade construction
  • 5.5 stops of vibration reduction
  • An excellent all-round zoom

The inconvenients

  • Dear
  • Only for Nikon Z system

Nikon’s 70-200mm f/2.8 telephoto lens is the next evolution of its legendary DSLR counterpart for its mirrorless Z line. Not too bulky for a telephoto lens, this lens can be used for everything from portraiture to events to sports, anything you need to get a little closer to shoot. And all this at a wide constant aperture of f/2.8.

Nikon’s updated telephoto zoom comes with plenty of bells and whistles, like two customizable function buttons on the lens barrel, improved vibration reduction and half the lens’ minimum focusing distance. Nikon 70-200mm DSLR lens. The autofocus is also super fast and very quiet, perfect for wildlife photographers who don’t want to disturb wildlife.

Sure, all of this will cost a pretty penny, but when it comes to the best mirrorless lenses, that’s more or less a given.

Best mirrorless telephoto lens

NIKKOR Z 70-200mm f/2.8 S

The mirrorless update to Nikon’s legendary 70-200mm f/2.8 telephoto lens is ideal for everything from sports to studio work.

Best Mirrorless Lens for Street Photography: Sony FE 35mm F1.4 GM

Sony FE 35mm F1.4 GM on green background
sony

Advantages

  • High quality pictures
  • f/1.4 maximum aperture
  • Versatile 35mm focal length
  • Weather sealing

The inconvenients

  • High price
  • Only for Sony E mount

Sony’s FE 35mm F1.4 GM packs one of the best focal lengths for street photography into a powerful, compact body with a large f/1.4 maximum aperture. Combined with a smaller mirrorless camera body, this low-profile lens still offers quality optics and excellent low-light capability.

Despite its lighter weight, Sony’s 35mm G Master is well-built and weather-sealed. Nice extras include an aperture ring that can operate silently and a customizable function button on the lens barrel. Fast autofocus is ideal for capturing street shots or just the good times at events.

If that lens is too expensive for you, Sony’s standard 35mm f/1.8 costs hundreds less and delivers surprisingly good photos.

Best mirrorless lens for street photography

Sony FE 35mm F1.4 GM

A high-end update to the classic 35mm focal length, Sony’s G Master lens delivers fantastic images.

Canon RF 85mm F1.2 L USM on yellow background
cannon

Advantages

  • f/1.2 maximum aperture
  • Built to professional standards
  • Incredible image quality
  • Perfect for portraits but adaptable for other uses

The inconvenients

  • Dear
  • Only for Canon R cameras

The Canon RF 85mm F1.2 L is a monster of a portrait lens, super sharp even wide open at f/1.2. It’s built with shock resistance and weather sealing, has excellent optical quality, and comes with extras like a customizable control ring. Being the next iteration of Canon’s already impressive 85mm 1.2L DSLR lens, that’s no surprise.

Remember that weatherproof does not mean waterproof. A little rain or a spilled drink will be fine, but we don’t recommend fully submerging the lens without a waterproof case.

Widely regarded as an ideal focal length for portraits, this 85mm focal length really shines when combined with the eye autofocus common to mirrorless camera systems. The f/1.2 aperture is a full half-stop brighter than similar lenses with a maximum aperture of f/1.4 and allows for even greater background blur wide open.

Best mirrorless portrait lens

Canon RF 85mm F1.2 L USM

The classic focal length for portraits meets Canon’s L line in this updated version of a favourite.

Canon RF100mm F2.8 L on purple background
cannon

Advantages

  • f/2.8 maximum aperture
  • Adjusting ring SA
  • Eight-stop image stabilization
  • Ideal for portraits and macro-detail work

The inconvenients

  • Not as versatile as other lenses
  • Dear

Another entry from Canon, the RF 100mm f/2.8L is sharp, fast and versatile. A good lens for macro shots, portraits or even close-up video shooting, it’s built with the quality inherent in Canon’s L range. With an impressive magnification factor of 1.4X, this lens lets you get really close.

Canon’s Newest 100mm Macro Features cool extras like a Spherical Aberration (SA) ring that adjusts the bokeh effect at wide apertures. Canon also claims eight stops of image stabilization, meaning you can pull off the handheld with this lens even in lower light conditions and slow shutter speeds, as the built-in stabilization should be able to compensate.

Best Mirrorless Macro Lens