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Sony DT 18-70mm 1:3.5-5.6 review

March 2008 | By Andy Westlake


The DT 18-70mm 1:3.5-5.6 is Sony's standard kit lens supplied with their entry level DSLRs, which they describe as a versatile general purpose lens covering a wide range of applications, and which features aspheric and ED glass lens elements for 'outstanding clarity at all focal lengths'. The 70mm maximum focal length extends further into the classic 'portrait' range compared to the 18-55mm kit lenses typically supplied by other manufacturers, offering a flattering perspective for people pictures. The 'DT' designation stands for 'Digital Technology', and indicates that the lens is optimized for use on cameras with APS-C sized imagers.

This design first saw light of day in July 2005 as the 'Konica Minolta AF DT ZOOM 18-70mm F3.5-5.6(D)', announced to accompany the Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D SLR. Following Sony's acquisition of KM's DSLR business, the lens was soon re-announced in its current Sony incarnation, with presumably only a cosmetic branding makeover (and the thankfully abbreviated name) distinguishing the new version from old.

Sony's plans to target the entry-level DSLR market with their trio of entry-level models in the Alpha 200, 300 and 350 will likely be dependant for success almost as much on the quality of this lens as the capability of the new cameras; so with the likes of Nikon, Canon and Pentax announcing updated kit lenses to accompany their latest 12-14Mp DSLRs, can this comparatively old model still keep up with the megapixel race?

Headline features

  • 27-105mm equivalent focal length range 
  • F3.5-5.6 maximum aperture
  • Alpha mount for Sony and Konica Minolta APS-C DSLRS

Angle of view

The pictures below illustrate the focal length range from wide to telephoto:

18mm (27mm equivalent) 70mm (105mm equivalent)

Sony DT 18-70mm 1:3.5-5.6 specifications

Street price • US: $190
• UK: £110
Date introduced July 2005 (Konica Minolta version); June 2006 (Sony version)
Maximum format size APS-C
Focal length 18-70mm
35mm equivalent focal length (APS-C) 27-105mm
Diagonal angle of view (APS-C) 76°- 23°
Maximum aperture F3.5-5.6
Minimum aperture F22-39
Lens Construction • 11 elements / 9 groups
• 1 aspherical and 1 ED glass element
Number of diaphragm blades 7
Minimum focus 0.38m
Maximum magnification 0.25x at 70mm
AF motor type 'Screw drive' from camera body
Focus method Extending front element
Image stabilization No
Filter thread • 55mm
• Rotates on focus
Supplied accessories • Front and rear caps
• Petal-type lens hood PH-RBA 52mm
Weight 235 g (8.3 oz)
Dimensions 66mm diameter x 77mm length
(2.6 x 3.0 in)
Lens Mount Sony Alpha / Minolta MA

* Supplied accessories may differ in each country or area

Foreword / notes

If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read some of our Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Conclusion / recommendation / ratings are based on the opinion of the author, we recommend that you read the entire review before making any decision. Images which can be viewed at a larger size have a small magnifying glass icon in the bottom right corner of them, click to display a larger image in a new window.

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Dpreview use calibrated monitors at the PC normal gamma 2.2, this means that on our monitors we can make out the difference between all of the grayscale blocks below. We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X,Y and Z and ideally also A, B and C.

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