If you are looking for sharpness it is not your lens.

Started 3 weeks ago | User reviews thread
Flat view
UllerellU New Member • Posts: 23
If you are looking for sharpness it is not your lens.

I've been wanting to replace the zoom of my A6000 kit for years and now that I updated to A6500 I decided to buy this lens despite all the negative that is usually read from it in professional reviews, after a few days of testing and use I think I can do A review of its pros and cons.


Let's start with the sharpness, the sharpness is bad, at f4 in all the focal points, at f5.6 in some it improves a bit as well as at f8, but the corner sharpness never becomes good in 90% of the range of the zoom in with the diaphragm you shoot. Some will think that the sharpness is relative to the standards of each photographer, obviously a wide range zoom can not be asked too much, you have to make concessions, but even with that, the sharpness of this lens is bad. Most of you will not have had any camera of the RX-10 series (which I consider my standard in sharpness of zoom in a wide range zoom), but surely you have all had or have the kit zoom, 16-50pz, after Of several (many truth, because I did not want to believe it) I have verified that the zoom of the kit is sharper, the tests (although they are not scientific) I have done with self-timer tripod and oss ​​off, with the same precise focus point and The same parameters, in fact as I did not trust the AF point, I made many of them with manual focus and maximum magnification for a precise focus on the exact same point.

- At 18mm (27 equivalents) the zoom of the kit is sharper in the center and slightly sharper in the extreme corners from both f4 and f5.6 as f8.
- At 23mm (about 35mm equivalent) the zoom of the kit is noticeably sharper in the center and at the corners at f4, f5,6, f8.
- At 35mm (about 52mm equivalent) the zoom of the kit is again noticeably sharper in the center and the corners (in the center the difference is very large) at f4, f5.6 and f8.
- At 50 mm (75mm equivalent) the objective of the Kit is still sharper in the center, the corners are very even but still the advantage of the kit especially at f8.

Regarding the other zoom lens 55-210mm the thing changes:

-A 55mm (about 86mm equivalent) the objective G is noticeably sharper at any aperture.
-A 70mm (about 105mm) the objective G is much sharper in all the focal points.
-A 105mm (about 158mmm equivalent) are equally bad both, maybe at f8 the G exceeds 55-210 but by a very small margin.

The wide end is not a 27mm really, I have checked it with the zoom of the kit and with my compact ones and it is somewhat narrower. If many of us already dislike that it does not go up to 24mm equivalents this data can be decisive.

The integrated flash is disabled up to 70mm (105mm equivalent), in narrower focal points it will make a semicircle shadow. At least it can be used in portraits against the light, but many times you are in a cellar or basement where you want the widest angle and the flash and with this objective it is not possible.

The JPG engine of the camera, both that of the A6000 and that of the A6500, does not correct the distortion completely, you just have to shoot at a road line or a rail guard to check it.

The JPG engine does not correct the horrible chromatic aberrations it has (the worst I have seen in a lens with mount e)

It is something big and heavy, but that is not your main problem, having had the FE90 F2.8 macro that is almost two centimeters longer and is also heavier I think the problem is not in the weight, but in the distribution of it , is unbalanced, has all the weight in front and that does not make it too comfortable, at least not as much as other objectives.

I have noticed that it is sometimes confused with the exposure un aperture priorit.

The zoom always returns to 18mm when the camera goes into suspension.


- Useful range and moderate luminosity (although with poor corner sharpness in most of the range).

- Good build quality, but no resistance to dust and splashes.

- Aesthetically attractive (yes, I know, it's silly, but it looks like a great prime, it reminds me of an 85 mm f1.4 full frame with that huge front element)

- The zoom does not extend.

- The best electric zoom I've ever tried, smooth, precise, extremely quiet (can't be heard in fact), fast if you need it. I'm from photography not video and I love it.

- It does not drain the battery, nor in case what you read these cameras drain themselves, they do not need any objective for that, I regularly use completely manual lenses without any connection to the camera and the battery is also drained, I do not notice that this is something remarkable (something that if I notice for example with the 90mm f2.8 G macro, which has the electric focus).

- It is valid for photo detail, nor case to what is read out there, I do not know what the camera and lens reviewers do, yes, 45cm of maximum approach in the angle (27mm equivalent) and 95cm in the telephoto lens (156mm equivalent) they will not provide you with any kind of approach decent but those 45cm of the angle are kept as a minimum focusing distance up to 79mm (about 120mm equivalent) and 120mm at 45cm of focusing distance allow you a more than decent approach, not macro of course, but above the Average of most goals. With another great advantage, that focal point is one of the sharpest of the objective and that approach to f4 produces a really nice bokeh.

- The bokeh it produces is of better quality than the average, not because of the aperture, because of the lens design (hence it is a G lens), at f5.6 it offers a softer bokeh with better transitions and better rendering than most targets at the same aperture and same focal length.

I recommend it? For whom it is?

Well it depends, for video it is a must have, there is no doubt, if you make video this is your zoom, for video it is sharp enough.

For photography .... Well, it depends on what values ​​or what you can handle, if the sharpness is not a concern for you and you edit in raw where you can correct distortions and chromatic aberration with ease you don't mind not being able to use the built-in flash for anything other than backlit portraits or detail photography (for landscape even if you save the shadow, the flash is not strong), if you can live with a heavy lens and you don't mind losing 24mm, it can help you.

In my specific case I will keep it in spite of everything (I hope that the zoom mechanism is durable at least and that it is reliable and does not tend to degrade (more than the corners are already). I keep it because I like the range, because although it is less sharp than the zoom I don't have to change it to go beyond 50mm and the 55-210mm is noticeably worse, I also have a 21mm equiv. f1.4 a 52mm equiv. f1.2 and a 75mm f1.8 very good in case I'm looking for sharpness and real quality.I like the ability of detail photography that has to play with depth effects in artistic photography, at any given time it can be used to make portraits in f4, although it does not have 24mm equivalent the zoom of the kit weighs less than 200gr and is so small that it will always go in the bag for the rare occasions when a 24mm is needed if or if, although my A6500 is theoretically sealed I would never put it under a shower with what the sealing is not so essential to me (for that I use R X10 that costs 1/4 or less than this combo).

And above all there are no alternatives, the 18-135 (27-200mm equivalent) is somewhat sharper in the center but just as bad or worse in the corners, at least up to 60mm (about 90 equiv.) Which seems to be the sweet spot of this G and it starts to be better, you lose some bokeh quality and possibilities with dim light in the intermediate and long focal points, it is an alternative depending on what values ​​but not something to change. The 18-200 are very slow (f6.3) and heavy, in addition optically it seems that they are quite disastrous. And of course, the newly announced 16-55 f2.8 will be available shortly, but the catalog price is € 1,300 (which will be about € 1,150 at Amazon), I'm sure it will be optically better, but if you're not professional it costs a lot justify such an expense in a zoom and for those who do not have A6500 / 6600 has no possibility of stabilization.

 UllerellU's gear list:UllerellU's gear list
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 Panasonic LX100 Sony a6000 Sony a6500 Sony E 30mm F3.5 Macro +6 more
Sony E PZ 18-105mm F4 G OSS
Zoom lens • Sony E • SELP18105G
Announced: Aug 27, 2013
UllerellU's score
Average community score
Fujifilm X10 Sony a6000 Sony a6500 Sony E PZ 18-105mm F4 G OSS
If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our feedback form.
Flat view
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow