The Sony 18-105mm E-Mount Lens – A Short Review

The Sony 18-105mm F4.0 G OSS lens for E-Mount NEX Cameras ( SELP18105G ) is proving to be a pretty neat lens…

The first Sony G Lens created specifically for E-mount cameras is true to its heritage, achieving outstanding resolution and contrast throughout the zoom range thanks to an advanced optical design incorporating two ED glass elements and three aspherical elements. From wide angle to medium telephoto, this power zoom lens covers approximately a 6x zoom range with a constant F4 aperture.

Source: http://www.adorama.com/iso18105e.html

The Unwrap

The Good

  • With the lens attached to a Sony A6000 body, you’re able to get very clear pictures from ~ 15 meters ( feet) away. Your photo will still be large enough for high quality prints after cropping.
  • It’s a heavy, sturdy, feeling lens. The barrel is metal… you feel comfortable in using it. It’s not like with a plastic barelled ens where you know if you drop it even a short distance the damn thing is going to get all kinds of messed up.
  • Lens clarity is great… you’re more likely to see issues in your pictures because of the quality of air and light in your enviroment.

The Bad

  • The SELP18105G feels like it weighs as much as a baby elephant. I exaggerate… But really I think this has to do with the relative weight of the camera body and less to do with the actual weight of the lens. It simply feels heavier than it really is without the weight of a DSLR on the back end.
  • The lens weight on the mount. You need to keep two hands on your camera so as to not unnecessarily stress the lens mount. While the lens mount seems to be of a high quality, I just do not believe in the long run it’s capable of dealing with the extra stress placed on it by say, holding the camera from the grip and not bracing your lens with your other hand. Since you and I both can’t probably afford to replace their body every two years, it’s a valid concern. (Update, the a6000 mount cannot deal with the weight of the lens on its own. My mount is now lose and the pin slightly bent)
  • There doesn’t seem to be much of a ‘glare coating’ or ‘uv coating’ on the lens. Sunlight glares on that thing like nobody’s business.

The Ugly

  • I would really like to say the power zoom feature is helpful, but beyond zooming back in quickly after the body goes into power saving mode… it really hasn’t proved very helpful. I suppose it could be nice for video but I wouldn’t know.
  • Distortion. My copy, and most likely yours as well, has some very noticeable distortion in the center of the image. At first you don’t notice it… then all of a sudden you’re seeing that things are the wrong relative sizes and it’s a wow moment. Adobe’s photoshop lens correction profile does a very good job though.

To Sum Up

The Sony 18 – 105 mm E-Mount Lens is wonderful. The drawbacks are tiny and unrelated to how the lens works.

Considering Sony’s current zoom lens lineup and quality tiers… I do not know of any other lens Sony has that offers more for less than $1000.

If this will be your first higher quality zoom lens for your camera, it’s definitely worth the purchase.

If you already have a cheaper zoom lens, it’s still worth the purchase.

If you already have an expensive zoom, you probably don’t need my help on whether or not buy this lens (not worth it and you know it).

Pricing

I purchased my lens for $599 at Adorama.com with a $50 gift card promotion. You are most likely going to pay the exact amount Sony wants in this case… I have never seen the lens literally discounted, I’ve only seen a few promotions (like the gift card).

Update – Discounted Price

The 18-105mm lens has new pricing, with $549 being the low promotion price and $599 being the high off promotion price.

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