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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on April 11, 2012
Review copied over from http://www.amazon.com/Sony-18-250mm-3-5-6-3-Tripod-Cleaning/dp/B0049AOUSU/ref=cm_cr-mr-title

Have had this lens for a week on my Sony A65. Bought from Amazon and fulfilled by Cameta Camera.So far the lens has been great. I am strictly an amateur but to me the images look great. The focus seems plenty fast for me and the zoom range is awesome. I love the "macro" capability. While this is not a true macro lens, I do get beautiful closeup shots of flowers and such and the 250mm setting and the focus distance of about 10 inches at this setting is great. Which leads to the one problem I've experienced with this lens. When hand-holding the camera in a downward position the lens extends to its full zoom setting when you try to set it to any zoom level between the minimum or (obviously) maximum. If you zoom looking downwards to something between 250mm or 18mm the lens very easily extends all the way when you let go of the zoom ring. I will probably return it for this reason. If you were trying to do some tripod mounted downwards pointing photography (flowers, creatures, etc) then this would totally suck. You can work around it when hand holding since you can keep one hand on the zoom collar but this can quickly get tiresome when trying to compose a picture and messing with camera settings. More often than not that one hand is coming off the zoom collar and then there goes your zoom setting. It does have a zoom lock but this only locks at the minimum setting and is only useful while moving around with the lens. I really wanted this lens to be awesome but this one aspect of it will probably force me to return it. I would like to say the order fulfillment and shipping speed via Cameta Camera were awesome. Hopefully the return process works as well. I'm not sure if this is a problem with this model lens or just this copy. I will certainly be looking into this as I decide whether to return it or not.

Update 4/18/2012: After looking into the lens creep issue, I have come up with an extremely acceptable and zero cost solution. I just put one of those silicon wrist bands that seem to be everywhere (including my kids' rooms) around the lens at the point where the zoom collar meets the rest of the lens (towards the focus ring). Zero cost and 100% effective for me. No more lens creep in any position and it doesn't adversely affect the zoom effort (which is also somewhat adjustable with this technique depending on how much overlap with the lens body there is). With this fix in place I would change my rating to 5 stars.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2012
Purchased the Amazon Warehouse Deals version in Used - Very Good condition. The lens was like new, couldn't spot a single sign of use. Came in all original packaging with all parts. Very different then my experiences with other outlets used equipment. I am glad I went for the Amazon purchase over the online camera store I was looking at that had a used version at the time. Very happy with my AWD experience.

As for the lens, it is very versatile, and the convenience of a single lens for 18-250 comes at a price (photos are a little soft throughout the range compared to shorter zooms and primes). However, I think this lens is the best of any of the superzooms on an alpha with a good auto focus motor. The a55 has a great motor, and the AF is fast. The benefit of this Sony lens compared to the Tamron 18-250, the Sigma 18-250, or even the Tamron 18-270 PZD is in the accuracy of the AF. I used the Tamron 18-250, which many people say is the same lens optically, and it was accurate with focus far less often than this Sony even in the limited testing I have done with my new lens. I would still like to try the Tamron PZD, but I doubt it will be much different. What pushes the Sony over the edge is the available lens profiles to correct distortion in many software packages.

One pleasant surprise is the relatively close shortest focal distance. Close-up shots at the tele end are certainly macro like. Not sure what the ratio is, but it is better than I expected.

The 18-250 is better than the kit 18-55 is almost every way. It is brighter at their shared apertures (beyond 18mm) and it is just as sharp or sharper wide open. The kit auto-focus is a touch faster overall, and the kit lens is much smaller and lighter. Keeping the kit lens is a no-brainer though; at this point they are worth barely $50 used.

This lens replaces the Sony 16-105 for me, and I can't see any reason to stay with that lens unless the extra 2mm are very important. There is certainly a difference on the wide-end between the two. 2mm makes a big difference in FOV. However across their shared focal lengths the 18-250 has wider apertures and is much sharper in the 50-75mm range and somewhat sharper at 100mm. Further, the autofocus is better and faster in low light (still hunts compared to my 50mm f1.8, but its not hard to get used to as long as you have a slow moving subject).

So far, I am very happy with the lens, and I expect it will get a ton of use.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on October 30, 2009
This is a very versatile 27-375 35mm-equivalent lens. I'm using it on the A550. Image quality is pretty good as verified by independent reviews if you make a search on the web.

The drawbacks I've noticed are (1) a high minimum aperture and (2) a somewhat noisy autofocus function. However,the only real alternative would be to go for f/2.8 lenses that cost around USD2,500 each and you would need two or three of them to cover the same focal range. Alternatively you could go for very sensitive (f/1.4) fixed length lenses, something that wouldn't be so bad because you can crop using Photoshop. However, Sony has no wideangle lens of this nature available for the APS-C format. In that case you would have to buy a full-frame Sony camera.

Sony also has an 18-200 lens. Since it is almost the same price as the 18-250, the choice of the latter seems obvious.

I give this lense five stars for the good all round character and the good value-for-money ratio. There are cleary other lenses out there with better techical performance.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on December 9, 2009
The Sony SAL18250 is a great everyday lens that will do 99% of what the average enthusiast needs a lens to do. It's fast, light, and versatile. I've owned this lens for just two months now, but have taken over a thousand pictures with it, and it does not disappoint. I currently own 6 high-quality (Sony and Tamron) lenses, and this is the one I always return to. It is not perfect, but what is? I couldn't be happier with a lens with so great a range as the 18-250mm Sony.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on October 1, 2011
I wanted a versatile lens that I could carry around travelling without scrambling for different focal length lenses. Less than $600, what can one expect? Further, one respected reviewer really gave this lens the thumbs down. Well, this lens is superb, well up to around 100mm.

I ran a series of comparisons with my Sony 50mm (f1.4) prime and my Sony 100mm macro (f2.8) and yes obviously it cant compete, but the difference is small, very small most evident as one could expect when wide open. Of course this appraisal is subjective but overall I am most impressed what can be achieved with such a long range zoom. I certainly wont be scrambling for my prime lenses up to 100mm.

Beyond 100mm this lens begins to fade and fade. So yes it's terrific at the short end but only acceptable at the long range, going progressively softer from 120mm to 250mm at 250 it is bad. But hey, its only $600 So why not buy this lens as a terrific zoom to 120mm and an emergency long range zoom.

5 stars to 120mm, 2 beyond. Reasonable build given the price including a plastic filter mount. Overall, excellent value.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Original review Nov 2010...
This is my only lens and that is the way it is going to remain for me. The 35mm equivalent is 27mm to 375mm on my Sony A55 ASP-C sensor camera. This gives me a little wide angle and a great 14X zoom. It is a sharp lens and reasonably priced. I don't have to take it off the camera so never have to deal with dust on the sensor.

It is a little heavy but I got used to it. The barrel extends quite a bit when you zoom so it looks a little obnoxious but it is reasonable when retracted.

I highly recommend this lens.

Update April 2012, tweaked November 2012.

I changed my mind in thinking this would be my only lens. I still think this lens is great and it is likely to be on my camera 90% of the time. However, even with the high ISO capability of my Sony A55 camera, I've searched for a lens that will provide more light. I was unsuccessful obtaining any good photos of fast moving athletes at an indoor basketball playoff game. I was not able to take good photos of hummingbirds in the shade of my back yard. So I've decided to purchase the Sigma 70-200 F2.8. It allows me to zoom, albeit over a smaller range, all the way from minimum to maximum at F2.8. This Sigma was $1,279, almost the price of my A55 and the Sony SAL18250 combined. So that is what it takes, in my mind, to beat the great Sony lens.

Under certain circumstances I pull the Sony SAL18250 lens off and using the Sigma! The Sigma is sharper than the Sony, and it lets in more light, but it is very large and heavy. The 70-200 has definite limitations because I have to get pretty far away from things as it is 105mm on my Sony A55 at the least zoom. So I constantly fall back to the great SAL18250.

I still think the Sony lens is great. I mean the ability to have a 27mm wide angle and a 375mm zoom in the same lens is really handy. I'm pleased with the sharpness and my results. I've had to learn how to get the best results out of it but that goes to my amateur status.

I am pleased with many of the photos I've taken with this lens. I think I've taken between 15,000 and 20,000 photos now over the past two years since I purchased it.

UPDATE September 2013
I still have the SAL18250 and think it is a fine lens. The best feature of it is the long zoom range. I now have two cameras and keep this one on my Sony A55. However...

After experiencing the above mentioned Sigma 70-200 sharpness and better light capability I looked for a better lens for the wide angle end of the range. I now have a Sony SAL1650 (16mm to 50mm, equivalent of a 24mm to 75mm) which is now my walk-around lens. It is super sharp, F2.8 for the whole zoom range, and works quite well with my new Sony A65 camera.

The surprise to me, because I'm still learning about photography, was how much better color reproduction is with the other two lenses (Sigma and Sony 1650). I just didn't know it until I had both this Sony SAL18250 and the other lenses to compare.

So I still think the Sony SAL18250 is a great lens, nice zoom, produces good quality photos, and is a good value. But I'm finding my particular tastes have changed and I now seek sharper lenses with better light transmission. It's all about price though. You get what you pay for. The SAL18250 provides good bang for your buck.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on October 24, 2008
I got this lens for my photography business. I am very excited about not having to change lenses everytime I want to go telephoto. I can grab those precious moments without the bride or groom knowing that I am taking their picture. The one downfall on it is the noise with the autofocusing it is very noisy. The pictures are great though. I have another shoot coming up with horses and people and I think it is going to be fantastic for the shoot.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on June 11, 2009
This is a good all-purpose lens, and you rarely need to change to another lens besides the occasional extreme wide angle or telephoto shot. The range of coverage is phenomenal, with no deterioration in quality that I can see. I've previously used Canons, but they had nothing like this or the high megapixel count of the A350. The aperture range is not the greatest, but that's the trade off you get with this kind of lens. Attached to the A350 it can get fairly heavy after awhile. The worst thing about it is the noise; the zoom is loud, and can be very annoying when you're carrying the camera between shots and the lens continues to adjust. This even happens with the lens cap on. For that reason I'm only giving it 4 stars.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on January 7, 2009
Oh, this lens is great. Works perfectly on the Alpha 350. It is sharp, accurate, focuses quickly. Barely any noticeable distortions compared to the kit lens. Great range, nice quality. Smooth operation. I am extremely happy with it!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 18, 2013
I have purchased this lens to replace the stock 18-55mm lens for my Sony A57. This lens offer me great zoom so that I can take pictures from afar. I have tried it in zoos, bird parks, airports as well as landscapes and it failed to disappoint me in these conditions. I yet to try it in airshows and F1 races.
The colour still looks good at maximum focal length and the image also appears sharp. At this price, its performance is superb. I never use other lens except when switching to macro lens. It can be used as a all-around lens.
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