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180 of 186 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superb optics, build quality and effective stabilization
First and foremost, you should be aware that you'll need another lens aside from the 18-200mm, to take flash pictures. The 18-200 lens barrel obstructs the lower part of the flash output at anything less than ~50mm. Sony made a big mistake here in not supplying a 'flash extender' with the lens and at this time of writing, it is not available for purchase either...
Published on October 5, 2010 by Richard Lau

versus
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good but slow
for the price, it's fairly slow for low light situations but given the range it's trying to cover, it's as good as you are gonna get on the nex line. definitely makes it a two handed camera and the flash gets blocked so some design flaws inherent to nex line. nex was just not designed to have a lens this size and it shows but as we know with lens, the smallest...
Published 14 months ago by Joosby C.


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180 of 186 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superb optics, build quality and effective stabilization, October 5, 2010
By 
This review is from: Sony Alpha SEL18200 E-mount 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS Lens (Silver) (Electronics)
First and foremost, you should be aware that you'll need another lens aside from the 18-200mm, to take flash pictures. The 18-200 lens barrel obstructs the lower part of the flash output at anything less than ~50mm. Sony made a big mistake here in not supplying a 'flash extender' with the lens and at this time of writing, it is not available for purchase either. Moreover, it would have nice if Sony included a lens pouch or carrying case for the lens while it awaits its use. Yet, something else you'll need to purchase if you want to keep the lens in it's pristine condition. BTW, the NEX/18-200mm combo doesn't sit flat on the table either; the bottoms are not even.

Then we have the lens size and the integration with the NEX body. Suffice to say, it is reminiscent of the older Sony 707/717 models where a much bigger lens is coupled a smaller body. Difference is that with the NEX, the body doesn't twist/tilt like the 7x7 models but only the LCD tilts, which helps with stability. It's a big lens if you're comparing it to the compact superzooms but it's not given the size of the NEX sensor. It is comparable to the 18-200 of the DSLRs and the 14-140 zoom lenses of the m4/3s. The dichotomy is that for the folks who bought into the NEX for its dimunitive size are now faced with less than compact setup.

On first use, the NEX/18-200 combo seems like a joke. Clearly, this is a one-handed operation for a very short time only; the NEX body itself don't have much of a grip and the front heavy lens is going to tip the balance. This is worsened in its fully exended zoom length. To zoom, you will need to use your left hand to hold the bottom of the lens barrel while using its two finger tips to rotate the zoom ring. Likewise to manual focus.

However, the quality of this lens is just plainly superb. The distant test scenes from backyard I normally take with new lenses and cameras were outstanding and possibly one of the best I've ever had. The stabilization system works very well and I have no issues handholding the combo and getting clear pictures. The lens stops down to f6.3 at the max zoom length but this is compensated with the NEX's low-noise high-ISO.

I have also not heard it focusing either. In the few 1080 videos I've made, I have not heard any focus noise which can be extremely distracting during viewing. The 18-200 makes for an excellent video lens as well.

The build quality of this lens is also outstanding. The zoom ring is firm but rotates smoothly and likewise with the focus ring. I thought this Sony lens is better built than the similar 14-140 Panny lens which has free play in its lens mount and a inconsistent zoom movement. I have not even used the zoom lock switch once as I have not experienced any zoom creep yet while carrying the lens.

Overall, an outstanding lens.
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50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Should have bought one sooner, May 27, 2011
By 
UC Gamer (Westwood, CA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sony Alpha SEL18200 E-mount 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS Lens (Silver) (Electronics)
After seeing pictures of it, and comments from others complaining about the size, I was initially steered away from the SEL18200. It does look ridiculous in pictures mounted on the slender NEX-5. But in person, it's a different story. The metal build quality is superb, and feels great in hand.

The weight and optical steadshot are just perfect for my preferred shooting method: Left hand supporting the lens, LCD flipped up, and shooting at waist level. For street shooting in good light, the 18-200 range means I don't miss many interesting moments regardless of where I'm standing. Like many super zoom lenses, contrast erodes at max 200mm zoom and colors are a little washed out. Focusing is also slow at the 200mm end.

From my testing in A mode and EXIF, maximum apertures through the zoom range seems approx as follows:
18mm - f3.5
19-26mm - f4
27-37mm - f4.5
38-46mm - f5
47-143mm - f5.6
144-200mm - f6.3

For $800, I would have liked f5.6 at the long end similar to Canon and Nikon's superzooms. But the SEL18200 is absolutely silent and wonderful for video, so I'm just being nitpicky.
Overall, this is solid all-in-one solution.
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64 of 71 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars All in all a good lens, April 10, 2011
By 
David R. Courtney (Houston, TX United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sony Alpha SEL18200 E-mount 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS Lens (Silver) (Electronics)
I have been using this lens for about a month, so I think that I have a good feel for it.

PROS
1- It has one of the best optical stabilization systems that I have ever used.

2 - Its range of 18mm-200mm is amazing.

3 - It feels firm and solidly built.

4 - It produces crisp and sharp pictures when the light is good.

CONS
1- The control ring is strictly "by wire" and does not inherently control anything. Therefore it forces you to go into the camera's god-awful menus and submenus before you can manually control anything. I found this to be so much of a pain that when I want to slip into a manual operation I find it easier to simply remove the Sony lens and put on a third party manual lens.

2 - It is very slow. It does not work well in low light conditions.

BOTTOM LINE
You should definitely have this in your kit. But do not expect it to do everything that you want. Make sure you have a few good, fast, manual prime lenses to cover the situations where this will fail.

Peace

David Courtney
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great lens, most common complaint in past is gone, February 28, 2012
This review is from: Sony Alpha SEL18200 E-mount 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS Lens (Silver) (Electronics)
I've now used the SEL18200 lens for about 6 months on a Nex-5N, and 100% satisfied with it. First, to address some of the negative comments in the past: (1) Flash mount extender is readily available now, and I use this big lens with the (crummy) little flash all the time - it does quite well when when shooting at ISO 3200, which is a decent setting for the 5N (maybe not for the older Nex5); (2) the F at max tele is insufficient - well, of course we ALWAYS want a faster lens, but again shooting at ISO 3200 or 6400 for decent prints up to 8x10 (on the 5N) effectively makes this a VERY fast lens and I've shot handheld in a low-light museum; (3) yes of course, we ALWAYS want a smaller size & weight, but once again shooting at ISO 3200 or 6400 for decent prints up to 8x10 (for the 5N) effectively makes this a VERY TINY & LIGHT lens for the APS-C sensor ! (4) controls by wire was called a negative - yes, but on the 5N I simply program focus mode on the right-wheel click and I'm instantly switching between focus modes (e.g. manual for low light and pre-focused point sports action); (5) concerns about size and damage to lens swinging around your shoulder - once again, of course. However not only you have all the above advantages (so stop whining, already!) but if you get the Think Tank holster 10 V2.0, even in collapsed smallest configuration it will fit the Nex5N with SEL18200 attached WITH lens hood on extended position (that is, ready to whip out & shoot, you can leave the lenscap off ! Wow!!), and I also carry spare battery, charger, and Sony Zoom microphone (in its rather large case) in the side pocket. The complete kit on your shoulder.

So much for the downsides. Did I miss anyone's complaints (except for price)? The lens seems to be sharpest at f8 or smaller but quite good all around, at all focal lengths as already reported by many. Just a superb video lens, too !!! I like to shoot with the Nex5N at my stomach and looking down on the monitor, an extremely stable shooting configuration as in the old mid-format Hasselblads, Mamiyas, Bronicas, etc. Or I do overhead shots (try it!). Never at eye-level. So the heck with this holding up to your eye stuff that was started by the 35mm cameras (so that saves many $$ and bulk by not buying the EVF or the Nex-7). I don't use my 16mm pancake or the 18-55mm lens. Does anyone want to buy them from me? GET THIS LENS !!!
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Piece of Glass, March 18, 2011
By 
This review is from: Sony Alpha SEL18200 E-mount 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS Lens (Silver) (Electronics)
The Sony SEL18200 lens was a bit hard to get hold of, but well worth the wait and price. I've had many expensive lenses over the years but this one, coupled with the Nex-5 technology, is the most versatile, functional and precise I've owned. Bulky, but worth every ounce, because of the range of situations in which this lenses produces fantastic pictures - and with ease of use. For walking situations, the smaller Nex-5 lenses are better, but for any situation where long schlepps are not involved, this lens will cover almost any amateur photo situation. What is exceptionally nice is to hang the camera on the neckstrap, tilt up the LCD and shoot with this lens, no tripod, but goood stability like the old film Mamiyas.
The one negative is the lack of lighting options. The dinky Nex-5 flash will not work with this lens. In zoom ranges, flash is not an issue. However, you can use this unit, amazingly, in macro mode, and the ability to do some lighting - especially, creative illumination - would be great. Sony needs a hot shoe connector or a trigger for other lighting units. The camera is sophisticated enough to support this. The Nex family is evolving and points to almost professional level use. This lens is evidence. Not there yet, but meanwhile, we amateurs can improvise. This lens is worth it.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great lens!, February 3, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Sony Alpha SEL18200 E-mount 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS Lens (Silver) (Electronics)
I am relatively new to photography and got my Sony NEX-3 camera in Oct 2010 and finally found this lens available in early January 2011. I LOVE IT! I find the pictures are very crisp and clear. The lens has a good feel to it, smooth motion and very solid. The metal body looks nice too. The only complaint? Well it is a bit heavy, but I got used to it.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I've sold all my e-mount lenses after getting this, July 27, 2011
This review is from: Sony Alpha SEL18200 E-mount 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS Lens (Silver) (Electronics)
This lens is superb. Yes it's bulky in size, but it's not that big as some state.

I've sold all my e-mount lenses (16, 1855, and two adapters that go to 16mm) after using this lens.

If you own NEX, you are obliged to try this lens at least.

For macro, I'm using cheap legacy one via adapter. For everything else, I'm using this one.

I'm waiting for upcoming zeiss one, and my lens collections will be complete.
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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome lens for video!, November 28, 2011
This review is from: Sony Alpha SEL18200 E-mount 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS Lens (Silver) (Electronics)
Length:: 3:57 Mins

This is a music video I shot with my Sony NEX-5N and the SEL18200 Lens.
Check my page [...] for more videos done by the same lens and in HD quality.Sony Alpha SEL18200 E-mount 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS Lens (Silver)Sony NEX-5N 16.1 MP Compact Interchangeable Lens Touchscreen Camera With 18-55mm Lens (Silver)
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceeded My Expectations, November 1, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Sony Alpha SEL18200 E-mount 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS Lens (Silver) (Electronics)
Every now and again, you wind up with a lens that exceeds your expectation. This was one of those lenses. I'm normally a prime lens junkie. I would have thought I needed to pay twice the current $799 price to get something this sharp across the entire zoom range. Full zoom or wide open, tack sharp. OSS works very well. Filter threads are 67mm.

At the time I posted this review, the lens had been available for about a year. Oddly, there wasn't one single sample photo posted. I took care of that.

Couple this lens with the NEX-5N and EVF (FDAEV1S), and you have a killer combo.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent quality lens, great images, but slow!, October 13, 2011
This review is from: Sony Alpha SEL18200 E-mount 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS Lens (Silver) (Electronics)
First the downside, it's slow both in terms of autofocusing time and slow in photographic terms, it doesn't allow much light in. Zoomed to higher magnification it's an f/6.3 lens, extremely slow by any standards, though the vibration reduction does help with static subjects. Remember that that isn't going to help with moving subject, so this is a lens for architectural details, flowers, and stationary animals, not for sports or flying birds! (Oh, and as others have pointed out, the barrel of the lens blocks the flash.)

Otherwise this is excellent, extremely small and light for the APS-C format and focal length of the lens. Image quality is excellent. Build quality is also quite good. It took a little while of shooting with it before I became comfortable with it (stick with it, have heard a few people who tried it in the store and gave up). The lens is significantly larger and heavier than the camera body which means it's unfamiliar in balance for those who have used larger camera bodies (SLRs). Try some different hand angles and it'll get more comfortable rather quickly.

I think this is a technological triumph from Sony, 18-200mm in a tidy, small package, with good optics. Speed is down, but this is a huge step up from the compact camera world, and the tradeoff is clear if you compare this to the Canon or Nikon (digital only) equivalent. Those are faster lens, even in consumer grade optics, but bigger and heavier lenses.
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