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Customer Review

26 of 37 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very practical lens, if it wasn't for purple fringing and zoom creep, January 13, 2011
This review is from: Sony SAL18250 Alpha DT 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 High Magnification Zoom Lens (Electronics)
My wife and I used this lens with pleasure for several months at the beginning of 2010, riight into the summer, on a Sony A100, A300 and A330. We didn't know what purple fringing (CA) was and didn't know about many other image quality aspects either, so we didn't look too closely. But you learn and get to be more demanding. Somewhere in the summer I was trying to photograph a sapsucker in a tree with the lens fully extended and aperture at 6.3. Looking at the result, I could hardly find the bird for the purple/dark blue in the picture. Then zoom creep started to set in. Before the lens would lose value too much, we sold it again. We now use a Sigma 70-300mm APO for telelens and have to switch lenses more often, but CA is a thing of the past. Definitely not as practical as before, and I will consider a hyperzoom again for practical reasons, but not this particular model. A newer Tamron model may have better lens coating.
Sigma has its own issues, especially with build quality, so make sure you keep your Amazon receipt for warranty claims if you want to go that route.
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Showing 1-10 of 11 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 21, 2011 10:17:06 AM PST
MxZAE11 says:
Overall MVesseur, it was a wonderful review. People need to know that all-in-ones have issues with CA. But they also need to know why the CA exists and how to resolve it.

Noting Chromatic Aberration ("CA" or Purple Fringe) is important about a lens review. A lens that is designated as APO or Tamron's XP, means that even in the lowest Aperature (F-Stop) settings, there is very little CA.

While compact telephoto lenses, "All-in-ones," and cheap 70-300s are all prone to low aperture CA; switching to a higher F-Stop (around F10-20) will generally eliminate most or all fringing issues in these styles of lenses.

CA/Fringing has nothing to do with brand, but rather the style or construction of the lens. I recommend that anyone who has a lens of this sort to try the aforementioned technique.

According to reviews, the Sigma 70-300mm APO is an amazing lens, but should not be compared to an "all-in-one zoom" style 18-250mm, because it's convenient ability to 'zoom out' that creates CA at low aperture. Something has to give, image range or image quality.

To be fair and honest, I only use APO and XP lenses right now, though I have had 'normal' lenses in the past. In a 'normal' lens, raising the F-stop does the trick nearly every time. One should never be used at full zoom with it's lowest aperture, this is why raising it to between F10-20 resolves the issue. But that is why some (like you and I) spend extra money for additional lenses or ones that can be used 'wide open,' and not have to sacrifice light in order to get that great zoomed shot!

Congratulations on your new 70-300 APO purchase! I would like to try one out sometime...

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 30, 2011 9:15:32 PM PST
Tommy Boy says:
That is a very good point! I would be curious to see what their aperture was set at for a majority of their photos.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 30, 2011 10:42:18 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 30, 2011 10:43:01 PM PST
MVesseur says:
Thanks for the comments, much appreciated. I can't remember ever trying a higher F-stop than 8, so I couldn't say if that makes a difference, but then, who is going to set a telezoom to that small an aperture? Unless you have an A550 that can make noise-free pictures at ISO1600, you'd have a very long exposure time. And why can Sigma do it with a product that costs 200 dollars or less?
I've recently bought a used Sony 70-300mm G. Here too, no CA is to be found.
One thing: apparently it's possible to remove purple or dark blue fringing in Photoshop. I don't have that program, but for those who do and who know the process CA may have lost its terror. In that case the 18-250 is a real option.
Warning: my wife hates me for selling the 18-250 and buying the 70-300G. Don't say I didn't warn you!

Posted on Mar 9, 2011 7:30:22 PM PST
Jose Perez says:
Is this lens made in Japan?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 21, 2011 12:03:55 AM PST
eswan says:
What isn't?!

Posted on Dec 21, 2011 12:07:14 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 21, 2011 12:12:40 AM PST
eswan says:
Sony's are known for the purple-fringing. It's the only drawback I've read about with them and have experienced for myself with my cybershot compact version.
However, I've found the burst-mode in the Sony is much faster than with Canon. That is a selling point for me, being I love to take nature and animal photos.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 1, 2013 11:25:50 AM PST
P. Carlson says:
I commonly use my 18-250 lens on a tripod at f11 and f16. If you haven't added a tripod to your stable, it is probably the best bang for the buck to improve image quality. I also like to do HDR work and to do that right you definitely need to use a tripod.

And yes, Photoshop and Lightroom can correct for CA.

Posted on Feb 1, 2013 11:36:22 AM PST
M. Vesseur says:
Update: In the meantime we bought a Tamron 18-270mm Piezo, which costs a little more, but doesn't show the issues that bothered me so much with the Sony 18-250mm. The Sony lens is in essence a rebranded, old Tamron model, so I had no hesitations buying the newer, faster and quieter Tamron.

Posted on Feb 19, 2013 9:39:07 AM PST
MxZAE11 says:
Update:

After experimenting with a family member's copy of the lens. I've picked up one for myself and waiting for it to come in. Packing this around, rather than a 17-50 F2.8 and 70-200 F2.8 (Which I am still keeping) will definitely save my back from carrying my full-size camera backpack every day!

And no, Sonys are not known for CA, all-in-ones and cheap entry-level 75-300s are known for CA, regardless of brand.

Posted on Nov 13, 2013 11:00:00 AM PST
You can't expect much at this price with a wide focal length like this.
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