Customer Review

184 of 191 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superb optics, build quality and effective stabilization, October 5, 2010
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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Comments

Tracked by 4 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 13 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 30, 2010 5:14:40 AM PST
You could always just get a different flash rather than a different lens.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2010 9:42:44 PM PST
Khanh Vo says:
You can't get another flash, there is only one flash that currently work on the NEX cameras.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 3, 2010 4:47:06 AM PST
Huh. My bad, I guess. I swear I saw a kit offered here (a 3rd party kind, mind you) that had a flash.

Posted on Jun 15, 2011 9:10:02 PM PDT
P. J. Conlon says:
What's the filter thread size?

Posted on Dec 21, 2011 12:34:28 PM PST
Helix says:
You can get a flash extender which is specialised for the larger lenses

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2012 12:56:52 PM PST
now what says:
To Alas & Smatch: it would be very helpful if you would include specific info on maker, model, etc. Otherwise vague mentions of possible add-ons, etc. are not useful, and often prove to be mere rumors.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 24, 2012 3:41:50 PM PST
corso says:
Flash Extender from Sony Part Nr A1787305A

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 24, 2012 3:43:58 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Jan 24, 2012 3:44:11 PM PST]

Posted on Feb 19, 2012 5:50:12 PM PST
Nobody is noting as to where the lens is made. I always check the country of origin. Could you please let me know - is it made in Japan, or other country. Thanks

Posted on Jul 11, 2012 3:23:50 PM PDT
Scy909 says:
I should have read this post before buying the 18-200 lens, the find out that the flash is blocked off by the lens. That mean I have to keep my 18-55mm, which I planed to sell and use the 18-200 as the universal one.

This mean there isn't a universal lens any more.
Darn.
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