Customer Review

64 of 71 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars All in all a good lens, April 10, 2011
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.

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.

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.

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.


David Courtney
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 24, 2011 2:53:33 AM PDT
Z. JENSEN says:
Enable DMF focus mode. When this is enabled, you can immediately switch to manual focus at anytime while the shutter button is half depressed. Think of it as the focus-by-wire equivalent to Nikon's M/A manual override mode.

In reply to an earlier post on May 30, 2011 6:24:16 PM PDT
This is OK as far as still shots are concerned, but I am using this camera for video. As soon as you let the shutter up it returns to auto focus mode. So it won't work for me.

Posted on Oct 13, 2011 9:11:11 PM PDT
B. Humphrey says:
By slow, do you mean f-stop or focus speed ? I was curious how it might work for sports or small fast children.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 14, 2011 5:30:14 AM PDT
"Slow" refers to the ability of lenses to let light in. In the old days a photographic plate might take over a minute to expose a plate. If a lens took several min. to expose a plate it was called a "slow" lens, while if it only took 45 seconds it might be referred to as a "fast" lens.

Today few people will will notice speed in this way because differences in exposure time are measured in tiny fractions of a second. However the "speed" of the lens is very noticeable in low light conditions because a slow lens will alter the colours and increase the overall level of noise in the picture.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2012 12:49:28 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 16, 2012 12:51:03 PM PST
now what says:
Both in film and digital, there's another definition of "slow" that is more relevant to the immediate act of recording the image. From Wikipedia:
"Lens speed refers to the maximum aperture diameter, or minimum f-number, of a photographic lens. A lens with a larger maximum aperture (that is, a smaller minimum f-number) is a fast lens because it delivers more light intensity (illuminance) to the focal plane, allowing a faster shutter speed. A smaller maximum aperture (larger minimum f-number) is "slow" because it delivers less light intensity and requires a slower shutter speed." Slow lenses need more time with the shutter open to get the same exposure. So yes, it can make a difference for sports and action in low light. If you can't use a fast enough shutter speed, the motion will be blurred. And if you compensate by increasing ISO, you may get noise.

Posted on May 10, 2012 10:08:26 AM PDT
Terry Hurst says:
Yes I agree with you Mr Courtney. This is a great lens and I have taken some amazing shots with it, but only when the light conditions are good. I don't even try to take shots anymore with low light conditions because I know I will be dissapointed with the results. I hope Sony makes a fast 200 mm lens for this camera soon.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 15, 2013 9:36:19 PM PDT
I fear that there are just too many obstacles to making a fast zoom lens for this series. The Sony E-mount lenses are designed to work with cameras that run from APS-C sized sensors all the way up to 35mm. By modern standards these are very large sensors. Large sensors require very large lenses to bring in the light. Already the typical NEX series body with an SEL18-200 looks laughable. In order to make something comparable but faster, the lens would have to be even larger. Unfortunately it costs much more to make large lenses. So a fast version of the sel-18200 would be substantially larger and may end up costing thousands of dollars. I think the people at Sony realised that this was impractical.
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