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Sony Alpha SEL18200 E-mount 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS Lens (Silver)

4.0 out of 5 stars 79 customer reviews
| 33 answered questions

Price: $898.00 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Technical Details

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This item: Sony Alpha SEL18200 E-mount 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS Lens (Silver)
Customer Rating 4 out of 5 stars (79) 4 out of 5 stars (59) 4 out of 5 stars (16) 4 out of 5 stars (27)
Price $898.00 $848.00 $1,198.00 $739.00
Shipping FREE Shipping FREE Shipping FREE Shipping FREE Shipping
Sold By Amazon.com Amazon.com Amazon.com Amazon.com
Compatible Mountings Sony E (NEX) Sony E (NEX) Sony Alpha Sony E (NEX)
Dimensions 3.66 inches x 3.9 inches x 3.66 inches 2.68 inches x 3.82 inches x 2.68 inches 133.6 inches x 8.5 inches x 125.98 inches 2.68 inches x 3.82 inches x 2.68 inches
Item Weight 1.43 pounds 1.01 pounds 2.22 pounds 1.01 pounds
Lens Zoom lens Zoom lens Zoom lens Zoom lens
Maximum Aperture 3.5 6.3 6.3 f Information not provided
Max Focal Length 200 mm 200 mm 200 mm 200 mm
Min Aperture 40 40 22 Information not provided
Min Focal Length 18 mm 18 mm 18 mm 18 mm
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Product Description

Product Description

The Sony 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 DT Lens for NEX Cameras is a can-do lens that can handle everything from wide landscape photos to portraits to sports, action and even wildlife photography with the telephoto up to 200mm. And the results will be brilliant, with ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass that minimizes flare and greatly reduces chromatic aberration, fast internal focusing, 13 groups and 15 elements (including aspherical elements that correct visual aberrations across the entire zoom range), and a circular aperture for more pleasing out-of-focus areas. This lens is not recommended for use with full-frame DSLRs.

From the Manufacturer

Sony make . believe

E 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS Zoom Lens

The extremely wide 27mm to 300mm equivalent range (35mm full frame format) of this versatile E-mount zoom lens covers just about any shooting situation, and a newly developed internal drive motor offers smooth, quiet autofocus and aperture operation that are a distinct advantage when shooting movies. The internal Optical SteadyShot (OSS) image stabilization system with Active Mode offers effective stabilization even at the wide end of the zoom range when shooting movies.


Circular Aperture
ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass
Aspherical lens elements

Circular Aperture

When changing your aperture to defocus the background, the light sources appear blurred. This ‘bokeh’ effect of the blurred background can be enhanced with circular aperture blades used in this lens. Conventional aperture blades have flat sides creating unappealing polygonal shaped defocussed points of light. α lenses overcome this problem through a unique design that keeps the aperture almost perfectly circular from its wide-open setting to when it is closed by 2 stops. Smoother, more natural defocusing can be obtained as a result.

ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass

As focal lengths get longer, lenses built with conventional optical glass have difficulties with chromatic aberration, and as a result images suffer from lower contrast, lower color quality, and lower resolution. ED glass dramatically reduces chromatic aberration at telephoto ranges, and provides superior contrast across the entire image, even at large aperture settings. Super ED glass provides enhanced compensation for chromatic aberration.

Aspherical lens elements

Aspherical lens design dramatically reduces spherical aberration while also reducing lens size and weight. Spherical aberration is a slight misalignment of the light rays projected on the image plane. This is caused by differences in refraction at different points on conventional spherical lenses which degrade image quality in large-aperture lenses. Specially shaped “aspherical” elements near the diaphragm restore alignment of light rays at the image plane, maintaining high sharpness and contrast even at maximum aperture and can also be used at other points in the optical path to reduce distortion. Well-designed aspherical elements can reduce the total number of elements required in the lens, thus reducing overall size and weight. Advanced Aspherical (AA) elements are an evolved variant, featuring an extremely high thickness ratio between the center and periphery. AA elements are exceedingly difficult to produce, relying on the most advanced molding technology to consistently and precisely achieve the required shape and surface accuracy, resulting in significantly improved image accuracy and quality.

Distance encoder
Lens-based optical image stabilization

Distance encoder

The distance encoder plays an integral part in ADI flash metering, which delivers high precision flash metering that is unaffected by the reflectance of subjects or backgrounds. The distance encoder is a lens component that directly detects the position of the focusing mechanism, and sends a signal to the CPU in order to measure distance to the subject. During flash photography, this data is very useful in calculating how much flash output is appropriate to the scene.

Lens-based optical image stabilization

Gyro sensors built into the lens detect even the slightest movement, and the stabilization lens is precisely shifted to counteract any image blur that might occur. The use of precision, quiet linear motors and technology inherited from high-end Sony professional camcorders results in exceptionally quiet, effective image stabilization that contributes to high-quality movies as well as stills.

Additional Features

Internal focusing

Only the middle groups of the optical system move to achieve focus, so the overall length of the lens does not change. Other important benefits include fast autofocusing and a short minimum focusing distance. Also, the filter thread at the front of the lens does not rotate, which is convenient if you’re using a polarizing filter.

Optical image stabilization with Active Mode

Moving around while shooting movies means more camera shake that can cause blur. Although conventional image stabilization systems were not effective at compensating for this type of movement, “Active Mode” employs a wider range of motion for the compensation lens, achieving improved stabilization over a greater range of camera movement. Stabilization at the wide end of the zoom range is significantly improved, facilitating handheld movie shooting with minimum image blur.

Sony make . believe

2010 Sony Electronics Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Sony is not responsible for typographic and photographic errors. Features and specifications are subject to change without notice. Sony, BIONZ, BRAVIA, BRAVIA Sync, Cyber-shot, Exmor, InfoLITHIUM, Memory Stick PRO Duo, Memory Stick Duo, the Memory Stick logo, Optical SteadyShot, Remote Commander, Smile Shutter, Stamina, SteadyShot, Theatre Sync, TruBlack, and Xtra Fine LCD are trademarks of Sony. Microsoft, Windows, and Windows Vista are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. Mac OS and iMovie are trademarks of Apple Computers, Inc. HDMI is a trademark of HDMI Licensing LLC. All other trademarks are trademarks of their respective owners.

Product Information

Product Dimensions 3.9 x 3.7 x 3.7 inches
Item Weight 1.4 pounds
Shipping Weight 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Item model number SEL18200
Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars 79 customer reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #260 in Camera & Photo > Lenses > Camera Lenses > Digital Camera Lenses
Date first available at Amazon.com September 9, 2010

Technical Specification

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Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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.
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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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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
7 Comments 71 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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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)?
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