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Sony Alpha SEL1855 E-mount 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Lens (Silver)

4.5 out of 5 stars 58 customer reviews
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  • Versatile, all-purpose range for beautiful shots
  • Ideal for capturing close-up portraits to expansive landscapes
  • Lightweight and features smooth and silent Auto Focus operation
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This item: Sony Alpha SEL1855 E-mount 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Lens (Silver)
Customer Rating 4 out of 5 stars (58) 4 out of 5 stars (77) 4 out of 5 stars (7) 4 out of 5 stars (133)
Price $298.00 $348.00 $218.00 $248.00
Shipping FREE Shipping FREE Shipping FREE Shipping FREE Shipping
Sold By Amazon.com Amazon.com Amazon.com 17th Street Photo
Compatible Mountings Sony E (NEX) Sony E (NEX) Information not provided Sony E (NEX)
Dimensions 2.44 inches x 2.36 inches x 2.44 inches 2.56 inches x 1.18 inches x 2.56 inches 105.92 inches x 5.71 inches x 103.89 inches 2.44 inches x 0.91 inches x 2.44 inches
Item Weight 0.47 pounds Information not provided 0.81 pounds 0.16 pounds
Lens Zoom lens Zoom lens Zoom Prime lens
Maximum Aperture Information not provided Information not provided Information not provided 2.8
Max Focal Length 55 mm 50 mm 55 mm 16 mm
Min Aperture 32 36 22 22
Min Focal Length 18 mm 16 mm 18 mm 16 mm
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Product Description

Product Description

Sony SEL1855 18 mm - 55 mm f/3.5 - 5.6 Lens for Sony E mount SEL1855 Lenses & Filters

From the Manufacturer

Sony make . believe

E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Standard Zoom Lens

This 27mm wide angle to 82.5mm medium telephoto equivalent (35mm full frame format) range in a compact 3x E-mount zoom that is suitable for landscapes, snapshots, portraits, and more. Built-in Optical SteadyShot (OSS) provides approximately a four-stop image stabilization advantage, and an internal drive motor ensures smooth, quiet autofocus and aperture operation.

E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Standard Zoom Lens

Technology

Circular Aperture
Aspherical lens elements
Distance encoder

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.

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

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

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.

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 2.4 x 2.4 x 2.4 inches
Item Weight 7.5 ounces
Shipping Weight 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
ASIN B003U8Q7TC
Item model number SEL1855
Customer Reviews
4.5 out of 5 stars 58 customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #230 in Camera & Photo > Lenses > Camera Lenses > Digital Camera Lenses
#6,219 in Camera & Photo > Camera & Photo Accessories
Date first available at Amazon.com June 17, 2003

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By P. J. Conlon on February 17, 2011
This lens is the standard kit zoom lens sold with Sony NEX cameras. It's the incredibly common zoom range of 18-55mm, and so is unremarkable in that respect, and why I gave that attribute only 3 stars. There are many, many things good about this lens and only a few little issues I take with it. But those really are nitpicking.

OPTICAL QUALITY:

Pro: Incredible optical quality. There are few kit lenses that I enjoy using. Most I replace with something better as soon as I can. This is not the case with this lens. It's sharp with very little chromatic aberration, and has vignetting handles very well. There's absolutely negligible light fall-off at the corners and edges. It scores a highly impressive, especially for a kit lens, 2950 LW/PH center and 2200 LW/PH border and extreme at f/7.1. LW/PH is line widths per picture height, and is a measure of sharpness. Most kit lenses never go above 2000 LW/PH, and even some lower-end primes can't hit that. This is a lens I wouldn't trade out.

Con: Mild distortions. At 18mm there is some slightly significant barrel distortion (-3.98%), meaning that the pictures at that setting will appear to bulge almost unnoticeably outwards. This is ABSOLUTELY NORMAL for every 18-55mm lens. It's nothing to worry about. Once you go past 18mm, there are no distortions at all.

BUILD QUALITY:

Pro: Very high quality magnesium alloy build. For those of you who don't know about metallic chemistry, magnesium, when alloyed with small percentages of aluminum and zinc, is a very hard and lightweight metal; similar to titanium in it's properties. This is a lens made to last. It also looks very nice compared to the plastic lenses most companies are cranking out. The lens is also very small for it's class.
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Other reviews at Amazon for this lens are a bit mixed - with some raving and others criticizing the image quality from this lens. I think there is a bit of truth in both sides of this. There is a terrific set of comparisons between this lens and some competitors at photoheadonline that I think explain the discrepancies. Any zoom lens ends up being a compromise - as that review shows this zoom lens is generally pretty good, but can have poor performance in some situations (e.g. 50mm with wide open aperture and distant focus). As that review notes, this lens was designed to perform well in most situations - at 50mm it is good (not great) for portraits (closeups, where the large aperture helps defocus the background) and performs well at F/8 for distant shots (e.g. outdoor scenes). I got this lens with my NEX 5N and then got the 50mm F1.8. I think together they are a great combination. The zoom is great when there is a lot of ambient light (outdoor scenes), and the zoom allows you to tune the composition. The 50mm 1.8 is fantastic for portraits. I take about 75% of my photos with the 50mm 1.8 (pictures of people - the slightly narrow angle reduces perspective distortion and you get more spontaneous pictures when a camera is not in their face) and this zoom lens for all the environment shots. I think this is a really good combination. In sum, each lens has its limitations, and kit lenses are designed to be inexpensive. However, this lens performs well in its comfort zone.
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This lens gets a bad rap. Mostly, but not entirely, undeserved.

First, who is this lens not for?
Anyone who needs a compact lens should buy the 16-50 power zoom, 16mm or 20mm pancake, or Sigma 19mm or 30mm. This lens is not compact, but it's not huge.
Anyone who needs top notch image quality should buy a prime NEX lens. Other than the 16mm, they are optically much better than the available zooms. You could consider the Alpha adapter and a 16-50 f2.8 zoom or the Metabones adapter and a Canon 17-55 f2.8 zoom, but at that point you might as well just buy an SLR. If you want top image quality, you're either shooting prime or carrying big, expensive gear.
Anyone using it on an original NEX without software correction. If you're using on a 3 or 5, you will see lots of distortion. I'm not one to normally complain about distortion, but in this case it's offensive. I took a picture of a square laptop and it looked like an oval, the distortion was so bad. You have 2 options: either use software like Lightroom to correct it automatically, or get a 5N, F3, 3N, or one of the newer bodies that automatically corrects it in camera (for JPEG, not RAW). If you do this, no worries. If you don't, you'll find offensive distortion.
Anyone needing a small lens should get the 16-50. If you don't need the smaller size, buy this and save the money.

So who is it for? Well, anyone that needs the flexibility of a zoom in a sturdy, relatively small, relatively inexpensive package. It has stabilization, so it's great for video. It gets pretty wide, so good for landscapes. At 55mm, it actually can take a decent portrait (I said decent, not great). It has a close minimum focus distance, so good for small objects like flowers.

Compared to other kit lenses, this one is great.
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The Sony Alpha SEL1855 E-mount 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Lens is an outstanding "kit" zoom lens for Sony E Mount cameras like the NEX. I have achieved results with this lens that, quite frankly, I would have thought impossible for such a modestly priced lens. I say "outstanding" with one very serious qualifier. That is that you accept that the lens is, in many ways, very mediocre in straight optical terms, but a stellar performer if digitally corrected in post production. Skeptical? I was also. But now I'm a believer.

When I first used the Sony Alpha SEL1855 I was less than impressed. What came out of the camera had a host of problems that a traditional photographer, like me, would have ascribed to the lens and have caused it to left behind as a quest began for a higher quality product. That was until I understood the critical difference in usage and philosophy between modern affordable zoom lenses for digital photography and the religion of hyper quality and design performance for the lenses that were used with silver film analog photography.

The Sony Alpha SEL1855 was, looked at through the design priorities of traditional lenses, well, pretty lame. But, as I became more familiar with digital image tools like Adobe Camera RAW and Lightroom, and the use of lens and brand specific lens profile files with ACR for correcting all manner of geometry problems with lens performance, I realized that the lens was as good as it needed to be, but only.
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