Sony AF DT 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 27   
reviewer#11339 date: Sep-14-2013
sharpness: 2.5
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 3.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 17-50 2.8
Sony 18-55 SAM DT
Sony 50mm 1.8
Minolta 70-210 f4(beercan)
price paid:Kit lens
positive:-Great Range
-Little flare
-Good contrast/color
negative:-Too small aperture for most things
-Not very sharp
-All plastic
-AF Noise
comment:Used this lens for quite some time , since it came as a kit with my a350, and it's great for general purpose shooting in good light. In low light, and fast action it's very slow both in aperture and focus. Good as a backup for event shooters, and all around good as a landscape lens (at around f/11). If i was to buy it i'd get a tamron 18-200 (pretty much the same) or even better an 18-270 and it would still be cheaper. The 18-55 kit lens is actually sharper in that range.
reviewer#10873 date: Jan-26-2013
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 3.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Zeiss Pancolar 1.8/50
Zeiss Tessar 2.8/50
Pentacon 2.8/135
Tamron 2.8/17-50
Minolta 1.7/50
Minolta 35-70 f4
Minolta Beercan 28-135
Minolta Beercan 28-85
Minolta 70-210, 3.5-4.5
Minolta 100-200, 4.5-5.6 APO
price paid:250
positive:-weight
-range
negative:-Sharpness less at 120 to 200
-aperture only 6.3 at 200
-contrast
-AF noise
comment:The lens is good as a travel zoom and for sunny days. Overall, I miss sharpness and brilliance in the images of 120-200mm. The open aperture of only 6.3 at 200 mm is too small for sports photography.
reviewer#10711 date: Nov-18-2012
sharpness: 2.5
color: 3
build: 3
distortion: 3
flare control: 3
overall: 2.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:-Zoom 18-200..
negative:-Sharpness
-Color
-At 200mm its worse
-
comment:
missing
reviewer#10625 date: Oct-27-2012
sharpness: 3.5
color: 3
build: 3
distortion: 2
flare control: 4
overall: 3.1
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Beer can, Tamron 24-70 f2.8
price paid:
missing
positive:Zoom range, light weight
negative:Sharpness, slow, color
comment:I got this lens with a camera I bought and had never tried it. A trip to Haiti provided the perfect opportunity to give it a try as I didn't want to bring my 850 or any good glass. I decided that I'd give this a try on an a100 I own based on the "do it all" range of this zoom. Overall I've gotten pretty much what I expected, it's an average lens that delivers average quality. For my purposes for this trip that's what I expected. I'm not here in Haiti for a photo trip but wanted to get some decent images while I'm here working at an orphanage. I'd say this was a good lens for someone that wanted to shoot snapshots, or basic images for posting, it's not a serious lens for someone that wants quality images.

Bottom line in view of where I am (Haiti), I viewed the a100 & this lens as essentially "disposable" so if they disappear I'm not going to be overly upset understanding that I was trading image quality for the convenience of a value priced an all in one zoom.
reviewer#9758 date: Jan-5-2012
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 2
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 3.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 16-105
Sony 18-55
Tamron 17-50
price paid:
missing
positive:Very useful range
negative:Soft
Slow
Overall mediocre image quality
comment:This was the kit lens that came with my camera, and from the beginning I wasn't that impressed with it. Now that I've spent a lot of time with lenses like the 16-105 or the Tamron 17-50, I think... no, I know I'd go nuts if I had to revert back to this lens.

Virtually none of the images I took with this lens were sharp enough to make me feel good. And the plastic lens mount is typical of the cheap build of this lens. After a few months, the rubber on the zoom ring began to form a blister where it had come unattached from the barrel of the lens. Then, after a few more months (less than a year's use) the zoom locked at around 30mm. Some careful fiddling got it back to 18mm... where it locked up again. It was basically an unnecessarily slow, heavy 18mm prime. So I gave up on it and got a 16-105, which despite the smaller range, is a far superior lens to this one. In fact, for the money, I'd rather have the 18-55 kit zoom than this one. It's sharper, and at least if that one breaks you can replace it for less than $100.

In short, of all the walkaround lenses I've ever used, this is the worst.
reviewer#9424 date: Sep-15-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.3
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 18-250
price paid:100 GBP
positive:Acceptable sharpness
Colour
Range
negative:PF at wider apertures
Needs good light,
comment:Sharpness surprisingly good stopped down by 1 stop (F9 at long end). More like 4.25 but I gave it the benefit of the doubt (It is a 11x zoom)

As others have said, jack of all trades, master of none.

But perfect vacation lens when you dont want to travel with a bag full of lenses.
reviewer#8720 date: Mar-1-2011
sharpness: 3
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 3
flare control: 4
overall: 3.4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 70-200 2.8
Sigma 75-200 2.8-3.5
Minolta AF35-105 3.5-4.5
price paid:450 (2006)
positive:Focal Zoom Range
Compact
Size and weight
negative:Sharpness with high resolution sensor
Distortion
Rubber grip
Loose zoom
comment:Sharpness rather acceptable with the A100
Not satisfied about sharpness with higher resolution sensors (A350 and A55).
On film camera rather good results, the zoom range is very usefull than
Rubber grip gets loos soon
Loose zoom action, but no zoom lock switch, lens slides down
reviewer#8463 date: Dec-29-2010
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 3
flare control: 3
overall: 3.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 28-200mm, Sony SAL 1870
price paid:Kit
positive:Focal range, sharp, compact.
negative:slow focus, aperture, distortion
comment:This came as my Kit lens with my A700. Its a re-badge Minolta Japan lens of plastic mount but still its well built comparing to the other DT lenses of sony. Though this lens is sharp and very good colour, its not my preferred everyday lens as its not fast and ideal for indoors and low light. i am very found of prime lenses. I use this lens for all my Travel & Holidays.

For those of you who got this lens use it and forget the SAL 18-250 or Tamron or Sigma zooms. For the ones who do not have this lens and want an everyday all in one zoom i suggest buy the 18-250mm, its a newer model, more focal availability, metal mount an a few dollars more.
reviewer#8385 date: Dec-9-2010
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 3
flare control: 3
overall: 3.3
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:KM 17-35
Sony 16-105
Sigma 24-60
Sigma 70-200 HSM II
price paid:350 euro, with A350
positive:Light, range.
negative:Really soft from 70mm up. Distortion, fringeing. Noisy, slow.
comment:Got this in an incredibly good bargain with a mint camera in 2009. I was planning to use this as a travel lens, but it hasn't seen much use - see negatives. Later got the 16-105 for a travel lens, which is much better build.
reviewer#8157 date: Oct-29-2010
sharpness: 3
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 3.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 24-70MM 2.8 HSM
price paid:$500 USD (new)
positive:-Zoom Range
-Light
negative:-Build
-Sharpness
-AF NOISE!
comment:Bought this to use for everything on my A300. This was my first zoom lense. I purchased it new for $500... What a rip off.

The AF is so loud, even when its being manual focused its pretty much screaming at you. Its supposed to be f/6.3 at 200MM... its not! The lowest it will set is f/6.7. Your pretty much lied to from the start after you buy this lens. CRAP!

reviewer#8135 date: Oct-24-2010
sharpness: 3.5
color: 3
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 3.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Sony DT 18-250mm f3.5-6.3
Sony 50mm f1.4
Sony 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 G
price paid:250 GBP (new)
positive:- good size & weight
- useful zoom range
- inexpensive
negative:- generally slow to focus on A100
- hunts in low light
- plastic mount
comment:Originally purchased along with the A100 as a walkaround zoom and later replaced with the 18-250mm. I found it to be soft below f7 but acceptable up to f11 throughout most of the zoom range. Performance in the middle of the zoom range was generally better than at the extremes, as expected.

Build quality is average. The zoom ring seemed to have uneven resistance as it was turned from wide to tele, and the focus ring had a little play which could be a problem when trying to focus manually in low light (a likely scenario given the speed of the lens). The plastic mount is also a little unexpected on a lens of this size & price.

Used within it's limits, the 18-200 is acceptable. It was a great first lens and I learned a lot from using it, but the 18-250 is streets ahead and given current prices there is no reason to not buy the upgraded version.
reviewer#7915 date: Sep-1-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.1
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Sony 18-70mm
SOny 75-300mm
Minolta 70-210mm f4
Sony 16-80ZA
price paid:220 CAD (used)
positive:Light
encompassing range
negative:Bit slow
Iffy build
comment:Thought I'd try out this lense to replace the 2 older kit lenses. I tend to shoot low ISO so found the F is a little bit slower than what I'd like. Build was also a bit iffy, but the compromise was lightness given the range.
reviewer#7111 date: Mar-17-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 3.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 70-210 "Beercan"
Tokina 35-200
Minolta 75-300 D
price paid:210 USD (used)
positive:Sharp pictures, lightweight
negative:Somewhat short of the 200mm it claims; rather high aperture settings compared to other lenses @ 200mm
comment:Have used this lens for several months as primary lens on my a380 due to the range, but have compared it to 4 other lenses I have and the range falls somewhat short of the 200mm it claims. Based on personal tests, I estimate that it actually falls into around 175-180mm range. The only other real fault I have with this lens is that the maximum aperture is f:6.3 @ 200mm, as compared with f:5.6 @ 200mm on my old Tokina 35-200, and f:4 on my Minolta 70-210 "beercan" lens, making it a rather "slow" lens comparatively speaking. Overall, if you are looking for a walkaround lens that takes sharp photos, gives good range from wide-angle to moderate telephoto, being used mainly in daylight or with flash, this is the lens for you. Just don't expect to use it for low-light situations with no flash unless you utilize a tripod.
reviewer#6228 date: Oct-15-2009
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 3
flare control: 3
overall: 3.4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:CZ 16-80 F3.5-4.5
70-300 F4.5-5.6 G SSM
price paid:400 USD (in 2006)
positive:Range
Weight
Size
Cost
negative:Build
comment:Bought this lens as kit lens with a100 when it was first released. The combination replaced a Minolta Dimage A1 which was a great package with fixed 28-200 equivalent lens, but had developed a bad CCD problem.

My goal was travel and kid photography, so a relatively lightweight body/lens package with good range seemed a good match. The 18-200 served that purpose well. I have since moved to an a700 with better lenses but still use the 18-200 on the a100 sometimes as a backup, or in circumstances where I don't want to expose a700 and better lenses to the elements, such as chasing kids around on the beach.

The 18-200 has a fair bit of distortion on the short end, but on the other hand, it's quite bright at 18mm. But maximum aperture is reduced quickly when zooming in and F6.3 is reached soon. Sharpness isn't great wide open though, but becomes quite good stopped down and it's all good at F8 (which lens isn't though) at least under 150mm.

On the a100, it doesn't focus very fast and can hunt in low light. I haven't really tried it on the a700 so I can't tell if things improve with faster drive and better AF.

Clearly, this is not a low light lens. In bright conditions, or with flash (I use an older Minolta 5600HS), it performs fine relative to expectations.

The build isn't very impressive. Plastic mount, zoom creep and a bit of wiggle in the manual focus. On the other hand, I've used this lens for years under all kinds of sub-optimal circumstances and it has never failed. So you could say that the build doesn't look impressive, but it may actually be quite durable and solid internally. Looking back at many shots with good light, this lens has produced some great and memorable shots.

For a lightweight, good range, inexpensive walk-around lens on a cropped sensor body, this may still be a good choice. I haven't tried the newer 18-250 or third party alternatives.

reviewer#5816 date: Aug-6-2009
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.2
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:sigma 28-200 3.5-6.3
sony DT 18-70
minolta 35-105 (85)
minolta 28 f.2 (86)
Beercan
price paid:Ł155 (almost new)
positive:light
good all day walkabout lens
Quite sharp
Price
negative:Can't whistle
Can't cook a steak
Can't hang the washing out
comment:I bought this cos I wanted a decent one lens walkabout solution with a good range at either end that wouldn't make me sell the wife to get one. The price I paid is well worth it, just in saved hassle alone.
It won't do for the pixel peepers or massive enlargements, but If you are a hobbyist and fed up with lugging old minolta glass around which you may drop in a pile of cow muck due to fatigue while changing for the umpteenth time - this baby will do the trick. It blows the Sigma 28-200 away in sharpness and especially the colours. The 200 end is quite sharp when stepped down a notch or two and really sharp in the middle. The 18mm end is ok with acceptable distortion which is easily rectified or just compose the shot so its not too noticeable. Extreme contrasting colours will give off CA at the longer end but this is also easily rectifiable
All in all - a good bang for the buck
reviewer#4248 date: Oct-14-2008
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 3
flare control: 4
overall: 3.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:Zoom range
negative:Build quality
comment:This is a great lens in many ways, I bought it with my a100 and it has produced some great shots, it is light and great for holidays or just taking snaps . It does distort at 18mm which can be a pain but for some shots is actually desirable! The build quality is nothing compared to the Minolta lenses I have.
reviewer#3870 date: Jul-20-2008
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Canon S2 IS (36 - 420 mm eq range)
Sony 50 F1.4
Sony 11-18
Beercan
Minolta 70-210 F3.5-4.5
Tamron 17-50 F2.8
Tamron 28-200 on Canon (film)
price paid:350 EUR
positive:Great range
Compact
Light
Discreet
Short minimum focus distance
negative:Not very sharp.
Closer focus reduces the focal length
comment:It's the lens of choice for a single lens solution. However, my experience with this lens + the A-100 shows that often the so much cheaper lighter, older and lower resolution S2IS takes as good pictures as those that I take with this lens. Outside, the S2IS's flash reaches further in the sun to reduce the wrinkles on people's faces because of the excellent flash sync speed of the Canon.

At 18 mm, the Sony 11-18 is a much better choice if the subject is properly lit up. The barrel distortion is pretty bad.

I hoped to replace this lens with a Tamron 17-50 F2.8, but I found the Sony was sharper than the Tamron. Maybe I got a lemon.

In the end, this lens is on my camera more than any of the other lens I own, because I do appreciate the range.
reviewer#3168 date: Jan-12-2008
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.2
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 17-50mm F2.8
Minolta 70-210mm (Beercan)
Minolta 75-300mm (Big Beercan)
price paid:200 USD (new)
positive:The range 18-200!
negative:Image is curved at 18mm
Slow - not good for low light
Zoom extends by gravity
comment:Very good as walk-around lens - covers large range.
However, it is less sharp compare to my Tamron 17-50mm and the Beercan.
Lately I also noticed that when I carry the camera facing down, the zoom extends spontaneously by the gravity! (I'll try ro contact Sony and check if there is something to do about it)
reviewer#3111 date: Dec-26-2007
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.2
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:(NOT) A700 compatible:
Pentax SLR lenses 50mm, 28mm
Kiron 70-150mm
price paid:with kit 200 USD new
positive:Compact, Light Weight
11x zoom
decent build quality
reasonable distortion at 18mm
quasi macro ability
Noticeable softness at 200mm
negative:PLASTIC lens mount
Noisy AF
Manual focus isn't smooth
AF turns the manual focus ring
Slow
distortion at 18mm
comment:This is my first lens for my A700 it was a kit lens which sony offered for 300 off. It retails for 500 and I'm a little shocked that sony would but a plastic mount on a lens this expensive. The build quality otherwise is quite nice.
The focus ring isn't really smooth because its very obvious you are moving an idle gear train and it can make it difficult to get it exactly where you want it.
The focus mechanism is nice in that it stays focused through out the zoom range allowing you to fine tune the focus. Although there was some very noticeable sharpness loss at 200mm while shooting a full moon but it wasn't apparent during normal conditions.
As far as Macro is concerned the lens has a minimum focus distance of 1.3 feet and at 18mm that makes for a really crappy macro but you can zoom all the way to 200mm an get a decent macro shot when at full telephoto.
Lastly, those new to dSLR's may not realize that under normal indoor conditions a f3.5-6.3 lens is really inadequate. It would be nearly unusable without the image stabilization as shutter times varied from 1/40 - 1".
After acclimating to the lens and working within its limitations it really is a nice lens but I wouldn't pay 500 for it, but as a kit lens I do recommend it.
reviewer#2653 date: Aug-25-2007
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 3
flare control: 4
overall: 4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 18-70, Minolta 70-210 f4
price paid:245 USD
positive:Great zoom range, handy to carry, covers 95% of my needs, very little flare
negative:Poor to fair resolution in corners at 18mm, also soft at 200mm, noticable CA at wide and zoom, poor AF when zoomed in low light, manual focus ring grates on my nerves
comment:I wanted the Zeiss 16-80 to compliment my Minolta 70-210 f4, but I got a great deal on the Sony 18-200. I just had to buy it. I realize it's limitations and work within them. The severe barrel distortion at 18mm is easily corrected with Bibble (using the KM 18-200 settings). Bibble is much easier for this than Lightroom/Photoshop CS3 or Elements. Vignetting and CA can be compensated for, too. Nothing I can do about the softness, though. The zoom range lets me get shots I wouldn't if I was busy changing lenses, backing up or moving forward. My own Imatest results are consistent with data posted by others. I actually owned tow of these lenses at one time and they were identical in testing and real world performance.

The photos I take with it satisfy me, as long as I do my part. I don't print larger than 13x19 and I can afford the time to correct distortion, so none of the lens's faults are fatal. If I was shooting JPEG only and didn't post-process, I'd try to use the lens at 35mm and longer and compose wider angle shots carefully, to minimize the distortion's appearance. But I'd still get the shot.

I've used Zeiss primes for decades and have never been disappointed. This lens isn't in their class, in performance or build. Heck, the Zeiss 16-80 isn't either! But with a street price of $300 to $350, the Sony 18-200 is a great buy. It's way ahead of the kit 18-70, which was pretty good. The Tamron 18-250 appears to be even better than the 18-200.
reviewer#2287 date: May-9-2007
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.2
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Sony 18-70
Tamron 70-300 Di LD
price paid:€150 (bundled)
positive:Versatile
Quite Sharp
Only 8mm longer than the 18-70
Decent AF (exept long end >150mm)
Reversible hood
Very little CA
Excellent flare control
negative:Struggles indoors (slow)
Distortion @ 18mm
Corner softness @ 18mm
Softness @ 200mm
comment:Excellent all-round lens. I found a great deal and paid no more than a regular kit (with 18-70). Switched from a Canon S3 compact, so a massive improvement in speed of operation. Cannot compare to other lenses though.

Distortion is present at 18mm, but coming from the S3 I'm glad it even goes this wide. Shooting architecture @ 18mm gives a nice - or unwanted - artistic effect, but this can be corrected in PP quite easily. 200mm is quite soft, and it bites the dust in comparison to my Tamron 70-300.

Flare and CA are well under contol. The hood works well here and is reversible for easy storage. Purple fringing, which I disliked the S3 for, is almost completely absent. For poster-size a little PP might be required to eliminate this alltogether, but for small print it's excellent.

Indoors, this lens is a little slow. I don't like to use flash unless absolutely necessary (worsened by the lazy-eye problem), so I'm looking out for an indoor lens to complement this one.

For a versatile and fun lens, I definitely recommend this one.

Update June '07: Have exchanged this lens for a 18-70 kit lens, Tamron 70-300, and 50mm 1.7. I ended up with 100 euro spare and better image quality with the sacrifice of having to change lenses. I could have kept this lens for travel, it's still a great piece of kit, but decided not to let a € 350 lens gather dust.
reviewer#2268 date: May-7-2007
sharpness: 3
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 2
flare control: 4
overall: 3.4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta AF 75-300 f/4.5-5.6 (D)
Minolta AF 28-105 f/3.5-4.5
Minolta AF 50 f/1.7
price paid:
missing
positive:Jack of all trades
negative:Master of none.
comment:If it will be your only lens, it might do. It was my kit lens, so I can't compare it to the 18-70. I was reasonably happy with it until I tried to take some moon shots. All I got were fuzzy white spots in a dark sky.

Noticeable barrel distortion at 18mm. Noticeable pincushion distortion at 35mm. (Would someone please tell me how that happens?) Moderate chromatic aberation at the long end. Soft throughtout its range. Less sharp than any of the lenses I compared it to. My 50mm on a cheap 2X teleconverter is sharper at 100mm.

I can forgive a lot in a lens if the optical quality is good. I can forgive zoom creep, borderline build quality, and slow, noisy AF. For this lens, the optical quality doesn't make up for all that.
reviewer#2118 date: Apr-7-2007
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.3
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 28-105 2.8
Sigma 70-200 EX DG 2.8
price paid:came with A100-H kit
positive:*Great Color
*Tack Sharp
*lightweight, small/inexpensive filters
negative:*Disappointing in low light
*fisheye-like distortion at 18mm
comment:The lens doesn't deserve criticism for poor low-light performance as it wasn't built for that. In good light, however, this is a great lens. Great color and sharpness. Its not intimidating, its pretty light to carry, and its well balanced in a quality build. If you want a do it all lens, this is a very fine choice.
reviewer#2110 date: Apr-4-2007
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Minolta AF 70-210 F4 (beercan)
Minolta AF 75-300 F4.5-5.6
Minolta AF 100-300 xi F4.5-5.6
price paid:part of a A100-kit
positive:Versatile
negative:Not that sharp at both ends
comment:I have been looking for a BIG Beercan for quite a while... but since yesterday, I've got him!
So I took some time today to compare the results of my four tele-zooms to decide which one(s) to sell.
Not an easy decision: all zooms are GOOD, but different. The Beercan and the BIG Beercan are both very SHARP, with the Minolta-glass CoLOURS. The xi is very light and small (nice for travel), and the Sony is very versatile (and light). Don't forget the Sony is a full-range zoom, starting at 18 and ending at 200.
There are also con's: The Beercan's are heavy, the xi has a (quite slow) motorized zoom and the Sony is not that sharp at both ends (particulary at 18).
I'm glad i finaly own a BIG Beercan. So this one is going to stay. Not only is it as sharp as the Beercan (or sharper), it is also faster due to the focus limiter.
The Sony also stays. Ideal for traveling "light".
So I'm afraid the xi has to go. If I can sell it for a decent price (probable together with my 3xi and 28-80xi).
And the Beercan... Although i won't use it that often anymore i'm pretty sure i'll keep it. As a "collectors-item".
reviewer#1852 date: Feb-18-2007
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.3
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:kit lens
price paid:545€ new
positive:Sharp, light, zoom range.
negative:
missing
comment:In P (priority huter) mode i can get the sharpest pictures.
reviewer#1683 date: Jan-21-2007
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:70-210 f4
18-70 kit lens
Sigma 70 - 300
50 1.7
100 f.28 macro
70-200G f.28 SSM
price paid:429.00 usd (new)
positive:Could be a one lens solution
light enough to carry all day
Perfect lens for banquets, wedding, car shows, museums. VERSATILE!! VERSATILE!!

negative:Slow focusing in lowish light
at 18mm the flash will light the lens hood in your picture
Optimized for digital (DT) means it will only work on APS sized senor.
comment:If you can only take one lens on the trip this is the one you want. Given it has 18-200 focal range there are no better options for a one lens arrangement at the time of this review. I would hate to be in a position where I could only have one lens but it happens sometimes. Focus times can be a bit slow in low light but using the flash helps on the A100. The other option is bringing several lenses which requires switching on the fly which than means you may miss a good shot or introduce dirt into your camera body. This lens does solve a problem and gives your dslr an 11X optical super zoom range. I had no problems with the plastic build. In fact, the balance body/lens weight feels pretty good.
reviewer#1312 date: Oct-12-2006
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.1
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:Sony 18-70
Sigma 70-300 DG APO
price paid:Ł350 (new)
positive:Excellent zoom range
Not too heavy
Reasonable build quality
negative:Can hunt & seek in low light
Can be a bit slow to focus
comment:All ultra zooms are a compromise but this one does a good job without intrusive distortion at either end of the range, good colour balance and good sharpness
reviews found: 27   

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 27
  • sharpness: 3.83
  • color: 4.22
  • build: 3.48
  • distortion: 3.59
  • flare control: 4.00
  • overall: 3.83

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