Sony AF DT 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 SAM II A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 16   
reviewer#44040 date: Mar-26-2018
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony SAL1870 DT
Sony SAL18250
Minolta 35-70 f4
Minolta 28mm f2.8
Minolta 50mm f1.7
price paid:Included with camera
positive:Price - mine came with my second hand A58, but you can pick them up on ebay for 50GBP, considering the quality of this lens this is amazing.
Light, flexible, sharp, everything really.
negative:None
comment:When this lens arrived with the A58 I wasn't expecting to use it much, my standard walk around lens was the 18-250, why would I need a shorter range? These days the 18-55 is on the camera a lot - and it's the lens that I always drop in the bag as a backup if I set out with a prime or some old Minolta zoom on the camera. The 18-250 is still the No 1 choice for holidays and trips, but this lens is ideal when I want to save some weight. A great lens bargain.
reviewer#15271 date: Jun-11-2015
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony E 16-50 PZ OSS
Sony DT 16-50 SSM
Sony DT 16-80 CZ
Sony DT 16-105
Sony DT 18-55 SAM
Sony E 18-55 OSS
Sony DT 18-70
Sony DT 18-135 SAM
Sony DT 18-200
Minolta AF 24-50 F4
Minolta AF 24-85 & RS
Minolta AF 24-105 D
Minolta AF 28-80 D
Minolta AF 28-85
Minolta AF 28-100 D
Minolta AF 28-105 & RS
Sigma AF 28-105 F2.8-4
Tamron SP 17-50 F2.8
Tamron AF 18-250 F3.5-6.3
price paid:30 USD (used)
positive:Good image quality
Zoom and focus controls are smooth
Parfocal
Good semi-macro
Little sample variation
negative:Minor focus shifting from slop in the zoom mechanism
Problems on the wide end:
-Significant barrel distortion
-Soft corners
-Heavy purple fringing
comment:The first copy was included with my new SLT-A58K. I won a second used copy for $8 on eBay. The focal length encoder on this second copy was broken but easily fixed. The third copy was purchased used in like-new condition from a large seller. The fourth copy was included with my factory refurbished ILCA-A68K. "Made in Thailand"

This lens has identical optical performance to the older version, but the focus and zoom mechanisms are smoother. This version more closely resembles the 55-300 and 18-135 lenses, while the older version looks similar to the Easy Choice primes and last Konica-Minolta kits with the shiny chrome accent ring.

I like the size, weight and operation of this lens. It actually performs quite well and in some ways better than the $1000 Carl Zeiss. I've mostly avoided using it especially after purchasing the 35 mm prime It also compares well with the 20/2.8, 24/2.8, and 28/2.8 primes as far as image quality. Besides the SAM motor, the design operates similar to the older Minolta kits lenses. The SAM avoids the weak plastic AF gears which often fails in those older kit lenses.

The controls are quite nice to operate especially compared to the overly loose, cheap feeling focus rings on the Easy Choice primes. They certainly operate smoother than those on older SAM version. There is a noticeable amount of hysteresis in the zoom mechanism. The lens is quite parfocal except for that bit of play in the zoom mechanism which results in a small focus shift when changing zoom directions. If you move the zoom control in just one direction the focus is well maintained.

Aberrations are well controlled at the long end of the zoom range. Corners are sharp at 55 mm with very little purple fringing.

The 18-55 has substantial image quality improvements over the older 18-70 on the long end. It has a bit less raw distortion than the older 18-70 kit lens, and the distortion is well corrected by the in-camera compensation. It has less distortion at 24 mm and above than the other zoom lenses.

The small ALC-SH108 hood was not included neither was a proper rear cap. This hood is identical to the SH0006 hood of the 18-70 and to the those from the plastic Minolta 28-xx zooms. The filter threads rotate during focusing (but not during zoom operation) so a larger petal hood will not work. The hood is so wide and shallow it is probably useless for anything other than protecting the front element. It does greatly improve the appearance of the lens.

Image quality seems to be well corrected for the long end of its range which is good for macro or portraiture. The older 18-70 is mostly inferior though that lens does not suffer from focus shift at 18 mm when stopping down. The larger 18-135 SAM has more center sharpness. The E mount 18-55 OSS has more consistent center sharpness.

Overall a very good kit lens that is worth the small premium when it is included with a new body purchase. It does a bit of everything pretty well. The significant change in the II version is the smoothness of the zoom and focus mechanisms along with the obvious cosmetic changes. Recommended.
reviewer#15259 date: May-27-2015
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 1
distortion: 3
flare control: 4
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Some Minolta zoom and prime lenses.
price paid:kit lens
positive:Great also on full frame (film) camera from about 22 mm and more.
negative:Bestial stink out of the box. Now after 4 months my fingers still stink after touching the lens. That can't be healthy. The lens stinks like PAH-contaminated chinese shoes of the worst kind. You don't want that on your feet, and you don't want that at all on your bare hands.
comment:I can't imagine that the stink is healthy. Therefore only 1 point for built rating. A shame for this otherwise fine lens. The Sony Service cleaned the lens without any improvement but also said there was no fault. Obviously I'm not the only one with this problem. But Sony says, there are no such known problems with the lens.

Sony: that's not the way you make friends!
reviewer#14245 date: May-11-2015
sharpness: 3.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 3
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron SP 28-75mm F2.8
Minolta AF 35-70mm F4
price paid:Kit
positive:*Fast focus
*Lightweight
*Color
*Bokeh
*Sharp at F6.3>
negative:*Distortion
*Resolution
*Build
*Noisy focus
comment:My first lens with A65. Good for beginner.
Fast, but noisy SAM motor - not good for video.
Very strong distortion at 18mm.

Not enough resolution of this lens for 24Mp A65.
reviewer#14240 date: May-3-2015
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:none
price paid:kit lens with A58
positive:Very sharp at all apertures
negative:Nothing
comment:A very good lens. I can't understand the mostly negative reviews in several testcharts.
reviewer#13223 date: Apr-10-2015
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:SONY DT 50mm F1.8
Minolta AF 35-80mm F4-5.6 II
price paid:came with camera-kit
positive:-Very sharp wide open
-super sharp when stopped down
-vibrant colors, for me almost minolta colors
-very well improved 2nd version of older sony af dt 18-55mm SAM lens
-light
-build quality
-great IQ
-Quiet AF compared to my other lenses
-very fast af
-good flare control
-OK Bokeh
negative:-slight distortion on wide end (18mm)
-a bit useless hood that has to be purchased separately, but i understand for 18mm hood cannot be any longer
comment:This lens is hell of a glass! It´s milion times better than the original first generation Sony DT 18-55mm SAM. From what I have seen with other cameras, I can say this is the best kit lens amongs any brands (even competition such as nikon and canon) you can get. Colors are great, sharpness is amazing, build quality is ok for a kit lens (at least mine is). It´s really great performer on all lenghts. Oh, and it´s light. It´s way sharper (and beter in every way) than Tamron 17-50mm 2.8 , and Minolta AF 35-80mm. I can say in some situations it´s even sharper than sony DT 50mm F1.8 prime lens. But thats only my opinion. also image quality is fantastic, and I consider this lens quiet when I compare it to my prime 50mm and old minolta. AF is very fast as well.
Flare control is good, much better than on minolta lenses. Even though hood is a bit useles. I got this lens with my SLT A-58 and I can say I never experienced such fantastic kit lens. After almost 1yr of usage, I can only recomend.
reviewer#11790 date: Apr-24-2014
sharpness: 4.5
color: 3
build: 4
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 28-105 F3.5-4.5
Minolta 35-105 F3.5-4.5
SONY 18-105 F3.5-5.6
Tamron 55-200 F3.5-5.6
price paid:100
positive:- sharp
- fast focus
- good price
- good build quality for the price
negative:- colors are not so good
comment:When i bought my camera with this kit lens i thought that is not good because it's "kit lens". Then i sold it. After changed few more classy lens realized that 18-55 SAM2 is not so bad :).
I think it's nice and sharp lens, colors are not good like minolta. But it's perfect for the price.
reviewer#11657 date: Feb-1-2014
sharpness: 2
color: 4
build: 2
distortion: 3
flare control: 4
overall: 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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:* Sony 35mm f/1.8 DT SAM
* Sony 50mm f/1.8 DT SAM
* Sony 55-200mm f/4-5.6 DT SAM II
* Minolta 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5 (Original)
* Minolta 70-210mm f/4 (Beercan)
* Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X 116 PRO DX-II
price paid:Kit lens
positive:* Excellent colour contrast and flare control
* Light and small size for focal length
* Cheap on used market
* Compatible with in camera lens correction on some Sony camera bodies
negative:* Soft image quality, especially towards wide angle, would not recommend for large prints and does not come close to showing the potential of more recent Sony camera body sensors
* Slow autofocus speed
* Cheap, plastic build quality
comment:This lens is built to a price and it shows both in build and image quality. It is average in every respect and if you are looking to show the potential of the sensor this would not be the lens to do it with.

Image quality is soft at all focal ranges, even when stepped down to f/5.6-8, and this is easily apparent using the Zoom function in Live View when reviewing on some of Sony cameras.

Some zoom lens come close to primes in quality when stepped down, however this is not one of them with details of the same scene appearing mushy especially comparing to the 50mm f/1.8 or similar used price of the 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5 when set at same focal range and apertures.

Contrast and flare control however is very good and like most modern Sony lens has a "punchy" and colourful look.

This lens would suit beginner or casual DSLR users, those who are only interested in small prints or can get it cheaply as part of the kit lens package and are on a budget.

For those wanting a sharper lens, I would suggest either avoiding or selling this lens if in kit and upgrading to one of the following whether new or used:

* Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8

Or if you can purchase a wide angle or live without it as a focal range:

* Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8
* Minolta 28-135mm f/4-4.5 (original)
* Minolta 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5 (original)
reviewer#11656 date: Jan-31-2014
sharpness: 4
color: 4
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 50 1.7
Minolta 70-210 f4 beercan
price paid:Kit lens
positive:It's compact, light, generally focusses quickly & quietly and is easy to manually focus too. Stopped down 2 stops it's sharp and can produce some very nice images. Close focus distance is good compared to older Minolta lenses.
negative:Wide open it's a bit soft and corners aren't as sharp as they could be. The front element isn't loose but can be waggled around with minimal pressure. Fairly prone to flare and artefacts.
comment:Very happy to use this as a go-to lens for wide angle to modest tele work, and the low weight doesn't do any harm at all. It's helped me produce some good images, but does need stopping down a little to do so. At some stage a better lens would be nice, but isn't a matter of *urgency*.
reviewer#11643 date: Jan-30-2014
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 35mm F1.8 DT SAM
Minolta 28-100mm
Sony 55-200mm f4-5.6 DT SAM
Tamron 28-200mm (early one)
Tamron 28mm f2.8 (adaptall)
Lots of 50mm lenses on 35mm film cameras
price paid:(with kit)
positive:Small, lightweight, usefully same 55mm filter thread as other lenses, and doesn't stick out much on the camera; Well built for plastic lens, fast focussing and surprisingly sharp. No major issues with CA, distortion or vignetting. Excellent flare control.
Quick accurate AF gives no problems.
Very sharp at all apertures and focal lengths
Usable on FF above 20-21mm
negative:Slow for low-light conditions - needs high ISO.
Would have preferred wider angle for APS-C use.
Front element turns (an issue for polarising filters) and is far too lightweight to attach anything heavy to it.
comment:I hadn't expected much from a cheap kit zoom but have been very favourably surprised - okay, astonished at just how good it is. I've since taken many hundreds of pictures with it and rarely get anything that isn't pin-sharp. maybe I've got a particularly good example but I can pick any of these pictures at random (at any focal length and aperture), take a 100% crop ('actual size') on Sony Playmemories, and the chances are high that the crop will still look sharp, clear, and punchy (and I'm talking about pictures as taken, not after photoshopping). I can't say that for many other lenses and no zooms I've ever used.

I bought a new 35mm f1.8 for use at dusk, indoors, etc, as it's nearly 3 stops faster at 35mm; I expected this to be sharper too, but it isn't. Tests showed the zoom is just as sharp at 35mm (both at full aperture). For a plastic lens it's also well built, and feels more solid than the 35mm F1.8.
So its one of my main lenses to use, and definitely a keeper; much better than you'd expect from the number available on e-bay and (if you didn't get one with your camera) really a steal at 50 UKP s/h.
I don't often crop images heavily on this lens but if I am caught out for reach it copes well with digital zoom, giving it an effective reach to at least 100mm without obvious loss of IQ.
I take mainly jpegs and the in-camera corrections are very good. CA is rarely obvious even on 100% crops.
Downsides? The aperture is really quite slow over most of the range, though with excellent Sony high ISO performance and particularly with the EVF of the A58 it isn't usually a problem, but for low light conditions with people, I'd choose the 35mm F1.8 which is basically three stops faster.

Summary: Much better than you'd expect, and one of things that makes the entry-level Sony DSLTs so much better than the opposition.

EDIT: I've been trying it on my Dynax 4 film camera and it's really good - it vignettes in the corners at focal lengths below 21mm with the little lens hood on and about 20mm without, but 18mm is probably usable as a panorama if you crop the top and bottom. And anyway, a 21-55mm FF capable lightweight modern zoom lens is worth having!
reviewer#11609 date: Jan-15-2014
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 100-300mm f4.5 - 5.6
Minolta 70-210mm f4
Minolta 35-105mm f3.5 - 4.5
Minolta 50mm f1.7
Minolta 28mm f2.8
price paid:kit lens (deal)
positive:Sharp
Fast and quiet focus
Nice colors
Light and versatile
negative:Not a full frame
comment:One of the best lens I own. Nothing to complain considering it's a kit lens. Maybe a bit dark at 40/55mm, but very versatile for indoor and street photography. Made in plastic but solid.

As someone else already said, it leaves a bizzare rubber smell on your hands, but you will get used after a while. :)
reviewer#11523 date: Dec-5-2013
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 3
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony AF DT 17-55mm f3.5 - 5.6 Sam
price paid:
missing
positive:Satisfecho con la lente nitidez excelente,para el precio q pague,colores hermosos en pocas palabras buen objetivo. Lo mejor q se puede hacer es probarlo uno mismo, aunque ayuda tambien alguna opinion de otros.
negative:No es muy luminoso pero con un buen flash se soluciona. Muy plastico
comment:SATISFECHO CON EL OBJETIVO Y LA COMPRA, MUY BARATO, LO ADQUIRI DE SEGUNDA MANO EN EBAY SEMINUEVO. TENIA DUDAS ACERCA DEL OBJETIVO, DICEN POR ALLI Q CASI NO HA CAMBIADO NADA CON RESPECTO A SU ANTERIOR VERSION, NO ES CIERTO, LA NITIDEZ Y COLOR ES LO MEJOR DEL OBJETIVO, LO Q ME INTERESA. SI TIENES LA OPORTUNIDAD DE ADQUIRIRLO NO LO DUDES, PERSONALMENTE SATISFECHO CON EL OBJETIVO BUEN TRABAJO SONY.
reviewer#11487 date: Nov-17-2013
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta AF 35-70 F3.5-4.5
Minolta AF 35-105 F3.5-4.5 N
price paid:kit lens
positive:Sharp
Quiet autofocus
Good colors
negative:No hood with kit
some vignetting and distortion at 18mm
Rubber smell on hands
comment:I am satisfied with this lens, taking into account the price I paid for the camera+lens.

Compared to my old Minolta 35-70 it is solid built and it is sharper (EDIT: no it is not sharper!!!). Works well as a daylight video lens at 28mm and 35mm.
reviewer#11383 date: Oct-12-2013
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:A58 Kit lens
positive:Very Sharp
Quick Auto Focus
negative:No Infinity Focus
High Noise in Low light Long exposures
http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3558300?post=52303968&image=0
comment:Got this as a kit lens with Alpha 58, very good for hand held photography and also in day light but Auto focus struggles in very low light, I've to use my android phone's flash with a torch app to focus in night.
reviewer#11268 date: Jul-25-2013
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 18-55 SAM original
price paid:part of A58 kit
positive:Very sharp
Good colours
Quiet autofocus
negative:Nothing to speak of
No hood with kit
comment:Almost identical IQ to a good copy of the original version but more resistant to flare.

EDIT Just taken some close up shots in the garden at 55mm f5.6. Sharpness and details are outstanding, not quite macro quality but nevertheless very usable. I would imagine when this lens hits the second hand market, it will sell for a similar price to the original version. You wont find a better lens for the price. If you don't need the larger maximum apertures, don't waste money on expensive 17/18-50 f2.8s which won't be any better. This lens is that good.
reviewer#11214 date: Jun-29-2013
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 3
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:SONY DT 18-55 SAM
price paid:part of kit
positive:- Quick in AF
- feels solid
- so far I am very happy with the color and sharpness
negative:- looks more plastic than the first SONY DT 18-55 SAM
comment:I used to have the first version of this lens on my former A330 with 10MP. I now changed to the A58 with 20MP and I am really very excited about the results from this camera with this kitlens.
Anyway I didn't see very much difference in use between the first generation of the lens and the new one. Though the first had a nicer look, however the same results in my own opinion.
reviews found: 16   

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 16
  • sharpness: 4.44
  • color: 4.50
  • build: 3.50
  • distortion: 3.94
  • flare control: 4.31
  • overall: 4.14

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