Sony AF DT 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 62    1 2 3 >>
reviewer#43026 date: Mar-6-2018
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 5
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:Other Sony Alpha and Minolta lenses
price paid:200
positive:Good range and versatility
negative:Aperture ring is tough to manage due to in-built motor, so not very quick, especially in manual mode.
Build isn't too solid either. Mine often got stuck in 18mm until it finally bust.
comment:Again, good versatility and perfect for traveling if you plan on using AF mode only, but don't rely on it for manual mode. Mine often got stuck in 18mm in it's last months until it finally bust.
reviewer#41971 date: Dec-19-2017
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 50mm f1.7 & 2.8 macro
Minolta 24-50, 24-105, 28-80, 28-100, 35-70, 35-105, etc.
Sony dt 30, 35, and 50mm primes
Sony 18-55mm, 24-105mm, 55-200mm, 55-300mm zooms
Minolta 70-210 (most versions includng beercan), 75-300mm, 100-200mm, 100-300mm (APO and non-APO).
Other make 70-210, 60-300mm,
Lots of MF primes & mirrors from 28mm to 500mm
price paid:£117
positive:Very well built, metal lens mount
Amazingly sharp centres throughout the range, corners are usually good at full aperture.
Virtually no CA or geometric distortion with lens corrections on
non-rotating filter thread
Petal lens hood
lens lock
Quiet screw-drive AF.
Pleasant to use
Viable for casual birding which is a pleasant surprise.
negative:Curvature of field at infinity focus can sometimes give weak corners
MF ring is obscured when lens hood is reversed.
AF is accurate but slow.
Doesn't play well with TCs.
Reverse focus action is irritating in MF.
You loose a little width with corrections turned on.
comment:I don’t normally buy or use superzoom lenses, let alone hyperzooms, and as you see from my lens list above I mostly prefer primes and moderate zooms in the 2:1 to 4:1 range which work well and are capable of stunning shots. But I’d been considering one of these for a while for those occasions when I don’t want to keep swapping lenses, and from the published reviews (at least the ones that don’t sneer at the class), the 18-250 seemed to be one of the better ones.
My tests show it to be very sharp even at full aperture over the whole visual field at medium distances, and you need to pixel-peep at 100% crop to see any softness. See my sample images at http://www.dyxum.com/dforum/sony-af-dt-18250mm-f3-56-3-sal18250_topic22355_post1525861.html#1525861
Most of the time this lens is sharper than most of the Minolta zooms I've tested (and I've tested quite a few); only the 35-70F4 and 100-300mm APO are as sharp in the corners at full aperture.

So I was quite surprised by some of the negative reviews here on Dyxum until I realised that most of them were from 14 & 16Mp cameras without lens corrections, so let’s a get a few things straight. Super/hyper-zoom lenses of 14:1 zoom range (and frankly those of half this range too), involve considerable compromises to make them work at all. In particular they need software correction for distortion, vignetting, and CA, and they’re designed to have it. It’s quite pointless whinging that their distortion is bad when you can’t be bothered to correct it. With any of these, you either need to use a 2-digit Sony camera with lens corrections built in and take jpegs in camera (in which case you do need the Sony version and not Tamron or Sigma which don’t get the corrections) or else you take raw and use an LR profile or equivalent. So my ratings are based on using the in-camera corrections the lenses are designed to use.
Also, if you're going to criticise 100% crops from a modern high-Mp camera, you need to absolutely sure the image is correctly focussed and has no shake. Quite often what you think is lens softness is actually something else. For exmaple bare tree branches in winter will reveal curvature of field and axial CA that photographing poeple or brick walls won't.

How good is it? Will you be glad you took it along, or will it leave you wishing you’d brought a narrower range zoom and got at least some of the shots sharp?
The answer is that it does very well.
Sharpness: The review at [URL]http://www.imaging-resource.com/lenses/sony/18-250mm-f3.5-6.3-dt-sal-18250/review/[/URL] shows the lens is pretty sharp in the centre at all focal lengths and apertures, and one stop down it is very sharp. However lenses do vary from one to another, and mine doesn’t behave quite like the review copy. So is it sharp? Yes, it is, mostly (see sample pages). Critically examining 100% crops from a 20Mp camera may be a desperately unfair thing to do when we rarely need more than 6Mp to get a decent-size print and 2Mp for HD TV/monitors, but it’s a quick way to find where the problems are.
So 100% crops of winter-bare-branched trees show sharp and contrasty corners at full aperture everywhere from 35mm to 250mm, which is impressive, and the lens isn’t soft at all at 250mm. Lateral CA is almost perfectly corrected by the camera, with only faint colour fringing visible in 100% crops, and although there is some axial CA too, this again is only noticeable in heavy crops.
In fact on my copy the long end is spectacularly good for a super-zoom and on par with the best xx-300mm zooms I’ve used (and I’ve used quite a few). The centre is sharp and contrasty at 100% crops and the corners aren’t far off either, so heavy cropping for birding is definitely on. Of the zooms I’ve tried, only the Sony 55-300mm and 100-300mm APO come anywhere near it and the 75-300 and 100-300 non-APO cannot compete due to their CA. The various 28-200mm lenses are not in the same league.
At the wide end things are predictably worse on some occasions. At infinity focus, below 30mm the top corners (and sometimes the right edge) show softness and lack of contrast (on 100% crops) which gets progressively worse toward 18mm, and doesn’t really clear up until f8-11. But this isn’t obvious in normal viewing (and not in my test samples at around 50m distance), and if I do need sharp corners at 18mm I know to use f8. Of course every zoom lens has its weak points – the trick is to know where they are and work around them, and if you can’t, to get another lens.
I doubt anyone making large-scale prints of landscapes or architecture is going to be using this lens, and if I was concentrating on that I would bring another lens anyway, but for casual use the wide end is okay and the mid-range is very good. The 18-55 dt SAM II is better at wide angle.
Of course, copies vary in performance (especially wide-range zooms) and it is quite possible another exmaple will be better at the wide end and worse at the long end. I can only judge by this one.
Aperture: f3.5 doesn’t seem that fast at the wide end even though it is only ½ stop worse than f2.8, and f6.3 sounds desperately slow at the long end. But, surprisingly, this lens is faster through the lower part of the focal range than many of its competitors (18-55, 18-135, 18-200mm). Though if you’re planning either heavy cropping or big enlargements, the best thing is to leave the lens on f8 and the ISO at 800 and stop worrying about it.
Focussing: AF is quiet but very slow – much like the older film-era tele zooms – but settles well without overshoot if there is anything there to focus on. And despite the slow tele end, AF seems quite effective even in poor light with centre-spot AF.

MF is fine with the lens on its own, but unacceptable with the Kenko DGX 1.4x TC as it becomes sticky and difficult to turn (a gearing issue?) Now I wouldn't normally bother with a TC on a hyper-zoom anyway, but I was tempted for casual use on birds when I'm out and about, and the lens is sharp enough to take the magnification. But it won't AF at the long end with the TC fitted either, so I generally ad 1.4x or 2x digital zoom when I want to frame a small bird properly.

Internal-focus zooms usually show a large reduction in effective focal length at close focus and this is no exception. I reckon the long end is down to somewhere near 150mm at around six feet. And indeed it only seems bad near MFD because the MFD IS so amazingly close – just a few cm from the lens hood, which compensates for the loss of FL and leaves you a useful 0.29x magnification (the same as the 55-200mm) at a conveniently closer distance. And if you do that at 250mm the results are pretty sharp, so this lens is far more deserving of a ‘macro’ suffix than many lenses which actually have it.
Bokeh: I've looked at a few casual birding pictures taken with this lens and been quite pleased. under those conditions (180-250mm FL) bokeh seems pretty good, with lovely soft blur when well OOF, and with quite acceptable behaviour in the near-OOF bokeh region where so many modern zoom lenses show harsh double-edges that look horrid on twigs. Bokeh is certainly better than the Min/Sony 24-105mm
Build & Handling: The lens is very well built, with a metal camera mount, nice plastic finish, and a non-rotating front element which takes a petal hood. Lens creep isn’t bad on my copy and it mostly stays where I put it unless I carry it over one shoulder when I sometimes use the zoom lock (much better than the 75-300mm). It is quite a bit heavier than the standard 18-55mm and sticks out further too, no more than the 55-200mm but much less than most other long tele zooms of xx-200 or xx-300mm.
Summary: I probably won’t stop using the 18-55 for general walk-around use when I don't need much length, but when I do this is an easy choice. It’s also pretty good at birding and macro, so is also a good choice for parks and gardens. If I know I’m going to be taking pics at dusk I’d probably take one of the primes for the extra few stops – long tele shots don’t always work at dusk – but at 100-250mm this one will do a good job of the setting sun when you need it. Low-light performance is limited primarily by high-ISO noise so if you don’t want to switch to a fast prime, you will need IBIS and a steady hand.
Overall, surprised and very pleased!
reviewer#26562 date: Apr-24-2016
sharpness: 3
color: 3
build: 4
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Sony - AF DT 18-55 F3.5-5.6 SAM II SAL1855-2
Sony - AF 75-300 F4.5-5.6 SAL75300
price paid:299 USD used
positive:Small and light.
negative:Soft, shorter than rated at telephoto end, strong barrel distortion at wide end.
comment:I used this lens for only a few days on my A580 before returning it to the dealer, having hoped it would perform like the good reviews here and not the bad ones. I really tried to justify keeping it because I REALLY want the convenience of not having to carry those other 2 lenses. It's almost but not quite as sharp as the SAL1855-2 kit lens and the cheap SAL75300. The kicker was that at 250MM it magnifies the same as my SAL75300 set at 160MM! I was willing to give up 50MM on the long end but not 90. Really sorry it didn't work out!
Update: I've learned this is probably an effect called focus breathing. I was only focused about 20Ft away when comparing the 2 lenses. It probably would magnify like a 250 when focused at infinity but still I need all 250MM at shorter distances too.
reviewer#12016 date: Nov-1-2014
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:70-210 f4 Beercan. Sharper but ops f6.3 at longest end!
price paid:350$
positive:Nice range. Light to carry. Nice walk-aroundlens.
Sharp enough as such. Close focus range very good.
negative:Distorsion gives some post photoshopping.
comment:This makes a very nice walk-around lens. Ok build but plastic. Fits very well on my A580, I use it as telezoom in addition to Zeiss 16-80.
reviewer#10910 date: Feb-5-2013
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:Sigma 18-300 mm
Sigma 150-500mm
Tamron 180mm Macro
Tokina 11-16mm
price paid:$600
positive:Overall sharpness
Wide zoom Range (great for video)
Size and Weight
Convenience
negative:Lens Creep
no replacement lens hoods for sale
comment:This was the first lens that I bought for my A35 and for day to day use, I LOVE this lens. There is enough range to photograph most anything that I want, whether I want to shoot a wide vista, or zoom in on a particular feature. I find that unless I am trying for a specific shot (ex. Extreme wide angle, extreme telephoto, or Macro) I use this lens. I took a month long trip to 25 national parks, and almost never took off this lens. I’m sure that if I looked at individual pixels I’d see the problems with the image listed in the other reviews, but zoomed to close to the point to where I start noticing individual pixels (and who really wants to zoom in enough that you can make out each pixel, other than so you can say “Ooh, look how much quality I have in my lens)
Compared to the other lenses I own, this one does not weigh much, and is very small, which when combined with the range, makes it a great lens to take on trips when I don’t want to be loaded down with 20 different lenses.

The biggest problem that I have with this lens is, as has been mentioned in other reviews, the lens creep. Unless I lock the lens closed, whenever the lens is facing downward, it zooms out, making it hard to get your precise zoom when you are pointing downwards (such as the times I wanted to take a picture looking down into a canyon)

Especially when cost is included into the decision, this is an awesome lens. I highly recommend it.

(Update 11 Dec 2013)
A few things to update. I have started going to music festivals where photography/video is allowed (primarily Irish Festivals) and this lens works amazingly for this purpose. I have been able to start filming the entire band, zoom in to just one musician, and then zoom in to just the guitarist's fingers strumming the guitar or on the frets, or move on to just the face of the lead singer as he is belting out the lyrics, all with amazing quality. Every once in a while the zoom ring jerks some, but if I am conscious of twisting it smoothly, this very rarely is a factor.

One new issue that I have with this is that Sony appears to have quit making replacement lens hoods for this lens. Mine came off when I was photographing rapids (my fault. I had put it on rapidly and had not twisted it till it clicked)and it was immediately swept downstream. I haven't been able to find a replacement since.
*** New update. My ratings have dropped since I first wrote this review. 1st, the build has dropped as my lens died less than a year after the warranty expired. I have since bought the Sigma 18-300 and it beats out this lens in every category! I can no longer in good conscience recommend this lens when a lens of better quality, with a longer warranty comes along.
reviewer#10565 date: Oct-5-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
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:Tamron 18-200
Sony 18-200
Sigma 18-250
price paid:250 GBP used
positive:Sharp, even wide open at 250
Better than usual Sony build
Range
negative:Distortion at wide end
comment:On a par with the well rated Sigma and way better than the 18-200s (But more costly).

For versatility it is difficult to beat this lens. Great for everyday use and not too heavy or bulky.

Distortion at 18 is still better than the Sony kit lenses.
reviewer#10319 date: Jun-22-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
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:Tamron 18-200
price paid:550 USD
positive:Great range
light
very sharp for such a big zoom range
negative:None
comment:Maybe I have a particularly good copy of this lens, but I am continually amazed at how sharp this lens is. When I work at 100% in PS, I see details in the image taken at the long end that I didn't even know the camera was capable of capturing. This is my go to lens whenever I travel and need to be able to go from wide angle to long telephoto without changing lenses.
reviewer#10183 date: May-8-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
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:Tamrom 18-200
Tamron 70-300usd
Tamron 17-50
price paid:NZ$600 used
positive:great travel lens
excellent range
beats the Tamron 18-200 hands down.
negative:a bit slow focusing
can be soft at the long end
comment:I took this lens on a 8 month world trip last year mounted on an a100 and was really happy I did. I was going to take the Tamron 18-200 but that lens didn't 'cut the mustard' so I sold it when I got back.

On the whole, I really love the lens for its versatility, range and not having to cart around more than one lens. I could fit the body/lens combo in a snoot/holster type shoulder bag, along with my cards, cords, batteries, mini tripod and filters and it never seemed to be in the way.

I'd take it on more trips overseas mounted on the a580 I now own and readily leave the 70-300 usd at home.

Edit: Took it ( and the a580) on a trip to Australia and found it to be really versitile. It really is an amazing lens which seems to work even better on the a580 than the a100. It will be the last lens to leave my bag if I ever have to sell lenses for some reason.
reviewer#10161 date: Apr-30-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 2
flare control: 4
overall: 3.7
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 16-105mm f3.5-5.6
Minolta 28-135mm f4-4.5
Sony 18-55mm SAM
Sony 35mm f1.8
Minolta 50mm f1.7
Minolta 70-210mm f4
Minolta 100-300mm f4.5-5.6 APO
price paid:£280 (used)
positive:Extremely versatile.
Good sharpness throughout its range.
Relatively light and compact.
Good minimum focus distance.
negative:Bit slow (max. f6.3) towards tele end.
Jack of all trades, master of none - good but not outstanding at any setting.
Relatively high levels of geometric distortion throughout its range.
comment:This lens surprised me by being better than I expected. I didn't really want it, but got it in a package with a couple of other lenses I did want. If you need a travel zoom with a huge range that takes good quality pictures throughout its range, then I can highly recommend it. I already owned the thoroughly excellent Sony 16-105mm lens which goes 2mm wider, which to me is more useful than the extra telephoto reach, which I already have well covered with other lenses. In test shots the 16-105 produced better IQ as well.

There is some barrel distortion at the wide end and some pincushion distortion at the telephoto end, along with a small amount of CA, as you would expect from a lens with this huge a range, but overall its very well controlled. Sharpness, while not as good as my 16-105, beercan, APO or primes, is definitely better than the 18-55mm kit lens or Minolta 28-135 (which I believe is a little over-hyped to be honest).

If I did a lot of travelling and needed to go light, or this turned out to have better IQ than the 16-105, I would almost certainly have happily kept this lens, but neither case is true. On the occasions when I do travel, my 16-105 + 100-300 APO cover an even greater range, produce better images and are really not much more trouble to lug around.

In summary I would say this is a good lens, likely to produce good-to-very-good results in almost all situations and appears to be well built as well as being light weight, but if you're into pixel-peeping, it never truly excels (but to be fair name me a travel zoom that does?).

Update: I've recently looked more closely at the distortion this lens produces and I've decided to significantly lower its distortion rating. Some distortion is inevitable with a huge range lens like this (unless you're prepared to pay huge sums of money). I would therefore expect barrel distortion at the wide end, gradually changing to pincushion distortion at the long end. Unfortunately this lens appears to exhibit fairly high levels of both barrel and pincushion (and several other) distortions throughout its range, which are extremely hard to correct in pp. I'm not talking about 'slap you in the face' levels of distortion, the likelihood is that if you only ever use this one lens, you'd probably never notice it, but take a picture with this lens, then take an identical picture with a non-distorting lens and you'll see it. Its fine for general purpose shooting (which is I guess what most people would use it for anyway) but if you require good geometrical accuracy then look elsewhere.
reviewer#9825 date: Jan-21-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 3
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 18-200
Tamron 18-270 VC
Sigma 18-250
price paid:599
positive:Light
Good IQ
Fast focusing
negative:Lens creep
Motor not ssm
comment: Nice lens but I just could not handle the zoom creep. At least on my copy it was very loose. I have owned other lenses with creep but none to the degree this lens had. I realize it has a lock and if you hold it properly you can control it but for $600 I think it should be a little better. Ultimately went with the Sigma 18-250mm which is heavier but far better with creep. Note on the a77 the Sigma has to be sent back for modification so it will AF will work.
reviewer#9808 date: Jan-18-2012
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
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:Tamron 18-200
price paid:285 USD (used)
positive:- Travel lens
negative:- 3.5~ 6.3
comment:Much sharper than Tamron 18-200.
Will add the lens value if aperture is at 3.5~5.6.
Trade it after bring in SAL 16105.
reviewer#9201 date: Jul-2-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
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 used to own this lens
compared to:To be fair

KM 18-70
Tamron 17-50
Sony 55-200SAM
Beercan
price paid:$500 (used)
positive:Range, versatility.
Size, weight.
Value!!!
Minimum focus distance.
Travel.
Zoom Lock.
negative:Wide end distortion (not really to bad).
Noisy focus.
comment:Hands down the most used lens I own. It is always on my A55. As long as I shoot APS I will never be without one of these lenses. An optical engineering masterpiece at 14 X zoom with this level of IQ.

The best travel solution available.

I have G lenses, some f/1.4 and f/2 lenses, but this lens gets more use then all others combined.

This lens on the A55 is as good as you need for over 90% of family, vacation and general shooting even in low light.

Highly recommended if you have an APS - body.
reviewer#9200 date: Jul-2-2011
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 3
flare control: 3
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:Minolta 100-300
price paid:
missing
positive:Very good rangr.
Focus is as fast as the old one Minolta 100-300
negative:
missing
comment:Very usfull range
All around lens
For those that they dont want to spend money and have always a lens on camera for all purpose.
Focus is as fast as the old one Minolta 100-300

For the price of 500 Euro i find it very good lens
reviewer#9111 date: Jun-9-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 3
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 18-70 (kit)
Sony 50 1.8 SAM
Sony 75-300
Tokina 28-70 f2.8 AT-X pro
price paid:£300 GBP (Used)
positive:-Massive range
-Great between 24 and 200
-Good tracking focus
-Good MFD
negative:-Distortion between 18 and 24
-A little soft over 200
-Poor manual focus due to fast ratio and play in the ring
comment:This is a great lens to replace the 2 kit lenses as it covers almost the full kit range but the results are better at any length.

As you would expect from a lens with this kind of range it has quite a few small negatives but they are all totaly out weighed by how good this lens is between 24 and 200, I have had this lens about a few years now and I am still more and more pleased with it.

At the weekend my daughter rode her bike on her own for the first time and with this lenses great tracking and great sharpness in good light, every time I hit the button I got a perfect shot.

The focus mechanism on this lens has to cover quite a distance so the ratios are quite high, this causes the following problems:
-At the long end in low light it suffers alot of hunting.
-Manual focus is clumsy and the small amount of play on the ring causes a problem.
-It can overshoot if you are close to the subject.

This is a great lens and I would recomend it to any one who is becoming frustrated with the short comings of the kit lenses and wants a one size fits all solution.
reviewer#9106 date: Jun-7-2011
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:
missing
price paid:Part of A55 Kit
positive:So much in one lens
negative:Creeps when hanging if not locked
comment:I'm new to DSLR/DSLT photography, so this review is more for the uninitiated than for you experts. This came as my kit lens with the A55 from B&H (that was offered briefly) so I have no other lens to compare to it.
The camera & lens were bought for a nature vacation, and exceded my expectations. The photos are spectacular. The AF seems very fast (there is disagreement in this among the reviewers here) - I was able to get sharp photos of birds in flight at mid-high zoom (and I'm not experienced in this feat). The manual focus (I only needed it for close-ups) seemed smooth and easy (other reviewers found it notchy, but that was not my experience).
I was concerned about low light, but was able to get good shots of static subjects in the A55's hand-held twilight mode. Only things I feel I could use are a low-light lens for live subjects (will probably get Sony's 35mm 1.8); and a wider angle (probably Tamron's 10-24mm, for size and price). Don't need a longer telephoto, since that would require carrying around a tripod as well. I bought an Olympus MCON-35 two-element close-up lens (discontinued, but like new from KEH) that fits on the 18-250, to avoid buying a separate macro lens, and am quite pleased with it . . . although I get very nice close-in shots with the 18-250 alone and need the Olympus only for super close-ups.
The only real annoyance with the 18-250 is that when it's hanging by my side, it creeps out if it's not locked, and it's been doing this since brand new; but my wife and I quickly got used to locking it regularly. We also noticed some flare in several shots, but the beauty of digital is that you can just keep clicking away until you get what you want.
BOTTOM LINE: Buy the camera body and just this lens and you're good to go.
reviewer#8955 date: Apr-21-2011
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
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:Pentax 18-250mm.
price paid:325 pounds
positive:Good enough for 90% of my photography. Nice and sharp, distortion corrected well by Lightroom lens profile. Better than the Pentax (Tamron built) equivalant, which I used on my Pentax K10d, now replaced by the A55. Feels better built than the the Pentax, and the zoom does not 'creep' like the Pentax did.
negative:Quite heavy and bulky on the A55. Would like a wider maximum aperture at the long end of the zoom, but probably wouldn't like the weight increase this would cause!!
comment:This is the 'lazy man's' lens - it does almost everything, and it the lens that I ALWAYS take with me. I was lucky enough to find a second-hand example on Amazon, but would have bought it new if I hadn't. I've used the Pentax equivalent a lot over the last three years, and the Sony does seem to be an improvement. It feels better built, and the zoom control stays where it is put - the Pentax always 'crept' out to the long end unless it was locked. The quality of the pictures I'm getting is far superior to those from the Pentax K10D, but how much of this is due to the camera, and how much to the lens, I can't really say.
The only negative is that it is heavy and feels a bit bulky on the the A55. Some reviews say that it focuses faster than the Pentax and Tamron equivalents - I haven't noticed this particularly, but fast focusing isn't important for most of the photography I do.
I would not hesitate to recommend this lens - it really is excellent.
reviewer#8907 date: Apr-10-2011
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron AF 70-300 F4-5.6 Di LD Macro
Sony AF DT 55-200 F4-5.6 SAM SAL55200-2
price paid:415 GBP (New)
positive:Surprisingly sharp across the range
Great colour
negative:Some distortion at wide / narrow end
comment:Saw this on special offer at PC World in the UK - I wasn't sure as I have other lenses that cover similar focal lengths on my a55.. but in the end I bought it for the convenience factor. Wow, its actually quite impressive in good light - I was surpassed at how sharp it can be if you stop it down a little. It does suffer from some pretty heavy distortion at the wide angle end and there's a bit at the long end too but that's easier to correct in post production. Overall, a good lens, well constructed, not too big / heavy but capable of great IQ if you take into account its limitations and very flexible range.
reviewer#8214 date: Nov-9-2010
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 18-70
price paid:550
positive:sharp below 100mm
lightweight
good focal range
negative:soft over 150mm
comment:I really like this lens for what it is. I bought this as my first lens and since have added others. I still love this from 18-100 for landscape stuff- it is sharp wide open if you need it. The long range is noticeably softer but usable.
reviewer#8148 date: Oct-27-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
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:Beercan - 70-210
Minolta - AF 24-85 F3.5-4.5
Minolta - AF 100-200 F4.5
Minolta - AF 35-105 F3.5-4.5
price paid:$540 (new)
positive:Best walkabout lens; decently sharp; good all-around performance.
negative:After a year and a half, it has finally loosened up enough that I need to lock it to keep it from extending when it ends up facing down. Not much of a negative, frankly.
comment:This is on my 550 98% of the time.
reviewer#7832 date: Aug-20-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
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:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:Very Long range.
negative:Sharpness is somewhat disappointing and not fast focus.
comment:A useful lens if you want nothing further along.
reviewer#7821 date: Aug-16-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
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:Alone in it's class
price paid:500+ new
positive:Unusually sharp for a super zoom
negative:Only what's to be expected
comment:Maybe I lucked out with an extra good copy. It'll shoot anything from the moon to a back yard bird, and do it good enough.

I wouldn't part with my copy for anything. Distortion on the wide end easily corrected in PP. Sharp enough throughout it's range. I can't believe it hasn't gotten a higher overall rating.

Not too heavy. easily carried on camera or in bag.

Wat under-rated. My very first lens.
reviewer#7769 date: Aug-1-2010
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 24-135
Minolta 70-210
Minolta 100-300 APO
price paid:289GBP
positive:Range
Weight
Size
negative:Slowish focus
comment:I've had this lens 6 months and its sharpness still surprises me. I have now sold my 70-210 beercan and 100-300 APO as they were not being used (I still have 100-400 APO). Focus is not too fast so lens is not ideal for aviation or BIF but it does lock with spot-on accuracy. It is also very useful for CU work. Produces crisp and sharp A4 prints from A350/A700, probably capable of larger but that is max size of my printer. An excellent and very portable lens.
reviewer#7373 date: Apr-28-2010
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 3
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:17-70 OS HSM Sigma
18-200 Sony
price paid:
missing
positive:Good reach, very useable overall. Keeper for travelling light.
negative:Relatively slow focussing, distortion on 18 mm
comment:
missing
reviewer#7344 date: Apr-25-2010
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:Ł330 (new)
positive:Terrific range
Remarkably sharp, especially when stopped down to f8 or higher
Good build quality
negative:Not fast
Fairly strong barrel distortion at wide end
comment:My main daytime lens. Absolutely terrific, and very good value.
reviewer#7293 date: Apr-15-2010
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:-Sony 50mm F1.4
-Minolta 28mm F2.8
-Tokina 80-200mm F2.8
-Sigma 30mm F1.4
-Sigma 28mm F1.8
-Sony 75-300mm (not G)
price paid:550 USD (new)
positive:-Great range
-Minimizes kit in bag
-Nice size
negative:-Not weather sealed
-Wish it held a wider aperture longer
comment:Great all around lens but is usually a bit soft compared to the Tokina. Colors not quite as good as the Sony 50mm or Minolta 28mm but better than the Sigmas. I use this lens 90% of the time due to its usefulness. Long end compares to the Sony 75-300mm but obviously goes much wider.
reviewer#6890 date: Feb-9-2010
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 3
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:Sigma 17-70
Minolta 28-135
price paid:3600 NOK
positive:Huge zoomarea.
Light and travelfriendly.
Nice design.
negative:Sucks in a lot of dust.
Not very sharp at the long end.
Needs stopping down quite a bit.
comment:I bought this lens to make it easier to take the camera with me to work at sea. I think that given the huge zoomarea from 18-250 it gives nice pictures but not without a compromise.

I usually have to stop down to f8-f10 to get ok sharpness out in the corners, but then i also see a lot of dustbunnies doing this. It is nice and sharp in the center though.

Focus is quite slow, but that has not bothered me. It seems to always lock on to focus and does not miss.

I also get some vignetting when i have the hood on or dont stop enough down.

For a one-lens travel combo in good light it is perfect, but i have seen that i rather carry some extra weight with me when i go and have the option to change lenses if i want.
reviewer#6858 date: Feb-3-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
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 50mm F1.7
Tamron 70-300
price paid:329 GBP (new)
positive:Huge range!
Pretty sharp
Convenience
negative:Some distortion at 18mm
comment:It is exactly what you would expect from a lens of this range... and probably more. Sharpness is suprisingly good and colour is nice. With an impatient child (and wife) in tow on most outings with the camera not having to change lenses is a blessing. For just over Ł300 this is a great example of an affordable one lens solution.
reviewer#6829 date: Jan-27-2010
sharpness: 4
color: 5
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:Sony 50mm 1.4.
Sony 100mm macro.
Sony 18-70.
Sony 28-75.
Sony 70-300 G.
price paid:550 USD.
positive:Great all-purpose lens. Highly versatile; performs surprisingly well. Very affordable.
negative:Obviously, it's not as good as a prime or a zoom with a more reasonable range.
comment:This was my first lens (other than a kit lens), and it serves me well. Especially as a walk-around lens, it offers great versatility and convenience.

Clearly, it doesn't perform as well as any of my other lenses (again, other than the kit lens). But it performs almost as well as all of them put together!

If you are only buying one lens, this is the one. It may not be professional quality, but it is easily good enough for amateurs and useful for enthusiasts.
reviewer#6154 date: Oct-1-2009
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:Beercan 70 210
Tamron 17 50
Kit Lens 18 70
price paid:600AUS
positive:Versatile
Steadily sharp throughout the range
Focusses well with high contrast and good light
Weight
Great day lens for walking around
negative:Can flare a bit wide open at slow shutter speeds (probably normal)
Cannot focus when no contrast.
Focus very slow in low light, but to be expected, it is a day lens.
comment:I am starting to enjoy this lens. Only had it a day but I feel that it will be really useful for when walking around during the day. Cant wait to give it a real test run. Based on initial test shots the lens does have limitations but useful for what it was designed for. Reasonably sharp, good colour for its class and not a lot of distortion at wide angle. A little vignetting but my camera seems to vignette with just about everything.
reviewer#5756 date: Jul-25-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.7
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:18-70 kit
75-300 kit
CZ 24-70mm
24mm f2.8
50mm f1.4
price paid:450 USD new
positive:Focal length range
Light & Compact
Optically v. good
Better than & replaces 2 kit lens
negative:No complaints for the versatility it offers
comment:Overall, a great 1 lens solution. If you must only have one and only one lens, then this is the one. Just get 1 fast prime to complement it.

Optically superior to 18-70 & 75-300 kit. Only flare control of 18-70 better (virtually no flare).

Don't expect contrast/clarity to challenge CZ 24-70; only CZ primes can do that!

On A700, autofocus is fast enough and useful even in Continuous mode.
reviews found: 62    1 2 3 >>

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 62
  • sharpness: 4.39
  • color: 4.48
  • build: 4.29
  • distortion: 3.92
  • flare control: 4.32
  • overall: 4.28

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