Sony DT 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 SAM A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 40    1 2 >>
reviewer#29638 date: Jul-23-2016
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 3
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:18-55 DT SAM II
price paid:$550 CDN new
positive:Covers all focal lengths I commonly use. Balancesc well on my camera. Love the color and sharpness.
negative:Distortion can be significant at the wide end.
comment:Distortion easily corrected in post processing.
reviewer#26580 date: May-9-2016
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:I have nothing to compare this to
I own: SAL1650 , Tamron 90 (272), Tamron A005(70-300)
price paid:$300 ( in 2014)
positive:Size, weight, range, price
negative:Nothing else to add that others have not mentioned
comment:I'm writing this review based solely on the suitability for my enjoyment and NOT the technical merits( or faults) of this lens.. Having had this lens for 2 years, it is on the camera more than any other lens because I JUST LIKE IT... It really is all I need and I am satisfied ,and, in reality, that is all that matters, isn't it ?
This is NOT a 5 star lens however. These are going cheap on fleabay right now, so not everyone thinks as highly of this lens as the dyxum score would suggest....

With that in mind, I think many reviewers get too picky about pixel related characteristics of a lens and forget to just have fun. We should enjoy taking photos and move beyond stars , ratings and uber critical mindsets..
reviewer#26559 date: Apr-21-2016
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:70-300 APO G
price paid:$220.00
positive:Light weight
Color and sharpness
Zoom range
Smooth controls
negative:Still looking. Will edit accordingly.
comment:This lens will spend most of its time glued to my A57 unless I need to go over 135mm. Zoom and focus rings located same as my G. The focus ring is absolutely smooth and even better than the G. Focusing is fast and spot-on. The absence of C.A. is Zeiss-like. If you need a great walk around lens, you cannot do better. The macro abilities of this lens are also a pleasant surprize.
reviewer#25496 date: Feb-19-2016
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 DT 16-80 CZ
Sony DT 16-105
Sony DT 18-55 SAM I/II
Sony DT 18-70
Sony DT 18-200
Minolta AF 24-50 F4
Minolta AF 24-85
Minolta AF 28-100 D
Minolta AF 28-105
Minolta AF 28-135
Minolta AF 35-70 F4
Minolta AF 35-80 II
Minolta AF 35-105 original
Minolta AF 35-105 new
Minolta AF 35-200 xi
Sigma AF 28-105 F2.8-4
Sigma AF 35-135 F3.5-4.5
Tamron SP 17-50 F2.8
price paid:186 USD (used)
positive:Fairly light
7.5x zoom range
Center sharpness and contrast
Internal focus
Slow but accurate AF
Petal hood
Image quality near 43 mm
negative:Noticeable focus shifting with any zoom action
Very mushy corners at 24 mm
Squeaky SAM
Rear focus control
Clutch vagueness in MF control
Somewhat heavy and inconsistent zoom action
CA at long end
Decentered, mushy bottom left corner
Imperfect Lens Compensation
comment:This is currently the cheapest APS-C normal kit lens after the 18-55 SAM II, though it has mostly been slightly more than the older, screw-drive Sony DT 16-105 on the used market. It is the same basic size as the 16-105, 28-105, and 35-105 but even lighter than the 16-80. It shares some a similar reach and uncommon rear focus with the 1985 Minolta AF 28-135 f/4-4.5.

This is the only focus motor lens I have which responds to the AF/MF switch on the camera body, but it also has a redundant AF/MF switch on the lens. Both switches have to be switched to AF for AF to function. The AF switch on the barrel is also a different shape and operates in a perpendicular direction to the ones on other SAM lenses.

The manual focus control ring is at the back of the lens like the Minolta AF 28-135 f/4-4.5. Also like that lens the focus grip is pretty narrow. The full-time manual focus control uses clutches somewhat like the 16-80, 16-105, 24-105 and Tamron 60 F2 Macro and has a similar vagueness and play as those lenses. There is slightly more feedback than the Tamron, but precise adjustments are nearly impossible.

The SAM AF noises are high pitched and annoying in a quiet room. The SAM is nowhere near as quiet as the motor in the Tamron 60 F2, but in a typically noisy environment the squeaks aren't very noticeable.

Image quality varies over the zoom range. It is weakest at short normal focal lengths. For example the corners at 30 mm are worse than the corners at 135 mm. A good portion of the frame is soft at 24mm, but edge-to-edge sharpness is very good from around 35 to 50 mm with the best performance midway between those focal lengths. The focus plane at 18 mm is also quite flat, but there is a large amount of barrel distortion at that focal length. The image quality remains good past 50 mm, but some moderate lateral CA becomes visible.

This copy seems to be somewhat decentered with the bottom left corner mushy while the opposite corner is very good. Even on the low resolution A58 rear display the lens defocuses noticeably with any movement of the zoom control. The focus also shifts consistently in one direction with zoom. Both of these focus shifting traits make the lens a poor choice for video recording. The focal length also decreases significantly at close focus.

The somewhat long 450 mm minimum focal distance is a drawback compared to the standard 18-55 kit lenses (250 mm). Contrary to the review below, the older 16-105 lens focuses closer (400 mm) as does the 16-80CZ (350 mm).

Overall it is a nice kit lens with good reach and very good image quality in the middle of its range.

Test chart comparison with Carl Zeiss 16-80 and Sony DT 18-135 SAM.
reviewer#24475 date: Jan-24-2016
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:Sony Sal 16-50 f2.8. Sony 16-105.
price paid:£300.00
positive:Super sharp. Super colours. Super fast *. Low distortion.
negative:* Not so fast at 135mm but usable.
comment:As sharp, may even be a tad sharper than the SAL1650 f2.8.

Best walk around lens that Sony makes for the A77/A77Mk2/A65. Focuses closer and zooms more than the 16-105 equaling it everywhere and beating it for outright detail.
reviewer#20393 date: Oct-19-2015
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:Sony 16-50 2.8 SSM
Minolta 80-200 2.8 APO
price paid:bundled with A65
positive:Very useful range, very sharp stopped down half a stop from max aperture. Focus quiet and fast.
negative:Nothing significant for the price.
comment:My copy fell into the river while changing lenses :(
Bought 16-50 2.8 for upgrade/replacement, was surprised how good 18-135 has been.
reviewer#18351 date: Sep-17-2015
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.9
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:Sony - AF DT 18-55 F3.5-5.6 SAM II
Sony - AF DT 16-50 F2.8
price paid:380 €
positive:- walk-around-range (cities eg)
- very good look and build
- lightweighted
- good sharpeness
negative:- af from 100 is very slow
- sharpeness <50, >90 is only good
- 16mm would be better than 18
comment:It's a good lens. Should be replacing the SAL1855 on all APS-C. The SAL1650 its much better in color, speed and sharpeness. But 50mm on APS_C isn't much to walk around.
It's a good companion to my Sigma 150-500 Lens. Had both lenses on my Africa Safari, didn't need more.
reviewer#18345 date: Sep-5-2015
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:Sony - AF DT 18-55 F3.5-5.6 SAM II
Tamron SP AF 90mm F2.8 Di
Minolta - AF 75-300 F4.5-5.6 D
price paid:$275USD (used)
positive:Sharp
Sensible zoom range & weight
Great value for money
Fast, accurate focus
negative:f3.5-5.6
comment:I love this lens. In fact I fell in love with it as soon as I put it on my body & looked through the viewfinder!

A great walk-around lens - sharp + really useful zoom range. By sharp, I mean it is the equal of my Tamron 90 macro (apart from the long end of the zoom range which is good but not as excellent).

There's some distortion at the short end but it corrects out perfectly in camera or post so it's practically irrelevant. For me, the only limitation is that I'd prefer a decent aperture.

It's a great step up from the 18-55 kit lens. Better resolution & much higher contrast.
reviewer#16312 date: Jul-16-2015
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:Sony SAL1855
Minolta 24-105mm/3.5-4.5
Sigma 30mm/1.4
Sigma 55-200 DC
price paid:3 250 000 IDR (new)
positive:range
sharpness even wide open
colors
bokeh
it is quiet
nonrotating front element
negative:distortion and vignetting at 18mm
AF speed sometimes at 135mm
no focus distance scale
but it's reasonable for price paid
comment:I bought it for a good price just to try it, but I was so surprised by it so I keep it. I was using Minolta 24-105 for last more than two years. It was very good lens, but this Sony has better image quality wide open, wider focal range and nicer bokeh. So it's now my new walkaround lens.
reviewer#12127 date: Feb-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:Sigma 17-50 f2.8 HSM OS
Sigma 50-200 4-5.6 HSM OS
Minolta 70-210 f4 Beercan
price paid:290 Used
positive:Great walk around zoom range. Light weight. Surprisingly sharp at most apertures and focal lengths. Great color and contrast. Fairly quiet focus.
negative:A bit of focus chatter or static when focusing when zoomed beyond 100mm, though no issues with achieving accurate focus. Not a fan of Sony's rubber zoom and focus rings.
comment:Had considered Sony Zeiss 16-80 for walk around, though new price seemed steep for fairly dated design. Used copies tend to be well worn. Sony 18-135 has proven a great all around lens at a great price and touch more reach. While it does not excel at any one thing, it has not failed me in providing clear, crisp pics of landscapes, cityscapes, and casual family snaps. Nicely balanced with A77Mii and grip. In camera adjustments take care of any serious optical flaws like distortion. Highly recommended.
reviewer#12126 date: Feb-10-2015
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
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:Minolta - AF 24-105 F3.5-4.5 D
price paid:about 400 € (new)
positive:Very good sharpness at all apertures with very good quality for that zoom range.
Fast and silent Focus.
negative:Not suitable for full frame
comment:First i was surprised that the lens is nearly at the same Level in sharpness in the middle and the edges at middle aperture (8.0)than the Minolta - AF 24-105 F3.5-4.5 D. Opened up to F3.5 it overtakes the Minolta + it has the wider zoom range. (o.k. the Minolta fits for full frame)
reviewer#12033 date: Nov-15-2014
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
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:Sigma 17-70/2.8-4 DC OS HSM
Tamron 17-50
price paid:235 GBP new
positive:Fast and silent focus
Very handy range of focal lengths
DMF is fun
negative:Heavy distortion
Quite strong vignetting particularly at 35mm
Focus and zoom rings in the wrong order
comment:I bought this lens as a convenient walk around when I don't want to carry a bag full of lenses and convenience is what it offers. However, this is at the expense of sharpness and I find this lens a little mushy wide open. It sharpens up nicely one or two stops above wide open but the extreme edges never really sharpen up until about f8 at longer focal lengths > 100mm.
Haven't noticed any micro chattering on my A77 II though.

Distortion is heavy but in camera distortion correction takes care of it quite nicely (if you are jpg shooter) and the lens profile in Lightroom does a good job too.

Having said all that it's a great lens for the price. I would say Kurt Munger's review gives an accurate description of this lens.
reviewer#12001 date: Oct-11-2014
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 16-105
Sony 18-250
Sigma 17-70/2.8-4
Tamron 17-50/2.8

price paid:270€ used
positive:The focus is amazing 99% correct.
Very sharp.
negative:the zoom ring stuck in rotation, sometimes
comment:is better than the 17-70 and 16-105
reviewer#11946 date: Aug-12-2014
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
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 DT 18-55mm
price paid:399 US
positive:Solid sharpness for a higher end kit lens. Great range and great for walking around. Really good color.
negative:Solid build but still plastic. Flares a bit. Gets a bit dark around the corners.
comment:As good as it gets for a current kit lens.
reviewer#11824 date: May-13-2014
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:Tamron 17-50 f2.8
Sony DT 55-300mm
price paid:$365 AUD (new)
positive:mostly sharp
quiet and quick AF
light and compact
negative:AF at longer focal lengths
distortion at 18mm
soft corners at 24mm
comment:I checked my copy for de-centering using the simple Photozone technique and found no problem, so I assume my sample is representative.

The lens has good centre sharpness at all focal lengths with the least good results at 135mm. Corner sharpness is mostly decent, except at 24mm where it is quite poor and must be stopped down to f8 for acceptable results. I marked sharpness down to 4 because of this.

Overall the best IQ is probably in the range 30-70mm where it is comparable to the two lenses listed above. In this range there is mild pin cushion distortion, little CA and sharpness is good.

CA is not much of an issue in general and is worst at 135mm where correction is beneficial.

There is considerable complex "moustache" type barrel distortion at 18mm that will need a lens profile with suitable software to correct RAW images. By 24mm distortion is pin cushion and stays that way for the rest of the fl range where it is mild to moderate.

Other users have reported some AF "chattering" or micro hunting at longer focal lengths, I also observed this. I tested AF accuracy and consistency using MTF Mapper and found it quite good at the shorter focal lengths but not so good at the long end where it was a bit inconsistent. I marked build down to 4 because of this.

Overall this is quite a decent lens for the focal length range and may be the best option for an APS-C travel zoom if you can live without the extra focal length of 18-2xx type lenses.


reviewer#11780 date: Apr-19-2014
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 used to own this lens
compared to:Tamron 18-200
price paid:Part of a57 kit
positive:-Range
-Great for video
-AF fast and quiet
negative:-Plastic build
comment:Great kit lens. AF is very fast and quiet which makes this lens great for video. Not the greatest lens in the world, but definitely a major step up from the 18-55 kit.
reviewer#11601 date: Jan-12-2014
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 3
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:Sigma 18-250/f3.5-6.3 HSM
Tamron 28-75/f2.8
price paid:$0 (kit lens)
positive:Small & Light
Good IQ (Sharp)
Quiet, generally accurate focus
Full-time MF
Price was right!
negative:No distance scale
Jittery focus at longer FLs
comment:This was a great "throw-in" kit lens when I bought a new A77 in Sept. 2013. It duplicated the focal range of my Sigma 18-250 HSM, but I still wanted it because my Sigma was not certified to work the A77 (A33 & A55, only). As a bonus, it is much smaller and lighter than my 18-250 HSM (which turned out to work fine with the A77), and my experience is that it is generally sharper and has less CA than the Sigma.

The focus is generally quick and quiet with one big exception. At longer focal (>100 mm) lengths, the autofocus becomes very jittery. Before it will lock focus, it does an annoying series of small incremental adjustments. It occurs even in good light, and is particularly apparent when going from close focus to long focus. I'm virtually certain it's not a defect with my copy because it's been noted by two reviewers here (Huge & Peter1982) as well as in this thread on DPReview:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3276025#forum-post-50002531

I thought about returning it, but subsequently determined it was a general issue. Because of this, I lowered the lens's build rating to 3.

For landscape and short focal length use, the lens is a joy to use and has good image quality at a great price. For telephoto use, I would look elsewhere.
reviewer#11478 date: Nov-12-2013
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:Sony 50 F1.8
Sony 18-70 F4.5-5.6
Tokina AT-X 840 AF-II 80-400 F4.5 - 5.6
price paid:bundled with A65
positive:Range
Sharpness
Size & Weight
negative:Vignetting wide open
Zoom a bit stiff at the extremities
Lower Aperture would be better
comment:Great lens, great all-rounder. I don't use my prime lens as much now because this little beauty is so versatile with brilliant results.
I would of given build, distortion and flare all 4.5 (if I could) because there is room for improvement, but for the price what this lens goes for it is quite hard not to score it high.

Build quality could be better as the zoom sticks a little and I believe it isn't weather proof like the 16-50m version.

The SAM is brilliant, very smooth and pretty quite.

Vignetting appears wide open and the lens gets super sharp around 50mm.

Flare pops in now and again, but nothing that a better hood couldn't fix and I was shooting in' very bright, low sunlight' with no filters on.

Overall brilliant lens, brilliant results, light, well built and I'm glad I got the extra zoom compared to the 16-50m. Check out the landscape photo (loch Skeen) and the fire in the sample part of this review to judge the quality yourself. I would paid £250-£300 quite happily for this lens but got it in a bundle.
reviewer#11442 date: Nov-7-2013
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
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 16-105mm
Sony 18-55mm
Minolta 35-105mm
Minolta 28-135mm
Tamron 28-70/2.8
price paid:$275 (used)
positive:Excellent range
Light Weight
At its worst, it is still pretty good
negative:Loses sharpness from 18-24mm
Starts to lose contrast at ~100mm
comment:Excellent lens. It has a hair less sharpness than the 16-105mm, but more than makes up for it with a phenominal auto-focus. While Sony calls it SAM, it is vastly superior to other SAM's like the 18-55mm and the 35/1.8. It is much closer to the SSM on my 70-400G. It is fast and silent. For anyone looking for a perfect video lens with very good still performance and range beyond 50mm, this is THE lens to get.
reviewer#11390 date: Oct-14-2013
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:Minolta 28-135mm Secret Handshake.
SAL 75-300
price paid:with A77
positive:Size - Compact lens with good range.
Sharp
Value for money
Versatile Travel Lens
Fast AF ,
Less Noisy
Good Focus Range.
negative:The grip (attracts dust )
comment:This lens IS THE MODERN SECRET HANDSHAKE without the cons of the older lens, which include MFD , and weight. This is a great general purpose lens . I got it with Sony A77, and now is a standard in my Kit.I found it to have somewhat same colors as minolta 28-135mm lens. At 18mm it is quite compact and balances very well with A77 at all focal lengths. It surely is a keeper.
reviewer#11239 date: Jul-7-2013
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
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:Minolta 24mm f/2.8
Minolta 50mm f/1.7
Sony 85mm f/2.8
Minolta 100-200mm f/4.5
Minolta 35-105mm f/4
price paid:200 GBP (new)
positive:Centre sharpness
Lightweight
Bokeh at long end
Fast & quiet AF
negative:Feels plastic (because it is).
comment:Light and compact. In real life situations and good light, this matches the performance of the primes listed. I find myself only using my primes when I'm in low light. This lens stays on the camera most of the time. 18mm is as wide as I ever want to go and the distortion is well corrected. 135mm is fine for walkabout and I swap to the gorgeous Minolta 100-200 beyond that.
The SAM is fast and accurate and is great for the occasional video, where the quietness is good.
reviewer#11220 date: Jun-30-2013
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 own this lens
compared to:Min 28-135
Sony 16-105
price paid:295 USD (new)
positive:Light
Quiet and Fast focus
Bang for Buck
Sharp in center at all apertures.
Good CA control (the rest easily removed in post)
negative:Corners - Im extremely nitpicking here though, corners are better than any DT Zoom lens I own from Sony thus far.
comment:Got the lens on sale at LCS For $320AUD (295USD)

Vs the Minolta 28-135
Pros;
Sharper in center,
Lighter and Smaller
A lot quieter + quicker auto focus

Cons;
Not as sharp in the corners, but the 28-135mm lens covers a full frame sensor so corner performance is bound to be better on a crop sensor.


Vs the SAL 16-105
Pros;
Better performance across the whole focal range
Lighter
Goes to 135mm vs 105mm
Sharper in the mid sections and corners
Sturdier when zoomed out, The 16-105mm at 105 feels like it might fall off.

Cons;
Bigger (but lighter)
not as wide 18mm vs 16mm on the 16-105


All up I was very surprised by the performance of this lens, I will be getting rid of my SAL 16-105 and 18-55. I have this lens on my A77 most of the time when im walking around the city or Hiking, in all other cases I switch between this and the Tamron 70-300 USD.
reviewer#11177 date: Jun-3-2013
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 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 18-200
Sony 18-250
Sony 16-105
Zeiss 16-80
price paid:199 GBP
positive:Everything
negative:Pity its not a bit longer
comment:Modern day 'Secret Handshake'.

Must have for APSC user
reviewer#11079 date: Apr-27-2013
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
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:Sony 16-50 2.8 SSM
TAmron 28-300
Sigma 18-250 HSM Macro
Sony 18-55 SAM (kit lens)
price paid:219 £ (new)
positive:Very good extinction resolution (Rayleigh criterion)
CA is simple and easily removed
Good build
Fast focus
Distortion is mostly simple and easily removed in camera or by post processing from raw
negative:From 90-135, focus can occasionally hunt briefly
Some loss of chrominance micro-contrast
Astigmatism at ends of range (only in corners, but see comments)
Varifocal (hence no distance scale!)
comment:I was having difficulty deciding HOW to review this lens

I decided to work on the basis that most people will use in-camera jpg or a more recent RAW converter that handles distortion and CA. In this lens, these aberrations are quite significant, but fairly simple and designed for correction; so in reality are not a problem at all.

The sharpness/contrast characteristic is again designed so that post processing can reveal remarkable levels of detail, with only the corner astigmatism remaining (but see the comment on DxO). Of course this approach only sharpens luminance, so there is a detectable loss of chominance micro-contrast remaining, but this is nit picking). These two prevent it getting 5 for both sharpness and colour. The results I have obtained are significantly better than those obtained by Kurt Munger in his review of this lens (was his lens a pre-production example perhaps?).

DxO. Finally, when the images are processed using DxO 8, the lens profile is excellent an also corrects the astigmatism; this lens then gets a 5 for sharpness. In fact the images are SO good that, in many cases, they are better than in-camera jpeg images from the Sony 16-50 2.8! - quite an astonishing feat for a 7.5x zoom. For anyone using this lens I heartily recommend DxO, it's the best accessory you can buy for it!

Like the 16-50 this is another lens that doesn't (generally) get in the way during picture taking; it just does it's job unobtrusively, allowing you to concentrate on the image.

Bottom Line: Very good lens, easy to use, and when used with distortion and CA correction this lens will not disappoint at all; when used with DxO it's simply amazing.

This is now my walkabout lens, I just don't see any significant loss of quality compared to the 16-50.
reviewer#11072 date: Apr-25-2013
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:CZ 16-80
50/1.4
price paid:400 USD (new)
positive:Range
Fast and Quiet AF
Build
SAM motor
Sharp
light
negative:nothing to mention
comment:better then CZ16-80. Highly recommended.
reviewer#10980 date: Mar-14-2013
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:Sony 18-55 3.5-5.6 SAM
Minolta 28-135 4-4.5
KonicaMinolta 28-75 2.8
Tamron 17-55 2.8
Minolta Beercan 70-210 4
Minolta Big Beercan 75-300 4.5-5.6
Minolt 80-200 2.8 APO
Sony 18-200 3.5-6.3
price paid:239£ (new)
positive:Compact, colors, sharpness, weight.
negative:A bit stiff zooming
comment:The updated SAM is fast, accurate and silent.
Bought it new without box from UK, to a good price. This is not as sharp in the corners as the KM 28-75 or Tam 17-50 wide open but it sharpens up nicely at f8. Center is really sharp from wide open. I will use this as a travellens. Much better sharpness, contrast and colors than the 18-200. Color are a little more blue than minolta, still good colors.
A little busy bokeh, worse thena the Beercan.
Nice Minimal Focal Distance.
No need for the zoom-lock so far
.
Update: Compared to my 28-135 4-4.5 "Secret handshake" it wins hands down. Better contrast, no CA, sharper.
I made a test at maximum open f-stop (same apreture) This lens is definitely more sharp than Minolta 28-135 f:4-4.5. Tested at
@28 f:4
@35 f:4.5
@50 f:5
@70 f:5.6
@100 f:5.6
@135 f:5.6
This lens has more contrast, much less CA, is more sharp, less prone to flare, much better MFD.
reviewer#10976 date: Mar-12-2013
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 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:16-80 CZ
24-85
price paid:220 eur (used)
positive:+ range
+ SAM
+ sharp
+ fast focus
+ lightweight
negative:- no macro
- APSC
comment:Best colors, range and weight for money.
reviewer#10846 date: Jan-12-2013
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
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:- Minolta 24-85 mm RS
- Minolta 28-105 mm RS
- Sigma 18-200 mm DC
- Sony 18-55 mm
- Sony 18-70 mm
- Tamron 28-200mm (not macro)
price paid:295 € (new)
positive:- Sharp
- light weight
- range
- the new SAM
- CA-correction (with newer SLTs, like A65)
- distortion correction
negative:- AF sometimes a little bit nervous between 100-135 mm
- only 135 mm
- only F3,5-5,6 (but it is normal for a 7,5x zoom lens)
- some vignetting with Raynox DCR-FE181pro Fisheye converter(more then the Sigma)
comment:This is the best all-round lens I've ever had (especially for travelling). It has the Image quality of the Minolta 28-105 mm RS, with a better range for APS-C, the new quiet SAM and no CA (A65 has a correction for this lens). I have also the Sigma 18-200mm DC, which is a great lens, but it has sometimes a lot of CA and a noisy AF, which is not good for video recording.
So if you have a SLT with lens corrections and if you're looking for a all-round lens for trevelling and video recording, I would recommend you this lens.
reviewer#10829 date: Jan-10-2013
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 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 SAL 55-200
Kit lens 18-55
price paid:550 CAN
positive:fast focus
colors
fits excellent with Sony A57
negative:non
comment:Very good lens compare to lenses listed above. Now I'm looking forward to buy macro lens 50/2.8 or 100/2.8.
reviewer#10826 date: Jan-10-2013
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:Minolta 25-105
price paid:500 USD
positive:fast focusing , Color
negative:nothing
comment:
missing
reviews found: 40    1 2 >>

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 40
  • sharpness: 4.56
  • color: 4.75
  • build: 4.48
  • distortion: 4.30
  • flare control: 4.63
  • overall: 4.54

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