Sony 18-105mm F4 G PZ OSS E-mount lens review by jvsanchez

reviewer#11764 date: Apr-14-2014
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:18-55/3.5-5.6 E OSS
price paid:650 USD (new)
positive:- super useful focal length range
- constant max aperture of f/4
- lightweight
- good build, super smooth focus & zoom rings
- fully internal operation - no length change on focus or zoom
- video camera style zoom control for video operation
- completely silent
negative:- compared to the E-mount bodies, this lens is huge. it's almost comical on my 5R
- no zoom markings for focus scale
- lens doesn't maintain zoom setting when turning on camera or waking from power save mode.
- 72mm filter threads require expensive filters if you use them
comment:THE GOOD:

- this lens is very sharp, even wide open. It improves stopped down, and is sharpest at f/8; noticeably sharper than the kit lens.
- G quality build and styling; matte black finish, solid body, no creaks or strange noises. Not aluminum as some of the A-mount G's though, it's all plastic like the 70-300 G, obviously to keep the price low.
- optical steady shot; i've gotten usably sharp shots as low as 1/30th of a second at 105mm.
- compatible with "clear image zoom" and "smart zoom", if that's your thing. Clear image zoom crops the image and results in a smaller final frame size, while smart zoom enlarges and interpolates, resulting in lower IQ. CIZ can get you up to 210mm, but with a resulting decrease in megapixels. I prefer to just use it in its intended range, 18-105.
- 18-105mm is a very useful range, covering a lot of common focal lengths and shooting situations. The max aperture of f/4 lets in a good amount of light while keeping the lens from becoming too bulky or expensive.
- focus ring, zoom ring, and zoom switch are electronic rather than mechanical, resulting in buttery smooth operation and dead silent focusing/zooming.


- fully electronic operation is harder on the camera's battery than a mechanically zoomed lens, and also increases start up/wake time as the lens resets the zoom elements back to 18mm EVERY TIME.
- zoom scale is displayed on the camera's LCD, instead of on the lens, and there's no focus scale at all.
- zoom operation takes a little getting used to, as different movement pressure on the switch or ring changes the rate at which the lens changes focal length. It is possible to zoom in 1mm increments however.
- Distortion is heavy at long end, and noticeable at short end. JPGs are corrected in camera.


- for the price, you can't really go wrong with this lens. It's a G series lens for an enthusiast level price. It covers a very useful focal range, and the silent operation, constant aperture, and static length are excellent for both photographers and videographers alike.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 12
  • sharpness: 4.42
  • color: 4.92
  • build: 4.83
  • distortion: 3.83
  • flare control: 4.50
  • overall: 4.50 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania