Sony 18-105mm F4 G PZ OSS E-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 11   
reviewer#36822 date: Apr-8-2017
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta AF100 F2 (A-mount)
Sony Zeiss Vario Sonnar DT 16-80 F3.5-4.5 (A-mount)
Minolta AF 28-135mm F4-4.5 (A-mount)
Sony 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 PZ OSS (E-mount)
Minolta AF 50 F1.7 (A-mount)
price paid:€ 504 (2017)
positive:Weight, constant aperture, internal zoom and focus, seamless additional digital zoom 18-210 effectively, or with loss of resolution 18-420, good contrast
negative:always back to 18mm after power down, size, 72mm front lens, distortion when using RAW (perfect correction in JPEG by camera)
comment:This lens is a significant improvement for the 16-50 kit lens; not so much at the wide end (18mm) but increasingly when zooming in. At 50mm F4 it easily beats the kit lens at 50mm F8. Beyond 35mm it is a match with the CZ 16-80 and the Minolta 28-135 in sharpness and even better in contrast. The sharpness almost matches the fixed focus minolta lenses 50/f1.7 and 100/f2. On the NEX-6 it feels a well balanced combo.
reviewer#33738 date: Dec-24-2016
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:CZ 16-80mm
Minolta 28-105mm RS
price paid:440
positive:Extremely well built, feel solid but surprisingly light.
Great range for general purpose
Great for video
OSS works well
negative:Distortion but can be corrected
comment:Live up to the G name!
reviewer#28621 date: Jul-5-2016
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:FE 16-35
E 55-210 at 55, 70 and 100mm
price paid:560 USD
positive:relatively light weight, useful focal length range, IQ 1 or 2 stops down from wide open
negative:physical size, soft wide open at all focal lengths
comment:I enjoy using this lens as my everyday, walk-around lens. It is soft at f/4, but with a little sharpening in post I can't tell the result from an image shot at a native f/5.6. No question, the FE 16-35 has better IQ. But, this lens is better than the E 55-210 from 55-100mm. So, if you want to carry just 1 lens, this one is a good choice.
reviewer#26568 date: Apr-27-2016
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 3
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony - DT 18-135 F3.5-5.6 SAM used with LA-E2 adapter on the A6000 and without on the A99. The 18-105 is sharper and focusses a bit better and has less CA but the 18-135 definitely has less distortion.
price paid:$550. CAD
positive:Great lens to take on a short trip or vacation. I bought it for a trip to Venice and never felt I needed anything longer. I did from a shorter 11-18 as well which I did need. Weight is OK and size felt good on my a6000.
negative:Some chromatic Aberration but not too bad. Crazy distortion that, while easily fixed in lightroom, means you may want to zoom out a bit more than you expect or risk loosing some of the left and right edges.
comment:I purchased this lens specifically for my trip to Venice and it did not disappoint, focal length, size, weight and image quality were all great for the price and purpose.
reviewer#12219 date: Mar-31-2015
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta AF 24-105/F3,5-4,5,
Sony-Zeiss DT 16-80/F3.5-4.5.
price paid:498,00 €
positive:Very useful focal length range from 27 to 152,5 mm, constant light intensity, constant length, sharp, built in OSS, power-zoom (PZ) - so fast, well built, G-lens!
negative:The distortion of this lens is fierce! By the PZ function the energy consumption increases enormously because, for example, when shot down the camera the lens always moves back to the shortest focal length.
comment:The heavy distortion is very well corrected by the camera in .jpg-mode. Not for .raw-files! This lens is sharper than the Minolta 24-105 and it has above all much better colors. Except for the distortion I see it about on a level with the Sony Zeiss 16-80 in wider (back to top) zoom range. Conclusion: If I can take only one lens, then the Sony E 18-105/F4.0 G PZ OSS. Mind your accumulator!
reviewer#12130 date: Feb-14-2015
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 3
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:E 35mm 1.8
E 18-55mm
A CZ 16-80mm
price paid:500 USD
positive:Useful focal length range. Lightweight, but good build quality. The lens is so sharp, even wide open. Nice color and contrast. Effective OSS. Great bokeh at 105mm F4.
Price.
negative:Distortion is heavy, LR or camera correction is needed.
Fully electronic operation. This lens is huge for my A6000.
comment:Great lens for everyday use. Excellent for both photographers and videographers.
reviewer#11867 date: Jun-12-2014
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony E 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 PZ OSS, Sony DT 35mm F1.8 SAM, Sony 50mm/1.4, Minolta 135/2.8, Sigma 24-70/2.8 EX HSM ( all A lenses with Sony adapter )
price paid:598.00
positive:Solidly built, light, great colors and fine details, fast and silent AF, constant f4 max. aperture. Lens size doesn't change at zooming or focusing. Good bang for the buck!
negative:Some geometrical distortions at wide angles, although automatically corrected by the A6000 I use it on ( jpeg only - shooting RAW, not an issue to correct in Silkypix, PS or LR )
comment:I did a lot of research before buying this lens and am very happy I bought it. I have it for one month now and it's on my A6000 90% for the time. It's a real "G" lens!
reviewer#11769 date: Apr-15-2014
sharpness: 3
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 3
flare control: 4
overall: 3.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:24-70f4 ZA, Canon 24-105 F4
price paid:599
positive:Great build quality
negative:Image quality,
comment:A videography aimed lens. It is better to have 16-70f4 ZA
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.

THE BAD

- 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.

VERDICT

- 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.
reviewer#11633 date: Jan-23-2014
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:E-mount AF Sony 18-55/3.5-5.6 OSS, 16-50/3.5-5.6 PZ OSS, 24/1,8CZ
A-mount AF Sony 16-80CZ, 35/1,8SAM, Minolta 70-210/4.5-5.6
FD-mount MF Canon 35-105/3.5 Macro, Soligor MC 19-35/3.5-4.5
M39-mount MF Jupiter-9 85/2
price paid:540 €
positive:Sharp, great colors, OSS, well built and light weight, very familiar and pleasant handling.
negative:In-camera distortion correction needed for familiar JPEG use. RAW distortion can be easily adjusted in post.
comment:I am not photographer as lot of Dyxum members.

I am recording my life time memories like family, friends, business, travel, so for engineering and spatial planning as my favorit work. I have used for this mid-level cameras and some very basic lenses over 50 years and going to do so furter. My ratings and comments are presenting such a point of view.

18-105/4 is sharp, has great colors and very acurate AF, is well built, about 110 G less weight than a-mount 16-80CZ + adapter EA-1, about the same size like named combo, so not much to worry about; nice and stable to hold NEX-7 with this lens; with smoot zoom and MF rings; power zoom works nicely for video and acutally for stills too; manual focussing for seldom use is pleasant enough; this lens feels in hand like longer prime.

OSS works great even with 1/20s at 105 (157) mm (3...4 EV stops because of very light camera). From carefully hand-held shot with about 1/40s, 1/4 of scene centre area can nicely be croped out for heaving still great pic for smaller prints and Full HD screen, almost adequate to the shot with non-expensive 210 (315) mm zoom lens. Compared to shot with my Minolta 70-210/4.5-5.6 at 210 (315) mm and 1/320s, 1/4 crop form shot with 18-105/4 G at 105 /157) mm and 1/40s looks sharper. If my recollection is correct, the hand-held results with A700 and Minolta 70-210/4.5-5.6 or Tamron 55-200/4-5.6, with in-body stabilisation off and on, have not been so impressive.

Distortion is heavy, so in-camera distortion correction is needed for familiar use of this lens. In-camera distortion correction is ok for me, because I mostly shoot jpeg and leave edges for croping. Because of no problem at all after 1 year use and Sony's jpeg IQ is growing up, I have rerated it from 4 to 5 in January 2015 - seriously, there is no problem at all.

A have rerated flare control from 4 to 5 after one season use. Flare can be avoided nicely.

A have used a-mount 16-80CZ with NEX-7 about 1,5 years, and this lens was the main rival here to accept replacement or not. Comparing this lens with 18-105/4 G I can say I am ready to replace old one with-out regret. Sharpness and colors of 18-105 are as good as of 16-80. 18-105/4 G is much easyer and more pleasant to handle. The biggest problem for me, lack of NEX in-body stabilisation, is now compensated with OSS. And of course, MF with a-mount 16-80 via EA1 was littlebit painfull as 16-80 MF ring is not so smoot.

Great lens for everyday use and specially for travelling light: 1 zoom + 1 fast prime. No need to switch lenses in daylight outdoor, because of OSS it works nearly as 27-230mm FF travel lens.

This lens needs more power, even you do not use power zoom, so extra battery is good to have for longer shooting sessions. About 150 shots for one battery is good to count.

For lot of NEX users this lens can be littlebit large, but not for me. NEX + this lens are still "jacketable", as the NEX body is low (rangefander stile). One just need the jacket/coat with deeper pocket to put this combo lens down, actually mostly without hood.

Not expensive for

- sharp and nice color
- 18-105 (27-157) mm
- constant F4
- constant barrel length
- OSS
- pleasant and easy to use, incl PZ for shooting stills!
- light weight
- build quality
- "jacketable"

Lens for me, really well done. My favorite zoom for NEX-7.

After more than year use I have get rid of all my other zooms within this range. The only I kept at the reviewing time, is small PZ 16-50/3.5-5.6 OSS as easy for everyday carring, when the need for shooting is unclear or the IQ is good enough for shooting presumed.

This one can be your only zoom, even your only lens.

Added after replacing NEX7:
With a6500 the preview has correction before you shoot. So, you do not see (do not know :)) about distortion any more.

Added: I have replaced this lens with newer 18-135/3,5-5-6 OSS.
reviewer#11612 date: Jan-16-2014
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:16-50mm, 35mm, 50mm, 18-55mm
price paid:~ 500 CHF
positive:Sharp, silent, ...
negative:relatively big
comment:For me this lens is definitively a surprise. Sharp, useful 18-105 range, works great with NEX7 ...
reviews found: 11   

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 11
  • sharpness: 4.41
  • color: 4.91
  • build: 4.82
  • distortion: 3.82
  • flare control: 4.55
  • overall: 4.50

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