Sony 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS E-mount lens review by QuietOC

reviewer#40954 date: Oct-26-2017
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony DT 18-200
Sony DT 55-200 SAM
Sony DT 55-300 SAM
Tamron 18-250
Tamron 70-300 USD
Minolta AF 35-200 Xi
Minolta AF 70-210 F4
Minolta AF 70-210 F3.5-4.5
Minolta AF 70-210 F4.5-5.6 I/II
Minolta AF 100-200 F4.5
Tokina AF 35-200 SD
Sigma AF 70-200 F2.8 EX DG APO
Various MF zooms
price paid:128 USD (used)
positive:Silent OSS and AF
Internal focus
Flat focus plane
Smooth, consistent zoom action
Non-rotating filter threads
Rubber zoom grips
negative:Optically slow:
66 mm F4.5
89 mm F5
155 mm F5.6
Gear noise with zoom
Style doesn't match silver 18-55 OSS
Modest circular hood
Corner shading similar to DT 55-200
comment:Very clean silver model with both original caps and hood from an individual eBay seller. This lens has pretty much only been available separately at the full retail price of $350. Though it is often available for only $150 extra if ordered as part of a kit with a new body. Used prices are often higher than $150, so I feel like I got a decent deal. "MADE IN THAILAND"

The form factor reminds me quite a bit of the Minolta AF 100-200 F4.5. It shares the 49 mm filter thread size of that lens and the later Minolta 70-210mm F4.5-5.6 lenses. It is quite thin and long, but fully retracted it is slightly shorter the DT 55-200 on an adapter. It doesn't extend quite as far as the DT 55-200 does at 200mm and minimum focus distance.

The maximum aperture at specific focal lengths is similar to the Tamron 18-250 F3.5-6.3, and slower than either of the DT 55-x00 zooms, but f/6.3 is only a third stop slower than f/5.6. But it is a full stop slower at 100 mm than the DT 55-200 SAM.

This copy is decently sharp wide-open at all focal lengths. The corners are sharper than the DT 55-200 at the same apertures. It has similar corner shading to the DT 55-200.

It actually handles fairly well on the A5000. Maybe I am just getting used to larger lenses on that body now. AF performance is certainly much better than any of the A mount lenses using the LA-EA1 on the A5000. Of course the actual AF performance is pretty poor compared to an A-mount body with pretty much any AF lens.

The Sony VCL-DH1758 x1.7 Tele Conversion Lens for Cyber-shot DSC-H1 can be attached with a 49 to 58 mm step up ring and increases the focal length a bit beyond 300 mm while not significantly decreasing the light intensity or sharpness. It also increases the minimum focus distance significantly and the built-in hood vignettes the field-of-view below 80 mm. AF and OSS works reasonable well through the teleconverter.

I've seen a lot of complaints about Sony's E mount lens lineup, but I have a hard time squaring those with the actual performance of the E mount lenses I've tried. This is another good lens. It is definitely worth the extra $150 to add to your camera order. It is not a 55-300mm F4-5.6 or a 50-135mm F2.8, but it is a perfectly reasonable telephoto zoom.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 9
  • sharpness: 4.06
  • color: 4.11
  • build: 4.33
  • distortion: 4.00
  • flare control: 4.11
  • overall: 4.12 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania