Sony 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS E-mount lens review by tzk1810

reviewer#44555 date: Jul-28-2020
sharpness: 2.5
color: 2
build: 3
distortion: 2
flare control: 3
overall: 2.5
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 DT 55-300mm F4.5-5.6 SAM
Sony AF 70-400mm F4-5.6 G SSM
price paid:AU$200 new
positive:Silent and accurate AF
OSS built-in
Did not rotate while AF
Light and compact
Super cheap in E-mount line up, got my second copy for AU$200 back in 2016, sold for $100 in 2020 in poor condition.

negative:Poor optic after 70mm - tele side.
Soft even at f8.
Decent AF speed on a6x00 model, however losing AF tracking sometimes still occur.
Slow aperture.
Flat colour.
Weak macro, macro adapter required.
Not long enough. Another alternative in native E mount would be 70-350G, but that was 8 years late, also costs 6 times more (RPR AU$1200-$1700 in AUS, 2020)
comment:I think it is one of the oldest lenses that E-mount had, right?
Bought the first one with NEX7 back in 2012. The combo blew my mind as it was super compact and light compared to the heavy DLSR/SLT camera.
Basically just a Sony low-end tele lens, but worse than the previous A-mount version. Slow aperture, not long enough.

As a public transport enthusiast, I shoot transport vehicles with this lens, as well as used it as a travel lens taking photos of wildlife in the hiking. The AF-C tracking was decent enough to capture moving vehicles, especially on a6x00 model.

It was great for bus shots, ok for the train but sometimes not long enough for planespotting, even at the longest 210mm end (~300+mm 135 equivalent). Sadly Sony did not provide a 55-300mm on E-mount, as well the slow aperture makes photo looks horrible while shooting in harsh light conditions.

Lack of macro features. Need an adapter to do some closed up shots. And just like what I said, it's not a sharp lens, so stacking images also required to make photos look good. But once again, what are you excepting? It just a Sony low-end kit lens.

Recommend only when the budget is tight. Don't waste your time, go for the 70-350G or even more expensive 140GM/260G if you have enough money!

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 10
  • sharpness: 4.05
  • color: 4.20
  • build: 4.30
  • distortion: 4.00
  • flare control: 4.10
  • overall: 4.13 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania