Sony AF DT 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 A-mount lens review by QuietOC

reviewer#20389 date: Oct-18-2015
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 3
flare control: 4
overall: 3.5
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 MP24MP24 MP36MP36 MP42MP42 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Sony DT 18-135 SAM
Tamron 18-250
Minolta AF 28-135
Sigma AF 35-135 F3.5-4.5
Tokina AF 35-200 SD
Minolta AF 35-200 Xi
Tokina 35-300
Sigma 50-150 F2.8 EX DC HSM II
Sony E 55-210 OSS
Sony DT 55-300 SAM
Sigma 70-200 F2.8 EX DG APO OS HSM
Sigma AF 70-200 F2.8 EX DG APO
Minolta AF 70-210 F4
Minolta AF 70-210 F3.5-4.5
Minolta AF 70-210 F4.5-5.6 I/II
Tokina 80-200 AT-X Pro
price paid:65 USD (used)
positive:Small and light
Internal focus
Non-rotating filter threads
Center sharpness on the wide end
Lens Compensation Support
Large petal hood (similar to 28-105 hood)
negative:Heavy barrel distortion at 18 mm
Wider at close focus than other zooms (~140 mm)
Soft, distorted corners
Very soft at the long end (>70 mm)
Backwards focus direction
Short focus and zoom throws
comment:Very nice clean copy in the original box. "JAPAN" The Konica Minolta DT version had a list price of $500 when released in 2005. Sony has discontinued this lens, but Tamron is still selling their version for $200. Sony has replaced this lens with an even longer 18-250 travel zoom and the 18-135 SAM.

This travel zoom has similar problems as the 16-105 but with even more distortion on the short end and less sharpness at the long end. Despite all of that it is one of the better performing lenses at 24 mm--a length that is unmarked on the zoom scale. However even the little 18-55 SAM II performs better at 18 mm and from 35-55 mm. It does seem to perform better than the older 18-70 kit lens. Image quality is much lower than the Minolta AF 28-105 and 35-105 zooms over their coverage range.

Despite its stated focal length range this lens is not equivalent in range to a combination of the 18-55 + 55-200 SAM lenses. It might not be much longer than the newer DT 18-135 SAM lens. It also performs poorly beyond 70 mm. The 16-105 might even have more reach as far as ability to resolve detail.

The long end of the 18-200 performs similar to the Minolta 100-200 f/4.5, though the 200 mm telephoto end of the 18-200 corresponds to only about 140 mm on the 100-200 at close distances. It does have a little more telephoto reach than the Minolta AF 28-135, but that lens is actually a bit sharper and more consistent at its long end. The 55-200 SAM performs much better than any of these along with having considerably more telephoto reach.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 28
  • sharpness: 3.82
  • color: 4.21
  • build: 3.50
  • distortion: 3.57
  • flare control: 4.00
  • overall: 3.82 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania