Sony E 10-18mm f/4 OSS (SEL-1018) - Lab Test / Review
Lens Reviews - Sony NEX
Sunday, 21 April 2013 20:48
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Review by Klaus Schroiff, published April 2013


Sony is aggressively playing the megapixel game with their NEX camera series. However, so far they are a bit short of lenses delivering the required resolution to match the camera sensors. The Sony E 10-18mm f/4 OSS is a promising new contender in their lineup - at least assuming that the price tag is an indicator for performance. That said, such ultra-wide lenses are often difficult beings on mirrorless cameras due to the short register distance (flange back distance) so it'll be interesting to see whether this new Sony lens is up to the task ...

The build quality of the Sony lens is, again, impressive. It has mostly an all-metal shell based on a metal mount. While this may sound like heavy stuff, it is an amazingly light-weight lens of just 225g. The inner lens tube extends slightly when zooming towards the long end of the zoom range. Both the zoom and focus ring operate smoothly. A plastic, petal-shaped lens hood is also part of the package.

While you usually don't really need a fast AF on such a lens, it is perfectly fine regarding speed as well as noise level. A still unusual feature on an ultra-wide lens is an optical image stabilizer. This and the constant aperture across the zoom range explains at least a bit of the comparatively steep price tag.

Unfortunately, and that's a bit of a tradition in the local Sony test history, we experienced significant centering defects in the two samples that we tested. The first sample delivered miserable results throughout the range whereas and the 2nd sample showed a very soft output on the left image side. Honestly, we consider two samples to be enough so the resolution observations reflect the results from the 2nd sample (based on the center and right image side).

Equiv. focal length15-27 mm (full format equivalent)
Equiv. aperturef/6 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)
Optical construction10 elements in 8 groups inc. 3x aspherical & 1xSuper ED elements
Number of aperture blades7 (rounded)
min. focus distance0.25 m (max. magnification ratio 1:10)
Dimensions70 x 63.5 mm
Weight225 g
Filter size62 mm (non-rotating)
Hoodpetal-shaped, bayonet mount, supplied
Other featuresOptical Stabilizer