18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Zoom Lens
for in the 150-200mm lens 18-200LE will not be the focus and blur image
October 2, 2013
Not a good performer
Was able to use this lens at the same time as the original version for instant comparison under identical conditions.
At 200 mounted on a CF Gitzo with RRS B60 Head, the image did not look sharp while focusing. Image file not sharp either. Tried the same with the original and was able to obtain a sharp image in the EVF and file.
Stopping down did not seem to make much difference with the LE version but the original was marginally better (still good wide open)
Acquiring focus was impossible at times but the old version would. This was under dark conditions.
Overall the zoom was stiff and not pleasant to use. For the slight increase in width and two ounce difference would go with the original version. Its a very good performer.
November 27, 2012
This is a great versatile lens with excellent image quality. It has a quality solid feel to it. It should not be expected to serve in low light conditions. That is a job for faster prime lenses. Out of the box, the zoom appears somewhat stiff but that goes away with use or by simply exercising it. There is no lens creep,... NONE. Yes, if you hang it on a strap, then hike or bike it may move but, well... Don't do that... not without using the lock anyhow.
* The first image "mid zoom" was shot in subdued light at 54mm (79mm/35mm), f/9, .8s, 8sNDF, with a 200 ISO. A tripod was used with the long (almost one second) exposure.
* The second image "full zoom" was shot in full sunlight fully extended at 200mm (300mm/35mm), f/6.3, 1/400, with a 100 ISO. This image was taken hand held. It was also cropped a bit tighter.
As you can see from the second image, the Optical SteadyShot (OSS) functions well. However, as with any zoom of this range, in low or severely indirectly lighting conditions either a mono or tri pod is advised.
This is an excellent lens for the money. Don't leave home without it,.. but supplement it with at least one fast prime.
November 4, 2012
2000 photos later...
Initially, before purchase, I was confused with reviews I had read else in the Net. My perfect zoom lens would be 50-320mm, but there is no such available...
Because the time was running out, I decided to buy this (SEL18200LE) lens and give it a try during my trip to Yellowstone.
I was nicely surprised by the quality of the build. Everything feels nice and solid out of the box. Zoom and focus rings have appropriate resistance, the lens is on heavier side, but I find it very useful, especially while using tripod - it is well balanced for me. All rubber covered contact surfaces give nice "quality feel". Very useful feature of this lens is a lock switch, which comes handy during transportation. I have noticed that the lens tends to extend slowly while un-locked and hiking in the wild, but I do not find it annoying due to aforementioned lock feature.
Of note - I have not yet encountered the situation when while shooting "straight down" the lens extends by itself, which was reported in some YouTube videos.
After shooting couple thousand images I can say this lens is great. All the images came very crisp, naturally colored and nicely saturated. This lens has fast AF, performs well in low light conditions, gives nice bookeh when used in portrait situations and in my opinion it is great "everyday" lens #if you don't mind it's weight#.
Overall: Good job Sony!
September 26, 2012