Rated 4.3 out of 5 by 22
Rated 5 out of 5
by JKWCA Good at all lengths
The review by mrbige does not do justice to this lens. Yes, it was first sold only with a video camcorder but it has great optics. The photo was shot at 200mm at iso 110 with a Nex-7 (1/500 f8). Image represents about 1/5 of original.
March 14, 2012
Rated 5 out of 5
by MrBigE Excellent Image Quality
Image was shot at 94mm f/8 (Original). A touch of Fractal Sharpen, a little crop and vibrance, and the photo is truly stunning (Final version).
This was an Auto HDR shot, the combination of 3 images. From my experience with much more expensive systems, this lens performs extremely well below 100mm. Above 100mm it is a slightly soft, but then so are most telephotos, and I don't use it in that range a whole lot. I almost always use Aperture Priority with f/8 dialed in for maximum sharpness (even above 100mm!).
I would have been very happy to have a 18-100 or 18-120 lens rather than the 18-200, but there is no lens like that today.
While this lens is big and heavy, it is still smaller and lighter than its counterparts from Canon and Nikon, and frankly, is sharper. It is really the ultimate "walk around" lens (I find 18-55 just does not cut it - although the 18-55 lens is no doubt a very good lens, it just does not have the zoom range I want).
I would have been even more delighted if this was a 16-100 or 16-120 lens. Not that would be perfect, and would eliminate the need to switch lenses to get the 16mm wide angle - a must for nature photography (well, OK, with the wide angle adapter, going to 12mm is really cool).
One other factor: at long zoom ranges, the lens tends to take a long time to focus in some cases. This is the disadvantage of contrast focus vs. phase as in the A77, but since I don't use that range much, I can live with it. At lower zoom ranges, it focuses just fine.
My final comment is about HDR. This is a MUST HAVE feature of the Sony cameras! I was disgusted that I could take HDR photos on my iPhone, but not on my Canon system. Sony has done a really wonderful job on this feature, and it is fantastic in lighting situations like the one in the photo (a forest with sun and shade). No more shooting 3 images and fiddling around with HDR software back home. Of course I can still do that, but having this feature in the camera is fantastic!
November 7, 2011
Rated 5 out of 5
by jnoeljr It was made for the NEX 7
When I discovered that the NEX 7 lets you use digital zoom with a zoom lense, the already significant range of this thing became amazing.
But even without that newly-found capability, at 200 mm and using the viewfinder and the manual focus button, some exceptional macro-like shots are possible, just as I had hoped.
Using it just as a traditioanl zoom I also got a picture of a bird a quarter mile away that we had no idea as to what it was. Armed with that image we got the experts to tell us we had seen a wimbrel.
Combined with the amazing NEX 7 - I have upgraded from being a totally satisfied NEX 5 user to being an ecstatic NEX 7 user - I can't think of why $899 isn't a pretty fair price. Remember, 18 - 200 is a lot of possibilities. Add the digital zoom (I know it reduces quality, but with 24mpx there is a little quality to be spared) and you have a lens that lets you rule the world.
June 14, 2012
Rated 5 out of 5
by Micorama 18-200mm f/3-6.3 Lens
Love this lens. My pictures look much better with this lens as opposed to the stock lens it came with.
April 2, 2012
Rated 5 out of 5 by df99 Mandatory Lens
This is a must have lens for any NEX owner. The lens makes the camera perform at significantly better level providing broader control of your shots. As is typical, the included kit lens can only do so much - there's a reason they get bundled into the initial sale of the camera to get you started, but to extract maximum value from your camera, this is a must have purchase.
Biggest negative is that the standard flash sits too low on the camera body and casts a shadow. This can be avoided by using the flash extender available at:
Part Number: A1787305A
Price: $63 plus shipping
Or wait for the new flash to be available this summer '11
May 17, 2011
Rated 4 out of 5 by JBCA Great lens with a serious handicap
The lens itself is great. It has incredible range, great optical quality, and has a nice sturdy feel to it. The finish looks great too.
But the huge size of the lens creates a very obvious shadow because the standard flash sits too low. This is not a problem that an $800 lens should have. If you don't want the shadow, it will cost you $63 + shipping for a flash extender. Its not so much the cost of the extender that bugs me, its the fact that Sony makes it so hard to obtain. There is no mention of it on sonystyle, no mention on the SEL18200 page, and most of the sales reps don't seem to know about it either. In fact, if another reviewer hadn't given the part # (A1787305A) and mentioned that you have to go to the seperate Parts & Accessories page, I probably wouldn't have found it, and probably would have returned the lens. If it isn't going to be included with the lens, there should at least be a direct link to purchase it from the lens product page, or it should be on the accesories page for the NEX series. Its like buying a new TV, getting it home, and then realizing the power cord is a $63 option, and you have to wait another week for it to be shipped. It makes no sense.
If Sony is set on making money off of the extender, why not make the lens $850 and include it in the box? I'd rather pay more up front and get everything at once, instead of going on a wild goose chase trying to find a necessary "accessory."
May 25, 2011
Rated 5 out of 5 by THX2468 I've got this for Xmas!
I was going to return this wonderful Xmas present because of the price, but after I tried it on my Nex-5 I've been taking tons of landscape photos, portraits and video with this lens and the images are wonderful on a well calibrated flat panel tele, computer monitor or high quality photo printer. The photos taken at 16:9 ratio are fantastic for a slide show on tele or a home theater projector. After using the camera with the original SEL1855 lens, this big lens makes a lot of difference as soon as you start to use it. More versatile and great zoom range. I don't need an HD video camcorder anymore with this lens, I just the microphone and I've to 2 in 1. I highly recommend it.
April 30, 2011
Rated 5 out of 5 by CTPro SEL 18200
This lens is awesome. I bought it for my FS100, and couldn't be happier. The "lens-crawl" issue everyone else has been complaining about must have been resolved, as my lens does not do move unless I move it -- even when the camera faces 90 degrees to the ground.
Auto-focus is super-quick and sharp, with zero CA.
October 21, 2012