SEL1855 Interchangeable Alpha E-mount 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS
good but not gr8
This is the lens I took almost 80% photos with my sony nex 5N... but I feel now it is not a best lens. good but not gr8.
January 28, 2013
Excellent normal lens
I use the lens with the NEX-5N. In the normal range, around 24 to 40 mm, this lens competes well with prime lens I have from other excellent manufacturers. Typical of zoom lenses, the extremes are not quite as good, but fine for non-critical use. At the wide end, barrel distortion is normal for the focal length; the corners are softer than I would like; but the lens is still excellent pretty far out from the center. Toward 55mm there is too much pincushion distortion and the corners are too soft; the excellent portion in the center does not extend as far out as at 18mm. For JPEG images, the camera body does a good job of correcting both barrel and pincushion distortion. For raw images you need to use an editing program. I assigned 4 instead of 5 stars because the lens could be better at 55mm. When I mention softness, I am viewing the image at pixel size. For normal viewing I don't notice it. Similarly, when I mention distortion, I am referring to architecture. For subjects without straight lines, it isn't a factor. For general purpose photography, where you don't need specialized lenses, this lens is an excellent choice. The body and lens make a really good, compact, lightweight kit for general photography and travel.
December 30, 2012
For a kit lens this one is far better than average. This lens came bundled with my NEX5n and I have used it to create some some very nice images. That said, it does not excel for the types of photography I tend to favor, which are portraiture and travel.
For travel, its decent, provided there is adequate light. Daylite street and landscapes are outstanding as this lens appears to be optimized for sharpness for F8. F5.6 is good at the wide end, but soft at the long end. Stopping down to F11 introduced diffraction, though not too badly at the long end.
For portraits, however, the lens just doesn't have a fast enough maximum aperture. Even wide open at 55mm background elements don't fully defocus, though the out of focus areas are very pleasantly rendered (bokeh). I would say that the bokeh is very nice, but can only be achieved with fairly close subject distances and distant backgrounds.
Of course, every kit lens for every camera system has these same limitations. Optical quality of this lens appears better than most such zooms, and is noticeably better than the SAL 18-55 I had briefly.
If you don't print large and don't do much low-light handheld photography, this lens is fine, and may be all that many casual photographers need. Critical comments aside, this is a MUCH better lens than what you get on the usual point-and-shoot camera.
December 4, 2012
A much aligned lens, but in daily use does the job you expect of it. Assuming your not a pro, using this as your only lens, but rather the family memory keeper or amateur photographer, the vast majority of us, it provides reasonable sharpness, nice color and ok bokeh. The build quality is top notch, it handles well and is perfectly sized for the Nex 7. Looking at the whole package I would say one of the better 18-55mm lenses on market. Yes I can tell the difference between this and the 24mm Zeiss, but that lens costs 5 times this one. Use a good editing program like Lightroom 3 or 4 to get the best out of this lens. I would have voted 3.5 if I had the option.
April 27, 2012