Review

In this hands on review of the New Sony 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens (SEL18200LE), I will show you lots of real world sample photos, and compare it to the other Tamron 18-200mm and the original Sony 18-200mm (SEL18200)!! Sony currently offers two 18-200mm lenses for the E-Mount. The original, Sony 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens is larger and balances much better with a larger camcorder for which it was originally designed. The New 18-200mm is much smaller and similar to the Tamron 18-200mm as far as design is concerned. The insides are a bit different though.

The newer 18-200mm is a much better fit for the Nex camera system as far as size and weight are concerned. Rumors are that the New Sony 18-200mm lens (sel18200) is just a re-skinned Tamron 18-200mm, and I must admit they are remarkable similar. Not exactly the same though as you will see below.

Comparing E-Mount 18-200mm lenses

 

Original Sony 18-200mm E-Mount Lens – (SEL18200)

Sony Nex-7 w/ 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OS Lens

New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens(SEL18200LE)

Sony Nex-F3 w/ New Sony 18-200mm - SEL18200LE @ 200mm

Sony Nex-F3 w/ New Sony 18-200mm – SEL18200LE @ 200mm

Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Di III VC lens

Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Di III VC lens on the Nex-7

Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Di III VC lens on the Nex-7

 

As you can see from the images above the New Sony 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens (SEL18200LE) is much lighter and smaller than the other Sony model (SEL1800), and nearly identical to the Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Di III VC lens. There are some important differences though!!

Check out where the lens mounts to the camera. The Tamron has a silver ring and raised white line indicator, where as the Sony is all black with just a white dot.

If you look inside the lenses we have LD and XR elements in the Tamron vs ED elements in the Sony. ED (extra low dispersion) is better than LD (low dispersion), so naturally the Sony should be a tab bit better in some areas. I’ll let you be the judge by checking out lots of sample photos with 100% crops at all sorts of focal lengths. I really took a lot of photos as the versatility of this lens made it an easy choice for almost all situations. I also really enjoy using high focal length lenses in general.

 

A Closer look at the New Sony 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens

Sony 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens - In the Box

Sony 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens – In the Box

Sony 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens - Closed up

Sony 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens – Closed up

Sony 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens - Front

Sony 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens – Front

IMG_8069Sony 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens - Back

IMG_8069Sony 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens – Back

This is how I used it a lot with the Sony Nex-F3 @ 200mm!!

SEL18200LE Sony Nex-f3 w/ Sony 18-200mm OSS Lens

SEL18200LE Sony Nex-f3 w/ Sony 18-200mm OSS Lens

 

Sony 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens – High Res Sample Photos

Some random pics first; exif info in the caption area just below the photo.

Be sure to Click on theses Photos for the actual 100% Crop which is ~1200px

Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 200mm, f/8, 1/320sec, ISO 800, Hand Held

Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 200mm, f/8, 1/320sec, ISO 800, Hand Held

Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 200mm, f/8, 1/320sec, ISO 800, Hand Held

100% Crop – Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 200mm, f/8, 1/320sec, ISO 800, Hand Held

 

A parking meter with a Brick building behind it across the street. This makes for a nice colorful completely separated background, which intern makes the parking meter look kind of 3d.

Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 200mm, f/8, 1/320sec, ISO 800, Hand Held

Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 200mm, f/8, 1/320sec, ISO 800, Hand Held

Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 200mm, f/8, 1/320sec, ISO 800, Hand Held

100% Crop – Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 200mm, f/8, 1/320sec, ISO 800, Hand Held

 

Full Range Testing – 18- 200mm Same Spot

I tried to focus on the face of the angle on the iron gate. The high contrast area offered a perfect spot for each focal length tested. I was not using a tri-pod for this test, so I did float the ISO a bit for the higher focal lengths to ensure a fast enough shutter. I wanted all the shots as sharp as possible while hand holding. The 100% crops for this first series are going to be the bottom left corner of each photo, and the center focal point area.

I was also shooting in Jpeg Fine quality and then exported these images from Lightroom 4 at 70% quality due to the re-size and server speed issues. So to be fair these images are doubled converted and do lose a tad of detail and have a little more noise. I also did not do anything to these photos what so ever. They are Strait Off the Camera, minus the export from Lightroom 4.

Be sure to Click on theses Photos for the actual 100% Crop which is ~1200px

18mm

Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 18mm, f/6.3, 1/80sec, ISO 200, Hand Held

Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 18mm, f/6.3, 1/80sec, ISO 200, Hand Held

Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 18mm, f/6.3, 1/80sec, ISO 200, Hand Held

100% Crop – Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 18mm, f/6.3, 1/80sec, ISO 200, Hand Held

Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 18mm, f/6.3, 1/80sec, ISO 200, Hand Held

100% Crop – Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 18mm, f/6.3, 1/80sec, ISO 200, Hand Held

49mm

Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 49mm, f/6.3, 1/80sec, ISO 200, Hand Held

Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 49mm, f/6.3, 1/80sec, ISO 200, Hand Held

Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 49mm, f/6.3, 1/80sec, ISO 200, Hand Held

100% Crop – Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 49mm, f/6.3, 1/80sec, ISO 200, Hand Held

Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 49mm, f/6.3, 1/80sec, ISO 200, Hand Held

100% Crop – Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 49mm, f/6.3, 1/80sec, ISO 200, Hand Held

98mm

Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 98mm, f/6.3, 1/160sec, ISO 500, Hand Held

100% Crop – Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 98mm, f/6.3, 1/160sec, ISO 500, Hand Held

Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 98mm, f/6.3, 1/160sec, ISO 500, Hand Held

100% Crop – Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 98mm, f/6.3, 1/160sec, ISO 500, Hand Held

Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 98mm, f/6.3, 1/160sec, ISO 500, Hand Held

100% Crop – Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 98mm, f/6.3, 1/160sec, ISO 500, Hand Held

200mm

Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 200mm, f/6.3, 1/320sec, ISO 1250, Hand Held

Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 200mm, f/6.3, 1/320sec, ISO 1250, Hand Held

Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 200mm, f/6.3, 1/320sec, ISO 1250, Hand Held

100% Crop – Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 200mm, f/6.3, 1/320sec, ISO 1250, Hand Held

Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 200mm, f/6.3, 1/320sec, ISO 1250, Hand Held

Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 200mm, f/6.3, 1/320sec, ISO 1250, Hand Held

 

In this next series I happen to be working at a cell tower the sun was just starting to be brutal. It was also a tad hazy so the lens did have to fight both the sun at a somewhat harsh cross angle and the haze! At 19mm you can see some lens flare on the right side in a slight crescent moon shape, but it’s very well controlled in my opinion as the contrast maintains in the center and corner area. That is impressive, because on cheaper lenses this would cause a washed out look across the image and significant loss of contrast.

19mm – whoops meant to be 18mm

Be sure to Click on theses Photos for the actual 100% Crop which is ~1200px

Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 19mm, f/6.3, 1/1600sec, ISO 200, Hand Held

Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 19mm, f/6.3, 1/1600sec, ISO 200, Hand Held

Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 19mm, f/6.3, 1/1600sec, ISO 200, Hand Held

100% Crop – Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 19mm, f/6.3, 1/1600sec, ISO 200, Hand Held

Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 19mm, f/6.3, 1/1600sec, ISO 200, Hand Held

100% Crop – Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 19mm, f/6.3, 1/1600sec, ISO 200, Hand Held

50mm

Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 50mm, f/8, 1/1000, ISO 200

Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 50mm, f/8, 1/1000, ISO 200

Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 50mm, f/8, 1/1000, ISO 200

100% Crop – Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 50mm, f/8, 1/1000, ISO 200

69mm

Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 69mm, f/8, 1/1000, ISO 200

Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 69mm, f/8, 1/1000, ISO 200

Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 69mm, f/8, 1/1000, ISO 200

100% Crop – Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 69mm, f/8, 1/1000, ISO 200

99mm

Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 99mm, f/8, 1/800, ISO 200

Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 99mm, f/8, 1/800, ISO 200

Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 99mm, f/8, 1/800, ISO 200

100% Crop – Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 99mm, f/8, 1/800, ISO 200

200mm

Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 200mm, f/8, 1/800, ISO 200

Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 200mm, f/8, 1/800, ISO 200

Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 200mm, f/8, 1/800, ISO 200

Crop – Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 200mm, f/8, 1/800, ISO 200

 

Washingtonville Middle School using 200mm @ f/8, and focused in the center of the frame on South America.

Be sure to Click on theses Photos for the actual 100% Crop which is ~1200px

Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 200mm, f/8, 1/1250sec, ISO 200, Hand Held

Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 200mm, f/8, 1/1250sec, ISO 200, Hand Held

Note a little bit of reddish fringing in the really high contrast ares on the white molding/ trim. Very easy to fix this in Lightroom 4, and if your interesting in learning more, check out my Lightroom 4 Tutorials (Click here for New Window)

Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 200mm, f/8, 1/1250sec, ISO 200, Hand Held

Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 200mm, f/8, 1/1250sec, ISO 200, Hand Held

 

We had some delicious rubbed steaks my brother Dave prepared when the family was visiting from Texas. They were Killer to say the least!! My oldest brother Dave has an awesome restaurant down in Salado Texas if anybody in the area!! It’s called The Range at the Barton House, and Culinary Grad killer food across the board!! Check it out his website Here>> if your interested.

Be sure to Click on theses Photos for the actual 100% Crop which is ~1200px

Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 125mm f/6.3, 1/200sec, ISO 1000, Handheld

Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 125mm f/6.3, 1/200sec, ISO 1000, Handheld

Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 42mm, f/5, 1/160sec, ISO 250

Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 42mm, f/5, 1/160sec, ISO 250

 

Sony 18-200mm Optical SteadyShot

I have a pretty steady hand normally, but at 200mm, or high focal lengths in general, the camera shake becomes much more of a potential issue. It can result in blurry shots when hand holding and possible lead to some frustration. What you can do is make sure that the ISO is Not on Auto, and raise it up till you’re getting fast enough shutter speeds given your shooting situation. The camera will often assume you have a steadier hand than you actually have, because in the real world we don’t always have the best position etc.. Kids running around, you know the deal ;)

A common rule of thumb for shutter speed is you should be at least the speed of the focal length your using. In other words, for 200mm you should be at 1/200sec or faster and at 30mm you should be at 1/30sec or faster. Now, this is just a general rule mind you, so take it for what it is.

I prefer to use the lowest ISO I can get, so often shoot much slower speeds than the “rule”. However OSS helps greatly for this and also leaning on a wall or door frame can help. I also will rest my hands on railings and swivel the screen on the Nex so I can see.

Check out this Hand Held Photo at 1/15sec with OSS tuned On

Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 1/15sec, 200mm, ISO1600 - Handheld

Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 1/15sec, 200mm, ISO1600 – Handheld

Now, it’s not tack sharp in the 100% crop, but still not bad and the rain looks like streaks which is always fun.

Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 1/15sec, 200mm, ISO1600 - Handheld

100% Crop – Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 1/15sec, 200mm, ISO1600 – Handheld

 

HD Video with Autofocus Testing!

Check out this video for some autofocus testing using my test charts and the RX100 for a subject!! Also be sure to select the HD option in the player preferences for the best viewing experience!! 1080 can go full screen and still look sharp!!

 

Clear Image Zoom Sample ~640mm!!

Here’s a cast iron sign taken from about 50 feet @ 200mm. I then used the Clear Image Zoo at the full 2x. This doubles the focal length to 400mm and it looks about 90% as good as the original. If you take into consideration the 1.6x crop factor of the Nex-F3, were talking ~640mm effective zoom at 2x and 320mm with no clear image zoom.

Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 200mm, f/6.3, 1/400sec, ISO 200, Handheld, Jpeg Fine

Sony Nex-F3 w/ New 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 200mm, f/6.3, 1/400sec, ISO 200, Handheld, Jpeg Fine

Not bad at all if you ask me considering it’s doubling the focal length in camera with software.

200mm, f/6.3, 1/400sec, ISO 200, Handheld, Jpeg Fine - Clear Image Zoom at Max = 400mm

200mm, f/6.3, 1/400sec, ISO 200, Handheld, Jpeg Fine – Clear Image Zoom at Max = 400mm

 

Real World Use

Here’s a few shots that I will probably print for my brother and myself. The New Sony 18-200mm Lens did a great job in my opinion on this next series of dog photos. This is the type of stuff I like to shoot at high focal lengths in particular in addition to portraits of course.

What is also important to note about an all in one lenses, is the flexibility you have in situations like the one below of the dogs. It’s tough to get good dog pics, and a lens like this makes it much easier to get close-ups, 3/4, and full body shots all in a matter of few seconds. This flexibility proves to be valuable at times like these.

Look at theses hamburgers just waiting for pets!

Sandy - Nex-F3 w/ 18-200mm OSS Lens @ 160mm, f/6.3, 1/1250sec, ISO 200

Sandy – Nex-F3 w/ 18-200mm OSS Lens @ 160mm, f/6.3, 1/1250sec, ISO 200

Sandy - Nex-F3 w/ 18-200mm OSS Lens @ 160mm, f/6.3, 1/1250sec, ISO 200

Sandy – Nex-F3 w/ 18-200mm OSS Lens @ 160mm, f/6.3, 1/1250sec, ISO 200

Sandy - Nex-F3 w/ 18-200mm OSS Lens @ 89mm, f/6.3, 1/1000sec, ISO 200

Sandy – Nex-F3 w/ 18-200mm OSS Lens @ 89mm, f/6.3, 1/1000sec, ISO 200

Sandy - Nex-F3 w/ 18-200mm OSS Lens @ 200mm, f/8, 1/1250sec, ISO 200

Sandy – Nex-F3 w/ 18-200mm OSS Lens @ 200mm, f/8, 1/1250sec, ISO 200

Sandy - Nex-F3 w/ 18-200mm OSS Lens @ 200mm, f/8, 1/1000sec, ISO 200

Sandy – Nex-F3 w/ 18-200mm OSS Lens @ 200mm, f/8, 1/1000sec, ISO 200

Sandy - Nex-F3 w/ 18-200mm OSS Lens @ 200mm, f/6.3, 1/1250sec, ISO 200

Sandy – Nex-F3 w/ 18-200mm OSS Lens @ 200mm, f/6.3, 1/1250sec, ISO 200

Sadie - Nex-F3 w/ 18-200mm OSS Lens @ 172mm, f/6.3, 1/1600sec, ISO 200

Sadie – Nex-F3 w/ 18-200mm OSS Lens @ 172mm, f/6.3, 1/1600sec, ISO 200

Sadie - Nex-F3 w/ 18-200mm OSS Lens @ 200mm, f/6.3, 1/1600sec, ISO 200

Sadie – Nex-F3 w/ 18-200mm OSS Lens @ 200mm, f/6.3, 1/1600sec, ISO 200

Sadie - Nex-F3 w/ 18-200mm OSS Lens @ 200mm, f/8, 1/800sec, ISO 200

Sadie – Nex-F3 w/ 18-200mm OSS Lens @ 200mm, f/8, 1/800sec, ISO 200

Sadie - Nex-F3 w/ 18-200mm OSS Lens @ 146mm, f/8, 1/1250sec, ISO 200

Sadie – Nex-F3 w/ 18-200mm OSS Lens @ 146mm, f/8, 1/1250sec, ISO 200

 

Closing Remarks

The New Sony 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens is a pretty solid all around lens in my opinion. It’s slightly sharper than the Tamron 18-200mm in the center, and the fringing is also better controlled. Being an all around lens it will have some weaknesses as it’s a lot to ask for in one package. Compromises need to be made in order to get so much out of a lens for a reasonable price. Prime lenses for example will be sharper than zoom lenses for the most part. That being said, Sony did a really good job here!

The OSS works as advertised and makes it much easier to hand hold using those long focal lengths and slower shutter speeds. The New SEL18200LE is much lighter and smaller than the older version SEL18200, but the image quality is not quite as sharp in my opinion. It’s more noticeable in the corners as the center is really sharp. You don’t get something for nothing as usual. the size and weight difference is significant though and for an all in one lens I would be willing to lose very slight corner sharpness for the size and weight savings. They are both expensive lenses, so the price really doesn’t matter.

On  a Camcorder, I would go for the older 18-200mm for the slight better quality, much better balance, and looks.

I really hope you got something out of my efforts in this Hands on Review!! If so, we would greatly appreciate you considering clicking our links to products if you do decide to go shopping. We will receive a very small commission for the product referral. This is how we pay for the server juice and get the gear to review!! We have lots of Camera Guides, Lens Guides, and Accessories Guides with direct links to our preferred venders. You can also click these links if your just doing regular shopping and don’t need a direct link. BHPhotoVideo >>, Amazon >>, Adorama >>

Also, be sure to check out the New SonyAlphaLab – Forum I’m currently gearing up!! Far from active yet though.

Thanks for your continued support!! With out you all, I would not be able to continue to do this. As you may know I have a full-time job and a family on top of all this stuff :)

Jay

Price: ~$848.00

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Thanks,
Jay

 

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About the Author

Jay
Hello, I'm the owner and operator of SonyAlphaLab.com. Please check out the About page for a full background on myself and the Lab ;) Google+ | Twitter | RSS-feed | Email Updates!!