Review

In this Sony E-Mount 10-18mm f/4 OSS lens (sel1018) review, I will go over everything you need to know using real world photography samples with 100% crops! I will also compare sharpness at the most common apertures, and go over other lens flaws such as fringing, and lens flare. In addition to that, I took several sample video clips to show you how the lens performs under a few real world conditions if that is your primary interest for this lens.

Is the Sony E-Mount 10-18mm f/4 Lens worth the cash??

Read this Sony SEL1018 Lens Review and you will see for yourself if it’s worth making the ultra wide-angle E-mount Lens investment!!

Sony E-Mount 10-18mm f/4 OSS Lens Review

Sony E-Mount 10-18mm f/4 OSS Lens and the Nex-5n

 

Sony 10-18mm f/4 OSS Lens Breakdown

 

Overview

The SEL1018 lens is on the more expensive side when it comes to E-Mount lenses retailing for ~$848 US. So where does this cost come from, and more importantly, is it justified??

Well, for starters it features a constant f/4 aperture and an Optical SteadyShot image stabilization system that provides a 4-stop (approximate) shutter speed advantage!!

What really jacks up the cost of this lens is the actually glass elements Sony decided to use. Specifically they went with Super Extra-Low Dispersion Glass, and Three Aspherical Lens Elements! This high quality glass ramps up the production costs of the lens, but will help fight the distortion and other ultra wide-angle lens challenges.

The ultra wide-angle 10-18mm lens is also equal to 15-27mm in the 35mm format when you account for the 1.5x crop factor. The SLE1018 lens takes 62mm lens filters which your going to want for those killer Landscape Photography shots!! It is also incredible light weight coming in at only 8oz (255g).

 

Specifications

 

Lens Type E-mount 10-18mm F4.0 OSS
Lens Mount Sony E-mount
Lens Construction 8 groups, 10 elements
Focal length (35mm equivalent) 15mm-27mm
Angle of view 109° – 76°
Aperture blade 7 blades (Circular aperture)
Aperture (Max.) F4.0
Aperture (Min.) F22
Maximum Magnification 0.1x
Minimum Focusing Distance 9.8″ (0.25m)
Filter Diameter 62mm
Image Stabilization Optical SteadyShot
Dimensions (Max. Diameter x Length) 2 7/8″ x 2 1/2″ (70 x 63.5mm)
Weight 8oz (225g)
 

SEL1018 Hands-On and Sample Video!!

I put this HD video overview together so you can get a really close hands on view of the Sony 10-18mm f/f OSS Lens!! I then have some pretty nice video footage for you to check out, taken with the Nex-5r at this really old bridge down the road. You may recognize the green bridge from other reviews in the past 😉

Be sure to select the HD quality in the player options once the video starts for a nice crisp picture!!

 

A Few HDR Sample Photos

I took tons and tons of sample photos with the ultra wide-angle E-mount lens using the Sony Nex-5r I just reviewed (Click Here), and my Nex-6! This first photo is from the scene that you just saw in the HD sample video above. It is a fully edited HDR Photograph and the Sony E-Mount 10-18mm f/4 OSS Lens aperture was set to f/8.

Be sure to Click on the Image for the Sharper High Res version!!

Sony E-Mount 10-18mm f/4 OSS Lens Review

Sample HDR – Sony E-Mount 10-18mm f/4 OSS Lens @ f/8, ISO 100, Hand-Held, -3,0,+3 EV

 

This next image I wanted to share was taken in the Goshen, NY, and I absolutely love the composition. It’s a fully edited HDR Photograph made up of three raw file exposures at -3,0,+3 ev’s. I then used Photomatix to blend the exposure’s and Photoshop to enhance the image further.

I have several photos just like the one below taken over the years, but this lens produced the best version I have ever taken to date in my opinion. The image does have some noticeable distortion that I could have corrected in Photoshop, but I chose to leave it for the review purposes and also because I like how it pulls the eye more towards the center. The corner sharpness was very good in the raw files as was the front to back sharpness (depth) for the entire scene. I was using widest focal length of 10mm and an aperture of f/8 for this photo. I used the Bracketing feature on my Nex-6 and hand-held the three frames.

Be sure to Click on the Image for the Sharper High Res version!!

Sony E-Mount 10-18mm f/4 OSS Lens review

Sample HDR – Sony E-Mount 10-18mm f/4 OSS Lens – Click Photo for High Res Version!!

 

This next sample photo is also a HDR image, but a much different subject 😉 I also took this photo at the SEL1018 lenses widest focal length of 10mm, and f/8.

Sony E-Mount 10-18mm f/4 OSS Lens Review

Sample HDR – Sony E-Mount 10-18mm f/4 OSS Lens @ f/8, ISO 100, Hand-Held, -3,0,+3 EV

 

Here’s another angle and HDR Photo. This HDR was only edited in Photomatix and Lightroom though. Note the corner sharpness in the 100% crops.

Be sure to Click on the Images for the Sharper High Res versions!!

Sony E-Mount 10-18mm f/4 OSS Lens Review

Sample HDR – Sony E-Mount 10-18mm f/4 OSS Lens @ f/8, ISO 100, Hand-Held, -3,0,+3 EV

100% crop

Top Left Corner

100% crop

Center Area

Sample HDR - Sony E-Mount 10-18mm f/4 OSS Lens

Sample HDR – Sony E-Mount 10-18mm f/4 OSS Lens

Sony Nex-5r HDR Photography

Sample HDR – Sony E-Mount 10-18mm f/4 OSS Lens

Sony E-Mount 10-18mm f/4 OSS Lens Review

Sony E-Mount 10-18mm f/4 OSS Lens @ f/8, 13mm, 1/100sec, ISO 100, Nex-5r – sel1018

 

Focal Length Comparison with 100% Crops!!

In this next series of images I went for a high contrast scene with lots of detail.  I also shot RAW and the images have NO LENS CORRECTION! These photos were all exported from Lightroom 4 as jpegs @ 60% quality, and 1000px long edge without enlarging.

10mm

Be sure to Click on the Images for the Sharper High Res version!!

Sony E-Mount 10-18mm f/4 OSS Lens Review

Sony E-Mount 10-18mm f/4 OSS Lens – @ f/7.1, 10mm, ISO 100, Raw, Tri-pod

100% Crop

100% Crop – Click Photo

100% Crop

100% Crop – Click Photo!

 

12mm

Sony E-Mount 10-18mm f/4 OSS Lens Review

Sony E-Mount 10-18mm f/4 OSS Lens – @ f/7.1, 12mm, ISO 100, Raw, Tri-pod

100% Crop

100% Crop

100% Crop

100% Crop

 

14mm

Be sure to Click on the Images for the Sharper High Res version!!

Sony E-Mount 10-18mm f/4 OSS Lens Review

Sony E-Mount 10-18mm f/4 OSS Lens – @ f/7.1, 14mm, ISO 100, Raw, Tri-pod

100% Crop

100% Crop

100% Crop

100% Crop

 

16mm

Sony E-Mount 10-18mm f/4 OSS Lens Review

Sony E-Mount 10-18mm f/4 OSS Lens – @ f/7.1, 16mm, ISO 100, Raw, Tri-pod

100% Crop

100% Crop

100% Crop

100% Crop

 

18mm

Be sure to Click on the Images for the Sharper High Res version!!

Sony E-Mount 10-18mm f/4 OSS Lens Review

Sony E-Mount 10-18mm f/4 OSS Lens – @ f/7.1, 18mm, ISO 100, Raw, Tri-pod

100% Crop

100% Crop

100% Crop

100% Crop

 

Sharpness and Distortion Testing

I used the same scene as the SEL35F18 lens review, as it offered the corner to corner detail, horizontal lines for distortion verification, and some visual interest 😉 The distortion at 10mm is pretty noticeable in this scene and I wanted to remind you that I was shooting RAW quality, so the built in lens profile from Sony is NOT being applied. If I was shooting jpeg, these images would look a lot less distorted looking in other words. The distortion actually looks a lot like the 16-50mm power zoom lens did at 16mm believe it or not.

Full Scene @ 10mm

Sony sel1018 lens review

Sony E-Mount 10-18mm f/4 OSS Lens @ f/8, 10mm, ISO 100, Tri-pod, Nex-5r – sel1018

 

100% Crops @ 10mm

Be sure to Click on the Images for the Sharper High Res version!!

@10mm

Top Left

Center Area

f/4

100% Crop - Top Right

100% Crop - Center Area

f/5.6

100% Crop - Top Right 100% Crop - Center Area

f/8

100% Crop - Top Right 100% Crop - Center Area

f/11

100% Crop - Top Right 100% Crop - Center Area

f/16

100% Crop - Top Right 100% Crop - Center Area
 

Full Scene @ 18mm

Sony sel1018 lens review

Sony E-Mount 10-18mm f/4 OSS Lens @ f/8, 18mm, ISO 100, Tri-pod, Nex-5r – sel1018

 

100% Crops @ 18mm

Be sure to Click on the Images for the Sharper High Res version!!

@18mm

Top Left

Center Area

f/4

100% Crop - Top Right 100% Crop - Center Area

f/5.6

100% Crop - Top Right 100% Crop - Center Area

f/8

100% Crop - Top Right 100% Crop - Center Area

f/11

100% Crop - Top Right 100% Crop - Center Area

f/16

100% Crop - Top Right 100% Crop - Center Area
 

More SEL1018 Lens Sample Photos

I shot all these next sample photos in RAW quality and slightly enhanced them with some clarity and vignette. Exif info is below the image.

Be sure to Click on the Images for the Sharper High Res version!!

Sony E-Mount 10-18mm f/4 OSS Lens Review

Sony E-Mount 10-18mm f/4 OSS Lens @ f/5.6, 10mm, 1/1600sec, ISO 100, Tri-pod, Nex-5r – sel1018

Sony E-Mount 10-18mm f/4 OSS Lens Review

Sony E-Mount 10-18mm f/4 OSS Lens @ f/5.6, 10mm, 1/1600sec, ISO 100, Tri-pod, Nex-5r – sel1018

Sony E-Mount 10-18mm f/4 OSS Lens Review

Sony E-Mount 10-18mm f/4 OSS Lens @ f/5.6, 18mm, 1/1250sec, ISO 100, Tri-pod, Nex-5r – sel1018

Sony E-Mount 10-18mm f/4 OSS Lens Review

Sony E-Mount 10-18mm f/4 OSS Lens @ f/4, 10mm, 1/10sec, ISO 400, Nex-5r – sel1018

Sony E-Mount 10-18mm f/4 OSS Lens Review

Sony E-Mount 10-18mm f/4 OSS Lens @ f/4, 18mm, 1/10sec, ISO 400, Nex-5r – sel1018

 

Sony E-Mount 10-18mm Lens Review – Conclusion

When I starting this Sony E-Mount 10-18mm f/4 OSS Lens review, I was honestly a bit skeptical on the cost of this lens. It seemed a bit on the expensive side when considering the other E-Mount lens prices and features in comparison. Well, my skepticism was wrong needless to say, and the ~848 US price tag is justified in my opinion. Sony put some seriously high quality lens elements inside the sel1018 lens and the results confirm this! An ultra wide-angle lens like the sel1018 has a lot more optical challenges to overcome than a standard lens. It tends to cost more on wide angle lenses than telephoto lenses due to the incredible field of view difference I believe.

In any event, the super extra-low dispersion glass, three aspherical elements, ~4-stop OSS performance, smooth focus and zoom, and a very nice clean design, make this lens a great investment for the Sony Nex camera system.

Would I buy this lens? Yes, if I had the money. I don’t unfortunately and want the much more affordable SEL55210 lens first anyway!!  I am also fortunate enough to have the Sigma 10-20mm lens which I can use on my Nex-6 with a cheap lens adapter!!

I hope you all got what you were looking for with my SEL1018 lens review, and questions or comments below are greatly appreciated!!

Thanks, Jay

Sony E-Mount 10-18mm f/4 OSS Lens (SEL1018)- $848 US @ BHPHotoVideo >>


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Thanks,
Jay

 


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!!