Review

In this Sony PZ 18-200mm OSS Lens Review (selp18200), I will go over sample video and sample photos in detail so you can see exactly what this lens is capable of in the real world. I will go over the different zoom speeds and OSS using sample hd video so you can see for yourself how it performs. I also have a ton of sample photos, with 100% Crops, showing off a variety of focal lengths and all sorts of light conditions, subject, and compositions!

 

SELP18200 – Key Features


  • All-In-One Wide-angle to Telephoto Zoom Lens
  • 27-300mm Equivalent in 35mm Format
  • Max Aperture Range is f/3.5-6.3
  • Optical SteadyShot Image Stabilization
  • 1 ED Glass Lens element and 5 Aspherical Lens Elements
  • Internal Stepping Motors
  • Smooth & Quiet, Ideal for Video
  • Three-step Adjustable Zoom Speed
  • Direct Manual Focus
  • Metal Exterior Skin
  • $1198 US, Plus 2% Reward @ BHPhoto >>
 

Sony SELP18200 Build Quality and Design

The Sony SELP18200 offers a huge zoom range equal to 27mm wide to 300mm super telephoto in a one lens. Capable of shooting Landscapes, street scenes, killer portraits with defocused backgrounds, and telephoto sports or wildlife!

This high-quality optical design features 5 aspheric surfaces and 1 ED glass element which helps offer first-class contrast and sharpness from corner to corner. The SELP18200 incorporates a  circular aperture that has a 7-blades designed to maintain a circular shape from maximum aperture to two stops down, providing smooth, natural bokeh renderings with predictable specular highlight behavior.

Sony 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 PZ OSS E-mount Lens

Sony 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 PZ OSS E-mount Lens – E-Mount side – Click for Large 1200px Version

Optical SteadyShot (OSS) allows for sharp images to be captured using shutter speeds as much as 4 stops slower than would normally be possible when shooting handheld, This helps deliver top-quality images with minimal noise, thanks to lower ISO levels being needed. This also helps cancels out the slightly slower aperture of f/6.3 on the long end.

Sony 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 PZ OSS E-mount Lens

Sony 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 PZ OSS E-mount Lens – Front – Click for Large 1200px Version

In addition to variable speed zoom the SELP18200 supports constant speed zooming, which is really difficult to do manually. The zoom can be controlled directly from camcorders and cameras that feature built-in zoom levers, as well as from the built-in zoom lever on the lens.

The exterior of the lens barrel is made of aluminum alloy that helps balance the lenses size and weight, but also offers better build quality/ durable for which is always welcomed by myself in a lens!

Sony 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 PZ OSS E-mount Lens Review

Sony 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 PZ OSS E-mount Lens – Zoom Toggle Side – Click for Large 1200px Version

 

Sony SELP182oo and the Nex-3n

The power zoom 18-200mm lens is clearly designed for larger E-Mount camcorders like the VG30 for example, but the versatility of the Nex E-Mount camera line makes this a great option anybody in need of a smooth quiet zoom for killer video in particular.

I mostly used my Nex-6 for the review of this lens, but the Nex-3n I reviewed here>>, has a built-in zoom lever that did operate the zoom just like the selp1560 kit lens.

Sony SELP18200 Lens

Nex-3n w/ selp18200, 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 PZ OSS E-mount Lens – Zoom Toggle Side – Click for 1200px Version

Sony NEX-VG30 Camcorder with 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Power Zoom Lens

Sony NEX-VG30 Camcorder with 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Power Zoom Lens

Features

 

11x Zoom for a Wide Range of Subjects

The SELP18200 offers a wide 18mm to 200mm zoom range (35 mm equivalent: 27mm to 300mm): wide to super telephoto in a single versatile lens. Expansive landscapes, dynamic snapshots with normal human perspective, engaging medium-telephoto portraits with beautifully defocused backgrounds, and super telephoto sports and wildlife … this flexible lens comfortably covers all of these subjects and situations.

Smooth, quiet focusing motor

The SELP18200 incorporates a newly developed internal linear motor that achieves an exceptionally smooth and quiet focus operation. The result is an almost noiseless, smooth high-speed focusing operation that is essential for high-quality movie capture.

Powered zoom for enhanced visual expression

In addition to variable speed zoom the SELP18200 supports constant speed zooming for slow, smooth zoom effects that can enhance cinematographic expression but are difficult to achieve manually. Zoom can be controlled directly from camcorders that feature built-in zoom levers, as well as from the built-in zoom lever on the lens. Since power for the internal zoom drive mechanism is supplied by the camera, no additional battery is required.

Optical SteadyShot image stabilization with Active Mode

Optical image stabilizations (Optical SteadyShot) allows for sharp images to be shot using shutter speeds as much as 4 stops slower than would normally be possible when shooting hand-held. Advantageous for general photography, but is particularly effective when combined with the Anti Motion Blur and Hand-held Twilight modes provided in the NEX-series Handycam camcorders, and it makes difficult indoor shots that retain the mood of the ambient lighting possible without the need to increase ISO sensitivity, delivering top-quality images with minimal noise.

Premium-class optical performance

This high-quality lens design features 5 aspheric surfaces and unreserved application of advanced technology developed for the Alpha-series E-mount lenses in order to deliver images of superlative clarity and presence. This compact lens affords first-class contrast and sharpness from the image center right out to the edges.

Circular aperture

The SELP18200 incorporates the same type of circular aperture that is a popular feature in other Alpha E-mount lenses. This 7-blade aperture is designed to maintain a circular shape from maximum aperture to two stops down, yielding smooth, natural defocusing with a beautiful circular rendering of point light sources.

Metal exterior for a refined feel

The exterior of the lens barrel is made of aluminum alloy for elegant, high-quality appearance and feel that ideally balance the unit’s compact dimensions. Metal construction also provides maximum durability in combination with the metal lens mount.

Specs

Focal Length 18-200mm
Aperture Type Circular
Aperture Max: F3.5 – F6.3
Min: F22 – F40
Focal Length (35mm equivalent) 27mm – 300mm
Filter Diameter 67mm
Lens Groups-Elements 12 groups, 17 elements (5 aspheric surfaces, 1 ED-glass element)
Minimum Focus Distance 1ft (W) – 1ft 8 in (T) (0.3m (W) – 0.5 m (T))
Aperture Blade 7 blades (Circular aperture)
Direct Manual Focus Yes
Exterior Finish Metal
Focus Ring in AF Mode No rotation
Internal Motor Yes (Stepping motor)
Low Noise During Movie Capture Excellent
Maximum Magnification 0.35x (APS-C)
Mount Material Metal
Non-rotating Focusing Ring No rotation
Dimensions (Diameter x Length) 3.8 x 4″ (93.2 x 99mm)
Weight 22.9 oz (649g)
 

SELP18200 – Overview and Sample Video

In this HD Video overview of the selp18200 I will show you how the zoom works in my hands while attached to the Nex-6. I will also go over all the key specs and features of the lens followed by several HD Video clips using the Sony Nex-3n and my Sony Nex-6 with various zoom speeds and subjects


 

Sony PZ 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS Lens – Sample Photos

Be sure to Click the Photos for the larger 120opx Versions!

Sony E-Mount PZ 18-200mm OSS Lens Review - (SELP18200)

Sony E-Mount PZ 18-200mm OSS Lens – (SELP18200) @ f/8, 200mm, Nex-6, ISO 3200, Raw with some noise reduction added in Lightroom 4

Nex-6, selp18200 @ 200mm, f/6.3, 1/320sec, ISO 640, Jpeg mode

Nex-6, selp18200 @ 200mm, f/6.3, 1/320sec, ISO 640, Jpeg mode

Layla on the deck heading down her slide.

Nex-3n, selp18200 @ 200mm, f/6.3, 1/320sec, ISO 160, Jpeg mode

Nex-3n, selp18200 @ 200mm, f/6.3, 1/320sec, ISO 160, Jpeg mode

Nex-3n, selp18200 @ 200mm, f/6.3, 1/320sec, ISO 160, Jpeg mode - 100% Crop

Nex-3n, selp18200 @ 200mm, f/6.3, 1/320sec, ISO 160, Jpeg mode – 100% Crop

 

My buddy Chubs on the deck in direct sunlight.

Nex-3n, selp18200 @ 200mm, f/6.3, 1/320sec, ISO 100, Jpeg mode

Nex-3n, selp18200 @ 200mm, f/6.3, 1/320sec, ISO 100, Jpeg mode

Nex-3n, selp18200 @ 200mm, f/6.3, 1/320sec, ISO 100, Jpeg mode - 100% Crop

Nex-3n, selp18200 @ 200mm, f/6.3, 1/320sec, ISO 100, Jpeg mode – 100% Crop

 
Nex-3n, selp18200 @ 200mm, f/6.3, 1/320sec, ISO 200, Jpeg mode

Nex-3n, selp18200 @ 200mm, f/6.3, 1/320sec, ISO 200, Jpeg mode

Nex-3n, selp18200 @ 200mm, f/6.3, 1/320sec, ISO 250, Jpeg mode

Nex-3n, selp18200 @ 200mm, f/6.3, 1/320sec, ISO 250, Jpeg mode

 

My Dad’s Toyota Tundra.

Be sure to Click the Photos for the larger 120opx Versions!

Nex-3n, selp18200 @ 28mm, f/6.3, 1/100sec, ISO 100, Jpeg mode

Nex-3n, selp18200 @ 28mm, f/6.3, 1/100sec, ISO 100, Jpeg mode

100% Crop

100% Crop

100% Crop

100% Crop

 
Nex-3n, selp18200 @ 200mm, f/6.3, 1/320sec, ISO 800, Jpeg mode

Nex-3n, selp18200 @ 200mm, f/6.3, 1/320sec, ISO 800, Jpeg mode

 

f/6.3 vs f/22 @ 200mm

Note the background de-focus abilities @ 200mm.

f/6.3

Sony 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 PZ OSS E-mount Lens - f/6.3 @ 200mm

Sony 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 PZ OSS E-mount Lens – f/6.3 @ 200mm

f/22

Sony 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 PZ OSS E-mount Lens - f/22 @ 200mm

Sony 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 PZ OSS E-mount Lens – f/22 @ 200mm

 
Nex-6, selp18200 @ 200mm, f/6.3, 1/320sec, ISO 800, Jpeg mode

Nex-6, selp18200 @ 200mm, f/6.3, 1/320sec, ISO 800, Jpeg mode

Nex-6, selp18200 @ 200mm, f/6.3, 1/320sec, ISO 800, Jpeg mode - 100% Crop

Nex-6, selp18200 @ 200mm, f/6.3, 1/320sec, ISO 800, Jpeg mode – 100% Crop

 

How about some real world photos of people? Some of my family that is 😉

First, my Uncle Tom who I don’t think you have ever seem before. He doesn’t make it out often, but it was nice to see him on father’s day when I took these pics.  He is a very proud Vietnam Vet that recently retired. Chilling on the deck.

Be sure to Click the Photos for the larger 120opx Versions!

Nex-6, selp18200 @ 156mm, f/6.3, 1/250sec, ISO 100, Jpeg mode

Nex-6, selp18200 @ 156mm, f/6.3, 1/250sec, ISO 100, Jpeg mode

This next shot shows off the circular specular highlights in the distant background pretty well.

Nex-6, selp18200 @ 76mm, f/6.3, 1/160sec, ISO 100, Jpeg mode

Nex-6, selp18200 @ 76mm, f/6.3, 1/160sec, ISO 100, Jpeg mode

Nex-6, selp18200 @ 152mm, f/6.3, 1/250sec, ISO 125, Jpeg Quality

Nex-6, selp18200 @ 152mm, f/6.3, 1/250sec, ISO 125, Jpeg Quality

My brother big brother, by three years, Chris.

Nex-6, selp18200 @ 105mm, f/6.3, 1/200sec, ISO 200, Jpeg mode

Nex-6, selp18200 @ 105mm, f/6.3, 1/200sec, ISO 200, Jpeg mode

Nex-6, selp18200 @ 76mm, f/6.3, 1/160sec, ISO 100, Jpeg mode

Nex-6, selp18200 @ 76mm, f/6.3, 1/160sec, ISO 100, Jpeg mode

Chris happens to be a master plumber by trade and he broke out his hard hat to show me a new sticker he put on after helping out with the hurricane Sandy relief. He had this slogan that he and his partner would always say joking around “Bringing Heat to The People” The were basically ripping out old boilers that got destroyed, and replacing them with new units via Sandy relief money. In any event, his boss from the old job had a sticker made up for my Brother and few other guys that were on the team. Pretty cool I thought, so figured I would share the story and snapshot. My brother was also part of the crew that installed the awesome reflecting pools at the new Trade Center Memorial.

Nex-6, selp18200 @ 83mm, f/6.3, 1/250sec, ISO 100, Jpeg mode

Nex-6, selp18200 @ 83mm, f/6.3, 1/250sec, ISO 100, Jpeg mode

My brother Chris and daughter Layla.

Nex-6, selp18200 @ 43mm, f/5, 1/100sec, ISO 100, Jpeg mode

Nex-6, selp18200 @ 43mm, f/5, 1/100sec, ISO 100, Jpeg mode

My Dad.

Nex-6, selp18200 @ 105mm, f/6.3, 1/200sec, ISO 200, Jpeg mode

Nex-6, selp18200 @ 105mm, f/6.3, 1/200sec, ISO 200, Jpeg mode

 

My wife Michele took this photo of me on Fathers Day 😉

Nex-6, selp18200 @ 137mm, f/6.3, 1/250sec, ISO 160, Jpeg mode

Nex-6, selp18200 @ 137mm, f/6.3, 1/250sec, ISO 160, Jpeg mode

Nex-6, selp18200 @ 137mm, f/6.3, 1/250sec, ISO 160, Jpeg mode - 100% Crop

Nex-6, selp18200 @ 137mm, f/6.3, 1/250sec, ISO 160, Jpeg mode – 100% Crop

 

Chloe the dog with my dad in the background blur.

Nex-6, selp18200 @ 152mm, f/6.3, 1/250sec, ISO 250, Jpeg mode

Nex-6, selp18200 @ 152mm, f/6.3, 1/250sec, ISO 250, Jpeg mode

Nex-6, selp18200 @ 152mm, f/6.3, 1/250sec, ISO 250, Jpeg mode

Nex-6, selp18200 @ 152mm, f/6.3, 1/250sec, ISO 250, Jpeg mode

 

Common Focal Lengths Compared w/ 100% Crops

I took all these test photos in Raw quality so you can see exactly what the camera captured from the lens. I also used a few different focal lengths to give you an idea of how consistent the lens performance is throughout the focal range.

SELP18200 @ 20mm

Nex-6, selp18200 @ 20mm, f/8, 1/1000sec, ISO 200, Raw

Nex-6, selp18200 @ 20mm, f/8, 1/1000sec, ISO 200, Raw

Nex-6, selp18200 @ 20mm, f/8, 1/1000sec, ISO 200, Raw

Center – 100% Crop

Nex-6, selp18200 @ 20mm, f/8, 1/1000sec, ISO 200, Raw

Bottom Right – 100% Crop

 

SELP18200 @ 53mm

Nex-6, selp18200 @ 53mm, f/8, 1/1000sec, ISO 200, Raw

Nex-6, selp18200 @ 53mm, f/8, 1/1000sec, ISO 200, Raw

Nex-6, selp18200 @ 53mm, f/8, 1/1000sec, ISO 200, Raw

100% Crop – Center Area

Nex-6, selp18200 @ 53mm, f/8, 1/1000sec, ISO 200, Raw

100% Crop – Top Right

 

SELP18200 @ 100mm

Nex-6, selp18200 @ 100mm, f/8, 1/1000sec, ISO 200, Raw

Nex-6, selp18200 @ 100mm, f/8, 1/1000sec, ISO 200, Raw

Nex-6, selp18200 @ 100mm, f/8, 1/1000sec, ISO 200, Raw

100% Crop – Bottom Left

Nex-6, selp18200 @ 100mm, f/8, 1/1000sec, ISO 200, Raw

100% Crop – Middle Top Area

 

SELP18200 @ 200mm

Nex-6, selp18200 @ 200mm, f/8, 1/1000sec, ISO 200, Raw

Nex-6, selp18200 @ 200mm, f/8, 1/1000sec, ISO 200, Raw

Nex-6, selp18200 @ 200mm, f/8, 1/1000sec, ISO 200, Raw

100% Crop – Center Area

Nex-6, selp18200 @ 200mm, f/8, 1/1000sec, ISO 200, Raw

100% Crop – Top Right

 

Conclusion

This lens is clearly designed with the Nex VG Camcorders in mind, but if you want to make movies and have a regular Nex E-Mount camera, why not??

Based on the very smooth 3-speed variable and constant zoom, the Sony PZ 18-200mm OSS Lens Review (selp18200) is by far the best lens I’ve ever reviewed for video. It also performs great in the photography department, although the corners could be a bit sharper if you want to get picky. The price point of $1198 @ BHPhoto >>, makes this lens incredible affordable when you consider what your actually getting for the cash. Super smooth, 3-speeds constant or variable,  and almost silent powered zooming from 18-200mm is pretty amazing in my opinion. A budget cinematographers dream lens if you ask me!

I spent a lot of time playing with the zoom and it was very consistent, although the focus would shift around at times when the minimum focus distance was reached, or the scene changed enough to signal re-focusing to the camera. This could be annoying at times, but manual mode is available for those situations if you need it, or you can change focus modes to help.

The facial recognition technology on my Nex-6 worked awesome when using this lens to prioritize focus and exposure as you saw in the sample HD Video above. It just seems to know where to focus most of the time for a lack of a better way of putting it. In order for the facial recognition to work, you need to have the focus mode set to area. This confused me for a minute, because I was using flexible spot and the option was grayed out in the menu. Once I switched back to Area focus mode it turned back on.

That is it for my Sony PZ 18-200mm OSS Lens Review (selp18200), but please feel free to ask questions if you have them, or just comment 😉

Jay

SELP18200 for $1198 US @ BHPhotoVideo >>


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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!!