18-55 redemption

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Lenses' started by Amamba, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    My original silver 18-55 made sometime in 2012 in Thailand is not a very reliable lens. I bought it used so there's a chance it was damaged (although there's no traces of any damage and everything seems to be working fine). Anyway, it can produce great shots at f8, but the stars must be aligned just right. It misses focus a lot, especially wide open, and even DMF doesn't help much. It seems to be miscalibrated.

    Having complained about it on forums, and having heard some people tell me theirs work just fine (although there were many who agreed with me that it was a turd), I decided to try it once again. I found a black one on local CL, was hoping for a Japan made version but this is also Thailand.

    After shooting it on the inside for a few days (the crappy weather doesn't let me use it outside) I think this one is great.

    It's pretty sharp wide open at tele end. I used direct flash to eliminate variables like camera shake and get good (if harsh) lighting, and the focus seems sharp and spot on. When using bounced flash, the photos appear softer (can't use the same shutter speeds, and the ISO goes up) but still very acceptable.

    Either there's a lot of sample variation, or Sony cleaned up their QC, or perhaps while repairing their assembly line after the Thai floods, they upgraded their process equipment.

    Can't wait to get it outside once the skies clear up. If the distortion at wide end is bearable, and the corners are not too mushy, it could make a great travel lens. I have Sigma 19/2.8 and Sigma 12-24 that I can use with an adapter, but the first one is a bit limiting in FL, and the other one is large and not something I would want to keep on the camera the entire day. 18-55 would work just perfectly.
    • Like Like x 1
  2. HabsFan

    HabsFan TalkEmount Veteran

    Apr 10, 2013
    Ontario, CAN
    Yeah, it's not that bad of a lens at all. I think it's better than the A-mount 18-55 DT. Way better built for starters.

    I tend to avoid 18mm and 55mm if I can as they seem to be the most problematic. I find between 20mm and 45mm, it does really well especially if you can stop it down a little bit, even 2/3rds of a stop makes a difference especially in decent light.
  3. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    Well avoiding 55mm shouldn't be an issue but on the wide end I need all I can get...

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
  4. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    It works great, as long as you are not trying for anything too much.

    Remember what it is and you should get respectable images.
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