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Owners of the 10-18 f4...how do you like your lens?

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Lenses' started by LowriderS10, Mar 23, 2013.

  1. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 TalkEmount Regular

    122
    Mar 23, 2013
    Hi guys,

    I'm currently shooting with a Canon 5D Mark II and some L lenses and absolutely love it, but I'm going to be backpacking for a few months next year and want something a little smaller, lighter and most importantly something that'll attract less attention from everyone, especially potential thieves...so I'm looking at mirrorless options.

    The majority of my travel shots are with a wide angle lens (16-35L II f2.8), so I've settled on either M4/3 with their Panasonic 7-14 (14-28mm equiv) or a NEX-5R/6 with the 10-18 (15-27mm equiv). Unfortunately, the Panasonic has a bulbous front element, preventing you from using filters. I like long exposure shots with ND filters, so that's an issue for me. It also doesn't have a removable hood, which makes the overall package bigger and more attention-grabbing.

    Still...quality is a big concern...there are plenty of reviews on the Panasonic (apparently it's a great lens), but with the Sony 10-18 being so new, not so much on that (in fact, even on this board, I've only found one thread)...sooo...those of you who own/use this lens...how do you like it? My biggest concern is sharpness. I know it does OK with CA, I know magenta cast is only an issue on the 7, and I know it's a stop slower than my lens, but I can live with that. However...I really can't get any straight answers on how sharp this thing is...how does it compare to other lenses? How do you like it?

    Thanks in advance!
    T
     
  2. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    Only comments on the forum so far for this lens that I can see:

    https://www.talkemount.com/f11/just-got-sel-10-18mm-4-a-2759/

    Personally, the range seems rather limited. Don't know why you would want a zoom of only 8mm. I would rather think the 16-50mm would give you a lot more choices. Plus it is a lot more compact for backpacking. .
     
  3. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    There is a review on Luminous Landscape that looks credible to me. I'm also thinking of getting this lens, from an online store with a good return policy so that I can return a lemon.
     
  4. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 TalkEmount Regular

    122
    Mar 23, 2013
    Thanks, I've seen the LL review...in fact, I should have added that haha...I've read pretty much every major review on this...I'm looking specifically for users' opinions! :)
     
  5. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    If you don't need it in the next few months, why not wait for the 12mm f/2.8 CZ? For obvious reasons it probably will have better IQ than the Sony zoom, it won't cost much more, and it is smaller while yet being a stop faster. I personally don't consider wide angle zooms that attractive and prefer carrying one or two primes with me to cover the range, but that's of course personal preference.
     
  6. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    Sorry, you'll have to wait a little while before I pull the trigger on the 10-18mm! :)
     
  7. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 TalkEmount Regular

    122
    Mar 23, 2013
    Thanks for the suggestion, but I've been shooting DSLRs for years and years (I used to do it professionally, now just doing it for the fun of it). I shoot tens of thousands of frames a year, the vast majority of them (especially when travelling) with a UWA. (Not bragging, just explaining how I came to the conclusion of the 10-18). Yes, the range is very limited, but I used to shoot a Sigma 10-20 on my old 30D (APS-C) crop bodies, and that was fine...this is basically the same. I wish it had a few more mm on the long end, but such is life. Thankfully 16MP has a bit of wiggle room for cropping. One lens would be nice, but the 16-50 is a 24mm equivalent on the wide end and that's not nearly wide enough for me. I want AT LEAST 16-17mm FF equivalent. Last summer, I backpacked through Europe for a month with nothing but a 5D Mark II and a 16-35L II (11-23mm equivalent in the NEX world) and loved it. This setup would give me a bit more on the wide end, but less on the long end, but I could easily slap a 50 1.8 OSS in the backpack as well to cover the long end and then some. (I've also spent 2 weeks in the Philippines with a 1D Mark III and the 16-35L, a week in China with the 5D2 and the wide lens, plus a 100 f2, a week in Hong Kong/Macau with the 5D2 + 16-35 +135L, a bit of time in Japan with just the 5D2 and the 16-35L, so I've pretty much come to the conclusion that I'm happy travelling with just a body and an ultrawide. If I can throw a fast prime in there as well, then I'm 100% satisfied).

    I've thought about it, and the slowness of the 10-18 does concern me (It's been a while since I've owned anything slower than an f2.8, but this lens will be mostly for shots of static subjects: landscapes, cityscapes and architecture inside and out. For that, I can slow the shutter speed down because thankfully the lens has OSS, so I'm hoping that the OSS will largely counter the fact that the lens is a stop slower and the sensor is at least a stop or two behind my 5D2's sensor in terms of high ISO noise. If the OSS is good for 3 stops, then one stop counters the lens slowness, two stops counter the sensor issues, and I'm a happy camper.

    Also, as much as I like primes, I prefer them in the longer focal lengths. For wides, I prefer zooms. Plus, to me, that 3mm (FF equivalent) on the wide end makes a big difference...15mm vs. 18mm (35mm equiv) is a huge change for me...except for about a year when I was shooting a 1D Mark III (1.3x crop factor), my widest lenses have been 16 or 17mm equivalent on the wide end (Sigma 10-20 then Tokina 11-16 on croppers, then 16-35L II on the 1D then the 5D and 5D2)... I really like the perspective and the look of that focal length. Plus, for the stuff I like to do (architecture, especially) it's nice to have the extra width...and finally, this would be my MAIN lens...I know 12mm (FF equivalent) is not much of a zoom range, but it's something, I've lived with as little as 8mm difference on the Tokina 11-16, and I'm currently on a lens with only 19mm of range, and I rarely use anything beyond about 27mm equivalent).

    As for time...I'm not sure...the big 3-4 month backpacking trip I want it for will be a year from now. However, I'm going to Taiwan/Japan for 3 weeks this summer and somewhere for 2 weeks this winter and I'm thinking about buying the NEX ahead of time (within the next few months) and taking it on these trips as sort of a test run and see how I like it...

    Haha thanks...when you do get it, let me know what you think of it.
     
  8. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    You seem very knowledgeable and specific in your needs.

    Be the one who buys it and tells us about it.
     
  9. I took this one to Wales and i absolutely love this lens. It's pin sharp and i would invite you to look at my Wales photos to see what it is capable off.

    In this topic it is stated that it is "only" 8 mm. Somehow people forget that a few mm on a wide angle lens is something totally different than compared with normal zoom lenses. From 10 mm to 18 mm is an increase from 100 (=10 mm) to 180 %! (18mm). If you would compare it with an 100 mm lens you would need to shift it at at least to 180 mm. This is the same difference.

    Verstuurd van mijn GT-N8010 met Tapatalk
     
  10. Another thing is the F4 instead of the preferred f2.8. This would be an advantage if you would need fast shutter times. The fun is that wide angle lense don't need fast shutter times compared to lensens with longer focal lengths. (unless you have plans to shoot soccer from 30 cm in poor light conditions)

    Because of the focal length a shallow depht of field can easily be created.

    If this lens had f2.8 it would be al lot bigger and heavier. You would loose the advantage of having everything light and compact.

    This lens is one of my favourites and i use it often.

    You can find a few of my wales pictures over here:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/veneboer/

    Or

    https://www.talkemount.com/showthread.php?t=2604


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  11. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 TalkEmount Regular

    122
    Mar 23, 2013
    davect01: Thanks, yeah, over the years I've slowly narrowed down and learned my exact photo needs (and things I can get on without). However, just buying it is not really an option. I always do extensive research before buying a product, and I'm rarely unhappy with what I buy. For me, it's not just the question of the lens itself because I also don't have a body. If the Sony 10-18 is good, I'll go Sony system, if it's not, I'll go M4/3. So to just try it out, I'd have to buy a body and a lens...I'd have to take a huge hit on it if I didn't like it.

    Veneboer: I agree, speed isn't really that much of an issue in a UWA. You won't get a lot of bokeh anyways, and hand-holding it is a breeze...any other lens, I'd consider fairly slow at f4, but a UWA gets a pass haha. You're right, f2.8 would make it twice as big and twice as expensive!

    Thank you so much for your link! (And also thank you for leaving the originals on Flickr!). The extreme corners look a little soft, but otherwise you're right, it's very sharp. I'm noticing distortion that's a bit weird, though (really only visible in your sea/sky horizon shots...have you tried correcting them at all? Do the NEX-5R or 6 have any built-in distortion correction? All UWAs will distort horizons like that, so it's not a huge issue, but the 10-18's looks a bit more funky (or complex) than the stuff I'm getting out of my 16-35L. Thanks again for your response and the links, I'm going through all your pictures right now...great captures!
     
  12. Thank you for your feedbak. The pictures were not corrected for distortion and i shot them by hand (not tripod) I think i turned this function off on my 7. Thanx for the tip. The recent ones on my Flickr account were shot with the nex. The older ones with my former Nikon. Sometimes i miss the AF and high iso but on the other hand sony nex involves rapidly and i love the compactness.

    Geetings Rob

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  13. Michael Johansson

    Michael Johansson TalkEmount Regular

    73
    Dec 15, 2012
    Ystad, Sweden
    Michael Johansson
    I have had the lens for a few days now but unfortunately I have not got time or oportunity to give it a good work out yet. Either I have been to work or the weather has ben bad or to dark to do any good tests. The only thing I can say is that its built quality is much, much higher than the 55-210mm and better than the 18-55mm and 50/1,8.


    I also like the the focal length although I wouldn´t mind if it had been a little shorter in the wide side.
     
  14. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 TalkEmount Regular

    122
    Mar 23, 2013
    Thanks, Rob! That's excellent...I'm planning on shooting handheld with the correction turned off (prefer to do that in post, then I have more control over it). Honestly, the distortion doesn't bother me at all (I've been shooting for UWAs for many, many years, I've learned to work with it and even like the distortion sometimes), but it really irks me on horizons. This is nothing against the Sony, though, they all do it, even my 16-35L II, which was considered to be the world's best UWA zoom for a very long time (Now the Nikon slightly edges it out). Either way, if I could correct those horizons, I'd be happy with it.

    Yeah, saw your D700 shots, very nice as well! I love how much smoother the DSLR shot is at base ISO...I've been looking at pictures out of the 5R and the NEX-6 and they seemed to have improved on base ISO noise from the 5/5N and the 7...that was something that always bothered me about the Sonys.

    Thanks, let me know when you do get a chance to shoot with it, I'd love to hear your impressions (especially with respect to sharpness/resolution)...great to hear about the build...if I do get it (and it's 99.99% at this point that I will), it'll be put through its paces, and a good build will go a long way!
     
  15. Mirrorless

    Mirrorless TalkEmount Rookie

    23
    Jul 11, 2012
    Ambrose
    I also have the lens for a few months. I like my UWA lens as well. The lens generally its very sharp. The color rendition is actually quite pleasing to me.

    The following photo of SaturnV was shoot at ISO200 10mm f/4 @ 1/8 sec handheld with OSS enabled. I don't think I could pull this off without the OSS when I was standing on a ledge backing to a wall. Everything came out sharp corner to corner (almost). I can even read the word beside the guy on the right hand corner at full size quite clearly(6000x4000)

    The first 2 are 95% OOC jpeg. (added a few points of clarity in LR)

    DSC04013. 483849_435253206553315_1601863593_n. 188269_425580210853948_302124272_n.


    I tried not to like the lens so that I could get the Zeiss 12 f2.8, but this lens was very easy to carry around, it is light and have OSS. The quality is very good as well. Except, I am hoping the is a lens correction profile in ACR soon. I made one but it wasn't ideal :blush:.

    If it comes to do night sky photography the Zeisss would be a better choice, for everything else when tripod is not an option (low light, handheld interior shot, moving vehicles) 10-18 is more versatile.


    btw, it can use "filter", but cannot be stacked even if they are both the thin type. (e.g. clear + CPL) I have not tried using my LEEs cos I didn't have the 62mm adapter ring :(
     
  16. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    Sooner than I thought I pulled the trigger on the 10-18mm and received it today. Took a few test shots and within 15 minutes it was clear that I got a dud. It's on the way back already to the webstore, which has had a liberal return policy so far.

    My sample was unsharp at the left of the image, at 18mm it was so bad that even the center wasn't really sharp. The right part of the image was sharp enough, and if the rest of the image was as good I would have kept it.

    100 % crops at 18 mm, f/5.6, 1/40 s, ISO 400, OSS on, NEX-6
    i-CxjzHkX-XL.
     

    Attached Files:

  17. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    Wow, that makes you wonder if there's any QA applied before these things ship. [shaking my head]
     
  18. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    So far I have a 100 % failure rate on Sony NEX lenses: the 10-18mm and the 55-210mm, that was distinctly unsharp at the lower quarter of the image. Fortunately my Sigma 19 and 30 are fine and I can supplement them with picking the best Minolta lenses from my collection.
     
  19. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 TalkEmount Regular

    122
    Mar 23, 2013
    Thanks so much for your feedback and the samples! I grabbed your Flickr link and will go through it on my lunch time! :D I'm not too worried about filters, the only one I really want is the Light Craft Workshop Fader II ND (I have one for my DSLR lenses) ...and thankfully they were smart enough to design it so that the outer glass (it's a two-piece filter) is significantly bigger than the inner one...so hopefully vignetting won't be an issue (as it isn't on my 16-35L).

    Wow, that looks like some serious de-centering! Thanks for the feedback...this is going to add another bit of complexity to my purchase (I live in South Korea, but don't speak much Korean...certainly not enough to return a faulty item), but I'll make sure I go through a place with a good return policy...

    Sucks to hear that QC is so shoddy...hopefully that was just an early production issue...sometimes they work these things out with later samples...I'm going to hold off a couple of months before buying one anyways...hopefully they'll get their act together by then. :D
     
  20. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    Yeah, quality control and centering quality generally is very bad with Sony E-Mount lenses. Seems like the 24mm is an exception with Zeiss quality control (apart from the hood, which breaks regularly ...), at least every copy I tried of it offered great performance.