Selp18105g A little disapointing in some areas, surprisingly good in others.

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Lenses' started by OldNoob, Jan 15, 2015.

  1. OldNoob

    OldNoob TalkEmount Veteran

    Oct 30, 2014
    Well the wedding is over and it was a very fun wedding.
    Relying mainly on a rented Selp18105g for most of the pictures.
    I've got to say , i was a little underwhelmed with it. It seemed soft at f4.5 to 5.6. f4.0 was totally useless for stills.
    It is extremely sensitive to shake even at the wide end. Could not go below 1/80 shutter speed at 18mm ( more like 20mm ) even with Shake reduction on. I attribute this to the lens design,, because i can do 1/60 just fine with the kit lens.
    But all that is not the bad part. i have had to spend soooo much time in post processing each shot to correct the barrel/ pin cushion distortion of the lens, it's all over the place. (im still editing pictures)

    On the positive side, Oddly enough, the a6000 preferred the 18-105mm for video even over my sel50f18. Shake reduction while in video mode was actually very good. and video was bright in dark situations,, even brighter than my 50mm prime at wider apertures. I'm guessing that there was more exposure adaptive information being exchanged with the camera than was happening with the prime.

    This lens is very light compared to its competitors. Internal zoom was nice as well.

    I rented the SELP18105g from It arrived with a bit of a ding in the barrel, which i called them about, they assured me it was "Cosmetic" otherwise it would not of been shipped out. I have no clue if the ding affected image quality.

    Well first wedding with a digital camera.
    Freezing temps = indoor shooting + yellow background = Ugh!
    Don't think i will do another, im getting to old for the stress. ;) 
    • Like Like x 2
  2. alaios

    alaios TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2013
    Yes it looks like this is mostly a lens for video usage and not for stills.. too bad
  3. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    I hope you at least got some good shots of the day
  4. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    I really like mine but then again maybe my expectations and/or standards are lower :) 
  5. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    It is not as sharp as the Sigma 30, but I wouldn't call it soft either. It's about on par with 18-55 which is reasonably sharp. By f5.6 it sharpens up nicely but never quite gets to the level of say Sigma 17-50/2.8 I had on Canon.

    At f4, it's not really an indoor lens, and pushing into high ISO will degrade the perceived sharpness. I don't know if I had any problems with "excessive shake", but I do try to use a monopod whenever possible shooting with this lens indoors, because most of the time I am forced into shutter speeds that are less than the focal length.

    The distortion is not an issue since it's corrected in both LR and C1P.

    My two biggest gripes with this lens are size (not weight, it's fairly light) and the fact that it's not f2.8. Nothing that can be done about this, I'm afraid.

    Basically, it's a decent travel lens - consider it a 18-55 kitlens on steroids.
  6. WestOkid

    WestOkid TalkEmount All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 25, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    I seriously think you had a bad copy, particularly because you had trouble with shake. Sharpness and usability at various apertures can be subjective, but camera shake at shutter speeds 3X the focal length on an OSS lens makes no sense. Honestly, if I hadn't already seen your work, I would be questioning your technique. Since that's not the problem I would suspect something is wrong with the lens. If it's soft across all focal lengths and apertures, I would guess the OSS was broken and causing the issues. Get your money back!

    I no longer have the lens. I traded for the Ziess 16-70, but it is a good lens. That is just my opinion, but there are also several scientific test that prove it is quite sharp. Much sharper than the 1855 and 1650.

    Here are some shots that I would say are quite sharp wide open or max focal length. I didn't take a lot of indoor shots with the lens because I used the primes. However I remembered, I used it at my daughters recital because I was also shooting video. even the shot with my daughter was shot 48mm @ 1/60 wide open. This is essentially a 75mm shot @ 1/60. You would expect it to be a mess using the lens you had, given you could not get 18mm @ 1/80 to look sharp.

    14297143160_4ae1abe55d_b. Beatiful Lattice by iShootPics (westOkid), on Flickr

    14470587931_bf6946b9c6_b. Some things never get old by iShootPics (westOkid), on Flickr

    14435610573_4a8d79a47a_b. Holding Strong by iShootPics (westOkid), on Flickr
    • Like Like x 2
  7. Jman13

    Jman13 TalkEmount Regular

    Jul 4, 2014
    Aside from the awful distortion, the 18-105mm is a decent lens. When I reviewed it I said it's "Always a competent lens, but rarely a stellar lens." and that still holds true for me today.

    As far as distortion goes, Lightroom has a profile for the lens, so if you use LR, simply click on "Enable Profile Corrections" and poof: instantly corrected distortion. I view it as a must for this lens. Honestly, without the profile correction, the lens is worthless, as the distortion is the worst of any lens I've ever used, but with the profile correction it's a decent performer.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    Yeah, some of these lenses were designed to be used with software correction. And trying to use them without it is just counterproductive. You may as well try to use a banana to drive a screw. :p 
  9. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur Subscribing Member

    Nov 13, 2012
    Ad Dieleman
    Agree here. I tested the lens at various apertures and focal lengths in a store, also taking it outside and I must say I was quite pleased with the results. Wide-open it seemed thoroughly useable and the OSS was quite effective. If I hadn't switched to the A7, I would have gotten the lens because it offers a very nice zoom range coupled with good image quality. Although it is kind of big, it handles well and is not too heavy. And yes, I also agree with David (WoodWorks), using it without software correction just doesn't make sense.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Kruschtel

    Kruschtel New to TalkEmount

    Aug 9, 2014
    I also think your lens was broken. The OSS for stills is rather effective and its quite sharp, too. The SELP18105 is very usable at f4, better for pixel peeping or landscape at f5.6.
    I have some examples on my blog review of the SELP18105.
    If you take a look at the second cat eye crop at ISO800 78mm f4 you will find astonishing detail in there.

    P.S: Don't you have Lightroom? There its just a click to apply the lens profile. I use DNG converter first to make it compatible with my old Photoshop copy.
    Or download the FREE capture one for Sony! It does lens correction even without a tick :) 
    Or use the free Sony IDC program.
    • Like Like x 2
  11. OldNoob

    OldNoob TalkEmount Veteran

    Oct 30, 2014
    It's very possible that i got a defective one. I could not pull a sharp image of of the selp18105g to save my life, even at f/7 in some cases. and i was tempted to use my prime ,, but was restricted by distance of flash travel.
    And in post editing i soon found that it was quite a balancing act to correct the vast pin cushion distortion and still leave enough of the field borders for print orderers to crop to their needs.
  12. Kruschtel

    Kruschtel New to TalkEmount

    Aug 9, 2014
    Except for the distortion, that shot doesn't look bad at this size. Using small flexible focus, the AF is very reliable, whereas with AF-C and 6field it sometimes tends to focus in front, if you don't look out for those dancing dots :) 
    Using Adobe Camera Raw, I could get rid of distortion setting correction to 136% for the strongest sections between 24 and 35 mm, see examples in my second part of the blog review.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. OldNoob

    OldNoob TalkEmount Veteran

    Oct 30, 2014
    I noticed this as well during the rehearsel. AF-C and AF-A front focused quite a bit so i switched to AF-S and used adjustable spot focus.
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