Sony 11-18mm f/4.5-5.6 DT ( SAL-1118 ) - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Sony Alpha/NEX (APS-C)

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published March 2008

Special thanks to Dieter Scherk for providing this lens for testing purposes!


The Sony 11-18mm f/4.5-5.6 DT is currently the only ultra-wide angle lens in the Sony lens lineup. Obviously it is not a native Sony (nor Minolta) design but cross-licensed from Tamron (where Sony is a major shareholder). However, the lens has been modified to match the outer Sony design style and possibly color rendition. Typical for designated "DT" lenses it can only be used on Sony Alpha or Minolta APS-C DSLRs. Its field of view is equivalent to 16.5-27mm on full format cameras - that's merely a 1.6x zoom ratio here.

The build quality of the lens is relatively decent - it's hard to tell but parts of the outer body may even be made of light-weight metal. The very broad, rubberized zoom and focus rings operate quite smooth. The fluted rubber of the control rings provides lots of grip but it tends to collect dust. As you can see below the lens extends marginally towards the long end of the zoom range. The Sony 11-18mm DT is an IF (internal focusing) lens so the front element does not rotate. However, the focus ring remains attached to the focus gear so it does rotate during focus operations. This is a dated approach.

Like most Sony lenses the 11-18mm DT does still rely on the old conventional focusing system driven by the camera (via a slotted drive screw). Consequently the AF produces a moderate degree of noise during operations but the AF is pretty fast thanks to the IF design.

Equiv. focal length16.5-27 mm (full format equivalent)
Equiv. aperturef/6.8-f/8.4 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)
Optical construction15 elements in 12 groups inc. 3 aspherical and 1 ED elements
Number of aperture blades7 (rounded)
min. focus distance0.25 m (max. magnification ratio 1:8)
Dimensions83 x 81 mm
Weight360 g
Filter size77 mm (non-rotating)
Hoodpetal-shaped, snap-on, supplied
Other features-