Sony E 18-105mm f/4 G OSS ( SEL18105G ) - Review / Test - Samples & Verdict
Lens Reviews - Sony NEX

Sample Images & Verdict

Please note that these images were taken with ACTIVATED image auto-correction.

Click on a thumbnail to view the original file (opens in a separate window). Please note that the originals are FULL SIZE samples (=several megabytes) thus requiring a significant amount of bandwidth so please take care of the limited resources here.

Make SONY
Model NEX-7
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 28.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/800s
Make SONY
Model NEX-7
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 105.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/3200s
Make SONY
Model NEX-7
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 105.0mm
Aperture: f/4.0
Exposure 1/1600s
Make SONY
Model NEX-7
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 105.0mm
Aperture: f/4.0
Exposure 1/1600s
Make SONY
Model NEX-7
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 58.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/500s
Make SONY
Model NEX-7
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 105.0mm
Aperture: f/4.0
Exposure 1/2000s
Make SONY
Model NEX-7
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 80.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/400s
Make SONY
Model NEX-7
ISO Speed 800
Focal Length 18.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/4000s
Make SONY
Model NEX-7
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 19.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/640s
Make SONY
Model NEX-7
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 21.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/400s
Make SONY
Model NEX-7
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 105.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/2000s
Make SONY
Model NEX-7
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 18.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/2000s
Make SONY
Model NEX-7
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 34.0mm
Aperture: f/7.1
Exposure 1/1250s

Verdict

The Sony E 18-105mm f/4 G OSS may not be the most stellar performer around but it is the go-to standard zoom lens for Sony APS-C mirrorless cameras. The resolution characteristic varies a bit but it is actually good where it counts. Thus you can achieve pretty sharp results across the image field at 18mm - when stopping down a little - and at 35mm. At the long end the image corners are soft but then how often do you require sharp corners at this setting ? Most of the time your image subject will be in or close to the image center and the lens is darn sharp there. Lateral CAs are noticeable at 18mm and 105mm. The vignetting characteristic is about average so it's nothing to write home about at f/4 but it's Ok when stopping down. Far from being average are the very odd image distortions. In terms of distortion spread (max-min), the lens is actually not that extreme (5%) but in absolute terms the pincushion distortions are unacceptable in the 35-105mm range really. The message behind all this is that you should enable image auto-correction either in the camera or in your favorite RAW converter. This comes at cost of image quality but the end result is much more pleasing. The quality of the bokeh is better than usual - especially in terms of general blur - but out-of-focus highlights can be a little rough.

A positive aspect of the lens is build quality. Sony managed to design a constant physical length despite the very broad zoom range. That's quite an achievement actually. The metal finish as well as the smooth focus & zoom rings contribute to the high quality perception. Weather sealing is not part of the feature list though. The Sony E 18-105mm f/4 G OSS is optimized for movies meaning that the zoom mechanism is motorized. The zoom and also focus rings are therefore driving internal motors. However, we haven't found any real issue during our still photography sessions although the slightly delayed zoom action may be something to get used to in the beginning. The pretty fast & silent AF and the optical image stabilizer complete the good impressions.

The broad zoom range is highly useful for applications such as travel photography. It's also a natural mate to the Sony E 10-18mm f/4 OSS. And unlike Sony's full format lenses, the Sony E 18-105mm f/4 G OSS is also surprisingly affordable (600US$/500EUR). So all in all we haven't seen greatness in this lens but it is an attractive package nonetheless.

Optical Quality:
Mechanical Quality:
Price/Performance:
      
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