Sony SEL P 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens Review

Sony SEL P 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Handling and features

As far as build quality is concerned, the way this lens is put together is a cut above Sony's other super-zoom offerings for their NEX cameras. Extensive use of aluminium, coated in a tough black textured finish provides an excellent impression of quality with this lens. It is quite a large lens and it weighs around 649g, which can make it a little cumbersome when combined with some of the more compact NEX camera bodies. The deep finger grip on the Sony NEX-5R used for testing does help to balance the lens better with the camera.

Auto focus is fast and accurate in all but the darkest of lighting conditions. The manual focus and zoom rings are both well damped, which makes applying adjustments by hand a pleasure. A fairly large box on the bottom of the lens contains the mechanism for zoom servo and large switches on the side of the lens are easy to operate. The servo's main function is to provide smooth zoom effects when shooting video.

Three speeds are available to select, all of which are quite slow. This makes the servo less useful for shooting stills, where quick zoom adjustments may be necessary. Minimum focus varies between 30cm and 50cm depending on where the zoom is set. This may cause issues if recomposing using the zoom when in this distance range as you can find yourself suddenly too close to take a properly focused image.

As focusing is performed internally, the 67mm filter ring does not rotate, which makes the lens ideal for use with graduated and polarising filters. A petal-shaped lens hood is supplied as standard, which attaches to the lens via a bayonet fitting.

Thanks to the optical stabiliser this lens is equipped with, sharp hand held images are possible about half the time with shutter speeds as low as 1/20sec at 200mm. This is roughly four stops slower than the usual rule of thumb for hand held image taking would allow.
Sony 18 200 Pz Oss (5)

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