Sony E PZ 18-110mm f/4 G OSS Review

Sony E PZ 18-110mm f/4 G OSS Handling and Features

Sony E Pz 18 110mm F4 Left Side View

This huge lens weighs in at a fairly hefty 1105g, but combined with the Sony A6500 body used for this review it is surprisingly well balanced and does not feel particularly cumbersome. 18-110mm equates with a 35mm-format equivalent of 27-165mm, in other words from a decent wide angle to a useful telephoto. The aperture is a constant f/4, and for a lens which implies video use by many of its design features, perhaps it is surprising that it is calibrated in f/stops as opposed to T/stops. The lens is billed by Sony as being designed for high quality 4K movie making and having Super Smooth Optics.

As we start our tour of the lens, the huge lenshood shouts video by its robust design and its barn-door closing mechanism. A flick of a switch closes the hood, a very efficient lens cap built in. There is a 95mm standard filter thread.

Sony E Pz 18 110mm F4 With Hood On A6500

Next in, a large ring with plenty of grip is the manual focusing ring. Its action is indeed super smooth. Pushed forwards, this ring is set to AF/MF and can be used for either focusing method. At this setting the minimum focus distance is 0.4m (1.31 feet) at 18mm and 0.95m (3.12 feet) at 110mm. Pulled backwards, this sets MF only. At this setting minimum focus is 0.95m (3.12 feet) over the whole focal length range. The maximum magnification is 0.122x.

As regards focus, with video in mind, this is a parfocal zoom of high order. That is, once the distance is locked zooming does not alter the focus position at all. An object stays in perfect sharp focus as we zoom. A less well known point is axial shift, where the position of an object may shift slightly to one side whilst zooming. With this lens the object position stays firmly put.

Sony E Pz 18 110mm F4 Right Side View
Further towards the camera body we find another ring, this time for setting focal length. We have the choice of manual shift and power zoom, the latter being switched on and off by a switch we will describe shortly. The zoom ring when used manually is again super smooth, aided if needed by a small lug that can be removed or placed on the opposite side of the lens barrel. Not only that, but following the instructions provided, the direction of zoom can be altered, depending upon what we are used to. This can be useful to match the lens with other makes as, for example, traditional Pentax and Nikon users will be used to an opposite direction of zooming to Canon users. Those using this Sony can choose as they wish. The power zoom is also smooth, with just the merest hint of sound when operated. It is highly unlikely that the power zoom will be heard over the ambient noise when making movie recordings.

Moving further towards the camera body the aperture ring is very substantial and clearly marked in one third stop click stops. The click can be switched off using one of the switches that lie around the barrel, just behind the aperture ring. On the right side of the lens we have the Iris Lock switch. This enables the lens to be locked onto the A setting, or when freed allows any setting between A, f/4 and f/22. Below the lens is the on/off switch for the aperture click stops. On the left side of the lens we have the OSS switch, and below this the power zoom control. There is a final switch under the lens that switches between manual and servo (power zoom on) zoom settings.

Dust and moisture resistance is always welcome and enables this lens to be used more freely in poor weather conditions. It also has OSS (Optical Steady Shot) built in, which offers at least 4 stops advantage at slower shutter speeds. The diaphragm is made up of 7 circular design blades.

Needless to say, the optical design is a complex 18 elements in 15 groups, of which 6 elements are Aspheric and 3 are ED (Extra Low Dispersion). Finally, there is a removable tripod foot.

Sony E Pz 18 110mm F4 Rear Oblique View

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