Sony DT 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6
Review Date : Mon, 2 Apr 2007
Author : Jamie Harrison
With its loud AF motor, this lens can be rather distracting to the photographer.
This is one the longest of the lenses in this category, with a 35mm equivalent of 27-105mm, thanks to the Sony Alpha 1.5x magnification ratio. The more devoted enthusiast may also spot comparisons with another lens of the recent past, made by the now-defunct Konica Minolta. This is a re-badged version, due to Sony’s takeover of the Konica Minolta camera division.
The plastic exterior of the lens contains eleven optical elements in nine groups, one of which is an aspherical lens. There’s a minimum focus distance of 38cm, and a minimum aperture of f/36.
Build and handlingThe all-plastic exterior feels pretty solid, helped by the overall weight of the optic at 235g. There’s also a very wide zoom ring with a solid and smooth rotation. A smaller ring at the end of the barrel allows manual focus in manual mode only. Focusing is not as quick as other lenses in this category, and the AF system has more problems locking on to the subject than the others. The Sony lens also suffers from a loud AF motor, which when combined with the AF hunting is rather distracting to the photographer and may not be conducive to shooting discretely.
Sony’s standard zoom lens is okay for snapshots but it fails to impress under close inspection. As well as some poor distortion results, the overall resolution is average and chromatic aberration at the wide end proves only marginally better than the Canon 18-55mm. The tele end of the lens does show signs of improvement, though it is still not as impressive as some other lenses we’ve seen.
The lens only managed an average optical performance, which when combined with the reasonable build quality but poor handling, places this optic firmly in the mediocre camp. Save up your money and look for a replacement.