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Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Review

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Introduction

The Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS is a versatile wide-angle to telephoto zoom lens for Sony APS-C E-mount mirrorless cameras such as the latest A6500, offering a 7.5x zoom range that provides a 28-202.5mm equivalent focal range. It features 16 elements in 12 groups including one aspherical lens and two Extra-low Dispersion glass elements that minimise aberrations. It also has a near-circular 7 blade diaphragm which creates an attractive blur to the out-of-focus areas of the image, 0.45m minimum focusing distance, and a linear AF motor that delivers fast and quiet auto-focusing. The Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS lens is available now for around £569 / $599 in the UK and the US, respectively.

Ease of Use

Weighing in at 325g and measuring nearly 9cm in length, the plastic bodied Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS is very compact and lightweight considering the versatile focal range on offer. It does extend further by almost 2.5cms, though, when it’s set to the 135mm focal length.

Build quality is more than good enough for a plastic-bodied lens. The Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS has a metal lens mount and it accepts 55mm filters. It is not weather sealed, though, one of the main concessions to hit the competitive price point.

The Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS has a fairly narrow, ridged focus ring. Manual focusing is possible by using the dedicated AF/MF switch to toggle between AF and MF. There are hard stops at both ends of the focal range, making it easier to set focus at infinity. Polariser users should be pleased that the 55mm filter thread doesn’t rotate on focus.

The Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS zoom lens utilizes a precision linear motor for fast and quiet auto-focusing. It’s a very quick performer on the Sony A6500 that we tested it with, taking about 0.2 seconds to lock onto the subject. We hardly experienced any “hunting”, either in good or bad light, with the lens accurately focusing almost all of the time. It is also a virtually silent lens when auto-focusing, making it perfect for movie shooting or for more candid use.

The Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS features optical image stabilisation and it can also pair up with the camera body’s own built-in stabilisation system to even greater effect (if available).

The Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS lens is commendably supplied with both a soft case and a good quality plastic petal-shaped lens hood (ALC-SH153).

Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSSThe Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS lens mounted on a Sony A6500

Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSSThe Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS lens mounted on a Sony A6500

Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSSThe Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS lens mounted on a Sony A6500

Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSSThe Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS lens mounted on a Sony A6500, extended to 135mm

Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSSThe Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS lens mounted on a Sony A6500

Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSSThe Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS lens mounted on a Sony A6500, extended to 135mm

Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSSSide of the Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS lens with the supplied lens hood fitted

Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSSFront of the Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS lens

Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSSSide of the Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS lens

Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSSSide of the Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS lens, extended to 135mm

Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSSFront of the Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS lens

Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSSRear of the Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS lens

Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSSFront of the Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS lens

Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSSRear of the Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS lens

Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSSThe Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS lens in-hand

Focal Range

At the 18mm focal length the angle of view is 76 degrees.

 Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSSField of view at 18mm

At the 135mm focal length the angle of view is 12 degrees.

 Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSSField of view at 135mm

Chromatic Aberrations

Chromatic aberrations, typically seen as blue or purple fringes along contrasty edges, were not very apparent in our test shots, only appearing in very high contrast areas.

Light Fall-off and Distortion

With the lens set to its maximum apertures of f/3.5 and f/5.6, there is some obvious light fall-off in the corners, requiring you to stop down by at least 2 f-stops to prevent it.

There’s very little barrel distortion and virtually no pin-cushion distortion evident.

Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS18mm

Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS135mm

Macro

The Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS offers a minimum focusing distance of 45cm, with a maximum magnification of 0.29x, which combined with the maximum 135mm focal length makes it useful for close-ups. The following example demonstrates how close you can get to your subject, in this case a Compact Flash memory card (shot at the 135mm focal length).

Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS

Bokeh

Bokeh is a word used for the out-of-focus areas of a photograph, and is usually described in qualitative terms, such as smooth / creamy / harsh etc. In the Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS lens, Sony employed an iris diaphragm with 7 rounded blades, which has resulted in quite appealing bokeh.

Sharpness

In order to show you how sharp this lens is, we are providing 100% crops on the following pages.

Thank you for your interest to visit this page Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Review. I hope this review can be an additional reference for you.

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