Sony E 3.5-5.6/18-135 OSS Lens

Sony SEL 18-135 Lens Review

Sony have released a new E-Mount 7.5 X zoom lens with the focal range of 18-135mm (a full frame equivalent of approximately 28-200mm).

This is a popular focal range for cameras with crop sensors. Canon and Nikon also have these 18-135 lenses. The Sony 18-135, however, is significantly smaller and lighter than the competing lenses and the results are pin sharp across the focal range. This new zoom makes an ideal travel lens for users who don’t want continually stop to change lenses. I personally would use this lens in conjunction with the E 1.8/50 (to capture portraits with ultra-shallow depth of field) and the E 10-18 f/4 ultra wide-angle zoom lens to capture the ‘bigger’ picture. If you were looking to find fault with this lens it would be the corners at the wider focal lengths are slightly soft, but this is only to be expected on a lens that has the convenience of 7.5 times zoom. I personally don’t find this an issue, and if critical sharpness is required across the frame at these wider focal lengths I would typically be using the SEL 10-18 zoom. As with most of my lens reviews I allow you to be the judge of the actual quality that can be achieved when using this lens by going to an Album of ultra HD and Full Resolution files I have posted online. You will see these images have been captured at a variety of focal lengths and apertures.

Gallery of Ultra HD images: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmcNrBhU

NOTE > The first six images are full resolution (no crop) and are intended to be downloaded to your computer so that you can zoom in to 1:1 (100%) so that you can accurately assess the sharpness (full resolution images may appear slightly softer than 4K images when scaled to fit the browser window). The ultra HD or 4K images should be viewed on a 4K screen if possible to appreciate the quality.

To get the most of this new lens you should update the firmware for your A6300 or A6500 camera. The current firmware for the A6000 is 3.20.


Mark Galer is a Global Imaging Ambassador for Sony, an experienced educator and an Imaging Ambassador for Adobe. As well as public speaking he offers training in the form of creative workshops and one-on-one training.

2 thoughts on “Sony E 3.5-5.6/18-135 OSS Lens

  1. Graham says:

    There is comment on dpreviw forum where people are returning their copies of this lens because they are not sharp at the 18 mm and the 135mm ends, eg this one Received my copy today. I am disappointed. Center sharpness is very good but the sides 18mm as well as @ 135 are not good, even @f8. Lightroom does not correct the distortion and vignetting (but C1 does). Will stay with my 18105 and the Canon 1855. Too bad, I was very hopeful. Snapa: You win :-). My copy goes back. Your high resolution images to me seem very good but there is not one at the 18mm end is there.

    • Mark says:

      At the 2 minute point the movie the image is captured at 18mm and is sharp corner to corner. Lightroom will correct distortion when it is updated and can recognise the lens profile.

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