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Customer Reviews

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Price:£433.25+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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on 26 March 2008
I like this lens. If you took all of my lenses and left just one, I'd want it to be this one. The range (18-250) is great for the vast majority of photography done while travelling or touring. This lens particularly excels on holidays when, generally, you are outdoors in reasonable or good light. It benefits a lot from being stopped down to f5.6-f8 when you get really good sharpness, hence the need for reasonable light. Wide open, particularly at the wide focal lengths, it can be disappointingly soft (worse than the kit lens).

If I could only take two lenses travelling with me it would be this one, backed up by a 50mm f1.4 for low-light social shots.

Pros - Great range, very sharp when stopped down a bit, good build quality
Cons - Really quite soft wide open at wide angle
0Comment|41 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
This is one of two lenses I own (apart from the kit lens that came with my a200), the other one being the Sony f1.8 50 prime.

This lens excels as an outdoor single lens solution, having an excellent range that encompasses any two other lenses. The Sony version is based on the original Tamron, the Sony having better Bokeh (and some reviews also put the Sony a little faster in auto focus).

As with all lenses of this optical range, there are problems at the very low and high end, but nothing that can't be sorted out in post processing if it is an issue.

A bigger issue for some may be that the 18-250 is often too slow for low light (for that, read indoors under artificial lighting). Of course, a suitably faster lens with the same range would also be twice as heavy and 10 times as expensive... not really an option (or even an issue) unless you want to shoot rock concerts in darkened venues or high speed sporting events.

Another minor (i.e. 'to be expected') issue is that the 18-250 has no macro mode. Again, you can't have a range of 18-250mm and expect macro as well!

Overall, a recommended buy. Not perfect, but possibly the most versatile single lens solution out there, and certainly the backbone piece of any beginner/intermediates 2-3 lens set (especially, if, like most users, the majority of your photos are taken outside or in reasonable light).

The only other lenses I'm looking for to complete my set is the Tokina 11-16 to take my below the low end of the SAL18-250 (and into true wide angle), and perhaps a macro.

*** Update October 2010 ***
Since writing this review, I now have that Tokina 11-16 and the macro (Tamron SP Di 90mm), and I now own the Sony Alpha a500. Still using the 18-250 as a general purpose lens - if Im out and about doing some general outdoor photography, I pack the Tokina and the 18-250, and perhaps the Tamron as a portrait/macro.

*** Update January 2011 ***
Rumour has it that there will be an updated version of the 18-250 lens out soon. If you are thinking of buying the version on this page, it may be prudent to wait and see if there is a price drop because of the newer version. SonyAlphaRumours may shed more light on release dates if the new lens is not out when you read this.
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on 15 October 2010
Great piece of kit, finally I have a great all round lens and don't have to change it constantly which is not great especially when on the vacation.

This makes great photos, it's amazing giving it's from 18 wide to 250 tele!

Use to have 18-55 Sony and 55-200 Tamron this gives you so much more.

5/5

******* Update after - after 2 years - would give it 6/5 if I could! *******

I have used this lens for over 2 years on the A550 and now on the A77, I have learned a few more things about photography and the lens grew up on me even more.
This lens captured beautifully unforgettable memories on few holidays and local trips.

With A77 I use full manual mode much often, and it results in better, sharper images.

Still amazed with versatility of this lens. Granted, AF is little bit slower noisier than A77 kit 16-50 lens, but considering range/age/price it is to be expected and doesn't devalue this glass.

You can use it for light box product macro shots, portraits with great bokeh, wide landscapes and even BIF!
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on 23 June 2012
I studied a number of reviews on this and similar lenses, it was to be the most expensive lens I purchased and plumped for the Sony over several alternatives.
Whats good - fast focus and sharp pics, it does however become a little soft at 250mm but I have learnt not to take it to the edge!!
Not a criticism as this is the nature of this type of lens at this price.
Solid feel construction though definitely not too heavy for all day hand held use.
Not so good - lens creep, after only a few days, use unless locked the "trombone" slides out (I wear it shoulder slung resting at the hip). Whilst I realise that is why there is a locking function, when you raise it up and frame your subject to take a shot, all too late you have to fiddle to find the lock, or worse still you have to bring the camera down, knowing that the inquisitive but cautious shot of a lifetime in front of you won't be there when you bring the camera back to your eye..
Have to say however that is more about tecnique, all in all and having used it probably daily it has become my favourite, serving well for close up as well as a reasonable zoom
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on 25 January 2009
I actually bought this lens just after Christmas but ended up returning it after 2 weeks as there were a couple of annoying characteristics that really bugged me.

Let me start by saying that the focal range is huge, image quality is acceptable and the price is amazing (if you pay less than £330 that is, try Jessops). This lens has many good points but it also has a couple of negative points which annoyed the hell out of me, although you might find that you can live with them.

The first problem is darkening in the corners. It is quite extreme at wide angle and large aperture. Of course most telephoto lenses in this price range will suffer from it, but this lens seemed particularly bad. The darkening was also uneven so it was hard to edit it out evenly. Secondly it suffers quite easily from lens flare which ruined more than a couple of shots. In time you would get used to these limitations. Thirdly sharpness is ok but not significantly better than the cheapo 18-70 kit lens which incidentally out-performed this lens with regard to darkening and flare.

I guess that Sony have produced a product that is a one lens solution for those on a budget. Any lens has its limitations, but it's all down to how much you want to spend and what you're prepared to accept in terms of quality. The more you spend the more you get. As for me, I think I'll wait to save for the Carl Zeiss 16 - 80 and the 70 - 300 G SSM. A lot more money I know but I just can't live with the 18-250's limitations.

I've given the lens 4 stars in terms of what you're getting for your money. This may not be the lens for me but it's still incredible value.
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on 29 December 2011
I have this item, it recently covered all angles, (forgive the pun) while on a 2 week holiday around the Grand Canyon. All I took with my A700 was this plus the Sony 11-18. Job done. There is a superb lock on the lens which prevents it moving when not in use. I found I had an electrical problem on mine which manifested itself intermittently when the lens was attached to the camera body. This cause odd colours to be present so I had to check the first picture had been taken successfully after fitting the lens. Once it was found to be ok I could simply shoot away until I had to re fit the lens. I took it back for an immediate replacement. It is a lens I would not be without. Just waiting for the 70-400 to arrive and that is my set up complete until the A99 is released!
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on 2 October 2015
Very pleased with lens and delivery from Camera Centre UK. Only issue is the continuing correspondence with Sony to honour their £50 cashback offer! Have sent scanned copy of the invoice, (2 page multi page scanned document), but Sony (Belgium) only seem to read page 1, and say the document is invalid and my claim invalid. I continue to chase them to get them to meet their obligation, which was a deciding factor in my decision to buy.
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on 26 July 2011
Fast service, less than a day to arrive. thats quick. brilliant lens & so compact, much shorter than my Sigma 70/300.
Seems to be as good as my SAL 1870 lens over the same range & with the built in zoom it's my one lens solution.
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on 6 January 2014
Very happy with the Sony Lens. The package arrived on time and well protected in its packaging. The lens does everything it was described, extremely happy with my purchase and the seller.
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on 1 March 2016
A great product .. Recommended to anyone wanting a quality and an adaptable lense.
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