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Sony DT 18-250mm ED
f/3.5-6.3, for 1.5x sensors only
© 2010 KenRockwell.com. All rights reserved.

Intro   Specs   Performance   Recommendations

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Sony 18-250mm

Sony 18-250mm (62mm filters, 15.5 oz./440g, about $579). bigger. This free website's biggest source of support is when you use these links, especially these directly to it at Adorama or at Amazon, when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. Thank you! Ken.


December 2010   More Sony Reviews   Minolta Reviews   Other Reviews


Introduction         top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Recommendations


B&H Photo - Video - Pro Audio

Ritz Camera

I personally buy from Adorama, Amazon, Ritz, B&H, Calumet and J&R. I can't vouch for ads below.


The Sony 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 DT is a made-in-China, 80% plastic, do-it-all lens for Sony's 1.5x sensor cameras, like the Sony A55, A33 and A55V.

It has low optical and mechanical performance, but it's probably good enough for the casual use it's likely to see from the people who actually will buy it.

It's not for serious use; it's loaded with distortion and it's soft at the long end, but for family travel, don't let me stop you if you want a do-it-all lens for your Sony.


Sony 18-250mm

Rear, Sony 18-250mm. bigger.


Specifications         top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Recommendations



Sony 18-250mm

Barrel Bottom, Sony 18-250mm. bigger.

Sony calls this model number SAL18250.



16 elements in 13 groups.

3 aspheric elements.

Internal focus.

Pumper zoom: front section moves in and out a lot as zoomed.


Focal Length

18-250mm, which gives the same angles-of-view on 1.5x sensor cameras as a 28-375mm lens would give on 35mm and full-frame cameras.


Close Focus

1.5 feet (0.45m), rated.


Maximum Reproduction Ratio

1:3.4, rated.


Filter Thread

62mm, plastic.

Does not rotate, but moves in and out with zooming.



Sony 18-250mm

Front, Sony 18-250mm at f/22. bigger.

7 blades, stopping down to f/22-40.



Plastic bayonet C-SH104 included.



3 x 3-3/8" (75 x 86mm), rated.



15.5 oz (440g), rated.


Performance         top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Recommendations

Lenses like this help me appreciate how good we have it with Canon and Nikon. Without low-performance lenses like this, we'd have nothing to show us how good even Nikon and Canon's cheapest lenses really are.

This Chinese-made Sony lens is often unsharp in test conditions, and loaded with distortion and lateral color fringes. You won't see these problems for the ordinary family photography for which this lens is intended, but it will be obvious to careful photographers. Unlike Nikon's 18-200 and 28-300mm, this Sony is not a wonder of technology. Lenses like this are why we were so surprised when the Nikon 18-200mm came out and it was good!


Distortion       performance     top

This lens is loaded with distortion.

This can be corrected for critical use by plugging these figures into Photoshop's lens distortion filter. These aren't facts or specifications, they are the results of my research that requires hours of photography and calculations on the resulting data.

Factor at
3m (10 feet)



© 2010 KenRockwell.com. All rights reserved.

* some waviness remains.


Lateral Color Fringes        performance     top

It has some minor lateral color fringes at 18mm.

It's OK from 35mm through 135mm.

It is loaded with green-magenta fringes at 250mm.


Mechanics and Materials        performance     top

Sony 18-250mm

Rear, Sony 18-250mm. bigger.


The mount is metal, the glass is glass, and the middle barrel ring on which is printed "3.5-6.3/18-250" is metal.

Everything else is plastic, and feels like it.

The zoom and focus rings are dinky plastic.

The two extending forebarrels are plastic.

The filter threads are plastic.

It's dinky plastic, and over $500? I don't think so.


Sharpness       performance     top

As shot on a 16MP Sony A55V:

At 18mm, it's reasonably sharp, except on the sides and corners. The corners sort of get better as stopped down.

At 35mm, it's soft at f/4.5, and a little better stopped down.

At 70mm and 135mm, it was very soft on the left side, a sign of decentering.

At 250mm, it is soft all over and loaded with chromatic aberration, sort of like a toy lens.


Recommendations         top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Recommendations

I wouldn't buy one of these things. Low optical performance, made in China mostly of plastic, and over $500? Are you kidding? Sony doesn't even bother trying to make their plastic feel like something better, as do Tokina, Nikon and Canon.

I'd rather shoot with an old Minolta MAXXUM 50mm f/1.7, which has much better optical performance, is completely compatible with Sony DSLRs, including full-frame, and sells for about $75 used at eBay.


Help me help you         top

I support my growing family through this website, as crazy as it might seem.

The biggest help is when you use any of these links to Adorama, Amazon, eBay, Ritz, Calumet and J&R and when you get anything. It costs you nothing, and is this site's, and thus my family's, biggest source of support. eBay is always a gamble, but all the other places always have the best prices and service, which is why I've used them since before this website existed. I recommend them all personally.

If you find this page as helpful as a book you might have had to buy or a workshop you may have had to take, feel free to help me continue helping everyone.

If you've gotten your gear through one of my links or helped otherwise, you're family. It's great people like you who allow me to keep adding to this site full-time. Thanks!

If you haven't helped yet, please do, and consider helping me with a gift of $5.00.

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Thanks for reading!

Mr. & Mrs. Ken Rockwell, Ryan and Katie.

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