Support Cameralabs by shopping at my partner stores or buying me a coffee!
Buy me a coffee!

Follow my RSS feed at Camera Labs RSS Feed
  Latest camera reviews

Lumix G80 / G85
Olympus OMD EM1 II
Sony RX10 Mark III
Sony RX100 Mark V
Nikon COOLPIX B700
Sony A6500
Lumix FZ2000 / FZ2500
Nikon COOLPIX B500
Lumix LX10 / LX15
Fujifilm XT2
Nikon D3400
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
Ricoh GR II
Canon G7X Mark II
Canon SX720 HS
Canon EOS 80D
Olympus TG Tracker
Nikon D500 review
Canon EOS 1300D / T6
Lumix GX80 / GX85
Fujifilm X-Pro2
Fujifilm X70
Lumix TZ80 ZS60
Sony A6300
Canon PowerShot G5X
Lumix TZ100 ZS100
Sony A7s Mark II
Sony RX10 II
Lumix FZ330 / FZ300
Sony RX100 IV
Canon G9X
Fujifilm XT10
Nikon COOLPIX L840
Canon SX530 HS
Olympus OMD EM10 II
Canon SX410 IS
Panasonic Lumix GX8
Olympus TOUGH TG860
Sony A7r Mark II
Canon PowerShot D30
Olympus TOUGH TG4
Canon PowerShot G3X
Canon EOS 5Ds
Nikon COOLPIX S9900
Sony HX90V
Canon EOS T6s 760D
Panasonic Lumix G7
Panasonic Lumix SZ8
Canon EOS M3
Olympus EPL7
Samsung NX3000
Panasonic Lumix GM5
Nikon D5500
Panasonic Lumix GF7
Olympus OMD EM5 II
Nikon COOLPIX S9700
Canon SX710 HS
Panasonic TZ70 / ZS50
Sony Alpha A7 Mark II
Canon EOS 7D Mark II
Fujifilm X100T
Nikon COOLPIX S3600
Sony Alpha A5100
Sigma DP1 Quattro
Sony Cyber-shot W830
Nikon COOLPIX L830
Nikon D750
Canon SX400 IS
Sony Cyber-shot H400
Panasonic Lumix LX100
Canon SX60 HS
Canon ELPH 340 IXUS 265
Canon G7X
Nikon COOLPIX P530
Canon SX520 HS
Canon G1 X Mark II
Panasonic Lumix FZ1000
Panasonic TZ60 / ZS40
Sony RX100 III review
Sony A3000 review
Canon EOS 1200D T5
Sony WX350
Nikon P600
Sony Alpha A5000
Sony Cyber-shot HX400V
Panasonic Lumix GH4
Panasonic TS5 FT5
Sony Alpha A6000
Canon SX700 HS
Canon SX600 HS
Olympus TOUGH TG2
Nikon AW1
Nikon D3300
Fujifilm XT1
Olympus STYLUS 1
Sony Cyber-shot RX10
Olympus OMD EM1
Panasonic Lumix GM1
Nikon D610
Sony Alpha A7
Nikon D5300
Canon PowerShot A2500
Sony Alpha A7r
Canon ELPH 130 IXUS 140
Nikon COOLPIX P520
Nikon COOLPIX L820
Canon PowerShot S120
Panasonic Lumix GX7
Canon SX510 HS
Canon PowerShot G16
Fujifilm X20
Panasonic FZ70 / FZ72
Canon EOS 70D
Sony RX100 II
Canon ELPH 330 IXUS 255
Panasonic Lumix GF6
Fujifilm XM1
Olympus EP5
Panasonic Lumix LF1
Panasonic TZ35 / ZS25
Olympus XZ2
Sony HX300
Panasonic Lumix G6
Sony HX50V
Fujifilm X100S
Canon SX280 HS
Canon EOS SL1 / 100D
Panasonic TZ40 / ZS30
Nikon D7100
Fujifilm X-E1
Canon EOS 6D
Nikon D5200
Panasonic Lumix GH3
Canon PowerShot S110
Panasonic Lumix G5
Sony NEX-6
Panasonic Lumix FZ200
Canon PowerShot SX50 HS
Nikon COOLPIX P7700
Olympus E-PL5
Canon EOS M
Panasonic TS20 / FT20
Canon PowerShot G15
Nikon D600
Nikon COOLPIX L810
Canon PowerShot D20
Sony RX100
Panasonic Lumix LX7
Canon SX500 IS
Fujifilm HS30 EXR
Sony HX200V
Panasonic FZ60 / FZ62
Canon 520HS / 500HS
Canon 110HS / 125HS
Nikon D800
Canon EOS T4i / 650D
Canon PowerShot A3400
Panasonic ZS15 / TZ25
Olympus E-M5
Nikon D3200
Fujifilm X-Pro1
Canon PowerShot A2300
Canon SX240 / SX260
Samsung NX200
Sony Alpha SLT-A77
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Panasonic ZS20 / TZ30
Canon PowerShot G1 X
Sony NEX-7
Panasonic GX1
Olympus E-PM1
Nikon V1
Sony NEX-5N
Canon EOS T3 / 1100D
Canon EOS 600D / T3i
Nikon D7000
Canon EOS 60D
Canon EOS 550D / T2i
Canon EOS 7D

All camera reviews
  Best Buys: our top models
  Best Canon lens
Best Nikon lens
Best Sony lens
Best budget DSLR
Best mid-range DSLR
Best semi-pro DSLR
Best point and shoot
Best superzoom
Best camera accessories

Camera Labs Forum

Any questions, comments or a great tip to share? Join my Camera forum and let everyone know!
  DSLR Tips

Free Shipping on ALL Products
Sony SAL-1118 DT 11-18mm f4.5-5.6 lens review Gordon Laing, September 2007
Support this site by price checking below

Sony 50mm f1-4

Sony DT 11-18mm design and build quality

The Sony 50mm f1.4 prime lens, DT 18-70mm f3.5-5.6 kit zoom and the DT 11-18mm f4.5-5.6 are pictured below from left to right. The DT 11-18mm is zoomed to its shortest focal length and the DT 18-70mm zoomed to its mid-way 35mm focal length at which point the barrel is physically shortest. So these are the three lenses in their physically most compact configurations.

from left: Sony 50mm f1.4, 18-70mm and 11-18mm

Measuring 83mm in diameter by 81mm in length when zoomed-out, the DT 11-18mm is noticeably wider but not a great deal longer than the kit zoom’s 66x77mm dimensions. Zoom the DT 11-18mm into its longest focal length and it extends by a mere 4mm or so – see photo below.

Its filter thread measures 77mm compared to 55mm on the kit zoom, and Sony generously includes a lens hood as a free accessory – this makes Canon look very mean in comparison, not including lens hoods with anything other than its premium L models.

Support this site by price checking below

Tamron 11-18mm (Sony)

In terms of weight, the DT 11-18mm weighs 360g to the kit zoom’s 235g, so while it’s obviously heavier, it can hardly be described as a burden to carry around. The build quality is superior to the kit lens and there’s also a tougher metal lens mounting, but in your hands they don’t feel miles apart. Before you take that the wrong way though, the DT 18-70mm feels good for a kit lens – it’s just that the DT 11-18mm isn’t a massive step ahead.

As you can see on the photos, the DT 11-18mm features decent-sized zoom and manual focusing rings, and both turn smoothly without catching. The general standard of construction and assembly is decent with no wobbles or creaks to mention. The fine-grooved rubber grips on the zoom and focusing rings do have a habit of collecting dust though, but as this is part of the Alpha styling, it’s something which affects all Sony lenses.

Sony DT 11-18mm optical design

The Sony DT 11-18mm employs 11 elements in nine groups and features a seven-blade aperture diaphragm. The maximum aperture of f4.5-5.6 is a little slower than some ultra-zoom rivals at the wide end, such as Canon’s EF-S 10-22mm f3.5-5.6, but matches most when zoomed-in. As we’ll see in the results, the DT 11-18mm performs better than the Sony kit zoom when both are set to 18mm, but if you opt for the ultra-zoom, you’ll obviously be losing more than a stop of light gathering power.

Sony DT 11-18mm focusing

The DT 11-18mm, like the vast majority of Sony lenses, employs the AF motor built-into Alpha DSLR bodies – and like the other Sony lenses which employ this resource, the auto-focusing can be relatively slow and noisy. Sony may think its quick and quiet SSM technology is only necessary on high end telephoto lenses, but anyone who’s used a Canon USM or Nikkor SWF lens will know these lens-based focusing motors are desirable at any focal range.

While the filter mounting doesn’t rotate during focusing though, the actual manual focusing ring does – so if you’re holding the lens near the end of the barrel, be prepared for a nudge. And if you want to manually focus the lens, you’ll need to disengage the AF motor using a switch on the Alpha body. On the upside, the lens does at least feed distance information back to the camera for ADI flash support.

The whole focusing experience with the DT 11-18mm is a world apart from the full-time manual focusing options and quick and quiet AF of the competition though. Sony may argue it’s normal on its own range, but anyone who compares it against, say, the Canon EF-S 10-22mm or Nikkor DX 12-24mm, may wonder why they have to put up with such an old-fashioned system. You can see (and hear) an example of this in our Sony DT 11-18mm video tour.


And finally if the photos and specifications look familiar, that’s because the Sony DT 11-18mm shares many similarities with the existing Tamron 11-18mm lens. They share the same optical construction, virtually identical dimensions, similar exterior design, and about the only differences we’re aware of are the direction of the focusing ring and confirmed support for ADI flash on the Sony model.

The Tamron version is available in the Sony / Konica Minolta fit, and comes in slightly cheaper, so it’s something you may wish to consider. It’s also available in Canon and Nikon fits for owners of these systems. Note: Tamron and Sony assured us they didn’t manufacture lenses for each other, but anyone can see the likeness is uncanny.

All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2017 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

/ Best Cameras / Camera reviews / Supporting Camera Labs