Support Cameralabs by shopping at our partner stores or donating via Paypal
 






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

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
Nikon COOLPIX A
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

Sony DT 11-18mm verdict

The Sony DT 11-18mm delivers an ultra wide angle range which perfectly complements the standard DT 18-70mm kit lens. It essentially takes over where the kit lens stops, capturing a progressively wider field of view until you find yourself at 11mm and enjoying 104 degree coverage. Certainly if you’ve ever zoomed-out your Alpha general purpose lens and wished it went wider still, then this is a lens you should be considering very seriously.

In its favour the DT 11-18mm suffers from little geometric distortion or light fall-off considering its ultra wide range, and it’s always good to find a lens hood included as standard – if only Canon would do the same. On the downside though, there’s noticeable softening in the extreme corners, a manual focusing ring which turns during AF, and a relatively slow focal ratio of f4.5 when it’s zoomed-out to 11mm.

































The optical range is also only 1.6x, which seems a little modest compared to rival ultra-zooms from Sigma, Nikkor and Canon which boast 2x or 2.2x ranges. And while this applies to most Sony lenses, the AF can be slow and noisy – certainly it’s a world apart from the quick and quiet focusing of, say Canon’s EF-S 10-22mm or the Nikkor 12-24mm AF-S.

But if you’re an Alpha owner, the DT 11-18mm is one of the few ultra wide angle lenses available, so you have to learn to love the good points and overlook the bad. There are however two alternatives you should also consider.





The Tamron 11-18mm f4.5-5.6 has a virtually identical specification to the DT 11-18mm, and while both Sony and Tamron claimed they didn’t produce lenses for each other, the likeness of this particular model – inside and out – is uncanny. 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 does however come in a little cheaper.

Then there’s the Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6, offering a 2x range that gets slightly wider and longer than either the Sony or Tamron models; it’s also a little brighter when zoomed-out and additionally features HSM for quicker and quieter focusing. We’ve heard both good and bad reports of this lens, suggesting quality control issues, but it seems if you get a good copy, you’re onto a winner.

Click here for the Sony DT 11-18mm video tour
 

Ultimately if you’re after an ultra wide angle lens for an Alpha DSLR, your choice will boil down to these three models. We’ve not tested the Tamron or Sigma models so can’t comment on how they compare, although if you heard over to the Cameralabs forums, several members have reported on using both.

We can however say if you’re willing to accept some softness in the extreme corners and a modest focal range, then the DT 11-18mm will be a good option for Alpha DSLR owners wanting to indulge in some ultra wide angle photography. Check out our DT 11-18mm video tour for a demonstration of its design, coverage and AF performance.




Good points

Ultra-wide angle coverage.
Relatively low vignetting and distortion.
Range complements kit lens.
Comes with lens hood.

Bad points
Softness in extreme corners.
Small 1.6x optical range and f4.5 at 11mm.
AF noise and speed similar to kit lenses.
Manual focus ring turns during AF.




Scores

(relative to other Sony zooms)
 

Build quality:
Optical quality:
Specification:
Value:

Overall:

17 / 25
20 / 25
17 / 25
18 / 25

72%

Support this site by checking prices above or shopping via our affiliate stores



All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2014 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

/ How we test / Best Cameras / Advertising / Camera reviews / Supporting Camera Labs