Sony E PZ 18-105mm f/4G OSS Review

October 9, 2014 | Mark Goldstein | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star


The Sony E PZ 18-105mm f/4G OSS is a versatile lens that's particularly well-suited to video work due to the broad focal range, quiet focusing and the power zoom function. It's too big and heavy for comfortable use on some of the smaller Sony camera bodies, though, like the A5100 that we tested it with, being better suited to the A6000 or similarly-sized model.

In terms of sharpness, the Sony E PZ 18-105mm f/4G OSS is a solid performer. In the central areas of the frame, the lens delivers good to very good sharpness throughout its entire zoom range. The border areas are admittedly more problematic, requiring you to stop down to f/8 to get acceptable results, but you'll have to make a fairly big print – certainly beyond A4 size – to start noticing the deficiencies. In other areas, the lens exhibits more problems: corner shading in particular is pretty bad, and distortion is high at the 18mm setting (though you have to shoot raw with the A5100 to actually see this, as the JPEG engine of that camera does a splendid job of eliminating the issue). Some chromatic aberration is also visible but in this respect, the Sony E PZ 18-105mm f/4G OSS is no worse than a typical kit zoom. The lens' close-up performance is better than advertised, even though it is certainly not a macro lens.

The main strength of the Sony E PZ 18-105mm f/4G OSS lens lies in its 6x focal range, constant f/4 aperture, better-than-expected sharpness, and quiet operation. As a cheaper and almost as capable alternative to the excellent Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar T E 16-70mm f/4 ZA OSS, the Sony E PZ 18-105mm f/4G OSS certainly fits the bill.

4 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 3.5
Features 4
Ease-of-use 4
Image quality 4
Value for money 4