Age Of Ultra-Wide: The Sony 10-18mm f/4

for MAY 1, 2015

Is Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ any good?  I dunno – I haven’t seen it.

But I can say that the Sony 10-18mm is a ‘MARVELous Ultrawide!’

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The 10-18mm has been out for some time now – about 2 1/2 years in fact (having been released in September, 2012).

I didn’t buy it initially for 2 reasons:

– I really prefer a wide-angle lens that goes to a 35mm FoV (I just find it much more usable)

– At $900 (CAD) the question comes to mind: would that money be better spent on the (at that time anticipated) full frame wide-angle for my A7 instead (the Sony Zeiss 16-35mm f4 was released November 2014 at a price of $1600 CAD)

sony_sel1635z_vario_tessar_t_e_16_35mm_1082052

I’m still considering the 16-35mm, and likely will, one-day, buy it.

But there’s only so much cashola to go around – and many interesting things on the horizon. As I continue to flesh-out my Sony kit care must be taken in setting priorities (though only until my lucky winning lotto numbers come up).

In the mean-time I decided to go ahead with the purchase of the 10-18mm. Ultimately, there are 3 main traits that sold me on it as a good value:

1 – IT’S SMALL

The 10-18mm is 2.75″ x 2.50″ and weighs 225g.  That’s not as small as the Nikon1’s 6.7-13mm which is 2.22″ x 1.81 and 125g.

_DSC1136

But if you’re looking for a small, light system for travel and deciding between the A6000 and A7x, the 10-18mm is notably smaller than the FE 16-35mm which comes in at 3.07″ x 3.88″ and 518g.

Lens:                                    FoV                 Weight

Nikon1 6.7-13mm             18-35mm          125g

Sony 10-18mm                  15-27mm          225g

Sony FE 16-35mm            16-35mm          518g

2 – IT’S GOOD

All lenses are a compromise – ‘trade-offs’ are the nature of the game when it comes to lens design. So for me, it’s always a question of ‘how good it fits my needs’.

The lens doesn’t go out to 35mm, but that would have made it larger (and I like its small size). It’s not weather-sealed, but otherwise build quality is quite good indeed! The constant f4 aperture works for me and the OSS is much appreciated. The lens isn’t super-sharp as in ‘prime lens sharp’ (nor would I expect it to be) but it is pretty-darn sharp for a WA Zoom when stopped down a click or two.

Overall, a very good ‘fit’ for me!

3 – IT’S VERSATILE

Here’s the cool thing about this lens:  I can use it on my A6000 as designed/intended.

I can use it on my A7 in crop mode (with reduced file size). Or, I can use it in full-frame mode on my A7 with vignetting and crop it in post (the image circle actually covers more than the APS-C sized sensor on this lens).

For someone looking to travel light those are pretty good options. It means you don’t need to commit now to taking the APS-C body, or the Full-Frame body. Decide later – at the time of your trip. You can take either (or both!) bodies and still get excellent results using this lens.

 FINAL WORD

Would I recommend this lens?

First I have to say that if you’re new to shooting wide-angle, it (wide-angle in general) can be a challenge and take some practice (perhaps a topic for another post) – but don’t give up! Learning to ‘see’ in wide-angle can be very rewarding, and the result is beautiful images from an interesting perspective.

BTW – wide-angle is not just for landscapes nor do I consider myself a landscape photographer. Did you know that the 16-35mm is by far the most commonly used zoom lens by Reuter’s photographers? 

As for the 10-18mm specifically, I would give it top marks, and highly recommend it. But don’t take my word for it.

She-Hulk – what did you think of the lens?

She-Hulk:She-Hulk NOT smash!

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’nuff said.

Sony ILCE-6000 E 10-18mm F4 OSS ƒ/4.0  14.0 mm 1/500  100

Sony ILCE-6000
E 10-18mm F4 OSS
ƒ/4.0 14.0 mm 1/500 100

Sony A6000 10-18mm

Sony ILCE-6000 E 10-18mm F4 OSS Somewhere toward the wide end

DSC08739

Sony ILCE-6000 E 10-18mm F4 OSS ƒ/4.0 18.0 mm 1/60 ISO2500 +.3ev

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5 thoughts on “Age Of Ultra-Wide: The Sony 10-18mm f/4

  1. Hello, Love your photos and style of shooting! your photos gave me motivation to shoot again! and i am going downtown tomorrow. i am from vancouver and have sony Nex 6 and Sony 35 1.8 Lens i want to try night street photography any recommendations or tips? I also think i need to switch camera soon would it make sense to switch to full frame a7 series? or buy a Full frame lenses and build up few than buy the body. I would like to have 2 lenses on my collection 1 for street photography and 1 for landscape any suggestion on what should i do? Thanks!

    • Thanks Mustafa – I’m glad you’re enjoying the site, and comments where people are inspired to go out and shoot are the best!

      I love Vancouver, and the NEX6 (used the 6 for quite a while and got some wonderful shots from it). The NEX6 and 35mm f1.8 is a nice combo for night photography (good ISO performance, fast lens, and the lens is stabilized with OSS!). Also a nice, small, discreet combo for street photography (especially if you use manual focus… for autofocus on the street the A6000 focus system is amazing and worth considering!)

      There’s an article on the site here with my best tips for night photography (sorry about the ‘cheesy; writing style): https://marsweekly.wordpress.com/2013/10/10/night-photography-a-beginners-guide-and-10-tips-tricks/

      The A7II is a great choice for night photography (I’m currently considering upgrading to the A7RII night photography if/when it comes out if the Dynamic Range is good at high ISO and focus is fast, or possibly an RX2 if Sony is able to add stabilization). The A7II is small, light, full frame and has in-body image stabilization (IBIS).

      Full frame camera bodies are somewhat expensive… but a collection of full frame glass (lenses) can be *REALLY* expensive! Personally I’d start with the Full Frame body and just a single lens. That way you’ll know if a full frame body is right for you or not (slightly larger, heavier, different ergonomics, no on-board flash, slower AF compared to the A6000, etc.) before investing too much in (costly) full frame lenses.

      All the best!

  2. i have an a6000 and thinking of getting the 10-18mm w a lens for street shooting. have 18-55mm & 55-200 kit lenses. i don’t shoot landscape just graffiti buildings ext and int and street for now. (novice). is the 10-18 an odd choice for street shooting? want to invest in one more lens and i rarely use the 55-200. too big and indiscreet.
    like your article and would love to read more of your stuff.
    thank you for your article.
    ali black

    • Thanks for the kind words Ali! Sounds like the 10-18mm would be a great fit for you. The 10-18mm gives a 15-27mm FoV (Field of View) when you factor in the 1.5 crop factor – I know a lot of street photographers love shooting in the 24-28mm range so the long end of this lens covers that perfectly. The constant f4 aperture and especially the OSS (steady shot) I’m sure will be handy for shooting hand-held in lower light (building interiors, and exteriors in the early evening – golden hour and beyond). Lastly, while I love street graffiti, for me, personally, I really enjoy seeing ‘beyond’ the graffiti – ie. I like to see some of the surrounding environment as well, which I think give the art/graffiti an important context – it shows ‘the world’ that the artist lives/works in. I’d have to say that the 10-18mm sounds like the perfect lens for you! Good luck.

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