Two New Sony NEX Lenses


Sony has announced two new Alpha E-mount lenses for their NEX series of digital mirrorless cameras. The first is the Alpha E-mount 20mm f/2.8 prime lens, which makes it, along with the 16mm f/2.8 lens, their second wide-angle prime lens for the NEX system. The other lens introduced today is the Alpha E-mount 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 PZ OSS Lens, which is an upgrade of the two previous 18-200mm lenses already offered. The new 18-200mm lens is ideal for shooting video with your NEX cameras.

The 20mm f/2.8 lens is less than an inch long, shorter even than the above mentioned 16mm. Its lightweight yet durable design serves the compact nature of the NEX line well and maintains a camera/lens portability that is perfect for its everyday applications. With a 35mm focal length equivalent of 30mm, this lens is great not only for wide-angle situations such as landscapes, group shots and interiors, but is an ideal lens for basic snapshots and street photography. It can focus as close as 7.8” (0.2 m) and its optical design is comprised of three aspherical elements that correct aberrations and distortions and provide sharp resolution throughout the periphery of the frame. A maximum aperture of f/2.8 allows in sufficient light for clear low-light imaging, and provides shallow depth of field possibilities. Its 7-blade circular aperture will result in pleasing out-of-focus areas (bokeh) when shooting with a shallow focus. An internal stepping motor for both the autofocus drive and aperture equals a smooth and quiet action that is ideal for shooting video. Direct Manual Focus allows for immediate and precise manual focusing even when it's in autofocus mode.    

The 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 PZ OSS lens provides an 11x zoom, equivalent to a 27-300mm lens in the 35mm format, and is optimized for video recording performance with quiet and smooth internal stepping motors, adjustable zoom speed and Optical SteadyShot (OSS) image stabilization.

A compact zoom lens with a high quality metal exterior, it is extremely versatile; able to shoot true wide angle and super telephoto with a simple turn of the barrel. It has fast but quiet internal motors for the autofocus and zoom drives, meaning that camera noise won’t interfere with recorded audio and, in addition to variable speed zoom control, it features constant speed zooming for slow and even-paced zoom effects. Like the 20mm lens, it also features Direct Manual Focus for precise critical focus that can override the autofocus mode, if necessary.

Optical SteadyShot image stabilization provides up to 4 stops of shake control for sharp imaging in low-light situations or when shooting at long telephoto lengths. OSS works in both photo and video mode; however, when filming with little ambient light, by combining OSS with the Anti-Motion Blur and Hand-held Twilight modes on Sony camcorders, you will render sharp, low-noise video images with subtle, cinema-quality tones.

Extra-low Dispersion glass and five aspherical lens elements provide sharp imaging with minimal distortion. And fast, smooth action in both manual and auto focus modes means that this lens, with its durable metal exterior, will provide quality imaging and high functionality on your NEX camera for years to come.

  20mm f/2.8 Lens 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 PZ OSS Lens
Format APS-C APS-C
Maximum Aperture f/2.8 f/3.5-6.3
Minimum Aperture f/22 f/22-40
Focal Length (35mm Equivalent) 30mm 27-300mm
Lens Groups-Elements 6/6 12/17
Minimum Focus Distance 7.8" (0.2 m) W: 12" (0.3 m); T:16" (0.5 m)
Maximum Magnification 0.12x (APS-C) 0.35x (APS-C)
Aperture Blades 7 (circular aperture) 7 (circular aperture)
Optical Elements 3 aspheric surfaces 5 aspheric surfaces, 1 ED-glass
Direct Manual Focus Yes Yes
Internal Motor Yes (Stepping Motor) Yes (Stepping Motor)
Filter Diameter 49mm 67mm
Exterior Finish Metal Metal
Mount Material Metal Metal
Dimensions (D x L) 2.5 x 0.8" (62.6 x 20.4mm) 3.75 x 4" (93.2 x 99mm)
Weight 2.4 oz (69 g) 22.9 oz (649 g)

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Will either of these work with the the new Fast Hybrid AF, or will they leave Sony users out in the cold like they did with the 50mm f1.8 and the 35mm f1.8. Shades of Betamax?

Sony Fast Hybrid AF requires a compatible lens and if a non Hybrid lens is used, the camera will only focus using contrast detection. There are firmware updates available for some lenses.

According to Sony: E-mount lens firmware v.2, for use with Hybrid AF E-mount on the ?NEX-5R/?NEX-6. This specifically applies to the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 Standard Zoom Lens ( SEL1855), the 55-210mm f/4.5-6.3 Telephoto Lens (SEL55210), the 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Telephoto Lens (SEL18200) and the 24mm f/1.8 Wide-Angle Prime Lens (SEL24F18Z) to enable Hybrid AF function with NEX-5R and NEX-6. It?s important to note that our E-mount lens firmware v2 is for the lens not the camera so it can be performed only with these lenses attached to Hybrid AF capable cameras (?NEX-5R/?NEX-6). Since these lenses were designed before the introduction of Hybrid AF, their firmware needed to be updated for Hybrid AF to function.

Re: 2 New Sony Lenses: Great news, maybe.

3 questions:

1) How do the 2 new lenses, especially the 18 to 200 mm lens, now compare to the quuivelent Ziess Lenses???

2) Will the new 18 to 200 mm lens FIT into the Underwater housings made for the NEX 7?? (E.G. exterior length can NOT change to zoom out or in).

3. Will Sony "bundle" the 2 new lenses into a new Alpha NEX 7 body with lens adaptors.

I am quite serious on purchasing both. Larry McKenna

Zeiss does not make an 18-200mm lens so I am afraid there no real way to compare. I just had the oppurtunety to use the 24mm f/1.8 Zeiss on the NEX 6. Zeiss lenses in general are sharp with vibrant colors and high resolving power. The 20mm f/2.8 lens is less than an inch long. With a 35mm focal length equivalent of 30mm, it can focus as close as 7.8? (0.2 m) and its optical design is comprised of three aspherical elements that correct aberrations and distortions and provide sharp resolution throughout the periphery of the frame. A maximum aperture of f/2.8 and has a 7-blade circular aperture with an internal stepping motor for both the autofocus drive and aperture. The 24mm f/1.8 Zeiss "Sonnar" optical design is 2.5 inches in length and weighs almost 8oz. It has 7 groups of 8 elements with Aspherical lenses located on either side of the aperture effectively compensate for distortion with an ED element that suppresses chromatic aberration. The Sony 18-200 will not fit inside the hosuing. We do not know what Sony plans on coming out with . We of course will post anything they release.

Hello H.K., Thanks much for replying. The new (for me) 18-200 lens is definitely not for me as an intended use of the NEX 7 is for underwater uses. SONY is offering (Through Feb 2) a bundled package including 3 lenses and adapters with the NEX 7 body. at about $1,400.+ +. the package is NEX 7 18-55mm lens (7k/b lens; 16 mm wide angle (sel 16f28) and 55-200 telephoto (sel 55210) $1,499.

Your opinion, please on these lenses as it appears to be a good price advantage. and... does B&H offer the same?/ i prefer to shop with B&H as i have done for 8+ years.


??? I am guessing that the bundles lens 18-200 also will not fit into a housing ???


The Sony kit revolves around their current promo where if you purchase the NEX-7 kit you get the 16mm lens for free. We do not sell the case so we would be close.


Sony kit lens are very sharp and the 16 prime is excellent.

No, the lens will not fit into a NEX7 underwater housing, at least not the Nauticam and I doubt the others. The length of the lens is not necessarily the problem, custom ports and extensions are available, but the design of the ports width is the limiting factor. The port opening is 70mm. Fit a focus or zoom gear on the lens and you have the widest lens you can squeeze in the port at 67mm or 2.63". This new 18-200mm zoom is 3.75" a definite no-go. A better lens for UW use would be the rumored Zeiss 12 to 80mm zoom supposed to be released this year (don't hold our breath). If it's designed around the Alpha mount (reported to be so) it too is too wide at 72mm. However, the alpha 18-55mm kit zoom is wider than the 18-55mm e-mount kit zoom, so there is some hope Zeiss will slim the zoom down and it will fit the Nauticam ports.

In the meantime, the most useful lens for UW macro is the 18-55mm kit lens with Port 72 and the new macro swing mount where I've stacked a Aquatica +10 on top of a F.I.T +5 diopter with excellent results. Flip the mount back and you can use the 18mm as a regular, somewhat wide lens. It gives one some versatility on a single dive. Very limited wide angle to super-macro, not bad! The lens is also sharper than what some have complained about in my opinion.

A 12 to 80mm Zeiss would make the combination even better: wider and 80mm macro for better subject distance control. Should it be released this year, lets hope they slim it down to 67mm or 2.63". Zeiss is soon to release a 50mm macro (definite in 2013-rumor says April) but it's got a shorter range than the 18-55mm and won't have the 18mm available for general purpose use, but you can count on it to be razor sharp! Personally I'd rather have the Zeiss 12-80mm zoom. The macro is announced by Zeiss and for sure, the 12-80mm is a hopeful rumor. Great general purpose all in one lens for the surface too.

Going back to my prior posts on the Zeiss zoom, the new rumored lens will be 16-80mm not 12-80. Still a small increase in the wide end and 80mm tele for linger macro. Might even work with the port 72 and a couple of the new locking extensions from Nauticam.

Three versions of an 18-200mm lens and still no trace of a zoom in the mid range. No wonder Sony is in financial trouble

I agree, it's a sad day when Sony and 3rd party manufactures keep making the same sized lens lens. We desperately need a medium range zoom in the 12-105 range and a couple macro zooms to boot for the E-mount platform. Zeiss's new 50mm macro is pushed back again to late 2013. A 60-80mm would have been much more useful. Sigma is soon to release their 60mm telephoto, but it has a 19" minimum focus. Too bad it's not a macro lens, it would sell like hotcakes :-)

Well the software side of Sony sucks. Have u seen how the "Playmemories"organize the folders? It is like they have no idea what they are doing. Sony needs a clean up urgently.