Sony E PZ 18-110mm f/4.0 Reviews
It's a big, impressively looking pain in keister
Rated 2 out of 5
i shot with this lens last night on an FS7. I like the Servo zoom. And i like the range. It's not particularly fast f-stop, but i suppose it's about average for a zoom. On an APS-C sensor, it's more like 27-150mm--for the most part, that was wide enough. The real pain is that, unlike Sony's other servo lenses, this lens needs to be refocused every time you adjust the zoom. Unlike Sony's other servo lenses, this one is NOT A PARFOCAL LENS. The autofocus is NOT good. And it's a pretty soft focus--I'm not expect the tack-sharpness of a prime, but good gravy, this is embarrassingly soft. I wouldn't recommend this lens.
Not as good as it should be...
Rated 1 out of 5
I have shot with both this 18-110 lens and the 28-135 lens extensively for the last couple of years on FS7 cameras and I don't understand why the 18-110 lens is so much more expensive for what I believe is an inferior lens.
Problem number 1: the 18-110 is NOT par focal. That is a big problem when you come from the ENG world and expecting this lens to behave like an ENG lens would. Not to mention, the 28-135 lens is par focal.
Problem number 2: the focus is not very sharp. If you're shooting something where focus is absolutely critical (and I know what you're thinking...when is it not?) this 18-110 lens is just not great in post, even when it appears to be in focus out in the field. To check focus with this lens, I frame the shot the way I want it, then I use the digital zoom on the hand grip of the FS7 to punch in to check sharpness, then punch back out. I have done this with the peaking on and with it off and I still don't have 100% confidence that the shot is focused correctly.
Sometimes the focus is totally fine and it's just my paranoia, but other times it hasn't been and we didn't notice until we're editing. This lens has really hosed me when I'm shooting b-roll and trying to zoom and adjust focus along the way. I've been shooting for 20 years and this 18-110 lens is a struggle to use.
I hate this lens and it should be thrown into the deepest of oceans.
The 28-135 Sony lens (despite how narrow it is - even on my FX9 in 6k, full-frame mode) is a much better lens, although I don't love that lens either. But the 28-135mm is a more user-friendly lens and more forgiving.
Bottom line is this: Sony makes some pretty darn good cameras (I've owned an F55, two FS7's and now the FX9) but their servo zoom lenses, especially this 18-110mm one, leaves a lot to be desired.
Great lens, very versatile
Rated 5 out of 5
Smooth and sharp with a sturdy mount.
Rated 5 out of 5
I have the Sony FS-7. I was using the 18-105 lens. Had the money for this upgrade and its fantastic. I come from the ENG news world. This lens acts and looks like an ENG lens. Iris is now on the lens instead of the camera body which takes some time getting use to the change. If you have the money you wont be disappointed.
A professional cine lens with some limitations
Rated 4 out of 5
Every lens has its advantages and disadvantages. The Zeiss 21-100mm is beautiful and perfect in almost every way, except it's a T2.9-3.9 and is enormous. The Fujinon MK lenses are well-sized, decently fast at T2.9, but are low contrast and have limited range.
Which brings me to the Sony E PZ 18-110mm f/4 OSS lens, which is in a comparable price and quality range to these other budget cine-style zoom lenses.
It offers the native e-mount, which, as a sony user, I appreicate. The image stabilization works well, as does the autofocus— though the lens occassionally loses focuses and goes between the background and subject. Sony has never been known for its autofocus. It's not spectacular, but it is more functional than usual.
The image is exceptionally sharp, offers nice micro-contrast, and has nice bokeh if you know what you're doing. It won't give you the out of the box bokeh of a T1.4, but then again, if you're filming documentaries on your own, chances are you can't pull focus at T1.4 anyways. I'm impressed with the sharpness throghout the aperture range, even at T4. Plus, Sony's cameras are notoriously good in low-light anyway, so for me, the aperture wasn't an issue.
The lens is heavy, but so efficient with the zoom range that it's difficult to knock. The range itself is pretty great, and offers a lot of flexibility. It's parfocoal, which is great, and maintains sharpness throughout the zoom range.
There's very little focus breathing, and filmmakers will appreciate the declicked aperture for fine tune adjustments to exposure.
A few complaints:
- There's no way to lock the aperture, and it's very sensitive to touch, so I found that it's very easy to move accidentally while filming, unless you tape it in a specific position.
- The minimum focus distance makes it very difficult to get close to subjects, and impossible to do any kind of macrowork. Fair enough, it's not a macro lens. But compared to the Zeiss and Fujinon lenses, where you can get to within mere inches of your subject, this lens leaves a lot to be desired in that area.
Overall, it's a great lens, especially at its price point. It's a great choice for a sony user doing run and gun doc work. I didn't use the electronic zoom function, but see that as a plus going forward. I don't think it offers enough flexibility or quality for high end commercial work or feature narrative films, but for what it is, it's great.
Awesome imagery for the price
By Aaron Mahlon
Rated 5 out of 5
As a documentary film Grad Student, I find this lens to be the perfect addition for my Sony FS5, it is an F/4 constant aperture cine lens that does not disappoint. In addition to quiet operation, and parfocal attributes for constant focus throughout the zoom range, the crystal clear high-resolution glass is superb. I would recommend this lens to any serious filmmaker that uses Sony E-mount Camcorders or DSLR Cameras.
If you come from ENG you'll feel perfectly at home
Rated 5 out of 5
This lens is expensive but has been wonderful for use with my Sony FS5m2. I worked 15 years in television news, have owned this lens nine months, and use it daily without problem. I'm prompted to write this review because I see a previous reviewer incorrectly claiming this lens is not parfocal. Absolutely untrue. I don't know if he/she bought a lemon, but this lens calibrates fine. Zoom all the way in, focus, zoom out to frame the shot, stays in focus, light level doesn't change, just a great video zoom lens. The controls are very smooth and I love having focus, iris, and zoom rings with hard stops as opposed to the infinity-spin on many camcorders. I don't use the power zoom much as I generally prefer to turn off the servo and use the manual zoom ring to quickly calibrate and frame shots. But when I do use the power zoom, I always use the controls on the servo on the FS5m2 and cannot really speak to how well the zoom lever on the side of the lens works. This lens is 10x better than the smaller $500 lens you could get with the FS5m2, even with the same focal lengths. The one drawback to the PZ 18-110 is it's heavy. It weighs more than the body of the FS5m2. Be prepared for a camera that balances very differently both on the tripod and in-hand when you're attaching this 2.5 pound weight to the front. I'm sometimes tempted to use the smaller lens if doing strenuous shoots but always go back to this. It looks so much better and is easier to operate. I haven't needed any support rods but you may want them for peace of mind if doing a lot of shooting where you bounce around.
By Kranky Plate
Rated 4 out of 5
If you only shoot in full-frame, prepare to crop in post.