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Which is the best standard zoom lens?


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#1 ex351d

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 09:29 PM

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I have the kit lens 16-50pz and I have bought quite a bit of other lenses. I have tried to avoid this decision but now I think that I should upgrade my kit lens next to a better lens to avoid frequent lens changes as I do not like the kit lens. I am not sure if the SEL1670Z or the SELP18105G is better in general for photography. I cannot rent locally nor can I buy with a return policy.

 



#2 Username

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 04:16 AM

........better in general for photography. ......

  

"in general", 18-105 ..... 

 

It's a 6X zoom, not a crazy huge ratio, but is

distinctly greater than most midrange zooms.  

 

Both lenses you mention have the "goldilocks" 

non-vary max aperture for zooms. The Zeiss 

blue label on Sony OEM lenses does not bring 

any miracles [from experience]. If video is any 

concern, you'll like the PZ of of the 18-105 and 

for "in general" you can ignore the PZ and use 

the normal zoom ring. Unlike your PZ kit lens,

the 18-105 has TWO control rings :-) It takes 

up a bit more space in your bag than the 24-70 

but, unlike the 24-70, the 18-105 does NOT 

grow longer as you zoom it.  



#3 ex351d

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 06:17 AM

"in general", 18-105 ..... 

 

It's a 6X zoom, not a crazy huge ratio, but is

distinctly greater than most midrange zooms.  

 

Both lenses you mention have the "goldilocks" 

non-vary max aperture for zooms. The Zeiss 

blue label on Sony OEM lenses does not bring 

any miracles [from experience]. If video is any 

concern, you'll like the PZ of of the 18-105 and 

for "in general" you can ignore the PZ and use 

the normal zoom ring. Unlike your PZ kit lens,

the 18-105 has TWO control rings :-) It takes 

up a bit more space in your bag than the 24-70 

but, unlike the 24-70, the 18-105 does NOT 

grow longer as you zoom it.  

 

The 18-105 seems like a great lens. The drawbacks I can think of are the 2mm wider of the 16-70. Also, the A6000 battery life is not great and the PZ uses the battery. 



#4 Username

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 05:03 PM

The 18-105 seems like a great lens. The drawbacks I can think

of are the 2mm wider of the 16-70. Also, the A6000 battery life

is not great and the PZ uses the battery. 

 

The 2mm is up to you. The zoom will not eat up battery 

life when using the conventional zoom control ring. PZ 

is mainly for video, unless you just love the "gee whiz"

effect in your viewfinder :-)  



#5 FunkyBrewster

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Posted 21 January 2018 - 02:40 PM

When faced with that decision I went with the 16-70 mainly because the 18-105 has a long minimum focus distance that I didn't like.

Not being able to buy with a return policy is a hangup, though. I got my 16-70 used (excellent condition), with a 1-week return / 6 month warranty from the store, so I could make sure it was a good copy. Luckily, it is a great copy and I think it's great lens, and optically superior to the 18-105 especially considering its size.

Even now that there's a new 18-135, which is probably the first lens you should check out if you haven't purchased yet, I don't regret spending the extra money on the 16-70 at all, because it has the best IQ of the native APS-C wide-mid zooms and I like having 16mm. I think it's the best standard zoom lens.



#6 glowinthedark

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Posted 09 February 2018 - 07:25 AM

I had the 18-105 and it wasn't a bad lens. For roughly 500€ you can't make anything wrong there. But I do now have the new 18-135 (also posted a short test here in the forum since there aren't many real world tests available right now) I have to admit that the new on is clearly the better option for stills. If video is your primary concern, there is nothing comparable to the 18-105 due to it's motor zoom. In terms of pure image quality, the new one is clearly the winner and even brings more reach. Pair that one with the 10-18mm lens and you are probably set for some time and prepared for most photographic situations.


Current equipment:

  • Camera: Sony a7s, Sony a7RII, Sony RX100, Sony a5100, Olympus OMD M10II
  • Lenses: Sony 24-70/2.8 GM, Sony 70-200/4 G, Sony FE28/2, Sony FE90/2.8 Macro, Sony-Zeiss 16-35/4, Sony FE28-70/3.5-5.6, Sony SEL-P 16-50/3.5-5.6, Sony SEL 18-135/3.5-5.6, Sony SEL 10-18/4, Voigtlander 10/5.6, Minolta 50/1.4, Tamron 24-135/3.5-5.6, Olympus 14-42 RII (m4/3)
  • LA-EA3, LA-EA4

Dedicated mainly to macro, landscapes, architecture, light painting


#7 Jaf-Photo

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Posted 09 February 2018 - 07:58 AM

Both lenses are optically compromised and most of all lack uniformity across the frame. Expect high distortion, heavy vignetting, visible chromatic aberration and blurry corners.

If you only want the zoom for convenience then you might put up with the optical defects. If you really care about image quality, you may want to spend some more on the 24-105 or 24-70 GM.
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#8 PeterMac

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 01:00 PM

My recently acquired (refurbished) 16-55mm lens 'failed' after about 1 week, with the lens in 'stuck out' position. I thought I was just unlucky until I Googled the communication error message that came up on the camera screen and saw, to my alarm, that lots of folks have suffered failures of some type with the 16-55mm... Disappointing. Anyway, mine is now repaired (good service) and I hope for the best!

 

In between, I have ordered the Sony 35mm f1.8 which should be exceedingly nice IQ!



#9 PeterMac

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 06:33 PM

Jaf-Photo - on the subject of good IQ with short zooms, is the 24-70 that you refer to the Sony FE 24-70mm f/4.0 ZA OSS Vario-Tessar T Lens? I understand that this is intended for full-frame cameras. Is there a similarly good OSS version better suited for aps-c that you would suggest?



#10 Jaf-Photo

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 10:02 PM

The GM lens is 24-70mm f2.8. The f4 lens is the not so good one.

For APS-C there's a gap in the lens line where the 16-50mm f2.8 should be. The 18-55mm 3.5-5.6 lens is better than the 16-50 kitlens, though, and quite affordable. Spending more, the FE 16-35/4 is quite good, even if it has less reach.


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