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Sony 18-105mm f/4 Review

Sony E 18-105mm F4 Lens Review 13

So you’ve likely just picked up a new Sony mirrorless camera and you’re looking for the ideal lens to document your favorite subject.

Maybe you’re ready for a step up from the kit lens and want something with more performance… that doesn’t break the bank?

Or maybe you’re looking for the perfect walk-around lens? Something you can travel with and capture the experience?

shk-fs-table__imageHighly RecommendedVersatile focal range. Incredible value for money.Get Price

Is this the all-round Sony zoom lens you’re looking for? Is it that much better than the kit lens? And is it worth the money?

Let’s take a look. Below is my honest review of the Sony E 18-105mm f/4 and assessment of how it performs in the real world.

Sony 18-105mm f/4 | Specs

  • Focal Length: 18-105mm (27-157mm full-frame equivalent)
  • E-Mount Lens/APS-C Format
  • Aperture: f/4-22
  • Filter Size: 72mm
  • Size: 110mm (4.3″) x 78mm (3.1″)
  • Weight: 427g (15.1oz)
  • Optical Stabilization
  • Motorized Zoom
  • Price: Click here

Build & Ergonomics

Sony E 18-105mm f/4 lens review

The Sony E 18-105mm f/4 feels like a solid, high-quality lens.

Initially, I picked up the Sony E 18-105mm f/4 and was unsure of its design. I had never used a power zoom lens but my first impression was that it felt solid.

It definitely felt sturdier than the 16-50mm kit lens and was more on par with a full frame e-mount lens like the Sony 24-70mm f/4. In fact, it weighs almost the same.

The build quality on the Sony E 18-105mm f/4 felt excellent. It felt like a mostly metal construction and the non-zoom-extending design gave the impression that it was a high-quality lens.

The power zoom was a bit new to me and I wasn’t sure I would like it. Not being able to quickly turn the ring to zoom made me skeptical. After using the lens, I found the power zoom feature functional but not as quick or accurate as a manual design.

Using the power zoom might be useful if you are a video shooter and need a lens that can offer smooth/consistent zooming.

One other notable ergonomic characteristic with the Sony E 18-105mm f/4 lens is the size. At 427g (15.1oz) and 110mm (4.3in) long, it was a bit oversized when compared with the a6000 series cameras. Weighing almost as much as the camera body, the balance was lens-heavy.

Viewed from another perspective, you often gain quality and durability at the sacrifice of size and weight!

Size/weight aside, the build and ergonomics appeared high quality.

Focus Performance

Sony E 18-105mm f/4 outdoor

Sony A7III + Sony E 18-105mm f/4 | 1/800 f/4 ISO 3200

In terms of focus performance, I was pleasantly surprised by how well the Sony E 18-105mm f/4 lens operated. Most of the lenses I own are Sony G-Master lenses and have the top of the line performance when it comes to speed and accuracy of focus.

When I took the 18-105mm f/4 out to test it on a foggy day shooting mountain biking in the forest, I was very happy with the results. It tracked fast-moving subjects well and rarely missed a shot despite the dim lighting!

In two words, this lens is snappy and sharp and the auto-focus performs extremely well, especially at this price-point.

Image Quality

Sony A7III + Sony E 18-105mm f/4 | 1/500 f/4 ISO 100

Overall, the image quality of the Sony E 18-105mm f/4 is excellent for a zoom! Especially if you are coming from a kit lens.

Sure, the edges and corners are a little soft when compared with a prime lens or the G-Master series.

I found the bokeh to be very pleasing at the 105mm end of this lens! It would make a great portrait lens with nice falloff and sharp subjects. Don’t expect much bokeh at the wide end though, especially since this is an APS-C lens.

The chroma and distortion are not really a problem on this lens. I’ve seen some reviewers talk about chromatic aberration issues at the ends of the zoom range but I didn’t feel this was a big enough problem to be noticeable.

Lastly, the flare on the 18-105mm f/4 was completely manageable. Typically with a wide range zoom, you’ll see some ugly flare when shooting into the sun, but this lens seemed less problematic. Nice job Sony!

Value for Money

Sony E 18-105mm f/4 motion

Sony A7III + Sony E 18-105mm f/4 | 1/500 f/4 ISO 2000

At around $600 (see latest price here), the Sony E 18-105mm f/4 is  excellent value for money! I was impressed with the focus performance, durability, and image quality.

In comparison to the alternatives, I feel like this lens is a good balance of price/quality. This lens offers more focal range than the Sony 16-70mm f/4 at a lower price point.

Another alternative might be the Sony E 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3, but at almost double the price… and without the consistent f/4 aperture, you would be making some sacrifices.

Lastly, the Sony E 18-105mm f/4 is definitely a step up from the Sony 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens!

Sony E 18-105mm f/4 Review | Conclusion

Sony A7III + Sony E 18-105mm f/4 | 1/1000 f/5.6 ISO 1000

After using this lens for a few weeks, I was very satisfied!

My only complaint was the power zoom feature which was a little slow and unfamiliar. For shooting video, power zoom might be a great feature, but for stills, it felt clumsy.

Over time, I’m sure I could get comfortable with it but I would prefer a traditional zoom function.

The Sony E 18-105mm f/4 is a great option for people looking to use one zoom lens for a variety of subjects. Sure, it’s not the perfect lens for any one subject but it’s an overall good performer for a wide range of uses.

The Sony E 18-105mm f/4 is a definite improvement over the kit lens and it comes at a totally reasonable expense.

If I were looking for a good overall lens, this would be a great choice!

Likes

  • Value
  • Image quality
  • Autofocus performance
  • Durability

Dislikes

  • Power zoom (unless you’re shooting video)
  • Size/weight (a bit unbalanced when mounted on a6000 series cameras)
shk-fs-table__imageHighly RecommendedVersatile focal range. Incredible value for money.Get Price

Disclaimer: All recommendations are impartial and based on user experience, with no bias to the products or the brand. The products in this post may contain affiliate links.

Features7
Build Quality8
Ergonomics & Handling 
9
Autofocus8
Image Quality7
Value8

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