July 2 2009 - Photo Jottings

July 2 2009


The brand new  Sony DT 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6 SAM review is complete.  I compared it to the soon-to-be-obsolete Sony DT 18-70mm F/3.5-5.6.  The new lens is better in just about every category, especially color fringing, wide-angle corner sharpness and full zoom center sharpness.  Also, I compared the long end of each lens, and found a little surprise, you’re really not losing any focal length!  See the bonus section of the review for sample crops.  The reproduction size is quite impressive, and produced the best shot I’ve seen yet with a non-macro lens from Sony.  I’d say it could easily go head to head with the latest kit lenses from Canon and Nikon, optically speaking, which brings me to the touchy subject of the SAM, or “smooth autofocus motor” that Sony has been bragging about.   Claims of “smooth and silent” seem to be misleading to say the least.  This in-lens focus motor system is far inferior to the ultrasonic and silent-wave type systems used by Canon and Nikon.  I checked it with the new Sony DT 50mm F/1.8 SAM, it appears to have the same characteristics, so I probably didn’t get a bad copy.  Go to the bottom of the review and read the conclusion for my opinion of the Sony SAM.

I now have the Sony DT 50mm F/1.8 SAM in my lens arsenal, and will be putting it through the paces in the next couple of weeks.  Strange but true; I ordered this lens from B&H photo more than a week ago, and had it in my hands while Sonystyle.com still had the lens listed as a “pre-order item.”  That’s why I don’t order from them.  I guess B&H photo has initial order priority, even over Sony’s own site.  As of the time of this update, Sonystyle.com has the lens listed as “back order.”
I’m not sure of the order, but the next lens review will be either the Sony DT 50mm F/1.8 SAM, or the Minolta AF 28-135mm F/4-4.5, so keep checking back.
click for review
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