Sony DT 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 High Zoom Lens

I recently got the Sony SAL18250 DT 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 High Zoom Lens (Model Number: SAL18250) with the Sony Alpha LAEA1 Mount Adaptor for my Sony NEX-5N camera. Boy that’s an eyeful of text…

This will be a “rolling review” to borrow the term from and

The SAL18250 offers up a huge zoom range going from 18 to 250mm, which is the 35mm equivalent of 27 to 375mm. When using the LA-EA1 A-mount lens adapter, the Sony NEX-5n can control the f-stop, but all focusing is manual which is a big bummer. I love this lens for the zoom range and manual focus, as well as it makes the NEX-5n look REAL COOL, but not having auto-focus makes it hard to shoot in a spontaneous situation unless you’re real good at focusing using the 5n’s LCD panel.

I also wish this lens had Optical Image Stabilization (and if it has it, I wish it were better). It’s not terrible at a smaller zoom, but it’s really hard to focus and take a steady shot at 250mm. I find myself having to set a really fast exposure to compensate for my pretty shaky hands, which is difficult in a situation when you want very little to no depth of field.


I was really glad to get this lens before my San Francisco trip to GDC. I spent a lot of time walking back and forth from 8th and Mission where my hotel was to Moscone Center on 4th and Howard. By the way, if you’ve never been in that area before, one block there is like 3-5 blocks in a small town. It took twenty minutes or more one way just to walk four blocks, and taking pictures along the way doubled it.

Luckily the distance provided many opportunities to take pictures of the street and buildings. San Francisco is full of ornate architectural gems with lots of artistic flourishes you don’t readily see in today’s modern architecture.

I still can’t believe the distance this lens covers. The photos below give you an example of the lens’s range.

St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, San Francisco, CA.

[singlepic id=7 w=260 h=390]SAL1850 @ 35mm f9 1/400 ISO 100
[singlepic id=5 w=260 h=390]SAL1850 @ 250mm f9 1/400 ISO 100

The next group of pictures gives you a chance to use your object finding skills to match up the objects in the smaller photos to the location they’re at in the large one. The focus is pretty soft on this set and the ones above. I’m not quite sure that is a lens issue, but it is possible. The lens doesn’t seem to be able focus beyond a certain distance. Where this distance is, I have no idea. I’ve taken pretty sharp photos with this lens so it could be chalked up to user error.

Flood Building, San Francisco, CA.

[singlepic id=6 w=580 h=390]SAL1850 @ 18mm f9 1/125 ISO 100
[singlepic id=8 w=260 h=390]SAL1850 @ 250mm f9 1/125 ISO 100
[singlepic id=10 w=260 h=390]SAL1850 @ 250mm f9 1/125 ISO 100
[singlepic id=9 w=580 h=390]SAL1850 @ 90mm f9 1/125 ISO 100

The rest of my zoom photo tests can befound out the bottom of the page

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