Sony 18-250: No soft touch

October 8, 2008

The post you are looking for can now be found here.

My photography posts were getting lost among my technology and other content.  It made more sense to move them across to a dedicated website, particularly as I plan to post a lot more on photography, initially majoring on the issues around sorting out a practical workflow for digital photography.

That is how the exposures website came about.

Do please visit it.  If you are a bona fide photography blogger yourself and would care to link to exposures I will be delighted to reciprocate.

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  1. A further thought on the full frame (36mm) vs APS-C (24mm) debate. The Sony 18-250 only manages to couple surprisingly good performance with such a big focal length range because it is targeting a 24mm sensor. It can get away with a smaller internally projected image so it is less of a challenge optically. Lens design is all about trying to strike good compromises. The Sony sacrifices some speed and the ability to work with full frame in order to deliver amazing resolution and contrast over a massive focal length range. Not attempting to cater for full frame also made it possible to achieve all this in a fairly small, light lens, not to mention keeping the lens affordable. The lens was after all targeting keen amateurs, not professionals, and the clever design would all have gone to waste if it had been priced out of their reach. It still wasn’t all that cheap, but extraordinarily good value.

    In the words of GLaDOS, this was a triumph, a huge success. Kudos to Tamron’s engineers for coming up with the design, and to Sony (who own a big stake in Tamron) for not messing it up when rebranding for their own range.

    The key point though is that a package like this could only have been achieved in a DT (ie non full frame) lens. There may well be attractions to full frame DSLRs but there are downsides too. For the enthusiast on holiday with family, as opposed to the professional, there is a lot to be said for a convenient all-in-one lens that delivers good images. You can have that with crop sensors but there is no equivalent for full frame. With the latter, you are looking at having to carry a lot more lenses around and swapping them a lot more often.

  2. For anyone interested, the picture is the Massachusetts State House in Boston, with Boston Common in the foreground.

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