Testing

February 8, 2012

Sony E-Mount 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens Vs Tamron E-Mount 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 DI VC III Lens – Sony E-Mount Lens Review

Tamron E-Mount 18-200mm VC Lens

In this Sony E-Mount Lens Review I will compare the Sony 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens vs the Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Di VC III Lens while using my Sony Nex-7 for a camera body. Which lens is Best? I put these two e-mount lenses through the paces by taking a bunch of video footage in all different situations as well as photos at all focal lengths and apertures. I also tried comparing both version of image stabilization to see which actually performs better in the real world.

Below the video I will put all the comparison photos so you can see with your own eyes at 100% what each lens results look like in detail. To be honest it’s pretty hard to tell, but I will reserve my opinion to the conclusion at the bottom so you can come up with your own judgement first!!

First lets take a quick look at these killer E-mount zooms lenses encase you have not seen them yet!

Nex-7 w/ Tamron E-Mount 18-200mm VC III Lens @ 18mm

Nex-7 w/ Tamron E-Mount 18-200mm VC III Lens @ 18mm

Sony Nex-7 w/ 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OS Lens

Sony Nex-7 w/ 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OS Lens @ 18mm

Nex-7 w/ Tamron 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 Di III VC Lens @ 200mm

Nex-7 w/ Tamron 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 Di III VC Lens @ 200mm

Sony Nex-7 w/ 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OS Lens

Sony Nex-7 w/ 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OS Lens @ 200mm

 

Now for the Video Review/ Comparison:

 

Sample Photos at 100% for comparison purposes:

As always be sure to Click on the images for the true 100% crops!!

Sony 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens

Sony Nex-7 w/ Sony 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Len

Sony Nex-7 w/ Sony 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 200mm, f/8, 1/160sec, ISO 200 – Handheld

Sony Nex-7 w/ Sony 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens

Sony Nex-7 w/ Sony 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 200mm, f/8, 1/160sec, ISO 200 – Handheld

Sony Nex-7 w/ Sony 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens

Sony Nex-7 w/ Sony 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens @ 200mm, f/8, 1/160sec, ISO 200 – Handheld

 Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Di VC III Lens

Nex-7 w/ Tamron 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 Di III VC Lens @ 200mm, f/8, 1/320sec, ISO 500

Nex-7 w/ Tamron 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 Di III VC Lens @ 200mm, f/8, 1/320sec, ISO 500

Nex-7 w/ Tamron 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 Di III VC Lens @ 200mm, f/8, 1/320sec, ISO 500

Nex-7 w/ Tamron 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 Di III VC Lens @ 200mm, f/8, 1/320sec, ISO 500

Nex-7 w/ Tamron 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 Di III VC Lens

Nex-7 w/ Tamron 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 Di III VC Lens @ 200mm, f/8, 1/320sec, ISO 500 – Handheld

 

Sony 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens

Sony Nex-7 w/ 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OS Lens @ f/6.3, 1/125sec, 200mm, ISO 100

Sony Nex-7 w/ 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OS Lens @ f/6.3, 1/125sec, 200mm, ISO 100

Sony Nex-7 w/ 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OS Lens @ f/6.3, 1/125sec, 200mm, ISO 100

Sony Nex-7 w/ 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OS Lens @ f/6.3, 1/125sec, 200mm, ISO 100

 Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Di VC III Lens

Nex-7 w/ Tamron 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 Di III VC Lens @ 200mm, f/8, 1/200sec, ISO 100

Nex-7 w/ Tamron 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 Di III VC Lens @ 200mm, f/8, 1/200sec, ISO 100

Nex-7 w/ Tamron 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 Di III VC Lens @ 200mm, f/8, 1/200sec, ISO 100

Nex-7 w/ Tamron 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 Di III VC Lens @ 200mm, f/8, 1/200sec, ISO 100

Sony 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens

 

Conclusion:

After using both these lenses extensively for both video and photos I would have to give my vote to the Sony 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens.  Although the Tamron has the huge weight and size advantage, which to some is very important considering the camera size/ weight, I would still much rather have the Sony. You don’t get something for nothing, and I think these image samples show that very clearly. The Sony is much sharper in almost all the real world shots.  Also, don’t forget that the Tamron 18-200mm has two extra glass elements inside that the light has to travel through.

In addition to the better overall image quality, the color and contrast also seems to be a tad better in the real world photos. The #1 reason I would go with the Sony over the Tamron though is simple the build quality. The smoothness of the zoom and focus on the Sony 18-200mm is significantly better, although the Sony does self zoom as you saw in the video which is not a desired feature by me!

The Tamron 18-200mm is a solid performer overall though and I would not mind using it all as the weight and size savings are very significant for such a versatile zoom lens. If I was going on an all day hike or something the Tamron would be a better choice for sure! In addition to that if any of these photos were printed 8×10 or smaller you would very hard pressed to notice a difference.

 

I hope you guys got something out of this comparison review, and be sure to check out all the Sample Photos from these lenses in the articles below:

Also Be sure to Check out the New Sony 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens Review Here >>


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Thanks,
Jay

 

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About the Author

Jay
Hello, I'm the owner and operator of SonyAlphaLab.com. Please check out the About page for a full background on myself and the Lab ;) Google+ | Twitter | RSS-feed | Email Updates!!




13 Comments


  1. Interesting tamron for the price, however the sony is visibility better.


  2. Alwyn

    Why didn’t you shoot the illustrations of the Sony lens with its dedicated lens hood attached, as you did with the Tamron? Did you lose it?


  3. Hannes

    I’d buy the Sony one for the OSS with ‘Active mode’ alone as it seems much better in video than the Tamron IS. As this is mainly a video lens for many including me (for stills there’s the awesome 24mm Zeiss) this is the most important thing.

    What do you think about the OSS vs the IS?


    • Jay

      Thanks for the comments Hannes,

      The OSS vs the IS of the Canon lenses I assume your talking about? If so the IS is about the same as my 1st Gen Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS lens and m,y 24-105 f/4 L lens. However, the New Canon 2nd gen Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II has better IS than the Sony.

      Best,
      Jay


  4. Joe

    Any plans to pit the Sony E-Mount 55-210mm against the Sony 18-200mm?


    • Jay

      Joe, Probably;y not in the near future as I already tested the E-Mount 55-210mm. I can tell you that it’s sharper than the 18-200mm Sony for sure. Here is the full review I just finished a few days ago if you want to check it out. http://sonyalphalab.com/product-review/sony-e-mount-sel55210-55-210mm-f4-5-6-6-oss-lens-hands-on-review/

      Also, if you have any specific questions I would be happy to try and answer or analyze my test shots for you ;)

      Personally I would rather have the 18-55mm kit lens and the 55-210mm lens as apposed to the All-in-one solution. As good as the all in one solution is, it’s just physically impossible to get the same quality for the price in my opinion.

      Best,
      Jay


      • Vittorio

        Hi, I was thinking to get the 18-200mm because it says it has 11x zoom, while the 55-210mm has only 4x zoom.

        I already have a les55210, but I would like to have a lens with more zoom. What can you recommend?

        Regards


      • Jay

        Hi Vittorio,

        The SEL55210 is the longest reaching lens available in the E-mount. The X factor is just the amount of total zoom, not the amount of actual telephoto zoom distance. The 18-200mm has a huge range and therefore 11x (11x18mm = ~200). The 55-210mm is not near much zoom range 4x (4x55mm = ~210), but reaches 10mm further. You can get a Sony LA-EA1 lens adapter and then put A-mount lenses on and get a 70-300mm lens or something like that if you want. You could also get a teleconverter, but the optical quality is questionable on the cheap units.

        I hope that helps you out,
        Jay


  5. Sven

    Hi there,

    thanks for your review. Unfortunately, the above shown lab pics show a different focus. The Sony lens has its focus on the Canon lens whereas the Tamron focuses on the tools in the foreground.
    That’s why the Tamron shot is not as sharp as the Sony.
    Sorry to say that, but guess your comparison examples proove nothing at all.
    Kind regards.


    • Jay

      Hello,

      I see what your saying, and your probably correct. This is exactly why I don’t like Lab type test photos. I used the same focus point for both and did not move the camera body between tests, although the Arizona can is clearly more oof on the Tamron shot verifying what you pointed out.

      However, in the real world examples the Tamron shots are also not as sharp, possible for the same reason. Perhaps the Tamron lens was slightly front focusing?? I’ll put up more real world sample pics and take down these test pics. As you said, it’s really not useful to look at these as is. I honestly don’t know how I missed this obvious mess up on my part.

      I apologize Sven, and to all else that may have judged the Tamron a bit unfairly. It’s still less sharp than both Sony 18-200mm lenses as far as I can tell though. The Lens elements are a bit different in the Sony Glass than the Tamron. Stay tuned for more real world photos, and perhaps I’ll get the lens back and do some more testing at some point.

      Thanks,
      Jay


  6. Peter

    Now SONY has 18200LE out and it has pretty much the same weigh and size of the Tamron counterpart. Do you have the same comparison?



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