Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS Lens

Last week, thanks to Wellington Photo Warehouse; I had the pleasure of testing the Sony A6000 15-50/55-210 Twin kit for the weekend. The delightful Sony A6000 mirrorless compact which I like a lot, also came with a rather long but light tele zoom.

The all black, all plastic Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS Lens might look intimating on the compact A6000, but weighing at a mere 12.2oz  (345g); it balance quite well on the camera.

The twin lens set cost NZ$1,675.00, in a way, this long zoom  is a bargain.

Considering the camera with the 15-50 lens, alone; cost $1,348.00, you are actually getting this very long, telephoto zoom (82-315mm eqv) for only $327.00!

I was please that the mounting bayonet is metal instead of plastic :)

As far as I know, this lens is not sold separately in New Zealand.

According to Sony, this 13 element zoom consists of 2 aspherical and 2 ED elements; the lens provides image stabilization, super quiet focusing, and a useful zoom range of 82-315mm eqv.

DXO Mark gave this lens a peak sharpness of 7-Mpix and 12 points overall which is about average for a lens with this range.

Numbers to me are just a guide, I prefer some real world shooting, comparing the Sony to what I have; which is an LUMIX G VARIO PZ 45-175/F4.0-5.6.
The Sony lens specs in Japanese ;)

The Sony on Sony and the Lumix mounted on Olympus
The Lumix 45-175 cost NZ$748.00 2 years ago has drop to $599.00, which is still about twice the price of the longer (physically) Sony.

You would conclude that, since the Lumix is much more expensive, it will perform better than the Sony?

Not according to DXO-Mark!

Did I say I DON'T trust numbers?  ;)


After dropping Le General at her line dancing class in Newtown, I went back to the sport field to photograph some children playing football in the cool morning sun. It was a lovely day.

These were shot done with the Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS and cropped, all the images were a bit soft; focussing on the A6000 was relatively quick (not fast) and the lens tend to "hunt" often.

These were from the LUMIX G VARIO PZ 45-175/F4.0-5.6, immediately you notice they are much sharper than the Sony!  The focussing on the OM-D was really fast and spot on. What did I say about this lens costing TWICE as much?  ;)

 Again, these were from Sony, a bit on the soft side.

 The Lumix holds its sharpness much better than the Sony!

More Examples...

Famous Last Words...

Overall, I find the Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS a rather "soft" performer. You cannot really get a pin sharp result at all apertures, however I find a judicious amount of "unsharp mask" in Photoshop can do wonder for the softness.

For NZ$327.00, it is great value for the long range.

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