Sony courts videographers with weather-sealed, stabilized 18-110mm f/4 power zoom lens
posted Friday, September 9, 2016 at 3:01 AM EDT
It's a good time to be a Sony E-mount video shooter. No sooner have we reported on new video-oriented E-mount optics from Sigma and Zeiss than Sony itself gets in on the game, announcing its latest lens aimed at movie shooters. Coming this November, the 6.1x zoom Sony E PZ 18-110mm F4 G OSS offers quite a range of features specific to video capture, including one that's a first for a Sony Alpha lens.
The Sony E PZ 18-110mm F4 G OSS is an APS-C / Super 35mm optic which has a constant f/4 aperture, and provides 35mm-equivalent focal lengths ranging from 27 to 165mm. The lens' optical formula consists of 18 elements in 15 groups, of which six are aspherics and three use extra-low dispersion glass. A seven-bladed, rounded aperture helps ensure attractive bokeh, while an inner-focusing design with a static front element is conducive to use with matte boxes and other such accessories. 95mm filter threads are also provided, along with a bundled ALC-SH148 square bayonet lens hood.
The Sony 18-110mm f/4 is the company's second lens to feature its Smooth Motion Optics design concept, after the FE PZ 28-135mm F4 G OSS which was announced in September 2014. The design minimizes focus breathing (shifts in focal length when focusing), focus shifts while adjusting the zoom, and lateral movement of the optical axis while zooming. All three of these are of particular concern for video shooters.
Sony also caters to videographers by providing separate focus, zoom and aperture rings, complete with a switch providing a choice of mechanical or fly-by-wire zoom control, just as in the earlier 28-135mm f/4 optic. But the new 18-110mm f/4 bests its sibling by providing 0.8mm-pitch focus gearing right on the focus ring, catering to follow focus accessories.
As its name would suggest, the Sony E PZ 18-110mm F4 G OSS also includes Sony's Optical SteadyShot technology, helping to provide steady footage even when shooting handheld. The lens is also both dust and moisture-resistant, and by pro video zoom standards, relatively lightweight and compact, weighing around 2.4 pounds with a length of 6.6 inches and a diameter of 4.4 inches. Focusing is possible to as close as 1.3 feet at wide-angle or 3.1 feet at telephoto, and the maximum magnification ratio is 0.122x. If you need some more tele reach, the optic is also compatible with the SEL14TC and SEL20TC 1.4x and 2.0x teleconverters.
Available from November 2016, the Sony E PZ 18-110mm F4 G OSS lens is priced at around US$3,500 in the USA, or CA$4,500 in the Canadian market.