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    Sony 18-110 vs Canon 18-80
    #1
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    Nov 2013
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    Hey fellas, I would love to hear your thoughts on my situation and gather some feedback. I used to own the Canon 18-80 and absolutely loved it. I used it alongside my L glass on my FS7 and it was a pleasure to work with. Despite its somewhat slower aperture, the lens worked great for me when shooting events, fishing shows and your typical run & gun style projects. It felt great when shoulder mounting the FS7 thanks to its handgrip (I bought the handgrip for it) and the images it produced were outstanding. I also really enjoyed the snappy, responsive servo zoom and the way the lens focused manually. It really was an outstanding lens to work with.

    Early last year I wanted to make the switch to native Sony glass as I also use the A7III and A7RIII for a lot of my work and wanted to be able to utilize the native autofocus abilities of those cameras for gimbal work, remote control slides, jib shots, multi-cam interviews and photography. I ended up selling the 18-80 to help me fund the transition and just lived without it for about 4 or 5 months. After the switch was complete, I saved up some money and picked up the Sony 18-110. I did so because I figured if I'm going to go native with everything else, I might as well go native with this lens too. I also really liked the idea of having the extra 30mm of reach that you get with the 18-110 vs the 18-80.

    I've been working with this lens for almost a year now and while I enjoy the range and the image quality, there are just a handful of things about this lens that irk me. First is the ergonomics. I really liked using the 18-80's handgrip on the FS7 as it made the whole setup feel like a true ENG rig. The 18-110 requires you to use the FS7's handgrip which just feels awkward and uncomfortable to me. Second is the image stabilization. When shoulder mounting or handholding the FS7 with the 18-80, the image stabilization really helped smooth things out. The 18-110's image stabilization, however, doesn't seem to hardly do anything. Third is how freaking slow and laggy the servo is with the 18-110. On the 18-80 it was extremely fast and very responsive. On the Sony it takes well over half a second for the servo to respond and it doesn't go very fast, thus making crash zooms difficult unless you want to use the manual zoom. The fourth thing that bothers me with the 18-110 is the way the minimum focus distance works. You have to switch the lens to AF mode by physically pushing the focus ring forward in order to reach the lens's minimum focus and several times when shooting that has completely interrupted my shots. For example, I'll be filming a fishing show and someone will catch a fish, reel it in and then put it in front of the camera for a close up shot and it'll be too close for the lens to focus on in manual mode. So during the shot I have to snap it to AF and try to get it to focus on the fish from there. How frustrating. Lastly, I feel that the focus ring has a throw that's too long. I know that sounds crazy as we all love having a longer throw for video, but in the case of the 18-110 it's almost too long, making it tough to pull focus fast in the middle of a shot during run & gun work. It's certainly made rack focusing a huge challenge as well.

    At the end of the day I do like the range of the 18-110. It truly makes it a single lens that can cover almost an entire event. I also like the fact that it's a native lens and I like the way the lens hood works as all you have to do is close it to protect the lens when running and gunning. But, I can't help but feel that the ergonomics of the 18-80, plus the snappy servo zoom and lack of quirks compared to the 18-110 make it a better lens for running and gunning on the FS7. I'd love to hear your thoughts and see if any of you have worked with either of these lenses and what your impressions were. Did you like one over the other and did you have a similar experience to me? I'd love to know as I'm really struggling on whether to sell the 18-110 and save up for the 18-80 again or not. Thanks in advance for your thoughts!
    Last edited by Joshua Milligan; 06-11-2019 at 05:23 PM.


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    #2
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    Join Date
    May 2011
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    One of the things I like about the 18-110 is the manual zoom lever - in 2 years of ownership I literally never used the zoom servo/rocker. Zooming, for me, is purely a function of changing the frame. It lost it’s aesthetic appeal around 1994 - that slow creep in on the interviewee’s face in moments of revelation etc.

    I agree about the handgrip. Looks the FS design team were given a brief to mimic the doco cams of the 70s and 80s - Aaton etc, so the Beta/Digibeta ENG staple of a solid side grip on the lens didn’t get a look in.

    I still think you have the best trade off with the 18-110. It’s that extra reach you’ll no doubt miss.

    Image Stabiliser - maybe check settings? I relied on mine constantly and never felt it wasn’t effective enough.


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    #3
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    Aug 2017
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    I didn't like the Sony 18-110 the times I've used it and to me being used to Canon L lenses the Canon 18-80 operates more or less like a Canon 70-200/4.


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