Thread: 18-105 F4 focus

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    18-105 F4 focus
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    Senior Member scorsesefan's Avatar
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    Sorry if this has been covered. Thinking of trading in my Canon 24-105. Simple reason is I do a lot of run n gun and the Canon + Metabones weighs down the FS5.
    I've heard the Sony lens is tricky to manual focus. Any experiences with this? Is it focus by wire? Thanks


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    Yes that is a pretty accurate observation. Yes it is focus by wire. Manual focusing was greatly improved though with the latest firmware update for that lens, v4.0. The focus ring which was as touchy as hell and jumped meters when you tried to focus accurately became a much more linear and progressive feeling lens and became much easier to work with. Well that was my experience with the FS7 until I got the SELP18-110mm. I guess its performance should be fairly similar with the FS5 but I have no direct experience of that with v4.0 firmware on that camera.

    https://www.sony.com.au/electronics/...ses/selp18105g

    Chris Young


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    Chris is correct. The lens improved significantly regarding manual focus after the firmware update released a few months after its launch - but as itís focus by wire it will never allow the accuracy I would like. It is a light lens.

    I use mine a lot when I have the FS5 on my Letus Helix Jr gimbal, and itís autofocus is highly useful. Otherwise, I tend to stick with manual focus on Canon lenses with metabones adapters as that gives me the control I want.

    Bottom line, I donít think I would want to rely on the Sony lens for all work requiring manual focus in run and gun situations.


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    Quote Originally Posted by andykwilkinson View Post
    Bottom line, I don’t think I would want to rely on the Sony lens for all work requiring manual focus in run and gun situations.
    I would second what Andy has said. Though for it's price, size and weight the SELP18105 is a pretty decent tool to have in the kit.

    Chris Young


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    A regular user of the FS5, I long ago got rid of the 18-105 and replaced it with the 18-110. What a difference. It stays on the camera unless I need a wider field of view or a faster lens. The 18-105 focus and zoom adjustments were not repeatable or predictable. Yes, the 18-110 costs a lot more money but it is worth it.


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    +1 on that for sure! Have used the 18-100 far more than I anticipated.

    Chris Young


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    Senior Member scorsesefan's Avatar
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    OK thanks. I really would like to drop some of the weight off of the FS5 but I don't want to lose too much focus accuracy. I think I'll head on down to BH Photo and play around with a FS5/18-105 they have on demo...


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    I started with the 18-105 and bought a Sigma 24-105 + SBooster, if that tells you anything. The 18-105 just gets frustrating to attempt to focus, and looks like crap in 4K or raw. The availability of autofocus and servo zoom are nice for certain applications, so I haven't completely gotten rid of it yet
    Pudgy bearded camera guy
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    Picked up a 18-105 today. The lens is light and a good weight for run n' gun... As noted above the focus is a tad unreliable and hard to lock in at times. Not terrible.

    -- But what I have noticed is that the minimum focus distance seems to be longer than advertised. At least 3 feet or more it would seem. I tried shooting close to a subject today (maybe 2 ft) and I just could not get focus. On the my Canon 24-105 I can get that close or closer and get focus. Anyone else experience this? Thanks


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    Congrats! The Sony 18-105mm is a flawed but at the same time highly useful lens. Name another parfocal, servo zoom for under $700. I use mine now and again just because it is so small and lightweight. It is nice to be able to perform zooms, especially "snap zooms" and not have to re-focus during the move. I own the Sony 18-110mm but often end up using the 18-105mm instead because it is smaller and lighter weight than the 18-110mm.

    Regarding minimum focus distance or "minimum object distance" ( MOD ), it varies with focal length. The MOD will be more when you are not on the wide end of the lens. Manufactures, wanting to cite the best MOD figure, typically site the MOD for the wide end of a zoom since that is the best figure.

    Sony's website lists the figures for the 18-105mm as follows:

    MINIMUM FOCUS DISTANCE
    1.48 (Wide)-3.12 ft (Tele) (0.45 (Wide)-0.95 m (Tele)

    I don't know why some of those figures are negative figures or understand exactly what they mean, but it evidences that the minimum focus distance varies with focal length. I'll bet that when you tried to shoot a subject close to the lens you were zoomed in and not at full wide ( 18mm ).

    For all its faults the little Sony 18-105mm is a lens that every Fs7 owner should own. It's dirt cheap, comparatively. A "throw-away" lens. A lens you slap on the camera if you have to shoot in the rain and you don't want to expose one of your more expensive lenses to the elements. Or, if the rest of your lens kit is EF the Sony 18-105mm can save you when you need a parfocal lens or need servo in order to perform a consistently paced zoom in-shot. It's a lens all the other lenses ridicule and fail to show respect and then all of a sudden it says "well watch THIS!" and it does something none of those fancy-pants lenses can do, shutting them all up. The "Rudolph" reindeer of lenses.

    [ yes, I imagine my lenses having conversations among themselves. You got a problem with that? ]
    Big sources matter.


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