Just like with all of my other systems I like a single lens that covers most of my shooting focal length needs when out on a walk and I don't know what to expect at my destination. I would have bought an FF lens for my A7x cameras but I couldn't really find one except the 24-240. The problem with that lens is it's heavy may spoil my walk. So I found one of these 18-105 f4 lenses for a good price and I just couldn't pass it up. I could use it on my FF cameras in crop mode but that's defeating the point of FF cameras in my eyes. Having said that I might try it out next time as my results on the Nex-7 were rather a mixed bag. This is the reason I'm thinking that an update is required for my Sony APS-C bodies. I really believe this will perform better on the A6000 or A6300 bodies.
Specs: Sony E PZ 18-105 f4 G OSS
Size: 110mm x 78mm
F: f4 - f22
MFD: wide: 0.45m - tele: 0.95m
A problem I was having on the Nex-7 with this lens was focusing. Sometimes, not always, the lens just didn't want to focus. I had to switch the camera off and on again. The lens would reset and I could focus. Must have happened around 5 times during my first outing with this lens. I'll have to try it on the Nex-5N to see if I get the same problem. Might be the lens and not the camera but I'll only be able to tell after the test with a different body. Not nice and is something I want to avoid in the future.
I can either try this lens on a Sony FF camera in crop mode or go for one of Sony's newer models, either an A6000 or A6300. The A6300 is quite expensive in Germany with Sony asking for €1200. I wonder what's so special that they can even think of asking that much. I think some online review reading is in order. I can get the A6000 for around €500 but I'm sure I would regret it later on.
The lens looks bigger than it actually is, especially with that 72mm filter size. It handles very well on the Nex-7, not too front heavy at all. I expect the same goes for the A6300 being nearly the same size as the Nex-7. Being a PZ lens focusing is very quiet and you can tell the lens is made for videographers. Shame I don't do video . This doesn't stop me from using the lens for straight still image photography though.
The lens isn't the sharpest knife in the kitchen but the images do sharpen up nicely in PP. Contrast is ok and the colours come out very nicely. Below is an image of the lens on the Nex-7. Just to give you an idea of how it looks.
With an equivalent zoom range of 28-135mm it reminds me a lot of the old Canon zoom of the same range. Image quality is about equal too. Not the best in the world but not the worst either.
Price wise I don't think this lens is worth the €599 Sony is asking for and I wouldn't pay that much for it. The €430 I paid as about right and I would advice people to look around first before splashing out the full Sony price.
Following are some test images I made while walking my usual route when testing new equipment. I've done this route so often I'm now able to tell by looking at the images of familiar buildings etc if the lens is a good performer or not. Enjoy!