IBC 2016: Hands-on with Sony’s 18-110mm f/4 Super 35mm E-Mount Lens featuring a fully manual zoom ring

We’ve already covered a bit on the new 18-110mm f/4 Super 35mm lens, but we were able to get a more in-depth hands-on with Sony. One of the biggest new features is the fact that the zoom now has the capability to be fully manual, whereas the previous lens required the servo.

The design has improved from the original, as there is a built-in 0.8mm lens gear, as well as a lens support on the front. There’s also a removable foot instead of the collar on the original lens. This removable foot has two tripod mounting points, which is especially helpful to avoid twisting when you’ve got a very light camera.

Sony 18-110mm on Zacuto Rig
Sony 18-110mm on the Zacuto rig

Sony has designed the new lens to keep moisture and dust out, so if you’re in an unpredictable environment, you shouldn’t have to worry as much. Here are some of the new technologies Sony has squeezed into this lens, including Smooth Motion Optics, allowing the lens to compensate and attempt to eliminate breathing as you focus.

As Mr. Reiji Seki mentions in the video, this lens can stay parfocal with the help of the autofocus mechanism. If you’re shooting an interview or something live, you ideally want the focus staying constant, especially if it’s a moment that can’t be captured again.

One unfortunate negative is the fact that when you’re in full manual focus mode, you are limited to a minimum focus distance of just under 1 meter (a bit more than 3 feet). If you switch back into autofocus/fly-by-wire, you can get the minimum down to 0.4 meters (about 1.3 feet).

Sony 18-110mm f4 on a7S
Sony 18-110mm on the a7S

The price may scare a few people away who were already skittish about the cost of the previous lens, so we’ll see what happens when it does finally hit the streets. The 18-110mm is going to be available in North America in November at a price of $3,500, and in Europe in December at a price of 4000 Euros.

Sony’s newer 1.4x and 2x E-mount teleconverters will also work with this lens:

Sony 1.4x and 2x Tele Converter
The 1.4x and 2x telecoverters

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