Let me preface this discussion with the fact that my SEL18200LE was sent for repair due to shaking/vibration that i was experiencing intermittently when trying to lock focus. This problem seems to come up quite a bit with this lens; here are a few postings about this issue on DPReview forumshere,here, andhere. And here is a video i made demonstrating the problem prior to the initial repair:https://youtu.be/aTnQEI_RDzY
This lens was purchased new in February 2017 from Adorama in NYC, but it was rarely used until later in the April, which is when I first began to notice the problem. As the shaking occurred intermittently and would usually return to normal after powering the camera on/off and among my lenses the SEL18200 is a seldomly used lens (i primarily use the SEL1670Z), i did not immediately send it for repair especially as i was already outside the 30-day return period. However, I now plan to use the lens more during an upcoming trip where I'll be limited in how much i can bring. Fortunatley, I live in NY and am able to drop it off for repair at PhotoTech, the east coast Sony Service center.
Fast forward 3 weeks, I picked up my lens after being repaired. The repair consisted of replacing the optical block. At the shop, i took a few quick handheld test shots and things seemed fine. While the initial shaking problem has been addressed, a new one has developed. The other night when i tried to take some landscape photos of the Empire State Building, I noticed the frame/imaging shifting to the left as I half-pressed the shutter. The camera was mounted on a tripod for stability as it was an evening/low-light shot. Being on a tripod, the camera/lens is stable so I was suprised to see the image shift.
Now when i half-press the shutter, the frame/field of view shifts/drifts. This movement occurs in both AF or MF modes. the problem goes away when SteadyShot is disabled. I suspect that there still is an issue with OSS in this lens. Here's a video demonstrating the problem:https://youtu.be/6F2jqcfF5sM
I returned to PhotoTech yesterday afternoon. After explaining and demonstrating the problem, they kept the lens for further inspection/work. Later in the day, I received an email stating they had compared my lens against some new lenses they already had and they told me that both lenses exhibited the same behavior. Thus they concluded it was normal/intended behavior and was not told otherwise by Sony.
I absolutely don't think this shifting/movement is correct behavior. I've never seen or experienced anything like this with any other camera/lens before. Can you imagine trying to frame a shot only to have the frame/image move each time unpredictably?
My only conclusion is that PhotoTech's own lens might be defective too. And given the issues that others have had with this lens, I wouldn't be surprised if their lenses have issues too.
I think this lens is defective and needs further repair or replacement with a fully functioning lens. Or if this is indeed considered normal, then I'd like to consider a refund/return of this lens. (However, I am outside of the 30 day retail return period.) Let me say that prior to the repair, when the lens didn't exhibit the shaking/vibration that prompted my initial repair, it worked fine and i did not experience this shifting.
What are your thoughts? Anyone else having similar issues? What are my possible solutions here? The lens is still under warranty, but I'm essentially being told by the repair center that it is not a problem that needs to be addressed...