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Over the last few years, Sony has made solid insteps into the photographic area, especially with the NEX line-up taking the lead. But the prevailing complaint has always been a lack of a solid collection of lenses. Today Sony announced two more lenses for the Alpha (α) E-mount system: an 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS (Optical SteadyShot) powered-zoom optic and a 20mm f/2.8 pancake.
While the 18-200 has been around for a while now, it was sold as part of the VG30 camcorder package, but is now available as a standalone purchase. That should make Sony users jump with joy, as the lens has proven itself already as a solid purchase, and even though it has been designed with video in mind, it should perform very well with still photography with a strong 11X zoom and almost whisper quiet operation. Sony plans for a release in March for around US$1 200.
The pancake lens is a bit of a mystery, as Sony already has a 16mm f/2.8 pancake which, despite some flaws, has been a favourite in most Sony camera bags. 20mm seems to not really fit in anywhere in the current line-up of lenses, but could fill the price range that some users are looking for. With an aperture of F/2.8, it is perfect for shooting landscapes, interiors and action sports, and with auto focus support for movie capture it should be well equipped for shooting HD videos. The lens will be available in April and should sell for around US$350.