Sony AF 70-200mm F2.8 G SSM A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 124    1 2 3 4 5 >>
reviewer#39926 date: Aug-20-2017
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 80-200 HS APO. Zeiss 135mm f1.8. Sigma ART 50mm f1.4
Zeiss 85mm f1.4
price paid:£1380
positive:Quiet. Fast. Sharp throughout the zoom range at medium to close distances. Fantastic build. Resistance to flare. Impressively engineered.
negative:Cheap plastic hood is week and ridiculously expensive to replace.
comment:Tested on the A99Mk2 my example is sharper than my Zeiss 85mm f1.4 prime....
Sharp with excellent IQ throughout the Zoom range at most distances. Softening slightly at 200mm when focusing towards infinity.
Beautifully engineered by Minolta.

Try to get an early one as they are appear to be assembled with more care. Later versions and Mk2's loose a fraction of the sharpness and IQ, "especially at 200mm," presumably due to reduced assembly times as Sony tried to make a profit out of Minolta's products.
If you are lucky enough to own a SAL135F18Z you can interchange the hoods at will. The SH0010 hood performs better on both lenses. The SH0003 Zeiss hood is much stronger.
reviewer#11973 date: Sep-5-2014
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:- Sony 70-400/4-5.6 G SSM Mk I
- Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 SP LD (not the USD version)
price paid:US$1606 (used)
positive:- Build quality & aesthetics (I like the white barrel)
- focus hold buttons and focus limiter
- SSM with DMF (two modes!)
- excellent image quality
- fully internal zoom/focus operation
negative:- weight
- expensive hood if you need a replacement, and the felt inside is a dust magnet
- expensive
comment:- Build & Mechanics

This is my third G lens. I have the 70-400 G and an 18-105 G for E mount. The overall build quality and mechanical operation of this lens is extremely impressive. The focus and zoom rings are smooth, well damped, and of course dirt magnets. The focus scale is under a window, which is always nice, and the focus ring doesn't move during AF, which is also good. I like the white barrel, and since I never take off the tripod mounts (I just rotate them out of the way during hand-holding) the fact that you can't remove it with the lens mounted is irrelevant to me. The lens is fully internal, meaning that as you zoom and focus its length will never change, which is excellent, and the big, deep hood pretty much eliminates flare. The bad thing about the hood, of course, is that a replacement is expensive, and the felt lining, while very good at eliminating reflections, attracts dust and animal hair like you wouldn't believe. The side of the lens has a set of switches for AF/MF, DMF, and the focus limiter controls, and the barrel has 3 conveniently placed focus hold buttons. Focus is fast and accurate with the SSM, and pretty much silent.

- Optical performance

My copy of the lens appears to be very sharp around f/4. It's usably sharp wide open, but sharper across the frame at f/4 and f/5.6. I have noticed pretty obvious CA at f/2.8, but that's easily fixed in PP, so not a major issue, even if it's annoying. I haven't seen any flare, unless I've made it a point to *cause* flare to occur. Distortion doesn't appear to be an issue either, and the colors produced are of course rich and vibrant, as is typical of sony and minolta lenses.

- Conclusion

overall, I like this lens. The build quality and AF speed are lightyears ahead of the old Tamron 70-200, and equivalent to the 70-400 G Mk I. The 70-400 G is sharper than this lens, but that's of course traded for the larger aperture for low light use, and the 70-200 G is lighter and smaller as well.

If you have the money, snag one.
reviewer#11706 date: Feb-26-2014
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:SAL70400G, SAL300G2.8,
price paid:£900 second hand.
positive:Sharp,excellent IQ, Quiet, True colours, light, well built.
negative:Relatively Slow focus
comment:In Sept 2011 I was involved with the UK launch of the A77 and the NEX 7.I fitted the A77 with a 70-200 and wandered around the RHS Wisley gardens, near Guildford. I was very impressed with the lens, and Sony let me borrow it. I knew a MK2 was in the pipeline so, I decided to wait, and meanwhile use ones I had on loan. When the mk2 came out I felt I could not justify paying the price, so I purchased a second hand mark one.
I love this lens the sharpness exceeds the 70-400G but is a touch under the 300g 2.8. My A99 firmware was updated enabling me to use AFD with the lens, this was a noticeable improvement. It’s light and I use it as a walkabout lens.
It works well with a Sony 1.4 converter. If you need faster focusing and better bokeh, buy the mk2
reviewer#11655 date: Jan-31-2014
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 28-75 f2.8 SAM
Minolta 70-210 f3.5-4.5
price paid:650 GBP (Used)
positive:Built like a tank
Fast to focus
Nice colour
Quite good flare resistance even without the hood, considering the huge diameter of this lens
negative:Dreadful CA wide open
Not all that sharp wide open
Replacement hoods cost a fortune
comment:I don't think I'd have bought the this lens if I hadn't got a particularly good deal on it (sadly without the hood.) Shots I've seen from the equivalent Sigma/Tamron seem better, but they don't have the build quality of the Sony. I really can't believe how bad the CA is on such a pricey lens (of course it's easily corrected in DxO Optics Pro.) I'd have given it a 3 for sharpness, but now I have a body with AF microcalibration, I've realised I was shooting out-of-focus a lot, and it's actually not that much softer than than the 'old' Canikons wide open.
reviewer#11602 date: Jan-12-2014
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 70-400 G ssm
Sony DT 16-50 F2.8 SSM
Minolta AF 50 F1.4
Tamron SP 70-300 Di USD
price paid:1200€ (USED)
positive:Internal zoom
super sharp, even wide open
Build
Creamy bokeh
silent AF
negative:The rubber focus ring (dirt)
comment:I bought this lens used. My first G lens. My copy is razor sharp. This is an excellent lens overall. I think it's better than 70-400 G ssm and much faster AF, and better IQ. Love it.
reviewer#11548 date: Dec-18-2013
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 70-200/2.8 LD DI
Tamron 70-210/2.8
price paid:1100 USD (USED)
positive:-Focusing Speed
-F2.8
-Focusing distance selection
-Focus hold button
-Color
negative:-Weight
-No weather seal
comment:It sharp across the range with wide open, rich of micro contrast.
Focusing speed is fast and silent.
Grab it if u manage to find a good used copy.
reviewer#11355 date: Sep-28-2013
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 70-200
price paid:1400.00
positive:-Sharp stopped down
-Build
-focus speed pretty good
-Silent and smooth focusing
negative:-sharpness at 2.8
-Heavy
comment:Ok, let's not get all crazy about this lens optically. It's good no doubt but at f2.8 its questionable. Focusing is quiet and smooth but not crazy fast. It's so quiet I can't even hear it. Its faster then my Tamron 70-200 definitely. I just had to buy it after months of drooling over it. I already had the Tamron 70-200 which I love. SO to sum it up I honestly can say Optically speaking, get the Tamron and save money. It's really not that bad at focusing as people say and the results are incredible. I think people mentally assume that because its a SONY lens we should fall all over ourselves. Great lens no doubt but but I wouldn't say an avg 4.92 rating.
reviewer#11336 date: Sep-12-2013
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.7
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:70-400 G
70-300 G
Minolta 200/2.8 G HS APO
price paid:2600 AUD (new)
positive:Image quality
Sharpness
Build quality
SSM
Focus limiter
works well with Sony 1.4x T/C
negative:AF is a bit slow
not weather sealed
comment:Paid top retail for this lens as I purchased it on 3 yrs interest free terms (the only way I could afford it!!!). The first copy proved to be stricken with sticky aperture disease, much to my distress! I sent it to Sony Australia's repair provider under warranty and 3 weeks later Sony sent me a complete new lens. Well done Sony Australia!

I love this lens and other than the somewhat slow AF, I really can't fault it. It has given me some of the best images I ever taken. At the time of purchase I was using it on the diminutive a55 and the 70-200 totally overwhelmed that camera with it's weight and bulk (loved the images though!). On my a77 (with grip) it's a much more manageable lump of glass. Wishlist? Ok, weather sealing would be nice, so would faster AF, doubtless the Gen II version will address these "issues" when it arrives but I doubt I would bother upgrading just to gain those advantages.

Sharpness is virtually line-ball against my Minolta 200mm/2.8 APO (which is a renowned "sharpie") but without the PF/CA issues of the old Minolta below f5.6.
reviewer#11113 date: May-14-2013
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 70200 Macro II
Sigma 70200 HSM OS
SAL70300G
price paid:1650 USD
positive:Solid metal build
Rich contrasty colors
Sharp
Definitely usable at 2.8 and in low-light
Focus limiter
Focus-hold buttons
Lens hood with sliding window
Internal zoom
negative:No weather sealing
Not overly sharp at 2.8
Whitish color of the lens barrel

comment:It works very well on the A99 — particularly as this lens design is nearly ten-years old. I would say the the older Sigma 70-200 Macro is comparable in sharpness, colors, and contrast — plus it was a lot cheaper (e.g. 800 USD). While the new Sigma 70-200 is possibly sharper that the Sony 70200g wide open — you end up paying a lot for the OS — which I don't use. Not a surprise, but he 70200g does not show well with any of the Sony-branded teleconverters.

I purchased this lens refurbished w/ 4 ADH for less that 2000 USD. If you can get it at this price, it is a real bargain and a great addition to the A99 camera kit.
reviewer#11098 date: May-8-2013
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:- Sony DT 18-250mm f3.5-6.3
- Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 24-70mm f2.8 ZA SSM
- Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8 L IS USM
- Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8 L IS II USM
- Minolta AF 70-210mm f4 ( Beercan)
- Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 135mm f1.8
price paid:
missing
positive:- Overall sharpness is good
- Wonderful colours
- Very useful focal length
- Constant f2.8
- Ergonomically well designed
negative:- SSM focusing not very fast indoor
- Not very good at tracking focus
comment:General thoughts:

Well build and very well designed ergonomically, lighter than the Canon equivalent. Even for a person like me with relatively small hands when mount the lens with the tripod collar, it can be left underneath the lens all the time and it is still not intrusive when shooting normally. IMHO it actually acts like a 'palm rest' when you move the zoom ring. Comparing using the 2 Canon equivalent, which I found when you shoot, the tripod collar is very intrusive, you either have to move the tripod collar to face up or take them off completely.

One interesting feature of the Sony 70-200 is the focus hold button on the lens, this is helpful so when you shooting sports/events or wildlife in AF-C or AF-D mode, it acts similarly as using back AF button in many DSLRs to lock/switch the focus when focusing and recomposing is needed while you doing those type of shooting. This this helpful so you don't have to keep on switching your AF mode from AF-S to AF-C/AF-D all the time. The 2 Canon lenses doesn't offer this, so you have to set to press the back AF button to AF instead of half pressing the shutter.

There is also the lens hood window in the Sony 70-200, it makes taking on/off lens caps, rotating filters etc much easier.Again, this feature is missing in both of the Canon lenses.

Sharpness and Colour rendition:

This lens is sharp at f2.8 already, slightly less sharp at 200mm, stoping down to f4 you will get tack sharp images. The corners can be a little soft IMHO specially wide open. Comparing to the other lenses, it is much sharper than the Dt 18-250 super zoom and sharper than my Beercan wide open( 70-200 @ f2.8 vs Beercan @ f4) and both at f4, at any focal length the difference is more obvious at the longer focal length where the Beercan looses sharpess a little more.

This lens compares favourably against the 2 Canon 70-200mm ( bodies: A99 Canon 5D2), It is defiantly sharper than the Mark 1 and a little bit less sharp compare the Mark 2 which is a much newer optical design. Colour is always a strong suit of this lens, yes it produces a more pleasing feel than the 2 Canons.

Comparing to the Zeiss 135 with both lens at 135mm at f2.8, there isn't much difference in turns of sharpness, if you look long enough you may notice the Zeiss may win by a little.

I have also compared against the Zeiss 24-70 wide open at 70mm vs this lens at 70mm, it is not a scientific comparison but as far as I can tell, the 70-200mm seem to be a little sharper, but the difference isn't big and of course there is difference in colour rendition. Zeiss lenses generally gives a cooler rendering with higher micro contrast, Minolta and Sony's G lenses are warmer and softer and more 'smooth' bot doesn't mean the images are not contrasty nor not sharp.

There isn't much to needed to say about the colours produced from this lens, it is simply wonderful.

AF:

The most unsatisfactory part of this lens is the AF speed. In general, this lens' AF is accurate in bright day light and this lens' AF can be reasonably fast but I still will not call it lighting fast as Zeiss 24-70( With the focus limiter on yes if AF fast). Indoor it is where the AF of this lens really stumbles, it is SLOW unless you put the focus limiter on and it tend to hunt as well( Even with A99's AFD). Not only this, the tracking ability of this lens to maintain focus is not that great this making indoor events with moving object IE wedding with bridal party entrance quiet challenging, you either pre focus with MF and focus peaking if you can/have time or use the focus limiter all the time and take more shoots, even with that you tend to mis-focus ( As you need to move sometimes too) and don't get lots of usable pictures. In comparison the two Canon equivalent beats this lens hand down in turns of AF in low light and I go as far as saying even the Beercan seem to have better AF speed and consistency indoor.

Distortion, CA, vignetting and flare:

Very good control, isn't much post production needed. Though if you point this lens into direct sunlight it will give you flares, sometimes very nice looking flares-yes the lens coating of this lens isn't new anymore and isn't going to beat newer 70-200 lens like the Canon 70-200 Mark 2.

Conclusion:

Optically and ergonomically this lens is excellent, a winner for sure, however, the AF speed of this lens is what I really disappointed with especially if you are thinking of using it for heavy indoor use, wedding and event photography, otherwise I won't think twice to recommend this lens to any A mount user.

Update (March 2014):

I found a very good copy of the G1 lens, and optically it even seem to beat the old one which is reviewed here and 3 copies of the G2 especially at 200mm! This G1 also doesn't seem to focus much slower than the 3 G2 I have tested and it focuses well indoor. I'm not too sure why this is the case, maybe this G1 is an exceptional copy and the G1 I had experienced before is an average copy. Anyway I'm very happy with the current G1 that I now have.
reviewer#11087 date: Apr-28-2013
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Beercan
Big Beercan
price paid:1500 CHF
positive:Colour
Heft
Focus accuracy
Reliability
negative:Wide open not super sharp, but OK.
comment:I was expecting it to be a little sharper wide open, but still an excellent lens sharpening up immensely around 3.5 - 4.0
I have only just tried it out for a short time so need to be more familiar with its capabilities.
reviewer#10986 date: Mar-15-2013
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:SAL-70300G,
SAL-300F28G
price paid:2400 USD (new)
positive:focusing is very accurate and smooth (SSM)
internal focus and zoom,
focus limiter,
excellent build,
great bokeh and sharpness
very good ceontrol of distorion,
f/2.8 is perfectly acceptable,
works good with Sony TC x1.4,
very well controlled lateral CAs
negative:not so fast focusing as I expect,
very expensive
comment:
missing
reviewer#10653 date: Nov-5-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Sony 70-300mm G
Sony 70-400mm G
price paid:
missing
positive:Tack sharp
Breathtaking IQ
Solid build quality
negative:none
comment:Sadly because my 70-400mm G matched this lens in every aspect bar the F2.8 and I enjoy the extra 200mm this lens spent most of its time in the camera bag. It is a breathtaking lens and I would recommend it to anyone.
reviewer#10582 date: Oct-12-2012
sharpness: 3
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 70-200 HSM II
Sigma 70-200 APO OS
Tamron 70-200 2.8
price paid:1999 new
positive:Focus hold and limiters
well built
silent and fast focusing
negative:Not sharp at all even near wide-open
White and obnoxious
comment:Owned 2 of these; one was brand new and other was used. Both performed exactly the same after extensive testing.
Bottom line - you really need to get down to about F/4 to get super sharp images. Even F/3.5 just isn't sharp enough.
If I'm paying $2k for a F/2.8 lens, I expect it to be sharper.
On paper it's great, and other people will tell how how great this lens is, and perhaps with other bodies it is. I used it with the A57, the A77, and the A850.
Sure it's got great Minolta colors, but this puppy just ain't sharp enough. I did the micro AF adjustments and found both my copies didn't need any adjustment either. Also the F stop tests were done with manual focusing as well to eliminate that factor.
The newest Sigma 70-200 with OS mops the floor with this lens on sharpness.
reviewer#10328 date: Jun-26-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Canon 70-200 F2.8 IS
price paid:$1400 (used)
positive:sharp, good contrast, good color
negative:over price, relatively slow focus, not weather seal
comment:Before I switch to Sony, I used Canon 5D I and 70-200 F2.8 IS I. I feel the Canon version is sharper and more consistent, but it can be due to the camera. The Sony is good in general. It is sharp. The focus is not acceptable but can be faster. It can delivery very good picture, but when I use it for sport, the focus is not consistent. It can be due to the camera body though. But I think it is over priced. After all, it is an old design, but the price is comparable to the Canon version MK II. I also feel that the build is not as good as Canon, but this is just my gut feeling.
reviewer#10285 date: Jun-9-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 70-200 f2.8 APO EX Macro II
price paid:
missing
positive:Superb IQ.
negative:Heavy but that's only expected.
comment:Stunning images when used on the A77.
Delighted with it.
reviewer#10144 date: Apr-24-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Beercan.
price paid:
missing
positive:Fast focus.
Sharp.
Color.
Image Quality is great.
Quiet.
Focus hold.
Built like tank.
negative:Heavy.
comment:I love this lens. The Sony 2.8/70-200G is brilliant for sports action and live concerts. I can't find anything wrong with it. Word to the wise...unless you want an upper body workout, I would recommend a monopod. I found this out the first time I took it on a lacrosse shoot.
reviewer#9890 date: Feb-5-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Beercan
Sigma 70-200 EX DG HSM
price paid:1250 USD (used)
positive:FAST
Sharp
Focus Hold Button
Focus Range Limit Button
negative:Heavy
comment:This lens is superb for sports. Strong build, but heavy - monopod makes it easy to shoot during long days. Lightning fast focusing with focus range limit switch.
reviewer#9553 date: Nov-1-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:55-200 DT
price paid:1600 USD
positive:Color
Speed
Quiet
Sharp
Focus hold
Build
negative:Attracts attention (White)
comment:If you need a top-of-the-line all-round lens that is easy to sell yet hard to part with, this is the one. Complement the wider end with 24-70Z or 16-50 DT, both having SSM & 2.8.

Bought lens from a dyxum-er. Never regretted. Lens aperture control messed up a bit but for some reason repositioning the aperture spring fixed it.

Worth every penny. Lens is heavy but I like the weight, and I end up bringing it everywhere. My alternative is 55-200 DT but often the advantages of this lens kept me tied to this lens. If you don't want to shell the cash for this, the Tammy 70-200 is a good alternative. Otherwise, Sony does put effort into producing this lens.

Holding this lens makes you feel if you drop it, nothing inside is going to break (of course, don't try this!) This will not be balanced with the smaller cameras without a grip.
reviewer#9492 date: Oct-12-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:MINOLTA 50/1.7
MINOLTA 70-300/4.5-5.6 BIGBEERCAN
MINOLTA 70-210/4 BEERCAN
MINOLTA 30-70/4 BABYBEERCAN
MINOLTA 100/2.8 MACRO D
SONY 70-200/2.8 G SSM
TOKINA 11-16/2.8 PRO DX

price paid:1833
positive:excellent lens
negative:nothing
comment:compared with beercan and big beercan resulting images are totally unique.
quality of the optics is the same as minolta 100/2.8 macro D
it is my darling
lens exceptional quality
http://www.fotohajny.estranky.cz/
reviewer#9357 date: Aug-25-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 70-200mm f2.8,
Sony 70-400mm f4-5.6,
Minolta 400mm f4.5,
Minolta 600mm f4.0,
Sigma 500mm f4.5,
Sigma 10-20mm F4 - 5.6
Sigma 105mm F2.8,
Sigma 85mm f1.4,
price paid:1400 USD (new)
positive:Sharpness, color, build, distortion, & flare is way beyond what I expected when I got this lens.
negative:None
comment:None
reviewer#9205 date: Jul-4-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 70-200 2.8 HSM
Minolta 70-210 f4
Sony 70-400 G
Sony 70-300 G
price paid:1125 USD (used)
positive:fast focus
sharpness
focus limiter
colour
negative:none yet
comment:I bought this lens because the price was right and I could pass my Sigma on to my son. I bought it for action sports particularly water skiing and wakeboarding.
Fast action requires lightning fast focus. The lens lives up to that.
I was thrilled with the action shots i took under some challenging conditions.
While I love my other G zooms I really think this one is outstanding.

reviewer#9080 date: Jun-4-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:* Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8
* Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8
* Minolta 80-200mm f/2.8 HS G
* Minolta 70-210mm f/4 Beercan
price paid:1499 USD (used)
positive:* Fast SSM focus.
* Good color and sharpness.
* Good build.
* Focus hold and focus limiter buttons.
* Short MFD.
negative:* Corners are a bit soft at f/2.8 on a full-frame camera.
* Large, white lenses are not subtle.
* Diminishing returns - it's really not that much better than the Tamron/Sigma/Minolta versions, which cost approximately half as much
comment:This lens combines the best parts of the Tamron and Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 lenses, and adds a few additional bells and whistles. The Tamron has excellent optics and image quality, but is slow to focus and takes forever to rack back and forth when it loses focus. The Sigma is fast to focus, but doesn't have the image quality of the Tamron. The Sony has both the Tamron's image quality and the Sigma's fast focus. In addition, it has focus limiters and focus hold buttons, along with a sturdier build. It's a wonderful lens to use.

Unless you're a professional, find a good deal on a used one, or have money to burn, do not buy this lens. Don't get me wrong, it's an awesome lens and I don't regret buying it for a second. However, it's really not that much better than the Sigma or Tamron equivalents, nor is it leaps and bounds beyond the Minolta 80-200mm f/2.8 HS G. If you are tracking fast movement, buy the Sigma or the Minolta. If not, buy the Tamron or the Minolta.
reviewer#9008 date: May-12-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:- Sony 4-5,6/70-400
- Sigma EX HSM 2,8/70-200
- Tokina ATX 2,8/80-200
price paid:1,650 Euros new
positive:- fast and silent SSM
- build
- colours
- sharpness
- focus limiter
- no CA
negative:- somewhat overpriced
- lack of environmental sealing
comment:Considering optical quality not head and shoulders better than the Sigma. Though the focus limiter helps a lot under all critical focussing conditions and that's what counts. Focus accuracy noticeable better on A850 due to MFA than on A700. I'd rate build with 4.5 if possible because of the lack of environmental sealing though 4.0 wouldn't do justice. Nothing of the CA problems of the Tokina. Better than the 70-400 in the overlapping range? Perhaps a tad as the 70-200 would be operated stopped down already in similar lighting conditions.
reviewer#8946 date: Apr-18-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 II EX DG APO MACRO HSM
Tamron AF 70-200 F2.8 SP LD
Minolta 100mm 2.0
minolta 200mm 2.8 high speed
Sigma 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM
price paid:1025 euros
positive:great handling.
very sharp.
excellent build.
at 4.0 extremely sharp
very useable at 2.8

negative:hood sometimes a bit difficult to be removed.
comment:I have bought this wonderful lens second-hand. It had always been my dream to own one. I think this is one of the best lenses ever built. Compared to the sigma 70-200 2.8 hsm (which I have sold in the meantime) and the Tamron 70-200 2.8 SP LD, the sony is absolutely outstanding. Sigma has the advantage of HSM and Tamron's AF is much slower in darker circumstances but much sharper than the Sigma, you have both advantages in the sony. SSM is quick on all three my cameras; the sony a700, sony a580 and the sony a850. The only future improvement I can think of is lens stabilisation like the sigma 18-250 has. In the viewfinder this gives a much more quiet view, as compared to the steady shot of the body. The results are quite similar in my opinion. In short, this lens is a real gem. Try to get one if you can, and you will certainly not regret it. I don't use any (uv) filter, because I think any filter contributes to an extra obstacle for the lens. But always be sure to have the hood on for protection.
reviewer#8899 date: Apr-9-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 100-300 APO
70-400G
price paid:£1100
positive:Stunningly sharp
Great build quality
Internal zoom
No front element rotation
Silent quick and accurate focusing.
Fast at f2.8
negative:Heavy
Conspicuous
comment:This lens may be old technology, but it is an awesome lens.

Apart from being heavy I love everything about it, (although I was tempted by the Sigma eqivalent which is black.) A joy to use.

This is in the same class as the 70-400G, but much faster for low light shots, and it performs well wide open.

reviewer#8809 date: Mar-19-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 70-200mm f2.8
Sigma 70-200mm f2.8
Beercan [Excellent copy]
Minolta 200mm f2.8 G APO HS
Zeiss 135mm f1.8 ZA
Zeiss 24-70mm f2.8 ZA
price paid:Too Much - LoL
positive:SSM
Image Quality
Accurate Focus
Build
Silence
negative:Heavy [but balances well with A850 & grip]
Expensive!!!
comment:I truly did not expect this lens to exceed the Tamron version by much but it does in a very real way. The focus accuracy especially! The color is cooler than all the reference lenses but not cold - more neutral.

I agree with most of the positive statements below so I won't repeat them here.

I have had this lens for a day and I LOVE IT!!!! I recommend it very highly.

More to come...

Update 4/20/11: I have had more time with this lens and I have used it in different lighting conditions including flash. I am beginning to get the hang of using it. The major two problems I am having with it are: (1) it will not leave my camera body! And (2) it is so darn frustrating; image after image is just shoot – download – look at it – tweak- tweak – print! It is robbing me of my Photoshop time! Tweak, tweak print. No need (or desire) to do massive post work. Oh, how I miss my computer time… REALLY? NOT! I am starting to refer to it as my TTP (TWEAK, TWEAK PRINT!) lens.

Seriously, the lens handles very well and is extremely reliable. You begin to sense early on that this lens will give you what you ask of it even in challenging conditions/lighting. Perfect, no. Better than any other 70-200mm that I have owned? In a word, YES! The most interesting thing about this lens is that it can shoot alongside the 24-70mm f2.8 ZA SSM and produce images that equal or rival the Zeiss! These two make an excellent pairing.

I highly recommend this lens to anyone that wants the best in this range for their Sony Alpha.
reviewer#8565 date: Jan-25-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:70-200 EX Sigma
price paid:
missing
positive:Superb Build
SSM Silent Motor
Accurate Focus
Smooth Zoom
negative:Not Dust or Water sealed
AF could be quicker
comment:A Superb lens that i cant recommend enough.
Used with my A700 and Dynax 7 Film 35mm

Fast, silent and accurate focus. Far more accurate than my old Sigma EX srew drive 70-200mm.
Feel though it should be faster focusing than it is. Maybe its slower because its Sony/Minoltas 1st SSM lens and has not been updated. Sometimes misses focus when i feel it should be locked on
Amazing colours.
Sharpness across the frame. Little soft at F2.8, sharpens up and cutting sharp at f4
No flare and no distortion
No fringing at all

Wish was weather sealed for its high price as use alot on dusty motorcross circits

HIGHLY RECOMMEND


PS, Also works highly well with the Sony 1.4x tele. AF speed drops a little along with accuracy, but stop it down to f5.6 and its excellent
reviewer#8257 date: Nov-16-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:70-210mm Beercan
70-400mm G
price paid:USD 1,100 (used)
positive:Build quality
Solid feel in hands
SSM focus
Sharpness
IQ
Bokeh
Good partner with Sony TC 1.4x
negative:Slightly soft at f/2.8 at 200mm
comment:I spent a long time contemplating purchasing either the Sigma or Tamron equivalent of this lens thinking this was too expensive for me. However, I recently picked up a mint copy of this lens from eBay and have now had the opportunity to use it for a few days.

I have found that it is sharp @ f/2.8 and above from 70mm to 135mm, but to be slightly soft at the long end at 200mm @ f/2.8. Stopping it down one or two stops (f/3.2 or f/3.5) quickly turns it extremely sharp at 200mm. Anything above these f-stops renders super sharp images, so this is my reason for a score of 4.5 for sharpness.

Focus speed is fine for me with it quickly locking onto subjects. EDIT: Since the A850 2.0 firmware release lens is even more responsive and accurate.

No problems with any flare or CA that I have seen to date.

I have found that it is a natural fit in my hands and is more comfortable to use over a longer period of time than my 70-400mm G. Build is very strong and solid also, as you would expect from a lens with this reputation.

I am finding that this focal length is very versatile and I have hardly had the lens off the camera since receiving it. To sum up...worth the money if you can get a good copy at a reasonable price.

Edit (24/12/2010): Lens died a few days ago. Emitted high pitched noise from the front of lens and didn't want to focus. Went onto the camera not even recognising that a lens was attached to the body. Have booked it in for a warranty repair. It is only now I realise how much I enjoy this lens and how much I miss it.

Edit (10/04/2011): Received the lens back from Sony in FEB only to find that it now made a squeaking noise when focusing. In addition to that I believe it was now back focusing as well. After much wrangling with Sony they finally agreed to reimburse the cost of getting it back from Australia to Texas. Was told it would be replaced if they couldn't repair it this time and that a cheque is in the mail for the costs of shipping.
reviewer#8219 date: Nov-9-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.3
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tokina 80-200 2.8 ATX Pro
price paid:
missing
positive:Sharp Images even with 1.4 TC
Great Color
Build Quality
Silent Autofocus
negative:Flimsy plastic Lens hood
Tripod mount
comment:Just got my SAL 70-200G last week and was very impressed. had to exchange though since my lens was giving a squeaking sound when focusing. Will update this review once i receive my replacement copy.
reviews found: 124    1 2 3 4 5 >>

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 124
  • sharpness: 4.84
  • color: 4.96
  • build: 4.93
  • distortion: 4.96
  • flare control: 4.93
  • overall: 4.92

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