Sony AF 70-400mm F4-5.6 G SSM A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 120    1 2 3 4 >>
reviewer#11640 date: Jan-27-2014
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 70-200/2.8 LD
Sony 70-300/4.5-5.6 G SSM
Tamron 70-300/4-5.6 USD
price paid:1169 USD (KEH: BGN)
positive:- sharp, sharp, sharp!
- excellent build
- SSM with FTMF, focus hold buttons, focus limiter
- velvet lined hood with filter door
- ultra professional looking, if that's your thing
negative:- long & heavy, especially at 400mm
- very conspicuous with it's silver paint
comment:I've been wanting this lens since it came out, and I've finally been able to get it.

- The build quality is simply superb. It's obvious that it's a G lens, with tight tolerances, well damped controls, 3 focus hold buttons and a focus limiter. I like the silver paint, but YMMV. The included hood is large, deep, and lined with velvet for maximum flare control. It *is* a little flimsy, when compared to the hood on my Tamron 70-200, it's obvious that the 70-200's hood is better constructed. (it does lack the velvet lining and the filter door though) And of course a replacement hood is $100 USD should you lose or break yours. Ouch.

The colors are the typical Sony/Minolta colors, and i find them very pleasing.

Distortion is basically non-existent in every day shooting

Sharpness is out of the park. It's easily the sharpest zoom I own, and just as good as my 105 Macro and 50/1.4 EX HSM, even wide open. Size and weight mandate at least 1/500th at 400mm or a tripod to get the most out of the lens.

AF is fast, accurate, and pretty much silent. It's a revelation when compared to the screwdriven Tammy 70-200, and better than the motors on both the 70-300 G and 70-300 USD, in my opinion.

Basically, this is the best zoom lens i've ever used. If you can afford it or find it for a good deal, buy it. hands down. You won't be sorry.
reviewer#11405 date: Oct-28-2013
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 70-300mm Di USD.
price paid:£800
positive:Excellent sharpness.
negative:Bit slow on auto AF at Airshows, so use focus peaking on manual.
Heavy to carry around.
comment:The best of Sony`s zoom lenses, love the sharpness at all focal lengths. Heavy to carry around on the camera.
Very good for close up of flowers and Butterflies, great Bokeh.
reviewer#11387 date: Oct-14-2013
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 70-210mm APO
Sony 70-300 G SSM
price paid:$1,250
positive:Sharp and Fast focusing. Great for BIF and other fast moving subjects. Takes some getting used to at the long end and best on a monopod of tripod but can hand hold at high speeds and smaller f stops to give greater DOF.
negative:A bit of distortion but minor and can be taken care of easily in PP.
comment:I love this lens. Really great on my a77 and a700. Faster focus on the a77.
reviewer#11333 date: Sep-9-2013
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:very sharp
fast autofocus
Sillent
negative:heavy
expensive
comment:i bought this lens for my hobby..for birding and wildlife
reviewer#11203 date: Jun-20-2013
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:tamron 70-200/2.8
tokin 304 AT-X
price paid:
missing
positive:range
IQ
SSM - quiet focusing
negative:AF is slow
comment:very usefull lens

images are sharp and it is very versatile (a lot more than my 300/4)
reviewer#11197 date: Jun-17-2013
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 70-300
All other zooms are pointless in comparison.
price paid:1000 GBP
positive:Sharp
Fast
Beautiful pictures both close and at distance.
Surprises me over and over again
negative:I have some trouble with sharpness in strong light.
comment:I bought it second hand from England some eight month ago. It is so very good, when the best pictures come out of it it is incredible!

I have some trouble with getting unsharp and even messy pics in strong daylight. Coastal area. Strange.
I have to go to F9-13 and > 1000 to get rid of the smeary effects in strong light.
reviewer#11011 date: Apr-5-2013
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 70-200 2.8 EX DG HSM Macro
Tamron 18-200
price paid:10500 SEK used
positive:* Crazy sharp
* Fast & silent AF
* Flexibility (both 70mm and 400mm in same lens + great IQ)
negative:* Zoom creepage (how were they thinking when they didn't add a zoom lock to this giant?)
* Heavy (doesn't matter cuz you have so fun using it and capturing great pictures with it, but it hurts afterwards sometimes)
* Expensive
comment:An extremely sharp lens. I have been in love with it since I first fastened it to the camera. Not only does it produce an excellent IQ, but also has made me a more active photographer in many ways.

The most negative part about it is the price, but my wifes' "WOW WHAT AMAZING PICUTRES!" reaction approved the lens purchase soon enough, and more than once...

Used for:
* Birding
* Wildlife
* Moon shots
* Soon astrophotography

I'm totally in love with it and can't consider leaving it.
reviewer#10818 date: Jan-6-2013
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 500/f8 Reflex
Tamron 70-300/USD
Tamron 70-200/f2.8
price paid:1863 USD (new)
positive:Sharp
Quick, silent focus
DMF with focus hold/limiter
Versatile focal length range
AF with Kenko 1.4x DGX TC
negative:Expensive, but worth it
Slightly busy bokeh
comment:I bought the Sony 70-400G to get better detail in my bird photos than was possible with the Sony 500/F8 Reflex. I initially considered the Tamron 200-500 & Sigma 150-500/OS. Both provided near the image quality with greater reach at a significantly lower price. The Sigma, in particular, was appealing because of its good reported image quality and HSM focusing, but ultimately I chose 70-400G in part because of its better build and more bells and whistles (focus hold & limiter).

I also, ironically, preferred to not have a lens with OS. Having image stabilization on my Sigma 18-250 has been a nuisance for me because it has inadvertently gotten turned on a couple times and conflicted with Sony's SSS. The 150-500/OS is heavier, which also favored the 70-400G. Finally, the 70-400G was reported to work well with my Kenko 1.4x DGX TC, which clinched the decision. (See below for a caveat on using the Kenko 1.4x.)

Overall, I have been very happy with my decision. Image quality with my A580 is excellent, and flare is well controlled using the lens hood. As reported elsewhere, the lens hood is a little flimsy, but it fits securely and keeps the total lens weight down. The bokeh at full zoom is a little busy, but is so much better than my 500 Reflex that I barely notice it!

Although it is a large heavy lens, I have no trouble hand-holding it on the A580. On my smaller A330, it feels a bit unbalanced and is harder to handhold, but I have yet to break out the tripod mount. I would prefer that the zoom and focus rings were reversed in their respective positions, although I was used to this layout because it's also used on my Tamron 70-300/USD.

Autofocus is silent and quick, although it can occasionally hunt at the 400mm end in less than ideal light. Using the focus limiter helps to reduce this, though.

I was initially disappointed that the 70-400G would not AF with my Kenko 1.4x DGX TC in anything other than bright light, and even then was wildly inaccurate. Further experimentation revealed that it would autofocus well in good light if I selected the wide AF area on the camera. Normally I use spot focus for bird photography, but I can get good results using wide AF if I carefully confirm the focus point. Image quality with the Kenko is surprisingly good, surpassing that from the 500 Reflex at an equivalent focal length. As a bonus, Exif is correctly reported as 560 mm/F8 at the long end, so image stabilization works correctly.

On a side issue, I am keeping the much smaller, lighter Sony 500 Reflex for bird outings where I don't want to carry as much heavy gear.

Overall, the 70-400G is a solid, high performing, and versatile lens with excellent image quality. It is well worth its premium price!
reviewer#10808 date: Dec-29-2012
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:70-210 4.0 Minolta
70-200 2.8 Sony
price paid:1800
positive:-AF
-Sharpness
-Bokeh
-Colours
negative:-None really
-Heavy
comment:This is a truly incredible lens. I have used this for photojournalism as well as private sporting events.

It has never let me down, I took over 1500 shots with this lens in both AF, MF mode. Mostly sports events. I was using M mode and was keeping the aperture wide open in most cases and its sharpness is out of this world. YOU CANNOT GO WRONG IN BUYING THIS LENS. I even used it in winter conditions for a skiing event and the fact it wasn't weather sealed didn't affect it in any way, it stayed outdoors for the better part of 8 hours at temperatures of -5 to -15 and performed perfectly.

Ideally I suggest you step it down one stop if doing sports just to give you a bit more of DOF.

You will need a mono pod to stabilize this lens and take the weight out of your shoulders. Handheld shooting is possible but practically impossible for extended periods of time due to the weight of the lens.

I used it on the A65 as well as the A850.

I think this lens really shines on the A65/A77 giving you 105-600mm reach with amazing sharpness and a lighter body than the A850.
reviewer#10645 date: Nov-3-2012
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 70-200mm F2.8 G
price paid:
missing
positive:Build quality
Focal lenght range
IQ
AF speed is excellent.
negative:Heavy
Extends when zooming
Lens hood could be of better quality but that would add to the overall weight.
comment:I owned both the 70-200G and 70-400G and found that the 70-200G spent most of the time at home. Whilst the 70-400G does not have the fast aperture it weights ths same, IQ and all other features are the same.

I found the extra reach a real bonus.

Si
reviewer#10631 date: Oct-29-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Beercans
price paid:£1000
positive:Sharpness, focus speed, silent.Zoom range is very handy.
Focus hold buttons
negative:Loose fit on a700 and a77.zoom creep but only when cold. Heavy
comment:Great lens,I had to buy a grip to help with hand holding.My sharpest images achieved using a tripod.Not a fast lens.
reviewer#10627 date: Oct-28-2012
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:70-200G f/2.8
Tokina 80-200 f/2.8
70-200 f/2.8 Tamron
price paid:1595.00 USD
positive:G Quality
Outstanding sharpness
Quiet
Quick and accurate AF
negative:Large
Silver Color
comment:This is an outstanding lens and it is my go to long lens. Sharp throughout the entire focal range with maybe a little softness at 400mm in lower light situations. It is fast and finds target quickly and accurately. I shoot a lot of birds and this lens makes it quite easy. I am able to zero in on a bird and the AF is right there for multiple shots. AF is nice and quiet and focus hold buttons are easy to find. Before I took the plunge and purchased this lens I tested quite a few Sigmas and Tammys at many camera stores for a few months. I found them not to be as quick and the builds were nowhere near the build of this lens. Older Sigmas of equal focal range sounded like coffee grinders. This lens can also be used quite effectively for portraits as it yields great results hand held. Matched up with my a77, using TC feature and a tripod, I can shoot targets nice and sharp at 1800mm. Bottom line, I love this lens!
reviewer#10488 date: Sep-6-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 300mm f2.8 and the 70-300 G SMM. I've also compared it to the equivalent Canon and the big silver Sony is better.
price paid:875 UKP (used)
positive:Sharp pretty much from wide open right through the zoom range. Really good contrast. As good as the Sony 300mm f2.8 in my view. Lovely colours. Build quality is also very good. AF is quiet, fast and accurate.
negative:It's a bit heavy and really too heavy to handhold for long periods of time. Not massively keen on the silver colour as it makes an already eye catching lens even more so. It's not weather sealed and it really ought to be at this price. It would alsobe nice if it had the same focus control as the 300 G lens.
comment:I use this lens for sports photography, mainly rugby which it excels at. A little faster at the long end would make it perfect but then it would also be bigger, heavier, and more expensive!
reviewer#10485 date: Sep-4-2012
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 85mm F1.4 (D)
Minolta 80-200mm F2.8 HS APO G
Minolta 28-70mm F2.8 G
Konica-Minolta 28-75mm F2.8 D
Tamron 17-35mm (D)
Tamron 70-200mm F2.8
price paid:$1900 AUD (new)
positive:Amazing range and great sharpness
Excellent focus
negative:Aperture change over zoom range
comment:All round great lens which deals with the compromise of the range very very well. Amazing sharpness and functionally really easy to use with rapid, accurate focus and easy handling if the tripod mount is removed. It is so good that I'm going to have it as the 70-200mm range back-up and sell the Tamron 70-200mm F2.8 because my copy is sharper even at 400mm plus you get the extra range. The only compromise is you have to remember the aperture change when zooming and accommodate accordingly.
reviewer#10415 date: Jul-30-2012
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:Tamron 200-400, Tamron 70-200, Beercan.
price paid:Rented for a week
positive:Excellent images
negative:heavy, cost
comment:Rented this lens for a week for a vacation trip and was amazed by how good this lens is. I did some test shots comparing it to my Tamron 200-400 and in every case the Sony 70-400 was superior to the Tamron. Compared against the Tamron 70-200 was a push (both equally good) Compared against the beercan was like watching the Mens USA Olympic Basketball team playing against your local HS team, wasn't even close. This lens lives up to its reputation. The only negatives is the weight and now the desire to own one.
reviewer#10325 date: Jun-25-2012
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:Junk
price paid:Rental $120/week
positive:Beautiful images
Accurate focusing
negative:Heavy
Tight zoom ring
comment:Initially I was struck by the diameter, the length and weight.

After one day at an airshow, my right hand hurt the most and the zoom ring is stiff and required a lot of effort.
On the 2nd day I made an effort to let the camera strap hold all the weight rather than holding it with my right hand. This alleviated any pain/soreness. Also don't hit the people standing next to you when your lens is extended !

Images are gorgeous ! Focus is accurate and fast, but I did find it might hunt for focus with scenes where an object at a distance (small in VF) and is coming directly toward or away from you. On some shots I can read small decals on planes in flight that do not fill the frame at 300mm and 400mm !

I want this lens !
reviewer#10302 date: Jun-14-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:$1950.00 (new)
positive:Sharp
Versatile
Quick
Quiet
AF limiter switch
Focus hold buttons
Bokeh
Weight
negative:Color (To flashy)
No weather sealing
Tripod collar (small)
comment:I sold my Sigma 50-500 (Bigma) to switch to this lens. I do not regret it for a minute. The 70400G is a much better lens all around.

This image quality in my opinion is outstanding. The Bokeh is very nice and this produces very sharp images.

I do not dislike the color of the body of the lens but am not really a big fan. It is a little flashy for me and it definately stands out in a crowd.

I would have liked it if it was weather sealed as I am constantly outdoors with it but I imagine that would bring the price up substantially.

The only thing I prefered on my Sigma was the Tripod collar. It was large and doubled as a hand grip. The Sony one is pretty small.

I almost always shoot handheld and find the weight of the lens helpful to keep me steady.

I do love this lens but never use it below 300mm. For the type of photography I use this lens for I think an older Minolta 300 F2.8G would serve me better.
reviewer#10250 date: May-30-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Canon 100-400
price paid:$1500.00 (new)
positive:Sharp
Fast
Focus Hold Buttons
AF limiter button
AF / MF selection on lens
Sony SSM
F4
negative:None really.
Weather Sealing would be nice.
comment:I have used this lens on my A850, A700 and now my A77, mostly for wildlife and birds. I find it simply outstanding and is in my view the best 70-400 (or similar) lens out there. It is sharp, good in low light, focuses pretty fast, great colour rendition and has next to no distortion. For me it produced great IQ throughout the entire focal length and on all my Sony's. It is big and heavy, but that does not bother me as I use this lens mostly on a monopod or tripod. I have taken a video with this lens on my A77 and was blown away by the quality.

I must be honest and say that this lens has kept me "faithful" to Sony, as I could never see myself selling it, and there is nothing else out there in this range that would make me change brands.

I would highly reccomend this lens.
reviewer#10184 date: May-8-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 70-200 2.8
Minolta 100-300 APO
price paid:$1,250.00 used
positive:Amazing I.Q.
Creamy bokeh
negative:Big,
Need a tripod at the long end to make this work
comment:I have had this lens for about a year now and find I do not use it very often. Sometimes I think I should sell it and get the Zeiss 24-70 as I would probably use it more. But every time I fire off a few shots with it, I think OMG. This lens is amazing! The colours, image quality and bokeh are as good as any prime lens.
The only negative is it's size. If you pull this out at a wedding-people are going to head for cover. It is NOT subtle.
Furthermore this lens commands a decent tripod and head arrangement. I use a carbon fiber Manfrotto with a high quality ball head for my DSLR's. This is not enough for this lens, I have to pull out my medium format Manfrotto 055 with the 410 geared head to keep this lens steady.
The quality of the images from this lens are so good, the range so convenient, that I don't think I will ever sell it.
The size of the lens is a small price to pay for the images it produces.
reviewer#10108 date: Apr-11-2012
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 300 2.8
Minolta 400 4.5
Sony 70-300G
Nikon 80-400 VR
price paid:L1000
positive:Range, colours, sharpness, weight (considering range).
negative:None apart from silver colour.
comment:An absolute must-have lens I believe and certainly the one that Sony should be most proud of to date. Awesome range, great colours and very impressive sharpness even handheld. Makes the Nikon seem like a toy. Albeit considerably slower than the Minolta I found this immeasurably more practical and was an absolute joy on safari in Africa.
Only negative is the colour since anything not black makes you like jam to wasps.
reviewer#10043 date: Mar-21-2012
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:fast focus, sharpness even at maximum zoom
negative:cardinality of the body, need a tripod with a smaller zoom - it is difficult to hold in your hand
comment:get for the price of the lens zoom range with great texture and a sharp focus quickly.
PS: I'm beginning photographer!
reviewer#10028 date: Mar-15-2012
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 100 - 400
price paid:
missing
positive:Incredible clarity and super fast foscus. Very easy to use even when hand held. Very convenently placed focus locks. Substantial feel in hand like the old Minolta lenses.
negative:Weight
comment:I have been using a Minolta 100 - 400mm lens for tha past 3 years. It is a nice lens but is loud and has trouble locking on target with fast moving objects when fully extended to 400mm. The Sony not only is a sharper lens but is a much faster focusing lens in the field.
Yes this lens is heavy....2x the weight but it is totally worth it. I typically dont use a tripod and by the end of the day.....tired....but I have improved my keepers by 35%.
On the tripod this lens is superb.
Highly recommended.
I am taking it on Safari to Botswana this summer.....really looking forward to it!!!!
reviewer#9924 date: Feb-12-2012
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 16-50, Sony 70-300G, Sony 35mm F1.8
price paid:£1400 (new)
positive:Build quality, IQ, Focusing
negative:Weight
comment:Excellent lens - if anything the IQ, focusing, colour rating etc are better than the 70-300G, but not that those from the 70-300 are are not excellent and more than enough for me. It is just that this is even better.

The pictures I have got from this lens I love, the solid feel I love. Yet I have used the 70-300G far more often. Why? Well partly because I have owned the 70-300 longer but also because I find that this lens I do not want to walk around with. It is too big - for me. I can use it hand-held and can have it round my neck. I just choose not to as I find it far more comfortable using it on at least a monopod if not a tripod (preferred.
Also, for me the results are better if I use the tripod than handheld - so it is an easy decision - when I know I will be using it take the tripod. But, this does limit how often I use it compared to the 70-300.

Does that mean I would consider letting it go or regret buying it - no way! The extra reach and that touch of extra quality are for me totally worth it. I love planning a trip out for the birds or some landscapes or some architecture. The whole thing becomes more of an event - I love it.

But, if I am going to be walking all day and want something to grab birds in flight or a landscape which just appears - I have the 70-300 and 16-50.

So I guess for me its horses for courses. For what I enjoy the 16-50, 70-300 and 70-400 all have their part to play and all I really enjoy. If you forced my hand and I was limited to two, I would have to let the 70-400 go simply because for me the weight is an issue. A few years back though I would be letting the 70-300 go because at the end of the day, if you are fine with the weight then this lens is superb.
reviewer#9826 date: Jan-21-2012
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Canon 100-400 IS
Tamron 200-500mm
Nikon 80-400mm
price paid:1799
positive:Build quality
AF speed
SSM
Great IQ
Focus limiter
negative:None
comment:This lens is the king of the zooms in this focal range. Over the years have owned Canon and Nikon and their versions are inferior to the the Sony in every way.
Sure it's expensive and a bit heavy but in this case you really do get what you pay for.
The SSM is very quiet and focuses quickly on the a77. Another great feature of this lens is the focus limiter allows you to fill the frame on most subjects without going to the full focus setting at 400mm.
Some reviewes complain of zoom creep but my copy is very good in this regard. I don't know if it will loosen over time.
If you need the reach and can afford it buy it.
reviewer#9782 date: Jan-13-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.1
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:1389 EUR (new)
positive:Sharpness
IQ wide open
Size
Price
negative:Zoom creep
Placement focus hold buttons
Will refuse focus lock on occasion.
Hunts in dimmer light
comment:I was supprised about the size and weight of the lens when I recieved it. It's portable enough to take on hiking trips as opposed to the primes of this focal length.

I like the IQ. Wide open the IQ is great, even on both ends. The lens isn't that fast, which can make the bokeh a bit messy. This can easily be avoided by composing the image different. This can however be a bit of an issue sometimes.

Build quality is good, although a lot of plastic is used. Biggest issue is the placement of the focus hold buttons, which can be pressed accidentally if not careful. After 4 months of use, zoom creep has popped up as a minor issue.

Biggest gripe I have is that it can hunt if used in dimmer light or with a busy background. I need to intervene with MF on a regular basis when shooting in the woods, as the lens keeps hunting or won't lock focus, even when focus limit is set.
reviewer#9694 date: Dec-17-2011
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 70-300G
Sony 55-200
Cosina 75-300
Centon 500 Mirror
price paid:900 Pounds (Used)
positive:Everything about this lens screams quality.

negative:None
comment:I have read comments before getting this lens with people unhappy with the hood design and the colour.

These issues are trivial and really not worth bothering over (and not true as the hood is a great design and of well made plastics & the colour I personally find to be lovely) when you take into account the quality of photos this lens produces.

It 25 years of photography this is simply the best zoom lens I have ever seen or used and this includes forays into Canikon lenses as well.

If you get a chance to buy one - don't hesitate - you won't regret it.
reviewer#9662 date: Dec-4-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:sony 70-300G
price paid:1000 EUR (new)
positive:sharpness
construction
SSM
color rendition
hood window
focus limiter
focus hold button
negative:not weather sealed
no zoom-lock
comment:I bought this lens to replace my precedent 70-300G and I found one brand new just for 1000 EUR even though I had to wait almost a month to put my hands on it. But I'm so happy with it!

SHARPNESS AND IMAGE QUALITY = I can't ask for something better at any aperture or any focal range! I'm extremely satisfied and a step over the fantastic 70-300G.
Generally image quality is at the top and you can't see any chromatic aberration at all. Bokeh is a little harsh, you have to take care to put distance between subject and background to obtain better results.
Vignetting is not an issue on APS sensor camera.
SSM is pretty fast and unnoticeable. I obtained pretty decent photos at motogp.

COLOR = Same of all the Sony lenses

BUILD = Despite of a well built lens I only give 4 because it's not weather sealed. The hood, a little "light", present a useful window to operate a CPL filter!

DISTORTION = Unnoticeable

FLARE = Well, how could you be able to obtain any flare with that huge hood?
reviewer#9592 date: Nov-15-2011
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:70-300 G SSM
Sigma 70-300 APO and APO DG
price paid:1428 EUR (new)
positive:Razor sharp wide open, razor sharp at 400 mm one stop down
Built like a tank, handles nicely
Smooth, silent fast and accurate AF
Slide window in the hood to allow polariser manipulation
negative:Weight
comment:My first Sigma 70-300 died in Iceland because of mist/sulphur vapour entering the lens (it seized) and got binned. The Sigma 70-300 AF DG replacement had its gearbox stripped by my A700 AF motor at minimum focus distance and also went into the bin. Replaced it with a 70-300 G SSM and was very happy with the improved images until I bought the 70-400. Could not believe how much better it is than the 70-300 G SSM. I walk around with this lens but I don't think this is for everybody, it is big and heavy and of no use without tripod or monopod.

It gives you sharp and contrasty images, great colour, no CAs, distortion or flare. If you want great bokeh look for primes, but this one won't let you down IMO. I bought it for reach so use it a lot at 400 F5.6, but is truly amazing at 70 F4. On my A700 it was hard to focus correctly due to back-focus.

I use it now on the A99 where it is a solid performer. Micro focus adjustment made, it is spot on.

Now available in white in the more expensive second version for those who do not like the silver.......
reviewer#9577 date: Nov-11-2011
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 70-200 2.8, Minolta 100-400 APO, Sony 70-300G
price paid:1200 CDN (refurb)
positive:Fast focusing and really sharp
negative:Heavy
comment:I bought this as a refurbished lens for a good price. I had wanted it for a long time and could not pass it up. I am very glad I did. I have used it for motorsports and wildlife and a lot in between.

I don't use it all the time but when I do I am always thrilled to have it. A monopod helps if you are going to be shooting for any length of time.

I really like the opening in the lens hood so you can adjust a polarizing filter.
reviewer#9570 date: Nov-10-2011
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Nikon 80-400mm VR
Canon 100-400mm IS
price paid:999 GBP (new)
positive:Sharp
Fast AF
Build
negative:No Zoom Lock
comment:I'm very impressed with the SAL70400G, it is better than I expected being a long zoom lens which is often a compromise compared to a fix lens telephoto. So far is very sharp at all focal lengths and apertures. I've owned a Nikon 80-400mm VR and used Canon 100-400mm IS lenses which aren't as good as the Sony for build quality and sharpness, its not really possible to shoot wide open like I can with the SAL70400G. If the zoom mechanism was internally in the lens body this lens would be 100%.
reviews found: 120    1 2 3 4 >>

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 120
  • sharpness: 4.88
  • color: 4.92
  • build: 4.59
  • distortion: 4.85
  • flare control: 4.84
  • overall: 4.82

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