Sony AF 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G SSM A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 157    1 2 3 4 5 6 >>
reviewer#12039 date: Nov-23-2014
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 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta AF 100-300mm F4.5-5.6 APO D and 200mm F2.8 HS APO
price paid:700
positive:Both color and sharpness are very nice! Light weight! SSM!
negative:I just do not satisfy the bokeh and construction.
comment:I've owned this lens for a year, and it replaced my older Minolta AF 100-300mm F4.5-5.6 APO D. It outclasses the 100-300mm, and is quickly becoming one of my personal favourites.
I highly recommend this lens to anyone looking for a light portable zoom for the A-Mount.
reviewer#11941 date: Aug-9-2014
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 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta Big Beercan
price paid:650 used
positive:Great colors
Fast and silent focus
negative:None
comment:You get the quality that you would expect from a G lens. I am very impressed with this my first SSM as it is truly fast and silent. Colors are great and so far I have had very little PP to do. Love the reach at 300mm. Recommended.
reviewer#11925 date: Jul-29-2014
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 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:70-200mm G2
75-300mm G
70-400mm G
28-75mm
16-50mm
18-135mm
price paid:$699.99
positive:This lens is very sharp, and its colour rendition is excellent. Even thought its construction is plastic it feels robust. Its very light. Its SSM seem very fast on both the A850, and A77.
negative:It isn't weather-sealed, and any lens bearing the G-Series badge should be. Its not as sharp as either the 70-200mm or 70-400mm, but is only a third of the weight.
comment:I've owned this lens for a year, and it replaced my older screw driven older Sony 75-300mm. It simply outclasses the 75-300mm, and is quickly becoming one of my personal favourites.

Its combination of sharpness, colour rendition, and fast AF speed makes it a must for any A77, A77II, A850 or A900 owner.

Its not as sharp as the my other G-Series zooms (70-200mm or 70-400mm), but its light weight more than compensates. I can use this in combination with the A77 all day, and never once feel fatigued.

I highly recommend this lens to anyone looking for a light portable zoom for the A-Mount.

reviewer#11863 date: Jun-10-2014
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 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:100-300 APO
price paid:aud $500 sh
positive:Beautiful images, fast focus, nice build.
negative:None really at the price.
comment:Not too big, works as expected, reliably delivers beautiful images. A good companion to the 16-105 on the a700 and well suited to my needs.
reviewer#11627 date: Jan-22-2014
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 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 75-300
Minolta 300F4
Minolta 100-400
Minolta 100-300
price paid:700
positive:Cheap
Great Image
Super Fast focusing
Build
Great Image
negative:Aperture 5.6
comment:Really fast when focusing, image is super sharp and has no CA anywhere.
it is definitely worth the money from the 75-300.
this was my first G lens, after seeing what a G lens could do, i started to buy only CZ and G lenses. The image at F/8 is amazing!
reviewer#11610 date: Jan-15-2014
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 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:SAL 70-400G
Minolta 70-210/4 Beercan
CZ 135/1.8
price paid:500 EU new (lucky)
positive:Light weight (but see cons)
Overall IQ is a great combo of high sharpness, contrast and low CA/PF
negative:Low weight makes lens pick up mirror slap
comment:I bought this in the U.K. when a Sony retailer cleared stock to replace my beercan (which found a good new home with a friend who still uses it) and before I bought the a55. Use case was a light but long and good telephoto for handheld shooting when not bringing the tripod. On a700 and a900, focus was spot on, but the last "bite" in IQ was strangely missing. Once mounted on the a55, the final step in IQ was made. I assume that the combination of the well built, but light housing of the 70-300G and the mirror slap of the a700/a900 caused some ringing which the a55 does not trigger.
The a55 with Tamron 17-50/2.8 and the SAL 70-300G now join me when travelling light or rough with no regrets in IQ.
reviewer#11375 date: Oct-8-2013
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 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 70-300 Di LD
Minolta 75-300
Minolta 100-300
Minolta 400 f4.5
price paid:500 USD (used)
positive:Sharp (get soft at the long end but much more than expected)
Colors (Not Minolta good but Sony good)
Light
Fast and quiet focus
DMF
IQ
negative:Price
MFD
Battery hog (My first SSM lens so compared to non-SSM lens)
Plastic build (for the cost)
Clumsy hood

comment:This lens was never on my list, looked too plasticky to justify the G label. Was saving for a 70-200 for shooting Mammals but then there was one available cheap and I picked it on impulse. I finally ended up using it for Herps also as the range makes up for the MFD.
And have not regretted it. Its got a plastic body but feels sturdy and well built, not like the longer Minolta primes but decently so.
The image quality is excellent and far beyond my expectations, one quality that justifies the G label. The image is decently sharp even when fully open and stopping down a couple of stops improves it further. Colors are pleasing. The manual focusing is excellent and there is the DMF, joy to use.
By far the best lens I have used in this range, only question one would needs to ask if its worth the price.
reviewer#11335 date: Sep-12-2013
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 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Sigma 70-300 DG APO
Tokina 75-300 (push-pull)
price paid:750 AUD (new)
positive:relatively lightweight
image quality
sharpness
SSM
negative:zoom creep (though not too bad)
comment:My first "G" lens, purchased after wasting money on inferior 70-300 zooms. A very impressive lens, although not sure it rates the "G" moniker due to it's plastic, albeit quality, build. I eventually purchased both a 70-200 G & 70-400 G which rendered this lens pretty much redundant so I sold it. I do miss it's compactness and relatively light weight, though. Impressive colours and image quality, I have no hesitation in recommending this quality, mid-range zoom.
reviewer#11256 date: Jul-16-2013
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
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 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 75-300
Minolta 85 1.4
price paid:550 EUR (new)
positive:Sharp at 70mm (but not tack sharp)
Amazing colors
Good bokeh
SSM
AF-D on A99 (although I don't really use it much)
Looks great with the petal hood
negative:Not sharp wide opened at 300mm but gets better stopped down (although you lose the bokeh)
comment:Miles ahead of my old Minolta 75-300.
Wanted something light to replace it that I could take with me everywhere but with pro quality, this was a no brainer. It's still heavy, but not excessively.
Great quality overall, the zoom felt a bit too long on the A700 but it's great on the A99.
The micro contrast and colors are amazing, it's the G glass magic I suppose.
Now one bad thing about it: if once fell from a very low height inside a protective case and stopped focusing. Sony in the UK was rubbish so had it fixed in Portugal, no questions asked as it was still in the warranty. Good Sony service in Portugal, bad resistance to falls and knocks for a professional graded lens - or any lens for that matter!
Otherwise the build is the best of all the plastic lenses I have.
If you've got one, treat it like a newborn!
reviewer#11221 date: Jun-30-2013
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 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta Big Beer Can...
price paid:999.99
positive:Very nice handling.
negative:Heavy.... Expensive.... Focus/Zoom rings are made of rubber and collect dust and dirt easily.
comment:Very nice lens.... Much sharper at all ranges than what I expected....
Very nice, fast, and quiet focus motor. A sure joy if a lens.....
reviewer#11118 date: May-15-2013
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 3
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 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 75-300
SAL70200g
SAL70400g
price paid:799 USD
positive:Overall sharpness
Very nice colors/contrast
Focal Range
No too heavy
Focus hold button
SSM
negative:Build quality (e.g. very plasticky)
Rather "slow" lens
No access window on lens hood
Value at retail price
comment:In good lighting this lens take beautiful shots on an A99. For example, a trip to the zoo and a beautiful summer's day will turn out nice pix (e.g. good colors, sharp) of animals, people, and flowers. Does not seem as sharp as the Sony's 70-400g — a lens that I no longer own. I'm not sure if it's head-over-tails better than Sony's much cheaper 75-300 economy telephoto. A $999 asking price, new seems a bit steep for a lens that is rather plasticky in nature and includes a lens hood with no access window (e.g. adjusting a polarizer). I'd feel better if this lens was priced at around $850.
reviewer#11070 date: Apr-25-2013
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 4
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:490GBP
positive:Sharp through range.
Well built
negative:None so far
comment:Bought new and has been on my camera 90% of the time.
reviewer#11044 date: Apr-16-2013
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:SAL16-80 zeiss
MINOLTA 24-85 3.5-4.5
Tamron SP 90 macro
price paid:900 euro (new)
positive:Fast AF
Sharp
Silent
Full Frame
negative:My copy micro adjusted to -6 with my A900
comment:I took this lens together almost with my A700 with the vision to upgrade to Full Frame some time.
This time arrived. Now I have a A900.
I was happy but not as now.
Because this lens saw the quality with the A900!!
Now the AF is more accurate and really faster!
Consider of course that (thanks to A900) micro adjust option my copy calibrated to -6 !!
Highly recommended!!
reviewer#10956 date: Mar-1-2013
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 70-400 g
price paid:$900 AUD
positive:
missing
negative:
missing
comment:This is my goto lens for just about everything. It's relatively light, very crisp sharp lens on a a99. Auto focus is fast and accurate. Fantastic flare control . 4.5 min aperture is no problem on a99. It's still very fast.
Surprisingly good portrait lens even compared with 85 and 135 primes.
This lens should be in every kit bag. Especially for its reasonable price new.
reviewer#10553 date: Oct-3-2012
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 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:85mm f/1.4 ZA
24mm f/2 ZA
price paid:450 USD (used)
positive:Very sharp
SSM is quiet and fast!
Brilliant, vibrant colors
Inside focus ring
negative:f/4.5-5.6
Made out of plastic
62mm filter
comment:I got this open box used for $450 so I really can't complain. I am a person who loves prime lenses so Zoom lenses are a bit foreign to my style. I have a feeling I will be using this more at 70 and 300 than anything else. This is an ISO 400-800 lens unless it is a perfectly sunny day. The colors are magnificent, definitely worthy of the G designation. The lens is blazing fast to acquire and super quiet. I wish it was 2.8, but I can't complain as it was very inexpensive. I do like the short focus distance and I really like the inside focus ring. Can't wait to test on the A99.

Updated on 10/12/2012 to reflect testing on A900. This lens is amazingly bright on the A900 and the background smoothing is quite nice, even at f/5.6 on the longer lengths. My favorite part about this lens is it is sharp wide open. Most zooms need to be stopped down to be sharp corner-to-corner and this lens delivers out of the gate.

Updated on 1/4/2013 to reflect use on A99. I sold this lens in lieu of the Minolta 200mm f/2.8 HS APO. I just didn't use it as much as my other lenses. That being said, the lens served me well enough. Had it been AF-D enabled, it would have been harder for me to get rid of. The main reasons I got rid of the lens was the way it extended when it was zoomed out and the 62mm filter.
reviewer#10501 date: Sep-10-2012
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 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 70-200mm G, Sony 70-400mm G
price paid:800 (used)
positive:Build, quiet SSM, Exc. Iq, Easier to handle than 70-400, more reach than 70-200,
Full Frame or APS-C, works with tele converter.
negative:None
comment:Great lens on the A-580 and A77. Well balanced, quick to focus, easy to get sharp photos of still and or motion shots.
Main use is for Soccer and birding but find that it is on my camera most of the time.
Money well spent for a great outdoor lens that should last a long time.

Big plus is that I bought this lens (used)?? however it was brand new unopened in the box.
reviewer#10500 date: Sep-10-2012
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 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 100 Macro
Minolta 100 300 Xi
price paid:£599 new
positive:Range
Close focus distance
Build quality
SSM (near silent)
negative:Length
Lack of cpl adjust window
comment:Another fantastic lens paired with my A77 and KM 5d it's difficult to fault, less sharp wide open and long with hood on and the lack of a window on the hood to adjust Cpl is a minor annoyance. As an aerospace engineer I have no concerns about the sensible use of composite materials to save weight. Well deserving of the G title. Have yet to test on my Dynax 7 film camera.
reviewer#10411 date: Jul-29-2012
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 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:SONY 70-400mm
Minolta Big Beercan 75-300mm
price paid:501 Euro (New)
positive:- relatively lightweight and compact
- Good range
- Fast, silent and accurate AF.
negative:All in plastic
comment:I had the SONY 70-400mm. Even if this lens is very good, the 70-400 is very big and very heavy. That why I bought the 70-300mm.

My big beercan was heaviest, very noisy, slow AF and strong CA. No regret.
reviewer#10010 date: Mar-9-2012
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 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta AF 100-300 F4.5-5.6
price paid:$900
positive:Very high image quality
Well built
SSM is great!
Not too heavy
negative:A bit slow
BIG lens, especially with the hood in place
No zoom lock
comment:This is the most expensive lens I've ever owned, and it's worth it. The feel and build quality of the lens are great. No, it's not a metal body, and I don't care; it's very well built. It's heavy enough to help you hold it steady, but not so heavy that it needs a collar.

The image quality is great. Very sharp all the time if you do your part, virtually no chromatic abberation; all the image quality one would expect from a G lens. I've gotten some very pleasing bokeh out of it, too. I love pulling this out of the bag.
reviewer#10000 date: Mar-6-2012
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 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 75-300 APO
price paid:750 £ GBP
positive:Build
Very Quiet
IQ and Colour
SSM,
DMF
Excellent case incl
Brilliantly packed
Reasonably light
Decent front lens size
Bright
Front Shutter Curtain Yes
Fast Focus
negative:Plastic Outer barrell
Massive Hood
Not weather sealed
comment:Pros:
It's very well made.
Mine doesn't rattle when rotated.
The IQ is very good for the price. And the colours seem very good.
It's SSM, and Sony so no Sigma type issues. DMF is in the lens so no worries about turning the Focus ring at the wrong time. Sony confirmed you can turn the ring at any time with any setting [on or off] without damaging camera or lens [NB was refferring to on an A77 NB no legal responsibiity for this statement: just passing on what I was told. So do your own due diligence please].
Excellent case with it. Brilliantly packed so you know its not damaged on arrival.
Reasonably light for what it is. Quite a decent front lens/filter size 62mm [seems a lot 'brighter' than the sigma]
Cons:
It's made of plastic [albeit a really high quality plastic].
Horrible Massive Hood, wish it was more discreet and not petal shaped[but it does the job, no flare, and fits nicelty and parks on the lens]
A bit pricey at £850 RRP but then it works and takes beautiful pics. Not an expert but when you see the Sigma 70-300 APO for £188 on Amazon it makes you feel it's very expensive. But that doesn't support DMF, Lens ID, Flash ADI,Front Shutter Curtain [VIP IMO], Lens Comp [coming Ver 1.5 soon], AF Mico adjust [could be vital, mine was spot on so N/A].
So is it pricey maybe not [IQ is also better than Sigma IMO]

Technically how good is it you need to ask someone experienced [sorry just don't know enough on how to compare images with graphs etc.]

Summary it takes razor sharp pictures, focuses as fast as I need it to, is quiet can be used in video and is OK, seen others that are unacceptable, works brilliantly with the A77. It's also relatively compact and weight is ok, but with a A77 say sight seeing for an afternoon you'd want a bag.
reviewer#9978 date: Feb-27-2012
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 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 70-300 Di
Sony Zeiss 16-80
price paid:$849.00 USD (new)
positive:(Sony a77) Fast and accurate auto-focus at all focal lengths right out of the box – Overall sharpness - Dazzling color rendition – well built and light for all day handling – Excellent overall image quality.
negative:None
comment:Comments: Based on the early reviews of the a77 and 16-50mm lens, I sold my a850 and 70-400mm lenses, and bought the new lighter combination. From the first JPEG fine, I knew this new camera and lens combo was something very special, and the reviews were accurate. I had a Sony Zeiss 16-80, that in combination with the a77 also was delivering terrific images. This review is about the Sony 70-300, so I intend to review the 16-50, and the 16-80 individually at a later time.

I purchased a Tamron 70-300 Di for the use with the a77, and the images looked OK on the LCD, but when magnified, were an unacceptable blur, and the Tammy went back to the retailer. I had occasion in the past to use the Sony 70-300 G, so I bought one, and am content that the extra money was well spent. The sharpness and color saturation are discussed above, and I have not noticed any CA or flare as yet, and do not really think flare is an issue when using the Sony hood for the 70-300mm.

The lens at F/4.5 is very sharp, however not a particularly fast lens, but then for “still photography,” this is an awesome lens.

Whatever the Sony Engineers did to cram 24 megapixels into the APS-C sensor used in the a77 is not important to this user, only that the architecture works. What Sony has accomplished with the a77 is; that it has taken existing Sony lenses like the 70-300 G, and allow the existing optics to perform at a higher level. The same is true of the Sony 16-80mm Sony Zeiss.

The “Smart Tele Converter” on the a77 also allows extending the focal length of the 70-300 G by either a 1.4X or a 2X factor. My initial tests show the 70-300 G is sharp enough to operate at these extreme focal lengths, however the skills of the photographer will be put to the test.

The Sony 70-300 G, and the Sony Zeiss 16-80 both balance well on the a77, and have no weight issues. I will pack them both on vacations, simply because in combination, they cover a range of 16mm to 300mm, and both generate fantastic image quality.
reviewer#9923 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 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 16-50, Sony 70-400G, Sony 35mm 1.8
price paid:£500
positive:Sharpness, IQ, Speed of focusing, build
negative:None
comment:This lens is really good - no it is excellent! I managed to buy mine second hand - but came boxed and looks like new. Feel I got a real bargain.

When I am out for photography often I rarely have the three zooms with me or if I know I am going to be out walking a lot then it will be this one and the 16-50. The 70-400G I tend to take out for "special" purposes - due to weight and tripod. Therefore this lens gets used far more than the 70-400G

It's very sharp, great colours, I have not noticed any CA or flare, the auto focus is fast and accurate.

On the A77 it balances very well and there is no weight issue - hence why I carry it around my neck so much. The build quality I think is also excellent, it feels very solid and well put together. To date I have not experienced any zoom creep at all, though there is very, very slight movement between the lens and body when attached - less than 70-400 but more than 16-50 ( I am guessing this is a size issue and the fact that so far I have only been using it in cold weather!)

I find it is great for birds particularly BIF and it rarely hunts for the subject.
But it is far more than a lens for wildlife or birds. I think it is an excellent all round lens and compliments the 16-50 so well. The IQ from both are totally comparable and I am not good enough to be able to tell or advice anyone which is better.

The Bokeh on this I find more pleasing than on the 70-400 but that is simply personal preference I think.

It comes with a hood which works very well and its own carrying case - both of which I like.

I can see this lens alongside the 16-50 are going to give me years of pleasure and enjoyment. Love it.
reviewer#9863 date: Jan-30-2012
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 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:55-200
price paid:
missing
positive:Excellent sharpness and overall image quality. Quiet. Well made.
negative:Overpriced. AF is slow. Heavier than most lenses in its class. Drains the battery.
comment:I like the lens but don't find it to be good value for money and wouldn't recommend it to others unless they get a good deal.

The results it gives you are great and I do appreciate the SSM. It also feels very well made. There is no question that this is a good lens.

That said it isn't a home-run. The auto-focus has always been slower than many of my other lenses on my A700. It is also larger than a lot of comprable lenses and is big for such a slow lens.

The real problem is that my 55-200 gives results that are very close in quality for a fraction of the price. The 70-300 is an excellent lens but not at the inflated price it is at now. I find that I don't even use the 70-300G much anymore since purchasing the 55-200. I never thought i'd type that but its true.
reviewer#9664 date: Dec-4-2011
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 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 100-300 Apo
price paid:1100
positive:
missing
negative:
missing
comment:It's a great lens!
reviewer#9601 date: Nov-16-2011
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:SAL 70-400 G SSM
Sigma 70-300 APO DG
price paid:800 EUR (new)
positive:Everything. Well made, solid build, good AF, easy MF. beautiful images, but needs a stop down at 300 mm to peak.
negative:70-400 big brother is so much sharper
comment:Save up and get the 70-400 G SSM in stead. It weighs a lot more and is expensive, but the extra IQ and reach is worth it. The Sigma is cheaper, has Macro capabities and gave me a lot of good film images before the AF gear was stripped by my A700.
reviewer#9452 date: Sep-28-2011
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 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:700 USD
positive:Excelente en todo, un poco más veloz y seria PERFECTO!!
negative:Diametro del Filtro!!
comment:
missing
reviewer#9251 date: Jul-23-2011
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 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:beercan/ big beercan
price paid:550 EUR (new)
positive:colors
sharp
no ca
nice bokeh
no flare
silent SSM, fast and very good AF
limiter and focus stop button
reversed zoom/focus rings
strong build despite plastic
negative:aperture (if you're picky)
zoom creep
huge hood (but looks amazingly cool)
drains battery unless you change your focusing settings
comment:This lens is pretty much amazing. I had the chance to buy it second-hand but in an almost like new state. And I made a hell of a buy! I always have two lenses with me most of the time, and this is one of them.

It's basically very sharp, great colors, virtually no CA whatsoever, no flare, the AF is great and silent, it does drain the battery unless you change a few things (such as the Eye-start AF) and use the limiter and focus stop button.

If you want to use the MF, the reversed rings are smooth and actually very ergonomic. Some of the MF shots I took are purely stunning in IQ and sharpness. Nothing else comes closer to it, at least from what I tested so far. Besides, the bokeh is very pleasing and soft.

It does come with a hood that looks like a bazooka but it can make you feel and look cool if that's what you're looking for. Otherwise just buy a rubber hood and you're good to go. The build, despite what some say, is actually very good. The lens feels solid and well build, nothing is out of place.

The only negative thing that annoys me is the zoom creep. I had a few negative things to put in the negative section and all but this one have a mitigation. You can use a rubber wrist ring to hold it down, buy it black and you'll forget it's there.

Overall, I would buy it all over again if I had to. It became my favorite lens, with the 50mm F/1.4.

You can take a look at some shots with this lens here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/photographychronicles/
http://photographychronicles.wordpress.com/
reviewer#9207 date: Jul-5-2011
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 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:Sharp
negative:
missing
comment:bought it at the same time as my alfa 550 december 2009. It is a good pair. It is a battery drainer, pictures are very sharp. Mostly used for shooting my kids when they are playing outdoors
reviewer#9190 date: Jun-28-2011
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 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:70-300 sigma apomacro
70-300 minolta
100-300 minolta
16-105 sony
tamron 90 macro
50mm f 1,8 sony
price paid:400€ (used)
positive:sharp
fast silent focus
Weight
SSM
solid build
negative:Aperture
comment:in this price range nothing is better (Canon and Nikon don't have a lens with this quality in this price range)
light, well built, fast and silent autofocus and very sharp.
only the best 300mm Fixed focal length lenses have's a better sharpness.Nice bokeh. no ca.
The only drawback is the aperture but at this price you can not have a 2.8.....
I love this lens.
some shots made ​​with this lens
http://www.flickr.com/photos/linnmimik/sets/72157626595244057/
reviewer#9187 date: Jun-28-2011
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 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Beercan
Tamron 70-200/2.8
price paid:666 USD (used)
positive:Nice colours
Contrast and sharpness
Weight
SSM
AF accuracy
negative:Price new
comment:It's a great lens though I didn't think so before buying it. I had a chance to buy it for a quite nice price, used but only several months old, so I thought "well, I'll buy it and if I don't like it, I'd sell it with no money loss.
Well... I don't want to sell it at all! :-) It's sharp and accurate, not to heavy, bot not to light, great contrast and very nice colours. The build quality is... solid I would say, the SSM works silently and fast enought. I haven't used a beercan since I bought it and beercan was my favourite tele once. Now a set of A850 and 70-300G is my favourite :-) It works fine with my wife's Nex-3, too.
One could say "I wish it was f/2.8" but not me - it would be bigger and heavier, as was the Tamron which was too heavy for me.
The only thing - it would be nice if it was a bit cheaper.
reviews found: 157    1 2 3 4 5 6 >>

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 157
  • sharpness: 4.71
  • color: 4.82
  • build: 4.27
  • distortion: 4.80
  • flare control: 4.79
  • overall: 4.68

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