Sony AF 300mm F2.8 G SSM A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 14   
reviewer#11169 date: Jun-1-2013
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:CZ 24~70 f/2.8 Sony 100mm macro, and others. Nothing else came close for my purpose.
price paid:$2900 USD (used)
positive:The best lens I own.
negative:The heaviest lens I own.
comment:I have used this lens on my A900. I have used this lens along with multiple flashes to take stop action prize winning photos of hummingbirds. No other lens came close to the ability of this lens when taking these kinds of photos. A unique feature of this lens is it's ability to select a narrow range in which it will search for auto-focus. I feel like the A900 was not up to abilities of this lens. I look forward to a camera with faster auto-focus and better resolution.

My lens came with the 2X teleconverter. I found that caused some loss of contrast but I found I could correct for the contrast loss by underexposing slightly then adding contrast in post processing.

I gave it all fives in the rating that I'm forced to give. I do not feel qualified give such ratings as it would have to be done in an optics lab. I will say that I have many great lenses from CZ to Minolta; this is my favorite lens for serious birding. I have managed to capture some wild life shots hand held in good light, but I found it hard to hand hold and I'm a 6 foot guy.

Edit:
It failed to work for no good reason. I had is stored in it's case under the bed for about a year. When I took it out I discovered that it no longer worked. I sent it off to Precision Camera for repair. It's been the for almost a month! I was told that they will fix for $903.81. I still waiting for them to repair and return it to me.

I know others who had this lens fail and told it was not repairable. The reliability is poor.
reviewer#10489 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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 70-400 SSM and 70-300 SSM.
price paid:3200UKP (used)
positive:Sharp, sharper, sharpest! Bokeh is creamy smooth especially if you pick your background carefully. Contrast is exceptional with great flare control and beautiful colours. The focus controls are flexible and useful. AF is very fast, accurate, and whisper quiet.
negative:Well it's big and it's heavy but they all are. The lens hood screw needs careful tightening when out in the field. It's not weather sealed which is pretty poor at this price relative to the competition. New price is on the high side.
comment:I've not long had this lens but I'll never sell it unless it's an upgrade to a better lens. It's just a lovely bit of engineering and wonderful to use. Some lenses add a special magical quality to your pictures that is difficult to describe in words and this lens is up there with the best of them. It's big and heavy but I see this as a plus point as it forces you to up your game technique wise to make the most of your large cash investment. The lens hood design is a little cumbersome and it's not weather sealed which is ought to be really. It's also not as sharp wide open as it is one stop down but it's sharper wide open than the 70-300 G SSM lens is everywhere, a fact noted by the esteemed mhohner and backed up by little ol' me. (:
reviewer#10388 date: Jul-17-2012
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 have experience with this lens
compared to:Canon EF 300 mm f/2.8 L IS II USM
price paid:4850 USD (new)
positive:good AF,
very good but not excellent sharpness,
very smooth bokeh at all apertures,
good works with the Sony x1.4 TCs
flexible focus limiter,
box contents/accessories - drop-in 42mm polarizing, filter with vinyl case, metal trunk,
negative:slightly uncomfortable front cap
Sony TC x2 => don't even try
not fast AF as should be
just not excellent sharpness as should be
comment:
missing
reviewer#10324 date: Jun-24-2012
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 70-400G & 70-200G
price paid:6700 EURO (NEW)
positive:-Sharp even at f2.8
-Far & near programable focus range
-Prefocus memory fuction
-Can AF with the teleconverters with good results
negative:None
comment:Not much to say just is an exceptional lens.

AF Almost Twice as fast as 70-400G and 70-200G with the 70-200G getting the second place.

What i like more on this lens is the Far & near programable AF range, it is a fuction that i miss on 70-200G

a77 and this lens it is a very good pakage for sports/action photos
reviewer#9105 date: Jun-7-2011
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:70-400
100mm macro
28-75 2.8 SAM
price paid:£5,000
positive:Image quality Sharp
unbealieveable detail
negative:Heavy
comment:I have now had this lens for well over a year,and use for mainly for wildlife and sport. I have sold my A850,to purchase the new full frame SLT when available. I now use the A77. The detail is even better with SLT cameras.
reviewer#8303 date: Nov-25-2010
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 300 f2.8
price paid:6500
positive:Fast focus. Bokeh. SHARP!. Color. Fantastic lens.
negative:The screw assembly for the lens hood can and does fall apart.
comment:I first purchased the Sigma 300mm 2.8. It did not meet my expectations so it went back and I took a Sony 300mm 2.8 in it's place. It cost much more but it takes incredible images. I am pleased with this lens.

One thing I did not expect.... The screw assembly that holds the lens hood in place comes apart by itself.

I was in the field putting my lens away. I reversed the lens hood back onto the lens but it would not attach. I noticed then noticed that a part had fallen off the hood screw assembly. I looked below in the tall grass (I was in a grassy field with foot high grass.), but no luck.
I thought I would just get one from Sony, the lens was still under warranty.

To my surprise Sony informed me that it does not cover screws that fall of the lens under the warranty. I was told I was the only customer to have this complaint. (I found out there ARE others out there through the internet. The replacement parts will cost a little over $100 Canadian.

I think it sucks that SONY could not afford to cover a screw assembly that was not meant to unscrew itself, but which did. Especially considering the cost compared to the $6500 I shelled out for the lens!
reviewer#6982 date: Mar-2-2010
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:SAL70200G SSM
Minolta 200mm f2.8 HS APO
price paid:US$4,450 used/mint
positive:Optical design, precision build, sharpness, image quality.
negative:Price, weight.
comment:A big, bright, superb piece of optical and physical design, yielding sharp and beautiful image quality, rich, natural colours, lovely Bokeh, fast, sure, and silent SSM focus. Needs a monopod or tripod for long periods of use, but it's certainly hand holdable for shorter bursts including tracking birds in flight. Useful controls including 4 focus hold buttons, focus range limiters and focus pre-sets.
Superb results on either a900/a850 or a700 (or other APSC sensor) bodies.
IQ with the matched SAL14TC is almost as sharp as the lens alone, especially with aperture stopped down one or two stops. IQ with the SAL20TC is a little softer wide open, but most acceptable when stopped down a couple of stops. Both are well worth using if ever you need 420mm (= 630mm cropped equivalent on an APSC sensor) or 600mm (= 900mm cropped equivalent on an APSC sensor) focal length. The shots I've taken at 600mm are affected by atmospheric heat haze rather than any optical deterioration.
A pro-quality lens for serious sports and nature photographers.
reviewer#5825 date: Aug-7-2009
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 70-200G
sigma 300f4 apomacro
sigma 400f5.6 apomacro
minolta 600f4G
price paid:
missing
positive:
missing
negative:
missing
comment:
missing
reviewer#5257 date: Apr-19-2009
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 300mm f/2.8 HS
Minolta 400mm f/4.5 HS
Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 SSM
CZ 24-70mm f/2.8 SSM
price paid:
missing
positive:Sharp!!!
Colors
SSM
f/2.8
Accessories
negative:Heavy!!!
Not easy to handhold
Front cap
No protective filter for the front element
Price!!!
comment:The pros are clear - very sharp (even wide open), fast AF, great colors and Bokeh (Minolta style), accessories (drop in CP filter). Probably the best Sony lens - a combination of CZ-type sharpness with Minolta-type colors/Bokeh/feeling. I use it mainly with 1.4xTC and it works as good as without it.

The main con was also clear as soon as I got the lens - it is heavy! I used Minolta 400/4.5 and Minolta 300/2.8 HS (which is supposed to be as heavy as the Sony), but the Sony is much heavier. Even without the tripod collar. I believe it is a combination of the actual weight and the structure of the lens (see below).

The other cons are related to the structure of the lens. First time I used it, I took out the tripod collar. But I realized that I am pressing many buttons accidentally. When I tried to used it with the tripod collar (thinking that I can hold it from the collar), it was very uncomfortable and I couldn't have a good hold.
Another problem is the focus ring. It is big and nice to use when you want to use it, but it cannot be covered (like in Minolta lenses) and you can easily move it when you don't want to move it...
If you want to hold the lens, you have to ignore these problems (the buttons and the focus ring) and just hold it in the most comfortable way. You may press the buttons some time, but if you try to avoid the buttons and the focus ring, you will not be able to hold the lens steady.

I also don't like the front "cap", which is actually more like a leather carrying case.
And the last complain - there is no dedicated protective filter for the front element (like in Minolta lenses). So if I have a scratch on the front element I need to send the lens for service.
*Update - after asking around (here in Dyxum and Sony support team), I learned that the lens front element is actually a protective filter. Not ideal (you still need to send the lens for service, which mean it will cost you and it will take time until you get your lens back), but I guess it will be cheaper than replacing the real front element.


Overall, it is a great lens! After using it for a while I have better holding of the lens and I can over-come most of my complains.
reviewer#5229 date: Apr-13-2009
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:wight
price paid:5500 USD (new)
positive:the best 300mm lens i ever saw
negative:sharpness, color
comment:my father own'd that lens, and i sometimes use it for sport events with a 2x teleconverter.

fast + sharp = perfect
reviewer#4721 date: Jan-21-2009
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:
missing
price paid:5999 USD (new)
positive:Sharpness
Build
fast focus
flexible focus limiter
Prefocus
Drop in CP filter
negative:Hood
comment:Only had it for a few days and I am quite impressed. The lens is very sharp even and works well with a 1.4x TC. I don't like the design of the hood especially the locking screw.

The focus limiter is very useful especially with a TC mounted as it causes the lens to hunt. The limiter has three modes: full, 6.4 meters to infinity, or choose the near and far points. The prefocus function is also very useful.

It can be hand held but definitely not for a while. A monopod or a tripod is a must.
reviewer#3428 date: Apr-4-2008
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:There is nothing comparable.
price paid:5000 Euro (new-imported)
positive:-look
-feel
-optical and mechanical performance
-accessories
negative:
missing
comment:I think this is one of the best lenses ever build.
It is not only the best lens of this range on the planet, it is also the best lens for any mount on the market.

The build quality is like a tuned maybach and the optical and mechanical performance is like a leica lens mixed with an hasselblad.
Canon and Nikons at this range can not compare at all.
reviewer#3197 date: Jan-20-2008
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:300F2,8 KM (not the SSM)
price paid:5600SFR
positive:Very fast, and a good AF when poor light, shaaarp at F2,8!!!!
negative:A little bit heavy for free shooting, but better handling than the 300KM not SSM
comment:I dont pay the normal price, it's really expensive normally, but it's a killer, the sharpness is like my macro lenses !!!
Give perfect results with the 1,4x Sony D converter, not so good with the 2x.
reviewer#2670 date: Aug-29-2007
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 70-200 f2.8 SSM
Zeiss 135mm 1.8
Sony 75-300
sigma 300-800mm f5.6 ( on Nikon D2X)
price paid:MYR 27,999
positive:sharp
fast focusing
great for wildlife
negative:expensive
comment:very fast lens and is great for wildlife. well built and nice grip on manual focus ring ( I don't use it much for tele though). Fast focusing compared to normal tele lens. I like the white too.
reviews found: 14   

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 14
  • sharpness: 4.89
  • color: 5.00
  • build: 4.86
  • distortion: 5.00
  • flare control: 4.93
  • overall: 4.94

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