Sony AF 70-400mm F4-5.6 G SSM II A-mount lens review by momech

reviewer#11293 date: Aug-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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:70-400 G version 1
price paid:2200 US
positive:Sharp to 400mm
Sharp wide open
Excellent AF speed
negative:Flimsy lens hood
Can't access zoom ring with hood reversed
comment:As others have already mentioned, the AF speed is much better, and there's less hunting compared to version 1. That's the important stuff.
Can't see any difference in IQ despite the new coatings but I've only had it a few days.
As far as my score of 4 on the build rating: I suppose there's a design reason for locating the zoom ring where you can't get at it with the hood reversed, but it's cost me a few shots when things happened fast. Changing this would have required an extensive redesign which I know wasn't going to happen, but I still don't like it. OTOH they could have easily reinforced that cheap lens hood, and they didn't.

And, of course, Sony ditched the silver and cinnabar, looks like a proper G lens now.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 21
  • sharpness: 4.69
  • color: 4.81
  • build: 4.48
  • distortion: 4.67
  • flare control: 4.62
  • overall: 4.65 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania