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

reviewer#11315 date: Aug-20-2013
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 own this lens
compared to:Tamron SP 200-500
price paid:$2,195 USD
positive:Color, contrast, AF speed
negative:Lack of zoom lock
comment:My use of a long lens is a replacement in many ways to a gun of my youth. I enjoy the element of "the hunt" when using this lens. I had a Tamron 200-500 for 6 years and while sharp at f10 or above I always knew it was a good lens, but never a great lens. And for that reason I always felt less than enthusiastic about what I was going to capture although in bright light the Tamron did yield exceptional images.

This lens is much different. It is not f2.8 but with today's ISO speeds the f4-5.6 is more than adequate at all but twilight on either end of the day. The AF is quick and very accurate and the colors are rich and the detail is very much like my Zeiss portrait lens.

If you like wildlife and shooting grandchildren on a ball field this lens will be hard to beat for the money as expensive as some may think it is.

I no longer feel lens lust for my wildlife photographs.

Now I want to go back to Montana and Idaho.

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