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

reviewer#45737 date: Jul-5-2021
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 70-400mm G1
Sony 70-200mm f2.8 G2 SSM
Minolta 80-200mm G HS apo
Sony CZ 135mm f1.8
Minolta 28-70mm G
Minolta 85mm f1.4 G D
Sony CZ 24-70mm SSM I
price paid:$2000 AUD (new)
positive:Faster/more accurate focussing particularly on a99II
Excellent IQ even at f5.6 @ 400mm on a99II but fantastic at f8
Moisture and dust sealing
negative:Improvement over G1 version but for most only a small to moderate difference
comment:The G2 version for my use is a worthy upgrade given this is one of the lenses I use the most. When paired with better camera bodies like the a99II the difference in use is noticeable in both accuracy/speed of focus and also real world IQ. All round that little bit better. The 4.5 rating in sharpness is a comparison to the Sony 70-200mm f2.8 G2 SSM which is a little unfair but also the sharpness @ f5.6 400mm could be a tiny bit better for more use flexibility. A lot describe this lens as not having environmental sealing but it actually does - almost to the same degree as the Sony 70-200mm f2.8 G2 SSM (the only part that degrades this rating a little is the barrel zooming in and out however there is a much tighter updated seal compared to the G1 version). It has the same rear mount and button seals as the 70-200mm G2. Sony's website states moisture and dust resistance and I've seen one of these lenses partially disassembled so can confirm it does indeed have environmental sealing elements not present in the G1 version.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 21
  • sharpness: 4.69
  • color: 4.81
  • build: 4.52
  • distortion: 4.67
  • flare control: 4.62
  • overall: 4.66 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania