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

reviewer#11640 date: Jan-27-2014
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 70-200/2.8 LD
Sony 70-300/4.5-5.6 G SSM
Tamron 70-300/4-5.6 USD
price paid:1169 USD (KEH: BGN)
positive:- sharp, sharp, sharp!
- excellent build
- SSM with FTMF, focus hold buttons, focus limiter
- velvet lined hood with filter door
- ultra professional looking, if that's your thing
negative:- long & heavy, especially at 400mm
- very conspicuous with it's silver paint
comment:I've been wanting this lens since it came out, and I've finally been able to get it.

- The build quality is simply superb. It's obvious that it's a G lens, with tight tolerances, well damped controls, 3 focus hold buttons and a focus limiter. I like the silver paint, but YMMV. The included hood is large, deep, and lined with velvet for maximum flare control. It *is* a little flimsy, when compared to the hood on my Tamron 70-200, it's obvious that the 70-200's hood is better constructed. (it does lack the velvet lining and the filter door though) And of course a replacement hood is $100 USD should you lose or break yours. Ouch.

The colors are the typical Sony/Minolta colors, and i find them very pleasing.

Distortion is basically non-existent in every day shooting

Sharpness is out of the park. It's easily the sharpest zoom I own, and just as good as my 105 Macro and 50/1.4 EX HSM, even wide open. Size and weight mandate at least 1/500th at 400mm or a tripod to get the most out of the lens.

AF is fast, accurate, and pretty much silent. It's a revelation when compared to the screwdriven Tammy 70-200, and better than the motors on both the 70-300 G and 70-300 USD, in my opinion.

Basically, this is the best zoom lens i've ever used. If you can afford it or find it for a good deal, buy it. hands down. You won't be sorry.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 129
  • sharpness: 4.87
  • color: 4.90
  • build: 4.56
  • distortion: 4.85
  • flare control: 4.84
  • overall: 4.80 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania