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

reviewer#12044 date: Nov-30-2014
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 200-500
Sigma 170-500
Tokina 300 F2.8 plus 1.4X converter
Sigma 400 F5.6
price paid:999 GBP
positive:Extremely sharp, rapid, acurate and quiet focusing, superb image quality
negative:The stupid silver colour reminds me of a very cheap 90`s video recorder but I use a camouflage cover for wildlife.
comment:I was very fortunate to find this lens new in box but unused at about 60% of new price at the time, I don`t think I would have ever justified the full price for hobby use, I started with the Sigma 400 but the gears stripped and was replaced by the Sigma 170-500 which was a very good starter telephoto lens but then found my ideal lens the Tamron 200-500, this I think is the ideal compromise between price and performance (see my review of this lens for details) but I had to try the Sony if possible due to the good reports and I go along with all the others, this lens never fails, it nails the shot every time and gives fantastic results wide open, stop it down to F8 and it`s almost 3D, the subject in focus pops right out of the photo, it is big and heavy, well, top quality glas is going to be, I carry it over my shoulder on a monopod for miles with no problem and I`m in my late 60`s, I find I can hand hold it ok but it`s much better on the monopod although a lens of this size should be on a tripod for best results, I know tripods are a pain out in the wild but why spoil the ship for a hap`orth of tar ! for aircraft or wildlife if your budget will run to it (and it is worth the extra) go for it, you will not regret it, this lens is like that old and very best friend you have known for years who will never ever let you down,but for God`s sake cover up that silver paint!

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