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

reviewer#6618 date: Dec-22-2009
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 MP24MP24 MP36MP36 MP42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 70-300 APO MACRO
price paid:1800 CHF
positive:Extremely silent AF
Focus limiter
Well placed focus hold buttons
negative:Filter thread.
comment:I'm only starting using this lens, the price is certainly up to par with its weight, to say the least. My good old and faithful pre 1996 Sigma 70-300 is not totally bound for retirement because of that, the weight does not compare, it's not a lens you put casually in the daily backpack.

That said, I managed to take some wonderful pictures of a distant blue tit at 400mm and over 10 meters away, just handheld, that I would not have thought possible, even with SSS.
Of course, on a sturdy tripod, nothing compares to this beauty. I even like the silver color!

Cann't wait to check it out on my A100, at Sony for repairs under warranty right now.

Just one thing I dislike, not sure if it's only my copy or general: the filter thread is just a tiny bit too deep, there's no way I can manage to turn my polarizer - B&W MRC KSM - through the one finger hole in the hood, it sinks in just that much. I'm sure the filter is smooth, I use it a lot on the same sized Sigma 50/f1.4. Not that much of a dealbraker though, not even enough to affect build rating.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 128
  • sharpness: 4.87
  • color: 4.91
  • build: 4.55
  • distortion: 4.85
  • flare control: 4.84
  • overall: 4.81 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania