Sony AF 70-400mm F4-5.6 G SSM A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 134    1 2 3 4 5 >>
reviewer#45843 date: Mar-19-2022
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.5
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:200-600mm, 400mm 2.8,
price paid:800 usd
positive:long focal range, midium size zoom lens, handy weight, good price for used as new. fast enough zoom motor, sharpness is very good.
negative:Not a fast lens (F4-6.3), focus ring is not smooth enough and has a short rotation to reach end to end (for manual focusing) the ring rotation is endless, the autofocus is not working with some teleconverters, the bokeh is not clean enough specially with sharp lines like grass or tiny tree branches, if you like clean bokeh then you have to fix it in a software, also it has a little color fringing but not noticable, body easy to scratch body paint, specially the plastic hood.
comment:It's a budget lens for none professional photographers, I bought it from Japan as new lens but at all I decide to list it for sale due to the performance is not match with sony name.
reviewer#45842 date: Mar-19-2022
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 150 - 600 G2
70 - 300 Alpha
70 - 300 E mount
70 - 200 (5 variants)
price paid:$1800 Cad (10 Years)
positive:Sharp
fast
cheap (Especially now 2022)
Works better on my e mounts than my a mount
negative:weight
bulk
colour (Subjective)
comment:I bought this lens back in the day of my Sony a99
It was always sharp, but sometimes the AF would miss just in front or behind while blatantly lying to me saying..'Hey I'm in focus, we're locked on! LIAR, LIAAAAR... 😁
But now on my A6600 and A7r3 I have found a new respect for this old girl. She was always sharp and let me tell you with the kenko 1.4x Tc on either e mount it will AF very quickly and accurately. This was not the case with the old A77ii or a99.
This lens is heavy but I am using it as a walk around to get more reach than my sony 70 - 300 e mount (which I love). The 70 - 400 is a heavy lens especially with the A6600, but its not as big, heavy or bulky as my Tamron 150 - 600 G2. I also love that lens, but never handhold it. It is on a gimbal full time.
reviewer#45652 date: Mar-1-2021
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:Sigma 35 1.4 Art
Minolta 50 1.4
Minolta 20 2.8
Minolta 28 2.8
Minolta 35-105
Sigma 70-200II macro hsm
Sigma 400 5.6 macro
Minolta 28-135
Minolta 28-105rs
Minolta 75-300
Minolta 70-210 f4
price paid:$700, ($900, AU)
positive:Sharp, good colours, good range
negative:Weight, flimsy lens hood, stiff zoom action, silver body does look a bit cheap
comment:Ive only had this lens a little while, I was considering Minolta 300 2.8 or 400 4.5but found this at a good price, I’ve noticed a lot of comments about slow focus speed and CA, my example is very quick to focus and has no CA at all, very sharp and has needed no micro adjustment, (I do pixel peep) it’s a very sharp lens even when compared to shorter focal lengths, doesn’t seem to hunt to much so far but I use the limiter, I watched a comparison video between it and the series 2 and mine seems much faster that the lens in that comparison so I’m pretty happy with that, could only give a 4 for build quality, I think it’s better than that but couldn’t give it the extra.5 for some reason
reviewer#45650 date: Feb-27-2021
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.3
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 70-300G
price paid:cheap in a set
positive:+sharpness.. even at 400mm F5,6 = ridiculously good
+a new world of IQ details.. a dream for pixelpeepers
+well satured colours
+fast, silent, very accurate AF
+even at 400mm easy enough to shoot handheld with SteadyShot in most scenarios
+must be well built.. years of use and no dust between glass
+on APS-C 105-600mm that is enough to photograph the moon very well with lots of details
negative:-standard, slow aperture.. but always plenty of sharpness wide open, so it is not a big deal. for more specific low light photography a 2,8 lens is recommended anyway
-ugly silver colour
-no zoom lock.. zoom creep on one of my examples
-awkward, unpractical lens bag (Tamron lens bags are much more durable, practical, easier to carry)
-huge, heavy, expensive (obviously), expensive 77mm filters
-not knowing when SSM will fail + probably no repairs.. if repairs are possible.. $$$ will flow
-unusable bad with LA-EA3
-as others have mentioned already: hood seems fragile. again: tamrons hoods are tougher.
comment:Bought two copies, both fairly cheap in big camera sets. The best way to buy such big boys. Of course you need to look carefully after your lenses, but both had no dust inside.. still well damped and precise.. a good sign of good build quality.

Tamron, Sigma and even more inferior companies are selling lenses cheaper than this with even more FL.. of course this expensive, and probably overpriced, Sony lens is not attractive to buy new as a hobby photographer.. but if you can find a good deal on a 2nd hand copy you will soon know why those 70-400G lenses are amongst the best you can get. Well satured colours, great sharpness, good bokeh.. I had no problem using this lens handheld at 1,5m to photograph lizards without a tripod.. great AF to rely on.

Edit:
As i upgraded to E-Mount i did some testing with LA-EA3 on a7 and a7iii. On a7 it was almost unusuable as it almost never could find focus - just always hunting (same story with Tamron 24-70 F2,8). On a7iii it is a bit better, but still far away from being usable. On LA-EA4 it is fine, but then again you have clunky SLT-Technology.. therefore i wouldnt recommend it on E-Mount!
Little off-topic: The white G2 version works fine with LA-EA3 on a7iii! Not as good as native 70-300 OSS, but still very great. With 5 axis steadyshot and awesome a7iii AF surely better than on native A-Mount!

Not really a lens to walk around with every day, but probably still the best and most affordable choice for wildlife photography. With hood havent had flare yet. Recommended.
reviewer#45560 date: Aug-3-2020
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.1
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 AF 70-400mm F4-5.6 G SSM II
Sony FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 GM
Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS
price paid:AU$700
positive:Longreach
Sharp even at 400mm f5.6
negative:Heavy.
Focus ring hard to turn.
Purple CA, however, can be removed easily in editing program.
Stands out in the silver livery
comment:Extremely lucky got this lens secondhand from an old gentleman just AU$700.

With 120+ reviews already here I got nothing else to add.
It's a sharp lens throughout all focal length and aperture, however, more CA were spotted on the first generation compared to the II and the latest GM.

I'm using this lens on a6000 with LA-EA4. The AF was acceptable but I won't call it fast, slower comparing to any E-mount lens, even the E55210 kit lens.

In a simple conclusion, highly recommend for tight budget photographers. But if you got enough money, go for the II ver or 140GM/260G on E mount!
reviewer#44521 date: May-22-2020
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.7
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:Minolta 75-300
Sony 55-300
price paid:£700 used
positive:Great sharpness
Focus hold
Focus limiter
negative:Very heavy
Lens hood flimsy
comment:This was my second venture into full frame lenses. In fact I bought this to pair with my SLT-68, but was disappointed by the results under some circumstances. The focus was just not pin sharp.
I went onto buy a used A850 and the results were immediately much better. Same MP, but the difference is the amount of light getting to the sensor.
I found that with some MFA on the APSC camera to a -5, the problems went away, so I can only assume it is the position of the sensors between the cameras.
As my SLT-58 does not have an MFA option, I cannot use it for that body.
This lens has totally changed my view on long reach zooms and is so much better than the 55-300 on APSC. The Minolta 75-300 will be given away or sold now.
If you want a fast long zoom lens and can find a used one, you will not regret it.
reviewer#44274 date: May-2-2019
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.6
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 used to own this lens
compared to:Sony 55-300mm f4.5-5.6
Sony 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 G
Minolta 75-300mm f4.5-5.6
Sony 75-300mm f4.5-5.6
price paid:£600 s/h
positive:Very very sharp, goes out to 400mm.

SSM focusing is quiet.

Available for significantly less s/h than the II version.
negative:Big, very heavy, stands out.

Focussing isn't particularly quick when hunting.

Colour is noticeably cooler than other my Sony and Minolta lenses.
comment:In terms of sharpness, it craps all over the 75-300mms. But for about five times the cost of the 55-300mm, it's certainly not five times better. (Perhaps twice as good.)

That, plus the way that I can't use it handheld without resting for more than a few seconds - certainly not at the long end where any wobbles are magnified - meant that it went back to the vendor.

I'd also have had to conceal it because the colour means that there's no way you can get away with saying 'That one? I've had it for aaages...' to a partner.

If I had a FF camera and wanted to spend ages in a hide with a tripod getting shots of faraway birds, it might have been worth it. But I don't, so it wasn't...
reviewer#44251 date: Mar-22-2019
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.6
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:Minolta - AF 200 F2.8 G APO HS
Minolta - AF 300 F2.8 APO G HS
Sony - AF 70-300 F4.5-5.6 G SSM
Tamron - SP AF 70-300 4-5.6 Di USD
Minolta - AF 80-200 F2.8 HS APO G
price paid:1600 Eur (new)
positive:Sharp through the whole range
compact and relatively lightweight
versatile
negative:focus speed could be faster (see G2 version)
comment:This lens has replaced my Sony 70-300g from which I was a bit disappointed. While both have a similar performance until about 120mm the 70-400g is significantly sharper from there on. It almost reaches the level of the Minolta 200 2.8 HS on 200mm and it has similar sharpness as the Minolta 300 2.8 but without the CAs of that great lens.
My copy needs quite some micro-adjustment to get tack sharp and I suspect that reviews with low sharpness ratings are partially a result of similar issues.
The colour reproduction is neutral and not as saturated as the old Minoltas, the Bokeh tends to be busy.
reviewer#44250 date: Mar-21-2019
sharpness: 3.5
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 3.9
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 have experience with this lens
compared to:Tamron 18-250
Sony DT 55-300 SAM
Sony 70-300 G SSM II
Tamron SP 70-300 USD
Minolta AF 75-300 "Big Beercan"
Minolta AF 75-300 D
Minolta AF 100-300 APO
Minolta AF 100-300 APO D
Minolta AF 100-400 APO
Sigma 150-500 EX DG APO OS HSM
price paid:70-300G SSM II
positive:F5.6 at 400 mm
Silver/orange
Removable tripod collar
negative:Size and weight
Controls
Extending zoom
Softness (with manual focus on a tripod)
comment:Sony released this lens in 2008 for $1600 and then raised the price to $1800 in 2011 and then $2000 in 2012. Judging from the early reviews here it was most often purchased at a $100 discount. They reduced it at least temporarily to $1600 again in 2014 after the introduction of the II version. Used value in 2019 is around half the original retail price.

I wasn't looking for this lens, but another Dyxum user offered it as a trade for a 70-300G SSM II. I had just bought a 70-300G SSM II via an eBay auction that I didn't plan on using much. I did test it and found it quite sharp. This seemed like a good opportunity to obtain a lens I barely even considered because of its cost. I had borrowed another copy for a few minutes from a friend years ago.

Being an original version meant my Kenko DGX teleconverters would both allow autofocus and also correct the focal length reported to the camera for more effective stabilization. Sony's own A-mount teleconverters are quasi compatible with the lens. Sony disables AF when either of their own teleconverters are used with this lens. Meanwhile both of the Sony FE teleconverters do allow AF with the FE 100-400 GM OSS.

In pretty much every way other than market value, the trade was a downgrade. But I am sort of glad the lens didn't turn out to be stellar example, as I find it unwieldy even on the large A68. The zoom control is too far forward on the body.

I much prefer the smaller Minolta 100-400 F4.5-6.7. The Minolta was sharper at every focal length and aperture and has a tighter angle-of-view at the long end. But even the Minolta has little value for me over the sharper 75-300 zooms. The Sony did focus much better than the Minolta at the long end.

I will continue using my Sony DT 55-300 SAM on the A68, but I would like to find a sharp, brighter, longer lens eventually.
reviewer#34768 date: Feb-1-2017
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.6
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:Minolta 70-210/4 (Beercan), Minolta 100-300 APO, Minolta 200/2.8, Canon 100-300/5.6L, Canon 200/2.8
price paid:1100 Euro (used)
positive:Sharpness at normal distances, colour, handling
negative:Sharpness at or near infinity
comment:After 124 reviews up to now I don't have much to add. One thing I feel needs to be said: at or near infinity and 400mm I feel there is more contrast then resolution. I prefer resolution over micro-contrast every time as I can add contrast in postproduction (sharpening) anytime but I can't add resolution :(
I feel that this behaviour is the main reason some people don't like this lens.

Apart from the behaviour at infinity and 400mm it is a really good lens at all focallengths and distances. I really like mine.
reviewer#26552 date: Apr-19-2016
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:Minolta 400/4.5
Minolta 300/2.8 APO
Sigma 120-400 APO
price paid:3800 PLN (pl zloty)
positive:- sharpness on 400 mm
- quick AF
- zoom range
negative:- to short ;-)
- poor build of hood
- limiter range could be better
comment:My main gun on airhows and diiferent aviation events. I've bought Minolta 300/2.8 to have better IQ than 70-400, but this lens at 2.8 wasn't as sharp as it can be read in net, so it was sold. On e-bay I've found auction with really cheap 400/4.5 - bought it, it have really good IQ at 400 mm (slightly better than 70-400), but AF speed (even with limiter in A77 II) for jet planes is not enough. I have many "misguided" photos in comparison to 70-400. So, it is my main airhows lens till now. I'm thinking about Mark II and/or Tamron 150-600.
reviewer#12121 date: Feb-5-2015
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 17-50 f2.8
Sigma 30 f1.4
price paid:1299 €
positive:- Sharpness
- Fast and smooth autofocus
- Nice looking Minolta coulours
- Weight, it has a nice balance on my A700 and A77II.
negative:- Build quallity of the lens hood.
- Position of the MF buttons
comment:Nice looking lens with a pretty fast and quiet AF motor, especially on my A77II the focus is Always spot on. The location of the MF buttons is a bit of an obstacle for me, because I use the lens for hand shooting pretty often. So when I support it with one hand, I press the mf buttons.
Sharpness of this lens is superb just like the other G-lensens sony produces.
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!
reviewer#11924 date: Jul-29-2014
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:Sony 70-200mm G2
Sony 70-300mm G
Sony 16-50mm
Sony 28-75mm
Sony 18-135mm
price paid:1699.99
positive:This lens is extremely sharp, and the colour rendition is superb. The SSM is very fast and works well with my A77, and A850. I would highly recommend this to any A-Mount user who doesn't already own one.
negative:This lens isn't weather-sealed, and the I find silver colour of the lens appalling. I find the hood has a tendency to fall off.
comment:I've had this lens for over two years now, and I still am impressed with its performance. I've used it photographing events, wildlife, sports, and its been out to sea on multiple where it has excelled. Its much sharper than my 70-300mm, and almost mirrors my 70-200mm performance.

If your in the market for a 70-400mm on the A-Mount I recommend this model. Do yourself the favour and save the $500.00. The performance difference between the two is negligible.
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.
reviewer#11405 date: Oct-28-2013
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:Sigma 70-300mm Di USD.
price paid:£800
positive:Excellent sharpness.
negative:Bit slow on auto AF at Airshows, so use focus peaking on manual.
Heavy to carry around.
comment:The best of Sony`s zoom lenses, love the sharpness at all focal lengths. Heavy to carry around on the camera.
Very good for close up of flowers and Butterflies, great Bokeh.
reviewer#11387 date: Oct-14-2013
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
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:Sigma 70-210mm APO
Sony 70-300 G SSM
price paid:$1,250
positive:Sharp and Fast focusing. Great for BIF and other fast moving subjects. Takes some getting used to at the long end and best on a monopod of tripod but can hand hold at high speeds and smaller f stops to give greater DOF.
negative:A bit of distortion but minor and can be taken care of easily in PP.
comment:I love this lens. Really great on my a77 and a700. Faster focus on the a77.
reviewer#11333 date: Sep-9-2013
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:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:very sharp
fast autofocus
Sillent
negative:heavy
expensive
comment:i bought this lens for my hobby..for birding and wildlife
reviewer#11203 date: Jun-20-2013
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.7
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
tokin 304 AT-X
price paid:
missing
positive:range
IQ
SSM - quiet focusing
negative:AF is slow
Zoom ring is hard to use compared to 70-200/2.8 zoom
comment:very usefull lens

images are sharp and it is very versatile (a lot more than my 300/4)

however I find the zoom ring hard to use compared to 70-200 zoom. A problem when you shoot an event that last a full day (8AM to 8PM)
reviewer#11197 date: Jun-17-2013
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 70-300
All other zooms are pointless in comparison.
price paid:1000 GBP
positive:Sharp
Fast
Beautiful pictures both close and at distance.
Surprises me over and over again
negative:I have some trouble with sharpness in strong light.
comment:I bought it second hand from England some eight month ago. It is so very good, when the best pictures come out of it it is incredible!

I have some trouble with getting unsharp and even messy pics in strong daylight. Coastal area. Strange.
I have to go to F9-13 and > 1000 to get rid of the smeary effects in strong light.
reviewer#11011 date: Apr-5-2013
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:Sigma 70-200 2.8 EX DG HSM Macro
Tamron 18-200
price paid:10500 SEK used
positive:* Crazy sharp
* Fast & silent AF
* Flexibility (both 70mm and 400mm in same lens + great IQ)
negative:* Zoom creepage (how were they thinking when they didn't add a zoom lock to this giant?)
* Heavy (doesn't matter cuz you have so fun using it and capturing great pictures with it, but it hurts afterwards sometimes)
* Expensive
comment:An extremely sharp lens. I have been in love with it since I first fastened it to the camera. Not only does it produce an excellent IQ, but also has made me a more active photographer in many ways.

The most negative part about it is the price, but my wifes' "WOW WHAT AMAZING PICUTRES!" reaction approved the lens purchase soon enough, and more than once...

Used for:
* Birding
* Wildlife
* Moon shots
* Soon astrophotography

I'm totally in love with it and can't consider leaving it.
reviewer#10818 date: Jan-6-2013
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:Sony 500/f8 Reflex
Tamron 70-300/USD
Tamron 70-200/f2.8
price paid:1863 USD (new)
positive:Sharp
Quick, silent focus
DMF with focus hold/limiter
Versatile focal length range
AF with Kenko 1.4x DGX TC
negative:Expensive, but worth it
Slightly busy bokeh
comment:I bought the Sony 70-400G to get better detail in my bird photos than was possible with the Sony 500/F8 Reflex. I initially considered the Tamron 200-500 & Sigma 150-500/OS. Both provided near the image quality with greater reach at a significantly lower price. The Sigma, in particular, was appealing because of its good reported image quality and HSM focusing, but ultimately I chose 70-400G in part because of its better build and more bells and whistles (focus hold & limiter).

I also, ironically, preferred to not have a lens with OS. Having image stabilization on my Sigma 18-250 has been a nuisance for me because it has inadvertently gotten turned on a couple times and conflicted with Sony's SSS. The 150-500/OS is heavier, which also favored the 70-400G. Finally, the 70-400G was reported to work well with my Kenko 1.4x DGX TC, which clinched the decision. (See below for a caveat on using the Kenko 1.4x.)

Overall, I have been very happy with my decision. Image quality with my A580 is excellent, and flare is well controlled using the lens hood. As reported elsewhere, the lens hood is a little flimsy, but it fits securely and keeps the total lens weight down. The bokeh at full zoom is a little busy, but is so much better than my 500 Reflex that I barely notice it!

Although it is a large heavy lens, I have no trouble hand-holding it on the A580. On my smaller A330, it feels a bit unbalanced and is harder to handhold, but I have yet to break out the tripod mount. I would prefer that the zoom and focus rings were reversed in their respective positions, although I was used to this layout because it's also used on my Tamron 70-300/USD.

Autofocus is silent and quick, although it can occasionally hunt at the 400mm end in less than ideal light. Using the focus limiter helps to reduce this, though.

I was initially disappointed that the 70-400G would not AF with my Kenko 1.4x DGX TC in anything other than bright light, and even then was wildly inaccurate. Further experimentation revealed that it would autofocus well in good light if I selected the wide AF area on the camera. Normally I use spot focus for bird photography, but I can get good results using wide AF if I carefully confirm the focus point. Image quality with the Kenko is surprisingly good, surpassing that from the 500 Reflex at an equivalent focal length. As a bonus, Exif is correctly reported as 560 mm/F8 at the long end, so image stabilization works correctly.

On a side issue, I am keeping the much smaller, lighter Sony 500 Reflex for bird outings where I don't want to carry as much heavy gear.

Overall, the 70-400G is a solid, high performing, and versatile lens with excellent image quality. It is well worth its premium price!
reviewer#10808 date: Dec-29-2012
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 have experience with this lens
compared to:70-210 4.0 Minolta
70-200 2.8 Sony
price paid:1800
positive:-AF
-Sharpness
-Bokeh
-Colours
negative:-None really
-Heavy
comment:This is a truly incredible lens. I have used this for photojournalism as well as private sporting events.

It has never let me down, I took over 1500 shots with this lens in both AF, MF mode. Mostly sports events. I was using M mode and was keeping the aperture wide open in most cases and its sharpness is out of this world. YOU CANNOT GO WRONG IN BUYING THIS LENS. I even used it in winter conditions for a skiing event and the fact it wasn't weather sealed didn't affect it in any way, it stayed outdoors for the better part of 8 hours at temperatures of -5 to -15 and performed perfectly.

Ideally I suggest you step it down one stop if doing sports just to give you a bit more of DOF.

You will need a mono pod to stabilize this lens and take the weight out of your shoulders. Handheld shooting is possible but practically impossible for extended periods of time due to the weight of the lens.

I used it on the A65 as well as the A850.

I think this lens really shines on the A65/A77 giving you 105-600mm reach with amazing sharpness and a lighter body than the A850.
reviewer#10645 date: Nov-3-2012
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:Sony 70-200mm F2.8 G
price paid:
missing
positive:Build quality
Focal lenght range
IQ
AF speed is excellent.
negative:Heavy
Extends when zooming
Lens hood could be of better quality but that would add to the overall weight.
comment:I owned both the 70-200G and 70-400G and found that the 70-200G spent most of the time at home. Whilst the 70-400G does not have the fast aperture it weights ths same, IQ and all other features are the same.

I found the extra reach a real bonus.

Si
reviewer#10631 date: Oct-29-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.5
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:Beercans
price paid:£1000
positive:Sharpness, focus speed, silent.Zoom range is very handy.
Focus hold buttons
negative:Loose fit on a700 and a77.zoom creep but only when cold. Heavy
comment:Great lens,I had to buy a grip to help with hand holding.My sharpest images achieved using a tripod.Not a fast lens.
reviewer#10627 date: Oct-28-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.7
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:70-200G f/2.8
Tokina 80-200 f/2.8
70-200 f/2.8 Tamron
price paid:1595.00 USD
positive:G Quality
Outstanding sharpness
Quiet
Quick and accurate AF
negative:Large
Silver Color
comment:This is an outstanding lens and it is my go to long lens. Sharp throughout the entire focal range with maybe a little softness at 400mm in lower light situations. It is fast and finds target quickly and accurately. I shoot a lot of birds and this lens makes it quite easy. I am able to zero in on a bird and the AF is right there for multiple shots. AF is nice and quiet and focus hold buttons are easy to find. Before I took the plunge and purchased this lens I tested quite a few Sigmas and Tammys at many camera stores for a few months. I found them not to be as quick and the builds were nowhere near the build of this lens. Older Sigmas of equal focal range sounded like coffee grinders. This lens can also be used quite effectively for portraits as it yields great results handheld. Matched up with my a77, using TC feature and a tripod, I can shoot targets nice and sharp at 1800mm. Bottom line, I love this lens!

Update 8/3/2020: Using this lens for many years now. Sharpness drops off a bit beyond 380mm. Still a quick focusing lens on Alpha mount cameras and does well on a7II and fantastic on a7III with LA-EA3 and LA-EA4 Sony adapters.
reviewer#10488 date: Sep-6-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.7
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 300mm f2.8 and the 70-300 G SMM. I've also compared it to the equivalent Canon and the big silver Sony is better.
price paid:875 UKP (used)
positive:Sharp pretty much from wide open right through the zoom range. Really good contrast. As good as the Sony 300mm f2.8 in my view. Lovely colours. Build quality is also very good. AF is quiet, fast and accurate.
negative:It's a bit heavy and really too heavy to handhold for long periods of time. Not massively keen on the silver colour as it makes an already eye catching lens even more so. It's not weather sealed and it really ought to be at this price. It would alsobe nice if it had the same focus control as the 300 G lens.
comment:I use this lens for sports photography, mainly rugby which it excels at. A little faster at the long end would make it perfect but then it would also be bigger, heavier, and more expensive!
reviewer#10485 date: Sep-4-2012
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.4
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:Minolta 85mm F1.4 (D)
Minolta 80-200mm F2.8 HS APO G
Minolta 28-70mm F2.8 G
Konica-Minolta 28-75mm F2.8 D
Tamron 17-35mm (D)
Tamron 70-200mm F2.8
price paid:$1900 AUD (new)
positive:Amazing range and good sharpness (f8 at 400mm)
Good focus on better camera bodies
Handled extensive use well
negative:Aperture change over zoom range
Mount section screws internally at rear of lens became loose after several years of use and needed to be thread locked during a service
comment:All round great lens which deals with the compromise of the range very well. Good sharpness and functionally really easy to use with good, accurate focus and easy handling if the tripod mount is removed. The only compromise is you have to remember the aperture change when zooming and accommodate accordingly. Sharpness at 400mm is excellent at f8
reviewer#10415 date: Jul-30-2012
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 have experience with this lens
compared to:Tamron 200-400, Tamron 70-200, Beercan.
price paid:Rented for a week
positive:Excellent images
negative:heavy, cost
comment:Rented this lens for a week for a vacation trip and was amazed by how good this lens is. I did some test shots comparing it to my Tamron 200-400 and in every case the Sony 70-400 was superior to the Tamron. Compared against the Tamron 70-200 was a push (both equally good) Compared against the beercan was like watching the Mens USA Olympic Basketball team playing against your local HS team, wasn't even close. This lens lives up to its reputation. The only negatives is the weight and now the desire to own one.
reviewer#10325 date: Jun-25-2012
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 have experience with this lens
compared to:Junk
price paid:Rental $120/week
positive:Beautiful images
Accurate focusing
negative:Heavy
Tight zoom ring
comment:Initially I was struck by the diameter, the length and weight.

After one day at an airshow, my right hand hurt the most and the zoom ring is stiff and required a lot of effort.
On the 2nd day I made an effort to let the camera strap hold all the weight rather than holding it with my right hand. This alleviated any pain/soreness. Also don't hit the people standing next to you when your lens is extended !

Images are gorgeous ! Focus is accurate and fast, but I did find it might hunt for focus with scenes where an object at a distance (small in VF) and is coming directly toward or away from you. On some shots I can read small decals on planes in flight that do not fill the frame at 300mm and 400mm !

I want this lens !
reviews found: 134    1 2 3 4 5 >>

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 134
  • sharpness: 4.85
  • color: 4.89
  • build: 4.54
  • distortion: 4.83
  • flare control: 4.84
  • overall: 4.79

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