Sony FE 70-200mm F4 G OSS E-mount lens review by QuietOC

reviewer#46875 date: Jul-23-2022
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 3
flare control: 4
overall: 3.6
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:Tamron 28-200 RXD
Tokina AF 35-200 SD
Minolta MD 50-135 F3.5
Sigma 50-150 F2.8 EX DC HSM II
Sony DT 55-200 SAM
Vivitar 70-150 F3.8
Tamron 70-180 F2.8 VXD
Sigma 70-200 F2.8 EX DG OS HSM
Sigma 70-200 F2.8 EX DG APO
Canon EF 70-200 F4 L USM
Vivitar S1 70-210 F3.5 I & II
Minolta AF 70-210 F4
Minolta AF 70-210 F3.5-4.5
Minolta AF 80-200 F2.8 HS APO G
Minolta AF 80-200 F2.8 APO G
Tokina 80-200 F2.8 AT-X Pro
Vivitar 85-205 F3.8
Minolta AF 100-200 F4.5
Minolta AF 135 F2.8
Canon EF 135 F2.8 Softfocus
Canon EF 200 F2.8 L USM
Minolta AF 200 F2.8 APO G
Minolta AF 200 F2.8 HS APO G
price paid:800 USD (used)
positive:Low chromatic aberration
Panning mode OSS
Removable tripod ring
Lens Compensation
"Dust and moisture resistant"
negative:Price, size, weight
Poor contrast
High stiction focus control ring
Weak build
1 meter minimum focus
Not the smoothest rendering
Focus Breathing
Limited to 15 FPS, doesn't support Aperture Drive
72mm filter threads
comment:This is the second oldest E-mount G series lens--the first one for full-frame cameras. While it was announced with the original mirrorless full-frame bodies, it wasn't available until months later. I've been expecting a new version of this lens to support faster burst rates since the ILCE-9 was released in 2017. A new version might also accept teleconverters like the 200-600 G OSS. "Made in JAPAN."

While the Tamron 70-300 F4.5-6.3 RXD has been my most used lens, I do a lot of panning shots and have missed having panning stabilization. It would be nice if Sony would add a panning option in the camera menu, but so far that hasn't happened. The FE Sony 70-300 G OSS and E 70-350 G OSS both lack a panning mode, but this lens has it.

I made what I felt was a generous offer on Greentoe for this lens, but the counter offers where closer to the list price. I purchased this copy from an individual via the Fred Miranda forum. It looks like a fairly well-used copy in decent condition. It is not as well aligned as the simpler, non-stabilized zooms.

I've tried this lens in a store at least once, but I didn't remember how cheap it feels. There are some alloy adornments like the strip between the control rings. The composite rear barrel has much less flex than the Tamron zooms. The plastic hood bayonet tracks were packed with some light material which made the lens look old and used. The hood fits very loose.

The focus control ring does not rotate smoothly and requires a good amount of force to begin moving. Maybe this is the result of some damage. It makes careful focus adjustments difficult. There is no full-time DMF available. The zoom control works well with a good amount of range for sports.

There is not much focus breathing at the wide end, but there is a noticeable amount at the long end. There is a very limited range limiter switch that merely prevents focusing closer than 3 meters instead of 1 meter. The maximum magnification is very low.

Besides somewhat worse alignment the optical performance is similar to my current Canon EF 70-200mm F4L USM. The list price for the Canon is only $650. It also weighs the same as the Canon mounted to the Sigma MC-11 adapter. The Sony has more vignetting which is somewhat surprising given the larger filter diameter. The background rendering is a little busier.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 17
  • sharpness: 4.71
  • color: 4.94
  • build: 4.76
  • distortion: 4.82
  • flare control: 4.88
  • overall: 4.82 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania