Sony FE 70-200mm F4 G OSS E-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 17   
reviewer#46875 date: Jul-23-2022
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 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: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:Size and weight
Non-extending
Panning mode OSS
Alignment
Removable tripod ring
Lens Compensation
"Dust and moisture resistant"
negative:Price
High stiction focus control ring
Weak build
Switches
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 much 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 good condition.

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 native 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 very 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.

The optical performance is fairly similar to the old Canon EF 70-200mm F4L OSS. 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 than the Canon. Other than distortion it is not that much better optically than the Tamron 28-200 RXD.

Overall a practical sports zoom.
reviewer#45844 date: Mar-20-2022
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:I have primes in this range that are faster and sharper, obviously. No zooms to compare.
price paid:RRP Netherlands
positive:Weight, size, ergonomics. Solid build. Sharp enough at f/4. Renders images nicely with pleasant out of focus areas. Fast, silent and presice AF.
negative:Obviously it is not f/2.8, but that is not fair.
comment:Excellent lens if you don't want to break the bank and your back.
reviewer#44038 date: Mar-25-2018
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
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 200mm f2.8G
Minolta 70-210 f4
Minolta 70-200mm f2.8 G SSM
price paid:cashback
positive:Relatively small
Relatively light (about the same size and weight as the Minolta 200mm f2.8 G)
Good performance from 70-135mm with good drawing style
OSS
Fast silent focusing
negative:Softens from 135-200mm, with least good performance at 200mm, with some softening and veiling.
comment:I use this lens for indoor event work, mostly on APS-C 24Mp for extra "reach". I use it almost exclusively at f4.

Focusing is fast and reliable on A6x00 bodies, and OSS works well.

Performance in the 70-135mm range is truly lovely. It is not a "sharp" lens - it has lots of resolution, but tends to render in a style more similar to older Minolta G lenses, where sharpness is not exaggerated by contrast. Rendering and drawing style is very nice. It's prime quality.

Unfortunately, from abut 135mm onwards the performance slowly dips all the way to 200mm. There is some veiling and softening of the image which takes the edge off resolution, and I don't think the outer field of the image is as good as the centre (although hard to judge from my photos).

I certainly would not say it's sharp at all focal lengths and apertures, but performance is mostly very good to excellent. It also makes a good portrait lens at f4, with a pleasant style and relatively gentle roll off from focus to out of focus, without being unpleasantly sharp (not always a good lens quality for portraits)
reviewer#44035 date: Mar-20-2018
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:Minolta 70-200 f2.8
price paid:SEK10990(about 1338$
positive:Perfekt with the a7RII with battery grip as a walkabout etc.
Much sharper than the Minolta 70-200 f2.8, but ok it's an older lens, on par with the Sony FE 24-105 f4.
negative:Lenshood: Kind of narrow, forget a 77mm and step-down to 72mm, and no hatch for adjustable filters.
New info: Even a 72mm adjustable filter will not be able to fit with the hood on, and more of if you attach this type of filter you can't attach the hood.
comment:Lovely lens.
reviewer#36810 date: Apr-2-2017
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 SP 70-200/2.8 XR Di
Tokina AT-X 828 Pto 80-200/2.8
Minolta 70-210/4 beercan
Sony E 55-210/4.5-6.3
price paid:850€
positive:build quality
light
OSS
SSM
negative:was waiting for a faster AF
comment:I have had this lens for a few days
It feel a lot better balanced on the A7 with its grip than the LA-EA4 + the tamron 70-200/2.8 or the minolta 70-210/4 beercan

up to know IQ seems impressive
AF is accurate but I was waiting for fater AF on A7. On A6000 it is much faster (my impression)

I need to use it more for a more precise feedback
reviewer#36799 date: Mar-26-2017
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
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:70-210 Beercan
price paid:
missing
positive:Size/weight ratio is perfect. Not bulky at all.
negative:Nothing
comment:Great value zoomlens.
reviewer#27607 date: Jun-13-2016
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:Sigma 55-200, Sigma 70-300
price paid:£1000
positive:Quiet and accurate AF. Size and weight. Stabilization. Image quality.
negative:Could be cheaper, then so could all camera kit.
comment:Only just got this lens and not had much chance to shoot with it, that said what I have seen so far puts a smile on my face. Yes it could be faster, but then it would be bigger and heavier. I shoot mainly landscapes so f4 is fine. AF seems to work great, considering it's mounted on A7R mkI.
Hand held I was able to get clear shots on an overcast day, not seeing shutter shock show it's head.
Will add to review once i've had chance to use more.
reviewer#15252 date: May-20-2015
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:- FE 28-70
- Minolta AF 70-210/4 (beercan)
- Minolta AF 200/2.8
price paid:1100 USD (new)
positive:- sharpness (excellent except for 200mm @f/4 - "only" very good)
- buld quality
- color rendition
- AF speed (in normal to good conditions)
- AF accuracy (almost 100% hits)
- little aberrations and distortion
- OSS
negative:- AF in low light (hunts, but if it locks on subject, it's always where it should be)
- a little too big for the A7I, fits well on A7II
- pity the MFD is a bit too big
comment:First of all, I was surprised by the AF accuracy. I wasn't sure of achieving exact focus with neither of FE lenses I had a chance to use (55/1.8, 28-70, 35/2.8 - this one was close). This lens is really very accurate and quite fast in at least normal conditions. Silent.
Image quality is far beyond the famous beercan. It's sharper at all focal lengths, has a lot less CA and a much better flare control. Minolta 200/2.8 is a little bit sharper but produces a lot more CA.
Build quality is excellent. It feels very solid, zoom and focusing rings move smoothly. A lot of buttons - AF/MF, focusing limiter, stabilization controls etc. Does not extend while zooming nor focusing, filter does not rotate neither. Weathersealed.
Strange thing - the max maginifcation is achieved around 175mm, not at 200mm (the MFD is smaller at 175mm).
My favourite FE lens so far, I like it more to the 55/1.8 due to focusing accuracy.
reviewer#12203 date: Mar-23-2015
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:SAL 70-200 F2.8 A-Mount, 300mmG Mk2 F2.8.
price paid:£1214
positive:Sharpest zoom lens I have ever known, light, small, cheap.
negative:None
comment:I own this lens, With the A7R I have used it on and off tripod, and at all shutter speeds, with and without Steady shot. I have not had one photograph with any trace of shutter shock.
I use my 300mmG mk2 F2.8 with a LA-EA3 adaptor, and the Image quality compares with the SEL 70-200F4.
With 36mp and soon to be 50mp,Modern lenses are a must, and for a Zoom they do not come better than this. I am a Kingfisher photographer and the detail and sharpness of this lens in unsurpassed. aswillis.com
reviewer#12180 date: Mar-11-2015
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:70-200/2.8 G
price paid:890 USD (new)
positive:- Color
- Weight
- Focusing speed
negative:- Hood is a bit big
comment:Color from new generation of Sony G lens is more natural compared to A mount G lens.
This is the one of the factor to lead me to switch from A mount to E mount.
Hood is a bit big and my bag need to reserve more space for it.
reviewer#12059 date: Dec-12-2014
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:70-200 amount
18-200 e mount
price paid:15,9 million rupiah
positive:Fast af
Sharp
Nice bokeh
negative:None
comment:My favorite lens...just add an af extendion tube, then it become a nice macro lens...
reviewer#12057 date: Dec-9-2014
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:Sigma 18-250 DC HSM
Minolta 28-85 f3.5-f5.6
Minolta 70-210 f4 Beercan
Minolta 50 f1.7
Sony SAM 18-55 kit
Sony SEL 35 f1.8 OSS
price paid:$1499 new
positive:Wow
negative:Heavy, hunts in lower light, very fast in normal to bright conditions.
comment:Not a single regret with this lens.
reviewer#12031 date: Nov-15-2014
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:
missing
price paid:1200 GBP
positive:+ Super Sharp
+ Rapid and Quiet AF
+ Build Quality
+ Lightweight
negative:
missing
comment:Very nice lens with excellent handling due to its size, weight and AF speed. Sharpness is outstanding and I hope that Sony continue producing optics as good as this is the future.
reviewer#11979 date: Sep-11-2014
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:SAL-70-200G, SAL70-400G2, Canon EF 70-200L IS F4, Canon Ef 70-200L IS II USM F2.8
price paid:new
positive:- Sharpness
- Weathersealing
- Size & weight
- Autofocus
negative:No distance scale
comment:It matches more or less size, sharpness and autofocus speed of the Canon F4 lens. It is not as sharp as the Canon 70-200L IS II USM F2.8. Video recording on A7s is an enjoyment. No noise at all. AF works smoothly.
reviewer#11856 date: Jun-5-2014
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:SAL70200G and SAL70400G2
Directly compared to the SAL's by using the LA-EA4 at equivalent apertures the SEL wins at every aspect.
price paid:€ 1.199
positive:Outstanding solid built quality; weathersealing.
Sharpness across the frame (except >150mm wide open)
Colors and contrast, very nice bokeh
negative:The tripod collar fits not tight enough. When closed it's possible to rotate it. Could become an issue once the lens is being used over a longer time.
comment:When changing from A7R to A7II I decided to buy this lens. There is nothing really critical to rave about. IQ is very good, built quality outstanding and AF is accurate and quite fast however in certain contrast situations quite bitchy meaning doesn't hit on the first attempt. On the short end IS gives up to 4 stops and on the long end 2 stops (probably some can hold more still than I do and may have a stop more).

This lens is not made for usage with the A7R. I thought the "shutter vibration" topic would be overrated, but I could prove by myself it is not.
Handheld it looks much better, but also limited. On the tripod I encountered blur with focal lengths >120mm at almost any speed between 1/30 and 1/320. Although mostly visible at pixel peep level on the screen, however it is there.
My rating is based on my test shots at speeds >1/320s.
reviewer#11847 date: May-24-2014
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 3
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 have experience with this lens
compared to:80-200 f/2.8 black
price paid:
missing
positive:Sharp
negative:Huge lens.
comment:I am aware that telephotos have to be larger than standard lenses. However, this lens doesn't make sense to me, which is why I'm taking off points in the "build" category. If it were MUCH smaller or lighter in comparison to an f/2.8 model I'd probably get it, but it just doesn't save enough weight/size to make it critically more useable. With a telephoto you want short shutter times, and since carrying a 2.8 won't make your pack much heavier I believe they are the better option.
**Edit** Member JamesMD contacted me with some info worthwile to consider: According to his research The Canon equivalent of the lens is 140g lighter but doesn't have a tripodmount/USM. 2.8 Zooms in the range are considerably heavier. However, I maintain the downgrading (the average score I gave the lens is still outstanding) since I find it useless for the shooting conditions I encounter. It is an FE-Lens, and even if it saves a a couple of grams I still don't see much of an advantage over a faster lens. It's much to big to enjoy carrying on trips and IF you are carrying it, you might as well carry a faster zoom or a faster an lighter prime in the range. I doubt this lens will get much use from anyone who intents it for anything else than studio work - and if studio work is what you do, you might actually be better served with an A-Mount setup in the first place. Just my two cents - I still believe I rated the lens fairly for a construction I found underwhelming :)
reviewer#11833 date: May-18-2014
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:Minolta 100-300mm/4.5-5.6 APO D
Minolta 200mm/2.8 HS G APO
price paid:¥120000
positive:The color is impressive. This lens makes me feel like the old Minolta comes back. The sharpness is very good wide open, and is excellent stop down to f5.6. The lens is built solid, better than the Zeiss series 55/1.8 and 35/2.8.
negative:The only drawback is the weight and the length, but it is common for a premium tele-zoom. The huge hood makes it even bigger.
comment:I personally think this lens is so far the best among the FE lens. The 55/1.8 is razor sharp but the color is not as saturated as this one. The bokeh of this lens is good too, however not that creamy due to the limitation of the aperture. The resolution is excellent and the OSS works very well. This can be referred to my sample picture.
reviews found: 17   

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 17
  • sharpness: 4.71
  • color: 5.00
  • build: 4.76
  • distortion: 4.88
  • flare control: 4.88
  • overall: 4.85

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