Sony AF 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G SSM A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 168    << 1 2 3 4 5 6 >>
reviewer#7780 date: Aug-4-2010
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
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 used to own this lens
compared to:Beercan
Tamron 70-210 f2.8
Sony 55-200
price paid:800 USD
positive:Nice solid build
negative:Soft, not sharp even at f8
Greatly overpriced for the IQ
comment:Perhaps its a case of sample variability, which one would not expect in a G series lens, but I recieved mine today, brand new in box, and I was totally dissapointed in the performance of this lens. Even on a solid heavy tripod at f8 with MLU the image is not sharp, CA is well controlled but other than that the my 25 year old Beercan is head and shoulders over this lens in sharpness, colors and contrast and so is the Tammy.

I only hope I can send it back to the ebay seller I purchased it from. With all of the hype this lens has recieved here in the reviews I expected far better performance from an $800 lens. My $200 Sony 55-200 is sharper with better contrast and saturation.

This lens hunts for focus even in bright overcast conditions, it hunts far more than the Beercan, I missed several shots of birds waiting for the lens to lock in, I finally switched to manual focus.

For the price this lens IQ and AF performance is flat out unacceptable.
reviewer#7763 date: Jul-31-2010
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:75-300 D
price paid:
missing
positive:SSM & G quality
negative:slow aperture
comment:Well the SSM and G is really an upgrade from my Minolta 75-300 D. Bit slow but it is OK when pair with A550 that has a very good high ISO. Focus is significantly faster than in-body motor. Very good flare control as well.
reviewer#7691 date: Jul-15-2010
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:70-210mm beercan
75-300mm Big Beercan
70-400mm 'G'
price paid:
missing
positive:Very sharp
Bokeh
Comparitively light
Quiet SSM motor
Nice build quality
negative:Relatively slow maximum aperture
Expensive
comment:I have had a couple of big beercans and haven't been all that impressed with either of them, both falling short somewhat at 300mm. The beercan is a fine lens with good IQ at f5.6 and higher although it has some CA which can be corrected during post processing.
I have the 70-400mm 'G' as well, which is a fabulous lens but a bit of a monster to cart around.
This lens is sharper than the beercan. It is also as sharp as the 70-400mm but much cheaper and lighter. It uses more plastic than the 70-400mm but it's still well constructed and has a quality feel. The SSM drive is a little faster than the 70-400 but on my A700 maybe not quite as fast as the beercan. Bokeh is better than the 70-400mm.
This is a very, very good lens, and despite the relatively slow maximum aperture is every inch a 'G'. The current new price in the UK is prohibitive but if you can find a clean s/h example I can thoroughly recommend it.
Edit: after about a month with this lens, I am loath to take it off my A700. As a lover of dragonflies this is for me the perfect compliment to these insects, with superb colour rendition, clean sharp images and smooth soft bokeh. Some say the 70-400mm is sharper, but if it is, the difference is minimal, and the backgrounds are much better with the smaller lens. You DO have to watch for camera shake - being much lighter than the 70-400 there is the temptation to dispense with the monopod and/or tripod, and at 300mm, steady-shot might be struggling to keep your images sharp, particularly in less than ideal light. Lean against a tree, or get down on your haunches and rest your elbows on your knees, anything to give steady-shot a chance and it'll bring home the results.
reviewer#7650 date: Jul-1-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
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 100-200 f/4.5
price paid:620USD used
positive:image quality is very good, focus is fast and silent
negative:the f/4.5 aperture doesn't last very far into the zoom range
comment:I purchased this lens for it's 200-300mm zoom range for wildlife and landscape photography. There is nothing bad you can say about it's image quality; it certainly edges out the Minolta 100-200. Other review websites fussed about the size of this lens, but it's not much larger than the iconic Minolta 28-135 and it weighs a heck of a lot less. We've been spoiled by the small size of the Minolta zooms - which, by the way, I kept for just that reason and those times when a max of 200mm is all I need. One caution, even with image stabilization, I find it difficult to hand-hold at 300mm and get the kind of sharpness I want. List price is pretty high, but if you can get this lens for around $600US, I think the performance-to-cost makes it a good buy.
reviewer#7530 date: Jun-5-2010
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:SAL1680CZ
SAL55200
SAL50 f1.4
Tokina ATX100 f2.8 Macro
Minolta AF135 f2.8
price paid:750 usd (new)
positive:Sharp
Nice colors
Nice bokeh
Very usable zoom range
Not too heavy
Very fast focusing speed - SSM
Very silent
Focus Limiter
Focus Hold
negative:Pricey
comment:I find this zoom a little heavy to pack along for travels but it remains much lighter then the 70-400G. Love the sharpeness, color and bokeh.
reviewer#7528 date: Jun-4-2010
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 50-150mm f/2.8 II APO EX DC HSM
Sony DT 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 Carl Zeiss
price paid:500 EUR (used)
positive:sharpness
colours
build quality
negative:maximum aperture drops quick to f/5.6
comment:This lense is sharp wideopen (maybe a bit less excellent at 300mm), but the maximum aperture drops very quick to f/5.6.

The colours and flare control are very good (even without the enormous hood). Chromatic aberration and distortion are very well controlled.

The autofocus is fast, even more so with the limiter.
reviewer#7520 date: Jun-1-2010
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 75-300D
price paid:599 UKP (new)
positive:Sharp
Quiet
Fast AF with limiter
negative:Weight compared to 75-300D
Front zoom ring
comment:This lens is a step up from the 75-300D. You don't have to stop it down and it's good at the edges. It's usable wide open and dependable out to the end of the zoom range. Focus is silent and noticably quicker - especially with the focus limiter.

However. Compared with the lighter 75-300 it's more difficult to handhold IMO. I've started using a monopod to get the best out of it. One big difference between using this and the 75-300 has been the visibility of atmospheric effects that were previously hidden - the higher contrast and definition from the 70-300G makes this more apparent and it's changed the feel of some background landscape shots in good light.

The zoom ring placement might be logical in some ways to deal with holding and supporting it. But it's a pain when switching between lenses - and with DMF means that you mess the focus when you get it wrong.

A tripod ring isn't critical on a heavy tripod or on a monopod but it would be a handy option for use with lighter tripods when traveling.

While there are complaints that it's more F5.6 than F4.5 across the range the F5.6 is still sharp - so you're not forced to stop it down.

Update: Having now used this lens on A77 I'm much happier with it on the A77 than the A700 when handholding. I'm fairly sure that this is down to the softer shutter action of the A77.
reviewer#7452 date: May-19-2010
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:beercan
cz 16-80
price paid:750 USD (new)
positive:- great images at all apertures and focal lengths
- SSM
- fairly compact
- focus limiter is useful
negative:- price
comment:well, the strengths and weaknesses of this lens are pretty straightforward. it's very expensive for a slow, telephoto zoom that stops at 300mm. but its image quality is truly exceptional for that class. for a lens with that kind of reach that is small enough you can carry it around your neck and shoot handheld, it is probably without peer as far as IQ. all I can really say is if you think the range and speed suits you and the price is acceptable, go for it -- because you certainly aren't likely to be disappointed with the IQ.
reviewer#7423 date: May-10-2010
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 used to own this lens
compared to:Olympus 50-200 SWD
Leica D 14-150 XSM
price paid:980
positive:- Silent
- Better Image Quality than 75-300.
- Weight
negative:- No Lock to prevent zoom creep
- Aperture
- Soft at 300mm
- Not as fast as you would expect
comment:I am back to Sony after 18 month with Olympus. The 50-200 / 2.8 - 3.5 SWD is a true speed deamon. Dpreview claims it one of the worlds best lenses. I have to admit, the fact of being sharp from 50 to 200mm makes it hard for other.

The Leica offers top sharp image quality, the XSM motor delivers fast focus, not as sharp as the Zuiko.

The Sony offers for me the same great performance as both mentioned lenses. At least, the optical one.

In terms of speed, probably, not as fast as the Zuiko. It is not as fast as you would expect for an G SSM lens.

When holding down, the tube tends to extend very easily, almost no help is needed. I assume, based on experince, that this ends up like other lenses in zoom creep.

I haven't noticed any distortion or flare.

Zoom ring and focus ring are the other way around. Not Sony like, but for me, having had, the Leica 14-150, this is easy. The placement is identical ;-)

Overall seen, this lens is a good start. It can be taken with you anywhere. The 70-200SSM you won't take on vacation.

Basically, this lens would have better been called

70-300 SAM, cause the focus is indeed silent and the IQ expectation would have been lower.
reviewer#7409 date: May-6-2010
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 28-135
CZ 85 f 1.4
Minolta 50mm 1.7 RS
price paid:
missing
positive:Sharp wide open
No CA like other old minolta tele except APO lenses
SSM
Nicely built. Not to heavy
Focus hold button
negative:Big hood
comment:After having a lot of cheap teles and trying 70-200 G and the big beercan. This is the one.

This lens have comparable sharpness to Minolta 28-135 at 85mm. Only got beaten by CZ. Definitely. :)
what I like is the no CA pics, SSM, not so heavy like 70-200G. Bokeh is nice. Not f2.8 but dont really need the f2.8 becouse I use it for outdoors only.
Prefer the less weight and size to the 70-200G.
reviewer#7376 date: Apr-29-2010
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:SAL180-250
SIGMA 170-500 APO
price paid:
missing
positive:Good reach, fast focussing and good IQ.
negative:Size of the lens hood
comment:This lens is reasonable in weight, combined with good IQ.
Can give older (backup) body's a new lease on life. Even a relative slow Sony Alpha 100 + 70-300G is a useable combo.
Recent addition, more work with this lens is needed.

Could not afford a 400G, and i allready own a SIGMA 170-500 APO
reviewer#7368 date: Apr-28-2010
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 100-300 APO
Sony 75-300
price paid:750 USD(new)
positive:Sharp & Quiet
negative:Lens hood is Gnormous
comment:This lens is fantastic in every way. It is heavy and quite large, so be prepared if you have not handled one before buying. I knew it was far heavier than anything I had touched, but I still was not prepared. I love the lens, although like most, the lack of focusing sound is a bit disorienting. I adapted very quickly, but now my other lenses seem so loud. I couldn't afford the larger 400G, so I settled for this one, and I am actually glad I did. The reach is adequate, and it is so sharp (even wide open) that I can crop in and still get good results. I bought a monopod and it really helps.
reviewer#7328 date: Apr-21-2010
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 16-80CZ
Sigma 70-300 APO
price paid:750 USD (new)
positive:Excellent sharpness and color
Excellent build quality
Silent and quick focusing
negative:Lens hood size
Zoom ring placement
comment:For the APS-C user, this lens is the perfect companion to the 16-80CZ. I suspect it would go just as well with the 24-70CZ for a FF user. Sharpness, contrast, and color are excellent. I have found it to be a bit softer at the long end than the short, but that's to be expected. The primary reason I traded up from the Sigma to this lens was wide open performance. It has not disappointed.

I have used this lens on my a700 and a850, and it works well on either. Losing the crop factor with the a850 does have been looking at the 70-400G down the road to recover the reach I had been accustomed to with the a700. However, using this lens on a FF camera has really shown what it can do. I use it to photograph my wife participating in triathlons and the focus speed, focal length, and sharpness are great. It's not an f2.8 lens, but I have only found that a short coming in low light, which is rare for me.

The build quality is quite nice. It's a solid lens, but not overly heavy. The zoom ring is still nice and firm a year after purchase. Focusing is quick, but slower than my 16-80CZ. The focus limiter definitely helps speed things up. This is my first and only SSM lens, and the lack of focus noise takes some getting used to.

Many other reviews have commented about the large hood and the zoom ring placement. In practice, they aren't too bad in my opinion, I just get frustrated with the combination of the two. The lens cannot be zoomed with the hood stored in reverse. This requires either using the hood when shooting conditions don't necessitate it, or finding a place in my bag to store it. The zoom ring being toward the end of the lens is not an issue for me, nor is the rotation direction being opposite my other lenses.
reviewer#7325 date: Apr-21-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
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:Beercan
price paid:660 CAD
positive:Zoom range
Sharpness
Quiet
Comparatively light and small
62mm filter size
negative:Sony chose to put the zoom ring at the front unlike all other lenses - drives me crazy!
comment:A wonderful complement to my CZ 16-80mm this lens is sharp and mercifully quiet. Best of all, you can hang it about your neck and carry it around for more than 10 minutes unlike all that other wonderful glass that is sharp as a tack but weighs a ton and makes you look like you have a bazooka rather than a camera. A keeper for sure but Sony - why did you choose to put the zoom ring in the opposite position of most other lenses? Bad, bad, design choice!
reviewer#7050 date: Mar-10-2010
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 used to own this lens
compared to:sigma 100-300mm f4
minolta 100-400mm

price paid:
missing
positive:Sharpest 70-300mm lens I've used
reasonable size
negative:very expensive
so so AF speed
comment:I briefly owned this lens before selling it on, it is a sharp lens and produces a noicably sharper picture than the minolta 100-400 and it edges the excellent sigma 100-300mm f4 APO (slightly crisper results) making this the sharpest 70-300mm I've used so far.

Despite having SSM, AF speed on this lens isn't particularly fast but does benefit from accuracy and silent action. For a lens of it's class (i.e. one that doesn't have a constant aperture) it's fairly large but no where near as large/bulky as the sigma 100-300/4.

If you don't need the extra stop of light from the sigma 100-300/4 then the sony is a excellent if expensive choice to go for.
reviewer#6991 date: Mar-3-2010
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.2
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 50 1.4
Minolta 135 2.8
Tamron 17-50 2.8
Beercan
price paid:530€ new
positive:Sharp, "light", very good colours. Good build. AF very smoth and decently fast. Bokeh is ok. Really a "G" lens.
negative:Its luminosity decrease a lot even in the medium focals, (5.6 very soon). Giant hood, no totally compatible with the lens cup. Price.
comment:I like very much this lens. Very sharp, smoth AF, goof build, fantastic focal in aps (105-450).

It´isnt very luminous. Lens hood is really big and You can´t put the cap in the lens with it assembled.
reviewer#6950 date: Feb-22-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
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:- Min. 100-300 xi
price paid:650 EUR (new)
positive:- bokeh
- size
- sharpness
- smooth and silent AF
negative:- zoom creep
- SSM eats batteries
comment:I really like this lens. It's compact and delivers superb image quality. My main gripe with it is that for some reason it devours batteries on my KM7D. I suspect this has to do with the SSM.
reviewer#6946 date: Feb-22-2010
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:S75-300
M100-300xi
M100 macro

price paid:1200 USD (new)
positive:Superb optics, accurate focusing, relatively compact and light.
negative:Nothing yet
comment:I've been waiting for a quality tele-zoom for a long time, and the 70-300G hasn't disappointed. it has a real quality feel to it - not in the traditional sense of hard and heavy, but in terms of good materials, tight tolerances and G-class specifications. Hopefully this will translate into durability - only time will tell.

Switching the position of zoom and focusing rings takes some getting used to, but it's not a deal-breaker - and not worth deducting points, IMHO. The max aperture of 5.6 for much of its range may not be fast but it is USABLE, and it helps to keep the size and weight down. The hood is a monster, for sure, but it works!

I use the lens mostly for weddings. Of course I considered the 70-200 2.8, but I wouldn't use that speed (I mostly use f/8 for the DOF), I'd struggle with the extra weight and cost, and I'd miss the extra reach.

Until this lens came along, there really wasn't a long zoom - from any manufacturer - that fitted my need for a relatively compact but great quality lens.
reviewer#6943 date: Feb-21-2010
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 10-20/4-5.6
sigma 30/1.4
tamron 90/2.8
minolta 135/2.8
price paid:485GBP (new)
positive:sharpness throughout all lengths and apertures
contrast
lightweight
flare control
negative:build
comment:ssm focusing is nice, but not as fast as i expected. it is, however, very accurate.

this is a great general purpose telephoto. i don't need to worry about lens limitations of the lens when i use it. it will resist flare well, and always be sharp.

i find the bokeh a bit hit or miss. i haven't decided what i think about it yet, because it seems so different in different situations. there are times when i think i'd rather have picked up an old minolta 300/4 for a bit more money, just to keep those out of focus areas a bit smoother.
reviewer#6889 date: Feb-9-2010
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:KM 70-210mm f4 beercan
Sony 18-70mm kit lens
price paid:475 GBP (new)
positive:- excellent sharpness across the whole zoom range.
- Sharp wide open.
- Negligible colour fringing.
- Pretty much completely silent AF.
negative:- Quite heavy.
comment:I'm hugely impressed with the overall quality that this lens exudes. For me it was a good upgrade from the 70-210 f4 beercan on every level. If you have the extra money to spare get this.

Probably the best lens I'll own for quite some time!
reviewer#6843 date: Jan-28-2010
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:beercan
tamron 18-250
tamron 200-500
minmolta 100-300
price paid:849 USD
positive:Light. Sharp. Fast focus and balanced on both the 700 and the Maxxum 7.
negative:zoom/focus rings reversed.
comment:Gave it a 4 for build not because of the plastic but because of the position of the zoom ring and the MF switch, which I seem to touch inadvertantly.
I know the 70-400 is supposed to be better but it's a lot heavier. This one fits in my bag, can be easily handheld and it's black.
reviewer#6820 date: Jan-24-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
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:Sigma - 70-300 F4-5.6 DG APO Macro
Minolta 500mm F8
price paid:$600 USD (LNIB)
positive:Sharpness
Reach
Relatively light weight
negative:F4.5-5.6
Hood is cumbersome
comment:I continue to be excited each and every time I use this lens. Colors are are well balanced, pleasing bokeh and tack sharp until you get to the outer reaches of the lens. Focuses well enough + for action shots, and otherwise is spot on. For the price this is an outstanding lens, do not hesitate to buy.
reviewer#6813 date: Jan-23-2010
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 28-300
price paid:1179AUD (new)
positive:Sharp
SSM is quite
Color
Bokeh
negative:I can not see much extra speed on SSM compare to the screw AF
comment:My first G lens and SSM, and you have to love this, it is so quite, it is unbelievable.
This is sharp, compare to anything I have seen in my very limited time with DSLR, love the IQ and I think I slowly made up a nice lens line up with this in the kit.
The image quality is nothing compare to my Sigma 28-300, at the range they have in common, but again the price are also not in the same range.
At 300, I got a very nice 3D effect out of this lens with a very nice back ground separation from the subject. The Bokeh is very nice.
Highly recommended.
reviewer#6709 date: Jan-7-2010
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 used to own this lens
compared to:* Sony DT 55-200mm f/4-5.6
* Minolta 70-210mm f/4 "Beercan"
* Tamron 70-200 f/2.8
price paid:849 USD (new)
positive:* Lighter than a 70-200 f/2.8 lens.
* SSM is reasonably fast and completely silent.
* Excellent color, no flare.
* It has a focus limiter switch.
* Sharp wide open.
negative:* Very expensive for a narrow-aperture 70-300 lens.
* Slight vignetting wide open, though it is easily corrected in software.
comment:I was considering picking up Sony's 70-400mm f/4-5.6 lens but had trouble justifying the price. This lens seemed like a reasonable compromise, losing 100mm of zoom while cutting the cost and the weight in half.

This lens is sharp wide open - not "decent", not "soft but workable", but sharp. It is lighter than my Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8, which makes it easier to use handheld. Colors are excellent. The SSM focuses very quickly and the only noise made is by components shifting around in the lens. During a trip to the zoo, I saw no flare in over three hundred images shot. The aperture on this lens is somewhat narrow, but I don't feel this should detract from the rating of a lens; were this a f/2.8 lens, it would be much larger, heavier, and more expensive. Like any tool, you use the right one for the job, and this is an excellent tool for daylight shooting.

My only complaint about this lens is the price. $849 is an awful lot for a lens of this focal range and aperture. If you don't need as long of a zoom or require a faster aperture, Tamron's 70-200mm f/2.8 will be just as sharp for at least $100 less.
reviewer#6599 date: Dec-17-2009
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:beercan
200/2.8G
100/2
28-135
55-200
price paid:
missing
positive:Sharp, nicely sized, good colour, bokeh, filter size.
negative:A little slow aperture-wise.
Massive hood with no filter adjustment slot.
comment:On both apsc and full-frame, this is a really nice lens. I'd concur with most other's comments, which says something about the lens's consistency. The SSM is silent but not blazing fast. Build is good, quality plastic and that's a plus in that it's not $500 more expensive. I'd probably prefer a modern 70-200/f4 as the aperture is a little slow. But the trade-off is its size and weight benefits for such a quality zoom. It takes beautiful pictures with great colour, contrast and bokeh. It resists CA and flare admirably. Quite competitive with the 200/2.8 and 100/2 at common lengths/apertures. I'll continue to depend on primes for fast aperture whereas the 70-300 is a great all-rounder when you need flexibility. Highly recommended, particularly if you only want one telephoto lens, especially if you can find one used for a little less money.
reviewer#6564 date: Dec-11-2009
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:minolta 70-210 F4
tamron 70-210 F2.8
Sony 75-300 F4.5-5.6
price paid:R 11500 (new)
positive:lightweight
color
SSM motor
sharpness
negative:huge hood
price new
SSM eats batteries
comment:When the lens was bought the exchange rate was bad. The lens itself was purchased instead of the SAL70400G for its weight and above all its price. The lens is mainly used to cover sport such as rugby and it has been used extensively in the game reserves. I have discovered that the Tamron 70-210mm F2.8 with a 1.7X converter is giving it a go in sharpness but it has nothing on its focusing speed. The lens copes perfectly well with everything that I have used it for and I have been very happy with my purchase.
reviewer#6413 date: Nov-19-2009
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
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 Beercan & Big Beercan
price paid:779CAN (new)
positive:- cheap
- small & light
- full frame compatible
- circular aperture blades
- Lens Hood
negative:- maybe a bit slow
comment:I bought this to have in my bag when I wanted to take some distance shots or my son playing in the park and when hiking. I have not been disappointed.

I have taken this lens and shot in bright fields and in indoor pools. It performed well and reproduced sharp vibrant colours in the park and did better than I expected shooting my son swimming at our local indoor pool.

Take from that what you will. For the price it is an awesome performer. A solid lens.
reviewer#6399 date: Nov-17-2009
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
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 used to own this lens
compared to:70-200G
price paid:850 eur new
positive:good collors
black
negative:it ghosts to much
focus not fast enough for a G lens
comment:i sold it after a few months
reviewer#6295 date: Oct-29-2009
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 70-300 APO
Min 75-300D
Min 70-210 F4 Beercan
Sony 55-200
price paid:499UKP (new)
positive:Very sharp - lightweight - quiet, quick, precise focus - great range - good price for a G lens
negative:Nothing for the price
comment:This is definitely my best lens for so many reasons. I love the silence of the focus and the convenience of the reversed zoom and focus rings. The beercan is good but doesn't compare with the quality of this lens. It feels great on my A700 too. I'd recommend it to anyone who was looking for this range.

Others have said the build quality is not so good but there really is nothing wrong with it. Why would I want a metal lens just for the sake of it? I have to carry this about after all. If I was a pro giving it hell then maybe it would need to be more substantial but for the amateur it is above satisfactory.

I have no zoom creep either. Maybe I've been lucky but mine feels very unlikely to creep but also not stiff.

How anyone can say it is not a G because it doesn't cost enough is beyond me. If Sony gave it a metal body and doubled the price everyone would be happy but all we'd get extra from this is a sore arm and a smaller bank balance.
reviewer#6294 date: Oct-28-2009
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.2
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:L500
positive:Colours
Weight
AF speed
negative:Large hood
Can be a little soft
comment:A nice lens. I always found the colours on my A700 were a bit muted with this lens and that I had to work hard to get a sharp picture - more I think to do with my technique than the lens itself. On the A900 the colours are amazing - vibrant and contrasty.

One note - this is not a lens for photographing action as it is not fast enough (hence my comment about technique) but a non moving target produces a sharp image especially at f8.
reviews found: 168    << 1 2 3 4 5 6 >>

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 168
  • sharpness: 4.69
  • color: 4.81
  • build: 4.25
  • distortion: 4.78
  • flare control: 4.79
  • overall: 4.66

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