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

reviews found: 168    << 1 2 3 4 5 6 >>
reviewer#6279 date: Oct-28-2009
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 have experience with this lens
compared to:Minolta 80-200 2.8
Beercan 70-210 f4
price paid:850 CDN
positive:Well-built, typical G (except for all the plastic)
Great range
Focus hold button
negative:Manual focus ring position tricky at first
Soft at long end wide open
Price (way overpriced for what it is)
comment:Tried this lens for a couple of weeks and was unimpressed. Sure, it's a useful range, but when you've got a Beercan, the only benefit of this is a little more reach at the expense of weight. And you're sacrificing a few stops. I'd rather schlepp around my Minolta 80-200 2.8 (possibly with a 1.4 TC) and get sharper images.

The SSM is nice, but takes a bit of getting used to. Sometimes you're not sure when the focus quite "locks in" because of its quietness.

The lens hood is effective, but perhaps a little unnecessarily long.

This lens is way overpriced, even for a G lens. Had they made it a constant 4.5 or better yet an f4 throughout like the Beercan, it would be much more a useful lens to me.
reviewer#6236 date: Oct-18-2009
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:Various glass
price paid:6999 NOK (new)
positive:Superb optical quality
negative:May hunt in low light
comment:This lens is a popular lens, and righteously so! I wonder if this lens is as popular as the famous beercan was when the beercan was the one being sold new.

I wanted a versatile tele lens that I could use for street photography. As such it was important for me that the lens would not be too big, which ruled out the f/2.8 tele lenses. The size of this lens is usable for street photography (in my opinion), though some people have still mistaken me for being a photo journalist due to this lens. A definitive plus is the reach of this lens, which goes up to 300mm.

I also did not require a street lens that would perform in terrible light conditions, so F4.5-5.6 is fine, and it keeps the size of the lens down. Although with today's cameras you can set the ISO higher and higher if required.

It is sharp even wide open. The lens does not compromise on optical quality.

Bokeh is smooth and beautiful.

The hood may be a little large, and some times attract more attention when shooting out on the street.

Here in Norway, everything is more expensive, so I had to pay premium price for this lens. www.xe.com shows that 6999NOK is roughly 1200 USD (19th October 2009), but it was worth every penny (or kroner, as we say here).

--
Update, June 2016:
Well, I've had this lens for a while now and I'll let my previous review stand, but there is one thing I would like to update. Some times the bokeh feels pretty busy. Also, I may be nitpicking and it may not be possible but I wish the lens was smaller still.
reviewer#6226 date: Oct-15-2009
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:18-200 F3.5-6.3
CZ 16-80 F3.5-4.5
price paid:700 USD (approx)
positive:Range
Fast focus
Location of zoom ring and focus ring

negative:Big, somewhat flimsy hood
Zoom creeps under lens weight
comment:When upgrading from an a100 with 18-200 kit lens to an a700, I purchased this lens to cover the long end. Having two young kids, a lot of my photography is kid related and my goal was to shoot outdoor activities that are beyond the range of my 16-80.

Most of the time, I either carry it around and shoot handheld, say in a park or similar setting, or use it mounted on a monopod to shoot from a more stationary position.

I really like that the zoom ring is at the far end of the lens instead of close to the camera, which is the case with my other lenses. While it seems a bit odd at first, and takes some getting used to, I find it helps to stabilize the camera for handheld shots. Because the focusing is so fast and accurate, I don't tend to manually focus much with this lens unless the subject doesn't move. As others have noted, the zoom tends to creep when carrying the camera with the lens pointed down, it extends under its own weight. I don't think it matters much but it's kind of annoying.

Not that the lens is all that heavy, but I find that a monopod helps if you're shooting from a stationary position. I am using the 70-300 a fair amount to shoot little kids soccer games and it's nice to have some stable support when sitting or standing on the sideline and shooting at the long end.

Under bright conditions, the lens performs very well. Focusing is fast and accurate. Colors are great and sharpness is good, certainly much better than my older 18-200.

I've used the lens indoors as well, but find that you really need a flash to make it work. It's just too slow for anything that isn't stationary. In combination with my older Minolta 5600HS the lens is usable indoors, but it's not great.

That leads me to two disadvantages of this lens, although through no fault of its own: the slow and variable aperture. Although an improvement over the 18-200 at the long end (which goes down to F6.3 quickly), F5.6 is still not that great for lower light conditions. Worse, the aperture is variable over the range. So for example, for soccer games with a lot of zooming, it's a choice between using the maximum aperture and use variable shutter speed or ISO, or use fixed aperture/shutter speed/ISO but not take advantage over the wider aperture at the lower end. I like to not rely on metering too much and prefer manual settings in those circumstances.

So I've been contemplating a 70-200 F2.8 for lower light conditions, in addition to the 70-300. Obviously a very different lens for a different purpose, with its own drawbacks (reduced range, increased weight and cost if new Sony G) and not a fair comparison.

Overall, the 70-300 F4.5-5.6 G SSM is a great performer.
reviewer#6203 date: Oct-8-2009
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
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:Beercan
70200G
Tamron/Sigma 70-200/2.8
price paid:Ł559
positive:Sharp wide open
Fast accurate AF with little hunting
Incredible value for money
negative:No zoom lock
comment:I shoot with an A700. This little performer is probably my favourite lens. Lightweight, sharp and accurate, this lens performs better for me than my 70200G when given suitable light. For f5.6, bokeh is more than acceptable.

Compared to beercan:
Benefits - Practically no fringing, does not hunt, much faster & quieter focusing/tracking, sharper until f8 (then at least as sharp), lighter.
Drawbacks - More expensive.

Compared to 70200G:
Benefits - Half the price, as sharp, lighter, quicker focus, longer zoom.
Drawbacks - Two stops slower.

Compared to Sigma/Tamron 70-200/2.8:
Benefits - Sharper, lighter, quicker, longer (Daft punk's new release). Cheaper and more accurate.
Drawbacks - Two stops slower.

If you are deciding whether to get this lens...
1) ...and you have/want the beercan - Excellent upgrade, yes you lose a stop of light wide open, but I found the beercan's F4 unusably soft, so its not really a loss.

2) ...and you're also considering a 70-200/2.8 - Consider whether you want to pay Ł100 more for an inferior lens that gives you two stops, or Ł600 more to keep the quality and add two stops.
reviewer#6190 date: Oct-6-2009
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 AF 200/2.8
price paid:
missing
positive:best tele-zoom for money
convenient for travel
very fast AF
AF limiter
negative:plastic
no f4 max (like beercan)
comment:most used for travel and bright shiny days and near and fast objects (I have other equipment to use)on A-700.
Well liked in my collection!
reviewer#6119 date: Sep-26-2009
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:Tokina 80-200mm f2.8
price paid:525 GBP
positive:SSM focusing motor
Focus hold button and AF/MF switches
negative:Focus and zoom ring order
Very small gap between lens eject button and AF/MF switch extrusion
comment:Image quality is very good. You can definitely see the difference even on the camera screen. Focusing speed is also excellent. To add, it seems to be more precise than on other lenses.

The 'delayed' manual focus ring allows for very precise manual focusing and it doesn't make manual focusing any slower. The MF hold button is very well placed and is a good alternative when tinkering with the camera/lens AF/MF switches is just too slow.

Probably the most major downfall of this lens is the order of the focusing and zoom rings. All of the lenses I have worked with have the focusing ring at the end of the barrel and the zoom ring following right after it. It's just hard to get used to when constantly switching lenses.

Overall this lens is a good addition to anyone's collection. Despite some of the cons, I have not had any frustrating moments when working with this lens.
reviewer#6104 date: Sep-22-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 3
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 used to own this lens
compared to:Minolta Beercan
Sony 75-300mm
price paid:$880 Canadian
positive:sharp, fast, excellent control.
negative:price,
comment:a worthwhile investment. I am delighted with the purchase.
reviewer#5970 date: Sep-3-2009
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:cz24-70
SAL 70-200mm f2.8
price paid:
missing
positive:Sharp lens even when wide open
good colour
light
ssm
negative:f4.5
comment:I like this lens for its weight. I have the 70-200G and I almost prefer to carry tis lens around instead. Picture quality wise, I like the colour on this lens better too. I only use the 70-200G reluctantly when I have to shoot in low light. The extra 100mm in focal length also makes it a better lens than the 70-200G for a holiday lens.

The hood is too big for my liking. I've often left it at home instead as I find it a nuisance. Flare control has been excellent even without the hood.

Focusing is not too bad. Not lightning quick but do-able.
reviewer#5959 date: Sep-2-2009
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:Minolta 100-300 APO D
price paid:780 € (new)
positive:- sharp wide open
- colours
- bokeh
- silent AF (SSM)
- solid build and smooth operating
negative:- Reversed focus/zoom grips compared to many lenses (takes some time to adjust)
- huge hood (makes the lens unoperable if attached in "rest position")
- price
comment:I'm really impressed by this lens. The build is solid (quality carbon). IQ is far better than Minolta 100-300 APO. AF tends to hunt at low lights and SSM seems to drain the accu faster.
This lens is no doubt a solid contender in its class.
reviewer#5955 date: Sep-2-2009
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 used to own this lens
compared to:- Minolta 70-210mm f/4 (Beercan)
- Minolta 100-300mm f/4.5-5.6 APO
- Sony 75-300mm f/4.5-5.6
- Canon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 IS USM
- Canon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM
- Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G ED IF AF-S VR Nikkor
price paid:
missing
positive:- Sharp at all aperture & focal length.
- Minimal chromatic aberration.
- Quiet SSM.
- Excellent bokeh.
- Circular aperture blades.
- Best in its league.
negative:- Build quality is very good but not great. It's hard to expect more though, at this price range.
- It's not a small lens, especially with the hood attached. Be ready to attract some eyeballs when shooting.
comment:This lens is a significant step-up from the good old Minolta 70-210/4 (beercan) and 100-300/4.5-5.6 APO.

Sharpness is excellent from wide open at all focal length. Color rendition is neutral. No distortion I can detect of. The supplied deep lens hood makes flare a non-issue. SSM is very quiet. Build quality is very decent; it could be better but I don't expect more at this price range.

All in all an excellent tele-zoom lens worth the "G" label. It beats the Canon and Nikkor equivalents hands down!

*UPDATE* Excellent performance on 24.5MP FF dSLR. Sharpness on 70mm end is amazing and on par with the mighty Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 24-70mm f/2.8 SSM.
reviewer#5947 date: Aug-30-2009
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:Min 80-200mm HS G
Min 70-210 F4 Bcan
price paid:$570 USD
positive:Sharp wide open
Light weight
Nice size for a700
Bokeh
negative:Plastic feel
comment:I love using the 300mm end of this lens for wildlife. The SSM is fast for my usage and very consistent. The image quality isnt prime sharp, but I have some of my best wildlife shots from this lens as opposed to the Minolta 80-200.

The polycarbonate body of the lens bothers some but I appreciate it as it reduces a lot of weight. I like the balance it gives on the a700. The "feel" of the body doesn't feel like a G lens but its the glass that matters most right? It is a great price for a G lens, and despite the aperture range, the bokeh is very alluring.
reviewer#5858 date: Aug-16-2009
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:Minolta 75-300
Tamron 70-300
beercan
price paid:560 USD (new)
positive:- Good Range
- IQ is very good to excellent
- Deep hood really helps control flare
- Good AF performance especially with the limiter
negative:- Sony's dirt attracting grips
- Focus/Zoom grips are reversed compared to most other lenses
- Focus/Zoom grips should have different textures
comment:I got what I consider an excellent deal on this lens from the Circuit City bankruptcy. This lens has very good to excellent IQ in a very manageable package. The big deep hood is a pain to carry around but is very effective in keeping flare down. The focus limiter really helps the AF speed for things like sports.

It might seem a little pricey but the performance justifies it IMO.
reviewer#5687 date: Jul-11-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 3
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 used to own this lens
compared to:Minolta 200/2.8 HS
Minolta 100/2
Big beercan
Beercan
price paid:Ł550 UK
positive:Excellent colours
Contrast / flare resistance
No CA
Silent focusing
Lightweight
Sharp at MFD throughout range
negative:Suspect QC
AF slightly slow
Lightweight
Cheap hood
MFD
Pricey for its speed
comment:I bought one copy and it was soft all over the place and was overexposing above f/11. The second copy was very sharp throughout but SSM failed. These problems were proen not related to the body (A700) so two attempts, two bad copies. I marked down Build rating by one point for each bad copy.
Otherwise, the build is good although it did seem a bit light in use after the BBC. I didn't feel comfortable steadying it handheld, others do.

Colours are rich and owe a lot to Minolta. There is no CA on A700. Flare is non-existent. It's a high resolution lens at every focal length, good wide open. At distance, the image softens as the light weight lens wafts about in the breeze. Fix this by nailing it to a tripod.

One of the nice things about an all purpose tele lens is being able to chase small wildlife but the minimum focus distance is not that great for butterflies, bees etc. Cheaper lenses such as the Tamron equivalent have a very useful 'macro' function - check the specs for MFD before you choose.

Autofocus I found a bit slow on moving subjects. The Minolta primes track with much more success, but then they are much brighter and the AF sensor can see better. If you want a silent zoom, this is hard to beat!

I can see that huge, plastic hood is necessary for flare-free, accurate exposures but I didn't enjoy using it. I think it looks a bit daft and cheap, and would replace it with a lined metal tube if I bought a 3rd copy, which I'm not going to risk.

All in all it is a very well engineered slow telezoom lens which gives clean, colourful, sharp pictures at all settings, free of CA in the brightest conditions but due to its spec' has shortcomings in low-light and macro departments.

TEST YOUR COPY THOROUGHLY BEFORE BUYING!
reviewer#5620 date: Jul-1-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
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:- Sigma 70-300
- Minolta 70-210F4
price paid:600E (new)
positive:- AF
- Build
- Weight (well balanced)
- Range
- Magnification 1:4
negative:- A bit long on APS-C
- Maybe F4 (but will make it heavier)
- Hood (huge)
comment:Well this is the 70-300 lens to get, no doubt. It is well build, although it is plastic. I like the size and weight. Dead silent AF and precise. Not as fast as I hoped, but fast enough. It is sharp full open and will get more detail when stopped down one stop.
It is a bit long on APS-C in some situations, an extra Sigma 50-150F2.8 would make sense to counter that. On APS-C I would not get a 70-200F2.8 as 70mm is sometimes a bit to long if you are using a zoom lens. I you can get around that, then buy a fixed 135mm or 200mm lens.
In the end a perfect lens with some minor negative points. The MFD is also really nice in getting macro-ish shots at 1:4.
reviewer#5608 date: Jun-29-2009
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:Sigma 75-300 APO DG Macro
Minolta "Bigbeercan"
price paid:780 EU (New)
positive:Sharp
Colors
Fast
Light
negative:Big hood
comment:Great lens, but hunt a bit in lower light conditions
reviewer#5590 date: Jun-24-2009
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:Sony 16-105
price paid:EUR 769
positive:Build quality
Range
Image quality
Colors
Weight
negative:Thickness
Brightness
comment:What a lens. The cheapest G lens does not disappoint. When I wanted a lens in this range I was looking at the cheaper Tamron and Sony lenses, but the reviews here convinced me to go for this one. The SSM is so quiet and smooth, and the first pictures out of my camera immediately showed great color and sharpness.

It is quite a light lens for what it offers. It is a bit thick and with the hood reversed it is even thicker, so fitting it in a smaller bag can be a challenge. Some complain about the size of the hood and while it is pretty big, I figure it has to be big to be effective. It would be nice if it was a bit brighter, but then it would probably be a lot bigger and heavier.

It can hunt a bit in lower light conditions, but the focus limiter is effective in minimizing this.
reviewer#5446 date: May-24-2009
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:CZ16-80
price paid:€700,-
positive:+ Great colors and contrast
+ IQ
+ Bokeh
+ Sharp
+ Fast, silent and accurate AF
+ Light weight and quite small compared to 70-200G / 70-400G
+ Range
+ Build, really like the manual focus ring and focus limiter


negative:- Large Hood, not usable with CP filter
comment:I use this lens for sports on the beach and nature / birds. When I first used it I could really appreciate the focus limiter and focus lock in this lens. This is very usefull shooting birds/sports on the longer focal lenghts. The focus gets really fast using the limiter. Also with the manual overide you can handle hunting (only in low light/contrast situations) very well.

I can talk on and on but this is just an excelent lens for it's price, a must have for Sony alpha user imo.
reviewer#5429 date: May-21-2009
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:Minolta 70-210 beercan
Minolta 75-300 big beercan
Minolta 75-300 restyled
Sony 55-200
Sigma 17-70
price paid:$600 used
positive:Range
Sharp
Colors
Bokeh
Fast AF
Quiet AF
Light Hood
Leather Case :)
Pretty light for a 300mm lens
negative:Thick
Could always use a faster lens
comment:When you put this on your camera, this is one of those lenses that just make you smile.

I debated for a while on whether I should get this for $600 or stick with the beercan ($150) and big beercan (another $150). I know that $600 is nothing to some people to spend on a lens, but it is quite a bit to me.

Anyway I decided to go ahead and get it and resell it if it didn't work out. On to the lens now.

When I opened up the packing box I was shocked at how big the Sony box was. It has to be over a foot long. But when I opened that up, the lens was in 1/2 the box, the lens hood was in the other 1/2. And when people say the lens hood is big, they aren't kidding. However I personally very much like the build of the hood. It's light, but very durable and seems that it can take a good amount of abuse.

The lens itself is very well built IMO. It might not be exactly beercan tank-build, but it is well built. I'm glad they made it the way they did to save a little on weight.

When I finally put the lens on my camera, the first thing I noticed was the zoom/focus rings switched around. I had read about it, so expected it and it only took me a couple minutes to get used to it. I also noticed how quiet the AF is. It's dead silent. I'm used to the minolta lenses and their somewhat quiet to noisy AF so this was a great change. And it's fast too!

Now the pictures itself are amazing. This is truly what buying a lens is for. Compared to the BC and BBC, this lens wins (it should after all, being a G and more expensive). No CA, very sharp, great colors, and great flare control. I don't see any advantages of the BBC over this lens other than price.
The BC still has a place with the constant f4, but I'm really considering letting it go too and picking up a 2.8 lens for when I need speed.

My 2-lens conbination is this and the Sigma 17-70mm and I am 100% happy with them. Unless I will be in dark areas, these are the only 2 lenses I'll be carrying around.
reviewer#5403 date: May-19-2009
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:Minolta 100-300 APO
Sigma 70-300 APO
Tamron 70-300 Di
Minolta 75-300
price paid:610 USD new CC
positive:Excellent resolution
Quiet focusing
negative:Heavy, bulky
Huge hood
Polarizer unusable with hood
comment:If you want to use a zoom lens that covers this range, and want consistently excellent results, then look no further. This lens will not disappoint. Images are sharp across the aperature range and all the way to 250mm with a slight drop off after that. Bokeh is smooth and pleasing.

I have used it for kids softball, the zoo, and landscapes with great results right out of the camera (A200). Because I use a polarizer frequently, I don't usually use the hood. This has not been a problem. Be aware that this lens is on the large side. Much larger than any of the compared lenses. My preference is to own both this lens and the Minolta 100-300 APO. Sometimes I just want to travel lighter. The results are superior with the G lens, but sometimes it isn't critical. Color is fine, but I always shoot jpeg (WB at cloudy -3) + RAW. So I can adjust the color in PP.

I recently used this lens in combination with the Tamron 18-250 on a vacation to the desert southwest. A great one-two punch with reasonable overlap so that I wasn't changing lenses in a dusty environment all the time. I'll post some sample pix soon. With my Tamron 28-75/f2.8 and Minolta 500 AF reflex, I think I have all of the bases covered. (Although one can never have too many lenses!)

Got mine at a Circuit City closeout. Also added a 7 year extended warranty that I purchased from an online dealer for $30. Not the cheapest lens around (now listed at $849 on SonyStyle), but quality always costs more.

I highly recommend this lens. I won't be getting rid of mine anytime soon.
reviewer#5372 date: May-12-2009
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:Minolta 70-300, Sony 18-250
price paid:675 USD
positive:Absolute dream to hand hold and manual focus with ring location. SSM Quiet compaired to in camera motor. Sharp glass! The "G" stands for Great IQ!
negative:Hood will be a pain when using a polarizer. An f4-5.6 would have made this lens perfect.
comment:This lens is the sharpest and most vivid I have used to date. I traded a Sig 180 macro and decided to try Kenko tubes for macros due to the sharpness. This lens does very well outdoors even on rainy over cast days. SSM locks and tracks very well on slow to medium speed subjects(show dogs) when using the center spot focus on the A700.
The SSS is really put to a test in dim conditions and this lens would be better used for panning while attached to a monopod. This should make a great field/travel lens but not a street level candid shots due to the min. focus distance being over a meter and very a narrow field of view. I plan to add a cz 16-80 as others have also mentioned. Shame the 18-250 will never be as sharp as this "G" is. This lens is an excellent value even at full price.
reviewer#5313 date: Apr-30-2009
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:70-200G
70-400G
Bigma
price paid:$650 USD
positive:Everything I can say!!!
negative:would like to have it a bit faster. but for the price you can't cry!
comment:Where to start? I have been looking for a replacement for my (stolen) 70-200G for quite some time. This lens is it! Lighter and smaller than both the 70-200 & 70-400. This is the sharpest lens I have ever shot with! I've tested a few copies in the past but I don't think they were as sharp as my copy. The color is very impressive. Giving beautiful Minolta quality color! The SSM is dead silent and very accurate! It does not seem sluggish at all to me and I think is the fastest focusing lens I have ever owned. I think the 70-400 is a great lens. but I found the ssm a bit sluggish and it was not a very sharp lens at 400mm. This lens seems to be flawless from 70 all the way to 300. If they ever upgrade it to a constant F4 or faster I will defiantly be buying it. I loved my 70-300 sigma. but comparing it to this lens would be a disgrace to this lens. It really puts the sigma to shame!
reviewer#5297 date: Apr-27-2009
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 have experience with this lens
compared to:Tokina 80-400/4.5-5.6
Sony 70-200/2.8
price paid:
missing
positive:light
silent
nice bokeh
negative:hunts a bit when not enough light available
bit short (but I hoped to test a 70-400 G SSM)
comment:Did not work on 700si (film) too bad, doesn't make sense for me to upgrade right now. Though would be a great replacement for 100-300/4.5-5.6.

Liked the lens a lot.
reviewer#5283 date: Apr-23-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
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:Sigma 70-210 APO
price paid:Ł550
positive:Light weight
Fast and silent SSM
Excellent PQ
negative:A stop brighter would have been nice
comment:Coming to this from the big Sigma my first look in the viewfinder was a shock due to the smaller aperture. However in all other respects this is a superb lens to have in your bag. The SSM works like a dream and the light weight makes a welcome change from the 1.5kg f2.8 I am used to carrying around.

My first set of prints arrived yesterday and it shows itself to be the perfect companion to my CZ24-70.
reviewer#5280 date: Apr-23-2009
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:none
price paid:600 Eur new
positive:Sharp, silent, DOF
negative:slow a little
comment:Great lens! Not heavy at all for its range.
reviewer#5224 date: Apr-12-2009
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, Carl Zeiss 16-80.
price paid:525 Pounds (new)
positive:Quick and accurate focusing.
Very sharp.
negative:None
comment:Still think that this is the best lens for this money.
reviewer#5168 date: Apr-5-2009
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:Sigma 70-300 APO, CZ 16-80, Sigma 105 macro, Sony 50 1.4, Minolta 85 1.4, Minolta 11-18, Minolta 70-210, and SIgma 30 1.4.
price paid:400 USD (new cc)
positive:Very sharp, silent AF, solid bokeh, good build quality.
negative:Slow and often inaccurate auto focus, eats battery, bigger than some comparable lenses.
comment:This makes an effective travel combo with the 16-80. Sure a 70-200 might have more speed but you don't want to haul a monster like that around all day long in situations where you don't need that extra speed. This lens is built well (don't let the plastic scare you off) and is light enough to be portable. That said it still is pretty big for something of its speed and does eat up bag space.

The color is good, the sharpness is great, and the autofocus is silent though a lot slower and less accurate than i'd prefer.

All in all this is well worth what I paid. I got it for $400 at the Circuit City closeout. I would not personally consider it worth its higher list price.
reviewer#5162 date: Apr-4-2009
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
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 - AF DT 55-200 F4-5.6
Sony - AF 75-300 F4.5-5.6
Sigma - 18-200 F3.5-6.3 DC
price paid:668 USD (new)
positive:+ Great Colour
+ Sharp
+ Silent
+ Accurate focus
+ Smoothly blur
negative:- Big leans hood
- F5.6
- Min 1.2 m focal distance
comment:Another must-buy lens for upgrading from kit lens. Image quailty fine at all range.
reviewer#5126 date: Mar-31-2009
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 used to own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:675 USD (new)
positive:Bought it for the 300mm and the SSM and it didn't dissappoint. Focuses quickly and accurately. It is very sharp wide open.
negative:Relatively expensive for a slow lens, but for the price I paid, it is well worth it.
comment:I thought long and hard about whether to get this lens (Got mine in January) or wait for the 70-400g. At the end, I chose the lightweight option over the longer focal length option.
reviewer#5104 date: Mar-27-2009
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:Beercan 70-210, BigBeercan75-300, CZ 16-80
price paid:600 euros
positive:Build quality, Silent, accurate focus, compact, sharp even wide open
negative:Lens hood too big, Eats battery power
comment:The lens is smaller than I thought, except the huge hood. Build quality is impressive and manual focusing easy and accurate. SSM can hunt in low light but manual overide solves this point. SSM is obviously silent but not so fast.
I was somehow disapointed with the purple fringing and CA of the Beercan. BigBeercan is better in this respect but image quality of the 70-300G is so much better. No CA at all, and sharpness is good even wide open.
Excellent lens!
reviewer#5072 date: Mar-22-2009
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:100-300mm Minolta
price paid:US$500
positive:Sharp and with beautiful color. One of the best new lens from Sony. I hope Sony will release more G-lens series.
negative:Needs good light for the best shots.
comment:This lens is very useful - sharpness is good and with the great G lens bokeh and color.
It's very portable with great zoom range, 70-300mm.
When traveling, this lens and 28-70 or 24-105 will makes a perfect 2 lens travel set.

One of its strength is the short MFD. At 300mm, with the short MFD, you can have very good portrait shot with great bokeh.

Hope to see more new G lens release from SONY soon. :)
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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