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

reviews found: 168    << 1 2 3 4 5 6
reviewer#4215 date: Oct-11-2008
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 have experience with this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:rented
positive:sharp
hand holdable
well built
ssm focus
image quality
very useful zoom range
negative:wish it was constant f4
comment:We rented this lens for 2 weeks on an African Safari and fell in love with it. Love the fast, accurate and silent SSM auto focus. Very nice image quality and very sharp.
Now I have to buy it for my girlfriend !!

Combined with the built in anti shake technology of the Sony dslr's, this is a GREAT lens for any situation.
I was very impressed with this lens.

We rented it from Matt at Alpha Rentals...he provides a great service !!
reviewer#4186 date: Oct-8-2008
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 SSM
price paid:780€
positive:Excellent lens, very fast focus, great bokeh, great colors and sharpness.Excellent range.
negative:None
comment:
missing
reviewer#4141 date: Sep-28-2008
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:
missing
price paid:715 Euro (new)
positive:SSM
sharpness
weight
negative:none
comment:Excellent lens in this zoom range. It's my favourite walk-around lens. Focus is extremely precise (thanks SSM!) and very fast even if not extremely fast. Finally A100's AF-C works!
The lens is sharp, no CA, excellent colors, build quality very good (all plastic of very good quality), no creep or defect at all. I would rated it 4.5, if I had this option.
SSM works with my Dynax 7. Another positive point for this lens.
I wished a wider aperture (maybe a constant f/4.5) but I can live with it.

A100 + 70-300 is an excellent "light package". I can bring camera and lens everywhere, without worries for weight, or cost. It's not a 1,5 kilo lens and 2.000 Euro worth!
reviewer#4074 date: Sep-9-2008
sharpness: 2
color: 1
build: 1
distortion: 3
flare control: 2
overall: 1.8
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:18-200mm, 500mm reflex, 100mm macro (all Sony)
price paid:$799cdn
positive:Acceptable, barely
negative:lens creeps
poor construction
huge, awkward
comment:In terms of picture quality it might pass for OK but normally we expect more for the price. Pictures are somewhat sharp. Often we see lens performance drop at extreme ranges of the zoom, but not so much on this lens.

Everyone ranting and raving about this lens does have to come back to down Earth, however. It should come with an elastic to deal with the lens creep. Yes, in spite of other testimonials, the lens creeps, and anyone who says otherwise is dead dead wrong!!!!! If you disagree, walk with the lens as I have. Indeed if you walk a short distance you may not notice it, and I am sure that is the case with most users.

Other design flaws such as the reversal of the zoom and focus rings, do not bother me as much.

Overall I can say it is not a very bad buy. The marks are heavily distorted because there is not enough bias on build and I was asked to inflate the low marks by a moderator, so I am not sure why, but I complied. In reality the overall mark should be lower.
reviewer#4070 date: Sep-7-2008
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:Zeiss Vario-Sonnar 16-80 F3.5-4.5
Tamron 60 F2 Di II macro
Minolta AF 100 F2
Minolta AF 28-135mm F4-4.5
price paid:€ 789 (2008)
positive:Zoom to weight ratio
Image quality
Focussing speed, especially when range limit switched on
(Update 2015:) Much better flare control than Minolta AF 28-135
negative:Aperture only F/4.5-5.6
Seduces to handheld pictures beyond what is possible with super steady shot
[Update 2021:] Absence of zoomlock. Zoomcreep getting worse over time
comment:This is an absolutely superb lens
If trying to make a picture that is just beyond the lower focusing range while range limit is switched on you get no warning; it just seems dead. This behavior is different from camera focused lenses (screw drive type focussing).
reviewer#4060 date: Sep-6-2008
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 70-300 macro, beercan, superbeercan, Sony 75-300
price paid:700 EURO (new)
positive:Great image quality, very sharp even wide open, very fast and silent focus, great colors, build quality, low weight
negative:none!
comment:This is the greatest zoom I've ever seen. Very sharp wide open at all focal lenght, great colors, no CA!
I love this lens. The AF is very fast and silent. When the limiter is activated the AF is very fast!
I've just tested this lens on my new A900 and I confirm my review!
reviewer#4026 date: Aug-31-2008
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
price paid:800 USD (New)
positive:Convenient range, relatively light weight, silent and rapid focusing, extremely high image quality
negative:Bulky; lens hood is absurdly large
comment:This is a wonderful lens. It offers convenient range, high image quality, and relatively low weight, all in one affordable (for a G lens) package. It pairs particularly well with the Zeiss 16-80 zoom as a two-lens travel kit that produces images of tremendous quality.
reviewer#3937 date: Aug-6-2008
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
KM 75-300
Sigma 70-200 EX HSM
Vivitar Series I 100-400
price paid:799 USD (new)
positive:IQ/sharpness
Autofocus speed and accuracy
Bokeh
Quiet
Weight
negative:Slow (compared to f2.8-4 lenses)
comment:I have had this lens for a couple of months now, shooting lots of baseball (among other things). Previously I was using my 70-200/2.8 and a Sony 1.4TC. The 70-300, though, is much more pleasing, due to smaller size,lighter weight, faster and more accurate focus, and wider range. [Obviously it will not replace the 70-200 for low light shooting.]

The lens complements both the A700 and 7D nicely. The SSM focusing really improves shooting with the 7D.

This is a terrific lens and highly recommended.
reviewer#3900 date: Jul-29-2008
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 10-20, sigma 135-400, sony 18-250, tamron 28-75 2.8
price paid:799 (new)
positive:fast and silent focus, very sharp wide open
negative:a little big to carry with hood reversed
comment:just got this lens, i am going to have to see about rethinking my carry bag, this is a lens that i can see being on my camera a lot. i cant wait to test it on sports, it is very clear and clean at high iso's too.
reviewer#3875 date: Jul-24-2008
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:Tokina 100-300 f/4 ATX
Minolta 300 f/4 G
Minolta 70-210 f/4 (beercan)
price paid:$799 (new)
positive:sharpness
focus accuracy
quiet
negative:reversal of zoom/focus rings
length of lens with hood
62mm filter size
no tripod mount
comment:I received this lens a few weeks ago and am very pleased overall. I have tested it on the 7D, A-100 and A-700. It is sharp and focuses very well (and quietly!), particularly on the A-700 and when the limiter is turned on.

My overall feeling is that it isn't quite as sharp or as fast focusing as the 300 f/4 G, but I guess that is to be expected since it is a zoom and slower at 300mm. However, it is sharper and faster focusing than the other zooms I have compared it to (and I find both of those to be pretty sharp). I tried shooting some flying birds and I actually think this lens focuses more accurately than my 300 f/4 although it takes longer to do so (i.e. the 70-300 gets the focus right more often than the 300 f/4 although it doesn't rotate through its range of focus as quickly).

The bokeh is also very nice.

I wish the hood wasn't so obtrusive, but I guess that's what it requires.

If it had a tripod mount, I would like it better and it is plasticky, but not cheap feeling.

The close focus is nice.

I don't think there is a better zoom in this range (70-300 or 100-300) available at any price.
reviewer#3852 date: Jul-14-2008
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:100-300 APO Minolta
70-200 2.8 G SSM Sony
80-200 2.8 G Minolta
price paid:$799.00 USD (new)
positive:Sharp
Fast, quiet focus
Great color
Smaller and lighter than 70-200 2.8 G
negative:Hard to find one available for sale
4.5-5.6 vs f4.0 or faster

comment:I was torn between this lens and adding a TC to my 70-200 2.8G SSM Sony lens. I may still pickup the TC, but I am really happy with this lens and it is less expensive than the 1.4 and 2.0 TCs (combined). I only recently purchased this lens but I find I grab it more often when traveling and on the road than the much heavier and bulkier 70-200. It's much easier to lug around and I'm very happy with the results. The A700 is so good at higher ISO, that I often don't need the faster lens and this one gives me the additional 200-300 reach.

I would also give this a 4.5 for build if that was an option. Not metal, but very solid - much more so than the Minolta 100-300 APO lens.
reviewer#3848 date: Jul-13-2008
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 75-300
Minolta 70-210 f/4
price paid:799 USD (new)
positive:IQ
Bokeh
Fast and quiet AF
Colors
negative:Size
comment:This lens earns it's right to the "G" designation. It has got a bad rap from the plastic build, but the plastic build feels very high quality. The lens is sharp from wide open and the colors and bokeh are great. Little to no CA shows up when it is wide open, which is a huge improvement over the beercan.

The autofocus is fast and is super fast when the limiter is activated. It is also nice to have the manual focus override. It takes a little bit to get used to because the focus ring is were the zoom ring normally is.

Even though it is 4.5-5.6, it is a very heavy lens. It feels good, but with the hood on it can draw a lot of attention.
reviewer#3831 date: Jul-10-2008
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 75-300 (kit lense)
Minolta 70-210 Beercan
price paid:$820 CAD (new)
positive:Non Rotating front Element
Sharp across all ranges
Great colours
SSM focusing
negative:62mm Filter thread
Build quality could be better
comment:I would have liked a metal body but this lense is very high quality plastic. I would have rated the build quality 4.5 if it was available. There is a bit of lense creep but I don't usually keep this thing hanging around my neck. The 62mm filter thread isn't standard which subtracts from the lense. The lense hood is huge which could be good or bad. It is effective none the less. The SSM focusing is fast, accurate and quiet.
reviewer#3820 date: Jul-8-2008
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.7
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 75-300
CZ 16-80
price paid:799USD
positive:Fast focus
Sharp with nice bokeh
No lens creep
Weight
negative:Focus and zoom reversed
Needs light
can not you polarizer with petal lens hood
comment:2 months ownership now. I can not give it a 5 for sharpness
as camera/lens combo(a350 and a100)or OPERATOR can not seem to get the great sharpness others speak of. I do like the weight as this tends to help me stabilize it for handheld shots. Color and bokeh both are outstanding as is overall feel. The reversed focus and zoom ring can be really annoying at times since the focus ring is on a clutch and can be moved when on AF. Build rating is for the fact that the lens has some slight twist on both my body mounts and the reversed focus/zoom.
Over all I find this a very nice lens to have in my bag and worthy of the asking price.
reviewer#3760 date: Jun-26-2008
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
price paid:799 EUR (new)
positive:Sharp
Excellent bokeh & colour rendition
Silent & fast AF even on D7D
Focus limiter
Very good build quality
No chromatic aberrations
negative:Slow. Should have been f4 all the way through.
Much bigger than the 100-300 APO it replaces.
comment:I bought this lens one month ago as an upgrade to my old Minolta 100-300 APO and I use it for handheld wildlife shooting, especially birding. The AF is fast and - above all - accurate, even on my old D7D, so it will be even better on the A700, I suppose. It may not be too fast but it makes up for that by performing flawlessly within its exact specifications. It is a valuable tool and worth its money. I must add that I have not tested this lens on a "full frame" 35mm camera, so it's hard to say how it will do on the upcoming flagship Alpha.
reviewer#3740 date: Jun-20-2008
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 70-300 APO DG
Minolta/Sony 75-300
Tamron 70-300
price paid:735 new
positive:Very sharp, corner to corner, even from 200-300mm.
SSM silent quick focusing.
Very effective large petal lens hood.
Solid well built quality lens.
Petal lens hood, non-rotational front element.
negative:Lacks the macro feature of the Sigma & Tamron 70-300's.
Wish it was an F4 lens.
If you use a polarizer, you could never reach it to adjust with the huge petal lens hood.
Focus and zoom ring reversed, takes getting use to.
comment:Just replaced my Sigma 70-300 APO DG with the Sony 70-300 'G' SSM, because I was disappointed with the soft performance of an entry level telephoto beyond 200mm (all under $300 entry level 70-300's are soft beyond 200mm). Wow what a diffence. Yes, it's a much heavier build quality, more glass 62mm filter size and more groups of lenses. Huge very effective petal lens hood. Excellent build quality. The focus ring and zoom ring are reversed, takes a little getting use to. Quick silent SSM focusing, great for nature photos.

If you are looking for fast glass this lens is not it. It's speed is average (F5.6), but it's performance leaves the entry level telephoto's way behind. At 2.5X the price of the entry level 70-300 lenses it should. You are paying for a 'G' build quality, not speed. This lens lives up to the 'g' reputation for quality. It's Sony's cheapest of the 'G' class lenses.

This lens is not as fast as the Sigma 100-300 F4, but it's smaller, and more compact (but larger than entry level 70-300mm lenses). Far less conspicuous compared to a white Sony 70-200 'g' lens. Less expensive than the larger faster 100-300 F4 Sigma.

When using a polarizer, I'll have to use a screw in rubber hood to rotate it, since the Sony petal 70-300 'G' lens hood is so deep. But with a non rotational front element, it will be easy to adjust.

No lens slip or play experienced in my copy. Nicest built zoom lens I've owned over many years of photography.

If lens speed is not a requirement, but quality and performance are, this is an excellent lens.

Definitley a worthy upgrade from an entry level 70-300 or 75-300 lens.

These are my initial impressions, I'm still evaluating it further, but so far it's everything I expected (quality not speed). I only rated the build quality a 4, because of the reversal of the zoom and focusing ring, and it's not possible to use a polarizer with the Sony lens hood (screw in rubber hood required when using polarizers).

Overall quality is everything it should be in a 'G' lens.
reviewer#3621 date: May-22-2008
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 75-300 F4.5-5.6 Big Beercan, Sigma 70-300 F4-5.6 APO DG Macro
Minolta 80-200/2.8 HS G
price paid:
missing
positive:Sharp even at 300mm, low CA. SSM quiet focus. Black.
negative:Quickly drops to F/5.6. (More quickly than Sigma or Minolta similar focal length zooms).
comment:This lens replaces my Sigma 70-300 APO DG Macro as a general telephoto zoom. A lot less conspicuous than the white 80-200 HS G. I have only shot a hundred or so frames at the WaterSki centre, but it has proven to be sharp wide open even at 300mm. Nice Bokeh. Auto focus fast enough for sports photography on A700, the range limiter useful. I can see this lens getting more use than the bigger heavier white lens.

It is F/4.5 from 70 to 85mm, F/5 from 85 to 130mm, F/5.6 from 135 to 300mm.

It will take some time to get used to the zoom ring being in front of the focus ring. I also find that the lens has some slight rotational play on my A700, most of my other lenses are a tighter fit. The play is noticeable when using the fairly stiff zoom ring.
reviewer#3408 date: Mar-29-2008
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:100Macro(D),200Macro.
price paid:
missing
positive:Sharpness,Contrast,Bokeh,Quiet.
negative:Size. Slow.
comment:Real new generation 'G' lens. The image quality is superb like primes. Strongly recommended.
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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