Sony AF 70-400mm F4-5.6 G SSM A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 127    << 1 2 3 4 5 >>
reviewer#8237 date: Nov-12-2010
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:CZ 24-70
Tamron 70-200
Sony 70-300
price paid:
missing
positive:
missing
negative:
missing
comment:
missing
reviewer#8231 date: Nov-11-2010
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 70-300g
price paid:2005 NZD
positive:sharp as
contrast
colours
build
tripod collar
negative:nothing
comment:This lens is great. It is sharper than the Sony 70-300G which softens from 250mm onwards. The 70-400 lens is razor sharp at all focal lengths.
It is surprisingly compact for its range and Sony have done a good job balancing lightweight materials with durability. This means that although a heavy lens it is much lighter than it could have been and is easily hand held.
The tripod collar is a must. This is missing on the 70-300 which is one of the reasons why at 300mm the latter could never be sharp - even on a tripod.
First class engineering and optics.
reviewer#8203 date: Nov-7-2010
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:70-210mm Beercan
price paid:1230 USD (new)
positive:Solid build
Smooth, quiet focus
IQ
negative:Weight
Flimsy feel to hood
comment:This is my first G & SSM lens and I am really enjoying it. I was surprised when I actually saw the size of it in the box. It is a beast! Build is superb and solid, apart from the hood which is plastic and feels like it could break easily. Because of that all metal build for the body it is heavy and I don't know that I would want to be carrying it around all day. Carry this lens in a crowd and you certainly pull the looks. I have had people come to talk to me about my gear on account of this lens (never happened before). As with the other reviews it is sharp wide open and at all focal lengths. I haven't had any problem with flare shooting into the sunlight. Well worth the $$ spent if you can get one. Recently while in South Africa I was able to take a photo of Cape Point from 28 miles away on my A850 using this lens and was able to make out the lighthouse and buildings when zoomed in on the picture.
reviewer#8103 date: Oct-17-2010
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:28-70G
70-200 2.8 Sigma
ad infinitum
price paid:1200
positive:Image
Focusing speed
Range
Colour
Works on a7r2 with laea3 and focusses well
negative:Dont like tripod ring
comment:this lens is my favourite at the moment. In fact, ever since I bought it about 6 months ago. With the stabilisation I even pop quite a few portrait shots off it while I am out, it has a great close focus. I use it for a lot of aviation photography and shoot handheld a lot. It is a weight but nothing too prohibitive and easily manageable. I love the colours, and it sems so easy to focus on the 900. I have been a pro Minolta user for 20 years or so and this stays in my bag with 28-70G.
reviewer#7966 date: Sep-13-2010
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
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:70-300G SSM
Zuiko 50-200 SWD
price paid:1700 (new)
positive:Sharpness
Zoom range
negative:Weight
Small apperture
comment:For the past 5 days i had a test sample of a 70-400G SSM. I wanted to make myself a picture of this lens, before buying another one which I would be no happy with it.

Yesterday I was hiking through a wildlife park, here in Switzerland. It was "always on". The 24-70Z stayed in the bag all day. So weight, for hiking, less an issue, than going to a Zoo, where you will add the low light equipment with you for the aquariums.

24-70 + 70-400 G truly a great combination

Sharpness and its tremendous zoom range makes this lens absolutely perfect.

AF speed leaves room for improvement. The AF is however always better than the 70-300G.

BIF out of the waist won't be fast enough to capture. Till you got a really AF lock, the bird is gone.

In the forest you quickly reach the limits of this lens. Aperture. You need to boost your ISO up to 800+

Anyway, I most probably will get this lens

Update: I purchased the lens today!!

reviewer#7928 date: Sep-2-2010
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:sigma 50-500, tamron 200-500
price paid:1500
positive:everything
negative:heavy
comment:had it a year, it still regularly amazes me. brilliant even wide open. definately the sharpest zoom I have ever used. the sigma and tamron were both good, but aren't in the same class.
reviewer#7800 date: Aug-9-2010
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tokina AT-X 400 5.6
Minolta 500 Reflex
Tamron 70-200 2.8 with 2X TC
price paid:1600 USD
positive:Sharp!!!
Silent AF with limiters
Rotating tripod collar is solid
Window on lens hood makes using a CPL easy
Color helps lens stay cool, even in hot sunlight
Perfect balance on A700w/grip
Not much bigger than 70-200 2.8

negative:Slow AF in low light (focus limiters really help here)
Flimsy feeling hood
Can't use zoom with hood reversed on lens body
Drains battery faster than any other lens I own
Big, attention grabbing size (though some people may see this as a positive)
Bokeh can be a bit harsh in some situations,
comment: I am amazed by this lens every time I use it. It is sharp throughout the range, even wide open. The colors are beautiful. The balance is perfect on my A700 w/grip. I had reached the point where I needed to use some sort of support with the Tokina or Tamron, but I can hand-hold this combo without adverse effects on image quality.

It is a big, heavy lens that draws attention. You WILL get noticed. I actually like the color. It makes it unique and does an excellent job of keeping the lens cool in hot sunshine.

I had to get used to the faster battery drain. It's not an issue for me now, but I can see where I will need to monitor it more closely in all-day shooting situations.

The bokeh is a mixed bag. It can be a bit harsh at times, but other times is quite pleasant. It's not the creamy smooth background of a good prime, but that's not what I really expect from this lens. as time goes on, I learn to recognize those situations and work around them.

I admit that I thought long and hard before I bought this lens. It's a lot of money for a non-pro shooter to part with. But after swallowing hard once at the price, I have not thought about it again. It really is THAT good of a lens.
reviewer#7794 date: Aug-8-2010
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 100-300 APO D
Minolta 100-400 APO
price paid:1250 € (new)
positive:+excellent sharpness
+silent SSM
+tripod mount
+nice colors
+solid construction
+good macro (1:4) capability
negative:-weight
-no zoom lock
-sometimes slow focus
-power consumption
comment:I have received this lens this week and took a long 20km walk with it yesterday. I used a sholder strap hooked to the Manfrotto mount similar to an R-Strap. So even though the lens has its weigth, you can still take it for a long walk.

The sharpness is stunning. Even at 400mm I have never seen similar results. AF is very silent - in fact I thought it wasn´t working first :-)

The lens has no zoom creep at all. However, I would prefer to have a zoom lock to keep the lens from extending when pulling out my camera bag.

AF can be slow at times. Using the focus limiter helps. Take a second battery along. The power consumption is higher than with a Minolta 100-400 Apo.

Having a 1:4 capability at 400mm is a very nice add on. Together with my Kenko spacers (beware, there are two different versions) I can use higher magnification with AF.

The lens hood should be made out of metal. I'm afraid it will brake one day.
reviewer#7744 date: Jul-27-2010
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:Approx £780 new
positive:Sharp
negative:focussing speed
comment:Bought my copy in HK (hence the price) and took it on safari in Zambia and Tanzania.
On a walking safari in Zambia for 3 hrs its a little on the weighty side, but was very very happy with the results!

On safari in Tanzania we were in a vehicle so less of an issue.

If you don't might the weight, its a nice lens to have!
reviewer#7663 date: Jul-5-2010
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:70-300G
price paid:53,900 THB (new)
positive:Probably the sharpest telephoto zoom on the market.
negative:Weight. I wouldn't want to use it on a camera without a metal mount.
comment:The sharpness of this lens is amazing. It knocks the 70-300G into a cocked hat.
reviewer#7641 date: Jun-29-2010
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Kit Lens 18-55
Kit Lens 55-200
CZ 16-35
price paid:2450 CHF
positive:Sharpness, great Colors, fast SSM
negative:Color of the Lens and the Hood -> can't zoom with it on reverse. But i can put up with that
comment:I'm not a professional Photographer so this Review isen't eighter... through out i love this Lens, i'm very happy to own it! If you can put up with the weight and the color it's werth every penny!
P.S. sorry for the bad english
reviewer#7633 date: Jun-28-2010
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
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:SAL70200/f2.8 G
price paid:£924 (HK eBay)
positive:Sharpness, build, image quality, zoom range, SSM silent and fast focus in good light.
negative:Plastic hood feels a bit flimsy, but fixes firmly (it's very new). The zoom ring is set to the front where it is covered by the hood when it is reverse mounted and so you can't get to it. When it's not sunny and you don't need the hood, you still have to remove it (and find somewhere to stow it) or mount it forward just to be able to zoom. The SAL70200 is better in that regard with its zoom ring nearer the camera lens mount.
comment:A big, well built, solid lens. Fast, sure, silent SSM focussing particularly in good light. Very impressive image quality, colour rendition, sharpness. Similar results to the 70-200/f2.8G although Bokeh at the long end is a little harsher.
Great image quality whether on the a700 or a900.
Obviously a slower lens, and in dim light the AF can hunt a bit. As well, it doesn't autofocus with the SAL teleconverters, although with its natural zoom range, that's no big deal for me. 70-400mm (105mm-600mm cropped equivalent on APSC sensors) is plenty enough for my purposes.
Minor design irritation is that the zoom ring is forward and obstructed by the reverse mounted hood, if shooting that way, the opposite of the arrangement on the SAL70200G that is that much easier to handle. Also, the hood is a bit flimsy in build and mount.
Overall, a great investment for sport and wildlife photography.
reviewer#7625 date: Jun-27-2010
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:100-400 Canon
price paid:1700$
positive:Zoom range
sharpness from f6.3 is very good
not heavy for its size
negative:soft wide-open
not the fastest lens
color
comment:
focus limiter could have been between 4-6 meter for extra speed, color and size attracts unwanted attention
reviewer#7622 date: Jun-27-2010
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:70-200mm
price paid:1300€
positive:range, sharpness, build quality
AF in outdoor
negative:heavy, long at 400mm
not as fast as 70-200mm
comment:used it in theatre with a monopod at 3200iso on A900
give really good color rendition and sharp images
reviewer#7591 date: Jun-19-2010
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 75-300
Tamron 70-200 e2.8
price paid:1300
positive:Sharpness is awesome not super fast but faster than my Tamron 70-200 2.8
Great Color
Sharp all the way to 400
Very quiet
Great Build
Nice to have the short end down to 70mm

negative:Only negative is the mount is a little loose on my a350. This may be more the camera as the Tamron 70-200 has a little play on as well.
comment:My first G or expensive lens and I just love it. Could be why it gets all 5's from me. Built like a tank yet I don't mind holding it or packing it around in my bag. I bought it used and it was definitley worth the money. Proved to me you get what you pay for. Better to save your pennies than go cheap. Right now this lens is on my camera 90% of the time.
reviewer#7588 date: Jun-19-2010
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:minolta 80-200 f.2.8 APO HS
minolta 100-300 f.4.5-5.6 APO
price paid:EUR 1350 (new)
positive:Quiet and fast AF
Useful range
negative:Hood feels a bit cheap
comment:Love this lens. Wish i could use it al the time. It only leaves my camera unless it's absolutely necesaary.
reviewer#7574 date: Jun-16-2010
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 200-500
Sony 70-300
price paid:$1599 USD (new)
positive:Sharpness
Color Output
SSM
negative:Build of the Hood
comment:After lots of deliberation I finally decided to buy this lens a couple of months back and realized that it was one of the best decisions that I made.

The Pictures are amazingly sharp and lot of my Canon friends have stated that it is better than the 100-400 L lens which is considered as one of the best lenses in the Canon lineup. Makes me dream as to what the 500G will be like.

The AF is good but not great, but i think its more of a camera issue. Hope the A700 replacement has better AF capabilities.

The only think i didn't like about the lens was the build of the lens hood. It keeps constantly falling off and I almost lost it in the forest once.
reviewer#7572 date: Jun-15-2010
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 18-70mm
Sony 55-200mm
Sigma 105mm macro
Sigma 170-500 mm APO
price paid:1249 euro (new)
positive:Sharp
Fast autofocus
Color
I like the bokeh
negative:
missing
comment:Don't talk abouth weight you know this lens is heavy!
The color of the lens is not important white or silver it dos not matter.
I was used to carry the Sigma 170-500mm lens and this lens is a little heavier.
It is just one day i own this lens but i love it already.
reviewer#7440 date: May-18-2010
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:70-300G
300f4
Sigma 70-200APO
price paid:£1200
positive:Everything!
negative:Nothing!
comment:Can't really fault it.....complaints about 'cheap' lens hood miss the point. Bought from RGB at good price too so very happy all round.
reviewer#7356 date: Apr-26-2010
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:70-300 SSM G
70-200 SSM G
50-500 "Bigma"
price paid:1100 GBP
positive:Sharp
Quick, accurate, quiet focusing
negative:Hood doesn't feel all that special and trying to use the polariser with the hood attached is a pain when hand holding.
comment:I sold my trusty Bigma and 3 other lenses to buy this lens; what an excellent move, even at f5.6 and 400mm it is so sharp. Really looking forward to the first airshow of the season. Need to try it on the A700 next.
reviewer#7114 date: Mar-17-2010
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
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Sony 70-300G
Sigma 100-300 f4 EX DG
price paid:$1599 USD (new)
positive:Very sharp wide open throughout its range,
Fast and Silent Focusing with SSM,
Nice Colors,
Build quality,
Color of the lens - Stands out from most other brands
negative:None realy, though for some weight could be an issue.
High cost, but you get what you pay for.
Bokeh is not as smooth at times at the long end.
SSM tends to drain the battery faster I have noticed.
comment:I decided to take the plunge with this lens and see what all the fuss was about. I definitely found out. Wow! I love this lens and it stays mounted on my camera unless I need a wide shot.
It is sharp throughout its range even wide open! I have found that I have a higher "keep" rate with my pictures as compared to the other two above mentioned lens. Both of them are about the same in terms of sharpness to me but this beauty is in another league. What an amazing lens! It even works with my Sigma 1.4TC EX DG non HSM in auto focus mode.
One draw back to this lens is the bokeh is not as pleasing as the Sigma. It is also not as fast as the Sigma.
If you can afford it you will not be disappointed.
reviewer#7044 date: Mar-9-2010
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta : 100mm/2.8 macro
135mm/2.8
50mm/1.4
73-300/4.5-5.6 (big beercan)
Carl Zeiss : CZ 24-70/2.8 SSM
price paid:1269 euro
positive:- AF is accurate , very silent and fast
- very well build
- sharp , even at 5.6 / 400mm
negative:- weight ?
- lenshood attachment ?
comment:I had a really WOW experience with this lens , much more than with the CZ 24-70/2.8
I bought this to replace my 22y old 75-300/4.5-5.6 (big beercan )
Everything on this lens is better...
Even at 400mm 5.6 you can get very sharp pictures ...
the AF is fast , extreem silent and very accurate...
the lenshood attachment could be better
but I don't care it's made of plastic
distorsion is almost none
nice colors and good contrast
A really G lens !
reviewer#7020 date: Mar-6-2010
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 24 mm f2.8
Minolta 50 mm F1.7
Minolta 200 mm HS apo F2.8
Minolta 1.4 apo type 2 TC
Minolta 2.0 apo type 2 TC
Sony 16-105 mm
Sony 1.4 TC
Tamron 90 mm macro f2.8
Sigma EX IF 180 mm macro apo F3.5
Sony Alpha 700
price paid:1350 euro
positive:# This lens is a great value for money
negative:# lens-hood-fixation could be better.
# Bokeh is good enough, but could be better
# My wish is that this lens was made in the 200-400 mm range with F4.
This because I would like also to buy the Sony 70-200 soon.
comment:I have wrote a large user experiences review of the 70-400 G lens.
In this review a lot of example foto's in good and bad circumstances and als some shots with the Sony 1.4 teleconverter.
You can find this review here:
http://www.dyxum.com/dforum/topic59782_post663856.html#663856

You may als check this test report I made.
Our initial point was "how does this modern and newly developed Sony lens for the digital age fare against the older Minolta 400 prime lens from the analogue film age?".

This comprehensive report can be found on:

http://www.dyxum.com/dforum/comparision-test-sony-70400-vsminolta-400mm-f4_topic46212_page1&SID=ad9fbdeda4ec1d578699b91ze76119bc.html
reviewer#7006 date: Mar-5-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 5,6/400 APO
Sigma 4,5/500 APO
Sigma 4/100-300 APO
Minolta 4,5/400
price paid:
missing
positive:sharpness and contrast
compact an lightweight(for it's range)
well buildt
fast an silent focussing
negative:lens-hood-fixation could be better
comment:This lens is probably the best zoom-lens in his class. The sharpness and contrast are really impressive. Nearly as good as my 4,5/400. For it's range is's handy and lightweight too.
reviewer#6970 date: Feb-26-2010
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 200-500mm
price paid:
missing
positive:Everything!
negative:Not found yet.
comment:Very sharp en fast on the a900 and the a700. I'll like the bokeh.
reviewer#6892 date: Feb-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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 10-20
Sony 16-105
Sony 70-300G
Sony 50mm F1.4
Sony 50mm F2.8
Sony 100mm F2.8
price paid:$1600CDN (new)
positive:Very sharp wide open and all the way to 400mm.
Excellent build quality.
Easily handheld in good light.
Silent precise SSM focusing.
No zoom creep.
Very effective petal lens hood.
negative:Hate the colour. Lens cover needed for wildlife photography.
Len hood, falls off easily in the camera bag, and inside lining is a felt which dust sticks too.
Teleconverters are manual focus (normal for a F5.6 lens though)
AF speed just average.
comment:This lens is the best 400mm zoom on the market, compared to Canon & Nikons etc. offerings. Forget all the nit picking you find in some reviewers, check out some pro reviews like Pop Photo etc, they are easy to find. Currently there just isn't a better 400mm zoom available, glad it's on a Sony.

I admit I hate the colour for wildlife photography, but BH Photo does sell lens covers for this lens (about $90). The lens hood is fine when it's on, and in use, but constantly falls off in my camera bag, and the inner felt lining is a dust collector.

SSM is silent and very accurate, but a little faster would be nice. The focus limiter helps. Myself on SSM lenses, if I'm shooting at infinity, I manualy turn the focus ring which spins freely when not focusing, to infinity and it focuses much faster.

Little pricy, but after having some lower quality long lenses, it was worth the price.

After 9 months I find the lens quite easy to handhold in good light, and if you remove the tripod bracket, it's less than a 3 lb lens. Far easier to handhold than the 500mm 3rd party zooms, and much better IQ, and build quality. Definitely a 'G' class lens.

400mm is sort of a compromise lens compared to 4 lb slower F6.3 500mm zooms, but is suited to a wider range of photographic applications, such as air shows, outdoor sports in good light, and wildlife. 500mm zooms are more of a one trick pony lens (best for wildlife and a tripod), and at F6.3 require good light or the AF system will hunt very easily.

Very happy I didn't go for a 500mm zoom, but I admit I was very tempted, but the disadvantages were too many.
reviewer#6875 date: Feb-5-2010
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Nikon 300mm AF-S
Sigma 100-300 f/4 HSM
Sigma 150-500 OS
price paid:1550 USD New
positive:Great optics
Fairly easy to hand-hold
Good color rendering
Excellent flare control
negative:Slower AF
IQ at 400 not as good as 300
Hood will crossthread.
comment:I bought this lens when I switched over to the Sony Alpha system about 3 weeks ago. I use it with the A850. I have used the Sigma 150-500 OS, Sigma 100-300 f/4 and Nikon 300mm AF-S f/4 lenses to compare (all on Nikon mount)

Overall a nice lens - I thought I would dislike the lens color, but after actually using it, it's not annoying and I really don't notice it.

Optics are very, very good. 70-300 they are extremely sharp. At 400mm the quality takes a little bit of a hit, but images are still great, and I usually can crop very heavy on my A850 when I use for birding.

AF is a bit slow - mainly it performs like a silent screw-drive lens - not horribly slow, and I can track some birds in flight and some sports, but not nearly as fast as my Sigma 100-300 f/4 (on Nikon with HSM) or my CZ 24-70 f/2.8
Thankfully it has a focus limiter (3m - Infinity), which helps a lot.


I also dislike the hood design - it's rather easy to crossthread the hood and not get a good connection. Not a huge issue, but one to be aware of.

Overall I think the lens was well worth the money - I have already gotten some great birding/wildlife samples that I very much like.

I would like to see faster AF and better performance at 400mm, but these are nitpicks.
reviewer#6874 date: Feb-5-2010
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma EX f/4 100-300
Sigma 120-400
price paid:1500 EUR
positive:Sharpness over the whole range even wide open
Contrast (micro-contrast)
Colours
Size - which is smaller than the Sigma EX f/4100-300 for storing
negative:Price a little bit hefty
Bokeh a little bit busy in some situations
Extending
comment:The Sigma EX 4/100-300 was over 2 years my main workhorse. The downside (perhaps of my copy) was that for sharp results it was necessary to stop it down so the constant f/4 wasn't very useful in real life. The range on an APS-C sensor camera was a little bit limiting too. These were the points I'd wished to improve and after some comparison with the Sigma 120-400 I opted for the Sony. No regrets whatsoever. This is a sharp lens and it can be used wide open over the whole range. Silver fish is fine for me. Same the hood. Just take care when mounting that it really "clicks" into the right position - because I noted that if it's not exactly aligned when mounting one doesn't hear the click and then it may loosen. EDIT 2011/05: Equal or even better performance on the A850 making full use of the resolution power of its sensor.
reviewer#6861 date: Feb-4-2010
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 3.7
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
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:Canon 100-400
Nikon 70-300
Olympus 50-200
Pentax 60-250
Sigma 120-400 mm
price paid:
missing
positive:70-400 mm instead of 100-400 mm
really sharp at 300 mm
negative:only sharp until 300 mm at f: 5,6
Autofocus not as fast as Canon, Nikon, not even as fast as Sigma or Olympus
bad hood
much too pricy
to much cheap plastics
ugly silver
comment:for me not worth the price
not good at 400 mm on the Alpha 900
it feels like chaep plastic
and I can`t catch moving animals with the AF
the Sigma 120-400 mm is by far better at 5,6/400 mm and much cheaper and does'nt feeö so cheap!!!
The sharpness and contrast are really high until 300 mm but thats all.
it all depends on the comparison,
most people see just one lens and that should be a very good example, because they bought it...
I can*t unterstand easy sharpness ratings like 5!
4,5 would be the 4,5/400 mm Minolta and 5 the Nikon 2,8/400 mm VR!
reviewer#6847 date: Jan-30-2010
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:70-200G
16-80CZ
SAL 100mm Macro
100-300APO
price paid:1500
positive:Light for a 400mm lens
Very Sharp
Minolta Colors
Focus is very quiet
negative:Poor Hood securing design
Body Color
comment:This is a very good lens. After reading many reviews on this lens, the Tamron 200-500, and the Sigma 150-500 I decided on this one. The primary function to be wildlife photography. I think the lens build is every bit A "G" class lens. It's construction with Metal and Plastic minimizes weight while maintaining a very quality feel. It allows hand holding at the 400mm end with results that are incredible. This Lens is very sharp. Sharper than my copy of the 70-200G at similar magnification. This lens will not replace the 70-200G at similar range. It is not in the same class for speed of operation and low light ability. (But its not suppose to be) The target is a light long length lens that is somewhat portable with excellent IQ. This lens certainly accomplished that task. The Image colors are in line with my other Minolta/Sony units which is still better the the Ziess colors (IMO). While the Body color is not bad, I don't understand it. It does not match the Sony color Scheme. I would much rather see Black Mat Finish on this type Lens. The SSM is a little slower than the 70-200G but it seems to focus more accurately, and is slightly quieter. I don't care for the Tripod mount as it is not hinged like some 3rd party lenses. Overall I am sure that I made the right choice with this unit and will have it in my inventory for a long time.
reviews found: 127    << 1 2 3 4 5 >>

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 127
  • sharpness: 4.87
  • color: 4.91
  • build: 4.56
  • distortion: 4.85
  • flare control: 4.84
  • overall: 4.81

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