- Very well built lens with excellent zoom and focus feel
- Fast and accurate autofocus
- Sharp over most of the frame right from f/4
- Good bokeh
- Versatile focal range
- Very good chromatic aberration control
- Good contrast and neutral color
- Optically Stabilized
- Poor flare control
- Some edge softness at 200mm, even stopped down
- Focal length shortens considerably at close focus
The FE 70-200mm f/4 G OSS is a high quality telephoto zoom lens that produces sharp images with pleasing bokeh and good color and contrast. The lens focuses very fast and the optical stabilizer allows for an extra two to three stops of handholdability. It’s also a very well built lens with great haptics. If you need a native telephoto zoom, it’s a great option. However, given the high $1,499 price tag, I expected just a bit more. It’s a very good lens, but performance wise, it’s about on par with my $599 Canon 70-200mm f/4L. Now, that lens is a very good lens, and the FE is very good as well, but Sony is asking $250 more than the Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS (which is optically superior) and $100 more than the Nikon variant. For the extra cash, you’d hope for some extra performance.
Still, price aside, it’s a very good zoom lens, and one that will fit perfectly for shooters on both the full-frame A7 bodies and the APS-C E-Mount cameras. If you can get over the price premium, it’s an excellent option for the Sony shooter.
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10 thoughts on “Review: Sony FE 70-200mm f/4 G OSS”
I have the FE 70-200 and the FE 24-240, as well as a Canon 70-200 f/2.8. I use all of them on Sony A7S, A7R, A7 II and A7R II bodies.
I find the FE 70-200’s image quality far inferior to the Canon 70-200’s and probably about the same, if not worse, than the FE 24-240. It is very soft on the edges and in the corners, and if you attempt to use it for astrophotography you’ll find you get both star stretch and coma on the edges and in the corners.
For the price, the Sony FE 70-200 f/4 is NOT a good deal!!
Buy a Canon lens and Metabones adapter. You’ll spend about the same and get good image quality across the full sensor of a full frame camera. Or spend a lot less and get about the same image quality with the FE 24-240 and get a 24 -> 240mm field-of-view.
While I agree that the Canon 70-200s are a good option for many people. I have gone that route as well for my own kit (with the 70-200/4L), but it sounds to me like you have a copy of the lens with some optical defects, as your description of the performance doesn’t match my experience with the Sony at all. I do think the lens is a bit overpriced (as I mentioned in my conclusion), but it’s still a very good lens.
My copy of the 70-200 blows away my copy of the 24-240 in IQ. I did get one bad copy first which was horrendous but the second one is phenomenal. Really is worth the cash!
My copy is exceptional sharp and is sharper than my Minolta 80-200 APO HS and not far off the focus speed.
Can you use it with a speed booster? How would the Cannon IS version perform on the new A6300? What is the best use of $1000 in this case? Cannon or a used Sony? I always enjoy your pictures by the way, you seem to have a better eye than most bloggers for sure 🙂
You should be able to use it with a Speed Booster. My guess is it would work quite well, but I haven’t tested the a6300 yet.
Best review I’ve seen of this lens. Good job!