I see the Sony G Master lens lineup as lenses targeted at the bread-and-butter pro and semi-pro market (weddings, portraiture, etc)—big and heavy and expensive however.
The Sony FE 50mm f/1.8 and the Sony FE 70-300mm fill holes in the lineup that appeal for compactness and portability.
One reader wrote a quizzical note, wondering why I am bothering to discuss what one might call “consumer level” glass? Because it’s part of the ongoing Sony juggernaut, that is, a steady march (fast jog really!) towards a complete full-frame system. Along with lenses, if the Sony A9 rumors are true, CaNikon are in deep sh*t as of later this year. This is not to say I intend to do much more than a quick look at the FE 70-300mm or the FE 50/1.4, but they form context for me in evaluating the higher-end offerings. I did cover the Nikon 70-300 years ago.
The about $1198 Sony FE 70-300mm f/4.5-56 G OSS covers a key telephoto range at relatively low size and weight. On an APS-C sensor like the Sony A6300, its field of view is equivalent to a 105-450mm, neatly addressing the headache of getting into the super-telephoto range while traveling. While not a small lens, its 850g weight is very reasonable for the range it delivers to a full frame sensor.
I do like the fact that it is a G lens with the programmable button on the lens and with the switches on the lens to control image stabilization and focusing range and manual/autofocus—good!
With a very modern design and a price more than double the price of the Nikon AF-S VR Zoom-NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED , it seems we should expect quite a strong performer. The optical formula of the Sony FE 70-300mm looks to be much more aggressive, including four aspherical elements, whereas the Nikon 70-300mm has none.
Crucially, the Sony FE 70-300mm includes optical image stabilization which in combination with IBIS (in body image stabilization) should offer outstanding shake reduction on the full-frame Sony mirrorless cameras. Since the A6300 lacks IBIS, the OSS feature in the lens is critical, but one might expect less stabilization rigor, and the smaller pixels of the A6300 are even more demanding of keeping movement down.
Spanning a useful range of telephoto focal lengths, the FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G OSS from Sony is a versatile zoom lens designed for full-frame E-mount mirrorless cameras. Complementing the reach, this lens' optical design incorporates four aspherical elements and two extra-low dispersion glass elements to control spherical and chromatic aberrations throughout the zoom range for increased clarity, sharpness, and color accuracy. A Nano AR coating has also been applied to individual lens elements to minimize lens flare and ghosting for increased contrast and color fidelity when working in strong lighting conditions. Well-suited to a variety of telephoto needs, this zoom lens balances both a versatile focal length range along with a sophisticated optical design for maintained image quality.
Working in concert with the optical assets, this lens also incorporates an Optical SteadyShot image stabilization mechanism that minimizes the appearance of camera shake for sharper handheld shooting. Also benefitting sharpness is a linear actuator autofocus system, which offers smooth, quiet focusing performance to support both stills and movie recording applications. An internal focusing mechanism is also employed, which limits the overall length of the lens when focusing and both a focus range limiter and focus hold button facilitate more intuitive handling. Additionally, the lens is designed to be dust- and moisture resistant for use in trying conditions.
- Telephoto zoom 70-300mm lens is designed for full-frame Sony E-mount mirrorless cameras, however, it can also be used with APS-C models where it provides a 105-450mm equivalent focal length range.
- Four aspherical elements pair with two extra-low dispersion elements to minimize both spherical and chromatic aberrations throughout the zoom range for sharper, clearer imagery.
- A Nano AR Coating has been applied to reduce surface reflections, flare, and ghosting for increased contrast and more accurate color rendering.
- Optical SteadyShot image stabilization helps to minimize the appearance of camera shake for sharper imagery when shooting handheld with slower shutter speeds.
- A linear actuator offers fast, precise, smooth, and silent autofocus performance that is ideal for video applications as well as stills shooting.
- An internal focusing design helps to quicken focusing speeds as well as maintain the overall length of the lens when focusing for more intuitive handling.
- A dedicated AF/MF switch lets you quickly switch between auto and manual focusing methods.
- Focus range limiter lets you constrain the usable focusing range to either 9.8' to infinity or the full range of 3' to infinity.
- Focus hold button can be used to stop the autofocus system when more control over focusing on a particular subject is desired.
- Rounded nine-blade diaphragm contributes to a pleasing bokeh quality.
- Dust- and moisture-resistant construction benefits working in harsh environments.
|Aperture range:||f/4.5 - 5.6 to f/22 - 29|
|Focusing range:||2.95 ft / 90 cm
|Angle of view:||84° - 8° 10'|
|Number of elements/groups:||16 elements in 13 groups
4 aspherical elements pair + 2 extra-low dispersion elements
Nano AR Coating
|Diaphragm:||9 blades, rounded|
|Magnification:||0.31X = 1:3.2|
|Weight, nominal:||1.88 lb / 854 g|
|Dimensions:||Approx. 3.31 x 5.65 in / 84 x 143.5 mm|
|Street price:||about $1198|
|Supplied with:||ALC-F72S 72mm Front Lens Cap
R1EM Rear Lens Cap for E-Mount Lenses (Dark Gray)
Lens Hood Case
Limited 1-Year Warranty