Sony FE 70-200 f/4 G OSS Lens Review – Part 1

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20 Responses

  1. Dan says:

    finally moved from blogspot! congrats 🙂

  2. al says:

    hi viktor, thanks for the review!
    so it seems that you can rotate the tripod collar freely across 360 degrees? is there a hard stop for the default landscape position?

  3. robert says:

    if you can explain
    i shot 2 photos on sony A6000, head shot
    1 photo sel 70 200 f4 g lens, 200mm zoom and other with 55-210 sel 210mm zoom
    head is on both frames same size, as i was reading,… if its fe lens it should be 300mm on apc senzor
    so head should be more zoomed in or fill more frame
    im confused, why in both frames head is same size

    thank you very much if you could explain me this

    • Hi Robert,

      I understand that you are confused, because it is indeed slightly strange, but the trick is that most lenses are “calibrated” in regard to 35mm format or as used to be called today – full frame.

      Your SEL 55-210 indeed gives you 82-315mm FOV respectively and your FE 70-200 f/4 OSS gives you 105-300mm FOV equivalent.

      In other words, lenses designed for smaller sensors, still have same nominated focal length as lenses designed for bigger or smaller sensors, because FL is property of the lens alone and has nothing to do with sensor behind.

      Unlike FE 70-200 f/4 OSS, SEL 55-210 f/5.6-6.3 won’t cover full frame if mounted on Sony A7 (e.g.) camera though. (You will see hard black vignetting around edges on full frame).

      Many people are confused because they expect that lenses designed for their APS-C (or MFT) cameras will have FL nomenclature related to respective sensor size, which is not the case. (Except some lenses for really small sensor sizes in smartphones or PS cameras)

      On the other hand, if the FL will be adjusted for the sensor size (your SEL 55-210 will be named as SEL 85-315) I believe that even more confusion will be involved.

      Just remember, that no matter for which system lens is designed , FL written on the lens is always valid in respect to 35mm format (full frame). If you keep using Sony A6000 and want to know to what FOV your lens will refer on that body, multiply FL by 1,5x as you already know and you will get an idea.

      (There are some specifics related to tele zoom lenses, such as focus breathing, which might result in wider FOV than nominated FL should have, but that’s another story, and Sony FE 70-200 f/4 OSS doesn’t suffer from that phenomenon much.)

      Therefore – this might be good and bad news for you at the same time. While you were probably expecting to get more reach with FE lens than you have with your SEL 55-210, which isn’t the case, with both lenses you already have equivalent of 300mm FL FOV.

      If you need more, I can recommand Minolta 100-300 f/4.5-5.6 APO D lens with LA-EA2/4 which will give you FOV equivalent of 150-450mm lens. (there are better lenses of course, but this is good IQ/price option). Another option is to put teleextender on top of your SEL 55-210mm lens, such as Sony VCL-DH1758 e.g. You will need step-up ring, but its probably cheapest way how to get more reach prior to cropping.

      Hope it helps,¨

  4. robert says:

    thanks you very much i was more looking samples and now i understand what you saying
    i liked quality of sony fe 70-200 f4 so i bought it, is ti possible to put some extender or somehow make this fe 70-200 f4 longer, about flare is it possible to make it less with some filter
    i have tokina 70-210 4-5,6 sdII but its hard to manual focus on flying bird, and its much softer than FE
    ill try with Minolta 100-300 f/4.5-5.6 APO D
    before i bought fe 70 200 f4 i was looking everywhere some review to compare SEL 55-210 vs FE 70 – 200 F4, if you ll have maybe time , interest to do it. I think there is lot of people buying sony e mount, and its all interchangeable so even if they are not in same quality class i think its very interesting, specialy for aps sensor buyers


    • Hi Robert,
      thank you for your support 🙂

      It is possible to put tele-extender on Sony FE 70-200 f/4 OSS, but I never did it and can’t comment on resulting image quality.

      Sony FE 70-200 f/4 OSS has 72mm diameter, so you will need to find something like this –

      For Sony SEL 55-210 f/5.6-6.3 which has 49mm front diameter, you might try already mentioned Sony VCL-DH1758 –
      with a step-up ring – 49-58mm –
      Most other systems such as canon EF, Nikon F, Sony A etc. have also tele-converters that comes between the lens and camera.
      Those usually gives much better quality than above listed tele-extenders that comes on front of the lens, but Sony doesn’t make any for E mount yet. Probably because this solution means loss of light, and their young AF system might have problems with it.
      e.g. Canon EF 2x TC III tele converter, will make of 70-200mm f/2.8 zoom – 140-400mm zoom, but f/5.6, from the same f/4 zoom, you will end up with f/8 and that is fairly slow.
      Above mentioned tele extenders doesn’t affect (in theory) light, so all lens functions could be used as usual, at the price of image quality loss.
      I proposed Minolta 100-300 f/4.5-5.6 APO D because it can be found for very reasonable price and image quality is slightly above SEL 55-210.
      If you want top BIF system, Sony E mount is probably not the best choice, but you can take a look at some professional Sony G lense (70-400 f/4-5.6 SSM II or Tamron SP 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC USD) for Sony A mount and one of the proposed adapters – Sony LA-EA2 or LE-EA4, that will give you quite fast phase detection AF. However, you should be prepared for high price and large and heavy combo.
      Some people uses Bridge Super Zoom cameras such as Panasonic Lumix DMC – FZ1000 with great success, but I never tried one (I am rather manual focus guy).
      I think I posted few comparison shots between SEL 55-210 and FE 70-200 f/4 G OSS in one part of my review, but I’ll have to take another look.
      I will check about reported focal length on my A6000 when I get back home, but as far as I remember, you can see focal length in the playback mode, but not in the live view.

      Thank you again for yours support, if you ever decide to buy anything from BH, Adorama or Amzaon, you can use any of our afiliate links (even for entirely different products) for your purchase. We will than obtain small amount from the vendor that will not cost you anything.

      I hope this reply helps a bit and wish you lot of great shots,

  5. robert says:

    ah yes one more thing, i dont see on sony A6000 focal length, when i put sony fe 70 200 f4 or 55-210 sel
    so ill have to remember for every photo what focal length it is, i send some very small donation

  6. robert says:

    thank you for all info, i did put images on computer and there is written which zoom was used
    could i just put Sony VCL-DH1758 with step down ring 72-58, is this too big difference and would be everywhere vignetting

  7. Jazz1 says:

    Just ordered this lens. What brand table toptripod is that in the picture? Is it stable enough for this lens?

  8. Gabriel says:

    Thanks to this review I will for sure not be buying the 70-200mm. I was having a hard time with the price for an F4 lens but at least I was expecting much better performance overall. To be beaten by the Canon when comparing them at F4 vs F2.8 was just too much. Edges also are too bad for my taste and money so I will keep waiting or keep adding legacy for now. 🙂

  9. Ola says:

    You write the best reviews on the net. I really like your mix of test charts, text and real world examples.

  1. September 24, 2014

    […] The first part of this review can be found here – […]

  2. October 1, 2014

    […] first part of this review can be found here – and the second here – […]

  3. October 7, 2014

    […] Introduction Sony FE 70-200 f/4 G OSS is a full frame standard tele-zoom lens made for Sony E-mount cameras. It is a longest lens in a so called holly  […]

  4. October 9, 2014

    […] 1st part of the review 2nd part of the review 3rd part of the review […]

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