Sony FE 70-200mm f/4 G: Apologizing to a lens.

Apologizing to an inanimate object does not make sense admittedly. Yet doing so seems right with this lens. Perhaps I should direct any apology to the designers or marketers.

What was my issue with the Sony FE 70-200mm f.4 G back when I had the Sony A7? As the ultimate FE mount lens it was not f/2.8 mainly. Looking back that was really it. Being new to the market it was quite expensive as well.

What changed?

They released a proper f/2.8 and predictably it is priced and sized like a new f/2.8 i.e. beyond what I am willing to pay. Now that I am once again in the FE camp I needed a constant aperture tele zoom. What had been perceived as an expensive flagship zoom minus a stop now made sense as a smaller, lighter more cost effective option to the new flagship.

Even better used. When a new product is released my first question is always, “What do they want for the old one?” To help me out the market usually floods with old models others sold to get the latest and greatest. This really clean example came from Amazon 2nd hand and ran about $400 less than a new one.

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Thoughts next.

  • After having carried around full frame DSLRs with 70-200mm lenses this lens is much lighter and smaller.
  • Very sharp starting at f/4.
  • Much better ‘quantity’ and quality of bokeh than I expected. See flowers from Duke Gardens below to see what I mean.
  • Fast and silent focusing.
  • Great colors.
  • While this will matter in some cases and for some shooters losing a stop of light was not nearly as big of a deal as I thought it would be in real life use. Never became an issue. This is helped by the A7ii admirable low light/high ISO (I top out at 3200 usually and 6400 occasionally) performance.
  • Having a full frame and an APS-C this lens pulls double duty as a 70-200mm and 105-300mm respectively. A great portrait and walkabout lens with the A7ii. Performs well with the a6000 where reach and fast focus is needed.

To be honest it performs way better than I could have expected. While I regret not giving it a fair chance before I am definitely glad I have it now.

Here is a link to an ongoing sample gallery and below are some samples. Happy shooting.

-ELW