Sony 70-400mm F4-5.6 G Series SSM Super Telephoto Lens for A Alpha DSLR Cameras

Sony
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About Sony 70-400mm F4-5.6

Thanks to a new LSI drive circuit, the Sony SAL70400G2 lens offers faster, more accurate autofocusing with four times (TBD) faster object tracking performance than the current 70-400mm F4 5.6 G SSM lens. The SSM (Super Sonic Wave Motor) takes advantage of piezoelectric elementsthat change shape when voltage is applied to deliver ideal lens attributes such as a large rotational distance at low speeds and swift start/stop response. The smooth, high-speed performance contributes to excellent response when shooting moving subjects.

Sony's Nano AR Coating with nano-precision structure contributes to high-quality images with reduced ghosting and flare. This proprietary Sony coating technology features aligned microscopic asperities that reduce the effects of the reflective interfacial boundary on the surface of the lens, thus dramatically reducing the amount of undesirable reflections entering the lens.

The Sony 70-400mm F4-5.6 is commonly used for Wildlife photos and more.One reason why the Sony 70-400mm F4-5.6 is popular is because of its Fast / accurate auto-focus

Summary of Customer Reviews

(4)
Customers most agreed on the following attributes:
Pros:
Fast / accurate auto-focus (4),Consistent output (3)
Cons:
Heavy (4)
Best Uses:
Wildlife photos (4),Landscape/scenery (3)

Sony 70-400mm F4-5.6 Features

  • Uncommonly fast aperture: The f/4-5.6 aperture enables shooting at higher shutter speeds to freeze sports action.
  • Super Telephoto Zoom: This superb 70-400mm zoom lens is an excellent choice for a wide range of medium to longdistance telephoto applications. (35mm equivalent when used with APS-C format cameras: 105-600mm.)
  • Superb flexibility: The 5.7x zoom range goes all the way from 70mm, suitable for portraits and other medium-angle shots, to a super-telephoto 400mm.
  • G Series Optical Performance: Sony's G-Series lenses are designed for maximum descriptive power, maintaining excellent peripheral light characteristics and maximizing contrast even at the edges of the frame.
  • SSM (Super Sonic wave Motor): SSM (Super Sonic wave Motor) is supremely responsive: faster, smoother, quieter focusing.
  • ED (Extra-low Dispersion): Two ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass elements minimize chromatic aberration for sharp, clear images with well defined colors.
  • Superb Minimum Focusing Distance: With the ability to focus as closely as 5 feet (1.5m), this telephoto lens also lets you move in for dramatic shots of people, natural subjects and close-up details.
  • 0.27x maximum magnification: 0.27x maximum magnification.
  • 0.27x maximum magnification: Works with the SteadyShot image stabilization built into Sony D-SLRs.
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization: Works with the SteadyShot image stabilization built into Sony Alpha D-SLRs.
  • Three Focus Hold Buttons: The lens enables to you firmly lock in focus for creative control. Focus range limiter can be set to speed auto-focus response. Focus Hold also enables image preview with the Alpha 900 D-SLR.
  • Smooth Manual Focusing: An easy-grip focus ring on the lens barrel gives you a solid hands-on "feel in manual focusing".
  • Multi-Element Design: The SAL-70400G incorporates 18 elements in 12 groups for high optical precision from the center of the image all the way to the corners.
  • Internal Focusing: Focus is accomplished by moving an internal element group, so focus is faster.
  • Circular Aperture: Because the aperture blades form a near circle at the wide openings used for low-light shots, spot-light sources have a pleasing circular defocused effect. The lens features nine aperture blades.
  • Auto Clutch: For reliable operation, the manual focus ring does not rotate in auto-focus mode.
  • Works with Optional Teleconverters: Compatible with SAL14TC (1.4x) which extends focal length to 560mm (35mm equi. when used with APS-C format cameras: 840mm) and SAL20TC (2.0x) teleconverters which extends focal length to 800mm (35mm equi. when used with APS-C format cameras: 1200mm). Teleconverters are compatible with manual focus only.

Sony 70-400mm F4-5.6 Specifications

Lens Type
Telephoto Zoom Lens
Aperture Max.
f/4.0 - 5.6
Aperture Min.
f/22 - 32
Focal Length 35mm Equivalent
35mm equivalent focal length (APS-C) 105 - 600mm
Filter Diameter
77mm
Lens Groups-Elements
18 elements in 12 groups
Minimum Focus Distance
4' 7/8" (1.5 m)
Aperture Blade
9 blades (circular aperture)
Aspheric Elements
3 elements
Distance Encoder
Yes
Magnification
x 0.27
Dimensions
3.7 x 7.7" (94.5 x 196mm)
Weight
3.3 lbs (1.5kg)

Sony 70-400mm F4-5.6 Reviews

Reviewed by 4 customers

 
5.0

Exceeds Expectations

By

from Houston, TX  -  Semi-pro Photographer

Bought this lens to replace an 80-200 f2.8 and 300mm f2.8 from my film days and to complement my Sony SAL 16-50 so that with these two lenses I can travel much lighter than previously. I wanted the extra reach of the 400mm end and the tripod collar so did not opt for the lighter 70-300. I received the lens a few days before a winter trip to Colorado and hoped I would be able to get familiar with it quickly. I do shoot the occasional bird or wildlife image but I use the lens primarily for landscape work and extracting compositions from larger scenics. I also plan to use it to shoot butterflies and dragonflies in our garden. It is used on A77 and A700 bodies. I'm very impressed with the build quality and fit and finish of the lens. My trip included stops at Great Sand Dunes, Black Canyon of the Gunnison and Rocky Mountain national parks. The temperature was consistently below freezing at all three places and well below zero in the mountains at sunrise above 11,000 feet. Despite the lack of weather sealing I had no issues with the blowing sand of the dunes or the blowing and falling snow in the mountains. The tripod collar allows quick transitions from portrait to landscape orientation and because I do use a polarizer for most of my outdoor work I found the window in the hood allowing access to the filter rim to be extremely useful. The hood itself is light and I might question its long term durability but it fits securely and clicks in place assertively. This lens and my 16-50 are the first lenses I've had with the SSM focusing motor/system and I'm blown away by its speed and silent operation. I'm very much looking forward to using it on butterflies in the spring. This is a heavy lens but no more than I expected and still considerably lighter than my 300. My only mild complaint is the lack of a zoom lock like the one on the 16-50. I often carry the tripod mounted rig over my shoulder and with the lens pointed down it will zoom all the way out. Because of that I would rate it 4.95 instead of a perfect 5 stars but do highly recommend this lens. Will review its butterfly performance once the opportunity presents itself.

 
2.0

Not as Good as the G1

By

from Columbus, OH  -  Photo Enthusiast

Pros: Very fast and decisive focusing. Much less hunting in low light. Color is better but the hood could have been black and sturdier like the 70-200G. Cons: First Copy was decentered and soft. I have an exception G1 copy and this one was obviously broken. Second copy has slight decentering, and was slightly softer than the G1 (only noticeable in fine details such as fur at high mag.) but focus accuracy (front/back focused) at various distance was an issue. This not an issue with the G1 copy I have. I must say, this is the only Sony lens I have had this much bad luck with out of 15. Adorama No hassle return and exchange was awesome!

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

FAST FOCUS-as promised!

By

from Poughkeepsie, NY  -  Semi-pro Photographer

For the last four years I have been using the original Sony G Series 70-400mm F4-5.6 SSM Super Telephoto Lens for bird photography. This lens had excellent optics that produces high resolution images. The major drawback to that lens is that it is relatively slow in attaining focus. Six months ago, Sony came out with an update to that lens, called the G II Series. Optically, there is a small improvement in the coating. However the focusing speed has increased by a factor of four! That is terrific! I can point to a bird in flight and if is in the viewfinder, I know that it will be in focus. I am delighted with this product. For me, it was well worth the upgrade.

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

VERY SHARP IMAGES AND VERY FAST FOCUSING

By

from SPRING HILL, FL  -  Photo Enthusiast

SUPER FAST FOCUSING AND SHARP IMAGES EVEN AT 400mm, USED ON AN A77 SLT,

Q&A

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Questions about this item:

Jeannette L  I need a fast focusing zoom, for dog competions/trials. These dogs are running fast and I need stop action as well as a capability in low light indoor situations. Is it this lens?
DAVID S  It depends on the camera you are using. You can't put a good lens on a poor camera and expect good results.
Jeannette L  I am using a Sony A77.
ginny b  is this compatible with the A33 (older version)?
JAMES G  The G2 version of the 70400 focuses well in low light automatic settings as found on the new A99 period cameras. Both versions of this lens have a special something to almost every focus length that one can chose to compose with. This is one very spectacular lens overall.
Shopper  I have the Sony A77ii. Which lens would be best for low light, wildlife and indoor photography, the Sony 70-200 f2.8 G2 or the Sony 70-400 f4-5.6? How do they compare?
JAMES G  This F4- 70-400GII functions very well with the automatic low light functions of the Sony A-99. Sunset shots are in another world with this monster. Overall one has to really work to take bad photos with this lens. It has a wow factor even from accidental shots of your feet. However one has to have good or better upper body strength handle this puppy. It is large though not al that heavy overall.
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