Sony has two macro lenses in its current range and the bigger brother to the 50mm f/2.8 D AF is this 100mm f/2.8 D lens. Featuring a construction of 8 elements in 8 groups, it has a predominantly plastic finish and weighs in at 505g.
Designed for use with Sony full-frame models as well as APS-C D-SLRs and D-SLTs, when used with the latter types it transforms into a 150mm f/2.8 in conventional film terms and features a minimum focusing distance of 35cm.
There’s no MF/AF switch on the lens barrel as this is controlled from the body on Sony D-SLRs, but there is a focus range limiter switch to restrict focusing between infinity and 60cm (equivalent to a 1:4 reproduction ratio). In addition to this there’s a focus hold button and a focus distance indicator on the barrel displaying in feet (ft) and metres (m). As the lens focuses, the front element extends by 53mm in order to achieve a 1:1 reproduction ratio, and without a Super Sonic Wave (SSW) motor to reduce AF noise, there are a few whirrs and groans as it focuses. The lens can be used with 55mm filters and a metal lens mount adds durability, but we found its focusing couldn’t match the accuracy or speed of equivalent Canon or Nikon models and the focusing ring didn’t feel as smooth as some of its rivals. Costing £579, it’s expensive for what it offers.
- Street price: £529
- Weight: 505g
- Mount: Sony A
- Visit: www.sony.co.uk
This review was first published in the October 2011 issue of Digital Photo - download back issues here.