The 70-200mm f/2.8 lens is very popular, thanks to its speed and versatility, but is the Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G worth spending your money on?
The Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G is available only for Sony DSLRs. The lens contains 19 elements in 16 groups using ED glass, which is designed to deliver reduced chromatic aberration. Image stabilisation is present and comes in two flavours – one for standard shooting and a second for moving subjects – and minimum focusing distance is 120cm.
The lens looks and feels solid, with the focus ring positioned towards the front of the lens, with the zoom ring behind it. Resistance on the focus ring is a little stronger than necessary, so manual focus isn’t quite as smooth as it could be. Autofocus, on the other hand, is smooth and quiet. Three focus hold buttons can be found between the focus and zoom rings – a handy feature more commonly found on longer telephoto lenses. A focus range limiter from 3m to infinity for faster autofocus within this range can be found among the lens controls on the left-hand side. As for image quality, in the field results looked fine but under test chart conditions they were disappointing.
At £1639 the Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G should be sharper than a drawer full of knives, but the reality is quite the contrary, and in our tests the results from this lens were actually comparably sharp to the Tamron SP AF 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD (IF) MACRO which is over £1000 cheaper. Handling was very good and the features can’t be faulted, but there’s no getting away from the poor image quality.
- Street price: £850 (Secondhand price as of July 2016)
- Mount availability: Sony A
- Image stabilisation: Yes – STD & F Time
- Max. aperture: f/2.8
- Min. aperture: f/32
- Minimum focus distance: 120cm
- Construction: 19 elements in 16 groups
- Diaphragm blades: 9
- Filter thread: 77mm
- Weight: 1485g
- Visit: www.sony.co.uk
This review was first published in the September 2012 issue of Practical Photography - download back issues here.