First Look and Comparison of the Sony FE 400mm F2.8 GM OSS

Earlier this week Sony finally released it’s much anticipated 400mm f/2.8 professional telephoto lens. This lens has been in development for quite some time and will be available starting September 2018 and will be a serious competitor to the Canon/Nikon equivalent lenses.

Sony has been working on the FE 400mm F2.8 GM OSS for quite some time now and showcased a prototype of the lens in several shows, however, the official release exposes just how big of a development effort Sony put into this piece of glass.

The new FE 400mm F2.8 GM OSS is very different than the equivalent Canon and Nikon lenses in several ways. First, this lens is much lighter (and also somewhat shorter). It is over 1kg less heavy than both these lenses (we say less heavy because this is still a 2.9kg piece of glass so this lens isn’t light by any means). What is interesting and important is the fact that unlike any other pro telephoto lens that we know of in the category – Sony was able to push the heavier elements from the form to the center.

This means that the lens is more center heavy that front heavy and this should make for a much better balance – especially with a smaller and lighter body like the A7/A9 compared to the NikonD5 or Canon 1DX II.

Sony was also able to improve the AF of the lens which it said should be 5X faster than its fastest previous pro telephoto lens (from the “DSLR” line). This is thanks to a new, fast dual XD linear motors autofocus system that Sony implemented in this lens for the first time (you can see how it works in a Sony video below).
Here are some specs for the new lens:

  • 400mm f/2.8 full frame coverage lens.
  • Includes 23 elements in 17 groups including one fluorite and 3 ED elements.
  • Built-in image stabilizer and power focus feature.
  • Magnesium alloy build.
  • Weight: 6.4 lb / 2.9 kg.
  • Weather-sealed.
  • Built-in rotating tripod collar.
  • Nano AR coating.
  • Compatible with 1.4x and 2.0x teleconverters
  • 11-Blade Diaphragm.

As for pricing at just under $12,000 this isn’t an inexpensive lens by any standards (it is more expensive than both the Nikon and Canon versions – although taking into consideration the price of the top of the line body you are likely to buy/have with it – it isn’t necessarily the most expensive of the three as Matt Granger correctly mentioned).

Richard from Photogearnews look at the new Sony 400mm f/2.8

Sony’s introduction video to the FE 400mm F2.8 GM OSS