Hands on with the Sony FE 600mm f/4 and the FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 Lenses

Sony announced earlier today two long telephoto full frame lenses (FE mount), the Sony FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS and the FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS lens. J.P. Morgan along with several other photographers got a chance to play with the new lenses, do some testing and report.

Sony introduced today two of its longest FE lenses to date. We shall start with the FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS lens which is designed for enthusiast sports and wildlife shooters in mind.

This lens isn’t light (4.67 lb / 2.12 kg without the leg) or small (4.39 x 12.52″ / 111.5 x 318 mm, it doesn’t extend through). It has a pretty dim aperture of f/5.6-f/6.3 and for $2000 it also isn’t particularly inexpensive compared to some of the competition (especially from Sigma and Tamron with there 150-600mm lenses).

Despite all of these “on paper” specs it seems that the people who tested the lens found that it is well built, has fast autofocus dues to its Direct Drive Super Sonic Wave Motor, or DDSSM (even with a 2X teleconverter – which is impressive – probably due to the use of the very high-quality AF system on the A9 – results with other cameras might not be as good). It has very good image quality in the center and more than decent in the corners (especially closed down a little) with a nice Bokeh (thanks to its 11 blade aperture) and it generally performed very well.

Here are some specs about the FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS lens:

  • Optical design: 17 Elements in 24 Groups (including 5 ED Elements and one Aspherical Element).
  • Nano AR Coating and Fluorine Coating.
  • Direct Drive Super Sonic Wave Motor (DDSSM).
  • 3 mode optical SteadyShot image stabilization.
  • Adjustment ring for zoom torque.
  • Internal Focus;
  • Focus limiter with 3 modes).
  • Dust and moisture-resistant body.
  • 11 Blades diaphragm.
  • Minimum focus distance: 7.88′ / 2.4 m.
  • 95mm front filter.
  • Price: $2000

The second lens might have 60mm on it as well but it is a very different “beast”. The Sony FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS is designed to be Sony’s long telephoto flagship competing with Nikon and Canon’s top offering in the professional sports and wildlife category.

The lens has a new AF system based on some clever technology that moves on sorts of rails (you can see it in a demo in Morgan’s video above) called Extreme Dynamic (XD) linear motors and they apparently help focus this lens extremely fast.

The lens has advanced image stabilization (with 3 modes) as well as 4 customizable Multi-Function focus hold buttons. One thing which is not that special about this lens is its size and weight – despite being a mirrorless lens it is still big and heavy – almost exactly like the DSLR counterparts from Canon and Nikon (it is 6.7 lb / 3.04 kg and 6.44 x 17.68″ / 163.6 x 449 mm) and of course as you might expect it will also cot you a pretty penny at just under $13K.

The specs for the Sony FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS:

  • Optical design: 18 Elements in 24 Groups (including both XA, Fluorite and ED Elements).
  • Nano AR and Fluorine Coatings
  • XD (Extreme Dynamic) Linear AF Motors.
  • Optical SteadyShot Image Stabilization
  • Internal Focus; Focus Range Limiter
  • Dust and moisture-resistant body (with magnesium alloy body).
  • 11 Blades diaphragm.
  • Price: $13,000.

Chris and Jordan, along with editor Barney Britton from DPR traveled to New York for a hands-on look at Sony’s newest super-telephoto lenses

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