Sony 70-300mm

OSS FE Full-Frame E-Mount

Sample Images   Intro   Format   Compatibility

Specifications   Performance

Compared   Recommendations

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Sony 70-300mm

Sony FE 70-300mm (covers full-frame and APS-C, 72mm filters, 30.2 oz./856g, 3'/0.9m close focus, about $1,198) bigger. I got mine at B&H. I'd also get it at Adorama, at Amazon or at Crutchfield.

This ad-free website's biggest source of support is when you use those or any of these links to my personally-approved sources when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. Sony does not seal its boxes in any way, so never buy at retail or any other source not on my personally approved list since you'll have no way of knowing if you're missing accessories, getting a defective, damaged, returned, non-USA, store demo or used lens. Get yours only from the approved sources I use myself for the best prices, service, return policies and selection. Thanks for helping me help you! Ken.

 

November 2017   Sony   Sony Lenses   Minolta Lenses   Zeiss   Canon   Nikon   All Reviews

 

Sample Images

(more throughout the review)

Top   Samples   Intro   Format   Compatibility

Specs   Performance   Compared

Recommendations

Sony 70-300mm Sample Image File

Desert Palms, 10 November 2017, 8:21AM. Sony A9, Sony 70-300mm at 239mm at f/8 at 1/400 at Auto ISO 100, Perfectly Clear. bigger or camera-original © file to explore on your computer (mobile devices rarely can display the full resolution files properly).

 

Sony 70-300mm Sample Image File

Desert Palms, 10 November 2017, 8:24AM. Sony A9, Sony 70-300mm at 70mm at f/8 at 1/125 at Auto ISO 100, Perfectly Clear. bigger or camera-original © file to explore on your computer (mobile devices rarely can display the full resolution files properly).

 

Sony 70-300mm Sample Image File

Desert Palms, 11 November 2017, 7:32AM. Sony A9, Sony 70-300mm at 150mm at f/6.3 at 1/250 at Auto ISO 100, Perfectly Clear. bigger or camera-original © file to explore on your computer (mobile devices rarely can display the full resolution files properly).

 

Sony 70-300mm Sample Image File

Palm Frond, 11 November 2017, 7:36 AM. Sony A9, Sony 70-300mm at 100mm at f/13 hand-held at 1/40 at Auto ISO 100, Perfectly Clear. bigger or camera-original © file to explore on your computer (mobile devices rarely can display the full resolution files properly).

 

Sony 70-300mm Sample Image File

Spanish Tile, 11 November 2017, 7:36 AM. Sony A9, Sony 70-300mm at 300mm at f/7.1 at 1/400 at Auto ISO 100, Perfectly Clear. bigger or camera-original © file to explore on your computer (mobile devices rarely can display the full resolution files properly).

 

Introduction

Top   Samples   Intro   Format   Compatibility

Specs   Performance   Compared

Recommendations

Good   Bad

Adorama Pays Top Dollar for Used Gear

B&H Photo - Video - Pro Audio

Crutchfield

I buy only from these approved sources. I can't vouch for ads below.

This Sony 70-300mm is a great lens, arguably Sony's best general-purpose full-frame telephoto. It's well-made with great optics that handles and performs superbly. It's super-sharp, has great optical stabilization, zooms and handles well, has a focus-lock button and focuses so close you probably don't need a separate macro lens.

It's far more practical and less expensive than the 70-200/4 G, 70-200/2.8 GM or 100-400 GM lenses. This lens' optics are as good, while this lens offers a more practical zoom range and focuses closer.

 

Good

Sharp optics.

Great bokeh.

Great ergonomics; easy to hold and use and zoom.

Focus Lock button.

Fast and silent autofocus.

Silent diaphragm operation.

Much less expensive than the 70-200/4 G, 70-200/2.8 GM or 100-400 GM that essentially do the same thing — and this lens does many things better.

Autofocuses over the entire frame on an A9.

 

Bad

Manual focus ring is electronic, not direct mechanical.

 

Format

Top   Samples   Intro   Format   Compatibility

Specs   Performance   Compared

Recommendations

This is a full frame lens and I'm reviewing it as such.

It also works great APS-C cameras, on which you may make the usual inferences.

 

Compatibility

Top   Samples   Intro   Format   Compatibility

Specs   Performance   Compared

Recommendations

This works on all Sony E-mount cameras, full-frame and APS-C crop-sensor. This includes all the variations of NEX, A9-, A7-, A6xxx and A5xxx series cameras.

It will not work on any Sony A-mount DSLR or any Minolta MAXXUM 35mm SLR of any kind. Those use the old A mount which was actually the Minolta MAXXUM mount from 1987.

 

Specifications

Top   Samples   Intro   Format   Compatibility

Specs   Performance   Compared

Recommendations

 

Name

Sony 70-300mm

Sony FE 70-300mm . bigger.

Sony calls this the Sony FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G OSS.

    FE: Full-frame coverage, E-mount.

    G: One of Sony's "Good" lenses for E-mount cameras.

    OSS: Optical Steady Shot Image Stabilization.

It's Sony model number SEL70300G.

 

Optics

16 elements in 13 groups.

2 elements made of ED extra-low dispersion glass to help reduce secondary axial chromatic aberration.

4 aspherical elements.

Mutlicoated.

 

Diaphragm

9 rounded blades.

Stops down to f/22-29.

The diaphragm is silent as it operates on a silent camera.

 

Aperture Ring

No.

 

Focal Length

70-300mm.

When used on APS-C, it sees the same angle of view as a 105-450mm lens sees when used on a full-frame or 35mm camera.

See also Crop Factor.

 

Angle of View

34º - 8.2º diagonal on full-frame.

23º - 5.3º diagonal on APS-C.

 

Autofocus

Focus is internal. Nothing moves externally as focussed.

Focus is entirely electronic; both auto and manual focus work with a genuinely silent internal motor.

Focus-lock button.

 

Focus Scale

No.

 

Infinity Focus Stop

No.

 

Depth of Field Scale

No.

 

Infrared Focus Index

No.

 

Close Focus

2.9 feet (1 meter).

 

Maximum Reproduction Ratio

1:3.2 (0.31×).

 

Filters

Plastic 72 mm filter thread.

 

Hood

Sony 70-300mm

Included ALC-SH144 hood. bigger.

Plastic bayonet ALC-SH144 hood included.

 

Case

Sony 70-300mm

Included sack, Sony FE 70-300mm. bigger.

Unpadded vinyl drawstring sack included.

 

Size

3.31" maximum diameter × 5.65" extension from flange.

84 mm maximum diameter × 143.5 mm extension from flange.

 

Weight

30.207 oz. (856.45g), actual measured.

Rated 30.2 oz. (854g).

 

Quality

Made in China.

 

Announced

May 2016.

 

Included

Lens.

ALC-F72S front and ALC-R1EM rear cap.

ALC-SH144 hood.

 

Packaging

Sony 70-300mm box

Box, Sony 70-300. bigger.

Bubble-wrapped lens in corrugated cardboard box.

 

Sony's Model Number

SEL70300G.

 

Price, USA

$1,198, October-November 2017.

 

Performance

Top   Samples   Intro   Format   Compatibility

Specs   Performance   Compared

Recommendations

 

Overall   Autofocus   Manual Focus

Breathing   Bokeh   Distortion   Ergonomics

Falloff   Filters   Flare & Ghosts

Lateral Color Fringes    Macro   Mechanics

Sharpness   Stabilization

 

Overall

Performance          top

The Sony 70-300mm is optically superb, as good in actual use as the 70-200/4 G, 70-200/2.8 GM or 100-400 GM. It's smaller, lighter, focuses closer and has a more useful zoom range than any of them — and it's less expensive.

 

Autofocus

Performance          top

Autofocus is fast, and completely silent.

My A9 autofocuses over the entire frame.

The DNF mode for instant manual override in AFS mode works great on an A9.

 

Manual Focus

performance          top

Manual focus is with an electronic ring.

It's moderatly to strongly damped. A fingertip will move it.

 

Focus Breathing

Performance          top

The 70-300 has no focus breathign; the image doen't change size as focussed.

Focus breathing is the image changing size as focused in and out. It's important to cinematographers because it looks funny if the image changes size as focus gets pulled back and forth between actors. If the lens does this, the image "breathes" by growing and contracting slightly as the dialog goes back and forth.

 

Bokeh

Performance          top

Bokeh, the feel or quality of out-of-focus areas as opposed to how far out of focus they are, is beautiful. Nothing distracts:

Sony 70-300mm Bokeh

Davis 6250 weather station, 9:40 AM, 15 November 2017. bigger or camera-original © file to explore on your computer (mobile devices rarely display full resolution images properly).

 

Sony 70-300mm Bokeh

Davis 6250 weather station, 9:40 AM, 15 November 2017. bigger or camera-original © file to explore on your computer (mobile devices rarely display full resolution images properly).

As always, if you want to throw the background as far out of focus as possible, shoot at 300mm and get as close as possible.

 

Sony 70-300mm Sample Image File

Morning Dew in the Desert, 11 November 2017, 7:33 AM. Sony A9, Sony 70-300mm at 300mm at f/5.6 at 1/320 at Auto ISO 100, Perfectly Clear. bigger or camera-original © file to explore on your computer (mobile devices rarely can display the full resolution files properly).

 

Distortion

Performance          top

The Sony 70-300 has the usual distortion as seen in telephoot zooms, but most, if not all, Sony cameras will correct for this automatically, or can be set to do so, so I won't wory about it.

 

Ergonomics

Performance          top

Sony 70-300mm

Sony FE 70-300mm . bigger.

It handles great. It fits great in the hand and is easy to zoom; it's just abotu perfect.

It has an electronic focus ring, an AF/MF slide switch and a big, unmarked focus lock button.

This is not as good as a mechanical focus ring as on the 70-200/2.8 GM, but if you set your camera controls well, the focus ring works fine — but only works in certain modes.

The focus lock button is a huge help, although to be honest on a camera like the A9 that focuses throughout the entire frame, not as necessary as it was with DSLRs that only focussed in the center and had to be recomposed.

 

Falloff

Performance          top

There is no significant falloff at any aperture, at least on most Sony cameras which correct it by default.

 

Filters, use with

performance          top

No problem; 72mm is a more than an ample filter size for the optics of this lens. Even on full-frame you can stack several filters before you see any vignetting.

Go ahead and use any normal filters and thick rotating polarizer and grad filters; there's no problem.

 

Flare & Ghosts

Performance          top

I can't see any ghosts in normal use.

 

Lateral Color Fringes

Performance          top

There are no color fringes as shot on my Sony A9, which corrects them by default if there are any.

 

Macro

Performance          top

This lens gets very close for a 300mm lens, so close that you probably won't need a separate macro lens.

Presuming you get perfect focus, it's super-sharp:

Sony 70-300mm Macro Performance

Kienzle Flieger Automat 800/2843, 8:23 Amn, 10 November 2017. Full-frame Sony A9, Sony 70-300mm at 300mm at close focus distance at f/6.3 at 1/400 at Auto ISO 100. bigger or camera-original © file to explore on your computer (mobile devices rarely display full resolution images properly).

 

Sony 70-300mm Macro Performance

1,200 × 900 pixel crop from above. bigger or camera-original © file to explore on your computer (mobile devices rarely display full resolution images properly).

If this crop is about 6" (15cm) wide on your screen, then the complete image printed at this same extreme magnification would be about 20 × 30" (50 × 75cm).

If this crop is about 12" (30cm) wide on your screen, then the complete image printed at this same extreme magnification would be about 40 × 60" (1 × 1.5 meters).

This is great performance; it's super sharp and has no spherical aberration to lower contrast.

 

Mechanical Quality

Performance          top

 

Sony 70-300mm

Sony FE 70-300mm . bigger.

It's a metal and plastic lens with a metal vanity shell, glass glass and a metal mount.

 

Included Hood

Plastic bayonet.

 

Front Bumper

None.

 

Filter Threads

Plastic.

 

Hood Bayonet Mount

Plastic.

 

Very Front Barrel

Part just behind filter ring: metal.

 

Front Barrels

Parts that appear only as zoomed longer than 70mm: plastic.

 

Zoom Ring

Ruber-covered metal.

 

Mid Barrel

Metal.

 

Focus Ring

Plastic.

 

Rear Barrel

Metal.

 

Identity & Markings

Printed inside filter ring, silver-lettered plate top of barrel and sticker on bottom.

 

Internals

Plastic.

 

Moisture Seal at Mount

No.

 

Mount

Chromed metal.

 

Serial Number

Printed on a sticker glued on bottom of barrel, OK for a CD player but not acceptable for a lens used in the feild.

 

Date Code

None found on lens, but it is marked on the box on the same sticker as the bar codes. Be sure the serial number in the middle of the number below the second bar code on the box matches the serial number printed on the sticker on the bottom of the lens.

 

Noises When Shaken

Minor clunking.

 

Made in

China.

Sony hides this with dark gray on black printing on the bottoom of the lens barrel.

 

Sharpness

Performance          top

As I showed at the top, It's very sharp and contrasty at every setting. You won't see any difference in real-world shooting from the 70-200/4 G, 70-200/2.8 GM or 100-400 GM, although pople trying to sell you these lenses will try to get you to beleive there is a difference.

 

Image Stabilization

Performance          top

The built-in optical stabilizer works great, locking-down images for sharp shots at much slower shutter speeds than you'd expect.

 

Compared

Top   Samples   Intro   Format   Compatibility

Specs   Performance   Compared

Recommendations

 

Comparison Charts

 

Recommendations

Top   Samples   Intro   Format   Compatibility

Specs   Performance   Compared

Recommendations

This is an awesome lens at a reasonable price. It's smaller and lighter than any of the 70-200/4 G, 70-200/2.8 GM or 100-400 GM lenses often bought by people who forgot why they bought a mirrorless camera in the first place, and does the same things or better.

I use a protective filter instead of a cap. I only use a cap when I throw this in my bag, otherwise I leave a clear filter on my lens at all times.

The very best protective filter is the 72mm Hoya multicoated HD3 UV which uses hardened glass and repels dirt and fingerprints.

For less money, the B+W 72mm 010 is an excellent filter, as are the multicoated version and the basic multicoated Hoya filters, but the Hoya HD3 is the toughest and the best.

Filters last a lifetime, so you may as well get the best. The Hoya HD3 stays cleaner than the others since it repels oil and dirt.

I got my 70-300 at B&H. I'd also get it at Adorama, at Amazon or at Crutchfield.

This ad-free website's biggest source of support is when you use those or any of these links to approved sources when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. Sony does not seal its boxes in any way, so never buy at retail or any other source not on my personally approved list since you'll have no way of knowing if you're missing accessories, getting a defective, damaged, returned, non-USA, store demo or used lens. I use the stores I do because they ship from secure remote warehouses where no one gets to touch your new camera before you do. Buy only from the approved sources I use myself for the best prices, service, return policies and selection.

Thanks for helping me help you!

Ken, Mrs. Rockwell, Ryan and Katie.

 

© Ken Rockwell. All rights reserved. Tous droits réservés. Alle Rechte vorbehalten.

 

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15-16 November 2017