Sony A-Mount 70-400mm f/4-5.6 G II SSM Lens Review using Sony A99 II

92
A Phenomenal Telephoto Zoom Lens
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In this Sony A-Mount 70-400mm f/4-5.6 G II SSM Lens Review I will be using the Sony A99 II, and will put this lens thru the paces including Lab testing, Action photography, Video, and lots of normal Real World use

In this Sony A-Mount 70-400mm f/4-5.6 G II SSM Lens Review I will be using the Sony A99 II, and will put this lens thru the paces including Lab testing, Action photography, Video, and lots of normal Real World use as well.

My Sony A99 II Review is Here >> for those interested… For a little insight into this review, I decided to test the Sony A-Mount 70-400mm f/4-5.6 G II SSM Lens because I wanted to compare it to the New E-Mount FE 100-400mm GM Lens specifically. I want to know if there is any sacrifice in optical quality on the E-Mount GM lens when compared to this A-Mount beast.

The Sony A-Mount 70-400mm f/4-5.6 G II SSM Lens goes for $2198 US and is market towards photographers looking for a serious telephoto zoom lens that does not compromise in quality at all. Particularly good for sports and wildlife photography I would say, but also great for that killer portrait depth of field layering effect I will talk about at length in the video portion of this review. And at the end of the day with a 70-400mm range you can clearly use this lens for a lot of other purposes as well like landscapes and going to the Zoo for example…

This lens is a bit heavy at 3.3lbs, but considering the quality it pumps out and the range, I did not think this was to bad at all. Don’t get me wrong, after a full day at the zoo hand holding, I did start to feel the weight!

Sony Lens Promotional Jargon:

Prime lens performance from 70 to 400mm, Clear images with crisp contrast, Faster tracking and improved response, and a refined operating experience

Sony 70-400mm f/4-5.6 G II SSM Lens – Key Features

  • A-Mount Lens/Full-Frame Format
  • 70-400mm or 105-600mm APS-C
  • Aperture Range: f/4-5.6 to f/22-32
  • Two Extra-Low Dispersion Elements
  • 18 Elements / 12 Groups
  • Nano AR Coating
  • Super Sonic Wave AF Motor
  • Three Focus Hold Buttons
  • Electronic Focus Range Limiter
  • 4.92′ (1.5 m) Minimum Focus Distance
  • Dust and Moisture-Resistant Construction
  • Removable, Rotating Tripod Collar
  • Nine-Blade Circular Diaphragm
  • 77mm Filter Thread
  • No OSS
  • Weight = 3.30 lb (1500 g)
  • Cost = $2198 US

Here she is in the lab with the Sony A99 II mounted up πŸ™‚

Sony A99 II w/ Sony 70-400mm f/4-5.6 G SSM II Lens
Sony A99 II w/ Sony 70-400mm f/4-5.6 G SSM II Lens
Sony A99 II w/ Sony 70-400mm f/4-5.6 G SSM II Lens
Sony A99 II w/ Sony 70-400mm f/4-5.6 G SSM II Lens

Sony A-Mount 70-400mm f/4-5.6 G II SSM Lens – Youtube Review

In this Sony A-Mount 70-400mm f/4-5.6 G II SSM Lens Review, I will cover everything you need to know including Lab Testing, Hands-On, and Tons of Real World Photography with detailed Photo Analysis in Lightroom. Thanks for checking out my Review and Links mentioned in the video below.


Sony A-Mount 70-400mm f/4-5.6 G II SSM Lens Review using Sony A99 II
Highly Recommend
This is one of the best lenses I have ever tested as far as overall optical performance is concerned. The images are tack sharp corner to corner throughout the large 70-400mm range with almost no distortion. When matched with the 42mp Sony A99 II you just can't go wrong! Tracking moving subjects also proved to be fantastic. The color and contrast were also top quality based on all my years of testing. For the money this is an amazing lens and I highly recommend it!
Bang For The Buck
95
Feature Set
90
Build Quality and Design
95
Image quality
95
Video Quality
90
Optical Quality
95
Usability
85
Low Light Performance
80
Fun Factor
95
Auto Focus System
95
Reader Rating0 Votes
0
Pros
Amazing Sharpness
Excellent Build Quality
Excellent Telephoto Zoom Range
Cons
Heavy
No Optical Stabilization Built In
92
A Phenomenal Telephoto Zoom Lens
Buy Now

Sample Photos

I took an absolute ton of sample photos with this lens including lab testing and real world testing. The Lab test photos are first followed by the real world photos, so just scroll on down and be sure to click on the photos for a larger version.

– Lab Testing Photos

Lots of lab testing photos to share w/ 100% Crops and all taken using raw quality with the Sony A99 II.

Lab Sharpness Testing at Key Focal Lengths

70mm, f/4

70mm

100mm

135mm

200mm

300mm

400mm

Aperture Run @ 400mm & Minimum Focus Distance

Real World Sample Photos

Sony A99 II – 70-400mm G SSM II Lens @ 400mm, f/6.3, 1/400sec, ISO 160

Zoo Photos

Sony A99 II - 70-400mm G SSM II Lens
Sony A99 II – 70-400mm G SSM II Lens @ 330mm, f/5.6, 1/400sec, ISO 250

Layla Playing Basketball and Bike Riding

I wanted to show you some consecutive shooting shots, so you can see just how well this lens tracks when combined with the killer full frame Sony A99 II DSLR style camera.

Sony A99 II – 70-400mm G SSM II Lens @ and 400mm, f/6.3, 1/400sec, ISO 2000

Here’s layla riding her bike and my goal was to capture a bit of motion blur, but was not very successful due the slow speed of the moving subject and my shutter speed being to fast.

Sony A99 II – 70-400mm G SSM II Lens @ and 300mm, f/8, 1/40sec, ISO 100

However, I took the same raw file and applied some magic motion blur effects in Photoshop to show you what I really wanted to capture on camera. If I had more time and she was going faster I could have done it on the camera, but photoshop is a great tool at times for sure!

Edited – Sony A99 II – 70-400mm G SSM II Lens @ and 300mm, f/8, 1/40sec, ISO 100

Here are some more consecutive shots with a moving subject with is harder to track, but the Sony 70-400mm G SSM II Lens mounted on the Sony A99 II had no issues whatsoever…

Conclusions:

This lens really does have killer performance at all focal ranges. It’s rendering is prime like for sure although not as fast, aperture wise, as primes are in most cases… Raw files have very little distortion, virtually no fringing at all, show astounding sharpness, color, and punchy contrast. The focus speed on this lens was incredible and almost instantaneous. A great live demo of this can be seen in my A99 II Review, when I did some focus testing in the lab. That testing really showed off the speed and accuracy of the AF on this lens I would say.

Then using the lens at the zoo and with all the higher speed testing with Layla it proved itself to be incredible when paired with the A99 II in my opinion. I had a blast using this lens and if I were an A-Mount camera user looking for the best possible telephoto lens quality and range, then the 70-400mm f/4-5.6 G II SSM Lens would certainly be my first recommendation. It’s got the best compatibility for the hybrid AF performance when compared to Tamron or Sigma lenses, but they also offer some great options. Be sure to check out my Sony A-Mount Lens Guide for all the available A-Mount Lens options >>

I got some of my best Zoo photos ever to date and can’t remember a lens that has such little distortion and killer corner sharpness throughout the entire range. Only at 70mm wide open in the corner areas did I see some notable softness. That is just phenomenal optics all day long…

At the end of the day I highly recommend this lens and if Sony plans on continuing to support the pro oriented A-Mount Camera users, I would love to see an updated version of this lens with OSS and some of that Fluorine lens coating goodness.

I really look forward to testing out the New E-Mount FE 100-400mm GM Lens and comparing the image quality. I really feel like I have the necessary intel to find out exactly how good the GM lens is compared to this A-Mount 70-400mm beast reviewed here.

I really hope you got what you were looking for in this review, and please let me know if you have any questions or comments below!

Also, please consider using my links below if you are in the shopping mood, because that will give me a very small referral credit at zero cost to you. It’s a great way for you to give back for the content and efforts I provide. Thanks again for the consideration and please have a wonderful day!

Jay

Sony 70-400mm f/4-5.6 G II SSM Lens @ BHPhoto

Sony A99 II @ BHPhoto

Sony A-Mount 70-400mm f/4-5.6 G II SSM Lens Review using Sony A99 II
Highly Recommend
This is one of the best lenses I have ever tested as far as overall optical performance is concerned. The images are tack sharp corner to corner throughout the large 70-400mm range with almost no distortion. When matched with the 42mp Sony A99 II you just can't go wrong! Tracking moving subjects also proved to be fantastic. The color and contrast were also top quality based on all my years of testing. For the money this is an amazing lens and I highly recommend it!
Bang For The Buck
95
Feature Set
90
Build Quality and Design
95
Image quality
95
Video Quality
90
Optical Quality
95
Usability
85
Low Light Performance
80
Fun Factor
95
Auto Focus System
95
Reader Rating0 Votes
0
Pros
Amazing Sharpness
Excellent Build Quality
Excellent Telephoto Zoom Range
Cons
Heavy
No Optical Stabilization Built In
92
A Phenomenal Telephoto Zoom Lens
Buy Now

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