SONY FE 400MM F/2.8 GM OSS

If you shoot Sony and want a fast, super-telephoto for wildlife or sport, then you’ve been out of luck until now. But the premium G Master lens series is now up to a magnificent seven, thanks to the new, eye-wateringly expensive FE 400mm f/2.8 GM OSS.

The five-figure price tag goes with the superfast prime territory. It’s just the thing for wildlife and sports pros, especially if you add in the 23 elements including three fluorite, linear motor AF and built-in stabilisation all wrapped up in a dust- and moisture-resistant body. 

Despite Sony’s claims to its being the world’s lightest 400mm f/2.8 (until Canon’s recent launch), it still weighs 2895g/ 6.37lb so it’s for tripod-only use. Even with the image stabilisation, you’ll never hold it still enough for shake-free video. And I also noticed wind buffeting, probably down to the large profile of the lens. That’s something that you can’t get over, even with support. 

The lens’ AF skills were impressive. The AF system features XD (extreme dynamic) linear motors which give fast, silent and smooth AF performance. Scenes just zip into focus with great accuracy and, given the very shallow depth-of-field this lens delivers, that is a good thing. I tried different focus zone options but mostly kept it simple and used single spot AF using the focus lever to move it around. AF activation was set to the four focus-hold buttons situated towards the front of the lens. However, these buttons can also be assigned other functions. 

 

“Scenes zip into focus with great accuracy and, given the very shallow depth-of-field this lens delivers, that is a good thing”

 

The next ring back from the focus-hold buttons is the function ring. This can be used for power focusing, which gives a smooth and controllable focus transition from one AF point to a preset focus point in the scene. 

Image quality was awesome. If you buy a fast aperture lens you expect great performance at its maximum aperture – even more so if you’ve handed over so much money for it. And that’s the case here: sharpness is breathtakingly impressive wide open. In fact it is good at every aperture, so should you need to use f/16 and f/22 you can and still get critically sharp results. With this long telephoto you get the results you’d expect in a top-end short telephoto – impressive.

If you’re a Sony user with the need for a long, superfast lens and have the budget, the Sony FE 400mm f/2.8 GM OSS is a great purchase. It is hugely capable in terms of AF speed and accuracy, and image quality is nothing short of incredible, but then you’d expect that of a lens that costs this much.

Specifications:

Type: 400mm autofocus lens

Aperture range: f/2.8-f/22

Format: Full frame

Optical design:

23 elements in 17 groups

Diaphragm blades: 11 rounded

Minimum focus: 2.7m/ 8.86ft

Filter thread: 40.5mm slot-in

Dimensions DxH:

158.1x359mm / 6.22x14.13in 

Weight: 2895g/ 6.37lb

 

PRO MOVIEMAKER RATING: 9/10

You get what you pay for and, in this case, that’s a lot, with smooth, silent autofocus and awesome image quality

Pros: Optical quality, fast AF, good stabiliser 

Cons: Price, still a heavy lens, designed for stills

 

PRICE: £10,500/$11,998

Sony

Login to post comments

About us

Targeting independent commercial filmmakers and small production companies, Pro Moviemaker delivers the latest industry tech innovation and gear scoops to creatives, entrepreneurs and decision makers hell bent on staying ahead of the game. As early adopters, Pro Moviemaker readers want news, reviews and technique features focused on kit so that they know what to buy next and how it will drive the continued success of their business. Diverse in their roles and shooting genres, Pro Moviemaker readers are united by their thirst for knowledge – a thirst which is quenched not only by our hands-on production, post and business advice features, but also our inspirational interviews with leading pros.

Contacting the team

Advertising

+44 (0)1223 499462

hello@bright-publishing.com

Editor-in-chief Adam Duckworth

+44 (0)1223 492246

adamduckworth@bright-publishing.com

Staff writer Chelsea Fearnley

+44 (0)1223 499450

chelseafearnley@bright-publishing.com

FOLLOW US on twitter: @PROMOVIEMAKER

LIKE our Facebook page

 

Latest posts

Newsletter

Subscribe to the Pro Moviemaker newsletter to get the latest issue, news, tutorials and offers delivered to your inbox for free.

Cookies are important to the proper functioning of a site. To improve your experience, we use cookies to remember log-in details and provide secure log-in, collect statistics to optimize site functionality, and deliver content tailored to your interest.

By continuing to use this website site you are giving us your consent to do this.

For more information you can read our Privacy Policy.