Sony FE 70-200mm OSS - help needed - info

Discussion of lenses, brand or independent, uses and merits
Forum rules
No more than three images or three external links allowed in any post or reply. Please trim quotations and do not include images in quotes unless essential.
David Kilpatrick
Site Admin
Posts: 6245
Joined: Sat May 19, 2007 1:14 pm
Location: Kelso, Scotland
Contact:

Sony FE 70-200mm OSS - help needed - info

Unread postby David Kilpatrick » Fri Feb 13, 2015 11:46 am

I have been met so far by a wall of silence from dPreview and an FB group with over 6000 E-mount users, after trying to find out something very simple which is not made clear by Sony or by any vendors.

The 70-200mm f/4 G OSS is extremely expensive so i don't want to drop this sum on glass and find it will not do what I need. Adverts normally say 'minimum focus 1m'. Sony's website indicates minimum focus 1.35m at 200mm, 1m at 70mm. However, I've seen one piece of info which clearly states 'Autofocus to 1.5m, manual focus only for closer than 1.5m'. The subject scale is always cited as 0.13X which is very disappointing on full frame - a subject which fills the frame with the 70-300mm SSM G, or the 70-210mm f/4 beercan, fills only a quarter of the frame with the new lens.

My alternative is a Canon 70-200mm f/4 non-stabilised L series which may or may not AF reasonably well with my adaptor, but does focus to 1.2m and 0.21X scale. However, it now looks as if I'm going to have a complete set of Canon lenses on my A7 bodies, as none of the Sony FE lenses hits the mark for specifications or price.

David

User avatar
mikeriach
Imperial Ambassador
Posts: 644
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 11:29 am
Location: Aberdeen

Re: Sony FE 70-200mm OSS - help needed - info

Unread postby mikeriach » Fri Feb 13, 2015 2:52 pm

Sorry David, I don't actually know anyone with the new fangled mounts let alone the expensive lens. There is nothing that attracts me to them either.
I have a couple of friends with A mount but 95% have Canikon gear.

Mike
Some Sony stuff and now some Nikon stuff (shock horror). Sony cannot supply what I want so rightly or wrongly I'm branching out to someone who does.

User avatar
Birma
Tower of Babel
Posts: 6679
Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2008 3:10 pm

Re: Sony FE 70-200mm OSS - help needed - info

Unread postby Birma » Fri Feb 13, 2015 3:11 pm

Just been reading the telephoto article in the latest Camera Craft :)

I have a few FE mount friends - not sure they have the 70-200 yet. I will mail them and get back to you.
Nex 5, Nex 6 (IR), A7M2, A99 and a bunch of lenses.

David Kilpatrick
Site Admin
Posts: 6245
Joined: Sat May 19, 2007 1:14 pm
Location: Kelso, Scotland
Contact:

Re: Sony FE 70-200mm OSS - help needed - info

Unread postby David Kilpatrick » Fri Feb 13, 2015 4:20 pm

I have the answer - one Sony site onl;y, sony.net, appears to print it -

1–1.5 (AF) 1–1.35 (MF)

So AF works at 70mm down to 1m, but the close-up ability of the lens is very disappointing.

David

User avatar
Birma
Tower of Babel
Posts: 6679
Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2008 3:10 pm

Re: Sony FE 70-200mm OSS - help needed - info

Unread postby Birma » Fri Feb 13, 2015 11:03 pm

Glad you've got the info you need, David.
Nex 5, Nex 6 (IR), A7M2, A99 and a bunch of lenses.

David Kilpatrick
Site Admin
Posts: 6245
Joined: Sat May 19, 2007 1:14 pm
Location: Kelso, Scotland
Contact:

Re: Sony FE 70-200mm OSS - help needed - info

Unread postby David Kilpatrick » Sat Feb 14, 2015 11:42 am

I've decided not to buy the 70-200mmm- cost, size, usefulness of the focal length range, focus restrictions etc. Generally if I want telephoto reach, I want as much as I can get without lugging a 70-400mm around and the best way to get that is not to try to do it on full frame. My money would be better spent upgrading the A77 to A77II and getting a new Tamron 70-300mm which could also be used on the A7II with LA-EA4. There's such a huge difference in the reach of APS-C - a 450mm equivalent. I already have that with the A77 and Sigma 70-300mm.

Provided the quality is there, as with Shirley's Sigma 18-250mm OS version 1, superzooms are often the best solution to distance restrictions as they tend to focus to well under 1m and I'm even considering just putting our second A580 body to use as the results from her A580 are always so good in terms of colour, dynamic range etc.

David

David Kilpatrick
Site Admin
Posts: 6245
Joined: Sat May 19, 2007 1:14 pm
Location: Kelso, Scotland
Contact:

Re: Sony FE 70-200mm OSS - help needed - info

Unread postby David Kilpatrick » Sat Feb 14, 2015 2:39 pm

Just an update. I've come within a moment of pressing the buy button for a £780 lens - I would not buy it at £1249 and find the difference in import and 'native' prices extreme, it's much better in Europe but maybe that's down to the Euro exchange rate.

Then I decided to take a few casual handheld tests with my well-used Sigma 70-300mm APO DG Macro, a lens with a crude focusing function but very close focus (two ranges, but the close range is also AF). On the A7II the stabilisation is 100% using the LA-EA3 or LA-EA4 - I think manual focusing with the LA-EA3 is the best way to ensure perfect results. I just can't imagine any lens being sharper than this. Whether at 70mm or 300mm, it's resolving microscopic detail - the texture of single strands of spider web faintly visible on old window pane, tiny marks left by insects, specks of dust in the surface of paint.

It is small, relatively light, and when fitted to the A7II with the adaptor it's a lens which only needs 58mm filters; it focuses to half life size. It cost under £200.

Here's my complaint to Sony - full frame needs a lens with a range to 300mm. Sigma has been able to make this lens for years and its forerunners now go back into the 1990s. It has never been expensive, it's stunningly sharp (far sharper than the Sony 75-300mm SSM G) wide open. So why, if Sigma can do this, can't Sony come up with something at twice or three times the price - instead of having nothing at all and asking £1249 for the only tele zoom made for the system?

David

User avatar
bfitzgerald
Subsuming Vortex of Brilliance
Posts: 3537
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2008 10:48 pm

Re: Sony FE 70-200mm OSS - help needed - info

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Sat Feb 14, 2015 3:52 pm

I see the price on Amazon is just over £900 but I would not pay that for an F4 lens no matter how nice the build or optics are
I read very mixed reports on the Sigma but I have not tried one for a long time I'm surprised it's better than the Sony G lens, but I felt that lens was overpriced from day one and scrubbed it off my list having played with one a few times.

David Kilpatrick
Site Admin
Posts: 6245
Joined: Sat May 19, 2007 1:14 pm
Location: Kelso, Scotland
Contact:

Re: Sony FE 70-200mm OSS - help needed - info

Unread postby David Kilpatrick » Sat Feb 14, 2015 6:09 pm

The SSM G version 2 is probably better. I can only say that both the Sigmas I use, the 70-300mm OS and the 70-300mm APO Macro, proved sharper than my 70-300mm G at 300mm wide open, which tends to be my criterion for these lenses. There may have been back or front focus error contributing to this difference and I wonder whether the SSM motor's compatibility with contrast detect focusing in v2 could make it much better.

However, the main reason I sold the G was its size - it was causing problems when travelling, and drawing too much attention to the photographer, since with the hood fitted it looks the size of a 400mm.

David

User avatar
bfitzgerald
Subsuming Vortex of Brilliance
Posts: 3537
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2008 10:48 pm

Re: Sony FE 70-200mm OSS - help needed - info

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Sat Feb 14, 2015 11:02 pm

David did you ever try the 100-300mm APO Minolta? I heard good things about it for a compact tele zoom lens

David Kilpatrick
Site Admin
Posts: 6245
Joined: Sat May 19, 2007 1:14 pm
Location: Kelso, Scotland
Contact:

Re: Sony FE 70-200mm OSS - help needed - info

Unread postby David Kilpatrick » Sat Feb 14, 2015 11:24 pm

It was my regular lens for several years. Love the size. Main problems - soft wide open at 300mm (but this was in the days before AF calibration, or live view focus, and focus errors were just as likely to be the cause as anything else); slow AF, quite noisy; fixed 1.5m minimum focus which I find a problem as I visits zoos, farms, butterfly houses, orchid houses, aviaries, museums, galleries etc wherever I go (and we sell proportionately more of these shots than landscapes!). 1.5m is more than the depth of many cages, displays, cabinets so you end up forced back away from glass or wire, with reflections and intrusions.

One of the reasons I don't like the 70-200mm G is the 72mm filter thread. Shirley's 18-250mm has a 72mm front, and she can't poke it through regular chain link fence - the best is to try to get the lens centred and in contact. My normal lenses have been between 49mm and 62mm front, 62mm is about the limit to get 'through' one link of a fence but 55mm is much easier. So many sites have the same type of fence. I've sold pictures of archaeological sites where photography is impossible for larger cameras but anyone with a cellphone can shoot straight through the wire - and this is where using a 20mm Voigtlander wide (58mm thread) wins over having something with a 77mm front.

It does sound a bit crazy that poking my lenses through holes to get pictures should count for anything when choosing gear, but like the close focus limit, I've found it a limiting factor. I usually carry my RX100 as well as I can hold this camera into positions where a normal camera can't get. Same for getting close to the ground etc. One of the reasons I like the mirrorless systems is that they do give you advantages - but not if the lenses remove the benefits.

I've seen some 100-300mm APO D Minoltas are great prices recently and very tempted to get one again and see whether the focusing inaccuracy and low resolution on the D7D was hiding much better performance.

David

User avatar
bakubo
Subsuming Vortex of Brilliance
Posts: 5554
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2007 7:55 am
Location: Japan
Contact:

Re: Sony FE 70-200mm OSS - help needed - info

Unread postby bakubo » Sat Feb 14, 2015 11:48 pm

David Kilpatrick wrote:It does sound a bit crazy that poking my lenses through holes to get pictures should count for anything when choosing gear, but like the close focus limit, I've found it a limiting factor.


Not crazy at all. We all have our own uses for the camera gear and circumstances that make particular gear qualities more or less desirable.

David Kilpatrick wrote:I've seen some 100-300mm APO D Minoltas are great prices recently and very tempted to get one again and see whether the focusing inaccuracy and low resolution on the D7D was hiding much better performance.


The 100-300mm has 55mm filter threads. Another plus if the AF works well on the new bodies.

User avatar
mikeriach
Imperial Ambassador
Posts: 644
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 11:29 am
Location: Aberdeen

Re: Sony FE 70-200mm OSS - help needed - info

Unread postby mikeriach » Sun Feb 15, 2015 2:10 pm

David Kilpatrick wrote:
It does sound a bit crazy that poking my lenses through holes to get pictures should count for anything when choosing gear, but like the close focus limit, I've found it a limiting factor. I usually carry my RX100 as well as I can hold this camera into positions where a normal camera can't get.


Not crazy at all, I bought a Minolta 35-70 f4 specifically to shoot through the airport fence with the A99. None of my other lenses can do this as, when at the wide end, all catch the fence in the corners (28-75 on the A99 and 16-80 on the A77). As you say the option is using my RX100 but I have to prise it away from the wife!

Mike
Some Sony stuff and now some Nikon stuff (shock horror). Sony cannot supply what I want so rightly or wrongly I'm branching out to someone who does.

User avatar
pakodominguez
Minister with Portfolio
Posts: 2526
Joined: Tue May 22, 2007 5:38 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Re: Sony FE 70-200mm OSS - help needed - info

Unread postby pakodominguez » Mon Feb 16, 2015 4:44 am

I arrive a little too late for this discussion... the Sony FE 70-200 f4 is just a little bit better than the 70-200 f2.8 at close focus. You can AF down to 1 meter at 190mm. By 200mm that change to 1.5 meters. You can focus closer at 70mm and closer with manual focus. But no macro work can be really done with this lens.
I decided to buy this lens when I say the mockup of the 90mm macro lens -it is relatively big, so I prefer to use my Minolta 50 and 100 f2.8 Macro lenses with adapter for Macro work (or even Minolta MC/MD 50 macro and bellows with other manual focus lenses for Macro work) I also had the Sigma e-mount 60mm lens, that is really good, and I have a couple of extension rings for it, that I use on the NEX7 or A7R at 16 MP.
Quality wise, the lens is good. Really good. I've printed 24*36 inches prints on metal and acrylic for a professional show in Nashville few weeks ago, prints looks great, sharp, nice contrast and detail (A7R + 70-200 and 24-70)
The 70200f4 is also compact and light. Optically, the Tamron 70-200 f2.8 Macro is better because the close focus ability, but is bigger and a little heavier (even if the Tamron is not a heavy lens). I'm planning to get an A7S (or better: an A7SII if possible!) for my event work: I already used one last fall and it does focus faster in low light than the A7R.
Pako
------------
http://www.pakodominguez.photo/blog" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

User avatar
artHarris
Acolyte
Posts: 29
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2014 3:53 pm
Location: Welsh Marches

Re: Sony FE 70-200mm OSS - help needed - info

Unread postby artHarris » Wed Feb 18, 2015 11:30 am

David - Talking about the Minolta 100 - 300 APO, you say "Main problems - soft wide open at 300mm (but this was in the days before AF calibration, or live view focus, and focus errors were just as likely to be the cause as anything else); slow AF".
Recently, I have used this lens with the LA-EA4 on both the A7R and the A6000; we were on a "safari- cruise", and visited several safari parks in South Africa. Photographing from 10-seater 4X4 vehicles, which were hardly the best places to capture good photos, (although the drivers were mostly extremely obliging in suffling backwards and forwards to please the photographic needs of each row of 'clients') I obtained some amazingly good quality, very sharp pictures, all hand-held.
Mostly, the 100-300 was on the A6000, which offered up to 450mm equivalence. Of course, at this focal length, depth of focus is very shallow, so luck has a lot to thank, even at f11 in the bright light.
Kit: all Sony now:
RX-100/3, A6000, A7R. Lenses:FE16-35, FE24-70, SonyF10-18,SonyF18-200, FE35/f2.8, F16/2.8, Minolta APO 100-300, Nikon 135 macro, Nikon 50/1.4, various extras.


Return to “Lens Lore”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests