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Sony FE 200-600mm F5.6-6.3 G OSS Review
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Sony FE 200-600mm F5.6-6.3 G OSS Review
MirrorlessReports Admin

Sony FE 200-600mm F5.6-6.3 G OSS Review

Dustin Abbott has completed his review of the impressive Sony FE 200-600mm F5.6-6.3 G OSS.

The Sony lens at a glance contains the following main features;

  • A far-reaching telephoto zoom designed for full-frame E-mount mirrorless cameras, this 200-600mm lens is also compatible with APS-C models where it provides a 300-900mm equivalent focal length range.
  • Maximum aperture range of f/5.6-6.3 helps minimize size and weight while providing excellent performance in a variety of applications.
  • Five extra-low dispersion elements are featured in the lens design and help to control chromatic aberrations and reduce color fringing for increased clarity and color fidelity.
  • One aspherical element is placed at the rear of the optical design and reduces distortion and spherical aberrations in order to produce a high degree of sharpness and accurate rendering.
  • A Nano AR Coating has been applied to minimize surface reflections, flare, and ghosting for increased contrast and color rendering in strong lighting conditions.
  • Optical SteadyShot image stabilization helps to minimize the appearance of camera shake for sharper imagery when shooting handheld with slower shutter speeds. This stabilization system has three dedicated modes, including panning and viewfinder stabilization priority settings, and can also be combined with select camera's sensor-shift type image stabilization for more effective control of camera blur.
  • A Direct Drive Super Sonic wave Motor (DDSSM) AF system provides quick, quiet, and precise autofocus performance and full-time MF override, and Linear Response MF also contributes to more natural, intuitive manual focus control.
  • Minimum focusing distance of 7.9', along with a maximum magnification of 0.2x, benefits portraiture and head shots.
  • Focus range limiter and focus hold controls offer more intuitive handling and faster performance when photographing moving subjects.
  • Internal zoom design limits the overall length of the lens while zooming for more intuitive and comfortable handling.
  • Dust and weather-sealed construction benefits using the lens in inclement shooting conditions.
  • The front lens element features a fluorine coating to protect against smudges and dust from adhering to the glass surface.
  • A rounded 11-blade diaphragm contributes to a pleasing bokeh quality when employing selective focus techniques.
  • Removable rotating tripod mount permits quick switching from horizontal to vertical shooting orientations.
  • Compatible with optional 1.4x and 2x FE teleconverters for further increasing the lens's reach.

The Sony FE 200-600 performed great for Dustin, with really only a niggling complaint as a con to the lens.

Pros

  • Beautiful build quality including robust weather sealing
  • Excellent handling (internal zoom helps balance)
  • Incredible autofocus performance – quiet, fast, and accurate
  • The 200-600G tracks remarkably well with better cameras like the a9
  • Human and Pet Eye AF work well
  • Strong, consistent optical performance across the zoom range
  • Good contrast and chromatic aberration control

Cons

  • Internal zoom design does make the lens larger for storage

Conclusions;

Essentially all the arguments against a lens like the Sony FE 200-600mm F5.6-6.3 G OSS are arguments against the type of lens rather than the reality of the lens.  The high end purists will argue that a zoom lens with a smaller aperture like this is optically compromised, though the 200-600G is so well executed that this argument is a little harder to make.  There are certainly situations where a lens with a smaller maximum aperture is going to require more light than an equivalent prime with a maximum aperture of F4, and the subject isolation is a little less pronounced.  The alternative at the moment is the Sony FE 400mm F2.8 GM lens + a 1.4x teleconverter (which would give you 560mm F4), but that combination will cost you roughly $12,500 before taxes.  Ouch!  For many of us, the 200-600G is about as magical as we can afford, and shots like this “ain’t so bad”.

See the review videos here, and check out Dustin's page on the review

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