As well as the new Sony A9 III (buy here), Sony has also announced the new Sony FE 300mm f/2.8 GM OSS lens (buy here). While not exactly a pocket-sized lens, it’s incredibly lightweight for its focal length and aperture, weighing only 1.47kg.
It’s a G Master lens, meaning it sits in Sony’s top-tier lenses, and it comes with a price tag to match. That being said, it’s not too dissimilar from 300mm f/2.8 lenses of the past from other manufacturers.
Sony FE 300mm f/2.8 GM OSS – Lightest in its class
Sony says that the new Sony FE 300mm f/2.8 GM OSS is the lightest in its class. From doing a quick search, it seems that Sony might actually be telling the truth for once, even without the caveats.
According to the Sony specs, the lens weighs 1,470g. This might not sound super lightweight, but when you consider the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/2.8G ED VR II (buy here) weighs almost double that, at 2,900g, it’s not bad.
Sure, the Nikon lens is an older F mount lens for DSLRs, but they haven’t released a Z mount version yet. Canon also doesn’t have a new model for the RF mount yet, but their EF mount Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM (buy here) is also pretty hefty at 2,400g.
So, 1,470g is extremely light for this type of lens. It will be interesting to see how the competition stands up once (if) we see 300mm f/2.8 lenses coming from Nikon, Canon and Panasonic for full-frame mirrorless.
Sports, Wildlife and Photojournalism
Sony says that the FE 300mm f/2.8 GS OSS “excels” at photographing indoor sports, close-range events, photojournalism and wildlife. Its wide f/2.8 aperture also means you’ll get some great subject separation, thanks to those blurry backgrounds.
Its f/2.8 aperture also means that you’ll be able to shoot in lower light conditions than you would with an f/4 prime or f/slow-slower variable aperture zoom lens. This means it should be much more useful for those indoor sporting events and late night wildlife sessions.
It features ED and Super ED elements to minimise chromatic aberrations and colour fringing. Nano AR Coating II suppresses flare and ghosting. This means you should get nice, sharp, clear shots with little extra cleanup work required at the computer.
Fast, Precise and Reliable Autofocus
It sports Sony’s dual XD (eXtreme Drive) linear focus motor system for fast and quiet autofocus – even with fast-moving subjects. Updated AF algorithms, Sony says, provide even better responsiveness and quieter operation.
Switchable full-time DMF allows you to quickly grab the focus ring and drop into manual focus no matter what focus system the camera’s set to. Linear response manual focus control also means you’ll be able to quickly and easily tweak your focus distance without worrying about spinning the ring too fast or too slow.
A focus range limiter switch lets you lock the autofocus range to minimise any potential hunting. The switch doesn’t have a close-focus range, but it does allow for either complete range from minimum focus to infinity or from 6 metres to infinity to prevent it from hunting too close to the lens on distance subjects.
Built for professionals
This is not an inexpensive lens by any stretch of the imagination. As such, one expects a certain level of build quality, including weather sealing. Sony says that the Sony FE 300mm f/2.8 GM OSS is fully weather-sealed to protect against dust, dirt and moisture.
Fluorine-coated lens elements also repel water, dirt and fingerprints to make it easier to clean. The internal components are made from a “light-yet-durable” magnesium alloy, with a reinforced mount to minimise or eliminate damage from accidental bumps.
Sony FE 300mm f/2.8 GM OSS Specs
|Lens Mount||Sony FE|
|Angle of View||8°10′|
|Minimum Focus Distance||2m|
|Optical Design||20 Elements in 16 Groups|
|Diaphragm Blades||11, Rounded|
|Tripod Collar||Removable and Rotating|
|Filter Size||40.5 mm (Drop-In)|
|Dimensions (ø x L)||12.4 x 26.4cm|
Price and Availability
The Sony FE 300mm f/2.8 GM OSS is available to pre-order now for $5,998 and is expected to start shipping in February 2024