Sony launches the $12,000 lightweight monster 400mm f/2.8 GM lens

Jun 27, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Sony launches the $12,000 lightweight monster 400mm f/2.8 GM lens

Jun 27, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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When the Sony A9 was announced, it seemed the ideal alternative to the Canon 1DX Mark II or Nikon D5. The ultimate sports or wildlife shooter. But the biggest complaint was Sony’s lack of long glass to go with it. Now, We’ve known Sony has been working on a 400mm f/2.8 GM OSS lens, but it’s been a long wait for it to see reality.

Rumoured back in May 2017, it got a lot of Sony shooters excited. It also got a lot of Nikon and Canon shooters who’d been considering a switch excited, too. Then, it was reported to be out in the wild during this year’s Olympics. An announcement has taken much longer than anybody expected, but it’s finally here.

YouTube video

It’s an impressive looking lens, and manages to shave 2 full pounds (almost 1kg) off the weight of the Nikon 400mm f/2.8E and Canon 400mm f/2.8L.

  • Image Circle: 35mm (Full-frame E-Mount)
  • Type: Telephoto Prime
  • Focal Length: 400mm
  • APS Equivalent: 600mm
  • Max Aperture: f/2.8
  • Min Aperture: f/22
  • Diaphragm Blades: 11 (circular)
  • Lens Construction: 23 elements in 17 groups, including 1 ED and 3 Fluorite elements; Fluorine coating
  • Minimum focus distance: 2.7m / 8.9 ft
  • Filters: 40.5mm drop-in type
  • Dimensions: 359 x 158.1mm (14.13 x 6.22″)
  • Weight: 2895g (6.38 lbs)

Despite weighing around three quarters that of the competition, it’s the most expensive, coming in at $11,998. But that extra cost may be worth paying for to get the overall weight saving of the Sony system, especially over long sports games or wildlife sessions.

Ted Forbes at The Art of Photography took one out to photograph football (I’m English, it’s football) recently. Here’s how his experience went.

YouTube video

If you want one for yourself then, as mentioned, they’re $11,998. They go on pre-order in a couple of days, but they won’t be shipping until September. So, you still have a little wait before you can get your own.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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4 responses to “Sony launches the $12,000 lightweight monster 400mm f/2.8 GM lens”

  1. Simon Beynon Avatar
    Simon Beynon

    Hmm, just a tad outside my budget.

  2. W Douglas LeBlanc Avatar
    W Douglas LeBlanc

    It’s o.k. ? I’m happy enough for now with my Tamron 100-400 and yes I know it’s a whole other category lens. But this one I can hike all day with and capture reasonably decent images of wildlife with.

  3. Gary Sthland Avatar
    Gary Sthland

    In NZ $15000

  4. Deb McKinley Avatar
    Deb McKinley

    Where is the drool emoji?