Well, if Sony are introducing a new Alpha A9 camera aimed at sports and wildlife shooters, you just know they’re going to announce a lens to go with it. And that they have, with the new FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6GM OSS lens.
It’s a full frame lens, featuring a double linear motor and Direct Drive Super Sonic wave Motor to keep it quick, accurate and quiet. Advantageous for both sports, wildlife, and video shooting. Sony claim it has “corner to corner” sharpness. Although, on a variable aperture zoom, I’ll wait until I can see the results for myself.
The lens features 22 elements in 16 groups, including one Super ED (Extra-low Dispersion) and two ED glass elements. These work together to minimise chromatic aberration and ghosting. The lens also includes Sony’s Nano AR coating to reduce reflections and flaring.
If it’s as good as they claim, though, it does look ideally suited for use with the new A9. The only other telephoto zoom alternatives are the 70-200mm f/2.8 GM, 70-200mm f/4 G or 70-300mm f/4-5.6 G, of course none of them have quite the reach that this does. Sure, you could throw a Metabones adapter on there and go with a Canon lens, but this should offer much faster autofocus.
The lens weighs a relatively slim 1,395g. While that sounds quite heavy, for a lens of this zoom range, it’s pretty light. The Nikon 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR weights in at 1.57kg and Canon’s 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM just tops that at 1.59kg.
As expected for a lens of this focal range, it includes optical image stabilisation. It has a minimum focus distance of just 0.98 metres, and is compatible with both the Sony 1.4x and 2.0x teleconverters.
The new Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6GM OSS lens is available to pre-order from April 21st and costs $2,499. Shipping will begin in July.