Not long ago, Sony launched the 400mm f/2.8 GM OSS, a “lightweight monster.” What first comes to mind with the lens of this focal length is wildlife and sports photography. But photographer Miguel Quiles decided to test how it performs for portraits. He gave the lens a quick spin and he shares his impressions and some shots in his latest video.
Sony 400mm f/2.8 GM, like other lenses of this focal length, is aimed primarily at wildlife or sports photographers. After all, when it was first spotted out in the wild, it was during this year’s Olympics. It would probably not be the first choice of portrait photographers, but it’s interesting to see how it performs in this field.
To test the lens out, Miguel attached it to a Sony A7R III with the Sony VG-C3EM battery grip. He added the grip because it makes it more comfortable to hold the camera when it’s paired with the lens this big. The day was overcast which is great for portraits, and the photos definitely look gorgeous. Here are a couple of screenshots:
Miguel didn’t get to spend a lot of time with the lens and the model, but he got the idea of some good and bad sides of shooting portraits with the Sony 400mm f/2.8 GM. On the minus side, it’s hard to hold the lens of that size and constantly keep it positioned exactly where you want it, even though it’s lightweight. So, he believes you’d need a monopod to do it.
On the plus side, the Eye-AF is amazing, according to Miguel. He was standing pretty far from the model for the full body shots, and the AF did an excellent job. While we’re at the distance, I believe it can pose a bit of a challenge to communicate with the model when standing that far. But again, on the plus side, it’s worth the extra effort because the portraits really look fantastic.
Even though using super-telephoto lenses is not so common for portraits, this is not the first time we’ve seen it used in this genre. Keydrin Franklin tested out the Sigma 500mm f/4 and you can see his photos here. Even with a shorter 200mm f/2 lens, the portraits look impressive, in my opinion.
On this link, you can see another test of the Sony 400mm f/2.8 GM. You’ll see how it stacks up against Nikon and Canon for sports photography, but there are some portraits, too.
So, how do you like the portraits taken with the Sony 400mm f/2.8 GM? Miguel suggests that if you’re a working professional, you might consider adding it to your arsenal despite the high price. Would you consider investing in it for portrait photography?
[Portraits with the Sony 400mm 2.8GM | Breakdown with Miguel Quiles| Miguel Quiles]