Sony 70 400 G Ssm Ii

By | 06/11/2022

The 70-400mm F4-5.half dozen G SSM Ii ($2,199.99) is the premium telezoom lens for Sony’south A-mont SLR organisation. Information technology delivers a longer range of coverage and a sturdier build than the 70-300mm F4.five-five.6 G SSM Ii ($1,149.99), but carries a premium cost. Images are crisp through the wider ends of its zoom range, and information technology continues to net splendid performance when zoomed as long as you lot narrow the aperture a fleck. It’s a solid option for Sony photographers, but if telephoto operation is more important, consider a third-political party choice. The Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 ($1,199.00 at Amazon)(Opens in a new window)

is an first-class, affordable telezoom, and information technology’southward available for A-mount SLRs.


The 70-400mm ($2,198.00 at Amazon)(Opens in a new window)
isn’t that much bigger than a typical 70-200mm f/2.8 zoom, merely information technology does extend when zoomed. It measures 7.7 by 3.7 inches (HW) at its shortest position, weighs 3.three pounds, and supports 77mm front filters. Like many pro telezooms, its metal barrel is finished in fair rather than black, a selection Sony says is to aid keep internal elements cool when shooting in sunny conditions.

Sony 70-400mm F4-5.6 G SSM II  : Sample Image

Front and rear caps, a soft conveying instance, and a reversible hood are included. The hood has a retractable cutting-out window, which lets you conform the orientation of a circular polarizing filter without removing the hood. Since it’s long, in that location’due south a foot to mount the lens directly on a tripod or monopod. The foot is mounted on a rotating neckband, then y’all tin can shoot with a support in portrait or landscape orientation. A large thumbscrew is there to lock it in place or to let information technology turn freely.

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Sony 70-400mm F4-5.6 G SSM II  : Sample Image

The zoom ring sits toward the forepart of the lens. It’due south covered in knurled safety so it’due south easily gripped, and marked at 70, 100, 135, 200, 300, and 400mm. The manual focus ring sits at the middle of the barrel and is also finished in textured rubber. There are three Focus Hold buttons placed around the butt, between the two focus rings, along with a switch that sets the focus range or changes to transmission focus. If you lot shoot with the Alpha 99 II ($3,198.00 at Amazon)(Opens in a new window)
, you also take the option of setting a custom focus range in camera.

Sony 70-400mm F4-5.6 G SSM II  : Sample Image

The lens focuses as close as 4.9 feet (1.v meters). At 400mm that delivers a pretty solid 1:3.7 magnification ratio, projecting objects onto the image sensor at close to i-third life-size. Information technology besides gives y’all plenty of working altitude for portraiture and general photography at shorter focal lengths.

Image Quality

I tested the lens along with the full-frame, 42MP Alpha 99 Two. Imatest shows that it’due south a sharp performer. At 70mm f/iv, information technology captures photos that bear witness three,115 lines per moving-picture show height on a centre-weighted test, with clarity that is fairly even from edge to edge. Image quality improves at f/five.6 (three,621 lines), f/8 (iii,934 lines), and f/11 (3,925 lines), earlier falling off slightly at f/16 (3,718 lines) and more significantly at f/22 (2,739 lines).

Sony 70-400mm F4-5.6 G SSM II  : Sample Image

At 135mm the maximum aperture has narrowed to f/4.5, and image quality is all the same superb—3,540 lines with strong performance from border to edge. Again, you get even crisper images at f/five.6 (3,854 lines), f/viii (3,998 lines), and f/11 (4,020 lines). There’south the expected drib at f/16 (3,707 lines) and f/22 (2,884 lines).

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Things aren’t as sunny at 250mm. The maximum discontinuity has narrowed to f/5.6, but sharpness has also dropped quite noticeably to 2,291 lines—only a little better than the 2,200 lines we want to run into at a minimum from a high-resolution arrangement. To put in patently linguistic communication, clarity drops from infrequent to simply acceptable.

Sony 70-400mm F4-5.6 G SSM II  : Sample Image

Stopping down to f/8 is a cure. Sharpness jumps to three,587 lines, and maintains that level of quality at f/11 (3,805 lines). The expected drop shows upwards at f/16 (3,612 lines) and f/22 (2,718 lines).

At 400mm f/5.6 the lens is also merely acceptable, showing virtually 2,263 lines, but here we as well run across a drop in clarity toward the mid parts (1,921 lines) and edges (one,492 lines) of the frame. At f/8 the average score is meliorate, ii,805 lines, with solid performance through almost of the frame, and edges that are just a tad soft at 2,015 lines. You’ll need to stop down to f/11 to relish sharp, even performance from edge to edge—three,369 lines. Image quality remains strong at f/sixteen (3,324 lines), just don’t shoot at f/22 (2,339 lines).

Sony 70-400mm F4-5.6 G SSM II  : Sample Image

Baloney isn’t absent, but it’s fairly controlled. In that location’due south negligible barrel distortion at 70mm, and just about percent pincushion distortion from 135mm onward. It’southward a modest issue, and 1 that JPG shooters tin can eliminate using in-camera correction. Lightroom CC ($ix.99/Month at Adobe)(Opens in a new window)
includes a contour for this lens, which corrects distortion with a single click.

Corner illumination is about a complete nonissue. There’s some dimness at 70mm f/iv, about -1.1EV, which adds a very slight vignette to photos. Merely at narrower apertures it’s not an outcome at 70mm, and is also negligible at longer focal lengths.

Sony 70-400mm F4-5.6 G SSM II  : Sample Image


The Sony 70-400mm F4-v.six Chiliad SSM Ii is a solid telezoom option for A-mount SLR photographers. Information technology offers a skillful range and epitome quality that ranges from adequate to outstanding. You have to recall to narrow the aperture when shooting beyond 250mm for the best results, which shouldn’t be a problem every bit long every bit you lot have enough light. If you’re trying to capture afar action or become up shut and personal with a subject in more difficult low-cal, a prime lens like the Sony 300mm F2.8 Chiliad SSM II ($seven,499.99) or 500mm F4 G SSM ($12,999.99) is a better, just much more expensive, option. Our favorite telezoom bachelor in A-mountain is still the relatively affordable Tamron 150-600mm G2—but it’southward a heavier lens with a different range of coverage, and so there’southward probably room for both in your kit.

Sony lxx-400mm F4-5.6 G SSM Two

The Lesser Line

The Sony 70-400mm F4-5.6 Thou SSM II offers more than range than a standard telezoom lens, only sacrifices some calorie-free-gathering capability to get there.

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