IN HAND FIRST LOOK: Sony 70-200 f/2.8 G Master Lens!


IN HAND FIRST LOOK: Sony 70-200 f/2.8 G Master Lens!

Wooooooo! What a kick off to a great week. First the Sony 50 1.4 review I just posted earlier, and now a first look at the new 70-200 G Master which MANY have been waiting for! THIS one will not have a full review for a week or two or three (depending on when I get a review sample) but I did use it for a full day and came away VERY impressed. I have never really been a huge zoom fan as I prefer a prime and to zoom with my feet, but this one from Sony is yet another absolute incredible performer. Must have been my Leica upbringing as to why I love prime lenses but I have used, owned and shot with many 70-200 f/2.8 lenses including the famed Nikon and Canon versions and realize this focal length zoom is a STAPLE among a huge majority of photographers. It just delivers the range so many use.

The problem with some 70-200’s is size, some weight, some have busy bokeh, some are slightly soft wide open and so on. This G Master from Sony though is a winner and I saw  that from my 1st few frames. I like  to look for great color performance, great biting contrast that is somewhere in the middle of the range and of course the lens has to be sharp wide open, and this one is VERY sharp, even wide open.

The 70-200 f/2.8 G Master is lovely….

Screen Shot 2016-07-11 at 6.50.51 AM

…and may take the world of 70-200’s up a notch.

All images here were shot with the Sony A7RII and the 70-200 f/2.8 G master lens. EXIF is embedded in all shots. 

This lucky kid caught a ball at the game right behind me. I snagged the shot with the 70-200 after asking him to hold it up. Awesome fun day and this lens locked on super fast to the subject and captured the moment in the 1st try 😉 


I remember when I owned the Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 back in the old D700 days. I loved that lens and it was my go to for when I wanted a bit of reach. I shot thousands of frames with that lens back then and this new Sony, I maybe fired off 20 shots but already can see the fantastic quality of the glass. These G Master lenses are drool worthy for anyone who desires the IQ they produce.

A video showing the new 70-200 f/2.8 AND the new 50 1.4

This new Sony is white in color (VERY CANON LOOKING) and features optical steady shot inside the lens. It’s large but just what one would expect from a 70-200 f/2.8 lens. When compared to DSLR 70-200’s it’s about the same size, maybe shorter, but in my time with the lens I found the sharpness, color and rendering to be quite extraordinary. I was able to test this lens at a San Diego Padres game, and while I have never in my life shot ANY sports, it was quite nice to shoot with even though I was always looking for subjects other than the ones I am supposed to be shooting, lol. The Auto Focus was quick and snappy and always locked on for me. The rendering is very 3 dimensional and the constant f/2.8 aperture is perfect.

It was a tad heavy in use, but if being used for a specific job it is not an issue. I was sitting at a ball game for hours, using this lens and it was never an issue because I was concentrated on shooting. Overall I had a lovely experience with the 70-200 f/2.8 G Master and look forward to penning a longer full review.



 A G Master lens will offer up Sony’s best color, contrast and bokeh, all with a pro build. Best you can get in the Sony lineup for a lens like this.  Take a look at the press release below which also covers the new Teleconverters and Wireless Lighting System…price for admission on this new 70-200 is $2600.

“Pricing and Availability – New FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS G Master lens. Teleconverters and Wireless Lighting Control System

Today, Sony has also released pricing and ship timing for the FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS G Master lens, 1.4x and 2.0x teleconverters plus their new wireless lighting control system. All products were introduced earlier this year.

One of the most eagerly anticipated lenses of the year, the Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS G Master lens takes its place as the flagship telephoto zoom in the Sony lens lineup. Featuring built in Optical Stead Shot (OSS) and a fast f/2.8 maximum aperture across the zoom range, the lens will be an ideal fit for nature, sports, travel, fashion, beauty and wedding photographers. This lens will ship this July for a retail price of $2,600 US and $3,300 CA.

Designed exclusively to fit the 70-200mm F2.8 G Master lens, the new 1.4x and 2.0x teleconverters (models SEL14TC and SEL20TC) will both be sold for the same retail price of about $550 US and $700 CA, and will ship this July.

The versatile new wireless flash and control system – comprised of the FA-WRC1M wireless radio commander and the FA-WRR1 wireless radio receiver – was designed to meet the growing demands of professional Sony photographers. With a maximum range of 30m (approx.. 98 feet) and the ability to control a maximum of 15 separate flash units in 5 different groups, it offers a flexible wireless flash shooting experience with exceptional performance.

The FA-WRC1M commander will be sold for about $350 US and $480 CA. The FA-WRR1 receiver will be sold for about $200 US and $280 CA. Both products will ship this August.

The new lenses, teleconverters and wireless lighting system will be sold at a variety of Sony authorized dealers throughout North America.”

So this lens comes in at $2600 and will start shipping in July, probably by the end of the month. You can pre order at B&H Photo HERE

This lens renders in a VERY 3D way, and has rich colors that pop right out of the camera. Contrast is perfect and its sharp as a tac.











Other facts on the new G Master 70-200 f/2.8:

A popular telephoto zoom designed for full-frame E-mount mirrorless cameras, this 70-200mm lens is also compatible with APS-C models where it provides a 105-300mm equivalent focal length range.

A constant f/2.8 maximum aperture offers consistent performance throughout the zoom range and also lends greater control over focus position for shallow depth of field techniques.

Of the three aspherical elements incorporated in the lens design, one is an XA element with superior surface precision to effectively reduce astigmatism, field curvature, coma, and other monochromatic aberrations from imagery.

Four extra-low dispersion elements and two Super ED elements are featured in the lens design, too, and help to control chromatic aberrations and reduce color fringing for increased clarity and color fidelity.

A Nano AR Coating has been applied to reduce surface reflections, flare, and ghosting for increased contrast and color rendering in strong lighting conditions.

The front lens element features a fluorine coating to protect against smudges and dust from adhering to the glass surface.

A rounded 11-blade diaphragm contributes to a pleasing bokeh quality when employing selective focus techniques.

Optical SteadyShot image stabilization helps to minimize the appearance of camera shake for sharper imagery when shooting handheld with slower shutter speeds. This stabilization system can also be combined with select camera’s sensor-shift type image stabilization for more effective control of camera blur.

An OSS Mode switch lets you choose Mode 1 for general image stabilization that is suited to most types of shooting as well as a Mode 2 setting that is specifically intended to be used with panning movements.

A linear SSM system and internal focus mechanism provides quick, quiet, and precise autofocus performance and also contributes to more natural, intuitive manual focus control.

A floating elements system benefits image quality when working at the 3.15′ minimum focusing distance with 0.25x magnification.

Dust- and moisture-sealed design better permits working in inclement conditions.

Removable rotating tripod collar permits quick switching from horizontal to vertical shooting orientations.

Focus range limiter and focus hold controls offer more intuitive handling and faster performance when photographing moving subjects.




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  1. I recently purchased the Sont A7RII and am trying to decide between the 70-200 f2.8 or f4.0 and haven’t been able to find a good review comparing the image quality and whether there is any significant difference between the 2 lenses. I understand the different sizes/weights/$/ and specs etc.But are there any significant differences in image quality the one can discern visually from the 2.8 other than just the difference between f2.8 and f4.0 light/speed/depth of field opportunities you might experience with the 2.8. I don’t like the added weight of the 2.8 but would put up with it if there is an improvement in ultimate image quality. Were I to get the 4.0 I would probably get there 2x tele converter with the unused $. I shoot mostly travel and landscape photography but am starting to do some still life stuff. I’m a recent Canon 5d II convert and have most of the canon tele and some primes plus the metabones to adapt them to the sony. Thanks in advance for your help. d

  2. It drives me crazy when reviewers give you all this good info about a high-end camera and/or lens, and then post tiny little compressed jpeg images. I want to see these images untouched in their native 42mp size! Can you please show us what the cameras & lenses will actually do?! I’ve got this beautiful 4K screen and your images look like thumbnails.

      • Okay then! You’re my “hero for the day”.

        Even if you only gave us a sampling of various images at full resolution, and the rest at half resolution, that’d be so much better than 1/4 or 1/8th resolution. In this article with sports subjects, a lot of the images are similar, so you wouldn’t need all of them full res, just your best shots. If you did an article with wildly varying images, then having them all full res would be amazing.

        Seeing the source images will help buyers like me make up our minds more readily.

        Thanks for your excellent articles!

  3. Your’e right about the bokeh. It’s very clean.

    Personally I’d prefer f/4 versions of the G zooms. Better performance and smaller size. Just IMHO. But the G lenses will definitely out-perform the DSLR equivalents in every way.

  4. These GM lenses are gnarly! I love the subject isolation that’s achievable with this monster. It’s surreal. Thanks for sharing your impressions, Steve!

    Speaking of the rumored a9, there’s very little that I could ask for from Sony. The a7Rii has filled most of the performance gaps I experienced using the a7R, so any step up is appreciated. The only big thing that comes to mind is a joystick for quicker focus point adjustment. Otherwise, the speed and accuracy work for my needs.

  5. Steve: why aren’t there any shots of the action? All the images are of static subjects with the exception of the one shot of the pitcher.

    • And the batter….you must have missed that one. A: I am not a sports guy. I do not watch sports, I do not enjoy sports, and I do not like to shoot sports. I look for other things to shoot. Just not my thing, and I provided two action shots, and from where I was sitting it was about all I could get that would be interesting to look at. Also, there was no action in that game at all! Padres lost huge, and no one was getting hits.

  6. This week started off with two nice reviews and still the Pentax to come. Will be a nice week on your site Steve!
    Can’t wait ’till Photokina! 🙂

  7. Hi Steve, how bout the Sony FE 70-300mm. Which one is the better choice? Do they render in a similar way?

  8. Steve I’d love to know what you are hoping for – as in your wishlist – for an A9 pro.
    I can see a place for owning both an A7rii/A7sii for street/documentary with small lightweight compact primes like loxia/voigtlander/sony-zeiss 35 28 etc…. but also having another body to use with the big heavy DSLR like 85 GM , 24-70GM and 70-200GM on paid gigs.

    Me I’m hoping for actually fewer megapixels than A7rii, but using A7rii technology (copper wiring BSI, fast readout) with big fat pixels. I’d like 24-36mp, no AA filter, Ricoh pixel shift/Olympus multiple shift technology, dual SD UHS2 cards with a larger buffer, a higher refresh rate EVF similar to the high performance A6300, a physically larger body than A7rii to balance the lenses and of course even better weather sealing.

    • Id like to see an A9 a tad larger, sort of like a Leica SL. Id like to see a huge detailed EVF as in the SL. Id like to have two SD card slots, I’d like to have weather sealing, faster AF capabilities and a larger better battery system. For me it would be mostly about the EVF (The Leica SL EVF is amazing) and the battery/speed. I’d also like to see a cutting edge design. Me, I’d love 24MP as well, I feel that is a sweet spot but knowing Sony, they will go big on the MP.

      • what i would really love to have is a body with old school wheels and buttons. it could be rangefinder style like a leica M, or more SLR style like the XT, but i hate trying to remember which wheel is aperture and which is shutter speed and which is ISO and which is something else. give me a camera than handles like a camera, or i’ll be forced to jump ship! (and i would hate to, because i am soooo happy with my Loxia/Batis lens combination).

        • The sony A72 series cameras handle like Nikon and Canon DSLRs….and so very much like cameras…. the only major thing missing ….which I hope they address is the Joy Stick….they add that, implemented as well as Fuji or Nikon’s version, and they fix most of my issues with handling.

  9. Thanks for your early shooting impressions – the sample shots look good. It is great to see Sony bringing out high quality lenses that are competitive with Nikon and Canon lenses. I have been very happy with the 24-70 f2.8 GM and use it a lot in spite of the size and weight.

    • I will ask for them. I did get to use the 1.4 teleconverter for about 10 minutes, seemed very good. I will see if I can find one of the images using it, and will add it here with a note. Thanks.

      • I understand the TC 2x will be for the 70-200 exclusively, so not the 70-300?
        How many stops will be lost when using it?
        Will it fit on the A6300 as well to increase the reach with the crop factor?
        That would make this a 600mm lens for someone who ha an A6300 as second body.

        • The TC’s will be only for the 70-200 f/2.8. For now.
          A 2x TC always has 2 stops light loss, a 1.4x TC always has 1 stop loss. It’s physics.
          It all will fit on every Sony E-camera, so yeah, on the a6300 you’ll have 600 mm eq.

          • Thanks Robert, one to remember.
            So that would make it an f5.6 lens with either 400mm or 600mm depending on the body.
            More inetresting than the 70-300 which is f5.6 at 300mm as well.

  10. Maybe I missed it, but what camera did you shoot with? I’m hoping Sony comes out with a new A7 series that shoots as fast as the A6300. Would love to try that with this lens for sports.

    • A7RII is what I used here. I think Sony will be releasing an A9 pro soon..maybe photokina that will knock our socks off, but maybe that is just wishful thinking 😉 Just a hunch, no inside info.

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