Sony FE 70-200 review

Sony FE 70-200mm Lens

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As for the reviews here on the site, I only review stuff I actually use! I get a lot of goodies from manufacturers and stuff, and I just tell them it will go into a black hole and never be reviewed if I don’t actually use it! So, whenever you see me review something, like this cool lens, then you know I love it and use it enough to share with you!

Also, my reviews are a little strange. I don’t get super-techy. I show a lot of sample photos and just talk to you like a normal person. In all honestly, I don’t even understand a lot of the hardcore specs from some of this equipment. I just bend this equipment to my will! And if the final photos come out looking awesome, well then I’m more than happy to share some of the credit with the gear!

Sony FE 70-200 review – what a lens!

I’m so impressed with this lens!

I used to be a big Nikon shooter. I had a D2X, D3X, D800, you name it. And I loved my Nikon 70-200mm lens when I was over on that side of the fence. It took a while for Sony to come out with this lens, but now they have! I currently use it extensively on my Sony A7r (see my Sony A7r Review), Sony A7s (see my Sony A7s Review), and my Sony A6000 (see my Sony A6000 Review).

Let’s get started with a few photos! Here are some that I took with the lens on my Sony A6000. For those of you that don’t know (some do, I don’t mean to talk down to people that know about these somewhat esoteric things), the A6000 is a “cropped sensor” camera, which means that this 70-200mm becomes a 105-300mm lens. This means you can zoom in even further, which is sometimes a great advantage.

Note that I unapologetically post-process my photos! Regulars here on the site are very forgiving (welcoming, in fact!) of this notion, but purists don’t like it. That’s okay. But, if you are new and interested in more about this style of photography, check out my free HDR Tutorial!

One great thing about a zoom lens for landscape photography is it allows this nice effect called “compression,” where you can do effects like this: Bring in the two layers of sand dunes from beyond and make them look nice and overpowering.

 

Don’t get used to it. This is the extremely endangered wild dog (or Painted Wolf) in Botswana. BTW, you’ll see a lot of special effects on my final shots — that is not the camera, that’s my post-processing.

 

Sony FE 70-200 – Why I love it

I feel like I get just as good with this lens as they were back with my Nikon 70-200 f/2.8. Now, yes, aficionados will note that the Sony lens is f/4, and the Nikon one was f/2.8. This means that the Nikon one lets in more light and can theoretically do a better job with that bokeh (out-of-focus) area.

To address those two possible, shortcomings, I can give you the following personal experience. First, I never found the lens “too slow.” You can see one of those shots below that was practically in the dark of that rare cat, the serval. Sure, F/2.8 might have gotten less noise, but I am still really happy with it. Besides, most of my zoom shooting is during the daytime, when a little less light getting into the lens quickly is not a problem.

But as you can see from the images below, you can see the out-of-focus area is perfectly soft and buttery! I’m not sure f/2.8 would be a lot better. Perhaps at 70mm on a very close subject, but I’m often zooming in a bit more than that. Well, you can look at the images yourself and decide if the out-of-focus area is smooth and buttery enough for you!

Small and Light

This lens is supa-dupa-light! It doesn’t have all that heft and size of its Nikon counterpart. It’s just amazing, really. I gave it to all my DSLR-carrying friends and they just look at me with a bitter expression. I love it.

Auto-Stabilization

I was quite worried about this! I thought there was no way that Sony’s lighter, smaller, more inexpensive lenses would have a stabilization system that is as good as Nikon’s, but I was wrong! When you have this option turned on (a switch on the lens), then whenever you press halfway down on the shutter, the who shakey scene comes to a smooth stoppage. I feel like a sniper in a video game!

More Sample Photos

Looking sharp at 1/4000s shutter speed!

 

It was quite dark when I took this… the ISO was 800 so there was a bit of noise, but nothing too bad.

 

I didn’t do much people photography with it, but a little bit… You can see Bel there is holding the Sony A7s… she was using that to film me during the adventure.

Botswana Amaze (307 of 2505)-7

When I shot with the A6000 and this lens, I was able to get 11FPS, which made getting these kind of shots a bit easier!

 

A happy elephant family!

 

Hello pretty bird. I cropped in more on the one… the 24MP helped with that.

 

Oh Hai! You’ll notice a lot of “effects” in my photos… that’s not the camera that’s me doing post-processing, which I do without apology.

 

It’s such a fun lens!

 

I shot this one from air, hanging out of a helicopter without a door. The A6000 was plenty rugged enough! I used the 70-200mm lens here with image stabilization, which really helped.

 

Coming in for a landing… BTW, you can click on any photo then go through to see the EXIF on SmugMug – just click the little “i”.

 

You can also use this lens to take black and white photos. (that was a joke)

 

I could have gotten this shot with a wider lens, but I would have lost all the detail if I had to crop in post. I’m so happy to have this lens in my (limited) arsenal!

 

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