Sony’s FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS II takes the classic fast zoom and elevates performance to a whole new level. This lens builds upon the best parts of the original and makes them even better while simultaneously reducing weight by 29%—making this lens the lightest in its class. Sony has also given this lens a brand-new AF system that promises up to four times the speed and has made plenty of optical optimizations that will appeal to video shooters, including improvements to focus breathing and focus shift. Whether you shoot portraits, sports, landscapes, or video, the 70-200mm f/2.8 will get the job done.
Improved Optical Performance
A hallmark of the G Master line is outstanding optical performance with both high sharpness and smooth bokeh. Using a new design, the FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS II promises corner-to-corner sharpness across the entire zoom range—even when shooting wide open at f/2.8. Along with that, a newly designed 11-blade aperture helps create soft, pleasing bokeh.
- Fast f/2.8 constant aperture allows users to capture images in dim lighting conditions and with a shallow depth of field.
- Two ED (extra-low dispersion) and two Super ED elements, including one aspherical ED element, effectively suppress chromatic and spherical aberrations.
- Two aspherical lenses, including one extreme aspherical lens (XA), minimize distance-related aberrations and also reduce ‘onion ring’ bokeh.
- Nano AR Coating II controls flare and ghosting with support from a new optical design that reduces internal reflections.
- An 11-blade aperture diaphragm helps create smooth, circular bokeh at all aperture settings.
Optimized for Video
Taking cues from their cinema division, Sony has optimized the 70-200mm II for video. Changes include a dramatic reduction of focus breathing and focus shift, improved autofocus performance, and a Linear Response MF system to ensure consistent, natural-feeling operation. Full-time Direct Manual Focus (DMF) also makes it easy to make quick adjustments using the focus ring while in AF modes.
The exterior design of the lens also sees some big changes. One clear example is the addition of a physical aperture ring that was not present on its predecessor. Users will be able to de-click this ring at the flip of a switch for smooth iris control during shooting. This provides shooters with independent controls for focus, zoom, and iris.
Fast Autofocus and Reliable Image Stabilization
Among the biggest improvements with the 70-200mm II is a vastly superior autofocus system. Now comprised of 4 XD Linear motors, the lens now performs up to four times faster. Focus tracking while zooming sees its own specific improvement of around 30% when compared to the previous model. Users will also enjoy high-speed continuous shooting at up to 30 fps with AF and video will benefit from the near-silent operation.
An advanced Optical SteadyShot image stabilization system will ensure sharp images while shooting handheld at even the longest focal lengths. Multiple modes are available, including standard, panning, and a new Mode 3 for moving subjects.
Professional Design and Durability
Being designed for professional use, the 70-200mm II has been ruggedized with advanced weather sealing. The weight has also been reduced by approximately 29%, to just under 2.3 lb, making this model among the lightest in its class. Optics have also been designed for balance with an internal zoom mechanism, minimizing front heaviness to provide a more ergonomic center of gravity.
Other features of the physical design include three programmable focus hold buttons, all located in 90-degree increments, for more tactile control over select settings in both landscape and portrait orientation. Users also have a removable tripod foot for added stability on support systems.
- Focus range limiter switch will optimize performance and improve AF speed and responsiveness in certain shooting scenarios.
- Zoom ring torque has been optimized.
- Iris lock switch prevents users from accidentally moving the aperture ring to or from the auto aperture position.
- Front lens element has a fluorine coating that repels water, oil, and other contaminants and makes the lens easier to clean.
- Included lens hood features a locking button and a filter window for easier adjustment of variable filters (e.g. polarizers, ND).