Sony reveals new premium super-telephoto lens for Alpha-system cameras

April 19, 2017

Sony has introduced a new lens to its premium G Master series for E-mount cameras, the FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS, aimed at the high-end enthusiast and professional market.

According to its statement, the company has taken pains to make sure the Sony 100-400mm GM will meet the high standard of resolution that’s expected of its G Master lens line and also offer fast and accurate autofocus, a lightweight design for better usability in the field, and high customisability.

The lens features 22 elements, arranged in 16 groups – including one Super ED (extra-low dispersion) and two regular ED elements – in an optical design built to minimise any chromatic aberrations and get the sharpest possible results. Like other G Master lenses, the Sony 100-400mm GM is treated with Sony’s Nano AR coating, which aims to reduce unwanted reflections that might lead to flaring or ghost effects, and the 9-bladed circular aperture design ought to provide some very pleasing bokeh effects. It also features built-in optical image stabilisation to combat the shakiness common when shooting with long focal-length lenses, helping to get sharper images while shooting handheld. It offers a minimum focusing range of just 0.98 metres.

Additionally, in order to keep up with fast-moving action, the 100-400mm GM makes use of a double linear motor, which allows for quicker lens drive acceleration. Coupled with a new AF algorithm, the lens should be able to react very quickly to sudden movement by the user’s subject – which will no doubt prove very useful for wildlife or sports photography enthusiasts armed with high-end Sony cameras.

On the outside, the lens is dust- and moisture-resistant, has a fluorine coating on the front lens for easier cleaning and upkeep, and features a removable tripod mount. Weighing in at 1,395g, it should also prove to be one of the lightest telephoto zooms in its class, and follows Sony’s practice of making their cameras and lenses as compact as possible.

The Sony 100-400mm also offers its users a bit of additional customisation – the lens barrel features a ‘zoom torque adjustment ring’ so that the user can customise how fast the zoom ring will rotate to match their personal preference, a first for Sony’s Alpha-series. There is also a focus hold button that can also be assigned to variety of functions including focus mode selection, AF area selection or the Eye AF lock feature.

The 100-400mm will be compatible with both Sony’s 1.4x and 2.0x tele-converters, meaning users will be able to shoot at up to 800mm on full-frame cameras and approximately 1200mm (35mm equiv.) on APS-C cameras.

The new Sony 100-400mm GM will be available from July 2017, priced at approximately £2,500.

Also announced today is the Sony A9 – a high-speed mirrorless model that shoots at 20fps – read more here.

13 issues for £13 - don't miss out!

Subscribe to Amateur Photographer magazine today and receive 13 issues for only £13 - saving 71%!