Today, Sony has announced its highly anticipated FE 400mm F2.8 GM OSS large aperture super-telephoto prime lens.
It’s the first large aperture super-telephoto prime to be added to the E-mount lineup and it’s been design for sport and wildlife capture. Sony claims that the lens can produce “brilliant image quality with extraordinary focusing speed and precision” while still staying lightweight, being the lightest lens in its class.
“We’re extremely excited and proud to officially introduce the new 400mm F2.8 G Master prime lens,” said Neal Manowitz, Vice President of digital imaging at Sony Electronics. “The latest in our flagship series of G Master Lenses, this new lens offers exceptional image quality and an innovative lightweight design that will give professionals a level of flexibility with a 400mm lens unlike anything they’ve ever experienced. Combined with the unmatched shooting speeds and autofocus capabilities of our full-frame E-mount cameras, it will allow them to capture and create in ways that were never before possible.”
Autofocus with ‘5x’ better subject tracking
The FE 400mm F2.8 GM OSS lens has two newly developed high-speed XD — extreme dynamic — Linear Motors that drive the lens’ focus group, achieving up to “a 5x improvement in moving-subject tracking performance,” according Sony. The motors should also minimize lag and instability and control noise level with quick, accurate and quiet autofocus performance.
“World’s Lightest” 400mm F2.8 Prime
In total, the 400mm F2.8 Prime lens weighs just slightly over 6 pounds. Its lighter weight is possible because of its optical design that consists of three fluorite elements as well as a reduced number of elements deployed at the front of the barrel and use of magnesium alloy components.
But while the lens is light, it looks like it’s still pretty fast and stable even when shooting handheld. “Repeated field tests and evaluation by professional photographers across the world have led to a lens design that is not front-heavy, reducing moment of inertia that resists rotation by up to 50% as compared to the SAL500F40G, ensuring quicker, more precise panning when shooting handheld or on a monopod,” Sony says.
Image Quality and Bokeh
The 400mm zoom features three fluorite elements that minimize chromatic aberration and suppress color bleeding. All the while, this lens includes a Nano AR coating to “suppress any unwanted reflections, glare, or ghosting,” according to Sony.
The lens also uses an 11-blade circular aperture that helps it produce velvety bokeh.
The lens features four customizable focus-hold buttons, a Full-TIME DMF switch, a focus ring with Linear Response MF, three different optical stabilization modes and a function ring that offer Preset and Function settings — something that hasn’t be offered in a Sony lens up until this point.
Additionally, it’s compatible with Sony’s 1.4x and 2.0x E-mount tele-converters.
Pricing and Availability
All of this isn’t cheap though. Sony’s FE 400mm F2.8 GM OSS is going to cost $12,000 — a big investment for sure. The new lens will begin shipping this September.
Go sony.com to learn more about this lens.