Working Review of the Sony 400mm f/2.8 G Master OSS Lens
Sony 400mm f/2.8 G Master Lens on Sony a9
It's lightweight, extremely fast and responsive, beautiful bokeh, customisatable and partners perfectly with the Sony a9 for Sports and/or Wildlife.
Personal view, I love this set up!
About a month ago now (Sept 2018) I made the decision to change from being a avid Canon user over to the new Sony system. A massive choice considering I had several thousand pounds worth of kit that I use on a daily basis. Of course my kit was getting old and I thought it was about time they needed upgrading ... In comes the a9. Now this alone is an amazing camera, blistering fast auto focus with almost edge to edge focal points, capable of 20fps, silent shooting and no blackout while shooting are to name a few features on this amazing camera. So for the sports and to a certain extent the wildlife I shoot (both photo and video) the new 400mm G Master lens was a must have. I already owned the canon version albeit several years old so this had to be a comparable change.
Hand on heart if Sony hadn't had brought this lens into the market, I'd still be with Canon. It's one of my main work horse lenses so I basically couldn't live without it.
So now I've had the chance to use the Sony a9 combined with the 400mm and I can honestly say its blown me away. At first I was nervous that it might not be up to standard and my work would suffer but I really shouldn't have worried, it's been superb.
Now I'm not going to go into the technical aspect of the lens, and talk about the fluorite elements and the 11 blades that make up the diaphragm. If you want those kind of details then you can google them, this is more of a real world review of its actual use in the field.
Despite that above, you have all the usual buttons in which you can control the lens with which includes a Full-time DMF switch, customisable focus-hold buttons on the barrel (which you can with the a9 set that up to use the very handy EyeAF) and a drop in filter etc. One of the major benefits for me while using this and again one of the reasons I swapped from Canon to Sony was the weight.
The Sony 400mm is approximately 1kg less that the Canon version I had which was the USM II. Now if you factor in the weight of the cameras as well you end up saving around another 700g, which makes a big difference when you're carrying the kit all day. One thing I haven't tried yet is the handheld shooting element. Although its light or lighter than my previous set upI still use a mono-pod when shooting.
The focusing performance of this lens when coupled with the a9 is outstanding, the tacking ability of the camera even opening the lens completely wide at f/2.8 the images are beautiful and sharp, detailed, lovely bokeh with the colour and contrast representation was outstanding.
Put this all together and you have a killer combination, the Sony 400mm f/2.8 GM OSS is world class and it goes without saying they have made another leap forward and are ready to compete with the likes of Canon and Nikon in the top end Pro sports circuit.
Don't just my word for it, and there are plenty of reviews out there covering this, asI always say the proof is in the pudding, so I'll attach a couple of shots from the latest NFL game I shot for Prosportsimages ...