Sony’s well-loved 70-200mm f2.8 workhorse lens is getting a makeover. Introduced on Oct. 13, the Sony 70-200mm f2.8 GM OSS II has various enhancements, together with upgraded autofocus, an aperture ring, and improved optics. However, Sony says that the unique lens isn’t going anyplace, a minimum of not but. So what’s the distinction between the 2 lenses? Is the Sony 70-200mm f2.8 GM OSS II well worth the greater value level?
I spent every week with these two lenses on the Sony a1. The brand new optic is impressively quick and sharp. However, for the correct value, the unique Sony 70-200mm f2.8 GM OSS isn’t essentially a nasty purchase.
Design: Sony 70-200mm f2.8 GM OSS II Vs. Sony 70-200mm f2.8 GM OSS
At first look, the lenses each appear very comparable till you choose them up. The brand new lens is sort of 30 % lighter and weighs about 36 ounces. Whereas a couple of ounces is difficult to inform, it’s a big sufficient weight reduction to note whereas out taking pictures. Sony even says it’s the lightest full-frame f2.8 70-200mm. In fact, it’s nonetheless a workhorse zoom, so it’s not mild, however it’s not fairly the beast of the sooner model.
The opposite main design change is the addition of an aperture ring. The clicking to the ring might be turned on and off. There’s an Iris Lock change that can forestall the lens from leaving the A or Auto place, whereas additionally stopping unintentionally spinning the aperture to A as properly.
The brand new lens additionally has a Full-Time DMF change. This lets you use the guide focus ring to regulate what the autofocus has chosen. If the autofocus isn’t fairly proper, utilizing DMF could also be simpler than utilizing guide focus from scratch. The earlier lens nonetheless has that functionality, however there’s no on-off change for it on the lens.
Autofocus: Sony 70-200mm f2.8 GM OSS II Vs. Sony 70-200mm f2.8 GM OSS
Mounted on the Sony a1, there’s a big distinction within the autofocus efficiency between the 2 lenses. The brand new model of the lens has 4 XD linear autofocus motors. The Sony 70-200mm f2.8 GM OSS II had only a 5 % miss fee with a toddler working straight on the digital camera. The older model of the lens had a ten % miss fee. It’s minor sufficient that the distinction on Sony’s extra primary mannequin our bodies received’t be as noticeable. However, the older lens nonetheless missed twice as a lot.
One other main change is that the lens can focus a lot nearer. The brand new lens focuses on objects as shut as about 1.4 ft away. The older model of the lens wants greater than three ft. I observed a big distinction in my potential to get in near topics with the brand new lens. And, getting in nearer can be going to create smoother backgrounds than the 200mm and f2.8 alone.
The autofocus can be noticeably quieter on the brand new lens. There are typically a couple of clicks. However comparatively talking, the older lens made much more grinding noises.
Picture High quality: Sony 70-200mm f2.8 GM OSS II Vs. Sony 70-200mm f2.8 GM OSS
Throughout my week with these two lenses, I didn’t discover main variations in coloration, flare, or aberrations. What I observed was sharpness. The newer lens is sharper for extra of the body. The Mark II has some slight softness within the corners and across the edges — about 10 % in. The softness on the unique model of the lens was most likely twice that. The softer edges began a lot sooner on the older lens. The requirements for what sharp seems to be like have improved over the past 5 years, and the Sony 70-200mm f2.8 GM OSS II has sharper photographs.
That’s to not say that the unique model is unhealthy. However, you wish to keep away from placing particulars on the perimeters of the body with the unique extra so than the Mark II.
Is the New Lens Really Value It?
In case you shoot motion and have a more recent, sooner Sony physique, the 70-200mm f2.8 GM OSS II goes to ship the most effective autofocus. However, moreover velocity, the newer lens focuses nearer. It’s sharper for extra of the picture. And, after all, there’s that stunning aperture ring and the lighter design. It’s additionally going to be extra future-proof. If, say, a photographer opts for the outdated lens as a result of they’re simply taking pictures with the a7 III, will they improve the physique and down the street want for the newer lens? It’s a fantastic workhorse lens.
If you have already got the unique lens and are disillusioned within the autofocus, nook sharpness, and measurement, the brand new glass goes to assist these points. However, in the event you’re pleased with the outdated lens and don’t shoot quick topics, the variations are most likely too small to warrant dropping one other $2k+.
For photographers who don’t but have a 70-200mm, the selection goes to rely each on value, topic, and the digital camera physique that it’s paired with. The brand new lens retails for $2,799; the unique is about $200 much less new, however it’s unclear if the worth will drop even additional. The outdated lens is anticipated to remain available on the market, a minimum of for now. Photographers with the a1 or a9 ought to go for the sooner lens. Photographers on the entry to mid-level our bodies? It’s going to return down to cost and the way a lot that additional sharpness, nearer focus, and aperture ring matter. If the worth distinction stays at $200 (lower than 10 % of the full value) the added sharpness and enhanced design is price it. However, if there’s a big value distinction and the selection is between the outdated lens and a narrower aperture lens, the outdated 70-200mm f2.8 can nonetheless seize good pictures.
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