Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 SSM G (SAL-70200G) - Full Format Review / Lab Test
Lens Reviews - Sony Alpha (Full Format)
Article Index
Introduction
Analysis

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published December 2010

Lens kindly provided by Dieter Scherk!

Introduction

The Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 SSM G is part of Sony professional Gold lineup. It is actually the last of the Mohican - it was designed during the very last phase of the Minolta era and its current incarnation is "only" a relabeled and restyled variant. There's, of course, nothing bad about this. We tested the lens a while ago on an APS-C DSLR but let's have a look how it performs within its native full format.

The build quality of the lens is exceptional. The lens body is obviously made of metal and both the focus and zoom control rings feel tight and smooth to handle. Typical for most Sony lenses the fluted rubber rings offer lots of grip but they have an inevitable tendency to collect dust in no time.
The physical length remains constant regardless of the zoom or focus setting. The front element does not rotate thanks to the internal focusing (IF) system. The lens does not feature any sealing against dust and humidity which is somewhat unfortunate regarding the (professional) target audience as well as relative to competing lenses by Canon or Nikon.
The petal-shaped lens hood has an interesting feature: you can remove a little window cover which provides access to the filter thread - this is highly useful if you intend to use a polarizer.

Another interesting aspect of the lens is the SSM - the SuperSonic AF Motor which is similar to Canon's USM or Nikon's SWM. It is fast (although not as fast as in the Zeiss ZA 24-70mm f/2.8 for instance), near silent and very accurate. Sony did also incorporate 3 focus-lock buttons plus a dedicated AF/MF switch as well as a focus limiter.

Specifications
Optical construction19 elements in 16 groups inc. 4x ED elements
Number of aperture blades9 (rounded)
min. focus distance1.2 m (max. magnification ratio 1:5)
Dimensions87 x 197 mm
Weight1340 g (without tripod mount)
Filter size77 mm (non-rotating)
Hoodpetal-shaped (metal), snap-on, supplied
Other featuresDMF, 3 focus-stop buttons, focus limiter




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