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NEW ! Sony 400mm F2.8 G-Master

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Old Thursday 28th June 2018, 05:05   #1
Chosun Juan
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Lightbulb NEW ! Sony 400mm F2.8 G-Master

Sony will release this new super telephoto in September for $12000USD. Two new linear motors mean 5x faster tracking performance on the a9 compared to the 300mm F2.8G.

Fluorine coated objective lens, 3 fluorite (and 1 ED) lenses, with many elements grouped toward the middle and rear of the lens gives a well balanced weight of 2.895kg (6.38lbs) for the magnesium alloy chassised lens. That's an astonishing near kilo lighter than the CaNikon offerings!

https://m.dpreview.com/news/61187052...ber-for-12-000
https://m.dpreview.com/articles/1870...00-f2-8-gm-oss
https://www.sony.com.au/electronics/...es/sel400f28gm



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Last edited by Chosun Juan : Thursday 28th June 2018 at 05:31. Reason: Lynx :)
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Old Thursday 28th June 2018, 07:31   #2
nikonmike
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Will let you know how good it is when i get mine-----------------------------------------------
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Old Thursday 28th June 2018, 08:19   #3
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The weight is impressively low. Smaller internal lens elements seem to be the explanation. Also there is no protective meniscus element in the front.
Front element does not seem to be fluorite though?! So perhaps it will not be as sensitive. Smaller lens elements also means cheaper.

https://www.dpreview.com/news/611870...ber-for-12-000

In comparison Nikon shaved of a lot of weight with the latest FL-versions, moving elements towards the back of the lens, but it's still 3.8 kg. See lens cutaways here:

https://photographylife.com/reviews/...400mm-f2-8e-vr
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Old Thursday 28th June 2018, 08:26   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikonmike View Post
Will let you know how good it is when i get mine-----------------------------------------------
Lol yeah .... not cheap :)

This marks a significant milestone in digital camera history though - the first time a truly competitive native offering (when teamed with an a9) is able to compete with CaNikon systems in the high speed sports /wildlife arenas.

The fact that Sony has come out with a leap ahead in this lens that weighs only ~3/4 of what the competition does is truly noteworthy. Hopefully they continue in a similar manner with updated 500 f4 and new 600 f4.

It also puts the pressure on Canon's 600mm f4 DO to really bring the goods and really come in as a true lightweight offering. Nikon had better wake from its slumber in that 600mm f4 Diffractive Optics (Phase Fresnel) regard !

Sample gallery for the Sony here:
https://m.dpreview.com/samples/88688...traffic_source




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Old Thursday 28th June 2018, 08:48   #5
Chosun Juan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vespobuteo View Post
The weight is impressively low. Smaller internal lens elements seem to be the explanation. Also there is no protective meniscus element in the front.
Front element does not seem to be fluorite though?! So perhaps it will not be as sensitive. Smaller lens elements also means cheaper.

https://www.dpreview.com/news/611870...ber-for-12-000

In comparison Nikon shaved of a lot of weight with the latest FL-versions, moving elements towards the back of the lens, but it's still 3.8 kg. See lens cutaways here:

https://photographylife.com/reviews/...400mm-f2-8e-vr
Vespo,

Lol. Just as well the smaller elements means cheaper !

Check the links I posted in the OP (lol, one was the same as you repeated :) ..... they show schematic lens drawings, and with labels (on the Sony site) . The objective is neither marked as Fluorite, or ED, but the press release (again in the link you repeated :) says that the front element is "coated with fluorine to resist dirt and fingerprints." The fluorite elements are in the middle of the lens, and the ED element in the rear section. Just as well their reduced diameters mean cheaper ..... lol

They seem to have gone all out, with the 3 fluorite elements, and even an 11 blade [circular] aperture diaphragm.

I say bravo Sony

Let there be light !!



Chosun

Last edited by Chosun Juan : Thursday 28th June 2018 at 09:31. Reason: confirm 11 blade aperture is circular
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Old Thursday 28th June 2018, 09:56   #6
Vespobuteo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chosun Juan View Post
Vespo,

Lol. Just as well the smaller elements means cheaper !

Check the links I posted in the OP (lol, one was the same as you repeated :) ..... they show schematic lens drawings, and with labels (on the Sony site) . The objective is neither marked as Fluorite, or ED, but the press release (again in the link you repeated :) says that the front element is "coated with fluorine to resist dirt and fingerprints." The fluorite elements are in the middle of the lens, and the ED element in the rear section. Just as well their reduced diameters mean cheaper ..... lol

They seem to have gone all out, with the 3 fluorite elements, and even an 11 blade [circular] aperture diaphragm.

I say bravo Sony

Let there be light !!

Chosun
Oops, I mixed up the prices.... The Sony looks higher priced than Ni-Can as usual.

Would be interesting to have some more explanation on the lens design. To me it seems quite revolutionary. If you consider aperture, it's more "weight efficient" than Canon 400/4 DO (aperture 100% larger but weight less than 50% more).

Just waiting for the first "9 blade rounded" vs "11 blade circular aperture" bokeh shoot-out on youtube.

Last edited by Vespobuteo : Thursday 28th June 2018 at 10:01.
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Old Thursday 28th June 2018, 20:13   #7
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This is great news for Sony users - finally an up to date long (ish) lens! So long as the A9 (etc) are robust enough to manhandle a beastie like this then there are going to be some happy chappies/lasses out there!

This lens should go a long way to making the Sony system viable.
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Old Saturday 30th June 2018, 08:55   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnf3f View Post
This is great news for Sony users - finally an up to date long (ish) lens! So long as the A9 (etc) are robust enough to manhandle a beastie like this then there are going to be some happy chappies/lasses out there!

This lens should go a long way to making the Sony system viable.
John, I think it's even better than that. It's great news for all users, since this now makes Sony a viable system, and with its innovative lightweight lens design really puts the competitive pressure on CaNikon. That can only mean better products for all of us as they each respond to new competitive benchmarks.

It means that a conventional refractive lens can realistically come in under 3kg for a 600mm f4.

Importantly, drastically reducing weight like this goes some way to help stem the leakage to MFT systems.

If you follow that Sony link In my OP, you'll see in the features section that Sony says they have improved the mount strength of the lens:
"Increased mount strength and reliability

The number of mount attachment screws has been increased to ensure maximum rigidity and durability that will easily withstand professional use."


I count 7 screws and approximately 200 total over 2 lugs of locking bearing surface.



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Old Saturday 30th June 2018, 09:57   #9
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Another weight saving tweak is that Sony don't have a manual focus ring with related mechanics rather than a focus-by-wire focus ring on the lens.
I guess you could have different thoughts on that. To me it's not a huge deal on this type of lens. But some will probably complain on that. Focus-by-wire is not liked by everyone.

Last edited by Vespobuteo : Saturday 30th June 2018 at 13:19. Reason: Clarifying focusing method
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Old Saturday 30th June 2018, 12:25   #10
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As far as I can tell this lens (along with most modern AF telephotos I can think of) still has full time manual focus available (it seems to be located near the midpoint of the lens where the wide black rubber grip is - perhaps as a result of the unique objective design?
This from the Sony site I linked in the OP:
"Full-time DMF

When the FULL TIME DMF switch is ON, manual focus is immediately engaged by simply rotating the focus ring, even while shooting in the AF-C mode. If AF causes focus to shift to a different subject while shooting, the focus ring can be used to quickly bring focus back to the desired subject. In situations where the user wants to fine tune focus manually after initial AF, the body’s shutter button half-press focus function can be turned off and AF assigned to a different button, making it easy to use the focus ring for final focus after initial AF has been achieved. The ability to instantly switch to manual focus can also be useful when it is necessary to focus beyond a set focus range limit."


Not only that, but this Sony lens seems supremely versatile, having:
* Customizable focus hold buttons in four locations
* Function ring provided for the first time
* Power Focus
* Preset Focus, and
* 3 setting Focus range limiter

Along with the new high speed focusing motors, this lens should be something else when paired with the a9's 20fps !

I know on my Tammy I use the ability to manual focus to roughly preset the focusing ballpark while in continuous AF quite a lot, particularly over large range changes in low light - but then again this pro level 400 f2.8 Sony is in another league focusing performance-wise compared to a consumer f6.3 .....

It looks like Sony has set this new lens up to be just as useful for videographers as it is for stills photographers .... making its astonishing light weight all the more remarkable



Chosun

Last edited by Chosun Juan : Saturday 30th June 2018 at 12:34.
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Old Saturday 30th June 2018, 13:15   #11
Vespobuteo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chosun Juan View Post
As far as I can tell this lens (along with most modern AF telephotos I can think of) still has full time manual focus available (it seems to be located near the midpoint of the lens where the wide black rubber grip is - perhaps as a result of the unique objective design?
This from the Sony site I linked in the OP:
"Full-time DMF

When the FULL TIME DMF switch is ON, manual focus is immediately engaged by simply rotating the focus ring, even while shooting in the AF-C mode. If AF causes focus to shift to a different subject while shooting, the focus ring can be used to quickly bring focus back to the desired subject. In situations where the user wants to fine tune focus manually after initial AF, the body’s shutter button half-press focus function can be turned off and AF assigned to a different button, making it easy to use the focus ring for final focus after initial AF has been achieved. The ability to instantly switch to manual focus can also be useful when it is necessary to focus beyond a set focus range limit."


Chosun
From what I have read, the Sony have focus-by-wire but not mechanical focusing.
So all focusing (including manual) is done by via the AF-motor not by mechanics.
A bit like Fujifilm lenses work I guess.
Guess I could have written my initial post a bit clearer.

Last edited by Vespobuteo : Saturday 30th June 2018 at 13:23.
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Old Saturday 30th June 2018, 23:30   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chosun Juan View Post
John, I think it's even better than that. It's great news for all users, since this now makes Sony a viable system, and with its innovative lightweight lens design really puts the competitive pressure on CaNikon. That can only mean better products for all of us as they each respond to new competitive benchmarks.

It means that a conventional refractive lens can realistically come in under 3kg for a 600mm f4.

Importantly, drastically reducing weight like this goes some way to help stem the leakage to MFT systems.

If you follow that Sony link In my OP, you'll see in the features section that Sony says they have improved the mount strength of the lens:
"Increased mount strength and reliability

The number of mount attachment screws has been increased to ensure maximum rigidity and durability that will easily withstand professional use."


I count 7 screws and approximately 200 total over 2 lugs of locking bearing surface.



Chosun
Thanks for the update. Hopefully this lens will start to make the Sony system much more viable for people like me.

I use the longest lenses currently available so Sony has been a no go for me. Good cameras/wonderful sensors but no lenses! This 400 F2.8 is definitely a big step in the right direction though. Naturally we will have to see how it performs in the field but it is very encouraging news regardless of what system one uses - if it is better than the competition then they will have to catch up!
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