Sony FE 200-600

Ziggy99

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Availability...
US in early July
Europe & Australia in August
Aus price c. $3250

For me now the big question is how much the 1.4x TC degrades the IQ.
On the 100-400mm the answer is not much. The 2x, noticeably but in good light the results are still OK.
 
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Ziggy99

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Alex Phan's review on FB Sony A9, A9II ...
I haven't tried to include his pics.

Review of Sony FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G for wildlife shooter.
====================================
Thanks to Sony USA for trusting me with their new lens in the last couple days. This allow me to get out and shot some real wildlife stuff from Los Angeles all the way down to San Diego.

---------------------------------------------------------------
Please don't ask for RAW or bigger file images. View on a 32" or more monitor if you want to do pixel peeping.
Please don't ask to test on other camera or compare to different lens combo since i don't have time for it.
This lens is testing on Sony A9.
====================================

When i first pick up the lens, the first word came out of my mouth was "No way". It is much more compact compare to all the pictures i saw. The second words came out was "Damnnn"..when I hold the lens. It is lighter than Nikon 200-500 and Sigma 150-600 Sport or Sigma 60-600. Only 4.6 lbs.

* Build Quality & Handling:
The lens construction and build quality is very solid. It looks just a tad bigger than the 100-400. What special about this lens is it's an internally zooming lens. By having the zoom internal, no zoom creep issue and most important, you don't have to deal with balance and front-heaviness as the lens physically extended as you zoomed. It is all done internal now. Your hand position stay the same through out. This will help a lot. Less fatigue.

The zoom ring is large, nice grip material, and is very smooth to rotate. It also have a very short throw from 200 to 600. You don't have to twist your hand for the zoom like other lenses. With your thumb, you can just gently rotate the zoom ring. Smooth like butter. I love it. It make zoom and panning so much easier as the falcon fly straight to you from the ocean at 200 mph.

This lens has the label of “made in China”. With all the war trade going on now, not sure how the price will effect USA customers later.

*Image Quality & Performance:

Keep in mind, this lens is not designated as Sony's top-tier G Master series. Sony didn't use magnesium-alloy, or the newer XD linear auto focus actuator for it. What this mean in the field? The AF speed/respond from close to far distance is slow. This also mean trying to focus on an object that coming to you is slower. However, this is when your experience kick in to compensate for it.

AF is extremely responsive. I was able to spot the falcon far away that blend in the muddy/cloudy sky and grab focus of it and follow through the entire time as it zip through the ocean floor up the cliff and blend around the busy vegetation background. I choose to falcon because of the raw speed they fly, unpredictable path, it will fly through different lighting setting, different background. I'm more than happy to say it pass the Falcon AF tracking test.

Image quality is sharp with great detail. PLEASE VIEW THE IMAGES with your computer monitor. Recommend from 32 to 42".

This lens is variable aperture. it will be f/6.3 once you zoom to 400mm range. So if your neck of the woods doesn't have lots of sun, be ready to pump up your ISO to keep up with your shutter speed.

* Teleconverters and Clear zoom images:
This lens is compatible with both Sony's 1.4x and 2.0x teleconverters. AF is fast with both TC. I was able to track swallow with 2.0x TC (fiew of view at 1200mm)

200-600 + 1.4x TC: AF fast, IQ still great.
200-600 + 2x TC: AF fast, IQ is bad. Image is very soft for BIF.
Clear zoom images is works perfectly with this lens.

* Conclusion:
With the releasing of 200-600 and 600GM, the day of adapting lens is ending soon. The design, the performance, the price is right on. This will open the door for many many users from DSLR that love the amazing AF performance of Sony A9 but don't want or can't afford the big prime (400/600GM), this lens is perfect for you or i would say about 95% of users out there. I strongly recommend this lens as it is a great lens and very versatile. Just think what you can do for the money with A6400 & 200-600 combo for static or distant shot? or like my buddy Thy Bun could do with his stacking TC and CIZ so he can get the image that is miles away. You just can't beat it.

* My personal opinion:

This is an excellent lens but it is not for me. Yes, i hate the fact that i have to deal with vignetting when using 1.4x and 2x TC on 100-400GM, i hate the fact that my TC sometime wiggly a bit but i'm after absolute speed and subject acquisition. Also, the IQ on 100-400GM + 2x TC is usable for BIF. I'm belong to the remain 5% that need the absolute IQ, reliable AF and snappy subject acquisition.

So before you order this lens, please ask yourself a honest question: What is your goal here? How demand are you for speed? What kind of wildlife are you shooting? Are you belong to the 5% or 95% group. Know the limitation of the lens, know your needed/ goal and go from there. If I can track a falcon zip through the ocean cliff at 200 mph with this lens, you can basically shot anything with it.

Also, there is no such thing as free lunch. There is a reason why prime lenses cost 6x time more.

Happy shooting.
 

JonathanF2

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Usually I like fixed barrel length lenses, but I can see how the 200-600mm might be too long for travel. For traveling I might opt for the 100-400mm GM + TCs instead. Also I wish Sony didn't copy Canon with white lenses. I much prefer my lenses black!
 

mstphoto

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Yip, I always say its the weather that makes our country the most beautiful country it is.
Also if it wasn't for the rain we wouldn't have the World's finest Malt Whiskies ;)
 

JonathanF2

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I played with one in Japan, it's a nice lens!

I also want to mention it wasn't too heavy, though it is quite long. I'd definitely add some sort of neoprene coat on it for added protection once one is made available. On an A9 at 600mm, it locked on nicely even in a showroom lit room.

48370350072_c524fafbb4_b.jpg
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2019 Summer Vacation Trip to Tokyo, Japan by Jonathan Friolo, on Flickr
 
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Ziggy99

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2.1 kg without lens foot.
That's pretty close to the Nikon 200-500mm, which is my limit for HH.
But users say the CoG is relatively close in when at 600mm.
 

Ziggy99

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First impressions with birds ...
comparing with the FE 100-400 & 1.4 TC ....

Shooting at f 6.3 rather than f8.0 and 600mm racked out rather than 560mm.
It's about 500g heavier and I can feel that, but it's still lighter than my standard Nikon rig.
The middle finger knuckle rides against the lens but not badly.
The short zoom throw is a real asset.
I've clearly got into the habit of looking at the lens to see how far racked out I am. Doesn't work here with internal zoom.
It works with my Skout holster and just fits into the big Kinesis holster bag. Happy not to have to get more carrying devices.
Full focus ranging is pretty quick.
There's gobs of detail. The extra reach is welcome. Degradation with the 1.4 TC is said to be obvious and that remains to be tested.

Sample shots are about 50% cropped, sharpened and downsized.

Kookaburra. I expect this would've been sharper with OSS on 2 (panning). It was on 1 (general).
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Australian Wood Duck
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Ziggy99

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Some more shots - these are uncropped/unedited but downsized to 1400 px long side. No lens corrections as the editor doesn't have a profile yet.
The camera is set to correct vignetting so there must be a fair slew of it.
All these were Tracking: Zone. With the chopper the AF locked onto the tail rotor and stuck like glue.

Eek, no feathers. How did this get here?!
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Great Cormorant getting airborne
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Pacific Black Duck
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Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
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Biro

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Some may think that I'm crazy... but I'd love to see a real-world comparison shooting sports and
wildlife between the 200-600 on an A7 III... and the RX10 IV. Sure, the 200-600 and A7 III would win. But by how much?
 
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Ziggy99

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Joined
Jan 25, 2019
Messages
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Location
Australia
Some more shots - these are uncropped/unedited but downsized to 1400 px long side. No lens corrections as the editor doesn't have a profile yet.
The camera is set to correct vignetting so there must be a fair slew of it.
All these were Tracking: Zone. With the chopper the AF locked onto the tail rotor and stuck like glue.

Eek, no feathers. How did this get here?!
View attachment 103863

Great Cormorant getting airborne
View attachment 103864

Pacific Black Duck
View attachment 103865

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
View attachment 103866
Apologies - my camera wasn't set to Shading - Auto (ie. anti vignette). My bad.
 

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