Sony has announced the second-generation 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master lens that it says has excellent performance packed into the world’s lightest large-aperture telephoto zoom lens.
The company says that the FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II lens — the 65th lens in its E-mount lens lineup — delivers an extraordinary combination of resolution and bokeh as well as the best autofocus that can be expected for Sony cameras in performance that it says the G Master design is renowned for.
Sony says that the lens will not only impress with its outstanding quality but will also be the lightest f/2.8 70-200mm zoom in the world which it says will allow for unprecedented shooting freedom and flexibility. The lens is approximately 29% lighter than the previous model and weighs just under 37 ounces (1,045 grams). In addition to its light weight, the FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II was designed for professionals to offer an ideal balance without front-heaviness, which Sony says ensures the lens’ center of gravity falls directly above the tripod mount. It also features internal zooming to keep the center of gravity constant.
Sony says that the FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II achieves its combination of high resolving power and clarity as well as corner-to-corner sharpness thanks to two aspherical elements and one XA (extreme aspherical) element that it says is manufactured to 0.01-micron precision. Because of this, Sony says that the lens can effectively control distance-related aberration variations to ensure its high-quality resolution throughout the image area.
The lens also uses two extra-low dispersion spherical glass elements and two Super extra-low dispersion spherical glass elements to “significantly” reduce chromatic aberration without color bleeding. As has become expected in the most recent G Master lenses, Sony also included an XA element which it says thoroughly suppresses the “onion” ring effect that can occur in bokeh balls. Finally, it uses a single extra-low dispersion aspherical element for the first time in an Alpha system lens, which Sony says simultaneously suppresses chromatic and spherical aberration, which it says are common issues in other telephoto lenses.
The front element has been treated with Sony’s Nano AR Coating II which it says produces a uniform anti-reflection coating on the surface of the lens. In addition, the company says that the FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS II’s optical design also effectively suppresses internal reflections to improve clarity. The front element has also been treated with a fluorine coating to repel water and oils. The lens is also dust and moisture-resistant.
Smooth bokeh is made possible by a large f/2.8 maximum aperture and a newly-developed 11-bladed circular aperture. It has a minimum focusing distance of 15.7 inches (0.4 meters) at 70mm and 32.3 inches (0.82 meters) at 200mm, with a maximum magnification of 0.3x. The lens can also be paired with Sony’s 1.4x or 2.0x teleconverter to extend the lens’ focal length to 400mm at an f/5.6 aperture.
The new lens uses four Sony XD (extreme dynamic) linear motors that it says allow the lens to provide extraordinarily fast and precise autofocus, and up to four times faster along with focus tracking that has been improved by 30% over the previous model.
For video shooters, the lens was designed to have significantly reduced focus breathing, focus shift, and axis shift when zooming so there is minimal unwanted image movement and angle of view variations. It also has independent control rings for focus, zoom, and aperture that Sony says allows for precise manual operation.
Below are a few sample images provided by Sony: