When Sony release this lens, I got the chance to take it with me for my trip to Lofoten and Iceland last year. This lens is part of the G Master series, which not only makes you sound kind of like a rapper but also represents the best quality that Sony has to offer. While the first round of FE lenses were designed to be compact and portable at the expense of aperture capability, these GM lenses make no compromises: they are designed to be the best of the best.
The Sony FE 70-200 GM 2.8 includes optical image stabilization (Optical SteadyShot, OSS), which allows you to work at longer shutter speeds. As a landscape photographer, I found the OSS really useful when shooting handheld (sometimes I stumble upon a great view, but I don’t have time to set my tripod).
This lens produces images with excellent color and contrast at every setting. Color is rich and vibrant and contrast is excellent as shown in above image where I shot this in Iceland during Autumn season. I was extremely pleased with the contrast profile of the lens right out of camera.
In landscape photography, sometimes I have to change my point of view from wide to something little closer. In image above, I was at atop of Reinebringen mountain in Lofoten, Norway where I switched from my wide angle lens to the Sony FE 70-200 GM 2.8 and shot this at 70mm focal length. It is a very sharp lens. Right from wide open, the lens maintains very high sharpness in the central 2/3 of the image, and still very good sharpness at the edges. This is true both at the wide end and the telephoto end, which is great. Stopping down a touch brings the edges to excellent territory, with even sharper corners.
Image above was shot at slightly wider aperture of f/4, handheld. The out-of-focus-area look smooth and eye-pleasing. That eleven-bladed diaphragm certainly seems to be plus for this lens, and this tele-zoom can often capture images that could be mistaken for those shot with a prime lens. The smooth character is most pronounced up close, but while backgrounds maintain high contrast, things still look fairly smooth even at further focus distances throughout the focal range.
The Sony FE 70-200 GM 2.8 is a perfect combination with my Sony A7R Mark II for creating high quality images. The weather seals on this lens also a bonus where it can handle quite a bit of dust and moisture which I encounter during my trip to the Arctic circle. While I’m pretty sure this lens is a definite choice for wedding/portrait photographers, no doubt it is an excellent choice for landscape/nature photographer as well.
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