Sony continues to work hard at expanding its FE mount lens system and is now starting to concentrate on more specialist optics. The latest additions to the line-up are two supertelephotos – a 600mm f4.0 prime and a 200-600mm f5.6-6.3 zoom. The 600mm is a G Master standard lens (the tenth GM lens), while the 200-600mm is a G series model. The pair bring the number of full-frame E mount lenses up to 33.
Not surprisingly, the 600mm is the longest focal length Sony FE mount prime thus far, and it’s obviously primarily aimed at sports, action and wildlife photographers. It weighs in at 3.04 kilograms and its optical construction employs 24 elements in 18 groups, including a large ‘Extreme Aspherical’ (‘XA’) type designed to optimise centre-to-corner sharpness, two with extra-low dispersion (ED) characteristics and three fluorite types to minimise chromatic aberrations. As with the 400mm f2.8 GM telephoto lens, Sony says the 600mm’s optical construction has been designed to prevent it being front-heavy thereby giving a better overall balance which, in particular, facilitates smoother panning.
The supertelephoto also employs a pair of Sony’s ‘XD’ (‘Extreme Dynamic’) linear motors to drive the lens’s focus group in conjunction with specially-developed motion algorithms to minimise both lag and instability, and also reduce noise levels; giving fast, accurate and quiet autofocusing. Sony’s ‘Nano AR’ multi-coating helps reduce internal reflections, ghosting and flare. The built-in optical image stabiliser enables five-axis correction when used with compatible Alpha mirrorless camera bodies.
An 11-blade diaphragm gives smoother out-of-focus effects and a drop-in filter holder accepts screwthread types with a 40.5 millimetres diameter (including Sony’s optional VF-DCPL circular polariser). The external construction uses magnesium alloy barrel tubes with full sealing against dust and moisture, and with a fluorine coating on the external surface of the front element. Other features include a full-time manual focus override, customisable focus-hold buttons, a focus limiter switch and a lens hood made from carbonfibre to help save weight.
If 600mm isn’t long enough, the new supertelephoto prime is compatible with Sony’s1.4x and 2.0x E-mount teleconverters which give an 840mm f5.6 and a 1200mm f8.0 respectively.
The new FE 200-600mm f5.6-6.3 G OSS also features a weather-proofed external construction, an 11-blade circular diaphragm and a 24-element optical construction, but in 17 groups and with a different arrangement of special types. These include five made from ED-type optical glass – to correct for chromatic aberrations – and one aspherical type. Sony’s Nano AR coating is again used to minimise ghosting and flare. The 200-600mm also has built-in optical stabilisation with three operating modes, and is compatible with the 1.4x and 2.0x teleconverters (again giving a focal length of up to 1200mm). It uses Sony’s ‘DDSSM’ (‘Direct Drive SSM’) autofocusing system and has a minimum focusing distance of 2.4 metres. The minimum aperture range is f32-36, and the screwthread filter diameter is 95 millimetres. Other key features include an internal zooming mechanism, three customisable focus-hold buttons, a focus limiter switch and a detachable tripod mounting collar.
Australian pricing for both these lenses has yet to be announced, but local availability will be from August. For more information visit http://www.sony.com.au