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by James W. Milligan on Mon Jan 09, 2017 9:59 am
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I am giving some thought to adding this lens to my kit. I currently own the 70-200 f/4 lens but would like a bit more reach on the a6300 body. Is this a good fit for general wildlife photography???
 

by Mike in O on Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:34 am
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Here are some some shots with the 6300 and 70/300 (some also with the 150/600)
https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/58926447
 

by Jens Peermann on Tue Jan 10, 2017 8:17 am
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I bought this lens 6 or 8 month ago and from my experience with it I will say that it can be a great lens, but…

I first used it on an a7, which is just not the right camera for it; focus - and even DOF - very inconsistent. Sony actually lists that camera as not fully compatible with this lens. So I bought an a6300 which mitigated the problem but did not fully solve it.

I studied a lot of reports from people who also own this lens and learned that I am not the only one with those issues. But I also learned that many owners have no problems with it, regardless of camera. I eventually was able to identify the problem with my lens as being soft when used wider that f/8.

There is obviously a good deal of sample variation with this lens. I would recommend to purchase it from a local dealer, if possible, and test the lens before committing. A good copy is a really great lens, reported to be at least on par with - if not better than - the Canon 70-300.

Today I use it with the a6500 at f/8 or smaller with good to excellent results. I am a little reluctant to send it in for fixing the softness problem, although it's still under warranty. Sony farms out the servicing to a third party and the reports I read from people who used it are mixed, regarding the quality of the service. Maybe someone here can chime in on that.
Life without a camera is possible but pointless!
 

by schlansker on Tue Jan 10, 2017 12:32 pm
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I also have this lens. I do like it as a travel lens. But, in a head-to-head competition with a top quality lens, this lens suffers. I set up a same aperture and same focal length comparison between my Sony FE 70-300 vs my Canon 100-400 v2 . I used the A7Rii body (with Metabones) and a tripod. The Canon optic was far better at all equivalent focal lengths and apertures. This comparison was not very scientific, but my Sony is not close in performance to my Canon.

I will carry the Sony when weight is a big issue. When focus speed and weight are not an issue (e.g. telephoto sunset shots), the Canon is far better.

For me, my Sony would not make a great wildlife lens. There are too many compromises.
 

by James W. Milligan on Tue Jan 10, 2017 4:57 pm
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Thanks for the input, always good to hear reports from the field. I might just buy a canon 100-400 for my 7d,although I be back to the weight issue.
 

by E.J. Peiker on Tue Jan 10, 2017 5:28 pm
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Interesting, I ran the whole sharpness suite on my lens mounted on an a6300 and happened to have a 7D2 with the Canon 70-300L lens for calibration at the time and they two were essentially indistinguishable from a resolution standpoint with a tiny nod to the Sony which I attributed mainly to the 20% more pixels on the a6300 compared to the 7D2. That included all apertures and focal lengths. Since then i have been using it extensively and am very happy with my sample of the lens. But also realize that if your are hand holding, the much lower weight of the Sony combo compared to the Canon combo actually makes it a little harder to hold steady. An a6500 which adds two more axis of stabilization to the lens compared to the canon might help it overcome that though.
 

by Jens Peermann on Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:15 am
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The added two axis of image stabilization on the a6500 appears to be a factor, albeit a rather small one and should not be overrated. It takes hard pixel peeping to detect a difference between images taken with the a6300 and the a6500 when attached to the 70-300.

In regard to the low weight of the Sony combo compared to equivalent Canon gear I found it helpful to hold the lens with one hand on the hood instead of the zoom ring area. Zooming is actually possible by pulling and pushing the hood forward and backward (much like the zoom action with the original Canon 100-400 L).

Most important IMO is to make sure to get a good copy of this lens because sample variation is a strong factor.


a6500, 70-300 G OSS @ 267mm  f/8  ISO 1000  1/1000 sec
Image


a6500, 70-300 G OSS @ 203mm  f/8  ISO 2500  1/1000 sec  focus tracking
Image



Hope this helps
Life without a camera is possible but pointless!
 

by E.J. Peiker on Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:49 am
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Sample variation seems to be the bane of the Sony lens manufacturing process :(
 

by prairiewing on Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:15 pm
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E.J. Peiker wrote:
Sample variation seems to be the bane of the Sony lens manufacturing process :(




That's exactly what has stopped me from buying more heavily into this system.  I have an A7r2, use it a lot and really like it but I have neither the inclination nor the expertise to become a lens tester.  I almost bought the Sony 24-70 F2.8 but after the initial glowing reports, I had enough doubt that I chose not to spend $2,000 plus on it.  Certainly no system is without flaws but I've bought many, many lenses from the manufacturer of my main system and have never had to send one back.
Pat Gerlach
 

by E.J. Peiker on Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:05 pm
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prairiewing wrote:
E.J. Peiker wrote:
Sample variation seems to be the bane of the Sony lens manufacturing process :(




That's exactly what has stopped me from buying more heavily into this system.  I have an A7r2, use it a lot and really like it but I have neither the inclination nor the expertise to become a lens tester.  I almost bought the Sony 24-70 F2.8 but after the initial glowing reports, I had enough doubt that I chose not to spend $2,000 plus on it.  Certainly no system is without flaws but I've bought many, many lenses from the manufacturer of my main system and have never had to send one back.

I shoot almost exclusively with FE mount non Sony lenses these days.  My primary lenses for landscapes are Voigtlander 12 and 15, Zeiss 18, 21, 25, 35, and 50mm lenses (Not Sony Zeiss but rather Zeiss Batis and Loxia).  The only Sony lenses I tend to use for serious work are the occasional use of the 28 f/2 which is actually very good stopped down and the aforementioned 70-300.  When I do need some versatility and don't have time for multiple lens changes I do use the 16-35 f/4 but know that the corners are going to be significantly softer than with the primes.
 

by schlansker on Thu Jan 12, 2017 12:22 pm
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I did buy the Sony 24-70 F2.8. My copy of this lens is excellent. It is sharper than both my Sony 35mm and my Sony 28mm. It is not as sharp as my Sony 55mm.

When I do not want to change lenses, I use this lens with no reservations. The downside is high cost and high weight.
 

by Jens Peermann on Sat Jan 14, 2017 6:18 pm
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I should have mentioned in my previous posts that IBIS equipped Sony cameras have automatic and manual Steady Shot modes. The manual mode's default setting is for an 8mm lens. If a photographer tests a lens without being aware that the camera is in this setting, the results of that test may make a perfect lens look bad.
Life without a camera is possible but pointless!
 

by schlansker on Mon Jan 16, 2017 5:23 pm
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I more carefully retested my Sony 70-300 in a head-to-head competition against the Canon 100-400. Again, the Canon won, but this time it was much closer. The Sony is optically better than I previously thought and is certainly a fine lens.

I used an A7RII body on a heavy tripod in bright light with ISO 400. Steady shot was off. Canon's IS was off.

The biggest problem that I had was obtaining precise focus for both lenses.

When turning Sony's focus ring smoothly, the focus seems to jump minutely in the focus magnifier, past the point of exact focus. Is this is a feature of fly by wire focusing? This can be annoying at 300mm.

For the Canon lens, getting a Metabones adapter into advanced mode (so that the focus magnifier can be used) is quite difficult. The fact that the adapter cannot easily switch between green and advanced modes is a big pain. The Canon ring focuses more smoothly than Sony, but is big and easy to bump.

When both lenses are focused accurately, the Canon wins, but not by as big a margin as I previously stated.
 

by signgrap on Mon Jan 16, 2017 5:37 pm
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What kind of results did you get when using AF ?
Dick Ludwig
 

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