Sony Officially Launches FE 400mm f/2.8 Lens for Mirrorless


Sony has completely turned the industry on its head with its lightest*, fastest, most well-balanced 400mm lens, which pairs magnificently with the Sony a9 camera. Many have been waiting for this day to come, the day on which Sony finally unveils the details and pricing for the monster lens that is the FE 400mm f/2.8 GM OSS, for the full-frame E-mount mirrorless cameras. Now the longest and most impressive prime in Sony's arsenal, this lens is an almost mandatory addition to any professional lineup because it is a staple of wildlife and sports shooters' bags. Sony chose to put its own spin on this lens by making it quite lightweight, at 6.38 lb, and balanced toward the camera-end of the lens, which in combination with the perfect pairing that is the mirrorless a9 camera, makes it one of the lightest and most manageable super-telephoto shooting options currently available.

We may have already mentioned this, but the FE 400mm f/2.8 GM OSS is designed to be the perfect match for the super-speedy a9 and tracking fast-moving subjects. It's near-silent XD (extreme dynamic) Linear AF Motor can easily keep up with the a9's 20 fps continuous shooting rate and even works with Eye AF, where its performance is nearly unmatched. Let's not forget about bokeh either—as a 400mm f/2.8 with 11 iris blades, it should be able to produce exceptionally dreamy images, especially considering its G Master pedigree where bokeh and sharpness are well balanced. Three fluorite elements and one ED glass element are included in the design to combat aberrations and improve sharpness, 9while a Nano AR Coating minimizes flare and ghosting.

As a seriously high-end optic, the 400mm offers an array of switches and buttons that will make operation much faster and more intuitive. This includes a basic AF/MF switch, a focus limiter with three ranges, and a full-time DMF switch, as well as a programmable function ring with switch and button controls, an on/off switch for Optical SteadyShot, and three different OSS modes for working with a wide array of subjects and shooting styles. 'Mode 3' features an updated algorithm tuned for smooth, stable framing of moving subjects. There is also a dedicated beep switch so that you can quickly click it on or off.

Sample Images

When you look at this lens, you may notice that you won't be able to fit a standard screw-in filter on the massive front element, though there is still a sizable carbon fiber lens hood to limit flare and ghosting, so Sony added a drop-in filter slot that is accessible from the left side of the lens. On the bottom of the lens is a secure tripod foot with three 1/4"-20 threads for getting the ideal balance on your chosen support system. 90-degree click stops can be engaged for quickly changing from horizontal to vertical orientation, and vice-versa. The design of the mechanics also helps ensure proper balance because it moves much of the weight toward the rear of the lens, making it easier to handhold and support. A benefit is strap mounts, so that you won't put unnecessary strain on the camera's mount.

This lens is built mainly from magnesium alloy to withstand professional use, with heavy-duty construction and weather sealing to protect it when working in less-than-ideal weather conditions. Also, a fluorine coating makes it easy to keep the front element clean. When not in use, there is a hard carrying case included that holds the lens and all accessories. Additionally, it will be compatible with Sony's existing FE 1.4x and 2x teleconverters, transforming it into a 560mm f/4 or 800mm f/5.6, respectively, and it will still work perfectly with the a9's spectacular AF system.

Do you think the 400mm f/2.8 makes mirrorless a viable option for professional sports and wildlife work? Is this lens something you have been waiting for? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments section, below!





1 Comment

Well, if I had the money, I would buy one for sure.

Second, I think this lens shows how serious Sony is to bring their cameras to all segments of photography and they aim at Canon and I do believe if it wasn't for the fact that people had invested so heavy on Canon system, a lot of them would have make the shift already, as I did. My cousin is professional photographer as well and he regretted that lately he invested even more on Canon, or he would go to Sony. When he did it, there's no Sigma or Tamron and Sony was little limited on lenses and let's face it, the price for Sony GM lenses are prohibited, the only reason I invested on GM lenses it's because I like native lenses and the ones I really need for my job, Sony has it.

Now this new lens is pricy as well, but at least it competes with Nikon price and has some amazing tech on it, so it kind of justify this time.