Sony is adding a new prime lens to its G-Master family and this one has some serious reach. The FE 400mm F2.8 GM OSS is Sony’s first large aperture telephoto prime lens and the lightest in its class at a bit over 6 pounds, according to the company.
Sony says it kept the pounds off by using fluorite lens elements and a “liberal” amount of magnesium alloy components. The lens features two newly developed high-speed XD (extreme dynamic) Linear Motors that drive the lens’s focus group and delivers a 5x improvement in moving-subject tracking performance when mounted on the a9, Sony claims. Driving the motors are specially developed motion algorithms that help minimize lag and instability, and control noise levels, Sony says.
The 400mm uses Sony’s Nano AR coating to reduce flare and ghosting and features an 11-blade aperture. It offers a dust and moisture-resistant build with four customizable focus-hold buttons throughout the body and a drop-in filter slot (for 40.5mm filters). Sony will offer an optional drop-in polarizing filter that can be rotated in the slot to adjust the level of filtration. The front lens element has a Fluorine coating to make it easier to clean.
Thanks to full-time DMF switch, you can switch from autofocus to manual focusing with ease. Sony has outfitted the lens with optical image stabilization with three modes to cope with different shooting scenarios and subject movement.
It’s compatible with Sony’s 1.4x and 2.0x E-mount tele-converters.
If you own the a9, Sony is releasing a software update to support the lens. The update optimizes optical image stabilization and enables continuous shooting with auto focus tracking, even when your aperture is greater than F11. The update also lets you enter the camera serial number to the Exif data, improves autofocus speed in low light conditions, enhanced continuous AF performance when tracking a moving subject, and reduced release time lag when shooting with flash.
The FE 400mm F2.8 GM OSS is scheduled to ship in September for about $12,000. The Drop-in Circular Polarizing Filter (model VF-DCPL1) will ship later in December for about $400.
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