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Sony FE 100-400mm GM Lens Review - Lab and Real World Style

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In this Sony FE 100-400mm GM OSS Lens Review (BH: https://bhpho.to/2OrmpYa AMZ: https://amzn.to/2CJrRAs ), I will go over everything you need to know including Hands-On, quick lab testing, and lots of real world sample photos. Please be sure to ask questions below and to check out my Sony E-Mount Lens Guide for all the current available Lenses: http://sonyalphalab.com/sony-alpha-and-nex-technology-camera-and-lens-tutorial-guides/nex-lense-e-mount-buying-guide/ Learn More Here: Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS Lens: https://bhpho.to/2NY3HEf Sony a7R III: https://bhpho.to/2i6NT3f Sony a7 III: https://bhpho.to/2FzQpu6 Sony a9: https://bhpho.to/2i9DKCK Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.9 GM OSS Lens: https://bhpho.to/2yqBn6d Sony FE 24-240mm OSS Lens: https://bhpho.to/2MYvpV2 Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS Lens: https://bhpho.to/2M9zqAG Main Website: http://sonyalphalab.com/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/SonyAlphaLab Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SonyAlphaLab-194172500645360/ Google+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/+JaySonyAlphaLab Shopping @ BHPhoto: https://bhpho.to/2BlHjOl Shopping @ Amazon: http://amzn.to/2ikI5DQ Tip Jar: https://www.paypal.me/SonyAlphaLab Patreon Fan Support Page: https://www.patreon.com/SonyAlphaLab Thanks again, Jay
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Text Comments (39)
Dee Yammy (5 days ago)
Listened to the half of it, had to pause to say OK :)
Dee Yammy (5 days ago)
+Jay SonyAlphaLab LOL, it's all cool!
Jay SonyAlphaLab (5 days ago)
lol, sorry Dee. I'm really working hard on trying to fix that annoying habit of mine ;)
Jose Luis Pelaez (1 month ago)
Excellent video test. I´d like to know if the back lens group moves when zooming or focusing the lens. This is a problem in dusty areas because of the bellows vacuum effect sukking dust into the sensor.
N J (2 months ago)
Excellent review! Answered my questions about the Modes... Thanks!
Power Reserve (2 months ago)
Excellent review Jay: many thanks.
Max Lee (2 months ago)
Is it weather sealed ?
madmaxx72 (14 days ago)
+Jay SonyAlphaLab any lense coming from extreme cold to warm or vice versa, no matter how well sealed will fog. Avoid that at all costs , or carry a large zip lock bag, put camera and lense inside and allow a slow adjustment to temperature
myvideos4now (16 days ago)
+Jay SonyAlphaLab I thought that was with any lens when typically coming from a warm to very cold climate that is?
Jay SonyAlphaLab (2 months ago)
Yes it does, but I don't think it's good enough for hard rain shooting just to be clear.... Rapid changes in temperature have also been reported to fod up the lens on the inside, which is worth noting. This has not happened to me, but I have heard reports coming out of cold hotel rooms to hot humid environments can be an issue...
Max Lee (2 months ago)
Is the sony 24-105mm g any good ?
Max Lee (2 months ago)
+Jay SonyAlphaLab Thanks im going to get it with this 100-400mm on my R3, could you please do some videos on how to use Af Correctly? I know it sounds funny but All the settings are so Confusing on the R3, plus how to do back button Af to switch from single point to zone for wildlife, Thanks.
Jay SonyAlphaLab (2 months ago)
Yes, it's awesome from what I have seen and heard so far. I have not used it myself yet however...
J Blo (2 months ago)
I own the lens; it is tack sharp . While not a GM it is equal or better than the Canon of the same focal length. I have a GM for wide angle and I can tell the difference, albeit slight. I Believe the popularity of this lens speaks for itself. It is not weather sealed. My opinion is based on use with the A7lll.
Bharat Shahane (2 months ago)
Can you compare image quality of this lens at infinity and close up + IS/OSS efficiency of this lens with the Canon 100-400 f5.6 ver II on the same Sony FF body? Thanks!
Bharat Shahane (2 months ago)
+Jay SonyAlphaLab Thanks so much, Jay, for your input. The Canon is better built, cheaper and can also be used on a Canon body. The only advantage of the Sony lens being native is quicker AF.
Jay SonyAlphaLab (2 months ago)
I would love to, but I just don't think I'm going to be able to get all that gear at once... I can tell you for sure, the Sony FE 100-400mm will focus faster on the Sony camera body, no question. Image quality however, will be very close otherwise, because both lenses are killer quality in all areas. It would be hard to tell the difference, even when pixel peeping!! Each lens will have a slight advantage here or there, but again, very hard to tell. Jay
Bernard Jones (2 months ago)
I have the 100-400mm and the 2 x converter. An issue to be aware of - I have attached a proprietry camo cover to the 100-400mm lens and it does its job . . except for one thing. Or at least I think the camo band was the cause of a major issue. Whilst having the camera (a7r2) slung around my neck on a neck strap, I think the camo band on the lens, adjacent the 2 x converter must have disengaged the lens from the 2 x converter because the lens fell off and dropped to the floor. Luckily I had the lens cap on and the hood reversed for parking. Nevertheless it hit a restaurant wooden floor with a thud. My heart followed it until I checked out the lens. All is ok but what a terrible lesson. I have now taken extra measures to ensure it does not happen again. I had just recently been to the top of a church tower (160 steps) and I doubt the lens would have survived that drop. This is a true story, so camo- buyers beware. Thank you.
madmaxx72 (14 days ago)
+John van den Broek interesting...I'll have to keep an eye on this when I get my converter. Wonder if Sony is aware, and whether this is a design flaw? Haven't heard of such issues with other brand converters so I am concerned
John van den Broek (30 days ago)
I had a similar experience with the lens when my finger accidentally hit the lens release button on the teleconverter. I had my gloves on so I wasn’t aware my finger was resting on the release button. Lucky I caught the lens before it hit the ground. Now I’m watching that release button so that it isn’t anywhere near my fingers. Thank you for your post.
Bernard Jones (2 months ago)
Jay SonyAlphaLab , Hi and thank you for the reply. As you say - others may benefit from my experience. It's a smashing lens (no pun intended) and I hope to have a lot more fun with it.
Jay SonyAlphaLab (2 months ago)
Thank you for the info Bernard!! I'm sure many other people will benefit from reading that little tid-bit of potential doom ;) Thank goodness you lens did not smash off a rock or something...
Fitz Michael (3 months ago)
That setup is awesome. But the tripod knob is so cheap
tony james (3 months ago)
2500 for a great lens with poor weather sealing, (plenty of reviews stating this including probably the best one for this lens https://photographylife.com/reviews/sony-fe-100-400mm-f4-5-5-6-gm-oss ), why can't Sony get this right especially when other brands manage this. This is all the more annoying when you consider it's designed for outdoor use.
tony james (3 months ago)
+Jay SonyAlphaLab Thanks for checking this out, I'm hoping it was a one off problem relating to the lens he was using because as you say apart from that it looked excellent. (Also I'm not sure if he had this problem when not using the convertor).
Jay SonyAlphaLab (3 months ago)
Hi Tony and thanks for the comments. I was not aware of this issue and only had the lens for 3 days, so I never had an issue either. I will look at the review you linked and get more information on the matter. That really sucks if using in harsh conditions and this occurs, because as you said it should not. Edit: I just checked out that review, and it was really good! As the reviewer stated the condensation is normal when going from cold to hot like that, but not on the inside of the lens generally. I wonder what Sony has to say about this? I have seen this before in the same situation while down in Florida on vacation, but I was using the aps-c Sony E 55-210mm lens which is not weather sealed.... it took a while for the humidity to dissipate as well. This is surprising for sure!
Gordon Court (3 months ago)
You can adjust the size of the auto flexible spot by clicking on it and moving your joystick right or left. It usually is set on small but you can expand it to medium or large.
Jay SonyAlphaLab (3 months ago)
Thank you Gordon!! I knew that sucker adjusted in size and didn't realize I had to use the joystick instead of the control wheel. On most other Sony cameras the control wheel is used for this by pressing left and right. Little arrows show up next to the focus mode usually. I assumed the joystick only moved it around the screen. I wish I had more time with this set-up, because I knew I was missing a few things, but still wanted to get the review done. Thank you again ;)
jaap teeuwen (3 months ago)
amazing lens, I even use it with the 2x teleconverter quite regularly and it's excellent
Bernard Jones (2 months ago)
I have the 100-400mm and the 2 x converter. An issue to be aware of - I have attached a proprietry camo cover to the 100-400mm lens and it does its job . . except for one thing. Or at least I think the camo band was the cause of a major issue. Whilst having the camera (a7r2) slung around my neck on a neck strap, I think the camo band on the lens, adjacent the 2 x converter must have disengaged the lens from the 2 x converter because the lens fell off and dropped to the floor. Luckily I had the lens cap on and the hood reversed for parking. Nevertheless it hit a restaurant wooden floor with a thud. My heart followed it until I checked out the lens. All is ok but what a terrible lesson. I have now taken extra measures to ensure it does not happen again. I had just recently been to the top of a church tower (160 steps) and I doubt the lens would have survived that drop. This is a true story, so camo- buyers beware. Thank you.
Bernard Jones (2 months ago)
jaap teeuwen - I also have the 100-400mm and the 2 x converter. An issue to be aware of - I have attached a proprietry camo cover to the 100-400mm lens and it does its job . . except for one thing. Or at least I think the camo band was the cause of a major issue. Whilst having the camera (a7r2) slung around my neck on a neck strap, I think the camo band on the lens, adjacent the 2 x converter must have disengaged the lens from the 2 x converter because the lens fell off and dropped to the floor. Luckily I had the lens cap on and the hood reversed for parking. Nevertheless it hit a restaurant wooden floor with a thud. My heart followed it until I checked out the lens. All is ok but what a terrible lesson. I have now taken extra measures to ensure it does not happen again. I had just recently been to the top of a church tower (160 steps) and I doubt the lens would have survived that drop. This is a true story, so camo- buyers beware. Thank you.
Chryseas S. (3 months ago)
Jay , Thanks so much to you ( and Darren) for letting us see what the lens + camera is capable of- I am blown away and mentally calculating how I could justify having that lens. OMG , it is impressive! Hope you can borrow it back again sometime for further review.
Jay SonyAlphaLab (3 months ago)
Thanks for the comments and I totally agree! It's a ton of cash, but you really get some amazing results and range options otherwise not possible ;) I can see borrowing it again at some point for sure!
Cesar Sanchez (3 months ago)
Nice review, perhaps you could do a comparison with the 70-200 GM with a 2x teleconverter? Did you handhold for those dog shots? Love your reviews!
Jay SonyAlphaLab (3 months ago)
Thank you for the comments and kind words ;) I was hand holding for the dog shots, yes. Also, I have tried the 2x converter using the FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS Lens, but I was using the A6500. See here: https://youtu.be/qi1FuzH0XYg?t=23m30s It was not as sharp as the 100-400mm when using the 2x teleconverter I noticed, but it did work pretty darn good overall. It's just not the same as a native lens though... I have not tried the 1.4x, but it should be a little sharper I hear ;)
jbravo70 (3 months ago)
I bought this beautiful lens last year and it is probably the best lens I have ever purchased. My daughter performed as the lead in a play last year and I filmed the whole play on a tripod. The results were absolutely amazing, the video quality looked like it was taken with a system costing 10’s of thousand of dollars. First day I got it, I unpackaged it and took it outside to take a picture of the moon...I was blown away with the picture, people couldn’t believe the picture came from this lens. One thing though, I wish Sony would put some way to attach something on the zoom ring for real smooth zooms when doing cinematography. Other than that, this lens is pure gold.
madmaxx72 (1 month ago)
I've owned mine since release and absolutely love this lense. So sharp and versatile. I don't think I'll ever go back to 70-200 again. Also picked up 24-105 to compliment it and love the setup! Threw in one 50mm prime for low light and im good
madmaxx72 (3 months ago)
Totally agree best lense I own for my Sony a7riii. Impeccable image quality
Jay SonyAlphaLab (3 months ago)
Thank you for the comments and sharing your experience with this beast of a lens ;) I agree, it really is that good! The Sony A-Mount 70-400mm G SSM II Lens was just as sharp I would say, but it was a decent amount heavier and much harder to zoom. It had that same magic look though with killer crisp contrast and colors...

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