Sony has introduced two new powerful lenses into its full-frame lens lineup: The FE 200-600mm F5.6-6.3 G OSS super-telephoto zoom lens (model SEL200600G) and the FE 600mm F4 GM OSS super-telephoto prime lens (model SEL600F40GM). Both offer photographers the ability to capture subjects at the same super-telephoto focal length (600mm), but at much different price points. The Sony FE 600mm prime will cost $13,000 and the Sony FE 200-600mm zoom will cost $1,998.
One of the key differences is that the FE200-600mm has a variable aperture range, which is also slower than the prime: f/5.6-6.3. The lens will appeal to more advanced amateur shooters looking to expand their range, but it may also appeal to pros looking for some zoom-range flexibility in a telephoto lens. However, the high price of the FE 600mm prime, which has an wider maximum f/4 aperture, makes it a big investment for any photographer, but is primarily targeted at wildlife and pro shooters. Here’s some more specifics on each lens.
Key features on the Sony FE 200-600mm F5.6-6.3 G OSS lens:
- A fixed-length structural-lens design that features an internal zoom, which means lens length doesn’t change while zooming and, says Sony, “retains high resistance to dust and moisture in order to deal with difficult outdoor conditions.”
- Compatibility with Sony’s E-mount 1.4x and 2.0x teleconverters, which, Sony says, “extend the reach to a maximum of 840mm at F9 or 1200mm at F13.”
- A built-in optical stabilization system with three modes.
- Five extra-low dispersion (ED) glass elements and an aspherical element
- An 11-blade circular aperture mechanism, which Sony says “ensures beautiful bokeh.”
- A focus ring for responsive, manual-focus control.
- Three customizable focus-hold buttons, plus a focus-range limiter.
Key features on the Sony FE 600mm F4 GM OSS super-telephoto prime lens:
- Two extreme dynamic (XD) linear motors, which, Sony says, “drive the lens’ focus group to provide fast, precise AF and reliable subject tracking.”
- A unique optical design, which includes a large extreme aspherical (XA) element and three fluorite elements, which Sony says, help “minimize chromatic aberration and suppress any amount of color bleeding.”
- The lens uses an 11-blade, circular-aperture mechanism for excellent bokeh.
- A Nano AR coating that Sony says suppresses “any unwanted reflections, glare or ghosting in images.”
- A lens design that Sony says is “not front-heavy.”
- Sony says is the lightest lens in its class, weighing in at approximately 6.71 lbs.
- A variety of customizable focus-hold buttons on the lens barrel.
- A responsive focus ring.
- Built-in optical stabilization with three different modes.
- A drop-in filter slot.
Both lenses are compatible Sony’s 1.4x and 2.0x E-mount tele-converters and will ship this August.
Our sister site, Outdoor Photographer.com, also has a story on the two lenses, which includes some nice photos that the writer shot with the 600mm prime. Click her to check out that article.
Also, for more on the two new lenses, see the below press releases:
[[press release: ]]
Sony Announces New FE 200-600mm F5.6-6.3 G OSS Super-telephoto Zoom Lens
SAN DIEGO — June 11, 2019 — Sony Electronics Inc. today announced another new lens for their expanding full-frame FE lens lineup, the new FE 200-600mm F5.6-6.3 G OSS super-telephoto zoom lens (model SEL200600G).
Sony’s furthest reaching E-mount zoom, the new G Lens™ series model utilizes many of the company’s most advanced lens design technologies to ensure excellent image quality, high-performance autofocus (AF) and outstanding control. When paired with any of the latest, fastest E-mount camera bodies, it will reliably track and accurately capture all types of moving subjects, including birds, wildlife, athletes in motion and much more.
“We will continue to innovate and expand upon our E-mount lens lineup, which now features 33 full-frame models and 51 lenses in total. The new 200-600mm super-telephoto zoom lens gives Sony’s camera users yet another powerful tool to realize their vision,” said Neal Manowitz, deputy president for Imaging and Professional Solutions Americas at Sony Electronics. “For wildlife or bird photographers, sports photography enthusiasts and many others, it offers a new level of creative freedom, striking the ultimate balance between performance and portability.”
Key Features – New FE 200-600mm F5.6-6.3 G OSS super-telephoto zoom lens
- Extended reach with built-in stabilization
- Versatile tele-zoom range from 200mm telephoto to 600mm super-telephoto
- Compatible with Sony’s E-mount 1.4x and 2.0x teleconverters, extending the reach to a maximum of 840mm at F9 or 1200mm at F13 with outstanding image quality and AF performance
- Built-in optical stabilization with three different mode settings, enabling images that are sharp and in-focus at extended super-telephoto focal lengths
- High resolution and corner-to-corner sharpness throughout the entire zoom range
- Five extra-low dispersion (ED) glass elements and an aspherical element, arranged in a new optical design that minimizes chromatic aberration
- 11-blade circular aperture mechanism that ensures beautiful bokeh
- Coated with Sony’s original Nano AR coating to suppress unwanted reflections, glare or ghosting in images
- Fast, precise and quiet autofocus
- Equipped with Sony’s Direct Drive SSM (DDSSM) focusing system, which has the power and precision needed to drive the lens mechanism for remarkably fast, accurate focusing
- Advanced focus system for exceptionally quiet operation, avoiding any unwanted noise that can disrupt an unpredictable subject like a resting bird or other forms of wildlife
- Internal zoom mechanism for reliable and stable handheld shooting
- Overall lens length does not change while zooming, maintaining consistent balance and distance between the front of the lens and desired shooting subject
- A fixed-length structure – internal zoom mechanism – retains high resistance to dust and moisture in order to deal with difficult outdoor conditions
- Quick zoom operation with light zoom ring torque
- Refined control and reliability for use in the field
- Focus ring featuring Linear Response MF for fine, responsive manual focus control
- Three customizable focus-hold buttons, plus a Focus Range Limiter
- Dust and moisture resistant designii and fluorine coating on the front element to resist dirt and fingerprint
Pricing and Availability
The FE 200-600mm F5.6-6.3 G OSS will ship in August 2019 for approximately $2,000. It will be sold at a variety of Sony’s authorized dealers throughout North America.
[[ press release: ]]
Sony Introduces the New Super-telephoto 600mm F4 G Master Prime Lens
Sony’s Longest Reaching Prime Lens is World’s Lightest in its Class, Featuring High-performance Autofocus, High Resolution and Beautiful Bokeh
SAN DIEGO — June 11, 2019 — Sony Electronics Inc. today announced another impressive addition to its flagship full-frame G Master™ series lens lineup: the new FE 600mm F4 GM OSS super-telephoto prime lens (model SEL600F40GM).
As Sony’s longest reaching prime lens, the new 600mm includes many of the company’s most advanced optical and mechanical technologies, producing exceptional image quality with extraordinary focusing speed and precision. The FE 600mm F4 GM OSS is also the lightest lens in its class[i], weighing in at approx. 6.71 lbs., and features an extremely balanced design to ensure the best possible shooting experience. Along with the acclaimed FE 400mm F2.8 GM OSS lens, the new 600mm lens gives professional sports, wildlife and news photographers more options for capturing subjects at a great distances with extreme accuracy and detail.
“With two new lenses announced today, our growing E-mount lens lineup now includes 33 full-frame models and 51 lenses in total,” said Neal Manowitz, deputy president for Imaging and Professional Solutions Americas at Sony Electronics. “The tenth model from our flagship G Master series, the new 600mm F4 raises the bar for speed, mobility and control in a super-telephoto prime lens. Combining the extensive 600mm reach with features like 20 fps shooting and AF/AE calculations at 60 times per second on the α9 or extremely high resolution, high-speed performance on the α7R III allow professional photographers to create images that were simply not possible to capture before.”
Fast, Precise and Quiet Autofocus[ii]
To take best advantage of the highly evolved autofocus systems of Sony’s latest full-frame E-mount cameras, the new FE 600mm F4 GM OSS lens features two extreme dynamic (XD) linear motors that drive the lens’ focus group to provide fast, precise AF and reliable subject tracking. These motors are supported by specially developed motion algorithms to minimize lag and instability, as well as to control noise levels, resulting in exceptionally quick, accurate and quiet autofocus performance, allowing the lens to capture dynamic, fast moving athletes or wildlife with ease.
Superb G Master Image Quality and Bokeh
As a member of Sony’s flagship G Master series lenses, this new large aperture super-telephoto prime lens features an incredible level of image quality and detail, with outstanding contrast and resolution maintained all the way to the corners of the image. The unique optical design includes a large extreme aspherical (XA) element that effectively suppress all common telephoto lens aberrations, in addition to three fluorite elements that help to minimize chromatic aberration and suppress any amount of color bleeding. Sony’s latest bokeh simulation technologies and XA element are also utilized to control spherical aberration and help achieve exquisite bokeh.
The lens features an 11-blade circular aperture mechanism that contributes to the high quality of bokeh in images, and it has been coated with Sony’s original Nano AR coating to suppress any unwanted reflections, glare or ghosting in images.
The new FE 600mm F4 GM OSS is compatible with Sony’s 1.4x and 2.0x E-mount tele-converters, producing outstanding imaging performance at extended focal lengths[iii] while maintaining fast, precise AF performance.
Lightweight, Balanced Design
The new super-telephoto prime lens provides a level of portability and maneuverability that has never been achieved before in a lens of its class. Based on technology from the acclaimed FE 400mm F2.8 GM OSS lens, the lightweight design of the new 600mm lens is achieved through the usage of three fluorite elements, with a reduced number of elements deployed at the front of the barrel. Magnesium alloy is also used throughout the lens to help minimize weight and bulk.
Also inherited from FE 400mm F2.8 GM OSS, the new 600mm lens features a lens design that is not front-heavy, reducing moment of inertia that resists rotation and ensuring quicker, more precise panning when shooting handheld or on a monopod.
Durability, Reliability and Control
To withstand the harsh conditions of sporting events and wildlife photography, Sony’s new FE 600mm F4 GM OSS is built with a durable magnesium alloy and a strong, lightweight carbon fiber hood. The lens is dust and moisture resistant[iv], and its front element is coated with fluorine to resist dirt and fingerprints.
FE 600mm F4 GM OSS features an ample number of hard controls on the lens, including customizable focus-hold buttons in four different locations on the lens barrel, which can be programmed for control of features, if desired. There is also a Full-Time DMF switch to immediately engage manual focus at any point, and a focus ring that features Linear Response MF for fine, responsive manual focus.
Additionally, the new lens includes built-in optical stabilization for dynamic action and three different ‘Mode’ settings, including a Mode 3[v] setting with an advanced algorithm that ensures easier framing when following moving subjects. It also features a function ring with selectable ‘Preset’ and ‘Function’ settings, and a drop-in filter slot that accepts ø 40.5mm ND and other filter types, as well as the optional VF-DCPL1 Drop-in Circular Polarizing Filter. The VF-DCPL1 filter can be rotated to achieve the desired polarization while installed in the lens.
Pricing and Availability
The FE 600mm F4 GM OSS will ship in August 2019 for approximately $13,000 US. It will be sold at a variety of Sony’s authorized dealers throughout North America.
[i] Compared to interchangeable 600mm F4 lenses for 35mm full-frame format camera bodies, as of June 2019. Sony survey
[ii] When the NEX series, ILCE-3000/3500, ILCE-5000/5100, ILCE-7/7R/7S, is attached, the autofocus function is limited. For details, please visit our support site.
[iii] Maximum aperture with the 1.4x and 2.0x teleconverters is F5.6 and F8, respectively
[iv] Not guaranteed to be 100% dust and moisture proof
[v] MODE 3 is supported by the latest α9/α7R III/α7 III software version. Refer to the Sony support site for camera body compatibility information