Sony 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G SSM SAL-70300G
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(From Sony lens literature) The SAL70300G lens incorporates the optical performance of Sony's G series in a compact and flexible telephoto zoom lens ideal for sports and portrait photography. Constructed of 16 elements in 11 groups, with one extra-low dispersion element, this lens offers superb contrast and sharpness across its wide focal length range.
The use of extra-low dispersion glass compensates for chromatic aberrations which challenge long telephoto zoom lens design, maintaining excellent optical characteristics from center to periphery. Internal focus construction not only realizes compact size, but also a close focusing capability of just 47 inches (1.2m), unusual for a lens of this focal length range.
Focus drive is provided by Sony's Super Sonic wave Motor (SSM) technology. Silent and highly accurate, the SSM system is ideal for providing larger lenses with the speed and rotational precision often required by telephoto shooting. To match auto focus operation to the situation, a focus range limiter can be set to a minimum distance of three meters. A lens barrel mounted focus hold button locks focus if desired.
Available spring 2008, the 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G lens will be available for about $800.
Sony 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G SSM SAL-70300G User Reviews
10 out of 10 points and recommended by dfwatt (3 reviews)Great reach, sharpness, image qualitySometimes not fast enough
Pros:reviewed January 16th, 2012 (purchased for $775)
1) good to great sharpness, even wide open, really sharp minimally stopped down at a wide range of focal lengths.
2) Very well made, with very smooth focus and zoom rings.
3) Doesn't get much softer all the way out to 300mm like many tele zooms
4) fast and quiet focusing (SSM is great for movies)
5) light weight for the covered focal lengths
6) minimal CA, vignetting, distortion
1) Not fast enough in some situations.
2) Not cheap for the aperture range.
3) Not included in the A77/A65 firmware correction profile - yet. Would virtually remove all classical optical distortions.
4) Zoom mechanism will suck air (and therefore dust) into lens. Not sealed, and should be for G lens.
This is a good value, despite its price. Very smooth and quiet lens, and as someone else also noted, makes up in portability and convenience what it minimally loses in speed. Worth the money if you shoot much above 70mm and don't need the speed (and the major weight/cost downsides) of a 2.8 lens. IN general, I love using this lens - outdoors in decent light.
9 out of 10 points and recommended by babka08 (6 reviews)Sharpness, colour, SSM, range vs sizeSlow-ish aperture
I've used this on both the a700 and a850 and it's a keeper for outdoor photography that doesn't demand the widest apertures. What you give up in speed verses an f2.8 lens, you gain in portability. The body is very well made. Plastic means it is lighter. Metal would make it more expensive and heavier. Your decision what you want. I absolutely love the colours this lens puts out. The bokeh is very nice, and it is sharp all over on both apsc and full-frame. The SSM isn't super fast but it is accurate and extremely quiet. I can't for the life of me figure out why Sony isn't making mid-range and wide zooms with a similar G specification. Read: Canon f4 series... I found a good used one which made it a good buy. Otherwise expensive new but it is a worthwhile investment.reviewed September 29th, 2010 (purchased for $550)
8 out of 10 points and recommended by edwardkaraa (12 reviews)Very nice IQ even wide openToo dark for most uses
This lens produced some really sharp photos even wide open. However if shooting in any condition except bright sunlight, maximum aperture is too small for anything. Color a bit on the warm side.reviewed August 20th, 2010 (purchased for $900)