10 out of 10 points and recommendedAmazing images. Wonderful bokeh. Top-notch constrution quality. Fast focus.Expensive. Heavy. Hard to find in Canada. Attracts attention.
Image Quality:reviewed April 25th, 2008 (purchased for $2,000)
This is truly the best 70-200 lens on the market. The images that it produces are worthy of the G moniker in every way. I couple it to the A700 and focus is fast and accurate. Images are sharp across the entire f range and focal length. When taking portrait shots the ability to completely isolate your subject and throw the background out-of-focus is priceless. Speaking of out-of-focus elements, the bokeh that this lens renders is just beautiful. Some owners have reported slight softness at 200mm @ f2.8 but the pictures look sharp to everyone I've shown them to.
Construction and Features:
Construction is top-notch. It feels solid like a brick and weighs as much as one, too. No worries; every time I handle the camera I get a good workout. The zoom ring and the focus ring feel smooth and well-damped as they should for a lens of this caliber. The inclusion of 3 focus-hold buttons and a focus-limiter switch make the task of acquiring a subject fast, accurate and effortless. Even the tripod collar is well made and works great.
The only true con is that people seem to get a little nervous when the lens is pointed anywhere near their direction. A minor con is the weight of the lens as it can get a little tiring after a long outing.
As a side note, the Sony rep at a local store here in Toronto Canada informed me that this lens will be discontinued soon. That might explain the tough time I had trying to find one. Of course I don't know if this is true or not but if you want one don't hesitate, you won't be disappointed.
This lens is definitely worth every penny. So is the A700, but I truly believe that the lens is the most important part of the camera. Do I regret spending $2k on a piece of glass? No, not at all. I'd do it again if I had to. Especially to marvel at what it produces.