Sony announces updated 70-300mm A-mount lens; 16-35mm, 24-70mm updates in development, too
posted Monday, November 24, 2014 at 6:41 PM EDT
Alongside the surprise launch of the Sony A7 II full-frame mirrorless camera last week, the company also had some good news for A-mount shooters: Three new lenses on the roadmap for their Alpha cameras. All three are replacements for existing models. The first of the three is due to ship next February in the Japanese market, while the others will follow in due course.
The Sony 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G SSM II lens (SAL70300G2) will be first to reach the market, priced at ¥142,000 (roughly equivalent to US$1,200). That's about 20% more expensive than the existing SAL70300G lens, but what do you get for your money? The new Mark II variant of this optic is just a little lighter, with 1.8 ounces (50g) having been shaved off, for a final weight of 1.7 pounds.
It also has an uprated autofocus system that's said to provide a 4x improvement in AF tracking speed, thanks to a new processing LSI. It's also now dust and water-resistant, and uses a new Nano AR coating to help control flare and ghosting. No US availability has been disclosed for this optic at the current time.
Following this new lens, two more Alpha-mount updates are also on the drawing board, according to press briefings conducted by the company around the world. The Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 24-70mm F2.8 ZA SSM II and Vario-Sonnar T* 16-35mm F2.8 ZA SSM II lenses incorporate exactly the same three changes, and are slated for availability in Spring 2015.
Courtesy of Sony Japan, you can see a number of samples shot with the new 70-300mm II lens, albeit only at web resolutions, so they can't be used to judge sharpness or detail. Click here for the samples.