Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS II announced: Read our review of Sony’s first mark II G Master lens
posted Wednesday, October 13, 2021 at 10:00 AM EDT
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Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS II Hands-on Review
Sony has announced its first Mark II G Master lens, the FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS II. The original 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS lens came out in 2016 and was one of the first G Master lenses in Sony's rapidly expanding E-mount system. Since then, Sony has continued refining its lens designs with improved glass molding and autofocus technology. While there are many changes to the new 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS II lens, perhaps the biggest changes are in the form of a new optical design and a brand-new autofocus system. The positive impact of these changes was very evident during our hands-on time with Sony's latest G Master lens.
The new optical formula uses significantly fewer glass elements to achieve improved image quality. By using less glass, the lens weighs 29% less than the original version. Weighing only 1,045 grams, the Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS II lens is the lightest full-frame 70-200mm f/2.8 available. It's not the smallest, though. Thanks to its collapsible design, that distinction goes to Canon's RF 70-200mm f/2.8 lens. Sony's new lightweight zoom balances very well on each Sony A7R IV and A1 cameras I tested it with. The new zoom has the same volume as the original lens but includes an aperture control ring, which is a great addition.
In total, the Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS II lens includes 17 elements in 14 groups, down from 23 elements in 18 groups in the original lens. Among the 17 elements are two Super ED elements, two ED elements, an aspherical ED element and an XA element. The lens also features Nano AR II coating to control ghosting and flare. As you'll read in our review, the lens delivers impeccable image quality and exhibits strong control of aberrations.
Alongside an improved design and a new optical formula, another key improvement Sony has made to the 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS II lens is a new autofocus system. Featuring four XD Linear Motors for the first time in a large-aperture tele-zoom lens, the GM II lens delivers excellent autofocus performance. The lens focuses very quickly. Sony says that the lens is about 4x faster in its internal testing and its tracking performance is 30% better. Comparisons aside, the lens focuses extremely quickly across its zoom range and its focusing range in real-world testing. Speaking of focusing range, the lens focuses close enough to deliver 0.3x maximum magnification, which is impressive.
There's a lot to like about Sony's new 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS II lens. It's a meaningful update to an already very good lens. To read our full thoughts on the Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS II, head to our Review. To download full-resolution real-world sample images, visit our Gallery.