Review Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS
The Sony EF 100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS is a telephoto zoom lens with a nice range for sports and nature photography. It is a GMaster lens. In the Sony system, that means that this lens meets the highest optical and mechanical requirements. And if the range is not enough, you can combine the lens with the Sony 1.4x SEL14TC teleconverter. This is a great option for every Sony user looking for a reasonably long telephoto.
ALL-ROUND TELEPHOTO ZOOM: Sony EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS
The Sony EF 100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS is a nice all-round telephoto zoom for the Sony cameras with an E-mount. It is less bright than the two 70-200 mm zooms from Sony, but the range is much larger. It's only a difference of 30 mm on the short side. From 70 mm to 100 mm is not that big a difference; both are great for a beautiful portrait, for example. On the long side, it's a big difference. From 200 mm to 400 mm makes a big difference, especially if you do sports or nature photography. With 400mm, you can still make a nice closeup of the other side of the field or get big game full in frame. With the Sony 1.4x SEL14TC, you can increase the range by 40%, and on an APS-C camera or with the APS-C crop option on the full-frame models, you can even achieve a combined 840mm (FF equivalent). With this lens, you can handle almost everything from portrait to serious nature and bird photography. It is clearly somewhat larger than the Sony FE 70-200 mm f/4 G OSS, but the difference with the Sony EF 70-200 mm f/2.8 GM OSS is very small. If you have to make a choice between the bright 70-200 mm and this Sony EF 100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS, then the choice is between the slightly nicer bokeh of the 70-200 mm (at full aperture) or the more versatile range of the Sony EF 100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS, and it would not surprise us if the choice fell on the latter. The weight is also roughly comparable to the Sony EF 70-200 mm f/2.8 GM OSS. Sony claims that this is one of the lighter 100-400 mms. The lens nevertheless still weighs nearly 1400 grams. One person may think that's a bit too much to carry around for a whole day, while another doesn't mind because this lens has so much to offer. The lens has image stabilization that can work together with the stabilization of the camera for a good 5-axis system. This makes it possible - despite the long range - to work well with the Sony EF 100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS.
BUILD AND autofocus
The Sony EF 100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS is a GM lens and therefore meets the highest requirements. It is dust- and splash-proof and made of a robust alloy. The lens has Sony's Nano AR Coating on the glass surfaces and an extra fluorine coating on the front element so that dust, dirt and moisture do not stick easily and so the lens can be cleaned more easily. The optical design is complex with 22 lens elements. Two of them are made of ED glass, and one is a Super-ED element. The diaphragm has 9 blades, which creates a beautiful, round aperture and a beautiful bokeh. The lens has four buttons between the zoom ring and focus ring that can be used as a Focus Hold button, for example. Further to the rear are the switches for AF/MF, the AF range, the on/off button for Optical Steady Shot image stabilization and the mode button for stabilization. The lens has a removable, rotatable tripod base. The advantage of that removable base is that the removed part is nice and small, so that you can easily put it in your pocket, for example. The disadvantage is that the button on the tripod collar always stays in place. The shortest setting distance is a very nice 0.98 m. That is about the same as for most 70-200 mm lenses. But because with this Sony EF 100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS, you can zoom in much further, the magnification factor is a lot higher: 0.35x. The autofocus is also fast, thanks to the double, linear autofocus motors.