The Sony 70-200mm f/4 Lens – A Cautionary Review

*click click click click click*

For all of you Black Friday and Christmas gift shoppers out there… I highly suggest you skip Sony’s 70-200mm f/4 E-mount lens.

And I’ll explain why…

The dang lens feels like a fragile flower, ready to die at your first mistake… which people have found out the hard way. There have been a number of occasions where people have reported the lens snapping in half.

Now, I had a different experience than those people but regardless… my lens still broke.

So there I was on the mountainside, after only a few months of light use, when my lens began to make a clicking sound.

A very loud clicking sound.

I could not figure out for the life of me why this was happening. What on earth in a modern, premium lens, would make such loud clicking sounds? The auto-focus motor shouldn’t be making a clicking sounds… the image stabilizer also shouldn’t be making a clicking sound… what’s left?

Well, the “5th lens assembly”.

According to the third party repair service that Sony uses in the United States, the 5th lens assembly had slid out of alignment and the clicking noise was the lens trying to move lens elements but not being able to do so properly.

This is a $1500 lens.

Canon 70-200mm, Nikon 70-200mm, Sony 70-200mm f/4

And with barely any use, it was broken. Only by the grace of god did it happen before the 1 year warranty period expired… and when I called in I had the further joy of being accused of dropping the lens. Sony does this because they in essence wish to entrap you and deny your warranty. Which frankly is astounding.

We genuinely live in a world where ‘customer service‘ is just Indian call center employees reading a script that attempts to void your warranty.

Anyways…

To top of the general fragility of Sony’s 70-200mm lens… the repair costs are astoundingly high.

Roger Cicala over at lensrentals was quoted a price of $800 to repair a bit of glue…

Supposedly this is due to Sony using outsourced repair services. So all Sony lenses suffer from that overpriced repair handicap.

But hey, let’s now talk about the imaging qualities of the 70-200mm f/4 lens.

Well, the image quality of the Sony 70-200mm f/4 is spectacular on a full frame and great on an ASP-C.

Just not at f/4.

Or f/4.5.

The lens performs terribly at its maximum apertures. Only at f/5 do things begin to sharpen up. For me, peak sharpness seems to occur at f/7.1… which feels somewhat ridiculous.

An f/4 lens the sucks at f/4?

Why buy it then? 


Stay away from this fragile lens!!! By Mike I got this lens 6 months ago and it was working fine. Didn’t use it that much, all together on 6-7 occasions. Yesterday I took it out from my photo pack pack and it was broken in half!?! I really don’t know how this happened. I didn’t drop it and it didn’t ever fall down. After online research, many similar cases like mine and even new out of the box lens had the same issue.


How it is possible that Sony made this big lens with the plastics connecting two parts?! Visiting Sony repair centre estimated cost is between USD 350-500. This is product should be fully repairable without additional charge, at least during one year warranty.


How it is possible that Sony made this big lens with the plastics connecting two parts?! Visiting Sony repair centre estimated cost is between USD 350-500. This is product should be fully repairable without additional charge, at least during one year warranty.


I am very disappointed with the quality, started to regret switching to Sony!


Source: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1029862-REG/sony_sel70200g_70_200mm_f_4_5_6_g_lens.html

So take heed Black Friday shoppers! Do your research and be careful! Even premium products can turn out to be useless monsters…

I personally feel anyone looking at a 70-200mm lens for the E-mount system should 100% skip the 70-200mm f/4.

Maybe in a “mark II” version Sony will address the fragility of this lens but as of right now the lens is just as fragile and annoying as ever.

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