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Sony releases totally redesigned FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II

Sony releases totally redesigned FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II

DPReview News

Sony has announced the FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II, a redesigned replacement for one of the core pro-grade lenses in the E-mount lineup. The Mark II is built around two pairs of XD 'Extreme Dynamic' linear motors driving its two focus groups, rather than the mixture of linear motor and ring-type motor used in the older version. Sony promises focus is up to four times faster as a result.

As before, the lens can move the two focus groups independently of one another, which helps it deliver a close-focus distance of 40cm (15.7"), less than half the 96cm (37.8") offered by the first generation lens. That brings the maximum magnification up to 0.3x, up from 0.25x.

The new design uses 17 elements in 14 groups, including one extreme aspherical element, one conventional aspheric and one ED (extra-low dispersion) aspherical lens. There are also two Super ED and two ED elements. All this adds up to a lens that promises to be sharper than its predecessor, particularly towards the edge of the image and especially at the 200mm end of the zoom. Sony also claims low levels of chromatic aberrations. 'Nano AR Coating II' helps reduce flare and ghosting.

The lens gains an aperture ring that can be operated in clicked or continuously variable mode, and that can be locked in the 'A' position if you prefer to control aperture from the camera body. Video shooters are also likely to appreciate the reduced focus breathing, reduced focus shift when zooming (which also promises to improve AF performance), and a reduction in axial shift of framing as you zoom.

The GM II can be used with the existing 1.4 and 2.0x teleconverters. It represents the first update to one of Sony's 'GM' series of high-end lenses, coming just over five years since the original became available. Despite Sony's ambitions for the GM series, the 70-200mm F2.8 never established a particularly strong reputation, and its replacement comes as Sony pushes aggressively to expand its presence in the professional market.

The Mark II shares its external dimensions, 88 x 200mm (3.5 x 7.9"), with its predecessor but at 1045g (2.3lbs) is nearly a third lighter than the original version. This makes it the lightest 70-200mm F2.8 currently on the market.

The 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II will sell for a list price of $2799, $200 higher than the original version was launched for (though the old lens was initially more expensive if you take five years' worth of inflation into account).


Article will be updated with the official press release shortly.

{ProductSpecTable: sony_fe_70-200_2p8_gm_oss_II}

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