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).
Sony Electronics Continues to Redefine Excellence in Imaging with the Introduction of the new FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II
Sony’s Newest G Master Lens Features Superb Resolution and Bokeh with Next-generation AF Performance in the World’s Lightest[i] Large-aperture Telephoto Zoom Lens
- Constant aperture F2.8 70-200mm telephoto zoom
- Fast, precise quiet AF (autofocus) and continuous AF tracking capabilities
- Advanced features for video creators
- World’s lightesti 70-200mm large-aperture telephoto zoom lens, approximately 29% lighter than the previous model
- Up to approximately four times[ii] faster AF, with focus tracking while zooming improved by approximately 30% when compared to the previous modelii
- Professional-level control and reliability
SAN DIEGO, CA – October 13, 2021 – Sony Electronics Inc. announced the newest lens in their G Master lineup – the FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II, which delivers an extraordinary combination of resolution and bokeh as well as unequalled AF (autofocus) performance known to Sony’s G Master design.
“Sony is always listening to our customers. Thanks to feedback from users around the world, including leading professionals, Sony continues to develop and evolve the G Master lineup,” said Yang Cheng, Vice President, Imaging Solutions, Sony Electronics Inc. “The FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II is lightweight and offers outstanding handling in any shooting situation. The newest addition to our G Master series will make a perfect telephoto zoom addition to any creator’s kit who is looking to maximize their gear potential for both stills and video.”
Designed to perfectly pair with Sony’s E-mount camera bodies, the FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II not only offers outstanding optical quality and advanced AF performance, but it is the lightesti F2.8 70-200mm zoom in the world and allows for unprecedented shooting freedom and flexibility. Sony continues to strengthen the Alpha system with this newest addition to the broadest selection of mirrorless lenses on the market as the 65th lens in its E-mount lens lineup.
New Levels of Performance
The new FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II delivers outstanding image quality with high resolution and clarity. Users can expect a clean and clear image from corner to corner throughout the entire zoom range, even when the aperture is wide open. Thanks to the two aspherical lens elements, including one XA (extreme aspherical) element manufactured to 0.01-micron surface precision, the FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II effectively controls distance-related aberration variations to ensure outstanding resolution throughout the image area.
The FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II also employs two ED (extra-low dispersion) spherical glass elements and two Super ED spherical glass elements to significantly reduce chromatic aberration without color bleeding. This lens also includes an ED aspherical element for the first time in an Alpha system lens, which simultaneously suppresses chromatic and spherical aberration, common issues in other telephoto lenses.
Smooth, beautiful bokeh is made possible by a large F2.8 maximum aperture and a newly developed 11-blade circular aperture unit. In addition, the lens’ advanced optical design including an XA element thoroughly suppresses the unwanted ‘onion ring’ effect, further enhancing the bokeh. The FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II also offers excellent close-up performance with deep bokeh. The minimum focusing distance is just 15.7 inches (0.4 meters) at 70mm and 32.3 inches (0.82 meters) at 200mm, with a maximum magnification of 0.3x. Moreover, the FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II can be easily paired with Sony’s high-performance 1.4x or 2.0x teleconverter[iii] to extend the lens’ focal length to 400mm[iv] at an F5.6 aperture, all while maintaining its G Master quality.
To avoid any unwanted flare and ghosting in challenging lighting conditions, Sony’s original Nano AR Coating II produces a uniform anti-reflection coating on the surface of the lens. In addition, the FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II’s optical design also effectively suppresses internal reflections to improve clarity.
The FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II’s state-of-the-art lens technology brings out the best in the advanced camera body it is paired with. The new lens uses four Sony-original XD (extreme dynamic) Linear Motors for extraordinary fast and precise AF, making it up to approximately four times fasterii and with focus tracking improved by 30% when compared to the previous modelii. When paired with Sony’s flagship Alpha 1, the FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II is capable of high-speed continuous shooting at up to 30 fps[v]. Superb AF tracking is also available even when using a teleconverter. For video, the FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II offers smooth and quiet AF to reliably lock in focus and track fast-moving subjects, even while zooming, so the user can leave the focusing to the camera.
Advanced Features for Video
With its constant F2.8 maximum aperture, astounding AF performance, versatile control, and solid reliability, the FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II is a perfect choice for video. The new lens was designed to dramatically reduce focus breathing, focus shift, and axis shift when zooming so that there is minimal unwanted image movement and angle of view variations.
For easy video-use operation, the FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II features independent control rings for focus, zoom, and aperture (iris), allowing precise manual operation. The aperture ring also has a click ON/OFF switch. Additionally, Sony’s Linear Response MF ensures responsive, low-lag manual focus control. The supplied lens hood also features an opening that allows convenient operation of circular polarizing filters or variable ND filters for more creative flexibility.
Designed for Professionals
The FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II is the world’s lightesti F2.8 telephoto zoom lens and is approximately 29% lighter than the previous model, weighing just under 37 oz (1,045g). In addition to its light weight, the FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II was designed for professionals to offer an ideal balance without front-heaviness, ensuring that the lens’ center of gravity falls directly above the tripod mount. It also features internal zoom to keep the center of gravity constant.
The FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II has been specifically designed for professionals based on their direct feedback. The new lens includes focus functions to support the user’s professional needs such as Full-time DMF, natural and linear manual focus response, and a focus-range limiter switch. The FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II also includes three customizable focus hold buttons that are provided 90° apart for easy access and convenient control when shooting in horizontal or vertical orientation, and nearly any angle.
The FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II features both a click ON/OFF switch and an iris lock switch for quick, flexible aperture control. The aperture ring click stops can be turned ON to provide tactile feedback when shooting stills, or OFF for smooth, silent aperture control when shooting movies. In addition, the zoom ring torque is optimized and now includes image stabilization with MODE 3[vi] for moving subjects.
Based on feedback from professionals, the FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II is designed to be reliable in even the most challenging environments. It features dust and moisture resistance[vii], equal to the FE 400mm F2.8 GM OSS and FE 600mm F4 GM OSS. The front lens element features a fluorine coating that repels water, oil, and other contaminants, while making it easier to wipe off any contaminants or fingerprints that may become attached to the lens surface.
Pricing and Availability
The new FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II will be available in December for approximately $2,800.00 USD and $3,500.00 CAD. It will be sold at a variety of Sony’s authorized dealers throughout North America.
Exclusive stories and exciting new content shot with the new FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II and Sony’s other imaging products can be found at www.alphauniverse.com, a site created to educate and inspire all fans and customers of Sony α – Alpha brand.
[i] As of the October 2021 product announcement, compared to full-frame F2.8 70-200mm telephoto zoom lenses that support autofocus. Sony survey.
[ii] When attached to the Alpha 1, compared to SEL70200GM. Sony test conditions.
[iii] Maximum aperture with the 1.4x and 2.0x teleconverters is F4 and F5.6, respectively.
[iv] 2.0x teleconverter can realize 400mm focal length. 1.4x teleconverter can realize 280mm focal length.
[v] Sony test conditions.
[vi] A software update may be required. See Sony’s support page on the web for camera compatibility info.
[vii] Not guaranteed to be 100% dust and moisture proof.