New Sony Telephotos: the FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS and the FE 200-600mm F5.6-6.3 G OSS. My thoughts … « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

New Sony Telephotos: the FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS and the FE 200-600mm F5.6-6.3 G OSS. My thoughts ...

What’s Up

We had a great Thursday afternoon with loads of Walleye including some fairly large ones and tons of flying and diving eagle images with 37 keepers for me on a sunny, windy afternoon.

Thanks to those who commented on the Red Knot Three Ways blog post here.

Coming Soon

I will be announcing the Fort DeSoto Fall Sandbar Secrets IPT and one or two Bosque IPTs soon.

Important SONY Stuff

Since the two new SONY lenses were announced several days ago, many folks have written asking a variety of questions. I am hoping to answer them all below and shed additional light on the two new OSS lenses.

If you decide to purchase, please use either my B&H links or get in touch with Steve Elkins at Bedford’s (as below) to save a few bucks.

Questions and comments are of course welcome.

FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS Lens

Longtime followers know for sure that I have never been a huge fan of the 400mm. f/2.8 lenses for bird photography as you do not get enough focal length bang for your bucks even with the 2X TC. I have used and loved my 600mm f/4 lenses ever since I abandoned my much-beloved Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS many years ago. With Canon, I was comfortable with both the 1.4X III and the 2X III teleconverters. With my Nikon 600 VR I use only the TC-E14. I sold my TC-E17 ii and have not been able to unload the TC-E20 iii which in my opinion is a real clunker. Do note however, I did make some sharp images with each of those; it is the consistency that was lacking …

If you are a serious bird photographer who is in love with and committed to SONY, and is physically able to travel with 600mm f/4 and use it comfortably in the field, then I consider the FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS lens a necessity. Patrick Sparkman meets all of the above conditions: he is #1 on the Bedford’s list. Steve Elkins is expecting Bedford’s first delivery in early August. If you fit the bill you should pre-order yours right now either through Steve or using my B&H link:

FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS lens

The sooner you order the less you will have to wait.

Several folks asked if the SONY 600 f/4 is a game changer for me. It is not. I am neither in love with nor committed to the SONY system. Learn why I am not yet committed to SONY in the revelatory SONY and Me blog post coming soon.

The new FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS lens weighs 6.7 pounds. The current Nikon 600 VR weighs a relative ton at 8.4 pounds. The Canon 600 II weighs in at 8.65. pounds while the brand new Canon 600 III tips the scales at 6.71 pounds, virtually the same as the new SONY 600. All of these lenses are more than capable of producing sharp images with their respective 1.4 teleconverters. I am, however, positive that the new SONY 600 will produce sharp images with the 2X TC at least on a par with the results I got at 1200mm with my Canon gear. I could never get confident with my Nikon six with either the 1.7X II or the 2X III TCs.

So, considering that the SONY 600 is a hefty 1.4 pounds lighter than my Nikon 600 VR and would allow me to get back to working successfully at 1200mm, many folks would ask “Why doesn’t artie make the complete switch to SONY? With regards only to the lens, understand that I am not capable of hand holding either the Nikon 600 or the SONY 600 so the weight difference is not a huge issue to me right now. I still need to be on a tripod. As for my not being completely sold on SONY, see the aforementioned revelatory SONY and Me blog post coming soon.

Please, please pretty please, if you do pre-order, please remember to use either my B&H link or to get in touch with Steve Elkins at Bedford’s. Those who do either will qualify for a free copy of Patrick Sparkman’s SONY a7R iii/a9 Video Guide. It will likely sell for $50.00.

Sony FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS Lens

Sony also announced/released info on the new Sony FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS lens.

First some facts. Despite that white finish, this lens is not part of Sony’s high-end G Master (GM) series of lenses. It is on the heavy side at 4.67 pounds it still compares favorably with the Nikon 200-500 VR at 5.1 pounds while offering an additional 100mm of reach. Compare this new SONY lens to similar stuff from Sigma and Tamron. Though I have seen sharp images with both the Nikon-mount and Canon-mount versions of the off-brand lenses on various IPTs, I have never been a big fan of lenses like the Sigma 150-600mm Sports or the Tamron 150-600mm G2 as they are large and clunky and on the borderline of not being hand holdable for some folks. Worst of all is each of these lenses changes length when you zoom in or out. To its credit, the SONY 200-600mm’s zoom is internal — the lens stays the same length when you zoom to different focal lengths. In addition, I have never been a fan of variable aperture lenses like the new SONY — f/5.6-6.3 … The minimum focusing distance of 7.9 feet is impressive at 600mm.

Sony claims that when the a9 is paired with the new lens it is capable of focusing and tracking subjects at 20fps. I am not buying that as my understanding is that when you are in C (Continuous) AF mode (as opposed to One-Shot), the maximum fps will drop to 15fps. That is still quite impressive but not the full 20fps. Might I be wrong? Very much so. Don’t forget that this is a relatively slow lens (again at f/5.6-6.3) and that. That this is an economical and versatile lens that might be perfect for some SONY folks, I do not see myself ever owning it. Especially if I wind up eventually owning the FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS lens. Why? Because I believe that the SONY 100-400 GM OSS is a much better fit with less overlap than the new Sony FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS lens.

As with most things SONY, this lens just might be perfect for you and for other SONY folks who neither have the funds to purchase the new SONY 600mm f/4 nor the strength to manage it in the field. I did love my Nikon 2-5 until I got my 500 PF.

Money Saving Reminder

If you need a hot photo item that is out of stock at B&H, would enjoy free overnight shipping, and would like a $50 discount on your first purchase, click here to order and enter the coupon code BIRDSASART at checkout. If you are looking to strike a deal on Canon or Nikon gear (including the big telephotos) or on a multiple item order, contact Steve Elkins via e-mail or on his cell at (479) 381-2592 (Eastern time) and be sure to mention your BIRDSASART coupon code and use it for your online order. Steve currently has several D850s in stock along with a Nikon 600mm f/4 VR. He is taking pre-orders for the new Nikon 500 P and the Nikon Z6 mirrorless camera body.

Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending BAA IPTs and dozens of photographers whom I see in the field and on BPN, are–out of ignorance–using the wrong gear especially when it comes to tripods and more especially, tripod heads… Please know that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail. Those questions might deal with systems, camera bodies, accessories, and/or lens choices and decisions.

If In Doubt …

If in doubt about using the BAA B&H affiliate link correctly, you can always start your search by clicking here. Please note that the tracking is invisible. Web orders only. Please, however, remember to shoot me your receipt via e-mail.

Please Remember to use my Affiliate Links and to Visit the BAA Online Store 🙂

To show your appreciation for my continuing efforts here, we ask, as always, that you get in the habit of using my B&H affiliate links on the right side of the blog for all of your photo and electronics purchases. Please check the availability of all photographic accessories in the BIRDS AS ART Online Store, especially the Mongoose M3.6 tripod head, Wimberley lens plates, Delkin flash cards and accessories, and LensCoat stuff.

As always, we sell only what I have used, have tested, and can depend on. We will not sell you junk. We know what you need to make creating great images easy and fun. And please remember that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.

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3 comments to New Sony Telephotos: the FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS and the FE 200-600mm F5.6-6.3 G OSS. My thoughts …

  • avatar Byron PRINZMETAL

    Well, according to the rumors the lenses is not the end of the story for Sony as far as sports photography and getting ready for their home town Olympics. There is this thing called A9ii, whatever that is going to be. Rumor has it, it will correct all that pros have been complaining about with the A9 including Sony’s color science (that has been fixed??? in their A7iii.) Personally, I can’t see many pros switching camera systems for the upcoming games no matter how excellent the new Sony system is. But, that does not mean there won’t be those who change systems as the camera maker recession takes further hold and Sony pulls farther ahead in the mirrorless space. Time will tell. One thing is for sure, high end camera users will be the winners, not sure all of the camera manufacturers will be winners and in fact some might not be around in a year or two from now. Bp

  • avatar John Zimmerman

    Happy Birthday Artie.

Leave a Reply to Byron PRINZMETAL Cancel reply

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