Sony FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS - Review / Test Report - Sample Images & Verdict
Lens Reviews - Sony Alpha (Full Format)

Sample Images

Click on an image for downloading the full-size variant.

MakeSONY
ModelILCE-7RM2
ISO Speed200
Focal Length371.0mm
Aperture:f/8.0
Exposure1/1000s

MakeSONY
ModelILCE-7RM2
ISO Speed200
Focal Length394.0mm
Aperture:f/6.3
Exposure1/1000s

MakeSONY
ModelILCE-7RM2
ISO Speed200
Focal Length374.0mm
Aperture:f/6.3
Exposure1/1000s

MakeSONY
ModelILCE-7RM2
ISO Speed200
Focal Length422.0mm
Aperture:f/6.3
Exposure1/640s

MakeSONY
ModelILCE-7RM2
ISO Speed3200
Focal Length411.0mm
Aperture:f/6.3
Exposure1/500s

MakeSONY
ModelILCE-7RM2
ISO Speed250
Focal Length600.0mm
Aperture:f/6.3
Exposure1/500s

MakeSONY
ModelILCE-7RM2
ISO Speed200
Focal Length209.0mm
Aperture:f/6.3
Exposure1/250s

MakeSONY
ModelILCE-7RM2
ISO Speed400
Focal Length600.0mm
Aperture:f/6.3
Exposure1/500s

MakeSONY
ModelILCE-7RM2
ISO Speed320
Focal Length481.0mm
Aperture:f/6.3
Exposure1/500s

MakeSONY
ModelILCE-7RM2
ISO Speed400
Focal Length600.0mm
Aperture:f/6.3
Exposure1/500s

MakeSONY
ModelILCE-7RM2
ISO Speed160
Focal Length600.0mm
Aperture:f/6.3
Exposure1/500s

MakeSONY
ModelILCE-7RM2
ISO Speed100
Focal Length200.0mm
Aperture:f/8.0
Exposure1/400s

MakeSONY
ModelILCE-7RM2
ISO Speed125
Focal Length200.0mm
Aperture:f/8.0
Exposure1/200s

MakeSONY
ModelILCE-7RM2
ISO Speed100
Focal Length239.0mm
Aperture:f/5.6
Exposure1/320s

Competition

The Sony FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS (shown to the left) is, as of the time of the writing, the longest zoom lens available for Sony FE cameras. If you don't require a 600mm setting, there are currently two xx-400mm options at least - neither of which we have tested at this stage. The most prominent one if the Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS. It is a GM lens thus rated somewhat higher by Sony and it's also more expensive. However, it seems unlikely that it is actually better in the overlapping range but it does add some flexibility at the short end. The FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS also accepts converters (as does the FE 200-600mm) and adding the 1.4x transforms it to a 140-560mm f/7.1-8 but don't expect better results than on the "native" 600mm lens. The other option is the new Sigma 100-400mm f/5-6.3 DG DN OS - and it's substantially more affordable. Yet, the Sigma seems to be capable of delivering very sharp results. It is worth pointing out that both 100-400mm lenses extend when zooming towards the long end and at 400mm, they are actually not much shorter than the FE 200-600mm (which doesn't extend).

Image courtesy of camerasize.com

Verdict

The Sony FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS is not a perfect lens but it is no less than a steal for the money and it alone may be a reason for buying into the Sony system - if you are really into such long tele lenses. The Sony lens is, unsurprisingly, very sharp in the lower to mid parts of its zoom range. At 600mm, the corner quality suffers somewhat whereas the center quality remains impressively high. Most photographers won't probably ever notice this but there are limits when it comes to astrophotography here. Image distortions are present but can be handled via image auto-correction activated. This will also take care of the lateral CAs which are on the high side. The native vignetting is typical for such a lens. A positive surprise is the quality of the bokeh which is (substantially) better than most lenses in this class although prime lenses are better still.

The build quality of the Sony lens is superb thanks to a tightly assembled, metal body. Sony also didn't forget to implement dust- and moisture-resistant seals. We can't emphasize enough that it is unusual for a sanely priced super-tele zoom lens to have a constant physical size. Other than the obvious advantage regarding air movement within the lens, it also allows for a much smoother (easier) zoom experience compared to the usual "air pumps". The AF is pretty fast and noiseless. We were also impressed by the real-world efficiency of the image stabilizer.

The Sony FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS is a big and heavy lens and mounted to a small Sony camera, the setup can feel a bit unbalanced so adding a vertical grip may be a sensible investment for improving handling. Regarding the sum of its qualities combined with the very reasonable price tag, the verdict can only be - highly recommended!

Optical Quality:    
★★★★★
Mechanical Quality:
★★★★★
Price/Performance:
★★★★★

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