Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 SSM G (SAL-70200G) - APS-C Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Sony Alpha/NEX (APS-C)

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published July 2008

Lens kindly provided by Dieter Scherk!


The Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 SSM G is part of Sony professional Gold lineup. It is actually one of the last lenses designed by Minolta and its current incarnation is "only" a relabeled and restyled variant of the old Minolta lens. Regarding its design age it is obviously a full format lens but it does naturally work perfectly on the existing lineup of APS-C DSLRs where its field-of-view is equivalent to about 105-300mm in classic terms.

The build quality of the lens is exceptional. The lens body is obviously made of metal and both the focus and zoom control rings feel tight and smooth to handle. Typical for most Sony lenses the fluted rubber rings offer lots of grip but they have an inevitable tendency to collect dust in no time.
The physical length remains constant regardless of the zoom or focus setting. The front element does not rotate thanks to the internal focusing (IF) system. The lens does not feature any seals which is somewhat unfortunate regarding the (professional) target audience as well as relative to other lenses in this price class.
The petal-shaped lens hood has an interesting feature: you can remove a little window cover which provides access to the filter thread - this is highly useful naturally if you intend to use a polarizer.

Another interesting aspect of the lens is the SSM - the SuperSonic AF Motor which is similar to Canon's USM or Nikon's SWM. It is fast (although not as fast as in the Zeiss ZA 24-70mm f/2.8), near silent and very accurate. Sony did also incorporate 3 focus-lock buttons plus a dedicated AF/MF switch as well as a focus limiter.

Equiv. focal length105-300 mm (full format equivalent)
Equiv. aperturef/4.2 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)
Optical construction19 elements in 16 groups inc. 4x ED elements
Number of aperture blades9 (rounded)
min. focus distance1.2 m (max. magnification ratio 1:5)
Dimensions87 x 197 mm
Weight1340 g (without tripod mount)
Filter size77 mm (non-rotating)
Hoodpetal-shaped (metal), snap-on, supplied
Other featuresDMF, 3 focus-stop buttons, focus limiter

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