Thoughts on an FE 100-400mm F4.5–5.6 GM OSS with a Sony a7r IV

Started 8 months ago | Discussions thread
AZheaven Senior Member • Posts: 1,685
Re: Thoughts on an FE 100-400mm F4.5–5.6 GM OSS with a Sony a7r IV

tonyz1 wrote:

AZheaven wrote:

Thanks for this reply! I've been using the A7III and a rented 200-600 for the past couple of days now. It's not so much big as it's heavy, with a capitol H. When I get the subject in focus its's sharp. But with that weight I can't hold it long enough and carrying it on a strap (Peak Design) affects my shoulders and neck/back. I've been out of it for a while recovering from surgeries. I'm just a 173 lb weakling for now! I rented the 100-400 back in January and it seemed more managable to me.

I tend to agree with your assessment on the 200-600mm - I took it on a six mile hike (big mistake) and decided to sell it afterwards for the Sigma 100-400mm which is much much smaller. The Sony 100-400mm is nice but only worth it if you really want to get to 560mm f8 with a 1.4x teleconverter in a slightly smaller package over the sony 200-600mm for a lot more money.

The way I see it is this:

1. If you are happy with 400mm as your max reach, the Sigma 100-400mm is smaller and cheaper than the Sony 100-400mm and there is nothing the Sony offers that will help you take better photos. The Sony does have slightly faster AF so maybe if you are a professional shooting sports, I can see why that could make sense.

2. If you want to get to 600mm or 840mm, the Sony 200-600mm is the best option hands down even with the added weight.

3. If you really need a little less weight and willing to sacrifice a little bit of image quality and a lot of money, the sony 100-400mm + 1.4x TC can make sense. But it's definitely a bit of a compromise and AF slows down.

Personally, I'm waiting for something like the Nikon 500mm f5.6 PF before I commit more money towards a super telephoto. I've actually considered buying a D500 just to use that lens but I don't get to do enough wildlife photography to make it worth my while.

Yesterday was day 4 with the 200-600. I hiked a flat trail in my area by a lake (what's left of it since our monsoon season ended up being nothing) for approx. 2 miles. I ended up having to cradle the lens in my arms because the weight was getting to me. Many shots I took were not in focus because I'm not strong enough to hold this lens steady. Shaking? I was like Don Knotts in Ghost and Mr. Chicken! And walking to an area to take photos I was thinking since I crop anyway, I can easily crop a 100-400 to 600mm.

I too am waiting to see what a 3rd party comes out with. Tamron was rumored months ago to be working on a 200-400 f4. But if true i would imagine that would be heavy as well. As for the Sigma. I have yet to see any shots of BIF's. I'm just seeing stills right now. We shall see!

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