Compared to...

Below you can see four fast telezooms side by side; from left to right, the Sony 70-200mm F2.8 G, Tamron 70-200mm 1:2.8 Di LD (IF) Macro, and the Sigma 70-200mm 1:2.8 EX DG Apo Macro HSM II, with the Canon EF 70-200mm F2.8 IS USM for comparison. Both the Sigma and Tamron lenses are available in Alpha mount, so are serious alternatives for Sony SLR owners to the much-more-expensive 70-200mm F2.8 G (especially as all three benefit from the camera's in-body image stabilization). All are well built and finished lenses which are (not surprisingly) pretty similar in size and weight, and share broadly the same design features, including internal zoom and focus mechanisms, and a rotating and removable tripod mount. They also all come as standard with deep, petal-style lens hoods, and (for what it's worth) soft carry cases.

The Sony 70-200mm (like its Canon and Nikon equivalents) is much higher priced than its Tamron and Sigma counterparts, but this brings with it impeccable build quality that's a notch above its third party rivals (note though that there's no specific mention of dust- and moisture-sealing in either the manual or Sony's on-line literature). The Sony also sports an array of AF-stop buttons around the front of the barrel, and has a choice of two Direct Manual Focus modes. The Tamron is the only lens in this group which doesn't use an ultrasonic-type autofocus motor - in Sony mount, AF is driven by the body's 'screw-drive' coupling.

Specifications compared

Sony 70-200mm
F2.8 G
Street price $1800 $800 $730
Date introduced June 2006
December 2007
February 2008
Maximum format size 35mm full frame 35mm full frame 35mm full frame
Focal length 70-200mm 70-200mm 70-200mm
35mm equivalent focal length
(APS-C, 1.5x)



Diagonal Angle of view (FF) 34º - 12º 34º - 12º 34º - 12º
Diagonal Angle of view (APS-C) 23º - 8º 23º - 8º 23º - 8º
Maximum aperture F2.8 F2.8 F2.8
Minimum aperture F32 F22 F32
Lens Construction • 19 elements/16 groups
• 4 ED elements

• 18 elements/15 groups
• 2 ELD elements
• 2 SLD elements

• 19 elements/16 groups
• 3LD elements

Number of diaphragm blades 9, rounded 9 9, rounded
Minimum focus 1.2m 1m 0.9m
Maximum magnification 0.21x at 200mm 0.28x at 200mm 0.32x at 200mm
AF motor type • Ring-type ultrasonic
• Direct manual focus - two modes (Standard and Full Time)
• Ring-type ultrasonic
• Full-time manual focus
• Screw drive from camera body*
• Manual focus clutch
Focus method Internal Internal Internal
Zoom method Internal Internal Internal
Image stabilization via camera body via camera body via camera body
Filter thread • 77mm
• Does not rotate on focus
• 77mm
• Does not rotate on focus
• 77mm
• Does not rotate on focus
Supplied accessories Front and rear caps
• SH0010 Hood
• Lens Pouch
Front and rear caps
• Lens Hood
• Soft Case
Front and rear caps
• Lens Hood
• Soft Case
Weight (including tripod mount) 1500g (52.9 oz) 1390g (49.0 oz) 1330g (46.9 oz)
Dimensions 87mm diameter x 197mm length
(3.4 x 7.7 in)
86.6mm diameter x 184mm length
(3.4 x 7.2 in)
89.5mm diameter x 194.3mm length
(3.5 x 7.6 in)
Lens Mount Sony Alpha only Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax, Sony, Sigma Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony
Other • 3 Focus Hold buttons
• Reports focus distance information to camera body

*AF drive type depends on mount - Canon and Nikon versions use in-lens micro motor