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I’ve been fortunate to own the Sony FE 100-400mm 4.5-5.6 GM OSS lens (SEL100400GM) since it was launched back in July 2017. Since then I’ve shot a good mix of sport, wildlife and a little aviation with the lens mounted to my Sony a6500, a7R III, and a9 cameras.

Now, I know that MTF charts serve a useful purpose in evaluating lens performance, but I’m afraid you won’t find any in this review, nor will you find any images of my bookcase. So if this is what you are looking for, I’m sorry to disappoint you so early on!

However, if you would like to learn about how this lens performs in the real world, and view a variety of shots from environments that this lens was actually designed to be used in, then please keep scrolling.

*Note: Images here are straight from the camera with noise reduction off, no post processing has been applied. Some images have been cropped to my liking, but full resolution SOOC JPEG images are available to download (except the superbikes). RAW files are also available but password protected to help keep my hosting costs sensible. However, I do provide the username/password to all members of my monthly GAS email. All images are copyright protected and may be used for personal use only.

Before we go any further I have one question for you: Are you are reading this review on a small mobile device? If so, please stop right now. It’s very difficult to review images on such a tiny screen, so if you are seriously considering purchasing this lens, I’d recommend that you continue reading on something a little larger.

Lens Overview

The introduction of the Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS lens finally filled a substantial gap in Sony’s E-mount lens line up, and has provided Sony sports and wildlife photographers a serious piece of glass to freeze action and capture spectacular moments from afar.

The lens has a focal range of 100-400mm on full frame cameras like the Sony a7 series and a9, but mount this lens to your APS-C camera like the a6000/a6300/a6500 and you’ll now have a 35mm equivalent focal range of 150-600mm, which is quite the reach!

The lens is also compatible with the Sony FE 1.4x and 2.0x teleconverters, helping to extend its reach up to 560mm with the 1.4x and up to 800mm with the 2x. I’ll be talking about just how well these teleconverters perform a little later on in this review.

Honda Superbike Shot with the Sony SEL100400GM lens

a6500 @ 345mm | 1/250 | f/5.6 | ISO 400

The lens is comprised of 22 elements in 16 groups, with two extra-low dispersion (ED) glass elements and one super-ED element that help to keep chromatic aberrations to a minimum. A nano AR coating suppresses internal reflections to minimise flare and ghosting, while a fluorine coating on the front element repels grease, water and fingerprints.

As well as the lens itself, inside the box you will also find a padded zipped bag and strap, as well as the large ALC-SH151 lens hood.

This is by no means a cheap lens, and you will need to find around $2500 or £2500 if you would like to mount this piece of glass to your camera. The Sony badge certainly carries a premium compared with the Canon 100-400mm, which is closer to the $2000/£2000 mark.

 

Key Specs

  • Optical SteadyShot Image Stabilization
  • Linear motor and Direct Drive SSM (DDSSM)
  • Sony Nano AR coating to eliminate flare and ghosting
  • Circular 9-blade aperture for beautiful defocus effects
  • Dust and moisture resistant design
  • Minimum focus distance: 3.22 ft/0.98 m
  • Maximum magnification ration: 0.35x
  • Filter diameter: 77mm
  • Weight: 1395 g (without tripod mount) or 1476g (with tripod mount)
  • Length: 205mm (smallest) 285mm (maximum)
  • Height: 93.9mm

You can find the full lens specifications on Sony’s website.

 

Build Quality

Unpacking this lens soon reveals why this lens carries the price tag that it does. I can’t personally compare it to the build quality of the Canon or Nikon equivalents since I’ve never used them, but I can compare it to both the Sony FE 70-200mm F4 G and the FE 70-300mm F3.5-5.6 G lenses and will say that it is definitely a step up in build quality, as it should be since it carries the G ‘Master’ badge.

sel100400gm review

Sony has made use of magnesium allow components for high durability and to keep the weight down, a Nano AR coating to help reduce flare and ghosting, and also added seals to help keep dust and moisture out. I’ve used this lens in both light and heavy showers, and so far have suffered no water ingress into either the lens itself or the camera I was using at the time.

You can see the rubber seal around the lens mount in the below image. You’ll also notice that the rear lens element is recessed into the lens body, this allows either the 1.4x or 2.0x teleconverters to be attached. Currently they are only supported on the 100-400 GM and 70-200 GM lenses, and they will not physical fit any other E-mount lens.

sel100400gm mount seal

The lens is fairly compact and lightweight. It’s about 1cm longer than Sony’s A-mount equivalent, the 70-400mm f/4-5.6 G SSM II, and over 100g lighter. It’s also 159g lighter than the Canon EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 L IS II USM lens with the tripod mount attached.

At the front of the lens you will find a 77mm filter thread, as well as the mount for attaching the large bayonet style lens hood (ALC-SH151). The hood is made from thick plastic and features black matting on the inside to help prevent reflections. The hood attaches firmly to the lens with a simple twist to lock action, and is removed again with a press of a release button and a twist, there is no chance that this hood will be detaching itself!

The ALC-SH151 hood also features a small hatch to allow you to rotate a circular polariser without detaching the hood, although as yet I’ve not attached a polariser to test how well this works.

sel100400gm alc-f77s lens hood

Moving towards the back of the lens barrel you will find the lens collar that holds the tripod mount foot. Loosening the small wheel allows it to rotate smoothly for use in both portrait and landscape positions, or anywhere in-between (I really enjoy playing with different angles, especially when shooting superbikes if I’m using a monopod). You can also detach the foot completely if you wish for convenient transport and storage, removing the foot also exposes a 1/4-20 thread for attachment to other mounts.

sel100400gm tripod collar

Finally there is a 77mm lens cap (ALC-F77S) that features the standard pinch grip. Thankfully unlike many of Sony’s lens caps, this one attaches and detaches firmly the first time.

 

Handling

The lens feels fairly well balanced when attached to both my Sony a7R III and a9. Needless to say when attached to my much smaller Sony a6500 this balance goes out of the window, but since you will be supporting the lens with one hand anyway, it’s not really a big deal and you soon get used to it. I’ve often spent 8 hours shooting with the a6500 + 100-400 GM and have never once felt that this combination doesn’t work.

Honda Superbike Shot with the Sony SEL100400GM lens

a6500 @ 400mm | 1/800 | f/5.6 | ISO 500

Even when the lens barrel is extended it still feels well balanced. Here are a couple of images of the lens with the barrel extended fully at 400mm and also at its most compact size when at 100mm. For those interested, the lens here is mounted to my Jobu Design Jr. 3 Gimbal Head and a Neil Neville Hide Base Plate.

sel100400gm at 400mm

sel100400gm at 100mm

As with most zoom lenses, there are both zoom and manual focus twist-rings on the barrel, as well as a number of buttons and switches. The zoom ring rotates 90 degrees between the lens’ shortest position of 100mm and its maximum extension at 400mm, making it very easy to zoom fully in and out with a single twist.

This is the first Alpha lens to include a zoom smoothness adjuster that provides mechanical control of zoom ring torque. I usually have this set to smooth most of the time, making it very easy to zoom in and out quickly and smoothly. When it is set to smooth the lens will extend under it’s own weight if you let it hang from a neck strap, but change it to tight and there is very little creep at all. There is unfortunately no lock switch, but to be honest I’ve not missed having one.

sel100400gm torque ring

My only wish would be for a torque adjustment option for the focus ring as well, as I find this to be a little too loose for my liking. There is definitely not as much resistance as on the other Sony lenses that I own, and it’s very easy to knock the focus out when shooting in manual focus. I don’t know if this is a fault with my lens, or if this is how it has been designed. I’d ideally like to get my hands on another lens to see how they compare.

You will also find an array of switches on the side of the lens, these include: AF/MF switch, AF distance limiter to reduce focus searching to 3 meters and greater, OSS (Optical Steady Shot) on and off switch which also overrides the build in IBIS of your camera if present, and the panning mode switch. When set to mode 1 you get both vertical and horizontal stabilization, switching to mode 2 just gives you just vertical stabilization so you can pan horizontally and still get lovely sharp images.

sel100400gm switches

There are also 3 ‘focus hold’ programmable buttons located between the focus and zoom ring controls, all of which can be customized in-camera for pretty much any function that you like.

 

Focus Acquisition Speed and Accuracy

Providing you have good light then you will find the auto-focus to be both incredibly fast, deadly accurate, and virtually silent, which is rather important for shooting fast moving subjects. Of course, auto-focus speed will vary a little depending on which camera you are using, but even when attached to my old a6000 this lens still focuses faster than many of the other Sony zoom lenses that I own (quite a few).

The lens has no difficulty in tracking subjects that are moving towards or away from the camera when you are shooting in continuous focus mode. It certainly had no trouble at all keeping track of this Hawk doing 400+ MPH through the mountainous landscape of North Wales.

Hawk jet shot with the Sony SEL100400GM lens

a7R III @ 400mm | 1/1000 | f/5.6 | ISO 500 | Cropped | *Full Resolution Download: JPEG | RAW

Sony has achieved this by using a combination of double linear motor and DDSSM (Direct Drive SSM) drive systems, and it is the first of its kind. It also implements precision sensors that provide real-time feedback for extremely high positioning accuracy, allowing the body’s AF system to perform at its best.

If you enjoy shooting birds in flight like this puffin at Bempton Cliffs on the east coast of Yorkshire, then the poor birds will have no chance! But you will be cursing yourself later when you are spending hours deliberating over which ones to keep.
Puffin shot with the Sony SEL100400GM lens

a9 @ 400mm | 1/1250 | f/5.6 | ISO 320 | Cropped | *Full Resolution Download: JPEG | RAW

 

Lens Sharpness and Contrast

I’ve not done any specific sharpness or contrast testing, all I can go off is the images I’ve shot and how pleased I am with them. Here’s a shot of a beautiful kingfisher. Make sure you download the jpeg to see the impressive detail that this lens retains.

Kingfisher Shot with the Sony SEL100400GM lens

a7R III @ 400mm | 1/400 | f/5.6 | ISO 100 | *Full Resolution Download: JPEG | RAW

If you care for DxOMark tests, then you’ll be happy to know that they rate the sharpness of the Sony 100-400mm GM lens very highly indeed. Here’s what they had to say about the lens compared with Canon’s offering:

Compared to the Canon EF 100-400mm 4.5-5.6L IS II, which has very similar specifications, the Sony FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 GM OSS surpasses it in overall performance, even if it doesn’t quite have the excellent uniform performance of the Canon over the focal range. Still, the Sony delivers significantly higher sharpness levels at both ends of the zoom range when wide-open, including the vaunted 400mm focal length and matches it in-between. Stopped down, the Sony is sharper at every focal length. In terms of lens transmission, the Sony is slightly slower at T5.9 versus T5.6; and the Canon has slightly lower levels of distortion and chromatic aberration overall. However, all these things are relative, and the Sony offers better overall image quality at a similar price.

You can read the full DxOMark review here.

Here’s a shot of an RAF Airbus A400M flying through the Mach Loop in North Wales. Possibly not the best shot to assess the sharpness since I shot it at 1/250sec for some prop blur and was panning, but as you can see, even at this slower shutter speed the image is still nice and sharp.
RAF Airbus A400M Shot with the Sony SEL100400GM lens

a9 @ 226mm | 1/250 | f/10 | ISO 100 | Cropped *Full Resolution Download: JPEG | RAW

This superbike was also shot at a slower shutter speed to ensure I kept some movement in the wheels. Even when pushing the aperture to f/18 (it was a sunny day), and the a6500 having to make use of contrast detection at this aperture, the lens tracked and nailed the shot I was looking for.
Superbike shot with the Sony SEL100400GM lens

a6500 @ 241mm | 1/200 | f/18 | ISO 100

 

Bokeh

Bokeh is certainly very subjective, and with a maximum aperture of f/4.5 at 100mm and f/5.6 coming in already at around 164mm, you won’t get the same beautiful bokeh that the 70-200mm F2.8 GM produces. However, the bokeh to my eyes at least is still very pleasing and works well to separate your subject from the background. Here are some examples so that you can decide for yourself.

At the Bwlch Nant Yr Arian feeding station in Wales hundreds of kites turn up for feeding time, presenting you with ample opportunities to get some great shots. I highly recommend a visit if you are ever in the area. As you can see, the background is nicely blurred helping the kite to standout.
Red Kite shot with the Sony SEL100400GM lens

a9 @ 400mm | 1/1600 | f/5.6 | ISO 200 | Cropped | *Full Resolution Download: JPEG | RAW

A little motocross action during the Motocross of Nations at Matterley Basin and my first time shooting motocross, also highly recommended if you get the chance! The bokeh here is sufficient to blur the spectators, but it’s nice that you can still identify them as spectators.
Motocross bike shot with the Sony SEL100400GM lens

a6500 @ 400mm | 1/1000 | f/5.6 | ISO 800 | *Full Resolution Download: JPEG | RAW

A stunning barn owl shot during a birds of prey workshop up in the Yorkshire Dales, UK. I’d really love to shoot one of these beautiful birds in the wild, so I’ve recently setup a barn owl nesting box in my parents barn, now it’s just a case of being patient! Again, the background has been nicely smoothed out to help the owl maintain your full attention.

Barn Owl shot with the Sony SEL100400GM lens

a6500 @ 400mm | 1/2500 | f/5.6 | ISO 400 | *Full Resolution Download: JPEG | RAW

 

Vignetting, Chromatic Aberration, and Flare Control

If you like shooting white walls then you will see the tiniest amount of shading in the corners when shooting wide-open at f/4.5 and 100mm focal length. As soon as you step down to f/5.6 this is less noticable and is gone completely by f/8. At 400mm and f/5.6 vignetting is pretty much non-existent even on a white wall. Back in the real world you are unlikely to spot any vignetting in your images whatsoever. I’ve shot thousands of images and as yet have not had a single image that needed to be corrected for vignetting.

Red Squirrel shot with the Sony SEL100400GM lens

a7R III @ 400mm | 1/250 | f/5.6 | ISO 5000 | *Full Resolution Download: JPEG | RAW

Chromatic aberration, also known as “color fringing” or “purple fringing”, is usually seen along high-contrast edges in images and for some lenses can be a problem. Fortunately with the Sony FE 100-400mm F4.5–5.6 GM OSS lens it is very well-controlled, and I’ve yet to find any evidence of chromatic aberration in the images that I’ve shot to this date.

Northern Gannet shot with the Sony SEL100400GM lens

a9 @ 400mm | 1/1600 | f/8 | ISO 125 | *Full Resolution Download: JPEG | RAW

Northern Gannet shot with the Sony SEL100400GM lens

a9 @ 400mm | 1/1250 | f/5.6 | ISO 250 | *Full Resolution Download: JPEG | RAW

Flare control is also excellent, even without the hood attached. You will need to look very closely at the following image to spot the tiniest amount of flare visible whilst shooting directly into the sun.

sel100400gm flare

a7R III @ 100mm | 1/1000 | f/4.5 | ISO 100 | *Full Resolution Download: JPEG | RAW

 

Low Light Performance

With an aperture of f/4.5 at 100mm and f/5.6 from 164mm to 400mm, this generally would not be your first lens choice for low light work. That said, I’ve used this lens to shoot superbikes on a very cloudy and wet day at Silverstone and the lens had no trouble at all in tracking the bikes and nailing razor sharp shots. I’ve also shot red squirrels in the Yorkshire Dales under a dark forest canopy with grey skies and rain, again I had no trouble nailing my shots.

Red Squirrel shot with the Sony SEL100400GM lens

a7R III @ 364mm | 1/250 | f/5.6 | ISO 3200 | *Full Resolution Download: JPEG | RAW

However, it’s certainly not a low light miracle lens. I have had difficulties focusing on small birds at a distance in low light, especially at the long-end. But often zooming out to 200mm to acquire focus then zooming back in does the trick. I’ve also had difficulty shooting rally cars in a dark forest with very low light, as again the lens would hunt to focus at 400mm but backing off to 200mm and it soon locked on.

The in-built optical stabilization OSS (Optical SteadyShot) is a great help in low light situations. By reducing camera shake you can slow your shutter speed down to as low as 1/100 even at 400mm and still shoot beautifully sharp images of still subjects. The OSS is also very helpful for framing your subject in the viewfinder, especially when at 400mm.

The lens will never be as good as f/2.8 400mm prime in low light situations, but for a fraction of the price it certainly does not disappoint.

Black Swan Shot with the Sony SEL100400GM lens

a7R III @ 247mm | 1/1000 | f/5.6 | ISO 8000 | Cropped *Full Resolution Download: JPEG | RAW

 

An Excellent Macro Lens

Not only is the 100-400 GM a great telephoto lens, I’ve also found that it makes an excellent macro lens for getting really close to your subjects. The lens has a minimum focus distance of 0.98m which gives a maximum magnification of 0.35x.

I own the Sony FE 90mm F2.8 lens which is a brilliant lens, but since purchasing the 100-400 I often find myself reaching for this lens first now for macro shots. If you are shooting bugs then you can easily keep your distance to avoid scaring them off, which is not the case with the much closer focusing distance of the 90mm. The 100-400 is also virtually silent and the focusing speed is so much faster than the 90mm, giving you a big advantage when it comes to capturing little critters that might have vanished before the 90mm has locked on.

Here are a few macro examples with the 100-400. All of these images have been cropped by 50%, which for me personally still leaves plenty of pixels to play with even on the a9.
sel100400gm bee macro

a9 @ 400mm | 1/1000 | f/5.6 | ISO 250 | *Full Resolution Download: JPEG | RAW

sel100400gm insect macro

a9 @ 400mm | 1/1000 | f/5.6 | ISO 800 | *Full Resolution Download: JPEG | RAW

sel100400gm butterfly macro

a9 @ 400mm | 1/1000 | f/5.6 | ISO 800 | *Full Resolution Download: JPEG | RAW

 

Performance with 1.4x Teleconverter

The Sony 1.4x teleconverter (SEL14TC) will extend the reach of the 100-400mm GM lens to 560mm on a full frame camera like the a7R III, but it will do so by sacrificing one stop of light. So at 400mm (560mm with 1.4x) you will now find your largest aperture is at f/8.

Fortunately this does not appear to slow the focus speed of the 100-400 whatsoever, and if it does it so minuscule that I simply don’t notice it. You’ll find that the sharpness drops very slightly, but nothing at all to be worried about. Vignetting however is more visible with lighter backgrounds at 500mm+, you will want to correct this in post. Here are a few shots with the 1.4x attached, for the first I was using a monopod.

Superbike Shot with the Sony SEL100400GM lens

a6500 @ 560mm | 1/400 | f/8 | ISO 400

Honda Superbike Shot with the Sony SEL100400GM lens

a6500 @ 560mm | 1/250 | f/11 | ISO 100

Short eared owl shot with the Sony SEL100400GM lens

a9 @ 560mm | 1/1000 | f/8 | ISO 2000 | *Full Resolution Download: JPEG | RAW

Kingfisher Shot with the Sony SEL100400GM lens

a7R III @ 560mm | 1/200 | f/8 | ISO 800 | *Full Resolution Download: JPEG | RAW

Fulmar shot with the Sony SEL100400GM lens

a9 @ 560mm | 1/1250 | f/8 | ISO 400 | *Full Resolution Download: JPEG | RAW

 

Performance with 2x Teleconverter

The Sony 2.0x teleconverter (SEL20TC) will extend the reach of the 100-400mm GM lens to 800mm on a full frame camera like the a7R III, but it will do so by sacrificing two stops of light. So at 400mm (800mm with 2.0x) you will now find your largest aperture is at f/11.

With an aperture of f/11 cameras like the a7R II and a7R III will now be pushed into contrast detection to focus instead of the much faster phase detection. With the a6500 and a9 this isn’t so much of a problem as the faster phase detection works up to f/11 on these cameras. I’ve still shot plenty of fast moving subjects whilst using contrast detection, sure you won’t get the same number of keepers as with phase detection, but it still works very well.

Image quality with the 2x teleconverter is noticeably softer than the SEL14TC, although I’m not 100 percent certain if this is from the additional glass between lens and sensor, of from the difficulty keeping the lens steady when at 800mm. This is something that I need to test a lot more and will be updating this section of the review just as soon as I have shot some more images with the 2x.

 

Compared To

I’ve never owned or used the Canon 100-400mm or the Nikon 80-400mm lenses, so I can only compare the 100-400 GM with other Sony zoom lenses that I own. Currently my zoom collection consists of the following zooms:

FE 70-200mm F4 G
The Sony FE 70-200mm F4 G lens was the first zoom lens that I purchased. It’s very well built, incredibly sharp, and lightweight. If I want to travel light and don’t need any more reach than 200mm then this is the lens that goes into my bag. It’s not as fast and as sharp as the 100-400, but it comes very close indeed.

FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM
Since purchasing the Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM it has quickly become one of my favourite sports lenses when I don’t need the reach of the 100-400. Build quality is very similar to the 100-400 and it’s also almost identical in weight and size. With the constant f/2.8 aperture this lens has the edge over the 100-400mm when it comes to low light photography. The focus motor is not as quiet as the 100-400, you can definitely hear it working away.

FE 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G
I purchased the Sony FE 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G lens shortly before the 100-400mm was announced. At the time I mainly wanted the extra reach for shooting airshows and the 70-300mm definitely did not disappoint when paired with my a6500. Build quality isn’t on par with the 100-400mm, but it’s not far behind. The lens is fast, silent and sharp, and its black body makes it a little more discrete than the other white bodied zooms. It is missing the mode 1/2 panning switch which is a shame, but it does get a lock switch to prevent lens creep.

E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3
You can’t really compare the Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 lens which is a $350 lens with the $2500 100-400 GM, they are worlds apart. But the 55-210 is a great lens capable of capturing some beautiful moments and I have no desire to let it go anytime soon. When I put this lens on my a6500 after using the 100-400 GM it really is night and day in terms of size, weight and handling. If only the 100-400 could be squeezed into this tiny body!

 

Summary

Unless you are happy to adapt a third party zoom lens, then the Sony 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 GM is your only choice right now if you are looking for a 400mm native zoom lens for your Sony E-mount camera.

Thankfully it is an excellent lens. Yes it is expensive, but for the price you are getting one of the best 100-400mm lenses available right now, if not the best.

Over the last year this lens has spent more time attached to my cameras than any other lens that I own. It has enabled me to get closer to my subjects and achieve shots that simply would not have been possible with my other zoom lenses.

This lens has also helped me to discover a new passion, as I’ve found myself spending a lot more time shooting wildlife than ever before, and at the same time learning more about the fascinating animals that we share our small planet with.

Simply put. If you love shooting sports, wildlife, action or even landscapes, I promise you will have no regrets whatsoever in purchasing this lens. I haven’t.

Pros

  • Very sharp from 100mm to 400mm
  • Fast and silent autofocus
  • Well controlled vignetting and chromatic aberration
  • Pleasing bokeh
  • Well balanced
  • Dust and moisture resistance
  • Zoom ring tension adjustment
  • Flare resistance

Cons

  • Focus ring is too loose
  • The price

All being well I plan to shoot a lot more sports, wildlife, and aviation with this lens throughout this year and next. So I’ll certainly be updating this review as soon as I have more to add.


Best Prices

US: Amazon, Adorama, Focus Camera
UK: Amazon, Wex Photo, Park Cameras

Or give your local camera store a call. You could also rent the lens from LensRentals.com in the US or HireACamera.com in the UK. This will give you the opportunity to try the lens for yourself before committing to purchasing it.


Before You Go

Do you already own this lens? If you do, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. And if you are on Facebook, then please do post your shots or ask any questions you may have in our friendly Sports and Wildlife shooters groups.

 

More Sample Images

Puffin shot with the Sony SEL100400GM lens

a7R III @ 400mm | 1/1000 | f/5.6 | ISO 640 | *Full Resolution Download: JPEG | RAW

Rally car shot with the Sony SEL100400GM lens

a6500 @ 400mm | 1/400 | f/5.6 | ISO 125 | *Full Resolution Download: JPEG | RAW

Chinook shot with the Sony SEL100400GM lens

a7R III @ 400mm | 1/125 | f/5.6 | ISO 1000 | *Full Resolution Download: JPEG | RAW

Horse Jumping Shot with the Sony SEL100400GM lens

a9 @ 285mm | 1/1250 | f/5.6 | ISO 200 | *Full Resolution Download: JPEG | RAW

Horse Jumping Shot with the Sony SEL100400GM lens

a9 @ 288mm | 1/1250 | f/5.6 | ISO 250 | *Full Resolution Download: JPEG | RAW

RAF Airbus A400M Shot with the Sony SEL100400GM lens

a9 @ 400mm | 1/250 | f/10 | ISO 100 | *Full Resolution Download: JPEG | RAW

Motocross bike shot with the Sony SEL100400GM lens

a6500 @ 259mm | 1/1000 | f/5.6 | ISO 200 | *Full Resolution Download: JPEG | RAW

Motocross bike shot with the Sony SEL100400GM lens

a6500 @ 152mm | 1/1600 | f/7.1 | ISO 1250 | **Full Resolution Download: JPEG | RAW

Motocross bike shot with the Sony SEL100400GM lens

a6500 @ 400mm | 1/1000 | f/5.6 | ISO 400 | *Full Resolution Download: JPEG | RAW

Red Kite shot with the Sony SEL100400GM lens

a6500 @ 259mm | 1/800 | f/5.6 | ISO 400 | *Full Resolution Download: JPEG | RAW

Grey Owl shot with the Sony SEL100400GM lens

a6500 @ 400mm | 1/500 | f/10 | ISO 200 | *Full Resolution Download: JPEG | RAW


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Comments

  1. Hi Timothy… OUTSTANDING Review… after reading your Review Yesterday i did Head straight to my Camera Shop and Purchased it … now I’m stucked in between the TCs for my Passion of Aviation Photography … which One to get for Air shots from the ground , the 1.4x or the 2.0x ? Please … would appreciate a swift reply as got a good Deal for Both for EOFY right now … thank You . P.s : im using a Sony A7S

    Kind regards.
    Gerard.

    • Many thanks for your positive comments Gerard. I’m chuffed to hear that you’ve now added the 100-400 to your E-mount collection 🙂 I’d probably stick with the 1.4x to be safe. I’ve not used the a7S, but with the 2x you will be at f/11 as opposed to f/8 with the 1.4x. If you are using a fast shutter speed to freeze jets like 1/1000th or higher, you might find you are having to boost your ISO to compensate. AF will be a little slower too, and the images will also be a little softer as Micky mentions in the comments. Personally I’d prefer to crop than use the 2x for airshows or any fast moving subjects. I hope you get as much enjoyment out of the lens that I have. If you are on Facebook it would be great to see your shots our groups too. I don’t have a specific group for aviation just yet, but feel free to post in the generic Alpha Shooters Group. Happy shooting! Tim 🙂

  2. Great review! Agree with the focus ring, but it sure is crisp when you nailed it!

    The 2x is disappointingly less crisp by the way and it definitely starts giving you some vignetteing. Test done on stationary objects

    • Cheers Micky! Glad that I’m not the only one who thinks the focus ring is a little on the loose side. I can work with it, but a little more resistance would have been nice. Thanks for your feedback on the 2x converter. I’m definitely going to shoot some more with this. Happy shooting! 🙂 Tim

  3. Thank you for your in-depth review of the Sony 100-400 G master, I have recently purchased a Sony a9 complete with the fe 24-70 f2.8 G master and the 70-200 f4 G OSS lens which I must say I am extremely pleased with but felt I needed just a little more reach for some of my equestrian shooting. I had looked at the Fe 100 -400 G master but wasn’t quite sure if I could justify the cost, but with the results with my current sony lenses and your informative report I feel like this lens would complete my line-up perfectly.
    Thank you Timothy your photos were amazing.

    Kind Regards
    Trevor

    • Thank you for your comment Trevor and your kind words. As you’ve probably spotted from my photos I’ve shot a little equestrian with the 100-400 and it certainly does not disappoint. The 70-300 could also be an option, but personally if I had the choice again I would keep saving till I had the funds for the 100-400. I’ll probably be selling my own 70-300 at some point. If you do buy, it would be great to hear how you get on with it! 🙂

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