A 70-200mm ƒ/2.8 zoom has become a staple of working photographers, whether they’re shooting Nikon, Canon, or Sony. It’s almost standard issue for photojournalists, but with its combination of very useful focal lengths and fast aperture, it’s an extremely versatile lens for a host of shooting styles and situations. They do tend toward being larger and heavier than is ideal for a walking-around travel kit, in part because they fall into the “pro” category and are designed to take the beating that working photographers give them when using them day in day out. And they’re not inexpensive. But particularly when paired with a 24-70mm ƒ/2.8, you get an extremely versatile two-lens combo that covers many photography needs while also keeping the lenses fast.
But on this lens, the maximum aperture remains ƒ/2.8 throughout the zoom range, giving plenty of room to play in low-light conditions (especially when combined with the excellent sensors on Sony’s Alpha series cameras).
The results are beautifully sharp. You can see what I mean by looking at the detail on the dome of the Capitol Building in some of the full-size versions below (click on the display version to open a full-size version).
One thing I have been a little surprised about is the pincushion distortion, mainly when zoomed in. It’s mostly noticeable with architectural detail, and it’s easy enough to correct for in modern image editing apps that include lens distortion correction, but I was just a bit surprised to see it. One of the most obvious cases in these shots is in the top horizontal line in the shot of the entrance to the Willard Hotel. But that’s by no means much of a knock against the lens and wouldn’t make me hesitate from using the lens.
These were all shot on a Sony A1 (Sony Alpha 1) full-frame mirrorless camera body. All were shot in RAW and handheld. And they’ve only been lightly processed in Lightroom; I haven’t applied any of Lightroom’s optical corrections to these images. In light of current circumstances, I haven’t been able to get out and about as much to get as wide a variety of shots as I’d like, but hopefully, these are still useful to give a sense of how the lens performs.
You can click on each image to open a full-size version.
Accessories for the Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS Zoom Lens
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I'm a freelance travel photographer based in Washington DC. Seven continents, up mountains, underwater, and a bunch of places in between. My images have appeared in numerous publications, and you can check out some of my travel photography here. More »
I take photos and travel. I do it for a living. Seven continents. Dozens of countries. Up mountains. Under water. And a bunch of places in between. Based in Washington DC.