Out of the telephoto zooms we have in our database, the best performing model is the pro-grade 70-200mm f2.8 G with a DxOMark score of 17 points. Although this lens is sharp at the shorter end, sharpness is disappointingly low at 200mm and at $1,799 it’s a pricey option already.
Sony has announced a new SSM II version complete with the new anti-reflective Nano coating, but at $2,999 that’s huge increase over the current model.
|Sony 70-200mm F2.8 G||1799||17||10|
|Sony DT 55-200mm F4-5.6 SAM||230||12||10|
|Sony DT 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 SAM||498||12||7|
|Sony 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G SSM||800||11||8|
|Sony 70-400mm F4-5.6 G SSM II||2200||11||7|
|Sony DT 55-300mm F4.5-5.6 SAM||350||11||7|
|Sony DT 18-200mm F3.5-6.3||530||9||7|
|Tamron AF 28-300mm F/3.5-6.3 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) Macro Sony||420||9||9|
Sony’s high-end G-series 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 G SSM and 70-400mm f4.5-5.6 G SSM II models both benefit from quiet ultrasonic type AF motors and have good sharpness, low chromatic aberration, vignetting and distortion at the shorter end of the zoom range, but inevitably neither model can maintain that level sharpness at 200mm or above. In fact sharpness is somewhat low across the image field on both models, including the edges and corners. While not unexpected at this focal length, it’s a slightly disappointing result, as either of these two zooms would be particularly attractive when paired with the smaller APS-C format of the A77.
If you have a Sony Alpha SLT-A77 and a favorite lens, we would very much like to hear from you. Please leave a comment below, stating what lens it is and why you like it.