Sony FE 100-400mm F4.5–5.6 GM OSS Review

August 29, 2017 | Amy Davies | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star Half rating star


It came as no huge surprise to see Sony launching a long telephoto lens at the same time as the A9. When you use the two together, it becomes an ideal combination for typical sports, action and wildlife photography. 

Some will be disappointed that Sony doesn’t yet have any fast telephoto glass (telephoto lenses with a wide aperture), but the Sony FE 100-400mm F4.5–5.6 GM OSS lens is otherwise an excellent performer. 

Bearing the name G Master signifies that this lens is going to really deliver, especially when it comes to sharpness. That is borne out by both the sharpness tests we have carried out and the more normal real-world scenarios we have been using it in. It is capable of delivering superbly sharp and well-focused images, time and time again, with a hit rate which is very attractive to those photographing split-second moments. 

Although you can combine this lens with any of Sony’s e-mount cameras, it is definitely most at home with the A9, where you can use it in conjunction with 20fps silent shooting for some really special results. That said, if you own another one of Sony’s cameras, such as the A7R and are looking to produce some highly detailed wildlife work, it would also be an excellent choice. 

This is lens is very large, and pretty heavy - but it somehow manages not to be too unwieldy when paired with a Sony body. Starting at 100mm means that it is reasonably flexible for a variety of subjects, such as portraits - and you may also be able to use it for still life and macro work if you can get a decent enough distance away. 

With a current retail price of £2,500, the Sony FE 100-400mm F4.5–5.6 GM OSS lens is not cheap - but with its high performance and reasonable degree of flexibility, it arguably represents good value for money. If you’re a professional photographer looking to move to the Sony system, it’s also going to be an essential piece of kit for those that photograph distant subjects. Hopefully the price will drop to match similar lenses from Canon and Nikon before too long though. 

Overall, the Sony FE 100-400mm F4.5–5.6 GM OSS lens is a fantastic lens which is capable of producing some superb images and in conjunction with the A9 is a delight to use. Next we’d like to see Sony creating some fast telephoto lenses. 

4.5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4.5
Features 4.5
Ease-of-use 4.5
Image quality 5
Value for money 4