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FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom we’ve ...
  
 
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom we’ve tested


FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom we’ve tested
DXOMark Just put their results for the Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM lens.

Here is an excerpt to their conclusion:

"In terms of the Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8, it’s not only the sharpest and best low-light zoom lens we’ve tested for the a7R II, it also outperforms many FE-mount prime lens options, ranking as the fourth-sharpest lens we’ve tested on the a7R II. Resolution at f/2.8 is first-class between 100 and 200mm, and peak sharpness of over 80% acutance in the field occurs between f/4 and f/8 for phenomenally sharp results on the a7R II."

Read full review

It differs from LensRentals optical bench results but we have to keep in mind that LensRentals tests are done at infinity distance.

Order the FE 70-200 f/2.8 GM:

B&H Photo | Adorama












Jan 24, 2017 at 09:04 PM
Blakehfreeman
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom we’ve tested


Would like to know why their findings differ so greatly from LensRentals?..


Jan 24, 2017 at 10:15 PM
freaklikeme
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom we’ve tested


Blakehfreeman wrote:
Would like to know why their findings differ so greatly from LensRentals?..


LensRental's testing is, as Fred indicated, done at infinity, where DxO is at about 3M. LensRentals tests independent of a camera, DxO's test results are dependent on the camera used. LensRentals has multiple copies to test at a time and determine an average, DxO tests a single copy. So probably one or all of those reasons.



Jan 24, 2017 at 10:25 PM
snapsy
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom we’ve tested


A t-stop of f/2.9 for an f/2.8 lens is rather impressive, if not suspect Hard to imagine so little light loss through all those elements.


Jan 24, 2017 at 10:28 PM
Sir_Loin
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom we’ve tested


DxO tested it so it must be right!


Jan 24, 2017 at 10:29 PM
AGeoJO
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom we’ve tested


Fred, I realize that the infinity setting will be pretty much considered as "a stress test" or tough (for lack of a better word I can think of at this moment) on lenses but why are we testing lenses at infinity if we use them for real life images at distances shorter than infinity? Even for far away distances in landscape photography, the infinity setting is quite not reached.


Jan 24, 2017 at 10:30 PM
GMPhotography
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom we’ve tested


I shot a big gig with this Zoom and found it performed very well.


Jan 24, 2017 at 10:38 PM
molson
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom we’ve tested


I wonder why they chose not to compare it to the current version of the Nikon zoom...?


Jan 24, 2017 at 10:39 PM
ywind
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom we’ve tested


Because they have not test the new Nikon one.


Jan 24, 2017 at 10:50 PM
Schlotkins
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom we’ve tested


I don't know if it's the sony BSI or what, but I gotta admit I find some of these numbers shockingly high for FE glass. To get you an example, the Sony 28-70 kit scores 25mpx out of 42 on the A7rII which is a score of 30mpx on the 5DsR 50mpx sensor. Yet the Canon 24-70 f2.8 II scores 32mpx. so it's almost as if those two lenses are equally sharp which is just crazy talk.


Jan 24, 2017 at 11:03 PM
 

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Fred Miranda
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom we’ve tested


It looks like this lens is not optimized for infinity distance and that makes sense for a lens mainly used for portraits, sports and fast action.

Resolution and contrast should be top on our list but bokeh rendering is also very important for this type of lens.
For those who already own it: Does the 11-blade aperture renders smooth out of focus background and rounded bokeh balls?



Jan 24, 2017 at 11:12 PM
AGeoJO
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom we’ve tested


Fred Miranda wrote:
It looks like this lens is not optimized for infinity distance and that makes sense for a lens mainly used for portraits, sports and fast action.

Resolution and contrast should be top on our list but bokeh rendering is also very important for this type of lens.
For those who already own it: Does the 11-blade aperture renders smooth out of focus background and rounded bokeh balls?


I have been using mine since September for both portraits and landscape and I love it for both. For portraits, the rendition of the object is great, sharp and there is no difference with a prime in the same focal length. To my eyes, the bokeh rendition is also very pleasing. There are some cats eye highlights or bokeh balls at the edges though; so, in that respect it is not quite as nice as the GM 85mm f/1.4 lens. I did some comparison but not a fair one with the 135mm f/1.8 at f/2 and the bokeh rendition of the prime lens is smoother and again, not a fair comparison. I did it at a portrait shoot and didn't have the time to do a direct comparison. And in general, my test images are real life images.




Jan 24, 2017 at 11:43 PM
serhan_
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom we’ve tested


Korean review has the bokeh ball test and other samples:
http://www.slrclub.com/bbs/vx2.php?id=slr_review&no=547



Jan 24, 2017 at 11:49 PM
Ken_Cravillion
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom we’ve tested


AGeoJO wrote:
I have been using mine since September for both portraits and landscape and I love it for both. For portraits, the rendition of the object is great, sharp and there is no difference with a prime in the same focal length. To my eyes, the bokeh rendition is also very pleasing. There are some cats eye highlights or bokeh balls at the edges though; so, in that respect it is not quite as nice as the GM 85mm f/1.4 lens. I did some comparison but not a fair one with the 135mm f/1.8 at f/2 and the bokeh rendition of
...Show more

I've also had mine since September and totally agree.



Jan 25, 2017 at 12:18 AM
Chris_88
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom we’ve tested


This entire discussion about the 70-200 GM reminds me of the 90 Macro last year. Sony optimized that lens to perform its best at shorter/macro distances, while being a bit less impressive at infinity. Depending on use/test environment/level of fanboyism, I remember plenty of people complaining about the performance at infinity back then.

I get the idea behind stress-testing lenses at infinity, but sometimes I wonder whether we myself included focus to much on that data point.



Jan 25, 2017 at 12:22 AM
AGeoJO
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom we’ve tested


Chris_88 wrote:
This entire discussion about the 70-200 GM reminds me of the 90 Macro last year. Sony optimized that lens to perform its best at shorter/macro distances, while being a bit less impressive at infinity. Depending on use/test environment/level of fanboyism, I remember plenty of people complaining about the performance at infinity back then.

I get the idea behind stress-testing lenses at infinity, but sometimes I wonder whether we myself included focus to much on that data point.



My suggestion would be to do both or at least, it would be interesting to do both for this particular lens and compare the results. One is the "stress test", where we set the lens at hard infinity stop. Well, this particular test has been done already. And the other one, in which the lens is set at a more "normal shooting distance", whatever it is considered normal for this lens, like 8-10 feet or so. By comparing the two results, we should be able to get to the bottom of this burning question.



Jan 25, 2017 at 01:04 AM
ecarlino
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom we’ve tested


Chris_88 wrote:
This entire discussion about the 70-200 GM reminds me of the 90 Macro last year. Sony optimized that lens to perform its best at shorter/macro distances, while being a bit less impressive at infinity. Depending on use/test environment/level of fanboyism, I remember plenty of people complaining about the performance at infinity back then.

I get the idea behind stress-testing lenses at infinity, but sometimes I wonder whether we myself included focus to much on that data point.


actually, the only reason for testing at infinity has something to do with the bench not being able to do it any other way with Sony lenses (lensrentals has a write-up somewhere on that).
{edit: see subsequent post for link to LensRental write up on testing Sony lenses on their bench; the bench tests @ infinty and there's a hack LR uses to keep Sony lenses @ infinity while not mounted to a camera}

as with all testing, the results need to be taken in context and collectively with other tests and user-feedback and most importantly looking at shots on this forum and flickr (if you can find decent photographers there).

i like to look at 1000s of shots (or a dozen from Joshua and i can "tell") and develop a sense for (a) how good is it at its "best", (b) how bad is it at its "worst", (c) what conditions create either, (d) what % of my shooting fits into A or B.

{"best" and "worst" have nothing to do with "sharpness"}


Edited on Jan 26, 2017 at 06:46 AM · View previous versions



Jan 25, 2017 at 01:45 AM
snapsy
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom we’ve tested


Chris_88 wrote:
This entire discussion about the 70-200 GM reminds me of the 90 Macro last year. Sony optimized that lens to perform its best at shorter/macro distances, while being a bit less impressive at infinity. Depending on use/test environment/level of fanboyism, I remember plenty of people complaining about the performance at infinity back then.

I get the idea behind stress-testing lenses at infinity, but sometimes I wonder whether we myself included focus to much on that data point.


It really all comes down to what distances one plans to shoot most often. Everything else is just noise. I use my Canon 70-200 f/4 almost exclusively at infinity. The IS version of the Canon f/4 reportedly performs notably worse at MFD than infinity.



Jan 25, 2017 at 01:46 AM
Jonathan F
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom we’ve tested


Use the Nikon 70-200mm VR II on a Commlite Nikon to Sony AF adapter and I'll bet we'll see a higher score if used on an A7R II.


Jan 25, 2017 at 02:17 AM
bjornthun
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom we’ve tested


Chris_88 wrote:
This entire discussion about the 70-200 GM reminds me of the 90 Macro last year. Sony optimized that lens to perform its best at shorter/macro distances, while being a bit less impressive at infinity. Depending on use/test environment/level of fanboyism, I remember plenty of people complaining about the performance at infinity back then.

I get the idea behind stress-testing lenses at infinity, but sometimes I wonder whether we myself included focus to much on that data point.


The cause of that is some curvature of field at long distances in the Sony 90 FE, but a bit of care when focusing at long distances and that is taken care of. I have kept my Sony 90 FE, and I suppose new owners of the Sony 70-200 GM will too.

Btw. the Sony 90 FE is a wonderful macro lens.



Jan 25, 2017 at 02:18 AM
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