In the DSLR vs mirrorless war, Nikon and Canon have always had their long-range pro telephotos to fall back on as their key advantage in the pro sports, action and wildlife markets. Not any more. The announcement of the Sony FE 600mm F4 GM OSS drives the Sony A7 and A9 mirrorless models right into the pro DSLR heartland.
The FE 600mm F4 GM OSS, first rumored just four days ago, joins the existing Sony FE 400mm F2.8 GM OSS lens to offer pro sports photographers a genuine mirrorless alternative to Canon and Nikon's dominance.
Sony FE 600mm F4 GM OSS specifications
The FE 600mm F4 GM OSS super-telephoto prime lens (model SEL600F40GM) is a real beast, weighing in at just over 3kg. Nevertheless, Sony claims it's the lightest lens in its class and has 'balanced' handling.
Fast-moving subjects demand high-speed autofocus systems, and FE 600mm F4 GM OSS lens comes with two XD (extreme dynamic) Linear Motors with specially developed motion algorithms to minimise lag and instability – and also to reduce operational noise. The Sony A9's party trick is its silent shooting mode, so it needs lenses with low operational noise too.
The new lens is part of Sony's premium G Master series, and uses a large XA (extreme aspherical) element to produce "incredible" levels of detail, contrast and resolution right to the edges of the frame. It also has three high-end fluorite elements and an ED (extra-low dispersion) element to suppress chromatic aberration and color bleeding and spherical aberration.
All of this pushes the cost way up, of course, and the Sony FE 600mm F4 GM OSS will go on sale at around £12,000 / $13,000 when it arrives in August 2019.
The new lens will also be compatible with Sony’s 1.4x and 2.0x E-mount teleconverters for increasing its already impressive focal range still further.