Sony FE 70-200mm F4 Macro G OSS II review

The Sony FE 70-200mm f/4 Macro G OSS II doesn’t quite fall into the exalted trinity but has some major plus points and is a worthy upgrade to the original lens

Sony FE 70-200mm F4 Macro G OSS II
(Image: © Matthew Richards)

Digital Camera World Verdict

Many professional and enthusiast photographers consider a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens as the one zoom they ‘have to have’. But do you? If you don’t feel a burning need for that extra f/stop, this f/4 lens delivers spectacular image quality and all-round performance, wrapped up in a comparatively compact and lightweight yet robust build, at little more than half the price. It also adds 0.5x macro magnification for extreme close-ups. All in all, the Mark II edition of this Sony lens is a cracker. Compared with the original, it’s better, faster, more!


  • +

    Scintillating sharpness and clarity

  • +

    Excellent handling characteristics

  • +

    Super-fast autofocus

  • +

    0.5x macro magnification


  • -

    Lacks that desirable f/2.8 aperture

  • -

    Length extends through zoom range

  • -

    Modest 3-stop image stabilization

  • -

    Noticeable pincushion distortion

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The Sony FE 70-200mm F4 Macro G OSS II has a tough act to follow. We were mostly impressed by the original FE 70-200mm f/4 G OSS, with a couple of reservations. It had good glass, fast autofocus, decent optical image stabilization and up-market handling exotica. What’s not to love? Well, we were underwhelmed by the lens’s edge/corner-sharpness at both ends of the zoom range, where color fringing was also quite noticeable. The maximum magnification ratio of 0.13x was pretty par for the course, but nothing to write home about. The Mark II edition sets out to take everything up a notch or two.

(Image credit: Matthew Richards)

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Matthew Richards

Matthew Richards is a photographer and journalist who has spent years using and reviewing all manner of photo gear. He is Digital Camera World's principal lens reviewer – and has tested more primes and zooms than most people have had hot dinners! 

His expertise with equipment doesn’t end there, though. He is also an encyclopedia  when it comes to all manner of cameras, camera holsters and bags, flashguns, tripods and heads, printers, papers and inks, and just about anything imaging-related. 

In an earlier life he was a broadcast engineer at the BBC, as well as a former editor of PC Guide.