• Tuesday , 26 May 2020

Hands On With Sony's $13,000 600mm f/4 Telephoto Beast

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If you’re wondering whether to treat yourself to Sony’s new 600mm f/4 GM lens, you probably want to check out this hands-on video from Jared Polin. If a $13,000 lens isn’t for you, you might simply want to see how much of a difference the autofocus tracking on the Sony a9 can make when shooting sports.

As Polin is keen to point out, this is a high-end, specialist piece of glass reserved for those who make a living from shooting professional sports and perhaps people with far too much money who like taking pictures of birds. How much difference does it make to have a little over an extra stop compared to the f/6.3 offered by the long end of Sony’s other recently announced telephoto behemoth, the 200-600mm? Polin’s keen to point out the subtle difference in subject/background separation, but for me, image quality also becomes a factor, especially when shooting under floodlights. Those stops can make a noticeable difference in the amount of noise introduced into images when shooting at high ISOs.

Another thing that stands out is how impressed Polin is by the a9, both by its autofocus performance and the fact that it churns out 20 frames per second. Notably, this praise is coming from a seasoned Nikon D5 shooter.

If you’re interested in seeing how professional photographers work when covering large sporting events, you may want to check out this short video which goes behind the scenes with one of Getty Images’ most experienced shooters, chief photographer Ryan Pierse.

If you’re planning to splash out and pick up the 600mm f/4 GM, be sure to let us know in the comments below.

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