Excerpt: Bought this lens to replace an 80-200 f2.8 and 300mm f2.8 from my film days and to complement my Sony SAL 16-50 so that with these two lenses I can travel much lighter than previously. I wanted the extra reach of the 400mm end and the tripod collar so did not opt for the lighter 70-300. I received the lens a few days before a winter trip to Colorado and hoped I would be able to get familiar with it quickly.
Pros: Consistent Output, Easily Interchangeable, Fast / accurate auto-focus, Nice Bokeh, Strong Construction
Excerpt: Pros: Very fast and decisive focusing. Much less hunting in low light. Color is better but the hood could have been black and sturdier like the 70-200G.Cons: First Copy was decentered and soft. I have an exception G1 copy and this one was obviously broken. Second copy has slight decentering, and was slightly softer than the G1 (only noticeable in fine details such as fur at high mag.) but focus accuracy (front/back focused) at various distance was an issue.
Summary: This lens has the reach, sharpness, and bokeh that I wanted to compliment my Zeiss 24-70 for my a99. The two lenses effectively give me a range of 24 to 400 with two of the finest lenses in the market place today, bar none. The 70-400 is quick to focus, produces wonderful color and is a quality build. I would highly recommend this lens.
Summary: Excellent lens, but not perfect. This lens is NOT sealed, and for the price tag, you can expect a fully sealed lens. Also, quite heavy and have problems focusing in low light conditions. But is a good improvement over the previous version.
Excerpt: For the last four years I have been using the original Sony G Series 70-400mm F4-5.6 SSM Super Telephoto Lens for bird photography. This lens had excellent optics that produces high resolution images. The major drawback to that lens is that it is relatively slow in attaining focus. Six months ago, Sony came out with an update to that lens, called the G II Series. Optically, there is a small improvement in the coating.
Pros: Consistent Output, Fast / accurate auto-focus
Very sharp. Long reach. Virtually no CA. Quite heavy. Not weather sealed.
Mike C., Amazon
26 December 2013
Summary: Haven't had the chance to use the lens extensively as the weather has not been ideal for shooting on the occasions I want to use it(and the lens isn't weather sealed). But on the few occasions I have gotten to use it, the focusing has been very snappy with a good hit rate on focus, and the shots are very sharp. Purchased the lens to replace a 75-300SAL that I was using to get decent reach for photographing kids outdoor sports.