Our reader Dennis Bielsa sent me his review about the new and super exlcusive 500mm f/4.0 lens! I say exclusive because you pay $13,000 for it at BHphoto (Click here)! Thanks Dennis! Her eis the review:
This past month I was in Washington DC to shoot the arrival of Discovery at Dulles airport for the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum and was able to put the 500mm to good use.
I am a working pro and have used both Nikon & Canon with each manufactures long lenses. Before moving over to Sony I did own the Canon 500mm f4 IS L lens and have used the new MKII version of the Canon. On the Nikon side I hear their 500mm f4 is comparable to the Canon. I have used both the Nikon 600 f5.6 manual lens and the current Nikon 600mm f4. Having used the Sony 500 f4 for a few weeks now I would say it is sharper then the Canon 500mm at all edges of a full frame camera. For on the go shooting I used the Sony 500 with the a900 more often, I like this combination better then with the a77 / 500mm. Both cameras were used on a monopod. With the APS size sensor the 500mm becomes a 750mm and that is a very long lens to keep steady. If you use the lens on a good tripod both the a900 and a77 give great results. When shooting on a tripod the in camera stabilization does help. The lens is sharp right out of the gate at f4 and I like this lens for the shallow depth of field. It does have a very small amount of CA that can show up on very contrasty subject like the image included but again it was just a very slight amount ( +8 ) of correction on the red/cyan slider in Photoshops camera raw. Also there is a small amount of vignetting at f4. I tend to like how it looks and it is almost gone at f5.6. At below f8 the lens will start to show signs of diffraction and soften up the image. The focus is fast with both the a77 and a900 and can keep up with a moving object (like a Boeing 747). The viewfinder on the Sony a900 shows more of the lens movement/shake then with the Canon or Nikon glass since they have the stabilization in the lens and not the camera.
Sony 500mm f4 G Lens:
Sharp images at f4
Shape edges on full frame camera
3 mounting holes in lens foot
Focus hold button
Smaller then both the Nikon or Canon 500mm f4
No click stops as you rotate the lens/camera from horizontal to vertical on the tripod. So you’re not sure of where the horizontal or vertical placement is
Lens hood – you have to take the cover off of the hood the take the hood off and rotate it to attached it. It takes time to do this I wish it was built in like some
other manufactures have it.
t is a tool that I use to create images and get paid for them. I would say not many people will need a lens of this caliber but for me I can justify it by the quality of the build and sharp image it can create for my work.
Cost – no one wants to pay a lot for a lens no matter what camera system
Hi here are 2 shots one of the 500mm with my a900 and the view of the house I shot the window of with the 500mm taken with a Sony NEX-7 and 50mm lens
For fun I shot this with a Sony NEX-5n, the Sony Alpha LAEA1 adaptor and the 500mm of the moon if you would like to use it as well.