The Sony 70-200 GM ii might be one of the best telephoto lenses for action, sports, portraits, and landscape photography. It’s a lens that will do everything except for wide-angle shots. And since most of my shooting is in the 70-400 range, I can’t stop thinking of why this is one of the best lenses Sony has created.
The Sony 70-200 GM ii is the best telephoto lens because it’s a 70-200 2.8 and a 100-400mm 5.6 with a teleconverter. If you’re using a crop sensor (or A7riv) you could technically get 600mm of reach with the 2x extender. That’s 70-600mm with one lens.
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The ultimate telephoto lens
We already know it’s fast, sharp, and better than any other 70-200 our there, but with the 1.4x and 2x teleconverter this lens doubles in reach and performance. Sony has even improved autofocus with the teleconverter to make it faster than other Sony lenses.
Right now, most of my photography is centered on portrait, landscape, and wildlife. With the Sony 70-200 gm ii, I no longer have to decide if I should travel with an 85mm prime for portraits, 70-200mm f4 for landscapes, or 100-400mm for wildlife. The new 70-200 gm ii can now be all those lenses with the 1.4x and 2x teleconverter.
It’s also now 29% lighter than the previous 70-200 2.8 which makes it about the same weight as the Sony 70-200 f4. That’s why it’s the perfect travel, portrait, landscape, and action lens.
A great lens for wildlife photography
I enjoy shooting wildlife but only as a hobby, and I’m not serious enough to buy a 600mm lens, but with the 2x extender, I now have a pretty decent wildlife lens, and it’s lighter than the Sony 100-400mm 4-5.6
You might say, why not use the 100-400mm. The 100-400mm is great, but the 70-200 2.8 is 1 stop brighter, and at 400mm with the 2x extender if becomes the same 5.6 aperture equivalent as the 100-400mm.
The 70-200 2.8 is also much lighter and better for travel.
The perfect second lens
Let’s say you’re a wildlife photographer but don’t always want to carry the 200-600mm or 400mm f/4 lens. The Sony 70-200 gm ii can become a great second lens when you’re traveling or just want less weight.
Bring your A7riv and 2x extender and, you now can get about 600mm of reach with 24 megapixels. You’ll lose a little light with the cropping, but it will work in a pinch.
The perfect lens for landscape photographers
Landscape photographers usually shoot with a 70-200 f/4 or a 100-400mm lens. The Sony 70-200 gm ii is only slightly heavier than the 70-200 f4 and much lighter than most 100-400mm lenses.
|Sony 70-200 GM ii f/2.8 (New version)||2.3 lb / 1045 g|
|Sony 100-400 GM f4.5-5.6||3.08 lb / 1395 g|
|Tamron 150-500 f/5-6.7||4.14 lb / 1880 g|
|Sigma 100-400 f/5-6.3||2.5 lb/ 1133 g|
|Tamron 70-180 2.8||1.78 lbs/ 807 g|
If you decide to use a teleconverter, I would use the 1.4x.
You’ll rarely need more than 300mm, and the 1.4x teleconverter is sharper than the 2x. With the 1.4x you’ll get about 300mm of reach with an aperture of f4.
A great lens for sports photographers
The 70-200 is also a great lens for sports and action photographers. Not only will you get great reach with the 1.4x or 2x extender, but you’ll have one of the fastest AF lenses on the planet. Pair this lens with the Sony A1 or A9ii and you’ll get >95% accuracy with eye autofocus.
It also has exceptional image stabilization and multiple selection modes for panning.
The best lens for portrait photography
If you shoot weddings you need a lens that’s great for action. This lens check all the boxes. It’s fast, accurate, sharp, and creates excellent bokeh.
Throw on the 1.4x teleconverter and start shooting portraits. With the extra reach you’ll be able to magnify the background and get a more minimal look. The 70-200 is really a great way to get more creative with portraits.
The only major con I see with the lens is the price. The new 70-200 2.8 with 2x extender is going to cost you over $3,000. If you buy the lens alone it’s $2799! With that kind of money, you could purchase the Tamron 35-150 f/2-2.8 and the Tamron 17-28mm 2.8.
This lens is going to meet most photographers needs, but the cost will turn most people away.
The Sony 70-200 gm 2.8 ii is one of the best telephoto lenses you can buy. It’s faster, lighter, sharper, and it’s a lens for every photographer.
It’s the perfect lens for action, sports, portraits, and even wildlife. If you’re shooting with the Sony A1 you’ll lock in more FPS.
If you’re a pro, you need this lens. If your everyone else, there are plenty of other 3rd party lenses to get the shots you need.
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