Sony has released details of its long-awaited FE 400mm f/2.8 GM OSS prime lens, the first large aperture super-telephoto prime to join the E-mount line-up.


The new FE 400mm f/2.8 GM OSS prime lens. (Source: Sony.)

Designed for use by professional sports, wildlife and nature photographers with Sony’s high-speed E-mount bodies including the ?9 and ?7 series models, the new SEL400F28GM lens provides a high level of portability and handheld manoeuvrability. Its weight of just under 2.9 kg is the lowest in its class. This has been achieved through an optical design that includes three fluorite elements, with a reduced number of elements at the front of the barrel, as well as extensive use of durable magnesium alloy components plus a lightweight carbon fibre hood. The lens is also dust and moisture resistant, and its front element is coated with fluorine to resist dirt and fingerprints. The well-balanced design prevents the lens from being front-heavy and reduces rotation by up to 50% as compared to the SAL500F40G.This ensures that quicker, more precise panning is available, whether shooting handheld or on a monopod.

The focusing system features two newly developed high-speed XD (extreme dynamic) Linear Motors, which drive the internal focus group, achieving up to a 5x faster tracking of moving-subjects. These motors are supported by specially developed algorithms to minimise lag and instability and control noise levels, resulting in fast, accurate and quiet autofocus performance.

An 11-blade circular aperture mechanism allows this lens to produce smooth and natural background defocus (bokeh) at wide aperture settings. Each lens is also individually tested and adjusted at manufacturing stage to achieve maximum image quality and bokeh. The new FE 400mm f/2.8 GM OSS is compatible with Sony’s 1.4x and 2.0x E-mount tele-converters, producing outstanding imaging performance at extended focal lengths while maintaining fast, precise AF performance. It includes a drop-in filter slot that accepts 40.5mm diameter ND and other filter types, as well as the optional VF-DCPL1 Drop-in Circular Polarising Filter. The VF-DCPL1 filter can be rotated to achieve the desired polarisation while installed in the lens.

Built to order, the new FE 400mm F2.8 GM OSS will ship in Europe in September 2018,priced at approximately €12,000. The optional Drop-in Circular Polarising Filter (model VF-DCPL1) will ship in Europe in December 2018, priced at approximately €480. Local pricing and availability are yet to be disclosed. Check out Sony’s Australia’s website at for more information.