Sony is surely making waves today, perhaps the biggest one being with their new Sony a9 III camera with a global shutter. But great cameras need great lenses, and what better way to make the Sony a9 III shine than with a shiny new Sony FE 300mm f/2.8 GM OSS lens! 300mm f/2.8 lenses have been very popular with DSLR photographers, but such a lens has been curiously lacking in the mirrorless realm—that is, until now.
Return of the 300mm f/2.8
The new Sony FE 300mm f/2.8 GM OSS lens has everything you’d expect from a pro-grade 300mm f/2.8 including very fast dual XD linear motors and a great optical stabilization system. It’s also got 11-rounded aperture blades for beautiful bokeh and a very respectable 2m (6.6′) minimum focus distance, which is the same as the Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II and slightly better than the 2.2m of Nikon AF-S 300mm f/2.8G ED VR II.
The new lens is also compatible with the 120FPS of the Sony a9 III, which will make this combination one of the top choices of sports photographers worldwide.
But the Sony FE 300mm f/2.8 GM has a little surprise up its sleeve: its weight. The Nikon 300mm f/2.8G is 2.9kg (6.38lbs), which makes it quite hard to handhold all day. Although the Canon is a bit better at 2.4kg (5.9lbs), it’s still not ideal. Personally, I’ve handheld 2.4kg lenses for long stretches of photography, and while it’s not impossible, it’s not exactly fun either.
Well, I must confess, I think Sony managed a miracle here because their new lens is 1.47kg (3.2lbs)! It’s truly hard to believe they managed to fit all that glass in such a small package, but they did. It’s pretty much the weight of my Nikon 500mm f/5.6, and I know I can handhold that lens all day. It’s actually 10g lighter than the Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS! If this doesn’t revolutionize the way 300mm f/2.8 lenses are used, I don’t know what will.
The Sony 300mm f/2.8 GM should be available for shipping in February 2024 for an MSRP of $5998. Pre-orders open today, and you can use this B&H link to show your support for Photography Life if you plan to purchase this lens.
SAN DIEGO, Nov. 7, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Sony Electronics is pleased to announce the release of the world’s lightesti 300mm telephoto prime lens G Master™ (SEL300F28GM), a full-frame α™ (Alpha™) E-mount lens with a maximum aperture of F2.8.
The anticipated FE 300mm F2.8 G Master OSS lens has the high depiction performance and high-speed, high-precision AF (autofocus) which are the hallmark of G Master. The lightweight design of approximately 1470gii (excluding tripod mount) and excellent weight balance allow the user to capture sharp, dynamic and decisive moments such as those of fast-moving sports or agile animals with handheld shooting. Paired with the Alpha 9 III full-frame camera that also launched today, high-speed continuous shooting with AF/AE tracking up to 120 frames per second is possibleiii. Even subjects with complex and diversified movements can be tracked with high precision. It is an ideal match for lightweight camera bodies by reducing the load on the user, minimizing fatigue during long handheld shooting sessions. It is also compatible with an optional teleconverter, allowing the user to shoot in the telephoto range of up to 600mm (equivalent to 900mm when using with an APS-C camera)iv.
“Ever since our announcement of the development of this lens in January of this year, we have received an overwhelming number of positive reactions from photographers around the world who are looking forward to its release,” said Yang Cheng, Vice President, Imaging Solutions, Sony Electronics. “By adding this 300mm lens to the already available E-mount 400mm and 600mm super-telephoto prime lensesv ,it supports a wide range of needs and shooting environments for professional and advanced amateur photographers.”
Main Features of the FE 300mm F2.8 G Master OSS
G Master Telephoto Lens that Captures Decisive Moments with High Resolution and Beautiful Bokeh
Incorporating Sony’s cutting-edge technology, the G Master’s high-resolution performance and beautiful bokeh makes the subject stand out clearly and capture decisive moments such as sports, news reports, events, and wildlife photography. An innovative optical design that includes three Super ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass elements and one ED glass element, effectively placed to suppress chromatic aberration and achieve high resolution and contrast across the entire frame. Outstanding resolution and contrast are maintained right out to the image edges, which also allows for more flexible cropping and editing.
The gorgeous, creamy bokeh is a hallmark of the G Master design and ideally complements the lens’s 300 mm focal length and F2.8 maximum aperture, allowing the use of narrow depth of field to make subjects stand out from the background. Each lens is individually calibrated during manufacture to optimize bokeh quality and has an 11-blade circular aperture mechanism that contributes to smooth rounded bokeh.
High-Performance AF that Captures Dynamic Moments and High-Speed Continuous Shooting with AE/AF Tracking up to 120 Frames per Secondiii
The combination of two latest XD (extreme dynamic) Linear Motors and control algorithms provide high-speed, high-precision, and low-vibration AF performance. When combined with the newly announced Alpha 9 III full-frame camera, high-speed continuous shooting with AF/AE tracking of up to 120 frames per second is possible. This allows dynamic subjects to be captured without missing a moment’s opportunity, even when shooting scenes in which the subject moves quickly, such as sports or animals, or scenes in which the subject moves erratically, such as at competitive events. The high AF performance is demonstrated even when the separately sold teleconverteriii is attached.
Exceptional Mobility and Comfortable Operability that Support Professionals in the Field
Extensive weight reduction measures make FE 300mm F2.8 GM OSS the lightest in its classi, at approximately 1470g (excluding tripod mount) and has been designed with consideration to weight balance. The internal lens barrel uses durable magnesium alloy to achieve both high robustness and light weight. The weight is not concentrated at the front of the lens barrel, making it highly stable and allows for agile and accurate panning while shooting. In addition, MODE3vi, which provides enhanced viewfinder stability and optimizes the image stabilization algorithm, allows you to accurately capture dynamic scenes.
When used with the Alpha 9 III, the user can assign “preset focus” to the function ring that allows for an instant recall of focus to any pre-determined positionvii. Furthermore, the lens features comfortable operability that supports professional shooting, including focus hold buttons placed in four locations that can be assigned to the favorite functions from the camera body making it ideal for any professional.
The FE 300mm F2.8 G Master OSS has a dust and moisture resistant designviii along with fluorine coating to help prevent dirt and fingerprints to keep up with the needs of professional photographers.
Pricing and Availability
The FE 300mm F2.8 G Master OSS lens will be available for pre-order starting November 8, 2023 at a variety of Sony’s authorized dealers with shipping starting in February 2024, for a suggested retail price of $5999.99 USD and $8199.99 CAN.
For detailed product information, please visit: https://electronics.sony.com/imaging/lenses/all-e-mount/p/sel300f28gm
A product video for FE 300mm F2.8 G Master OSS can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/DHuPeArd43I
Exclusive stories and exciting new content shot with all the new microphones and Sony’s other imaging products can be found at www.alphauniverse.com, a site created to educate and inspire all fans and customers of Sony α – Alpha brand.
About Sony Electronics Inc.
Sony Electronics is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America and an affiliate of Sony Group Corporation, one of the most comprehensive entertainment companies in the world, with a portfolio that encompasses electronics, music, motion pictures, mobile, gaming, robotics and financial services. Headquartered in San Diego, California, Sony Electronics is a leader in electronics for the consumer and professional markets. Operations include research and development, engineering, sales, marketing, distribution and customer service. Sony Electronics creates products that innovate and inspire generations, such as the award-winning Alpha Interchangeable Lens Cameras and revolutionary high-resolution audio products. Sony is also a leading manufacturer of end-to-end solutions from 4K professional broadcast and A/V equipment to industry leading 4K and 8K Ultra HD TVs. Visit www.sony.com/press for more information.
i As of the November 2023 product announcement. Sony survey of interchangeable 300mm F2.8 lenses for full-frame digital cameras.
ii 1470 grams is approximately 51.85 ounces
iii Sony test conditions. Maximum continuous frame rate may be lower in some shooting conditions. Continuous shooting speed may vary depending on the lens used in AF-C focus modes. Visit Sony’s support web page for lens compatibility information.
iv 1.4x SEL14TC and 2x SEL20TC
v Focal length 400mm “FE 400mm F4 GM OSS” / Focal length 600mm “FE 600mm F4 GM OSS”
vi MODE 3 is supported by the latest body software version. Refer to the appropriate support web pages for information on body compatibility.
vii The functions assigned to the function ring vary depending on the camera you are using. Please refer to your camera’s help guide for details.
viii Not guaranteed to be 100% dust and moisture proof.