Sony FE 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens Review

Sony FE 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens

The Sony FE 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens is a compact, lightweight, affordable telephoto zoom lens well suited to capturing family memories, landscape masterpieces, and, especially with an APS-C format camera, exciting wildlife portraits.

  • Great general-purpose telephoto zoom range
  • Quiet optical image stabilization
  • Quiet AF
  • AF hold button
  • 0.31x maximum magnification
  • Compact
  • Lightweight
  • Moderately priced
  • Strong lateral CA at 70mm
In-Depth Review

Which lens should I get next? That is a common question asked by those with a camera and general-purpose zoom lens and who are ready to take the next step. The focal length range found in the Sony FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens is an excellent choice for the second lens need, and this lens is a good option. This nicely-built, nicely-designed lens quietly focuses fast, the OSS system provides a steady view of the scene, and the image quality it produces is good.

Sony FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens Angle View

Focal Length Range

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Telephoto zoom lenses are typically purchased to cover the focal lengths longer than one's general-purpose zoom lens, and the 70-300mm range fits that need perfectly. Many general-purpose zoom lenses feature a 50-55mm maximum focal length, and few will be concerned about the small amount of gap in coverage between 50 or 55mm and this lens's 70mm wide end. Many standard zoom lenses do reach 70mm, leaving no gap, and having an overlap in coverage (a 24-105mm range paired with 70-300mm, for example) should also not cause concern as this overlap is often welcomed, reducing lens change needs.

The 70-300mm focal length range has a wide variety of uses. Especially the wide end of this focal length range is excellent for portraits, and the mid-long focal lengths provide great perspective for even tightly cropped headshot style portraits. Wildlife photography, especially for relatively close medium-to-large-sized subjects, is another good use of this range. Parents will have a great time chasing their family around outdoors with a 70-300mm lens — at the beach, at the park, at the swimming pool, or in the back yard. Many products can be ideally photographed with this lens.

Sony FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens Cardinal Sample Picture

The 70-300mm focal length range finds use at a broad array of sporting events, including baseball, soccer, track and field, tennis, swimming and diving, equestrian events, etc. Note that this lens will work best for outdoor (vs. indoor) sports due to its max aperture opening (discussed below).

Following is this focal length range demonstrated on a full-frame camera (samples captured with other 70-300mm lenses):

Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM Lens Focal Length Range Example

ASP-C/1.5x FOVCF sensor format mirrorless interchangeable lens camera (MILC) owners will find the 70-300mm focal length range to frame similar to a 105-450mm lens on a full-frame body. On an APS-C camera, portraits are still within range of this lens's wider angles of view, and wildlife, sports, airshows, etc. benefit greatly from the narrower angles of view. With up to a 450mm-equivalent angle of view available, this lens can reach out into big sports fields, and it can tightly frame smaller and more distant wildlife, airplanes, etc.

Sony FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens Front View

Max Aperture

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The f/4-5.6 in the lens name refers to the lens's max aperture opening, the relationship of lens opening to focal length. The lower the number, the more light the lens will allow to reach the sensor, enabling shorter exposures and lower, less noisy ISO settings. Each "stop" in aperture change (examples: f/2.8, f/4.0, f/5.6, f/8, f/11) increases or reduces the amount of light reaching the sensor by a factor of 2x (a big deal).

Because aperture is the ratio of the lens opening to the focal length and because this lens's maximum opening does not increase enough with focal length increase to maintain the same ratio, this lens has a variable max aperture. As the focal length increases, the widest available aperture measurement steps down. Currently, unless it is huge, heavy, and expensive, all zoom lenses reaching beyond 200mm have the variable max aperture feature.

Here is a chart showing the specific focal length ranges available at each 1/3 stop aperture step for a sampling of lenses.

Model / mm rangef/4.0f/4.5f/5.0f/5.6f/6.3
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM Lens70-103104-154155-228229-300 
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM Lens70-7677-105106-175176-300 
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM Lens 70-9495-184185-300 
Sony FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens 70-8283-156157-300 
Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS Lens 100-115116-161162-400 
Sony FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS Lens   200-299300-600
Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 SP Di VC USD Lens70-103104-160161-217218-300 

While this lens's max apertures are relatively narrow, when compared to lenses in the same class, the differences are generally not significant, within 1/3 stop.

The significant advantages of the variable aperture design are compact size and light weight, despite the long focal lengths being included. We can all appreciate that affordability comes with the small size. A downside to the variable aperture is that manually-set exposures utilizing an aperture wider than f/5.6 are not retained throughout the entire zoom range. In an auto-exposure mode, the camera will automatically account for this change.

Wide apertures are useful for creating a strong background blur, but the telephoto focal lengths in this lens can create a strong background blur even without wide apertures. Following are examples of the maximum background blur this lens can produce at the referenced focal length:

Sony FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens Maximum Blur Example

At 70mm, the background blur is significant, and the background is rendered completely unrecognizable at 300mm. I love that.

Sony FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens Angle Extended View

Image Stabilization

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Sony marketing touts its cameras as having IBIS (In-Body Image Stabilization), but many of their lenses also feature OSS (Optical SteadyShot). While perhaps not immediately apparent, these two stabilization systems are complementary: "5-axis image stabilization becomes available when used with α series bodies that feature built-in image stabilization." [Sony]

Put a camera with this lens mounted to your eye with OSS turned off and a jittery image is what you (probably) see. Move the OSS switch to the on position, and the difference is dramatic, with the scene becoming still. While narrow apertures may not be optimal for use under low light conditions, this lens's optical image stabilization system can save the day in such light, significantly increasing the versatility of this lens, and, in many situations, considerably improving the image quality delivered.

While OSS is great for reducing camera shake-caused blur in images, it is also beneficial for precise framing of subjects in the viewfinder. While OSS is active, drifting of framing is minor, and the viewfinder view remains well-controlled with subject reframing easily accomplished.

This OSS system is quiet. Only a barely audible hum is heard while the camera is powered on and awake (with OSS on or off). OSS nicely assists handheld video recording and the stabilized composition provides a still subject to the camera's AF system, permitting that critcal feature to do its job better.

Sony FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens Angle View Extended with Hood

Image Quality

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We all care about the image quality our lenses produce, and sharpness, a combination of resolution and contrast, is usually our first concern.

Averaging the description of two test lenses, in the center of the frame: At 70mm through 200mm with a wide-open aperture, this lens delivers slightly soft but reasonable results. Our first review lens, to be kind, was not at its best at 200mm with soft details being produced at f/5.6, though it was the better performer at the wide end. Fortunately, our second lens was properly aligned and performed considerably better at 200mm. The 300mm wide-open results were not as good as the wide-open results obtained at the wider focal lengths.

Usually, lenses are sharper when stopped down one or two stops. At f/5.6, the 70mm results become nicely sharper. At 100mm through 200mm, f/8 delivers sharp results. At 300mm, f/8 results are slightly sharper than 200mm f/8 results but still not up to the sharp 70mm f/8 results.

Usually, lenses are not as sharp in the periphery where light rays must be bent more strongly than they are in the center. At 70mm, most of the frame is similar in sharpness to the center, and at f/8, the entire frame is looking nice. The 100mm periphery results are a bit soft wide open, but they improve nicely by f/8. At 135mm and 200mm, most of the frame is similar in sharpness to the center, and at f/8, the entire frame is looking great. At 300mm, periphery sharpness is reasonable wide open and slightly improved at f/8.

In addition to our standard lab tests, I like to share some real-world examples. Below you will find sets of 100% resolution center of the frame crops captured in uncompressed RAW format using a Sony a7R III. The images were processed in Capture One using the Natural Clarity method with the sharpening amount set to only "30" on a 0-1000 scale. Note that images from most cameras require some level of sharpening but too-high sharpness settings are destructive to image details and hide the deficiencies of a lens.

Sony FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens Sharpness Comparison Example

70mm: f/4.5 | f/5.6 | f/8.0   135mm: f/5.0 | f/5.6 | f/8.0
300mm: f/5.6 | f/8.0

Be sure to find the plane of sharp focus to make assessments. One of the first things you will likely notice is the focus shift, the plane of sharp focus moving backward as the aperture is narrowed (residual spherical aberration or RSA), at 70mm. While the original plane of sharp focus remains within the depth of field, most of the depth of field increase at narrower apertures is farther away. The 135mm results are reasonably sharp wide open and improve at narrower apertures with focus shift mostly resolved. You see some heat-wave distortion/warping showing in this comparison. The 300mm results are a bit soft wide open and the f/8 results are improved.

Next, we'll look at a comparison showing 100% extreme-top-left-corner crops captured and processed identically to the above center-of-the-frame images. The lens was manually focused in the corner of the frame to capture these images.

Sony FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens Corner Sharpness Comparison Example

70mm: f/4.5 | f/5.6 | f/8.0   135mm: f/5.0 | f/5.6 | f/8.0
300mm: f/5.6 | f/8.0

In the extreme corners, the 70mm results are decent (aside from lateral CA) at f/4.5 and improve modestly at narrower apertures. The extreme 135mm corners are rather soft and improve only modestly at narrower apertures, and the extreme 300mm corners are not bad at f/5.6 and rather nice at f/8.

Corner sharpness does not always matter, and I often find it to matter less at longer focal lengths. That said, some disciplines such as landscape photography are more demanding of corner performance.

The physical properties of light passing through a lens make it impossible for the same amount of light to reach the edges of the circle as the center, resulting in a darkening of the corners, referred to as vignetting or peripheral shading. With a wide-open aperture at 70mm, relatively mild nearly-2 stops of corner shading is produced. By 100mm, that number is down to about 1 stop (very low for wide-open performance) and increases again to about 1.8 stops by 300mm (still relatively low). At f/8, those numbers drop to about 0.6, 0.3, and 1 stop respectively, and the f/11 numbers are 0.4, 0.3 (then a dip to 0.2), and 0.6.

APS-C format cameras using lenses projecting a full-frame-sized image circle avoid most vignetting problems. In this case, the under-1-stop of shading showing at 300mm f/5.6 might be visible in images with a solid color (such as a blue sky) showing in the corners.

One-stop of shading is the amount often used as the visibility number, though subject details provide a widely-varying amount of vignetting discernibility. Vignetting can be corrected during post-processing with increased noise in the brightened areas being the penalty, or it can be embraced, using the effect to draw the viewer's eye to the center of the frame. Study the pattern showing in our vignetting test tool to determine if your subject (subject's face) will be darkened or if it will be emphasized by the darker periphery.

The effect of different colors of the spectrum being magnified by different amounts is referred to as lateral (or transverse) CA (Chromatic Aberration). Lateral CA shows as color fringing along lines of strong contrast running tangential (meridional, right angles to radii) with the mid and especially the periphery of the image circle showing the most significant amount as this is where the most significant difference in the magnification of wavelengths typically exists.

With the right lens profile and software, lateral CA is often easily correctable (often in the camera) by radially shifting the colors to coincide. However, it is always better not to have the problem in the first place. Any color misalignment present can easily be seen in the site's image quality tool, but let's also look at a set of worst-case examples. These are 100% crops from the extreme top left corner of a7R III frames showing diagonal black and white lines.

Sony FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens Lateral Chromatic Aberration Example

There should be only black and white colors in these images, and the additional colors are showing the presence of lateral CA. Lateral CA is moderate at 70mm and modest at the other two tested focal lengths.

A relatively common lens aberration is axial (longitudinal, bokeh) CA, which causes non-coinciding focal planes of the various wavelengths of light, or more simply, different colors of light are focused to different depths. Spherical aberration along with spherochromatism, or a change in the amount of spherical aberration with respect to color (looks quite similar to axial chromatic aberration but is hazier) are other common lens aberrations to look for. Axial CA remains at least somewhat persistent when stopping down with the color misalignment effect increasing with defocusing. The spherical aberration color halo shows little size change as the lens is defocused, and stopping down one to two stops generally removes this aberration.

In the real world, lens defects do not exist in isolation with spherical aberration and spherochromatism generally found, at least to some degree, along with axial CA. These combine to create a less sharp, hazy-appearing image quality at the widest apertures.

In the examples below, look at the fringing colors in the out of focus specular highlights. Created by the neutrally-colored subjects, fringing color differences are introduced by the lens.

Sony FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens Spherical and Axial Aberration Example

While there are some foreground vs. background color differences in these results, they are relatively minor.

Flare and ghosting are caused by bright light reflecting off of the surfaces of lens elements, resulting in reduced contrast and sometimes-interesting artifacts. The FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens gets Sony's Nano AR Coating to combat these issues. In our standard flare testing with the sun in the corner of the frame, this lens shows minimal flare impact at the widest apertures until the long end of the focal length range. Narrower apertures usually produce the strongest flaring, but this lens is unphased by the strong light even at f/16.

Flare effects can be embraced, avoided, or removal can be attempted. Removal is sometimes challenging. Thus, the low flare effects this lens produces is a great feature.

The FE 70-300 is a zoom lens, and that usually means some level of geometric distortion is expected. In this case, a moderate amount of pincushion distortion is present at 70mm. By 100mm, the amount is reduced to modest with small variances seen throughout the longer focal lengths.

Most modern lenses have lens correction profiles available for the popular image processing software, and distortion can easily be removed using these. Still, geometric distortion correction requires stretching which is detrimental to image quality. Some portion of the image must be stretched, or the overall dimensions must be reduced.

The amount of blur a lens can produce is easy to show (and was shown earlier in the review). Assessing the quality is a much harder challenge due in part to the infinite number of variables present in all available scenes. Here are some f/11 (for aperture blade interaction) examples.

Sony FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens Bokeh Example

70mm | 135mm | 300mm   70mm | 135mm | 300mm

The first three results show 100% crops containing defocused specular highlights that have somewhat unusual bold circles in the center. In the last three outdoor examples, the 70mm result is a 100% crop, while the 135mm and 300mm examples are full images reduced in size. These results appear nice.

Except for a small number of specialty lenses, the wide aperture bokeh in the corner of the frame does not produce round defocused highlights with these effects taking on a cat's eye shape due to a form of mechanical vignetting. If you look through a tube at an angle, similar to the light reaching the corner of the frame, the shape is not round. That is the shape seen here.

Sony FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens Cat's Eye Bokeh Example

As the aperture narrows, the entrance pupil size is reduced, and the mechanical vignetting absolves with the shapes becoming more rounded.

With a 9-blade count aperture, point light sources captured with a narrow aperture setting and showing a sunstar effect will have 18 points. Here are some f/16 examples:

Sony FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens Sunstar Effect Example

In general, the more an aperture is stopped down, the stronger the stars become. A lens with a narrow max aperture is disadvantaged in this regard, and with this lens being stopped down less to reach f/16 at the long end of its focal length range, the stars produced at the mid and long focal lengths are barely stars. The star produced at 70mm is decent.

Sony FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens Design

The Sony FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens design utilizes four aspherical elements and two ED glass elements, as illustrated above.

Overall, from an image quality perspective, this lens turns in mid-grade performance. The image sharpness produced is reasonable. The lateral CA is strong at 70mm but not bad at other focal lengths. Expect moderate geometric distortion at the wide end. The lack of color fringing is good, peripheral shading is mild, and flare control is excellent. Expect decent sunstars only from the wide end of the range.

Sony FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens on Tripod


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Using an "advanced linear actuator" [Sony], the FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens focuses quickly. Focusing is internal and nearly silent.

FTM (Full Time Manual) focusing is supported in Sony's DMF (Direct Manual Focus) mode with the shutter release half-pressed or the AF-ON button is pressed.

This lens features a focus distance range limit switch that, in addition to making the full focus range available, enables distance selection to be limited to 9.8' (3m) to ∞. When the subject stays in the limited range, this feature can potentially decrease focus lock times.

Normal is for the scene to change size in the frame (sometimes significantly) as focus is pulled from one extent to the other, referred to as focus breathing, a change in focal length resulting from a change in focus distance. Focus breathing negatively impacts photographers intending to use focus stacking techniques, videographers pulling focus, and anyone critically framing while adjusting focus. A strength of this lens is that it shows little change in subject size as full extent focus adjustments are made, including at the focal length extremes.

Sony FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens Focus Magnification Example

70mm: Far | Close 300mm: Far | Close

A focus distance window is not provided, but a focus distance meter shows in the lower portion of the camera's electronic viewfinder during manual focusing.

Sony FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens Side View

Unique to a lens of this type (but rather common on Sony FE lenses) is an AF hold button. While in continuous focus mode, this button can be pressed to lock focus at the currently selected focus distance, permitting a focus and recompose technique. This button also acts as a custom button (C5) and can be programmed to another function using the camera's menu.

While it can be an individual lens-specific attribute, parfocal-like behavior is not a characteristic of the reviewed lens. When focused at 300mm, the test lens was backfocusing at 70mm before adjusting focus. If you change the focal length, re-establish focus.

Sony FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens Top View with Hood

The non-rubberized focus ring is relatively small and positioned toward the rear of the lens, just in front of a noticeable diameter change that makes the ring easy to locate tactilely. This lens's ring is smooth and has a nice amount of resistance. When turned slowly, the 220° of MF rotation adjusts focusing at an ideal rate, allowing precise manual focusing even at close distances. This is a variable response MF ring — turn it quickly and about 45° of rotation will complete the full extent focus adjustment. While I often prefer a linear response MF ring, I did not find the multi-speed adjustment rate to be troublesome with this lens.

With a minimum focus distance of only 35.4" (900mm), this lens has a impressive 0.31x maximum magnification spec for best-in-class performance. Here is a minimum focus distance comparison:

ModelMin Focus Distance "(mm)Max Magnification
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM Lens47.2(1200)0.21x
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM Lens47.2(1200)0.25x
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM Lens55.1(1400)0.25x
Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E AF-P VR Lens47.2(1200)0.25x
Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II Lens15.7(400)0.30x
Sony FE 70-200mm F4 Macro G OSS II Lens10.2(260)0.50x
Sony FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens35.4(900)0.31x
Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS Lens38.6(980)0.35x
Sony FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS Lens94.5(2400)0.20x
Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di VC USD Lens55.1(1400)0.25x

At 300mm, a subject measuring approximately 4.4 x 2.8" (112 x 75mm) fills the frame at the minimum focus distance. The cardinal image below was captured at this lens's minimum focus distance, illustrating 0.31x magnification.

Sony FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens Maximum Magnification Example

Need a shorter minimum focus distance and higher magnification? An extension tube mounted behind this lens should provide a modest decrease and increase, respectively. Extension tubes are hollow lens barrels that shift a lens farther from the camera, which allows shorter focusing distances at the expense of long-distance focusing. Electronic connections in extension tubes permit the lens and camera to communicate and otherwise function as normal. Sony does not publish extension tube specs, nor do they manufacture these items, but third-party Sony extension tubes are available.

This lens is not compatible with Sony teleconverters.

Sony FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens Front View 2

Build Quality & Features

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The Sony FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens has classy looks and its build quality seems good.

Sony FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens Product Images

MFD |    MFD |    w/ Hood:  MFD |    MFD |    Rotated        Compare »

Like all of the other lenses in its class, this one extends (up to 2.56", 65.1mm) as the focal length increases. At full extension, there is remarkably little play in the extended lens barrel, reflecting a quality design.

The rubberized zoom ring is substantial in size and turns smoothly with ideal resistance. The zoom ring is positioned toward the front of the lens, out of easy fingertip reach when holding the lens balanced in the left hand. A zoom lock switch is provided, preventing the lens from extending from the fully-retracted position (the new test lens does not gravity zoom).

This lens gets a full complement of switches on a low-profile switch bank. The switches are also low profile with just enough raised center bar to make use easy, and the two-position switches click assuredly into place. The center focus distance range switch is smaller in size, providing a physical identification clue.

Sony FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens Mount

Sony lists dust and moisture-resistant design being a feature of this lens. However, the mount does not appear to have a gasket seal, creating concern for not only moisture penetration into the lens but also into the camera body.

This is a medium-large-sized lens that is similar to most 70-300mm lenses in size. Increased weight is often a side effect of increased build quality, and this lens is among the heavier lenses in its class. Still, it is not a burden to carry and use this lens even for extended periods.

ModelWeight oz(g)Dimensions w/o Hood "(mm)FilterYear 
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM Lens37.1(1050)3.5 x 5.6(89.0 x 143.0)672010
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM Lens25.1(710)3.1 x 5.7(80.0 x 145.5)672016
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM Lens25.4(720)3.2 x 3.9(82.0 x 100.0)582004
Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E AF-P VR Lens24.0(680)3.2 x 5.7(80.5 x 146.0)672017
Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II Lens36.9(1045)3.5 x 7.9(88.0 x 200.0)772021
Sony FE 70-200mm F4 Macro G OSS II Lens28.0(794)3.2 x 5.9(82.2 x 149)722023
Sony FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens30.1(854)3.3 x 5.6(84.0 x 143.5)722016
Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS Lens49.2(1395)3.7 x 8.1(93.9 x 205.0)772017
Sony FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS Lens74.8(2120)4.5 x 12.5(115.5 x 318.0)952019
Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di VC USD Lens27.0(765)3.2 x 5.6(81.5 x 142.7)622010

For many more comparisons, review the complete Sony FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens Specifications using the site's lens specifications tool.

My knuckles uncomfortably impact the barrel of this lens when using the Sony a7R III and IV.

Here is an interesting visual comparison from within the Sony FE family, illustrating the compactness of the retracting design.

Sony FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens Compared to Similar Lenses

Positioned above from left to right are the following lenses:

Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS Lens
Sony FE 70-200mm f/4 G OSS Lens
Sony FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens

The same lenses are shown below with their hoods in place.

Sony FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens Compared to Similar Lenses with Hoods

Use the site's product image comparison tool to visually compare the Sony FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens to other lenses (another comparison is preloaded).

The lens has 72mm filter threads. Filters of this size are relatively common and modest in size and price.

This lens does not have a tripod ring available. A lens of this size and weight places a noticeable amount of torque on the camera when tripod-mounted and a strong ball head is recommended.

Sony FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens Side View with Hood

The substantially-sized, protective Sony ALC-SH144 Lens Hood is included in the box. This semi-rigid plastic hood has a matte-finish interior, and despite not having a push-button release, it bayonet mounts easily. The rounded shape means you can stand the lens on that end, even with the camera attached in situations where you are comfortable doing that.

Sony FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens Case

Sony provides a thin-fleece-lined vinyl pouch in the box. The bottom (only) of the case is padded. I always recommend Lowepro Lens Cases or a Think Tank Photo Lens Case Duo for quality, affordable single-lens storage, transport, and carry.

Sony FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens Cap

Price, Value, Compatibility

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This lens has a moderate price tag on it, and that price tag combined with the overall quality of this lens makes it a decent value and a popular choice.

As an "FE" lens, the Sony FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens is compatible with all Sony E-mount cameras, including both full-frame and APS-C sensor format models. Sony provides a 1-year limited warranty.

The reviewed Sony FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens was online-retail sourced.

Sony FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens Front View on Camera


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Because telephoto zoom lenses are so popular, manufacturers find it desirable to design and market a wide range of them. The first comparison I wanted to see was with the Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS Lens.

In the image quality comparison, the 100-400mm lens shows itself the noticeably sharper lens at equalized focal lengths and apertures, including in the stopped-down comparisons. The 100-400mm lens has slightly less vignetting wide open, and the 70-300mm lens shows significantly less flaring in our tests. The 100-400mm lens has less distortion at 100mm, and the 70-300mm lens has less at 300mm.

Looking at the specs and measurements, the Sony FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens vs. Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS Lens comparison shows the 100-400mm lens to be much larger and heavier than the 70-300mm lens. The increased size results in larger diameter filter threads, 77mm vs. 72mm. While the 70-300mm lens has an excellent maximum magnification spec, the 100-400mm lens has an even better one — 0.35 vs. 0.31. Not overlooking the obvious, the 70-300mm lens favors wider angles, and the 100-400mm lens favors long focal lengths. The latter lens's teleconverter compatibility gives it optionally much greater reach. That the 100-400 costs nearly twice as much as the 70-300 will be a differentiating factor for many.

The other lens I wanted to compare was the Sony FE 70-200mm f/4 G OSS Lens.

In the image quality comparison, the two lenses are similarly sharp at 70mm, but the 70-200mm lens is sharper at equivalent apertures at the longer focal lengths. The 70-300mm lens is noticeably better at avoiding flare, and the 70-200mm lens has noticeably less geometric distortion.

Looking at the specs and measurements, the Sony FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens vs. Sony FE 70-200mm f/4 G OSS Lens comparison shows the two lenses weighing a similar amount. The 70-200mm lens has a fixed size, measuring longer in the retracted comparison and shorter in the extended comparison. The 70-300mm lens has a substantially higher maximum magnification spec (0.31x vs. 0.13x). The 70-300mm lens has an obvious focal length range advantage, but the 70-200mm lens is compatible with teleconverters and has a wider aperture over the entire native range. The 70-300mm lens wins the price comparison by a modest amount.

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Sony FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens Top View


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The Sony FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens is a right choice for those looking for a relatively long range of telephoto focal lengths in a compact package with a moderate price tag.

In addition to looking great and having a quality build, the FE 70-300 has a quick and quiet AF system, and OSS brings shakes to a halt. This is not Sony's sharpest telephoto zoom lens, but it costs half as much as my current favorite (the FE 100-400).

The FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens is a useful option to have available in the kit.

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Sony FE 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens
Sony FE 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens
$100.00 Savings! gives the Sony FE 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens an overall 3.5 rating
Manufacturer ID: SEL70300G
Review Date: 2020-05-12
Last Updated: 2024-01-30
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