FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS - First Impression

Discussion in 'Sony/Minolta' started by dcstep, Aug 21, 2019.

  1. Many readers here know me, but for those that don't, I've been shooting super-telephoto lenses for over 10-years now, hand holding 99+% of my shots for over 8-years. I started with an EF 400/5.6, then a EF 500/f4 Series I, then a Series II. I started my transition to Sony in 2017 with the FE 100-400mm and adapted EF lenses, then acquired the FE 400/f2.8 from the first shipment and now I've acquired the FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS, from this latest first shipment.

    I don't count shots, but I'm into seven figures of clicks, shooting super-telephoto lenses and selling images on Getty as a second job. (It doesn't pay the rent, but it pays for the equipment and I could ramp it up). So, I say that because shooting super-telephoto, particularly handheld, is a learned skill. A newbie to super-tele should not expect to spend $13,000 on a new lens and go out on their first outing and match my results. I work at this and have been working at it for over a decade.

    Here's my very first shot with the new lens on my a9:
    [​IMG]First Shot With New 600mm Lens by David Stephens, on Flickr

    I wouldn't normally post a crappy shot like that, but it's the very first shot, shooting handheld, out the car window, on a hot day, at a long distance, with an extreme crop, down to under 1000p per side. What's important is that this is one of 136 out of 136-images that were in focus. 100% tracking is not unusual with the a9 and Sony's native lenses.

    This one shows the potential much better:

    [​IMG]Cropped Only For Composition by David Stephens, on Flickr

    Here's a huge crop of the same image:

    [​IMG]Close Up Of Egret Catching Shad by David Stephens, on Flickr

    BTW, 103 out of 103-images were tack sharp in this burst.

    Finally, a slow flight shot:

    [​IMG]Snowy Egret Landing by David Stephens, on Flickr

    62 out of 66 in sharp focus, going from bright sun to deep shade, fighting the "white bird" exposure problem at the transition.

    Over the next few days, I'll do more "testing" to shore up these shooting reactions. It's definitely a keeper, so my FE 400mm f/2.8 GM OSS is for sale for $11,500, if anyone is interested.
    frankmercer likes this.
  2. Looks like a real nice lens, Dave. Maybe if I get real lucky at the Casino next month, and after I buy her that Mercedes. Short of that, there is no way I would dare explain that lens purchase to my wife. lol. I am not even in the ball park for that lens. I'm gonna have to make do with my Sigma, low hit count and all. Those images were real nice though. I am just gonna have to enjoy seeing what you are shooting with these toys. Wonder how the detail will be on these lenses with the new A7RIV coming out, of course detail is one thing, the camera focusing performance would have to be there too. Wonder if Sony will get Bird Eye focus next. :rolleyes:
    dcstep likes this.
  3. I wish that we could all experience this.

    Here's a detail, 2637mp, shot with the a7RIII:

    [​IMG]Cottontail Bunny Portrait by David Stephens, on Flickr

    Look here for 100%:
    Re: Sony FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS - Early Field Testing: Sony Alpha Full Frame E-mount Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review
    frankmercer, Ludmilla and Mark Keefer like this.
  4. Amazing photos!
    dcstep likes this.
  5. Dave, how far away was the rabbit, I can see the reflection in the it’s eye.
    dcstep likes this.
  6. That was around 25 or 30-feet. You can't see me in the reflection, but you can see the surrounding buildings.

  7. I knew someone that bought a 600mm lens for I think £100 the lens had scratch on the front element but apparently it does not affect the image quality
  8. Don't hold your breath for that deal to happen again. ;-)
  9. The lens is a "keeper". A selection of photos from my first three weeks using it (on a7rIII)






    frankmercer and howardstanbury like this.
  10. Very nice. It feels like your "cheating" doesn't it? I'm impressed that you got those diver-duck pix with the a7RIII. I try to use my a9 in that situation, but I'm sometimes tempted to fight with the a7RIII AF to get that stunning resolution. Resolution is very good with the a9, but the a7RIII just knocks me off my chair. Tempted to get myself an a7RIV for Christmas, but the huger files is a bit of a concern.
  11. It certainly opens up more options. Not thrilled with the size & weight or the attention it attracts, but definitely a very useful tool. And I do like the a7rIII's pixel density!
    frankmercer likes this.
  12. Stunning shot of the shoveler! You must have been at f/8 or smaller to get that DOF, yet the bokeh is smooth as can be.

    Almost a decade ago, I was self conscious when carrying my 500/f4. I soon realized that women were intrigued by it (go figure) and it marked me as a "serious" photographer. I started saying, "It's like cheating" when someone commented, which most do. You've got the work to back it up, so carry a "business" card to quickly hand out, inviting them to see your work. You shots certainly warrant a wider audience.

    I love it now when a repeat casual acquaintance says something like, "I looked through your site and loved the images", to which I'll say, "Let me know if you ever want something for your walls." I've had a handful of sales that way. If you can back it up, you can, then use it as a introduction.
    douglas_herr|2 likes this.
  13. Nicely done.
    dcstep likes this.

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