Sony Adds Two FE Lenses

(news & commentary)

Sony today used the RX10 Mark III announcement (see below) to introduce two new lenses for their FE mount: the 50mm f/1.8 and the 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6.

Both lenses add something to the Sony A7 series lineup. First, the new 50mm provides us with a new affordable “normal” prime. At US$250, it’s about one-fourth the price of the previous Sony-Zeiss 55mm f/1.8.

bythom sony 70-300mm-FE.jpg

The 70-300mm is also highly welcome, as it pushes the longest focal range in the FE series out to 300mm (previously only up to 200mm was available). This new 70-300mm is clearly a lens for handholding, as it doesn’t have a tripod collar, and it’s physically shorter than the 70-200mm models collapsed. Again, a lens at the more entry/affordable level, though at US$1200, one might quibble about the latter characteristic a bit.

Still, these additions are a bit curious. The point towards a lower end, more affordable A7 series body, not the current expensive pair of the A7sII and A7rII. Could there be an A7III around the corner? One that will try to stay even with the Canon 6D/Nikon D610 level of camera in terms of affordability?

I mentioned the Sony RX10 Mark III. While it’s not a mirrorless camera—it’s a compact camera in DSLR style—I’ll use this news article to briefly cover it. Sony just brought out the 1” sensor-based RX10 Mark II last June, so here we are less than a year later with another update. Sony says the III doesn’t replace the II, but even with the one big difference in the two models, that’s a bit difficult to swallow, as the price differential is only US$200.

That difference is—perfect for an article that started about lenses—the lens. The new Mark III gets a 24-600mm f/2.4-4 lens. The older Mark I and II models had a 24-200mm f/2.8 lens. It’s interesting to see all the players in the 1” sensor arena now coalescing around the Bridge-camera-with-Superzoom concept. The recently announced Nikon DL 24-500mm, the 24-600mm Canon G3 X, and the Panasonic 25-400mm FZ1000, all sit in the same arena as this new Sony. Panasonic even doubled down on the Sony RX10 Mark II with the 1” sensor 25-250mm ZS100 at a much more attractive price.

text and images 2017Thom Hogan
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