Sony Unveils the Sony 70-200mm F2.8 GM II | The Photography News Show #23

by alessandro_carpentiero
sony 70-200mm F2.8 GM II

Sony has unveiled the Sony 70-200mm F2.8 GM II lens. It’s an improved version of the 70-200mm announced in 2016, it’s 30% lighter and it has improved performance. We then have new info on the Nikon Z9, and much more!
Here’s the best news I’ve selected for “The Photography News Show”!


Sony 70-200mm F2.8 GM II Announced

Back in 2016, Sony launched its 70-200mm F2.8 GM, and it soon became a must-have lens for many Sony shooters. Technology has improved, cameras have evolved, and that’s why this week Sony has introduced a second version of this lens, which is now the world’s lightest lens of its category.

In fact, the 1st version weighs 1.48Kg, while the new one is almost 30% lighter, with a weight of 1,045g.

That’s a considerable weight loss, and it translates into improved usability & more comfort when shooting handheld. When a lens gets lighter, that usually equals less quality. But well, not in this case, as the autofocus is now 4 times faster than the 1st version.

I haven’t tried the lens yet, but based on the tests I’ve seen, the autofocus is excellent, with super fast tracking, and the reduced minimum focus distance makes it usable in a variety of scenarios. In terms of image quality, Sony hasn’t released full-size samples. I can’t do any pixel peeping yet, but from its presentation video it’s evident that this lens can resolve 61-megapixels very effectively, and it’s for sure built to be compatible with the cameras we’ll see in the next few years. So I have a feeling this lens can resolve 100 megapixels too. 

You can find below a collection of the sample images provided by Sony.

Sony designed this lens also with filmmakers in mind, in fact, the focus breathing is minimal, and the aperture ring can be used without a click so that you can change the aperture while filming. The optimized weight distribution makes it more balanced, and also easy to balance on a gimbal.

Credit: Sony

In terms of features, it has, of course, all the possible switches you might need, and it’s dust and moisture resistant to withstand challenging conditions.

Samyang AF 24-70mm F2.8 FE Announced

Talking about versatile zoom lenses, there’s another one that was announced this week. It’s the Samyang 24-70mm F2.8 for Sony E-mount.

What’s pretty special about this lens is that it’s a parfocal lens, meaning that after you focus on a subject, you can use the zoom without losing focus. That’s a super convenient feature that makes your life way easier, especially at events, and we don’t see this feature in many lenses, especially at this price range. In fact, this lens is listed at about $900. At the moment is only available in Thailand, but I will update you on its worldwide availability as soon as I have more info.

Canon 1200mm F5.6 L Sold for $580,000

To close off the lens news of the week, I also want to talk to you about the legendary Canon 1200mm F5.6 lens. It’s the longest autofocus lens ever made, and it’s rumored that only 20 units of these were ever made. It was an extremely complicated lens to build, and it took one year to build just one, due to the time required to grow its massive fluorite crystals.

Last week one unit was put on auction, for the 4th time in the 21st century, and the hammer price was a whopping 500,000€, about 580 grand, the highest price ever paid for a lens.


The Nikon Z9 Will Have Unlimited 8K Video Recording

Nikon has been posting short videos to tease some features of its upcoming flagship camera, the Nikon Z9.

Last week I shared with you the video that showed that the screen was tiltable also inwards:

While this week’s video takes place on a safari, but the important detail is hidden at the top. We can see the camera filming in 8K. The recording time starts at 29 minutes, and it slowly increases up to 1 hour and twenty minutes. This means that the Z9 will have no 8K recording limits, something that will make Nikon video shooters quite happy!


AP Portable Color Picture Transmitter

In this segment, I normally present some useful accessories to make your life as a photographer easier. This week though, we’re taking a step back to the 80s! We can now share pictures almost immediately, but how did journalists manage it back then? This week Associated Press turned 175 years old, and to celebrate its birthday it has published a series of throwback blog posts. In one of those, we can see the “AP Portable Picture Transmitter”, which basically was portable fax that could send both color and black & white photographs using telephone lines.

Associated Press brochure announcing AP’s new portable photo transmitter for color or black and white photographs, 1981. (AP Photo/Corporate Archives)

It had its own suitcase, and it surely was a must-have for journalists at the time.

Associated Press brochure announcing its Leafax 35 picture transmitter which was capable of transmitting a photographic image from a negative, 1988. (AP Photo/Corporate Archives)

I don’t know about you, but seeing the innovation we had in just 40 years, makes me really excited about what’s next!


Turn Off the Plastic

In this segment, I feature the most interesting pictures I’ve seen on the web!

This week we have the winning shots of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2021 Awards. It’s a contest run by the Natural History Museum from 1965, that showcases wildlife around the world. There are a lot of powerful images, with also a very interesting story on how they were captured. You can find all the awarded shots & their stories on the official website.


Plagiarism at the Milan Photofestival

The imaging world can be at times weird!

An Italian photography student got one of his pictures exhibited at the Milan Photo Festival. Nothing weird so far except that it looks like a bad copy of a shot taken by Aida Muluneh, an Ethiopian artist that shot it in 2014 for an exhibition that portrayed Dante’s inferno. I guess he was not paying attention in class when they were explaining the differences between inspiration and ripoff.


Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN Contemporary E & L lens

DJI is rumored to release the Mavic 3 Pro in November, but apparently, that’s not going to be the only new product. The Chinese brand has, in fact, posted a tweet that says “Good Things Come in Threes”, with 3 enigmatic black boxes and 3 different dates: October 20th, 27th, and November 5th. That’s all we know so far, so, let’s wait and see!

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