While Sony announced its 400mm F2.8 GM OSS awhile back, its release date and street price were revealed today. The professional lens will ship in September for $12,000. To put that “new car cost” into perspective, the Nikon 400mm runs about $11,000 and the Canon version is around $10,000. So what are you getting from Sony?

When comparing it to Nikon and Canon's 400mm lenses, you’re getting a much lighter body, roughly 2lbs (0.9kg) lighter than its competitors (Nikon at 8.4lbs (3.8kg), Canon at 8.5lbs (3.8kg). The Sony 400mm 2.8 GM OSS is also said to be centered weighed, unlike its 500mm A-mount counterpart, which is front heavy. This makes monopod and handheld shooting more manageable, as the weight isn’t shifted to one side.

Also in the announcement, Sony says it will use two newly developed high-speed XD (extreme dynamic) linear motors to improve tracking performance 5x faster. The F2.8 lens has 11 diaphragm blades and is constructed from 23 elements in 17 groups.

Nano AR coating has been added to reduce glare, ghosting, and reflections.

Sony’s optical stabilization is available in three modes. The newest, Mode 3, “ensures easier framing when following moving subjects.” The lens is made from magnesium alloy and has hard controls, customizable buttons, and a full-time DMF switch to go to manual focus quickly. A drop in filter accepts 40.5mm filters as well the company’s new VF-DCPL1 Drop-in Circular Polarizing Filter that comes out later this year.

The telephoto prime lens is aimed at photographers in sports and wildlife but a lens this size is not out of the question for videography. We’ve used the Canon 100-400mm before and have seen the Canon 50-1000mm in action.

Let us know in the comments below where you see this lens fitting into your workflow.

Tech Specs: 

  • Prime lens
  • Maximum aperture: F2.8
  • Max Format size: 35mm FF
  • Focal length: 400 mm
  • Image stabilization
  • Sony FE Lens Mount
  • No Aperture Ring
  • Number of diaphragm blades: 11
  • Optics: Elements 23, Groups 17
  • Minimum focus: 2.70 m (106.3)
  • Maximum magnification: 0.16×
  • Autofocus
  • Motor type: Linear Motor
  • Focus method: Internal
  • Distance scales
  • Weight 6.38 lb (2895g)