Sony 600F4 GM - The Everything About It Thread...

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dtibbals

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Hello everyone! I have seen this done on a few forums and thought I would kick one off on the Sony 600F4 GM. This gives us a central place to answer questions, share images, provide our feedback and a nice place to hang out. :)

I will likely start one on the Sony 200-600 and a1 unless someone starts it first. I see a lot of common questions come up and I think it will be helpful to everyone.

I will kick off the thread. I got a chance to take my new 600GM out for a spin today and wow what a lens! It is lighter than I had expected, it is pretty easy to handhold for birds in flight, perched birds is nice if not for to long. Comparing it to my Sony 200-600 the zoom is lighter but front heavy as were the 600GM carries it's weight to the rear which gives it a great balance. Its focusing is really quick and as one would expect its crazy sharp. I have tried it naked and with both the 1.4 and 2x teleconverters and the performance of the lens is phenomenal even with the teles which is not something I have experienced with my prior DSLR cameras and lenses.

So far I am loving it but I have a lot more time to spend with it to be really comfortable with the size and seeing if it has any sweet spots. So far I have only shot it wide open and its crazy good.

I look forward to everyone sharing their experiences with the lens and welcome anyone who has questions about this lens to post them in this thread. It will give new folks a nice place to read and ask questions.

Cheers!

Here is a sample image taken today shot as a 600 @F4.

_DSC5593-Edit.jpg
 
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dtibbals

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Thread starter
Specs from Sony website:

https://electronics.sony.com/imaging/lenses/all-e-mount/p/sel600f40gm
Specifications
At a Glance
Focal Length
600mm
Max. Aperture
f/4
Size and Weight
6.5 x 17.75 in. / 107.3 oz.
Lens Specifications
35 mm equivalent focal length (APS-C)
900
Angle of View (35 mm)
4°10'
Angle of View (APS-C)
2°40'
Aperture Blades
11
Circular Aperture
Yes
Filter Diameter (mm)
40.5
Focal Length (mm)
600
Format
35 mm full frame
Hood Type
Round shape
Image stabilization (SteadyShot)
Optical SteadyShot
Lens Groups / Elements
18–24 *Including one filter
Maximum Magnification ratio (x)
0.14
Maximum aperture (F)
4
Minimum Aperture (F)
22
Minimum Focus Distance
14.8 ft (4.5 m)
 

FB101

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Gordon Lang's review

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dtibbals

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Thread starter
Gordon Lang's review

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Nice! I haven't seen this one yet. Thank you for sharing!
 

dtibbals

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Thread starter
Here are a couple good videos from Patrick Murphy- Racey on the telephotos for wildlife and sports. Some great info and comparing and contrasting.

 

dtibbals

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Thread starter
Here is the second video comparing the Sony 400F2.8 GM vs 600F4 GM. Anyone trying to decide between these two lenses should watch.

 

Doug Herr

Well-known member
I've been using the 600 GM for two years now. The only weakness I've found is that using extension tubes causes lateral CA. Other than this its sweet spot is from MFD to infinity, f/4 to about f/11 (I haven't used it at smaller apertures).

I thought it was a great lens with the a7rIII. With the a1 it's :love:.









 
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ChrisM

Active member
Now for the interesting question: how does the 600GM compare optically to the 200-600G lens?
I have heard people say that there is little difference other than the f4 aperture, but that is not what I see in the images posted in the threads.
I have at present a Sony A7RII with several general use lenses, like the 35mm f1.4GM and Loxia 25mm.

For wildliffe/birding I still use the D500+500PF+Sigma 500S
In the wake of the recent Z9 release, I have decided to leave Nikon behind for Sony. The cost of a switch makes it so that it will take time for me to get the 600GM and a high end body.
I could stay with the A7RII, trade in all my Nikon gear and go for a 600GM, or I could trade in all my Nikon gear ánd the A7RII, and get a Sony A1+200-600G lens.
Both scenarios are a trade off for the coming two years, until I have the funds to complete the Sony set-up.
My question: ignoring the vastly superior AF of the A1, is the pure image quality of the 600GM on an older Sony body like the A7RII still clearly ahead of the pure image quality of the 200-600G on the A1?

I know people nowadays tend to define image quality in one single parameter: sharpness. But lenses like the 500PF and especially the Sigma 500S offer a bit more than just sharpness alone. Things like clarity, smooth bokeh, transparency, good subject separation (which does not only depend on chosen aperture alone, but also on the optical characteristics of a lens, color rendering etc. I am a bit weary of taking too much of a step back with the 200-600G, but have no reservations about the 600GM. Is that justified?

I guess only people who have used both lenses simultaneously for some time can answer this.
 
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Whiskeyman

Well-known member
...
In the wake of the recent Z9 release, I have decided to leave Nikon behind for Sony. The cost of a switch makes it so that it will take time for me to get the 600GM and a high end body.
...
What about the Z9 release drives your decision?
 

FB101

Well-known member
Supporting Member
In the wake of the recent Z9 release, I have decided to leave Nikon behind for Sony.
You got me puzzled here too - people who held this long with Nikon typically see the z9 as a reason to stay, not leave.
For me, i have already moved to Sony and the z9 tells me Nikon is going deeper into their ergonomic choices that don’t work for me, so I’m comfortable with my switch despite the load of technology in the z9 and its lower price.
But if you are happy with Nikon for wildlife shooting why switch now? I am just curious, not advocating one way or another, you know what’s best for you, but I think you are the only one I’ve run into who cites the z9 as a reason to move to Sony, so you clearly have a different take from most.
 

dtibbals

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Thread starter
Now for the interesting question: how does the 600GM compare optically to the 200-600G lens?
I have heard people say that there is little difference other than the f4 aperture, but that is not what I see in the images posted in the threads.
I have at present a Sony A7RII with several general use lenses, like the 35mm f1.4GM and Loxia 25mm.

For wildliffe/birding I still use the D500+500PF+Sigma 500S
In the wake of the recent Z9 release, I have decided to leave Nikon behind for Sony. The cost of a switch makes it so that it will take time for me to get the 600GM and a high end body.
I could stay with the A7RII, trade in all my Nikon gear and go for a 600GM, or I could trade in all my Nikon gear ánd the A7RII, and get a Sony A1+200-600G lens.
Both scenarios are a trade off for the coming two years, until I have the funds to complete the Sony set-up.
My question: ignoring the vastly superior AF of the A1, is the pure image quality of the 600GM on an older Sony body like the A7RII still clearly ahead of the pure image quality of the 200-600G on the A1?

I know people nowadays tend to define image quality in one single parameter: sharpness. But lenses like the 500PF and especially the Sigma 500S offer a bit more than just sharpness alone. Things like clarity, smooth bokeh, transparency, good subject separation (which does not only depend on chosen aperture alone, but also on the optical characteristics of a lens, color rendering etc. I am a bit weary of taking too much of a step back with the 200-600G, but have no reservations about the 600GM. Is that justified?

I guess only people who have used both lenses simultaneously for some time can answer this.
I’ll start a 200-600 thread soon which we can dive deeper into this question but the cliff notes are it’s good, it’s comparable to the 500PF optically, it’s what I started with and I’m keeping the lens but it’s use case will be more limited now that I have the 600GM. Yes the 600GM is sharper and faster to AF and takes the teleconverter better but with all that said the 200-600 does a great job especially for the price.

I’ve only ever used the a1 so I can’t comment on the other bodies. If I had to make a choice I’d invest in the 600GM and spend less on a body. In my opinion cameras are good for a few years and than it’s worth updating but quality lenses like the 600GM and 200-600 will last you for years and many cameras will come and go.

The lens makes the image, the newer higher MP sensors help deliver on the lenses resolving capabilities but a bad lens on any camera is a bad lens. A good lens on any body is a good lens. Some will make the lens really shine such as the a1. If working on a budget always spend more on glass than bodies.
I’ve been heavily involved over the years in long range precision rifle shooting and commonly shot at 1500 yards plus. The golden rule is your scope better be as much or more expensive than the rifle. I run a custom built rifle from GA Precision that cost $5500 back in the day, likely a new one is $10k plus. The rifle will last a lifetime but with many barrels over the years. I run a Schmidt and Bender optic that at the time was just as expensive as the rifle. The optic will last me for the rest of my life. The reason for getting good glass is the resolution, contrast and ability to see targets at distance in poor light that when using lesser scopes you couldn’t even see anymore. So the best rifle (camera) without good glass is pretty useless.
 

Whiskeyman

Well-known member
... but I think you are the only one I’ve run into who cites the z9 as a reason to move to Sony, so you clearly have a different take from most.
I've read elsewhere that the Z9 caused someone else to leave, and I'm interested to hear if ChrisM has the same reason. I have to say that the other person's reason makes perfect sense to me. For this reason, I'm very interested to hear from ChrisM.
 

Hut2

Well-known member
Supporting Member
I am a bit weary of taking too much of a step back with the 200-600G
A step back from what? I don't think the 200-600mm is a step back from the 500 PF in anything other than size and weight which it easily makes up for in versatility. I am unfamiliar with the Sigma 500S
 

ChrisM

Active member
What about the Z9 release drives your decision?
It's very simple. I waited for the final specs of the Z9, and had the weight been Canon R3 like: 1kg, I would have made the switch to mirrorless with the Z9.
As it is, 1340 grams + 140 grams for the ftz adapter, makes it impossible to continue shooting the Sigma 500mm f4S handheld, adding 600gr compared to using my D500 that I use without battery grip.

The D500+500PF combo excells at light weight quality. Again adding 600gr with Z9+ftz adapter takes away the light weight advantage, and gives the combo a really strange combination of an extremely small and light 500mm lens on a very large and heavy body.

All in all enough to make me realize that if I am to switch to mirrorless, I would be much better off switching to Sony
 
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sid_19911991

Active member
Another shot from my first outing with the 600F4 and 1.4x. Worked on a nice pan shot at 1/640, I am a bit rusty but liked the wing position.View attachment 27452

I have used the 200-600 Sony, I was shocked by sharp it is. 600 F4 going by your pics & all the pics that I seen on the Internet seems to be the best 600 F4 out there. All the pics seem good enough for big prints. Congratulations.
 

ChrisM

Active member
A step back from what? I don't think the 200-600mm is a step back from the 500 PF in anything other than size and weight which it easily makes up for in versatility. I am unfamiliar with the Sigma 500S
The Sigma 500mm f4 of course is a F4 lens, but comparing it to the 500PF at the same aperture f5.6, the Sigma still has much better bokeh and subject isolation (3D effect)
I expect the 600GM to do as good or better than the Sigma 500, but my feeling is that the 200-600G will be more 500PF territory.
Just curious to hear from those that own and use both
 
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