Sony 100-400 Review, By Liam Miller

The Sony 100-400 lens is a versatile telephoto zoom lens designed for photographers who require exceptional reach and image quality. This review will delve into the key features, specifications, and performance of the Sony 100-400 lens to help you understand its capabilities and determine if it suits your photographic needs.

What is my experience with Sony 100-400? 

Sony 100-400 Review,

Having had the opportunity to use the Sony 100-400 lens, I can confidently say that it has been an incredible experience. The lens’s focal length range of 100-400mm provided me with the versatility I needed to capture a wide variety of subjects. From wildlife to sports, this lens allowed me to get up close and personal, bringing distant scenes to life.

One aspect that truly impressed me was the lens’s image quality. The sharpness and clarity of the images it produced were exceptional. Whether I was shooting wide open or stopping down, the lens consistently delivered impressive results. The colors were vibrant, and the details were rendered with precision, allowing me to capture every intricate detail of my subjects.

The built-in image stabilization system proved to be a game-changer. It effectively compensated for any camera shake, enabling me to capture handheld shots with remarkable stability. This feature was particularly valuable when shooting in challenging lighting conditions or when I needed to react quickly to capture a moment. It allowed me to push the boundaries of handheld photography and achieve sharp, blur-free images.

The autofocus performance of the lens was fast and accurate. It quickly locked onto my subjects, allowing me to track and capture moving targets easily. This was particularly advantageous when photographing wildlife in action or capturing fast-paced sports events. The lens’s autofocus system performed reliably, ensuring that I could focus on the composition and let the lens handle the technical aspects.

In terms of build quality, the Sony 100-400 lens felt solid and well-constructed in my hands. It had a reassuring weight to it that conveyed a sense of durability. The weather-sealed construction gave me confidence when shooting in adverse weather conditions, knowing that the lens could withstand some moisture and dust without compromising its performance.

Overall, my experience with the Sony 100-400 lens has been nothing short of exceptional. It has proven to be a reliable and versatile telephoto zoom lens that consistently delivers outstanding results. Whether I was photographing wildlife in their natural habitats or capturing the intensity of sports action, this lens exceeded my expectations. Its image quality, image stabilization, autofocus capabilities, and build quality make it a valuable tool for any photographer looking to explore the world of telephoto photography.

Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS lens review with samples

Key Features and Specifications

The Sony 100-400 lens offers a focal length range of 100-400mm, allowing photographers to capture a wide range of subjects. Whether you’re photographing wildlife in their natural habitats or capturing fast-paced sports action, this lens allows you to get up close and personal. 

With a maximum aperture ranging from f/4.5 to f/5.6, the lens performs admirably in various lighting conditions, ensuring you can achieve sharp and well-exposed images. The built-in image stabilization system compensates for camera shake, enabling you to capture handheld shots with remarkable stability and clarity. 

The lens’s fast and accurate autofocus capabilities allow you to track moving subjects easily. Furthermore, the lens is built to withstand the rigours of outdoor photography with its weather-sealed construction.

Wide focal length range

The 100-400mm telephoto zoom lens from Sony offers photographers a wide focal length range, allowing them to easily capture a diverse range of subjects. 

Whether you’re photographing wildlife in their natural habitats or capturing fast-paced sports action, this lens provides the flexibility to get up close and personal, bringing distant subjects into clear focus.

Aperture ranging from f/4.5 to f/5.6

The lens performs exceptionally well in different lighting conditions with a maximum aperture ranging from f/4.5 to f/5.6. 

It ensures sharp and well-exposed images, even in challenging lighting situations. This aperture range allows for creative control over depth of field, allowing you to isolate your subject and create a pleasing background blur.

Built-in image stabilization system

One of the standout features of this lens is its built-in image stabilization system. This technology compensates for camera shake, enabling you to capture handheld shots with remarkable stability and clarity. 

It minimizes the risk of blurry images, particularly when shooting at longer focal lengths or in low-light conditions. This stabilization system is particularly beneficial for photographers who often shoot on the go or when tripods are impractical.

Fast and accurate autofocus 

The lens’s fast and accurate autofocus capabilities make it easy to track moving subjects. This is especially important for wildlife and sports photographers who need to capture action and fleeting moments. 

The autofocus system reliably locks onto your subject, allowing you to maintain sharp focus and precisely capture decisive moments.


Durability is another key aspect of this lens. It is built to withstand the rigors of outdoor photography with its weather-sealed construction. This provides protection against dust and moisture, allowing you to shoot confidently in challenging environmental conditions. Whether you’re out in the wilderness or in adverse weather conditions, the lens is designed to keep up with your photographic adventures.


In terms of specifications, the lens has a minimum focusing distance of around 3.22 feet (0.98 meters) throughout its zoom range. This allows you to get relatively close to your subject, capturing fine details and textures. The lens also features a filter diameter of 77mm, giving you the option to add filters for creative effects or protection.

Here’s a table with the full specifications of the Sony 100-400mm telephoto zoom lens:

Focal Length100-400mm
Maximum Aperturef/4.5 (at 100mm) to f/5.6 (at 400mm)
Minimum Aperturef/22 (at 100mm) to f/32 (at 400mm)
Lens MountSony E-mount
Format CompatibilityFull-frame and APS-C
Angle of View24° to 6°10′ (Full-frame) / 16° to 4°10′ (APS-C)
Minimum Focus Distance3.22 feet (0.98 meters)
Maximum Magnification0.35x
Lens Elements/Groups22/16
Diaphragm Blades9
Image StabilizationYes (Optical SteadyShot)
AutofocusYes (Direct Drive Super Sonic Wave Motor)
Filter Diameter77mm
Weather SealingYes
Dimensions (DxL)3.7 x 8.07 inches (94.5 x 205mm)
Weight49.3 ounces (1395 grams)
Sony 100-400 specs

Optical Performance

When it comes to image quality, the Sony 100-400 lens delivers excellent results. The lens produces sharp and detailed images throughout its focal length range, allowing you to capture intricate textures and fine details. 

Chromatic aberration and distortion are effectively controlled, resulting in images with accurate colors and minimal distortion. Additionally, the lens’s ability to create pleasing bokeh adds a beautiful background blur to your images, emphasizing the subject and creating a sense of depth.

Real-World Performance

In real-world scenarios, the Sony 100-400 lens truly shines. For wildlife photographers, the lens’s reach and versatility make it an ideal tool for capturing animals in their natural habitats. 

It allows you to fill the frame with distant subjects, revealing their intricate details. Similarly, sports photographers will appreciate the lens’s ability to track fast-moving subjects, ensuring you don’t miss any crucial moments.

Even for landscape photography, the lens’s wide focal length range allows you to capture sweeping vistas with stunning clarity and detail.

Ergonomics and Handling

The Sony 100-400 lens is designed with ergonomics in mind, providing comfort and ease of use during long shooting sessions. The lens’s weight is well-distributed, making it comfortable to hold and minimizing strain on your hand and wrist. 

The zoom and focus rings are smooth and responsive, allowing for precise adjustments while shooting. Additionally, the lens features a tripod collar and foot, providing stability and balance when mounted on a tripod.

Pros and Cons

The Sony 100-400 lens offers several advantages for photographers seeking a versatile telephoto zoom lens. 

Its focal length range, excellent image quality, and optical performance make it a valuable tool for capturing a wide range of subjects. The lens’s image stabilization system ensures sharp handheld shots, and its robust construction ensures durability even in challenging weather conditions. 

However, potential buyers should consider the lens’s relatively large size and weight and its higher price than other similar lenses on the market.


In conclusion, the Sony 100-400 lens is a powerful telephoto zoom lens that delivers exceptional image quality and performance. With its versatile focal length range, robust build, and reliable autofocus, it is well-suited for wildlife, sports, and landscape photography. While its size and weight may be a consideration for some photographers, the lens’s outstanding optical performance and versatility make it a valuable addition to any photographer’s gear collection.

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