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      08-21-2019, 12:30 PM   #1
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Drives: '09 Cpe Silverstone FR 6MT
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Colorado

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2009 M3  [4.20]
Sony FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS - First Impression

Many readers here know me, but for those that don't, I've been shooting super-telephoto lenses for over 10-years now, hand holding 99+% of my shots for over 8-years. I started with an EF 400/5.6, then a EF 500/f4 Series I, then a Series II. I started my transition to Sony in 2017 with the FE 100-400mm and adapted EF lenses, then acquired the FE 400/f2.8 from the first shipment and now I've acquired the FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS, from this latest first shipment.

I don't count shots, but I'm into seven figures of clicks, shooting super-telephoto lenses and selling images on Getty as a second job. (It doesn't pay the rent, but it pays for the equipment and I could ramp it up). So, I say that because shooting super-telephoto, particularly handheld, is a learned skill. A newbie to super-tele should not expect to spend $13,000 on a new lens and go out on their first outing and match my results. I work at this and have been working at it for over a decade.

Here's my very first shot with the new lens on my a9:
First Shot With New 600mm Lens by David Stephens, on Flickr

I wouldn't normally post a crappy shot like that, but it's the very first shot, shooting handheld, out the car window, on a hot day, at a long distance, with an extreme crop, down to under 1000p per side. What's important is that this is one of 136 out of 136-images that were in focus. 100% tracking is not unusual with the a9 and Sony's native lenses.

This one shows the potential much better:

Cropped Only For Composition by David Stephens, on Flickr

Here's a huge crop of the same image:

Close Up Of Egret Catching Shad by David Stephens, on Flickr

BTW, 103 out of 103-images were tack sharp in this burst.

Finally, a slow flight shot:

Snowy Egret Landing by David Stephens, on Flickr

62 out of 66 in sharp focus, going from bright sun to deep shade, fighting the "white bird" exposure problem at the transition.

Over the next few days, I'll do more "testing" to shore up these shooting reactions. It's definitely a keeper, so my FE 400mm f/2.8 GM OSS is for sale for $11,500, if anyone is interested.