Which Lens Is Right for You? Comparing the Sony 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS and 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS

Wildlife and sports photographers live on supertelephotos lenses, and Sony offers two great zoom options in that range. However, they have overlapping focal length ranges and some similar features, so you might be wondering which of the two is right for you. This great video takes a look at both of them to help you decide which one is right for your work.

Coming to you from Stefano Ianiro Wildlife, this helpful video comparison takes a look at the Sony FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS and FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS lenses. Choosing between these two is definitely a bit tricky. Both offer great performance, but of course, with the 200-600mm, you get a decent amount of extra reach, which can be crucial in applications like birding and sports work. On the other hand, the 100-400mm has wider apertures at both ends and generally performs decently with a 1.4x teleconverter. Another important thing to note is that the 200-600mm is $500 cheaper than the 100-400mm. Altogether, it may come down to what lenses you already own and just how much reach you need. Check out the video above for Ianiro's full thoughts.

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Tom Reichner's picture

For serious wildlife photographers, I don't think this is an either/or debate. The serious photographers will need BOTH of these lenses for their photography.

I have two friends who have switched to Sony over the past 7 months, and they each have the 100-400mmm AND the 200-600mm. One of them also has the 600mm f4, and the other plans to get the 600mm f4 as soon as budget will allow. When he shot Canon, he had the 100-400mm, 200-400/560mm, 600mm, and 800mm. He is looking to equip himself with a similar array of Sony lenses as soon as possible.

Different tools for different jobs. Need 'em all if you're going to do it at a serious or professional level.

Ryan Mense's picture

Dang, my day was going so well before I came to the internet to learn than I'm not serious about photography.

Tom Reichner's picture

i'm sorry if what I said alienated you, Ryan. I think a lot of you and your photography and the content you produce.

I guess I am biased because the vast majority of the serious wildlife photographers that I know personally are quite well off, and their budget for gear purchases is almost unlimited.

But I do realize that one can be serious about wildlife photography and not have a full array of wildlife lenses. I actually went homeless for 20 months, so I could buy my big Sigma. So I am kind of on a shoestring budget myself. I can relate.

I too enjoy bird photography. I have the 100-400 which I selected after careful testing at a camera store which allowed me to try their products in their parking lot. The lens was very sharp. Then just a few months after buying it, the 70-350 came out at half the weight. It's APS-C, but I prefer that format for birds. The wider field of full frame is not what bird photography is about. I tested the 70-350 at the same store on USAF resolution targets and found it equally sharp (to my 100-400) at max zoom. The lighter weight shifted me from mostly monopod and tripod work to hand holding. At that store I also carefully tested the 1.4x teleconverter on my 100-400 and thought it made no contribution to my work.

Now I'd like to comment on this video.
1. Your photography is beautiful.
2. You need to speak more slowly, MUCH more slowly.
3. Please don't use background music, it interferes with your message.
4. I much prefer written articles over video.

Edward Anderson's picture

Personally speaking, I think Micro Four Thirds offers a more complete option in the Panasonic Leica 100-400mm (200-800mm Full frame équivalent) it’s less than half the price and almost double the reach on a system with 6.5 stops of image stabilization.