While it’s designed to cover a full-frame sensor, the Sony FE 70-200mm F4 G OSS II can be used on an APS-C format cameras such as the Sony A6700 announced at the same time. On this smaller format, it has an effective focal length range of 105-300mm.
The lens is constructed from 19 elements arranged in 13 groups with six special elements including three ED (extra-low dispersion) elements and one Super ED (extra-low dispersion) element to reduce chromatic aberration. Plus one aspherical element and one advanced aspherical (AA) element to reduce aberrations and maintain sharpness across the frame.
The Sony FE 70-200mm F4 G OSS II has a dust and moisture resistant design and its front element is fluorine coated to make it repel water droplets and fingerprints.
The OSS in its name stands for Optical SteadyShot, which means the Sony FE 70-200mm F4 G OSS II has optical image stabilisation built-in. In this case, there are three settings, 1, 2 and 3. Mode 1 is the standard option intended for general use while Mode 2 is designed for use when panning to follow a moving subject. Mode 3 makes the image in the viewfinder more stable so it’s easier to follow a subject that’s moving erratically.
There are five switches on the Sony FE 70-200mm F4 G OSS II. These comprise, the OSS on/off and mode switches, an AF/MF switch, a Focus Range Limiter and a Full time DMF switch
The AF/MF switch is used to set the focus mode while the DMF (direct manual focus mode) switch enables the focus ring to be used to adjust the focus in autofocus mode. It’s convenient for finessing the focus with close-up subjects or when there are distractions around the subject.
The focus range limiter has three settings, Full, Infinity to 3m and Macro. They are handy when you know the approximate distance to the subject or you’re shooting through something like foliage that could get in the way of the AF system.
There’s also a zoom lock and three focus hold buttons.
Sony has worked on the close-up capability of the FE 70-200mm F4 G OSS II and it can capture half life-size (0.5x) images throughout its focal length range, that compares with 0.07x (70mm) and 0.13x (200mm with the original FE 70-200mm F4 G OSS.
Achieving half life-size reproduction with the FE 70-200mm F4 G OSS II means shooting at the closest focus distance which is 26cm at the 70mm and 42cm at the 200mm end. This translates to working distances of 9cm and 20cm respectively. The working distance is the distance between the front element and the subject.
Mounting the lens vis the Sony 2x Teleconverter takes the magnification to life-size (1x) with focus distances of 29cm at 70mm and 45cmm at 200mm. The working distances are 9cm and 20cm.
Sony supplies a tripod foot and collar with the FE 70-200mm F4 G OSS II. This has a threaded hole for attaching a tripod quick release plate, plus a hole to received a pin if the plate has one. The collar can be tightened or loosened by turning a knurled knob. It can also be removed by rotating the knob beyond the loosening point.