Sony 70-350mm f/4.5-6.3 Telephoto APS-C Lens Review

If you're looking for a versatile and compact telephoto lens for your APS-C sensor Sony Alpha mirrorless camera, this is a great one to consider.

The Sony 70-350mm f/4.5-6.3 super-telephoto lens offers a fantastic range of coverage with a compact and lightweight build for handheld shooting.

As a landscape photographer, I was looking for a versatile zoom lens to use for capturing wildlife and animals when out on a trek but I wanted to avoid a large and heavy lens.

Sony 70-350mm f/4.5-6.3
Sony 70-350mm f/4.5-6.3

Lightweight, versatile and fun to use: a great addition to any Sony APS-C camera owner's lens arsenal.

Sony’s 70-350mm telephoto zoom fulfils those requirements, delivering great coverage and a fun shooting experience thanks to its comfortable design and image stabilization. 

Read on, and I’ll detail the specs, performance, and image quality of the Sony 70-350mm f4.5-6.3, as well as any alternative Sony lenses you might want to consider.

Sony 70-350mm f/4.5-6.3 Specs

  • Great image quality
  • Silent and quick autofocus
  • Lightweight and versatile
  • Solid built-in image stabilisation
  • Nice bokeh
  • Fairly expensive
  • APS-C only
  • Mount – Sony E-mount
  • Format – APS-C
  • Focal length – 70-350mm
  • 35mm equivalent focal length (APS-C) – 105-52mm
  • Lens groups/elements – 13-19
  • Angle of view (APS-C) – 22°-4°40′
  • Maximum aperture – 4.6-6.3
  • Minimum aperture – 22-32
  • Aperture blades – 7
  • Circular aperture – yes
  • Minimum focal distance – 1.1-1.5m
  • Maximum magnification ratio – 0.23
  • Image stabilisation – Optical SteadyShot
  • Zoom system – manual
  • Dimensions – 77 x 142 mm 
  • Weight – 625g

Build & Ergonomics

The Sony 70-350mm f4.5-6.3 lens is a lightweight lens, weighing in at 635g and measuring 14.2cm in length, which comes to 19cm when the lens is fully extended to 350mm.

Its construction is almost entirely plastic, with a metal lens mount, but nevertheless, it feels solid and sturdy to handle, especially considering the price point.

There’s a suitably wide zoom ring with a ridged rubber grip band, with a  relatively short arc from 70mm to 350mm, allowing for smooth zooming throughout the zoom range shooting photos or videos.

The manual focus ring sits closer to the camera body, and while it is shorter than the zoom rings, it’s large enough to grab onto when needed, with the same textured finish for grip.

Familiar features from Sony’s native lenses include the autofocus/manual focus switch, with an additional switch to turn the lens’s built-in optical stabilization on and off underneath.

There’s also a zoom lock switch at the base of the zoom ring, which can be engaged to prevent zoom creep when the lens is set to 70mm focal length.

The size and weight of the Sony 70-350mm f4.5-6.3 lens is the real draw; I can fit this in a relatively small camera bag along with two prime lenses with a negligible impact when carrying it over long distances.

The dust and moisture-resistant design gives me additional peace of mind when shooting wildlife photography in adverse weather conditions, while the lens is compact enough to work with most rain covers.

Everything feels and operates smoothly, with tight switches and well-dampened rings, making using the lens a pleasure rather than a chore, enhancing the overall usability and shooting experience.

Focus Performance

Sony A7iii + Sony 70-350mm f/4.0-6.3 | 1/500 f/6.3 ISO1000

The 70-350mm f4.5-6.3 is a suitably swift lens to use, with fast and responsive focus performance across the entire zoom range when tracking various types of subjects.

Autofocus performance holds up well in various lighting conditions, with accurate focus and no noticeable aberrations or distortions compromising the image.

When tracking birds and animals outdoors or testing the lens tracking my nephew running around the garden, autofocus rarely slips, following fast action with near-constant reliability.

I was able to track various animals in relatively low light conditions on a foggy winter’s morning, capturing bursts of movement that remained sharp and clearly focused at all times.

The focus hold button located on the side of the lens offers additional control and can be programmed as a function button with a Sony camera’s menus, while the manual focus ring is precise and tactile to use.

The minimum focus distance of 1.1m isn’t the most impressive, but given the nature of shooting this lens is predominantly used for, it’s unlikely to cause any practical issues.

It’s still close enough to be able to get close in on a subject and be used as a stand-in for a macro lens, and on occasion, it has come in handy for capturing shots of blooming flowers.

While the 70-350mm f4.5-6.3 might not be the fastest telephoto zoom lens on the market, it’s certainly no slouch and performs capably across the full range of shooting modes it offers.

Image Quality

I’m using the Sony E 70-350mm f4.5-6.3 G OSS telephoto zoom lens on a full frame Sony A7iii, so the crop factor inherent in using lenses designed for APS C cameras means there’s an inherent loss of resolution to consider.

Nevertheless, the images it produces are sharp and vibrant, with pleasing colour reproduction that guarantees a consistently sharp image across the frame as well as great contrast.

While using an APS-C lens on full-frame cameras can lead to vignetting, my A7iii automatically detects the 70-350mm f4.5-6.3, saving time from having to play around with the settings when switching from full-frame lenses.

Likewise, there’s little in the way of distortion or chromatic aberration, delivering reliably sharp and precise photographs when shooting across the full range of focal lengths.

While super-telephoto lenses in this budget range aren’t renowned for exceptional bokeh, the Sony 70-350mm f4.5-6.3 has some lovely creamy bokeh in out-of-focus areas whether shooting at 70mm f/4.5 or 350mm f/6.3.

I’ve been able to capture attractive animal portrait photos from a considerable distance without any focusing issues, and the results have been consistently pleasing, with attractive bokeh surrounding the sharp subjects.

This has also been the case when tracking subjects in motion, thanks to the efficient and consistently reliable autofocus the Sony E 70-350mm f4.5-6.3 has to offer.

Low-light images are also sharp and crisp. While the f/6.3 aperture rating at 350mm can result in slower shutter speeds, the built-in Optical SteadyShot makes it possible to shoot handheld without camera shake becoming an issue.

The overall image quality delivered by the Sony 70-350mm f/4.5-6.3 is reliably impressive, further adding to the lens’s appeal as a fun addition to a lightweight setup for outdoor photography.

It serves up beautifully rendered photographs with eye-catching colours, whether shooting close-ups of wildlife and nature or opening up the option to shoot compressed landscapes or even portraits.

Sony 70-350mm f/4.5-6.3 Sample Images

Here are some sample images taken with the {Sony 70-350mm f/4.5-6.3}, using a Sony A7iii.

Sony A7iii + Sony 70-350mm f/4.0-6.3 | 1/320 f/5.0 ISO100

Sony A7iii + Sony 70-350mm f/4.0-6.3 | 1/500 f/6.3 ISO4000

Sony A7iii + Sony 70-350mm f/4.0-6.3 | 1/400 f/6.3 ISO250

Sony A7iii + Sony 70-350mm f/4.0-6.3 | 1/500 f/6.3 ISO100

Sony A7iii + Sony 70-350mm f/4.0-6.3 | 1/40 f/5.6 ISO100

Sony A7iii + Sony 70-350mm f/4.0-6.3 | 1/80 f/6.3 ISO100

Alternatives to Sony 70-350mm

There are a variety of alternative telephoto zoom lenses to choose from to the Sony 70-350mm f/4.5-6.3, depending on your budget and preferences for image quality, weight, and size.

Sony offers a selection of E-mount telephoto zoom lenses, from the mid-range Sony FE 70-200mm F4 G OSS lens to the top-tier Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II Lens, priced around £650 and £2000, respectively.

Third-party lens options are also plentiful, with Sigma and Tamron offering comparable lenses to Sony’s native lenses at a more affordable price than the Sony 70-350mm f/4.5-6.3.

You can pick up Tamron’s 70-300mm F/4.5-6.3 Di III RXD for between £500 and £600 and expect it to perform well when compared to the Sony lens reviewed here, although it lacks the range of features you’ll get with the Sony.

Ultimately, the Sony 70-350mm f/4.5-6.3 offers a unique combination of zoom range and ease of use that few competitors can match, making it perhaps the best lens for Sony camera users in its class.

Value for Money

The Sony 70-350mm f/4.5-6.3 G OSS retails at just over £800 in the United Kingdom, which is slightly on the expensive side when considered alongside comparable lenses.

However, discounts are often available for the lens, which can sometimes bring the price down considerably, so it’s possible to pick one up for a price comparable to cheaper third-party lenses.

Its real value comes from its perfect combination of image performance and small size and weight, making it ideal for wildlife and landscape photographers who often cover long distances over rough terrain.

It’s a fraction of the size and weight of Sony’s premium telephoto lenses that require a large camera holster to transport, and far less likely to get damaged when scrambling over rocks or wandering off the beaten path.

Photographers for whom weight and bulk are important and who want a telephoto zoom lens they can use in a run-and-gun capacity will get plenty of bang for their buck from the Sony 70-350mm f/4.5-6.3 G OSS.

Sony 70-350mm f/4.5-6.3 Review | Conclusion

The Sony 70-350mm f/4.5-6.3 G OSS is a sharp, vibrant, and responsive lens that delivers a fun and versatile shooting experience while maintaining a low weight and size for outdoor photography.

While there’s a compromise on resolution when shooting on a full-frame camera, the trade-off here is worth it if you’re shooting outdoors for long periods of time and need to hike to the locations.

In addition to being light and easy to carry around, it offers excellent image stabilization with a super quiet autofocus motor, all at an attractive price point for amateur photographers.

If you’re looking for a fun super-telephoto zoom lens to expand your repertoire of coverage, the Sony 70-350mm f/4.5-6.3 G OSS is a highly recommended addition to your gear.

Sony 70-350mm f/4.5-6.3
Sony 70-350mm f/4.5-6.3

Lightweight, versatile and fun to use: a great addition to any Sony A6 camera owner's lens arsenal.

Andy Dilks is an experienced landscape photographer and former games industry veteran. When he isn’t taking photos or reviewing the latest tech gadgets, you can find him hiking and wild camping in the Peak District.

Build Quality7
Ergonomics & Handling 9
Image Quality8

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