Let’s talk about the quality of the images I got out of the lens today. Firstly I was a tad concerned with the price point of the lens as this is more expensive than some of the other mirrorless rivals out there and let’s face it while Lumix made great video cameras the stills from their range was a little touch and go in non-full frame formats.
Saying all that; after using the lens for around 3hrs I’m delighted to say the image quality is exceptional, I mean gold standard good. It’s sharp in almost any focal length and aperture even under a 1:1 crop to pixel peep in Capture One. I’ll have some samples ready on that soon.
Having used Sony (a-mount) for so long, jumping to Nikon and Lumix (yes I’m using two formats) I feared I would be switching between bodies to get the best out of each platform but I didn’t need to worry as I doubt that the Nikon Z 70-200mm f/2.8 will beat this out by any length that’s worth worrying about. A full review for that lens will follow as soon as I have a copy. So for my everyday work it looks like I will be staying with the Lumix for now.
CA is managed well, color is well managed and faithful too. I haven’t got lens flare without purposely looking for it and the hood does a great job of protecting the flare from occurring anyway, the only soft spot was at 70mm and wide open the extreme edge is teeny bit squidgy as I could call it but nothing you would notice under normal viewing conditions or off putting in anyway shape or form. Certainly nothing you see less of in other lenses from other brands. No vignetting was spotted at any focal length.
One thing about the lens hood, it’s got a very unique design that I haven’t seen before except maybe something similar on the Sony 70-400 SSM II many moons ago. It’s bigger than most hoods as is the lens but the hood is of great design too which really helps.
Anyway image quality . . . the CA and lens flare are well managed and the pictures seem sharp right across the frame. Tracking objects is even better than I expected and the handy AF/MF clutch really does a nice job of helping me shoot faster and more economically than when compared to using an adapter for Nikon glass for example or having no clutch to switch with. It’s a pretty handy feature.
Bokeh is very beautiful and soft but depending on how “soft” you like I guess and as ever, maybe won’t be soft enough for some but I doubt will be an issue for 90% of portrait and wedding photographers. If you are a bokeh whore I would think the 70-200 f/2.8 would be the third or fourth lens you would select behind an 85mm or Macro for example.
For wildlife photography the best I could do this quickly living in NYC was some shots of birds at the seaside and found the background fall off was spot on. Without taking this lens out for some serious wildlife photography I can’t comment any more on that, yet anyway.