The 70-200mm f/2.8 GM G Master lens has just hit retail and sports pro Patrick Murphy-Racey was one of the first to get one. 70-200mm is a mainstay for Murphy-Racey and he's extremely clear about what his requirements are.
"As a sports photographer what I care about it all about how the camera works in conjunction with the autofocus in the lens. And I want to know how quickly it acquires and how it holds focus as it's moving. I'm interested in tracking moving subjects. That's what I want to do."
With the new lens in hand, Murphy-Racey went in search of a good test subject for his first look. An invitation to a disc golf tournament provided an excellent proving ground. It's a field sport where action ranges from distance to quite close, focus acquisition and tracking are essential and between harsh sun, deep shadows and backlit situations, the lighting is a nightmare. Sounds like a good proving ground.
"What I saw right away...no matter what focusing area I chose and what no matter what mode I was in, focusing was literally instantaneous. And this included backlit situations."
Murphy Racey compared the lens to the best 70-200mm f/2.8 lenses made by Canon and Nikon. "This is neck and neck with those if not better. And because Sony is always reaching for more in terms of megapixels and especially 6K and 8K video, I have all confidence in the world that this lens is nailing focus and it's edge to edge sharp. The main thing is that the autofocus speed is incredible. I really found that the lens is worth every penny. This thing is just wicked fast. It just jumps on things, It grabs focus, focus. It holds focus on a moving subject and tracks throughout until it leaves the viewfinder."
He sums up his thoughts with an eye to the fall and winter when football and basketball seasons start and Murphy-Racey will be shooting constantly, "I can't wait for football and basketball season because this is going to be my staple lens for the short end in football and even down court on basketball."