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Hands On With The New Sony 300mm f/2.8 G Master – Early Testers Share Their First Shots & Thoughts

The just-announced Sony 300mm f/2.8 G Master lens is the world’s lightest large aperture telephoto prime lens (as of its introduction) and features extraordinary rendering, speed and mobility for photographing sports, wildlife, events and more. A select group of pro wildlife and sports photographers had a chance to try out the new lens prior to its launch. See their first shots taken with the lens below and read their reviews on how it performed for them. Photos by Jean Fruth, Melissa Groo, Matt Kloskowski and Patrick Murphy-Racey. Learn more about the new Sony 300mm f/2.8 G Master HERE.

In advance of its official launch, a select group had a chance to use the new Sony 300mm f/2.8 G Master  – see the photos and what they had to say after taking it into the field.

“A 300mm fixed lens is what has been missing in my bag. I was beyond excited to have a chance to use it and It exceeded my high expectations! Having this focal length is super important for sports, but what is special about it, is the way it is designed. You can shoot big, while you stay small and completely mobile. Meaning, it will fit in your backpack, you can hand hold it, you can put it directly on the ground to make your subject look heroic, because you don’t need a monopod.” – Jean Fruth

Photo by Jean Fruth.

Photo by Jean Fruth. Sony Alpha 9 III. Sony 300mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/1250-sec., f/2.8, ISO 400

“In terms of wildlife photography, this focal length is fantastic for larger wildlife--the kinds of animals you might encounter in Yellowstone or in Africa—from foxes to bison to elephants. I used it while photographing wildlife on safari in the Masai Mara, Kenya. My favorite things about it was its compact size and weight, and the sharpness and creamy bokeh were standout aspects of the lens. I think it would make a fantastic addition to my system.” – Melissa Groo

Photo by Melissa Groo.

Photo by Melissa Groo. Sony 300mm f/2.8 G Master.

“The 300mm f/2.8 GM is super sharp and it achieves focus with the same lightning speed I’m used to with 70-200mm f/2.8 GM II, 400mm f/2.8 GM and 600mm f/4 GM. I expect anything with the GM logo on the side to blow my mind in terms of sharpness and contrast, but to have it weigh just 51 ounces? That’s just crazy. I carried this lens three nights in a row shooting three football games and used a strap on my shoulder the whole time. I would never have done that with any 300mm f/2.8 from my past as it would just wear you out. It was the first time I shot football without a monopod in probably 30 years.”  – Patrick Murphy-Racey

Photo by Patrick Murphy-Racey.

Photo by Patrick Murphy-Racey. Sony Alpha 1. Sony 300mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/2000-sec., f/4, ISO 6400

“I used the lens for still photos and mostly wildlife, like shorebirds and raptors. Overall it lived up to what I thought it would be. Light, fast, well balanced, sharp with great backgrounds. I took a photo of a falcon that really stood out to me. Not only does the subject jump off the background, but the combination of the bird in flight with the fall colors really stands out to me.” – Matt Kloskowski

Photo by Matt Kloskowski.

Photo by Matt Kloskowski. Sony Alpha 1. Sony 300mm f/2.8 G Master.

“I’ve wanted this lens since 2017 and the wait was worth it. To get a 300mm f/2.8 this small, lightweight, sharp, and fast as it is…it’s flat out amazing. The accuracy is right up there with the 400GM and 600GM. It pairs up better with the 600GM vs. 400GM because it’s exactly half the focal length. Sony is always talking about over delivering and exceeding expectations. They nailed the 300GM for sure in this regard. 51 oz.? Are you kidding me?” – Patrick Murphy-Racey

Photo by Patrick Murphy-Racey.

Photo by Patrick Murphy-Racey. Sony Alpha 1. Sony 300mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/500-sec., f/2.8, ISO 125

“The lens is at the top of its game. For me that means incredible optical quality, super sharp autofocus and speed. The lens also has beautiful bokeh and the color reproduction is perfect. My favorite thing about it is that you can shoot big, but stay small and mobile. The size and weight makes this a very special lens.” – Jean Fruth

Photo by Jean Fruth.

Photo by Jean Fruth. Sony Alpha 9 III. Sony 300mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/4000-sec., f/3.5, ISO 200

“I was able to capture this shot of a lion, achieved by lowering the camera and lens out the window of the safari vehicle. I was trying to get my rig as low as possible, to result in more of a ground level shot. Because of the light weight of the lens, I was able to hold the camera at arm's length, very steadily. The camera’s Eye-AF locked onto this lion’s eye as she walked in our direction. I love the colors and the bokeh.” – Melissa Groo

Photo by Melissa Groo.

Photo by Melissa Groo. Sony 300mm f/2.8 G Master.

“Creatively, I expected the bokeh to be outstanding and it was. The background separation you get with a lens like this really makes your subject stand out. As for specs, the weight was the biggest standout factor for me. Not only is it light, but the balancing of the lens is perfect and makes it easy to handhold even though it’s a larger lens.” – Matt Kloskowski

Photo by Matt Kloskowski.

Photo by Matt Kloskowski. Sony Alpha 7R V. Sony 300mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/2000-sec., f/2.8, ISO 400

“The price is actually my favorite thing. So many people will be able to afford it! So many people will be coming to Sony just to be able to buy this lens. The new 300 GM is accessible and approachable by photographers who don’t have the money to invest in the 400GM and 600GM, but it will offer them a radically different look than they can get with just a 70-200mm. The overall look that the 300GM offers comes with so little sacrifice. You get so much in such a tiny package and the performance in terms of autofocus is just what I’ve come to expect from Sony: Outstanding.” – Patrick Murphy-Racey

Photo by Patrick Murphy-Racey.

Photo by Patrick Murphy-Racey. Sony Alpha 1. Sony 300mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/2000-sec., f/2.8, ISO 3200

“This lens will absolutely have a regular place in my kit. Many times with my 400mm GM I am a little close, and just being able to step down to the 300mm but still retain the incredible sharpness and fast aperture…it is going to be a lens I take with me everywhere I go.” – Jean Fruth

Photo by Jean Fruth.

Photo by Jean Fruth. Sony Alpha 9 III. Sony 300mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/4000-sec., f/4, ISO 200

“​​My favorite thing about it is the weight and balancing of the lens. I handhold most of my wildlife photography and having a heavy lens with a lot of weight out toward the front of the lens becomes really tiring to hold after a while. This just feels good and really helps if you’re handholding.” – Matt Kloskowski

Photo by Matt Kloskowski.

Photo by Matt Kloskowski. Sony 300mm f/2.8 G Master.

Learn more about the new Sony 300mm f/2.8 G Master HERE.

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