In their full review, Dave Pardue & Dave Etchells of Imaging-Resource.com took the new FE 100mm f/2.8 STF GM OSS lens into the field to test it in real-world shooting situations. They were especially curious about the apodization element (which we've written about here) and how a lens with the apodization element compared to lenses without it. Here's some of what they had to say:
Examining background highlights (holiday lights) they write, "So as you can see, the 100mm f/2.8 STF does a lot better job with the background highlights. And while apodization is far from a new idea, this lens obviously does a great job in this area. Strong highlights are just a small part of the story, though, and not the reason a bokeh fanatic would pay the price for a lens of this caliber." Pardue and Etchells then scrutinized the bokeh of the non-highlight background areas. "This is the second aspect, and by far the most important one to serious bokeh fans: The bokeh from the FE 100mm f/2.8 STF is just buttery-smooth, with none of the jagged detail of the conventional lens."
And in their conclusion, they write...
"As we've demonstrated here, the Sony 100mm f/2.8 is in a rare class of lenses able to pull off this almost magical feat, producing a buttery smoothness to background elements even without need of a super-shallow depth of field. And the trade-off in a reduction to overall light transmission is belayed by the excellent high-ISO capabilities of cameras like the α7R II and the α7S II. In short, if you're serious about the quality of the bokeh characteristics of your wedding and portrait work, nature and wildlife, we recommend strong consideration of this amazing lens." -Dave Pardue & Dave Etchells, Imaging-Resource.com
For more about Smooth Trans Focus, check out this short video: