Interview with Yasuyuki Nagata, head of Sony’s global interchangeable lens business



Dpreview published an interview with Yasuyuki Nagata, head of Sony’s global interchangeable lens business. Here is the recap from SonyAddict:

  • The Sony 400mm f/2.8 sold much better than expected – actually double what was expected
  • Top photographers are using the Sony 400mm f/2.8 at sporting events
  • 70% of 400mm users are professionals
  • The 400mm f/2.8 has a long waiting list
  • The 600mm and 200-600mm are more for high-end amateurs that shoot birds, wildlife, and aircraft.
  • 70-80% of 600mm and 200-600mm owners will shoot wildlife which is why the market is bigger for the 600mm than the 400mm.
  • Some will use the 600mm and 200-600mm on APS-C cameras to get more reach
  • The 600mm f/4 is big but 10g lighter than the Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS III USM
  • G Master lenses like the 600mm have no compromise and represent future lenses for today
  • G lenses like the 200-600mm have some compromises in areas like materials or the body
  • The 200-600mm lack magnesium-alloy and the newer XD linear AF actuators (they aren’t really needed)
  • G lenses are also supposed to be more affordable
  • GM lenses always have new technology developed for them that didn’t exist before
  • Sony is considering future camera bodies with GM lenses too like the rumored a9II
  • Sony designs their GM lenses for more focus calculations per second and faster frame rates than the a9 can achieve
  • Sony is keeping its telephoto switch/button layouts consistent
  • Future a9 cameras will have more speed, less weight, greater usability
  • The Sony 200-600mm supports video functions because many shoot video and photos, which is why Sony used linear action AF actuators
  • Mechanics and optics factor into video performance, but Sony also thinks they have the best camera bodies due to their integration
  • Sony zooms are always trying to reduce focus breathing and axial shift, which can be bad for video
  • The Sony 200-600mm zoom is an internal zoom and a lot of its length comes from the hood, which is removable
  • If you are a serious shooter the 600mm is for you and its probably as good as the best competitive alternatives, but Sony’s integration exceeds others
  • At this time the Sony a9 has no competitor and its performance is the best
  • Sony wants many photographers to carry the reasonably priced 200-600mm and they even built it to support their teleconverters
  • Different bodies will make these lenses perform very differently, but they are nowhere near their performance limits at this time these lenses will be much faster on future a9 cameras
  • Sony is designing for its lenses to keep up with the next generation of cameras
  • Sony thinks about compatibility between the mechanical parts, electrics, even software when designing lenses
  • Others talk about channels for communication between the camera and lens, but Sony says that doesn’t matter unless the actuators can keep up
  • Sony is still pushing glass weight closer to the body so lenses handle better
  • Keeping the size and weight down is the hardest part of designing a lens
  • At least 10% of 400mm f/2.8 owners bought teleconverters
  • It takes a very long time for lens technology to filter down to consumer lenses because lenses aren’t updated often
  • High-end lenses should stand as benchmark performers for about 10 years

Source: Dpreview via SonyAddict


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