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Problems with Sony a1 and 200-600mm lens following firmware update


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3 weeks ago I updated my a1 body firmware from 1.32 to 1.35 and then to 2.01 as instructed by the Sony website. I then updated my 200-600mm lens from firmware version 2 to 3.

I have had the set for almost a year and was very happy with it. never had a problem.

Right after the update the problems started. The camera does not identify the lens. After powering up or waking the camera up the screen will go dark-light several times, the focus doesn't work and finally everything freezes showing F-- instead of the actual F stop. To reset the camera you have to remove the battery. It may then start normally and work for a while... until it happens again. It may happen as often as 50% of the times I turn the camera on, but not all of the time.

Before you ask... Yes I cleaned the contacts. Didn't help.

So I tried other 200-600mm lenses from friends. One lens that was updated to version 3 gave the same problems. Another lens that was not updated and in fact was still with version 1 worked fine. No problems at all.

A long chat with Sony US support resulted in... nothing. They knew nothing of the problem and only advised to send the lens to the lab. Both the a1 and the lens have already been to the lab and they found nothing. I know most people didn't encounter this problem after the update, but if you know of someone who did - I'd be very interested to hear about it.


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I am having a similar though not identical experience. I did the upgrade protocol from sony to bring my A1 to firmware version 2.01 and my 200-600 to version 3. I did not upgrade the body with the lens attached. Like yourself, I've had my A1 paired with the 200-600 for about 1.5 years without a hitch, very good performance.

After the double upgrade, my camera started randomly losing communication with the lens, causing the f- to appear in the viewfinder. The aperture then starts to pulse narrower and wider while the viewfinder slowly flickers. I thoroughly cleaned the mount and contacts on both the lens and the camera with a microfiber cloth and eclipse camera sensor cleaner. It didn't help. I've cleaned the lens and camera both three or four times now and the issue keeps happening.

I can clear the error a number of ways, none of which helps every time with one attempt, sometimes requiring multiple attempts with different methods. The methods are: disconnecting/reconnecting the lens, turning the power on and off, wiggling the lens w\o removing it or powering off, and pulling the battery.

Aside from that, the combo works slightly better than before the update.  Focus seems slightly snappier, images are sharp when focus acquires, and eye autofocus seems mildly improved at greater distances to the subject. The random communication loss has cost me a lot of shots though. It's quite annoying.

I have 3 other cameras in my sony stable, along with lenses from sony, sigma, and tamron. I tested the tammy 28-75 today and couldn't replicate the issue. I'm going to test the 200-600 with my other bodies, and all of my lenses on the A1. Hopefully it only affects the 200-600. I hope it's something sony can fix once I figure out if it's specific to the lens or affects the body with other lenses as well.

Hopefully your having some luck getting the issue fixed for yourself. Let me know how it's going. We can collaborate and see if we can figure out a fix.

Edited by ponderingnugget
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Following up on this issue, I have now tested the 200-600 with an a6000, a6600, a7rii, and a7riii. The lens worked fine on all 4 bodies with no problems, no loss of communication between the lens and the cameras.

I have also tested the a1 with the tamron 28-75 g1, tamron 17-28, sony zeiss 16-35 f4, sony 16-35 2.8 gm, sony 24-105 g, sigma 14-24 2.8 dg dn art, and sigma 100-400 dg dn. I have experienced no loss of communication or freezing with any of those lenses.

So, as near as I can tell, the 2 new firmware updates from sony for the a1 ( version 2.01), and the 200-600 (version 3), have a communication issue in my particular case. Anyone have any insights or ideas for a fix?

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Checkout firmware version 2.02 (June 12, 2024)


Benefits and Improvements

  • Fixes an issue where the camera might not work properly when using the SEL200600G lens
  • Improves the operational stability of the camera


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I have upgraded my a1 to version 2.02 a week ago. Since then I've shot about 3000 pics.

Here are my conclusions:

1. The F-- bug seems to have been fixed.

2. Sharpness for static objects (perched birds) is good with >90% of pics sharp.

3. Sharpness of flying birds is POOR with only 34% sort of acceptable, and <5% keepers.

4. Battery drain is noticeably higher than with 1.32 using the same settings. The camera used 50% of the battery during one hour 15 min with 1360 pics taken not continuously. The camera feels warm. This didn't happen before.


So the 2.02 update did not solve all of the issues, and for birds in flight the camera/lens set is now less than mediocre. Used to be excellent with 1.32. 


I hope someone from Sony sees this! You have really ruined it for many of us. Let us revert to 1.3X PLEASE!

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