The Sony 70-200mm F4 FE lens released in 2014 is currently the most affordable zoom lens that is professional quality.
Whilst the Sony 70-200mm f4 is a full frame lens it will still fit on Sony crop sensor cameras (a6000, a6300 and a6500), it just gets a magnification of 1.5x. This makes the 70-200mm a 105-300mm lens.
The 70-200mm f4 can be bought for just over $1,000 on eBay whilst the 55-210mm can be had for just over $200. Brand new the 70-200mm F4 sells for around $1,600 which does puts its second-hand price at a bargain, especially as this lens can be had in mint condition.
The 70-200mm is close to double the length of the 55-210mm (unextended), the 70-200mm however does not extend when it zooms this is an excellent feature. Being a G master lens the 70-200mm is packed with more control, several buttons on the lens is an indicator of this.
Doing a quick walk around compare shoot with these two lens (70-200mm on a6500 and 55-210mm on a6000) I found the 70-200mm a completely different lens in many aspects.
The focus is more precise and i can see why some would be annoyed with it, the a6500 touch screen, focus hold and focus limiter helps conquer this. The 70-200mm can be a daft focuser but once it finds its focus you’re in for a treat.
It still falls short even at 300mm for a true long-range lens but for the mid range sharpness is incredible, it beats the 55-210mm. This isn’t to say the 55-210mm sucks because it doesn’t, it focuses fast it is just very soft.
The 55-210mm brings an affordable zoom lens to the crop lineup and does its job well. The 55-210mm will beat a 70-200mm that is slightly out of focus.
70-200mm f4 always on the left, 55-210mm on the right.