(P)review: Sony FE 50mm F1.2 GM

The Sony FE 50 mm F1.2 GM is the brightest lens from Sony for full-frame cameras with an E-mount. Optically and mechanically, it must meet the highest standards. Of course, a sturdy price tag also hangs on a lens like this.

Click on the lens for specifications, prices and test results.

TEST RESULTS Sony FE 50mm F1.2 GM:

PROS

CONS

  • Highest brightness in the Alpha system
  • Solidly built
  • Weather resistant
  • Clickable and clickless aperture
  • Hefty price

The Sony FE 50 mm F1.2 is the standard lens for photographers for whom only the best is good enough.

The Sony FE 50 mm F1.2 GM is a lens that fans of other brands often claimed would be impossible to make. The reason? The E-mount of Sony is based on the old Minolta mount, and this is smaller than the new mounts of, for example, Canon and Nikon. However, Sony has been claiming for years that F1.2 lenses with this mount are best possible, and the proof has now been provided. The Sony FE 50 mm F1.2 GM is not the first lens with a brightness of F1.2 and autofocus for the Alpha system. That honor goes to the Sigma 35mm F1.2 DG DN Art. However, it is the first F1.2 lens from Sony and, together with the Sigma, only the second lens with this brightness and autofocus. There are also lenses from other manufacturers with even higher brightness, but these are virtually without exception fully mechanical, have no aperture coupling and are also generally not exceptional at full aperture. The Sigma is, and we also have high expectations of the Sony.

A lens with an extreme brightness of F1.2 can of course not be very compact or light. Nevertheless, the Sony FE 50 mm F1.2 GM is not exceptionally large or heavy. The weight is just under 800 grams and in terms of dimensions it is almost the same as the Sony FE 50 mm F1.4 ZA SSM Carl Zeiss Planar. Of course, there is no small price tag on a lens like the Sony FE 50 mm F1.2 GM. After all, for those who cannot swallow the price, Sony still offers the above-mentioned 50 mm F1.4, and those who want it to be even lighter and cheaper without sacrificing much in optical quality can also opt for the Sony FE 55 mm F1.8 ZA Carl Zeiss. However, if you want the maximum of bokeh or if you have to shoot top-quality images regularly with very little light, then the Sony FE 50 mm F1.2 is really recommended.

BUILD

The Sony FE 50 mm F1.2 GM is a lens in Sony’s GMaster line. That means that it is very well built and has a number of extra options that you will not find on many other lenses. For example, it has an aperture ring that you can both use on one/third stops both with and without clicking, for video work for example. The lens also has an AF/MF switch and a button to fix the focus. 

Of course, the Sony FE 50 mm F1.2 GM is completely weather-resistant with gaskets both in the lens around all moving parts, including the buttons and slides, and around the mount. The front lens element has a fluorine coating that is supposed to ensure that dust, grease, dirt and moisture cannot adhere as well to the glass, so that the lens remains cleaner. Incidentally, that front lens element is not spherical, but concave, like for example the one on the Sony FE 55 mm F1.8 ZA Carl Zeiss.

The optical design consists of 14 elements in 10 groups. Three of the lens elements are XA elements (extremely aspherical). The aperture has no fewer than 11 blades for an aperture opening that is as round as possible and therefore an optimum bokeh. The filter size is 72mm, and the lens comes with a lens hood.

FOCUSING

The Sony FE 50 mm F1.2 GM uses no fewer than four linear XD (eXtreme Dynamic) motors for focusing. Thanks to these motors, the lens must be able to focus very quickly and also be able to track subjects quickly and precisely. Partly due to the use of floating lens elements, the high image quality over the entire range must be good, even at the shortest setting distance of 40 centimeters. For videographers, it is nice that the lens has a linear focus when set manually. This facilitates the manual shifting of the sharpness in film recordings.

IMAGE QUALITY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3RFSS7vNTYatje

As soon as we have a copy of the Sony FE 50mm F1.2 in our test lab, we will publish a full review.

 Sony FE 50mm F1.2 GM
 specifications
  
field of view (diag)47°
sensor formatfull frame
min. setting distance40 cm
filter diameter72
diaphragm blades11
image stabilizerno
dimensions (dxl)78-108 mm
weight778 gr
mountSony E-mount
particularsclickless aperture
importerwww.sony.nl/be
list price€ 2300.00
  
resolution/10
contrast/10
chromatic aberration/5
distortion/5
vignetting/5
autofocus/5
flare/5
finish/10
  
final score

ConclusiON: REVIEW Sony FE 50mm F1.2 GM oN Sony a7R III

As soon as we have the Sony FE 50 mm F1.2 GM in our test lab, a complete review will follow.

The Sony FE 50 mm F1.2 GM is expected to be available from April and the recommended price is €2300.00 incl. sales tax.