Sony has pulled the covers off its latest lens and the FE 50mm F1.2 GM (model SEL50F12GM) is the sort of optic Sony portrait photographers would love to add to their gear bag.
Part of Sony’s acclaimed G Master line up, the FE 50mm F1.2 GM is coincidentally the 60th lens to join Sony’s E-Mount lineup and, let’s face it, is more than a little bit special, thanks mostly to that incredibly fast f/1.2 maximum aperture – the first time a f/1.2 lens has been released by Sony for its Alpha cameras.
Built for full-frame cameras like Sony’s a1 or a7R IV, the FE 50mm F1.2 GM can also be used on the brand’s crop-sensor cameras, such as the a6600 and is built around a design that not only features three XA (extreme aspherical) lens elements, but also a 11-blade circular aperture unit that Sony says will help the lens deliver smooth, deep bokeh in both the foreground and background.
Of course, the f/1.2 maximum aperture will not only help create a very shallow depth of field – super important to portrait photographers who want their subjects to stand out from the background in the frame, but the speedy f-stop will also help the photographer maintain fast shutter speeds, even when light levels drop, making the FE 50m F1.2 GM a great choice for wedding photographers too, who are often working in darker churches or other venues.
However, there’s a lot more to this lens than just the fast f/1.2 aperture as the Sony optic also offer a high performance autofocus system with Sony explaining that the FE 50mm F1.2 can ‘keep subjects in sharp focus even at an extremely shallow depth-of-field with fast, precise, quiet AF and tracking thanks to the four XD (extreme dynamic) Linear Motors which provide high thrust efficiency.’ What’s more, the lens features a minimum focus distance of 0.4 metres, enabling photographers to shoot close up to subjects, such as tightly framed portraits.
The FE 50mm F1.2 GM is a professional-level lens so packs a lot of features, such as a aperture ring with a click on/off switch that will further widen this lens’ appeal to videographers, who may choose to combine this lens with the Sony A7SIII or Sony’s new cinema camera, the FX3. What’s more, there is a focus mode switch and two customisable focus hold buttons, too.
Weighing in at 778g and measuring 87x108mm, the FE 50mm F1.2 GM still maintains a relatively small footprint given the fast f-stop and build of the lens. Other features include the addition of Sony’s Nano AR Coating II technology that aims to minimise internal reflections so that flare and ghosting are banished and Sony has revealed the lens will start shipping in April with a price-tag of around $2000.