I remember working behind the imaging counter when the first Sony E-mount cameras came out. The NEX-3 and NEX-5 were very cool (full disclosure: I bought one), very different, and we had no idea at the time what the future would hold. Over a decade later, and five years into the life of the unbelievably high-quality G Master series, Sony has announced the 60th E-mount lens, the 40th FE lens, and the first one in the whole run to have a super-wide f/1.2 maximum aperture: the FE 50mm f/1.2 GM.
We anticipate that this lens will be available in mid-May. Check out the video below or read on for all the awe-inspiring details! And, of course, click the link below the video or visit your local Mike’s Camera to pre-order your own today.
The most obvious reason you might want to use this lens is, of course, that huuuge aperture. Whether you’re looking for maximum light gathering or extreme subject isolation, there are very few lenses with a wider aperture than f/1.2 (and none native to the Sony E-mount). Additionally, by manufacturing to G Master standards, this lens promises a sharpness to equal its softness—check out the contrast between the model’s eye and the creamy bokeh in the background of the photo below. A perfect balance!
Those perfectly-circular bokeh balls are enabled by 11 circular aperture blades. The sharpness is enabled by the high standard of optical technology used in every G Master lens. Thanks to the three XA (eXtreme Aspheric) elements, which are crafted with 0.1-micron surface precision, you can expect that high-resolution performance not just in the center of your imaging area but from corner to corner. Nano AR coating shuts down flares, ghosting, and unwanted reflections, while a fluorine coating helps you keep your front element clean and clear.
The manual focus ring delivers a linear response for ultimate control, and a minimum focusing distance of only 15.75” enables a great deal of control of your scene as well. The autofocus system is driven by four XD linear motors. These motors are fast, quiet, and precise; they allow for a smaller, lighter package; and they even use less power than older AF systems. This low-vibration, fast-tracking mechanism makes the FE 50mm f/1.2 pretty enticing for both still shooting and videography.
In fact, it was specifically designed to be at home in both worlds. A manual switch will toggle the clickiness of the aperture ring, depending on your preference for tactile feedback or silent operation. The relatively light weight (1.715 lbs) and small size (4.25” long) of the lens is always a welcome sight for neck-strap users, but it’s equally advantageous for use on a gimbal. (Imagine footage as smooth as that bokeh!) It won’t feel out of place even on APS-C or Super 35 cameras.
All in all, this one looks like it’ll be a milestone for Sony. If this sounds like the normal lens of your dreams, hop on over to our website and get your pre-order in to be among the first to enjoy the FE 50mm f/1.2 GM.