Sony has announced the new Sony FE 50mm f/1.4 GM lens, a standard prime lens that Sony says is perfect for portraits, travel, street, and video.
PetaPixel has been reviewing the lens for several weeks now, and, like Sony’s other GM lenses, it provides excellent image quality with lightning-quick autofocus. See our full review for more details.
The lens is constructed of 14 elements in 11 groups, including 2 XA (extreme aspherical) elements and one ED (Extra-low Dispersion) element, and Sony says these specialized lenses are designed to reduce aberrations. Additionally, the company’s Nano AR II coating is applied to lens elements to minimize flare and ghosting. The 11-bladed aperture results in soft background defocus, which is the hallmark of a wide-aperture portrait lens.
The front element has a Fluorine coating to reduce dust, oil, water, and other contaminants from sticking to the lens.
The FE 50mm f/1.4 GM, which is a relatively small lens (to the degree that Sony claims that it is the smallest and lightest in its class), is quoted by Sony to weigh 516 grams (18.2 ounces) — PetaPixel’s test unit weighed 514 grams (with no no hood and no body cap) and measures 80.6 by 96.0mm (3.1 by 3.7 inches).
In keeping with the dimensions of the FE 24mm f1/1.4 GM and the FE 35mm 1/1.4GM, the FE 50mm f/1.4 GM has a 67mm filter diameter and external controls — two programmable focus hold buttons on the lens and a manual/autofocus toggle switch — are positioned in the same places across the lenses
The Sony 50mm f/1.4 GM has a close-up focus distance of 0.14 meters (about 6.3 inches) and a maximum magnification of 0.16x in autofocus mode and 0.18x in manual focus mode.
As with all recent Sony lenses, the lens barrel has a “linear response ring” for repeatable, precision focus pulling. A dedicated aperture ring allows for manual aperture adjustments, and the ring is “de-clickable” for quiet video operation. An iris-lock switch prevents the aperture ring from accidentally moving out of the automatic setting.
The silent XD Linear Motors and the linear focus pull make this lens perfect for video, according to Sony. In PetaPixel’s testing, the lens was completely silent during focusing and operation, and both autofocus and manual focus were smooth and quiet during video use.
Sony says the lens is dust and moisture-resistant, with sealed seams, buttons, and switches fitted with rubber gaskets. A rubber ring seals the lens mount against dust and moisture.
While a full comparison article is forthcoming, the Sony FE 50mm F1.4 GM is smaller and lighter than the previous Sony Planar T* FE 50mm f/1.4 ZA (780 grams), the Sony FE 50mm F1.2 GM (778 grams), and the new Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG DN Art lens (660 grams).
At the time of publication, Sony had not communicated when the Sony 50mm f/1.4 GM would be available to purchase, but when it does hit store shelves it will cost $1,299.
Image credits: All not individually credited by David Schloss for PetaPixel.