This isn't the first full frame 50mm lens in Sony's full frame E-mount line-up – there are no fewer than four others – but it's the first to bear the prestigious G Master branding and first lens in the entire Sony range to offer a maximum aperture of f/1.2.
The aperture of the Sony FE 50mm f/1.2 GM is a welcome surprise because many believed that the Sony E-mount, which is physically narrower than Nikon's Z mount and Canon's RF mount, wasn't wide enough to allow apertures as wide as this. Clearly that's not the case.
Sony FE 50mm F1.2 G Master key features
Officially designated SEL50F12GM in the Sony catalog, the FE 50mm F1.2 G Master includes three XA (extreme aspherical) lens elements in its design. These XA lenses use ultra-high precision manufacturing techniques and are a trademark of Sony's G Master lenses.
A maximum aperture of f/1.2 will obviously tempt bokeh fans, and Sony claims its new lens is designed for high resolution right across the image, even wide open. The bokeh benefits from an 11-bladed circular aperture mechanism and a design which minimises any spherical aberration.
Sony says the FE 50mm F1.2 G Master has a 'compact and lightweight design', but these things are relative, and any full frame 50mm f/1.2 lens is going to be pretty hefty. This one measures 87x108mm and weighs 778g.
Ultra-fast prime lens designs can mean the autofocus motors have to drive big, heavy focus elements too, but the new lens has no fewer than four XD (extreme dynamic) Linear Motors with high thrust efficiency. Alongside this, the new lens has Linear Response MF (Manual Focus), an aperture ring with a click on/off switch, a focus mode switch and two customizable focus hold buttons.
The FE 50mm F1.2 GM also has a dust and moisture resistant design and a fluorine coating on the front element to resist fingerprints, dust, water, oil and other contaminants.
Sony FE 50mm F1.2 G Master price and availability
The Sony FE 50mm F1.2 GM will be available from April 2021 in the UK and May in the US and Australia, and will cost around $1,998 / £2,099 / AU$3,399.