Sony FE 50mm F1.2 G Master review: a sensational new 'nifty fifty'

Sony joins the F1.2 club with its new super-fast G Master standard prime

5 Star Rating
Sony FE 50mm F1.2 G Master
(Image: © Future)

Digital Camera World Verdict

Sony’s necessarily bulky 50mm F1.2 G Master is feels quite a handful on a slinky mirrorless body but handling is nevertheless very refined. There are two customisable lens function buttons (nominally focus hold), a manual aperture ring with a switchable de-click mode, and a silky smooth manual focus ring which works a treat with magnified preview. Autofocus is fast and deadly accurate, while image quality is simply epic in every respect. There’s no denying it’s a pricey lens, but you get what you pay for and more besides.


  • +

    Great handling characteristics

  • +

    Scintillating sharpness, even wide-open at f/1.2

  • +

    Robust, weather-sealed build quality


  • -

    Pricey, if you don’t need the f/1.2 aperture

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    Quite bulky but more compact than some competitors

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    Heavy vignetting at f/1.2

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When it comes to 50mm standard primes for full-frame cameras, the most common choices are a budget-friendly f/1.8 lens or a more up-market f/1.4 option. Canon bucked the trend back in 2006 with the launch of a super-fast EF 50mm f/1.2 lens for DSLRs, and has recently followed up with the RF 50mm F1.2L USM for its mirrorless EOS R series cameras. Nikon followed suit with the NIKKOR Z 50mm F1.2 S and now Sony has joined the fray with the FE 50mm F1.2 G Master. The Sony undercuts both competitors for purchase price and, despite needing large front elements to let in lots of light, it’s noticeably more lightweight than the Nikon and barely more than two-thirds the length. Indeed, at 87x108mm and 788g, it’s pretty much the same size and weight as the ‘slower’ Sony Planar T* FE 50mm f/1.4 ZA and has an identical 72mm filter thread.


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Matthew Richards

Matthew Richards is a photographer and journalist who has spent years using and reviewing all manner of photo gear. He is Digital Camera World's principal lens reviewer – and has tested more primes and zooms than most people have had hot dinners! 

His expertise with equipment doesn’t end there, though. He is also an encyclopedia  when it comes to all manner of cameras, camera holsters and bags, flashguns, tripods and heads, printers, papers and inks, and just about anything imaging-related. 

In an earlier life he was a broadcast engineer at the BBC, as well as a former editor of PC Guide.