Intro

The Sony FE 50mm f1.2 G Grasp is a normal prime lens with a really quick aperture for full-frame e-mount mirrorless cameras. The 50mm focal size delivers acquainted, natural-looking protection, however the quick 1.2 aperture permits for very shallow depth-of-field results, whereas Sony’s newest G Grasp optics promise each excessive decision and easy rendering. Introduced in March 2021 it prices round $2000 and I had an opportunity to shoot with a production-ready pattern to deliver you this overview! As all the time every thing you might want to know is within the video under, however should you want to learn a written model, preserve scrolling!

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Above: Consider it or not, the 50 G Grasp is Sony’s first f1.2 lens, whether or not within the mirrorless e-mount and even within the older DSLR A-mount. Actually when it comes to native 1.2 lenses within the e-mount with autofocus, it joins a reasonably unique membership beforehand consisting of solely the Sigma 35mm f1.2 DG DN seen right here on the appropriate.

Now there are a selection of very quick third-party lenses out there within the Sony e-mount, however these are typically guide focus and sometimes have much less bold optical aspirations. If you’d like an f1.2 with autofocus and top-end efficiency, the market narrows dramatically.

What’s Sony taken so lengthy? Canon was famously late to the full-frame mirrorless occasion, however launched the EOS R with a 50 1.2 on day-one again in 2018, whereas the earlier EF 50 1.2 for DSLRs is now comfortably into its teenagers. Perhaps Sony was ready till it might do it justice and as you’ll see the brand new lens definitely doesn’t disappoint.

Whereas 1.2 lenses with autofocus could also be uncommon within the native e-mount, there’s no scarcity of 50’s in different apertures, together with a bunch from Sony itself. Until – or certainly till – Sigma launches a local 50 DG DN, the closest mannequin is Sony’s earlier collaboration with Zeiss, the 50 1.Four ZA launched 5 years beforehand in 2016, and nonetheless out there for round $1500. In contrast to the 35 1.Four G Grasp which was pitched at the same value to the sooner Zeiss 35, I feel Sony’s been cautious to cost the brand new 50 comfortably greater to guard the older model, however I nonetheless wouldn’t be stunned to see costs on the Zeiss 50mm fall. I plan on making a direct comparability towards the brand new G Grasp as quickly as I can.

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Above: By way of design and construct high quality, the 50 1.2 GM on the left appears to be like and feels much like the 35 1.Four GM on the appropriate. At 108x87mm and weighing 778g, it’s unsurprisingly bigger and heavier than the 35 however impressively nearly an identical in dimension and weight to the sooner Zeiss 50 1.Four regardless of a sooner aperture. 

Coincidentally, the Canon RF 50 1.2 is just about the identical dimension as the brand new Sony, though 172g heavier. In the meantime Nikon’s Z 50 1.2 is by far the heftiest of the three, nearly half as lengthy once more at 150mm and topping the scales at 1084g. All three price roughly the identical although between $2000 and $2200.

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Above: By way of controls the 50 1.2 GM has its aperture ring closest to the mount working between 1.2 and 16. There’s two customisable focus-hold buttons and a really easy motor-assisted guide focusing ring with linear response. On the finish of the lens is a 72mm filter thread.   

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Above: Like most of Sony’s new lenses, the 50 1.2 has a de-clickable aperture ring, permitting you to decide on between conventional one-third increments with good suggestions, or utterly easy operation for the videographers.

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Above: Unsurprisingly for a high-end lens, the 50 1.2 is absolutely sealed towards mud and moisture and in contrast to the Canon RF 50 1.2, the focusing takes place totally throughout the barrel.

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Above: The 50 1.2 is provided with a beneficiant cylindrical lens hood with a rubber-tipped finish. This not solely is extra impervious to delicate bumps, however means that you can stand the lens up pretty securely with lowered probability of slipping.

A pair of floating focus teams pushed by XD linear motors ship quick and exact autofocus in digital silence. In my video overview, you possibly can see it pulling focus from shut vary at f1.2 the place it’s sooner and quieter than Canon’s RF 50 1.2.

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Above: As you’d count on the 50 1.2 works nicely with Sony’s newest face and eye-detection, seen in my video on the Alpha 1 set to broad space and AFC. I’ll present you some portraits in a second, however for now simply say the lens and physique mixture delivered a 100% hit-rate in my portrait checks.

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Above: However first, a sequence shot with the 50 1.2 wide-open on the Alpha 1 with chook eye detection enabled and utilizing an digital burst at 30fps. I can’t consider many conditions the place you’d {photograph} birds with a 50mm lens, however there’s a excessive hit price right here and while you pause to look carefully on the eyes, the diploma of element from the Alpha 1’s 50 Megapixel recordsdata may be large.

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Above: Okay now for a portrait take a look at of your’s really shot with the 50 1.2 wide-open on the Alpha 1 with human eye detection and the broad focusing space. As all the time I took a bunch of photographs for safety, however there was no want as each single one was pin-sharp on the eyeball.

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Above: Taking an in depth look reveals a excessive diploma of positive element from the patterns in my iris to the hairs on my chin – it’s all bitingly crisp and does my ageing wrinkles no favours! In the meantime the rendering of defocused areas within the background is easy and bereft of distracting artefacts. In brief, it’s traditional G Grasp optical design at work: razor sharp on the targeted areas however pleasingly easy on the blurred ones. 

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Above: For comparability right here’s the identical lens and physique mixture, however closed to f2.eight the place extra of my face is in focus and there’s clearly a barely broader depth-of-field with much less blurring within the background. With better-resolved particulars behind me, it’s inevitably busier because of this, however when in comparison with lesser lenses, the 50 1.2 retains the rendering smoother and extra enticing. I shot a bunch of comparisons that I’ll share in my subsequent video, so preserve an eye fixed open for that!

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Above: The rendering model of defocused areas, particularly level sources of sunshine, is important for a big aperture lenses so right here’s a sequence of bokeh balls shot from the closest focusing distance of 40cm. As you’d count on there’s oval cat’s eye shapes within the corners on the largest apertures, however by f1.eight onwards they’ve grow to be nearly round throughout the body. However arguably extra importantly the 11-blade aperture system manages to remain out of the best way and never affect the blobs with a geometrical form.

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Above: Wanting nearer on the blobs additionally reveals minimal outlining and really clear interiors, bereft of concentric ring patterns, each undesirable artefacts which can be typical on lesser lenses. In brief, the rendering of bokeh blobs may be very nicely managed all through the aperture vary.

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Above: Simply earlier than shifting on, a fast have a look at the lens from its closest focusing distance, quoted as 40cm, though I used to be capable of get somewhat nearer in guide focus. Right here I might reproduce a topic measuring nearly precisely 20cm throughout the body, and even at f1.2 the sides from this distance solely grow to be a fraction softer than the centre. It is a lens that performs nicely close to and much.

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Above: Talking of far, right here’s my normal panorama view with the digicam angled in order that particulars prolong proper into the corners. That is the view with the 50 1.2 on the Alpha 1 and the lens aperture opened to 1.2.

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Above: Zooming-into the center reveals, as you’d count on, pin-sharp particulars from the get-go with no perceptible profit to stopping-down.

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Above: Shifting into the far nook, nonetheless at f1.2, exhibits the lens stays able to delivering very sharp particulars. Unsurprisingly for a really quick lens, there’s some vignetting, or darkening within the corners, however as you shut the aperture down, even in a single third cease increments, this goes away rapidly. On this and different checks, particularly with utterly flat fields, the 50 1.2 performs very nicely within the corners even at its most aperture. On the other-end of the size, the decision stays very excessive as much as f8 with a minor drop at f11 and diffraction solely changing into visibly detrimental at f16. I’ll have extra comparisons coming quickly, so preserve an eye fixed open for them!

All the pieces that makes the 50 1.2 good for stills images equally applies to video, the place the potential for very shallow depth of area results can ship dramatic outcomes. By way of video auto-focus, the lens adjusts easily, quietly and confidently, and felt extra responsive than Canon’s 50 1.2 on an R5.

It really works nicely for steady autofocus too, coupled with face and eye detection. It’s a terrific lens for filming items to digicam the place you wish to minimise the influence of distracting backgrounds, and even utterly obliterate them.

To guage focus respiratory, I manually targeted between infinity and the closest distance and again once more with the lens stopped-down to f16. You may see in my video overview that because the lens focuses nearer, it reduces the sphere of view fairly noticeably. This isn’t best for videographers who usually want lenses with minimal respiratory, however it’s one thing I’ve seen earlier than on various Sony lenses.

Focus respiratory apart although, the 50 1.2 can nonetheless be a powerful lens for filming. I used it to movie the Psion Sequence 5 palmtop laptop for a retro overview on my Dino Bytes channel – test it out should you’re into classic know-how! – and I really like how the extraordinarily shallow depth of area can produce dreamy b-roll!

Examine costs on the Sony FE 50mm f1.2 GM at B&H, Adorama, WEX, or Calumet.de Alternatively get your self a duplicate of my In Digital camera e book or deal with me to a espresso! Thanks!

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