Sony’s FE 50mm F 1.2 G-Master Prime Lens Gives a New Spin to Compact and Ligthweight Primes


Sony lens 50mm  
Youtube/ Stefan Malloch

Sony has announced that it will soon unveil its 60th E-mount lens, which is the 50mm f/1.2 G-Master. Sony hopes it will prove that not only can it continue to make lightweight and compact primes, but it can also do so while competing with lenses from Nikon and Canon.

Sony’s GM 50mm lens

Sony’s 50mm f/1.2 G-Master lens manages to combine the wide-open aperture of f/1.2 with a compact and lightweight design that is essentially the same size and weight as the Zeiss Planar T* FE 50mm f/1.4 ZA: It is the same length, the same width, and a half stop faster.

The size of the lens is due to two main factors, first is the focusing system that is in place, and the second is the lens elements that are used, according to DPReview.

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Compared to the 50mm f/1.2 lenses of Canon and Nikon, each of them attempts to have different approaches to focusing on subjects.

Canon uses a rotational ultrasonic motor or USM that will physically move larger lens elements back and forth. In contrast, Nikon’s system uses an internal focusing system based on a rotary stepping motor.

Sony says that both of the systems are inferior to its linear actuator focusing system that it has been using in its recent high-performance G-Master lenses.

The company also claims that its four extreme dynamic linear motors or XD linear actuators give the high thrust efficiency needed to position the two large focus groups of the lenses accurately and in a floating focus mechanism controlled by its dedicated lens drive algorithm. The actuators also contribute to a quiet focus drive. 

Because of that motor, Sony can promise a perfect hit rate with an inch depth of field at up to 30 still frames per second.

Sony’s lens can also shoot at 120 frames per second in 4K without missing focus, as evidence by clips posted online.

It is important to note that this hit rate will not be met every single time, but the fact that the benchmarks are still achieved is still very impressive, according to PRNewWire.

G-Master lens’ features

The lens is constructed of 14 elements in 10 groups. Three of them are extreme aspherical elements that Sony says minimize aberrations and allow the lens to maintain sharpness and clarity from the center to the edge. As mentioned, it contributes to the small size of the lens.

It also has a minimum focusing distance of 0.4 meters or 15.75 inches with a maximum magnification of 0.17x.

The Sony 50mm f/1.2 G-Master weighs 778 grams, which is notably lighter than Canon’s 50mm f/1.2, weighing 950 grams, and Nikon’s 50mm f/1.2, which weighs 1090 grams, according to Imaging Resource.

The defocused areas are smooth thanks to a newly-developed 11-bladed circular aperture. The lens features a de-clickable aperture, programmable focus control buttons, a fluorine front element coating, and a focus mode switch.

The Sony 50mm f/1.2 G-Master will be available on May 13, and it will cost around $2,000. When asked about supply chain issues, a Sony representative assured that there are no current challenges in manufacturing and that there should be enough units to meet demand.

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Written by Sieeka Khan

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