Sony has revealed the Zeiss-branded Planar T* 50mm F1.4 ZA SSM and 70-400mm F4-5.6 G SSM II A-mount lenses, alongside a redesigned DT 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 SAM II entry-level kit zoom. The redesigned 70-400mm telephoto zoom offers faster autofocus than the existing version and comes in a white body that matches the recent 70-200mm and 500mm G lenses. Meanwhile, the 50mm F1.4 features a dust and moisture resistant design and quiet autofocus.

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Full-frame G Lens 70-400mm telephoto zoom; Full-frame Carl Zeiss Planar 50mm F1.4; DT 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 standard zoom; compact add-on flash and remote commander

  • New-generation 70-400mm F4-5.6 G SSM II telephoto zoom – with 4x faster autofocus and improved optical performance
  • Full-frame, wide-aperture, single-focal-length Carl Zeiss Planar T* 50mm F1.4 ZA SSM – high-end image quality with renowned resolving power and contrast
  • Light, compact, newly-styled DT 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 SAM II standard 3x zoom lens – designed for APS-C cameras
  • HVL-F20M flash – space-saving design with wireless control and bounce flash
  • RM-VPR1 wired remote – easily control shutter release, video start/stop and zoom

Sony extends the range of A-mount interchangeable lenses with three new models to satisfy the most demanding enthusiasts and photo professionals.

The 70-400mm F4-5.6 G SSM II and Carl Zeiss Planar T* 50mm F1.4 ZA SSM lenses complement the impressive imaging capabilities of Sony’s full-frame α99 SLT (Translucent Mirror) camera. The DT 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 SAM II is a light, compact 3x zoom that’s an ideal partner for A-mount cameras with APS-C sensors.

They’re joined by a compact new on-camera flash and a wired remote that’s ideal for advanced shooting.

“70-400mm F4-5.6 G SSM II” telephoto zoom

Sony’s G lens line-up is strengthened for 2013 with the revised 70-400mm F4-5.6 G SSM II. Ideal for capturing wildlife and action-packed sports, the upgraded super-telephoto zoom builds further on the premium performance of its predecessor with enhanced optics and faster, more responsive autofocus. Thanks to a new LSI drive circuit, autofocus speed of the SSM (Super Sonic Wave Motor) is around four times quicker than before. Teamed with enhanced tracking AF, the upgraded lens is now even more suitable for capturing stills and Full HD video of fast-moving subjects.

While its optical design is carried over from the previous-generation model, the new-generation lens features Sony’s proprietary Nano AR Coating on optical surfaces. Offering around five times the efficiency of conventional anti-reflection coatings, this advanced technology reduces flare and ghosting for exceptionally high-contrast images.

Carl Zeiss “Planar T* 50mm F1.4 ZA SSM”

The new Planar T* 50mm F1.4 ZA SSM joins the existing Distagon 24mm, Planar 85mm and Sonnar 135mm in the A-mount range of prime length optics by Carl Zeiss. Offering a fixed 50mm focal length and extra-bright F1.4 aperture, the premium lens is an ideal choice for quality-critical portraiture and low-light shooting.

Featuring 8 elements in 5 groups with two aspherical elements, the brand new optical design is optimised for superb results with Sony’s full-frame α99. Exceptional resolving power and contrast at all apertures are teamed with smooth, quiet autofocusing and a rear-focus system that maintains the same lens body length during AF. The dust- and moisture-resistant design extends the appeal of the new lens to a wide range of outdoor shooting applications.

“DT 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 SAM II” zoom

Boasting second-generation styling, this new lens succeeds the popular DT 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 SAM that was introduced in 2011. The light, compact 3x zoom lens covers a frequently-used range of focal lengths from wide-angle 18mm to standard 55mm (35mm camera equivalent range: 27-82.5mm). While retaining the same smooth AF motor (SAM) as its predecessor, newly-designed rear lens elements suppresses flare and ghost, while mechanical elements have been upgraded for more positive, comfortable operation.

New accessories for Sony cameras and camcorders

The HVL-F20M is a space-saving, easy to carry new flash for Multi Interface Shoe mounted cameras, that’s ideal for brightening up portraits, interiors and dimly-lit scenes. Despite its compact size, it’s packed with pro-style features like wireless control for fuss-free multi flash set-ups, simple bounce operation and Auto White Balance compensation for more accurate, natural-looking white balance. It’s refreshingly easy to use: just raise the flash head to switch on… then turn off again by lowering when the flash isn’t needed.

Compatible with a growing range of ‘α’ A-mount and E-mount, Cyber-shot™ and Handycam® models that feature the versatile Multi Terminal interface, the RM-VPR1 wired remote commander features handy controls for zoom and video recording start/stop. It also includes a shutter lock function that’s ideal for long-exposure ‘bulb’ shooting with ‘α’ cameras. The remote comes supplied with two cables. One is for use with Multi Terminal-equipped cameras/camcorders, while the other allows simple shutter release with ‘α’ A-mount cameras that only include a REMOTE terminal.

Please see for full details on new lens and accessories.

The new lenses and accessories will start to become available in Europe from March 2013.

Sony Planar T* 50mm F1.4 ZA SSM, 70-400mm F4-5.6 G SSM II, DT 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 SAM II lens specifications

 Sony Carl Zeiss Planar T* 50mm F1.4 ZA SSMSony 70-400mm F4-5.6 G SSM IISony DT 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 SAM II
Principal specifications
Lens typePrime lensZoom lens
Max Format size35mm FFAPS-C / DX
Focal length50 mm70–400 mm18–55 mm
Lens mountSony/Minolta Alpha
Maximum apertureF1.4F4–5.6F3.5–5.6
Minimum apertureF22F22–36
Aperture ringNo
Minimum focus0.45 m (17.72)1.50 m (59.06)0.25 m (9.84)
Maximum magnification0.14×0.27×0.34×
Motor typeUltrasonicMicromotor
Full time manualYesUnknown
Focus methodInternalExtending front
Distance scaleYesNo
DoF scaleYesNo
Weight518 g (1.14 lb)1500 g (3.31 lb)222 g (0.49 lb)
Diameter81 mm (3.19)95 mm (3.72)72 mm (2.83)
Length72 mm (2.83)196 mm (7.72)69 mm (2.72)
Zoom methodRotary (extending)
Filter thread72 mm77 mm55 mm
Hood suppliedYesNo
Hood product codeALC-SH126
Tripod collarYesNo