Sony has added the FE 50mm F1.4 GM to its range of E-mount lenses, providing a less expensive, lighter-weight alternative to its 50mm F1.2 GM.

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As with other recent Sony lenses, it's been designed to be as at home shooting video or stills: it has a clicking aperture ring for stills shooters with the option to de-click if you're shooting video. There's also a switch to lock it into or out of the 'A' position that passes aperture control to the camera.

The new lens uses a pair of XD linear motors to drive the focus, with Sony claiming the result is a lens that can autofocus up to 1.9x faster than the original Sony/Zeiss 50mm F1.4 ZA from 2016. The new lens is also smaller, lighter, sharper and less expensive than the ZA version.

The new lens features 14 elements in 11 groups, including two 'extreme aspherical' elements and one extra-low dispersion (ED) element. It features an 11 rounded-blade diaphragm and can focus as close as 0.38m (15") in manual focus mode, giving a maximum magnification figure of 0.18x.

The lens exhibits some focus breathing (a narrower field-of-view at close focus distances) but is supported by Sony's Focus Breathing Correction feature on recent cameras that crops-in video to the tightest field of view then maintains it even as the focus moves towards infinity.

Like other GM lenses, the 50mm F1.4 has been designed to be dust and moisture resistant.

The 50mm F1.4 weighs 516g (18.2oz) and will be available from late April/early May at a recommended price of $1299.

Press Release:

Sony Electronics Introduces Newest Compact Addition to the Full-Frame Lens Line-Up with a 50mm F1.4 G Master 

SAN DIEGO, CA – Feb. 21, 2023 – Sony Electronics has announced the 50mm F1.4 G Master (model SEL50F14GM) as the newest addition to its acclaimed G Master full-frame lens lineup. This e-mount lens expands the Sony lineup with a premium 50 mm prime lens packed into a remarkably compact and lightweight design. The 50mm F1.4 G Master delivers first-class image quality, including high-resolution and naturally rendered bokeh known to Sony’s top-tier G Master™ series. When paired with the latest Sony cameras, it is an ideal option for a wide variety of uses in both still and video including portraiture, landscapes, travel, and weddings.

“At Sony, we are continually listening to the needs of today’s content creators and are proud to announce the newest innovative option with the 50mm F1.4 G Master lens, the latest addition to the E-mount lens line-up,” said Yang Cheng, Vice President, Imaging Solutions, Sony Electronics Inc. “This prime lens is a great option for both photography and videography use and delivers excellent image quality at 50mm, one of the most popular focal lengths. Being able to pack our latest G Master technology into such a compact form factor brings ultimate versatility to a 50mm for Sony.”

Sharp Imagery and Beautiful Bokeh

The advanced optical design and elements unique to Sony’s top-of-the-line G Master series brings outstanding image quality to the 50mm F1.4 G Master. Spherical aberration control at both the design and the manufacturing stages contributes to beautiful bokeh. The lens offers naturally rendered bokeh with an 11-blade circular aperture and sharp realism is offered throughout maximum aperture range. Deep, creamy bokeh at F1.4 is ideal for a variety of shooting scenarios including making portrait subjects stand out from their surroundings.

The 50mm F1.4 G Master is packed with two XA (extreme aspherical) elements that effectively correct field curvature and most types of aberration. This lens is also designed with one ED (extra-low dispersion) glass element that suppresses chromatic aberration to maintain clear and sharp images without color bleeding. The design combination of the XA and ED elements help achieve high-resolution throughout the entire frame. Sony’s original Nano AR Coating II on the lens suppresses reflections even in a backlit scene.

In addition, the minimum focusing distance of the 50mm F1.4 G Master is up to 0.41 meters and maximum magnification is up to 0.16x when autofocus is used i. This level of close-up performance provides extra flexibility when shooting both stills and videos. 

Remarkably Compact Design for Maximum Versatility

The 50mm F1.4 G Master has Sony’s most advanced optical design technology including the precisely positioned XA elements, high-thrust XD (extreme dynamic) linear motors, and the latest compact circular aperture unit. These elements are critical for realizing a large-aperture, high-resolution lens that is only 80.6 mm in diameter, 96.0 mm in length, and approximately 516 grams in weight. These measurements allow for a lens that is up to 33% lighter and 15% less volume when compared to conventional models with the same specifications ii.

The compact size of the 50mm F1.4 G Master paired with a Sony camera body makes this lens extremely versatile in both still and video shooting situations. With this type of mobility and low-light performance, this lens is a great choice for everything from portraits, landscapes, weddings, and travel. The compact size also makes it an ideal lens selection for gimbal and drone operation.

Fast, Precise, and Reliable Autofocus

The 50mm F1.4 G Master’s autofocus is extremely fast and precise, making it an ideal choice for reliable content creation. The autofocus is as much as 1.9x fasteriii than conventional models with the same specifications ii. The lens’s focus group is driven by Sony’s high-thrust XD linear motors and incorporates an advanced control algorithm for smooth, responsive focus drive. When paired with the latest Sony’s Alpha cameras, this lens can quickly acquire focus and track subjects, even when using the shallow depth of field available at F1.4.

The XD linear motors and control algorithm optimize response to control signals so that focusing is precise, and vibration is minimized for refined, quiet AF operation. This is extremely advantageous when shooting movies allowing movie subjects to be smoothly captured and tracked even when shooting at 120 fps or other high frame rates. The ability to leave focusing to the camera when shooting solo or with a small team can dramatically enhance efficiency and creative flexibility. Also, the 50mm F1.4 G Master features the latest lens technology to reduce focus breathing to ensure that the highest quality images are captured. In addition, the 50mm F1.4 G Master supports the breathing compensation iv function provided in compatible Sony’s Alpha cameras.

Intuitive Operability and Outstanding Reliability

The lens has been designed intuitively to help provide creators maximum workflow efficiency while shooting.Linear Response MF ensures that the focus ring responds directly and repeatably to subtle control when focusing manually. As an exciting evolution to the premium G Master line-up, the 50mm F1.4 G Master also features an iris lock switch, which is the first to ever be offered on a Sony prime lens. Additionally, this lens features a 67 mm thread mount, allowing for a filter to be interchangeable with the FE 24mm F1.4 G Master and FE 35mm F1.4 G Master lenses.

Focus hold buttons and a focus mode switch provide extra shooting versatility for content creators. Customizable focus hold buttons are present in two locations, which can be further assigned to several other functions from the camera’s menus. The focus mode switch makes it possible to switch between autofocus and manual focus on the fly, to quickly adapt to changing shooting conditions.

The 50mm F1.4 G Master’s front lens element features a fluorine coating that repels and allows for easy removal of fingerprints, dust, water, oil, and other contaminants v. A dust and moisture resistant design provides extra reliability for outdoor use in challenging conditions. These additions allow creators to use the lens with confidence in almost any shooting environment.

Pricing and Availability

The new 50mm F1.4 G Master lens will be available in May 2023 for approximately $1299.99 USD and $1799.99 CAD. It will be sold at a variety of Sony’s authorized dealers throughout North America.

i. 0.38 meters and 0.18x when manual focus is used
ii. Such as the Planar T* FE 50 mm F1.4 ZA
iii. Sony test conditions.
iv. Compatibility info at: Available in movie mode only. Angle of view and image quality may change slightly when this function is used. Compensation may not be able to cover all situations.
v. Not guaranteed to be 100% dust and moisture proof.  

Sony FE 50mm F1.4 GM Specifications

Principal specifications
Lens typePrime lens
Max Format size35mm FF
Focal length50 mm
Image stabilizationNo
Lens mountSony E, Sony FE
Maximum apertureF1.4
Minimum apertureF16
Aperture ringYes
Number of diaphragm blades11
Aperture notesRounded aperture blades
Minimum focus0.38 m (14.96)
Maximum magnification0.18×
Motor typeLinear Motor
Focus methodInternal
Distance scaleNo
DoF scaleNo
Weight516 g (1.14 lb)
Diameter81 mm (3.19)
Length96 mm (3.78)
Filter thread67 mm
Hood suppliedYes
Tripod collarNo