For a lot of photographers, a 50mm prime is the first lens they purchase. It’s a lens that a lot of people judge a camera brand by, as it gives you a ton of options and flexibility no matter what you’re photographing.
Prior to the 50mm f/1.2 GM lens, Sony was often critiqued for its smaller lens mount. “They” all said an f/1.2 lens wouldn’t be realistic. Well, Sony has certainly proven them wrong … and then some.
Bokeh, fast autofocus and sharpness in a compact build
The Sony 50mm f/1.2 GM is a beauty. It’s small and lightweight, but offers the performance of something double its size. First and foremost, the bokeh and background blur is absolutely gorgeous. At f/1.2 and even f/2.8, it makes your subjects stand out in ways that few lenses can.
Secondly, the build is wonderful. The aperture ring can have its click turned off, which is key for video shooters. And because it’s a smaller size, it’s perfect for a gimbal. While I didn’t test this lens for video, one thing I’ve seen discussed is some heavy focus breathing. So just be aware of that.
Finally, the autofocus is super fast and the sharpness is superb. I could pick up my camera and in a mere second I was able to grab an in-focus photograph. Even in the corners, the lens was very sharp. It’s everything you’d expect from Sony’s GM line.
- Aperture: f/1.2–16
- Minimum focus distance: 15.7 inches
- Optical design: 14 elements in 10 groups
- Diaphragm blades: 11, rounded
- Image stabilization: No
- Weather sealing: Yes
- Filter size: 72mm
- Dimensions: 3.4 x 4.3 inches
- Weight: 1.7 pounds
While the 50mm is really meant for any type of photographer, I found that this lent itself to a few industries, the most obvious being portraiture. I used the 50mm on a handful of portrait assignments, both indoors and outdoors. It really performed nicely, giving a sharpness to the subject and providing enough separation.
But the lens also worked really well when I was capturing some construction photos for my client, Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. Coupled with some of the street shots I took during a photowalk, this lens is pretty versatile. It’s no wonder the 50mm length is so popular.
Does Sony’s 50mm variant change my mind?
In some cases, yes. The Sony 50mm f/1.2 GM lens is a beauty, and the results are top-notch. For anyone looking to upgrade to a better 50mm, you simply can’t get much better than this if you use a Sony camera. The bokeh is gorgeous, letting you create an artistic view that you’ll be hard-pressed to find elsewhere. And the sharpness and autofocus … well, like Sony’s other lenses, is top notch.
But personally, I’m going to stick to my 35mm/85mm lenses. These provide me with the look I’m going for professionally, even though they might not be as fast or have the gorgeous bokeh I love. If you’re in love with your “nifty 50” though, definitely give this one a look.
Sony FE 50mm f/1.2 GM Lens
The FE 50mm F1.2 GM has the latest technologies for delivering awe-inspiring resolution even at F1.2 maximum aperture with the soft, creamy bokeh of a G Master. It features fast, highly accurate autofocus tracking and silent, low-vibration AF in both still image and movie shooting. It is also compact and lightweight, with the operability and reliability expected by professionals shooting portraits, landscapes and low-light scenes.