Sony's 50mm F1-4 GM announced

Does the world need another 50mm lens? Yes. Now, that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s look at the newly announced Sony 50mm F1.4 G Master lens (officially: SEL50F14GM). As you may have seen me write in the past, the 50mm focal length is one of the most versatile allowing itself for a wide range of uses. The new Sony 50mm F1.4 GM makes it the 75th first-party lens for Sony’s FE mount cameras – here’s why it matters.

Tech Specs via Sony

  • Lens mount: Sony E-mount
  • Format: 35mm full frame
  • Maximum aperture (F): 1.4
  • Minimum Aperture (F):16
  • Focal-Length (mm): 50
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 16.14″ (41cm) AF 14.96″ (38 cm)

What to Expect

The Sony 50mm F1.4 GM is the 6th 50mm prime available for the FE mount and what is likely to be a boon for portrait photographers specifically and fans of bokeh more generally. Up until this release, Sony has been putting out very, very good standard primes at and around the 50mm focal length for some time and this one sits at a great place to encourage bigger purchases (i.e., it’s a gateway drug lens for sure). The 50mm F1.4 GM is fully weather sealed, so you can confidently take this out and about in even the most challenging environments (i.e., weather).

Where the F1.4 GM differs from other GM lenses comes down to size: at 18-ish ounces in weight, it is by far lighter (and shorter) than its F1.2 sibling. It’s meant to be easier to carry around and even paired with some of Sony’s smaller camera bodies – like the Sony a7C (note: I’m really hoping those a7C II rumors come true) without compromising on sharpness. As with most things Sony, this lens is catering to the all-around creator: from photographers using this lens with one of their high-resolution bodies or videographers, thanks to the lens’s quiet focusing motor and short focusing distance (just under a foot and a half).

Who Should Take Note

I half-joked earlier that this is a lens that’s made for portrait photographers and bokeh fans alike and that’s true. But more importantly, the 50mm F1.4 GM sits in a price point that’s tolerable for many enthusiast photographers (for context the F1.2 GM mentioned earlier will set you back about $2k MSRP). With this option, Sony can court enthusiasts looking to have some high-end fun on their Sony kit and cater to working photographers/videographers building their business. It’s a tough fence to straddle but Sony does a good job here. For what it’s worth, I’m looking forward to doing a head-to-head comparison between this, the old Zeiss 55mm, and another recently announced third-party lens.

The Sony 50mm F1.4 GM is expected to begin shipping in May 2023 (final date subject to change) for $1299 in the US. You can get the full spec list on their website (you nerd) and sign up to be notified of when pre-orders open up.

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