We’ve just reviewed two brand new Sony 50mm E-mount models, and admittedly, they could hardly be more different. the FE 50 mm F2.5 G is a premium super-compact for travelers and vloggers and a perfect match for cameras like the Sony A7C, while the Sony FE 50mm F1.2 GM is a bokeh monster for professional photographers and Sony’s first f / 1.2 E-mount lens.
But there were already four Sony 50mm E-mount lenses in the Sony lens lineup, so what happens to those, how (and why) these two new 50mm lenses fit in, and how are you supposed to figure out which Sony 50mm lens to have?
Sony FE 50mm lenses listed… and explained
OK, so how should we do this? Let’s take these lenses in chronological order with the most recent first, as that might help us understand where Sony is going with all of this. Remember that old Sony lenses were designed in an era when video was still reserved for specialists, when AF actuators were still designed for still photography, and no one had aperture rings, let alone. clickables!
Sony FE 50mm F1.2 GM (March 2021)
These are the knees of the bees of Sony 50mm lenses. Not only is it the first Sony prime to have a maximum aperture of f / 1.2, but it also features four XD linear AF motors designed for both video and stills, as well as a d ring. ‘un-clickable opening. It also features G Master optics, with no less than three very high-precision XA lenses, as well as an 11-blade aperture for the best bokeh possible. For 50mm primers, this is absolutely state of the art.
• Read our Sony FE 50mm F1.2 GM review
Sony FE 50mm F2.5 G (March 2021)
The Sony FE 50mm F2.5 G is also designed for stills and video, but otherwise it couldn’t be more different from the FE 50mm F1.2 G Master. It’s a fraction of the size and a fraction of the cost (although it’s not exactly cheap yet), but this lens also features linear AF motors (two, this time) and a decouplable aperture ring. . If the F1.2 is perfect for filmmakers, this lens is aimed at travel vloggers who will happily trade in the maximum aperture for compactness and lightness.
• Read our Sony FE 50mm F2.5 G review
Sony FE 50mm F2.8 Macro (Aug 2016)
It’s both a nifty 50 lens and an affordable macro lens with 1: 1 magnification. It’s not a Zeiss or G Master, so it’s designed as an affordable working lens for hobbyists and professionals alike. passionate. That’s not to say it’s a poor performer – far from it – but without an aperture ring and a modest f / 2.8 maximum aperture, we’d characterize it more as a macro lens than a 50mm lens (though this is the focal length). If you want a quick 50mm bounty for regular use, you’d probably cross it off the list.
• Read more: Best macro lenses
Sony Zeiss Planar T * FE 50mm F1.4 ZA (July 2016)
This lens comes from the time when Sony worked with Zeiss to produce their high-end professional lenses. Sony’s high-end lenses these days are its in-house designed G Master lenses, but the company told us that Zeiss lenses will continue to be available and have their own characteristics. rendering. Like later G Master lenses, this one has an aperture ring, but it’s not de-clickable, and this lens uses SSM (Super Sonic Wave Motor) for AF, not Sony’s later linear motors. For photos this is a great lens, for video later lenses could be better.
Sony FE 50mm F1.8 (March 2016)
The Sony FE 50mm F1.8 is Sony’s first entry-level 50mm tier, priced for hobbyists and enthusiasts alike, but still with a decent maximum aperture. It’s small (but not as small as the new FE 50mm F2.5G) light and inexpensive, but has a relatively simple, no-frills optical construction. The DC motor is audible, so it’s not great for video, and there’s no aperture ring. If you want a cheap 50mm lens for your Sony, this gets the job done, but it’s more for low-cost shooting than video.
Sony Zeiss Sonnar T * FE 55mm F1.8 ZA (October 2013)
Another Zeiss collaboration, this is one of the first Sony mirrorless models and predates the Zeiss f / 1.4 version by three years. It’s not cheap, it’s not particularly fast, and it lacks modern luxuries like an aperture ring. We are prepared to be that it always has what it takes for still photography, but if you also want to film (or instead) there are more modern 50mm lenses (probably from 2021, here- above) that you would choose before. this one.
Did it help you?
Sony’s plethora of 50mm prime numbers makes sense when you look at them historically. The Sonnar T * FE 55mm F1.8 ZA was the first, in 2013 and then in 2016, Sony upgraded its game with the affordable FE 50mm F1.8, the Zeiss Planar T * FE 50mm F1.4 ZA and the multifunction macro FE 50 mm F2.8. It is then necessary to advance five years for the last two lenses, the large FE 50 mm F1.2 GM and the compact FE 50 mm F2.5 G.
It’s these last two 2021 lenses that we would take most seriously for modern users, with the older 2016 FE 50mm F1.8 and FE 50mm F2.8 Macro lenses as affordable alternatives. As good as they are, we suspect both Zeiss lenses are out of the game now unless you absolutely have to have a Zeiss.
• Best Sony lenses
• Best 50mm lenses
• Sony FE 50mm F2.5 G review
• Sony FE 50mm F1.2 GM review
• Best Sony cameras