Sony has revealed a new pro-spec, large aperture standard prime, the FE 50mm F1.4 GM. Effectively a successor to the 6-year-old Sony FE 50mm F1.4 ZA, it’s designed to offer improved image quality, autofocus and usability, all in a smaller, lighter design.

The 50mm focal length makes it a general-purpose lens that’s suitable for a wide range of subjects, while the large maximum aperture is ideal for isolating a subject against a blurred background, or for shooting in low light.

Optically, this is an all-new design, with its 14-element, 11-group construction including two extreme aspherical (XA) elements and one extra-low dispersion (ED) glass lens to suppress optical aberrations. There’s an 11-blade circular aperture for attractive bokeh, and Nano AR II coating to suppress flare and ghosting.

Two XD linear motors promise fast, silent autofocus, with a minimum focus distance of 41cm, while Sony’s Linear Focus MF is included for intuitive manual focusing. The lens accepts 67mm filters and comes with a cylindrical hood.

Sony FE 50mm F1.4 GM on Sony Alpha 7R IV

The lens is designed for use on Sony’s high-resolution full-frame mirrorless cameras, such as the Alpha 7R IV shown here. Image credit: Andy Westlake

At 80.6mm in diameter, 96mm in length and 516g in weight, the new GM lens is considerably smaller and lighter than its Zeiss-badged predecessor. Yet despite this, it finds space on its weather-sealed barrel for a large array of controls. These include an aperture ring marked in 1/3 stop steps down to f/16, which can be switched between either clicked or smooth operation.

The aperture ring also has an A position that passes control back to the camera body, with an Iris Lock switch that fixes the ring either in or out of the A position. There’s also an AF/MF switch and two AF-stop buttons. The lens is due to go on sale in March or April for £1500.

Sony FE 50mm F1.4 GM full specifications:

  • Price: £1500
  • Filter Diameter: 67mm
  • Lens Elements: 14
  • Groups: 11
  • Diaphragm blades: 11, circular
  • Aperture: f/1.4 – f/16
  • Minimum focus: 41cm (in AF), 38cm (in MF)
  • Length: 96mm
  • Diameter: 80.6mm
  • Weight: 516g
  • Lens Mount: Sony E (full frame)
  • Included accessories: Caps, hood, soft case

Sony FE 50mm F1.4 GM review

We were lucky enough to be able to give the lens a detailed test prior to its official release. Read our in-depth review of the Sony FE 50mm F1.4 GM.

Follow AP on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.