Sony FE 50mm F/1.2 GM (SEL50F12GM)

Standard prime lens • Digital era

FE The lens is designed for Sony 35mm full-frame digital mirrorless cameras but can be also used on APS-C digital mirrorless cameras.
GM Professional lens with high quality optics and robust build. Meets the highest standards and provides excellent performance and flawless image quality unachievable with traditional optical technologies.

Sony a7

35mm AF digital mirrorless camera

Announced:October 2013
Mount:Sony E
Format:35.8 × 23.9mm
Resolution:6000 × 4000 - 24 MP
Sensor type:CMOS
Image stabilizer:-

Sony a7R

35mm AF digital mirrorless camera

Announced:October 2013
Mount:Sony E
Format:35.9 × 24mm
Resolution:7360 × 4912 - 36 MP
Sensor type:CMOS
Image stabilizer:-

Sony a7S

35mm AF digital mirrorless camera

Announced:April 2014
Mount:Sony E
Format:35.6 × 23.8mm
Resolution:4240 × 2832 - 12 MP
Sensor type:CMOS
Image stabilizer:-

Sony a7 II

35mm AF digital mirrorless camera

Announced:November 2014
Mount:Sony E
Format:35.8 × 23.9mm
Resolution:6000 × 4000 - 24 MP
Sensor type:CMOS
Image stabilizer:Yes

Sony a7R II

35mm AF digital mirrorless camera

Announced:June 2015
Mount:Sony E
Format:35.9 × 24mm
Resolution:7952 × 5304 - 42 MP
Sensor type:CMOS
Image stabilizer:Yes

Sony a7S II

35mm AF digital mirrorless camera

Announced:September 2015
Mount:Sony E
Format:35.6 × 23.8mm
Resolution:4240 × 2832 - 12 MP
Sensor type:CMOS
Image stabilizer:Yes

Sony a9

35mm AF digital mirrorless camera

Announced:April 2017
Mount:Sony E
Format:35.6 × 23.8mm
Resolution:6000 × 4000 - 24 MP
Sensor type:CMOS
Image stabilizer:Yes

Sony a7R III

35mm AF digital mirrorless camera

Announced:October 2017
Mount:Sony E
Format:35.9 × 24mm
Resolution:7952 × 5304 - 42 MP
Sensor type:CMOS
Image stabilizer:Yes

Sony a7 III

35mm AF digital mirrorless camera

Announced:February 2018
Mount:Sony E
Format:35.6 × 23.8mm
Resolution:6000 × 4000 - 24 MP
Sensor type:CMOS
Image stabilizer:Yes

Sony a7R IV

35mm AF digital mirrorless camera

Announced:July 2019
Mount:Sony E
Format:35.7 × 23.8mm
Resolution:9504 × 6336 - 60 MP
Sensor type:CMOS
Image stabilizer:Yes

Sony a9 II

35mm AF digital mirrorless camera

Announced:October 2019
Mount:Sony E
Format:35.6 × 23.8mm
Resolution:6000 × 4000 - 24 MP
Sensor type:CMOS
Image stabilizer:Yes

Sony a7S III

35mm AF digital mirrorless camera

Announced:July 2020
Mount:Sony E
Format:35.6 × 23.8mm
Resolution:4240 × 2832 - 12 MP
Sensor type:CMOS
Image stabilizer:Yes

Sony a7C

35mm AF digital mirrorless camera

Announced:September 2020
Mount:Sony E
Format:35.6 × 23.8mm
Resolution:6000 × 4000 - 24 MP
Sensor type:CMOS
Image stabilizer:Yes

Sony a1

35mm AF digital mirrorless camera

Announced:January 2021
Mount:Sony E
Format:35.9 × 24mm
Resolution:8640 × 5760 - 50 MP
Sensor type:CMOS
Image stabilizer:Yes

Designed for

Click to expand or collapse section(s)

Features highlight

Ultra fast
3 XA
F.E.
11 blades
CFD 0.4m
Quad XD LM
DP/WR
FC

Specification

Production details
Announced:March 2021
Production status:In production
Production type:Mass production
Original name:SONY FE 1.2/50 GM
Optical design
Focal length:50mm
Speed:F/1.2
Maximum format:35mm full frame
Mount:Sony E
Diagonal angle of view:46.8° (35mm full frame)
31.6° (Sony E APS-C)
Lens construction:14 elements - 10 groups
3 XA
Floating element system
Diaphragm mechanism
Number of blades:11
Focusing
Closest focusing distance:0.4m
Maximum magnification ratio:1:5.88 at the closest focusing distance
Focusing method:<No information>
Focusing modes:Autofocus, manual focus
Manual focus control:Focusing ring
Autofocus motor:Quad XD Linear Motor
Focus mode selector:AF/MF
Direct Manual Focus (DMF):Determined by the camera
Optical SteadyShot (OSS)
Built-in OSS:-
Physical characteristics
Weight:778g
Maximum diameter x Length:⌀87×108mm
Weather sealing:Dust-proof and water-resistant barrel
Fluorine coating:Front element
Accessories
Filters:Screw-type 72mm
Lens hood:Bayonet-type ALC-SH163 (round)

Manufacturer description

With breathtaking G Master resolution and bokeh plus outstanding AF performance in a remarkably compact, lightweight design, the first 50‑mm F1.2 lens in the α lineup is an excellent choice for day-to-day applications. Whether you're shooting stills or movies, this lens can take your creativity and expression to new heights.

Resolution and contrast are outstanding throughout the aperture range—right up to F1.2. Three XA (extreme aspherical) lens elements in an advanced optical path subdue overall aberration, and other advanced optical technologies minimize chromatic aberration in a lens that is surprisingly compact and lightweight.

Large-aperture lenses are often large and heavy. The FE 50 mm F1.2 GM is only 3.5 x 4.38" (87 x 108 mm) and weighs just 27.5 oz (778 g). State-of-the-art optics plus Sony's amazing XD Linear Motors and mechanical design come together in a convenient, mobile lens for any shooting situation.

A new 11-blade circular aperture mechanism contributes to beautiful bokeh. Circular highlights are exquisitely rendered too, further enhancing the widely acclaimed beauty of G Master bokeh. Out-of-focus backgrounds are smoother and more pleasing in just about any situation and lighting.

Sony's Nano AR Coating II helps to achieve clear, well-defined images even in strong sunlight and backlighting. This advanced coating is evenly applied to entire element surfaces, effectively minimizing internal reflections so that flare and ghosting do not occur.

Three XA (extreme aspherical) elements with 0.01-micron surface precision—plus painstaking spherical aberration control at the design and manufacturing stages—contribute to gorgeous G Master bokeh that can really make portrait and other subjects stand out, especially at the lens's maximum F1.2 aperture.

Linear Response MF ensures that the focus ring responds directly and linearly to subtle control when focusing manually. Focus ring rotation translates directly to a corresponding change in focus, so control feels immediate and precise. Linear Response MF enhances manual focus control for both stills and movies.

Fast, accurate focus is assured even with shallow F1.2 depth of field. Four XD (extreme dynamic) Linear Motors deliver high thrust to position the large, heavy focus groups for precision AF and tracking. High resolution is maintained at all focusing distances with the full AF speed and precision of E-mount bodies—for both stills and movies.

1.32 ft (0.4 meter) minimum focus and 0.17x maximum magnification deliver extra close-up flexibility for both stills and movies. XA (extreme aspherical) lens elements and a floating focus mechanism make it possible to achieve pinpoint sharpness while taking advantage of creamy F1.2 background bokeh at any focusing distance.

A dust- and moisture-resistant design provides the reliability needed for outdoor use in challenging conditions.

An aperture ring is also provided for direct, intuitive aperture control. A handy switch allows the aperture ring click stops to be turned off for quiet movie shooting.

Focus hold buttons located on the top and side of the lens can be assigned to a number of other functions via a camera body menu, providing direct access to functions that are vital to the user's personal workflow, including right/left eye selection for Eye AF on bodies that support that feature.

The front lens element features a fluorine coating that repels water, oil, and other contaminants, while making it easier to wipe off any contaminants or fingerprints that do become attached to the lens surface.

From the editor

This ultra-fast standard prime lens is optimized for high resolution digital cameras. It is 1/3 stop faster than the Sony FE ZEISS Planar 50/1.4, while being in no way inferior:

  • has the same weight and length and is only 3.5mm larger in diameter;
  • dust-proof and water-resistant (plus it has fluorine coating on the front lens element);
  • uses filters of the same size (72mm).

This alone is enough to prefer the Sony FE 50/1.2 GM to the Sony FE ZEISS Planar 50/1.4 (provided that you are a wealthy enthusiast or a professional, so money is not a problem for you).

Besides, the Sony FE 50/1.2 GM is much better suited for video recording thanks to the Quad XD Linear motor, and the floating element system provides high image quality at all focusing distances from infinity to the closest focusing distance.

Typical application

landscapes, interiors, buildings, cityscapes, portraits, photojournalism, weddings, parties, carnivals, live concerts

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35mm full frame

43.27 24 36
  • Dimensions: 36 × 24mm
  • Aspect ratio: 3:2
  • Diagonal: 43.27mm

Travellers' choice

Note

Among autofocus lenses designed for 35mm full-frame mirrorless cameras only. Speed of standard and telephoto lenses is taken into account.

Professional lens (Top class)

One of the best fast standard primes

According to lens-db.com; among lenses designed for the same maximum format and mount.

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Quality control issues

The manufacturer of this lens does not provide adequate quality control. If you do decide to purchase this lens, do not order it online, but choose the best copy available in the store. In any case, there may also be problems with the build quality, and warranty repairs can take months.

Image stabilizer

A technology used for reducing or even eliminating the effects of camera shake. Gyro sensors inside the lens detect camera shake and pass the data to a microcomputer. Then an image stabilization group of elements controlled by the microcomputer moves inside the lens and compensates camera shake in order to keep the image static on the imaging sensor or film.

The technology allows to increase the shutter speed by several stops and shoot handheld in such lighting conditions and at such focal lengths where without image stabilizer you have to use tripod, decrease the shutter speed and/or increase the ISO setting which can lead to blurry and noisy images.

XD Linear Motor

AF/MF

AFAutofocus mode.
MFManual focus mode.

Aspherical elements

Aspherical elements (ASPH, XA, XGM) are used in wide-angle lenses for correction of distortion and in large-aperture lenses for correction of spherical aberration, astigmatism and coma, thus ensuring excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture. The effect of the aspherical element is determined by its position within the optical formula: the more the aspherical element moves away from the aperture stop, the more it influences distortion; close to the aperture stop it can be particularly used to correct spherical aberration. Aspherical element can substitute one or several regular spherical elements to achieve similar or better optical results, which allows to develop more compact and lightweight lenses.

Use of aspherical elements has its downsides: it leads to non-uniform rendering of out-of-focus highlights. This effect usually appears as "onion-like" texture of concentric rings or "wooly-like" texture and is caused by very slight defects in the surface of aspherical element. It is difficult to predict such effect, but usually it occurs when the highlights are small enough and far enough out of focus.

Low dispersion elements

Low dispersion elements (ED, LD, SD, UD etc) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture. This type of glass exhibits low refractive index, low dispersion, and exceptional partial dispersion characteristics compared to standard optical glass. Two lenses made of low dispersion glass offer almost the same performance as one fluorite lens.

Low dispersion elements

Low dispersion elements (ED, LD, SD, UD etc) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture. This type of glass exhibits low refractive index, low dispersion, and exceptional partial dispersion characteristics compared to standard optical glass. Two lenses made of low dispersion glass offer almost the same performance as one fluorite lens.

Canon's Super UD, Nikon's Super ED, Pentax' Super ED, Sigma's FLD ("F" Low Dispersion), Sony' Super ED and Tamron's XLD glasses are the highest level low dispersion glasses available with extremely high light transmission. These optical glasses have a performance equal to fluorite glass.

High-refraction low-dispersion elements

High-refraction low-dispersion elements (HLD) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture.

High Index, High Dispersion elements

High Index, High Dispersion elements (HID) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture.

Anomalous partial dispersion elements

Anomalous partial dispersion elements (AD) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture.

Fluorite elements

Synthetic fluorite elements (FL) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture. Compared with optical glass, fluorite lenses have a considerably lower refraction index, low dispersion and extraordinary partial dispersion, and high transmission of infrared and ultraviolet light. They are also significantly lighter than optical glass.

According to Nikon, fluorite easily cracks and is sensitive to temperature changes that can adversely affect focusing by altering the lens' refractive index. To avoid this, Canon, as the manufacturer most widely using fluorite in its telephoto lenses, never uses fluorite in the front and rear lens elements, and the white coating is applied to the lens barrels to reflect light and prevent the lens from overheating.

Short-wavelength refractive elements

High and specialized-dispersion elements (SR) refract light with wavelengths shorter than that of blue to achieve highly precise chromatic aberration compensation. This technology also results in smaller and lighter lenses.

Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics

Organic Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics material (BR Optics) placed between convex and concave elements made from conventional optical glass provides more efficient correction of longitudinal chromatic aberrations in comparison with conventional technology.

Diffraction elements

Diffraction elements (DO, PF) cancel chromatic aberrations at various wavelengths. This technology results in smaller and lighter lenses in comparison with traditional designs with no compromise in image quality.

High refractive index elements

High refractive index elements (HR, HRI, XR etc) minimize field curvature and spherical aberration. High refractive index element can substitute one or several regular elements to achieve similar or better optical results, which allows to develop more compact and lightweight lenses.

Apodization element

Apodization element (APD) is in fact a radial gradient filter. It practically does not change the characteristics of light beam passing through its central part but absorbs the light at the periphery. It sort of softens the edges of the aperture making the transition from foreground to background zone very smooth and results in very attractive, natural looking and silky smooth bokeh.

Original name

Lens name as indicated on the lens barrel (usually on the front ring). With lenses from film era, may vary slightly from batch to batch.

Format

Format refers to the shape and size of film or image sensor.

35mm is the common name of the 36x24mm film format or image sensor format. It has an aspect ratio of 3:2, and a diagonal measurement of approximately 43mm. The name originates with the total width of the 135 film which was the primary medium of the format prior to the invention of the full frame digital SLR. Historically the 35mm format was sometimes called small format to distinguish it from the medium and large formats.

APS-C is an image sensor format approximately equivalent in size to the film negatives of 25.1x16.7mm with an aspect ratio of 3:2.

Medium format is a film format or image sensor format larger than 36x24mm (35mm) but smaller than 4x5in (large format).

Angle of view

Angle of view describes the angular extent of a given scene that is imaged by a camera. It is used interchangeably with the more general term field of view.

As the focal length changes, the angle of view also changes. The shorter the focal length (eg 18mm), the wider the angle of view. Conversely, the longer the focal length (eg 55mm), the smaller the angle of view.

A camera's angle of view depends not only on the lens, but also on the sensor. Imaging sensors are sometimes smaller than 35mm film frame, and this causes the lens to have a narrower angle of view than with 35mm film, by a certain factor for each sensor (called the crop factor).

This website does not use the angles of view provided by lens manufacturers, but calculates them automatically by the following formula: 114.6 * arctan (21.622 / CF * FL),

where:

CF – crop-factor of a sensor,
FL – focal length of a lens.

Mount

A lens mount is an interface — mechanical and often also electrical — between a camera body and a lens.

A lens mount may be a screw-threaded type, a bayonet-type, or a breech-lock type. Modern camera lens mounts are of the bayonet type, because the bayonet mechanism precisely aligns mechanical and electrical features between lens and body, unlike screw-threaded mounts.

Lens mounts of competing manufacturers (Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony etc.) are always incompatible. In addition to the mechanical and electrical interface variations, the flange focal distance from the lens mount to the film or sensor can also be different.

Lens construction

Lens construction – a specific arrangement of elements and groups that make up the optical design, including type and size of elements, type of used materials etc.

Element - an individual piece of glass which makes up one component of a photographic lens. Photographic lenses are nearly always built up of multiple such elements.

Group – a cemented together pieces of glass which form a single unit or an individual piece of glass. The advantage is that there is no glass-air surfaces between cemented together pieces of glass, which reduces reflections.

Flange focal distance

The flange focal distance (FFD), sometimes called the "flange back", is the distance from the mechanical rear end surface of the lens mount to the focal plane.

Focal length

The focal length is the factor that determines the size of the image reproduced on the focal plane, picture angle which covers the area of the subject to be photographed, depth of field, etc.

Speed

The largest opening or stop at which a lens can be used is referred to as the speed of the lens. The larger the maximum aperture is, the faster the lens is considered to be. Lenses that offer a large maximum aperture are commonly referred to as fast lenses, and lenses with smaller maximum aperture are regarded as slow.

In low-light situations, having a wider maximum aperture means that you can shoot at a faster shutter speed or work at a lower ISO, or both.

Floating element system

Provides correction of aberrations and ensures constantly high image quality at the entire range of focusing distances from infinity down to the closest focusing distance. It is particularly effective for the correction of field curvature that tends to occur with large-aperture, wide-angle lenses when shooting at close ranges.

Closest focusing distance

The minimum distance from the focal plane (film or sensor) to the subject where the lens is still able to focus.

Closest working distance

The distance from the front edge of the lens to the subject at the maximum magnification.

Magnification ratio

Determines how large the subject will appear in the final image. For example, a magnification ratio of 1:1 means that the image of the subject formed on the film or sensor will be the same size as the subject in real life. For this reason, a 1:1 ratio is often called "life-size".

Manual focus override in autofocus mode

Allows to perform final focusing manually after the camera has locked the focus automatically. Note that you don't have to switch camera and/or lens to manual focus mode.

Manual focus override in autofocus mode

Allows to perform final focusing manually after the camera has locked the focus automatically. Note that you don't have to switch camera and/or lens to manual focus mode.

Electronic manual focus override is performed in the following way: half-press the shutter button, wait until the camera has finished the autofocusing and then focus manually without releasing the shutter button using the focusing ring.

Electromagnetic diaphragm control system

Provides highly accurate diaphragm control and stable auto exposure performance during continuous shooting.

Convex protruding front element

The convex front element protrudes from the lens barrel, making it impossible to use filters.

Number of blades

As a general rule, the more blades that are used to create the aperture opening in the lens, the rounder the out-of-focus highlights will be.

Some lenses are designed with curved diaphragm blades, so the roundness of the aperture comes not from the number of blades, but from their shape. However, the fewer blades the diaphragm has, the more difficult it is to form a circle, regardless of rounded edges.

At maximum aperture, the opening will be circular regardless of the number of blades.

Weight

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

Maximum diameter x Length

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

For lenses with collapsible design, the length is indicated for the working (retracted) state.

Weather sealing

A rubber material which is inserted in between each externally exposed part (manual focus and zoom rings, buttons, switch panels etc.) to ensure it is properly sealed against dust and moisture.

Lenses that accept front mounted filters typically do not have gaskets behind the filter mount. It is recommended to use a filter for complete weather resistance when desired.

Fluorine coating

Helps keep lenses clean by reducing the possibility of dust and dirt adhering to the lens and by facilitating cleaning should the need arise. Applied to the outer surface of the front and/or rear lens elements over multi-coatings.

Filters

Lens filters are accessories that can protect lenses from dirt and damage, enhance colors, minimize glare and reflections, and add creative effects to images.

Lens hood

A lens hood or lens shade is a device used on the end of a lens to block the sun or other light source in order to prevent glare and lens flare. Flare occurs when stray light strikes the front element of a lens and then bounces around within the lens. This stray light often comes from very bright light sources, such as the sun, bright studio lights, or a bright white background.

The geometry of the lens hood can vary from a plain cylindrical or conical section to a more complex shape, sometimes called a petal, tulip, or flower hood. This allows the lens hood to block stray light with the higher portions of the lens hood, while allowing more light into the corners of the image through the lowered portions of the hood.

Lens hoods are more prominent in long focus lenses because they have a smaller viewing angle than that of wide-angle lenses. For wide angle lenses, the length of the hood cannot be as long as those for telephoto lenses, as a longer hood would enter the wider field of view of the lens.

Lens hoods are often designed to fit onto the matching lens facing either forward, for normal use, or backwards, so that the hood may be stored with the lens without occupying much additional space. In addition, lens hoods can offer some degree of physical protection for the lens due to the hood extending farther than the lens itself.