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Alpha Spotlight: An Ultra-Fast, Bokeh Making Favorite For Weddings, Portraits & More

The Sony 50mm f/1.2 G Master can be found in the kits of many professional photographers and videographers. Why, you ask? Well, in addition to what we’ve all come to expect from the G Master line of lenses – excellent resolution and dramatic bokeh – the lens also allows for faster shutter speeds and lower ISO in low light settings, making it ideal for portraits, wedding photography, video and more. Digital Camera World rated it as the very best super-fast 50mm prime for full-frame mirrorless cameras in 2021, it won Best Prime Standard Lens in the 2021 TIPA Awards and Best Standard Lens in the 2021 Expert Imaging and Sound Association Awards. Below we take a look at some of what creators have made using the lens and read why so many won’t leave home without it in their bags. Want to learn more about the technology that goes into the Sony 50mm f/1.2 G Master? Read this interview with the lens’ development team.

The Sony 50mm f/1.2 G Master allows for faster shutter speeds and lower ISO in low light settings, making it ideal for portraits, wedding photography, video and more.

Photographer and educator Al Thomas posted a thread in the Alpha Universe Community Forum asking the question: "If you could only use one (non-zoom) lens for one year, which would you choose?" 

He says his answer would be the Sony 50mm f/1.2 G Master, and we talked to him more about why that is. “It is just an amazing lens to be able to capture all of the different styles of content that I like to capture,” he says. “It gives me the versatility to be able to capture in any lighting conditions. I was waiting for a Sony nifty-fifty and when this came out it was everything that I needed and everything I wanted from that focal length. It was great to just jump back in when that first came out to be able to use that focal length.” Read more about why he would choose it and see more of his images created with the Sony 50mm f/1.2 G Master in Only One Lens For One Year – Which Would You Choose?

Photo by Al Thomas. Sony Alpha 7 IV. Sony 50mm f/1.2 G Master. 1/125-sec., f/1.6, ISO 100

Photo by Al Thomas. Sony Alpha 7 IV. Sony 50mm f/1.2 G Master. 1/125-sec., f/1.6, ISO 100

Photo by Al Thomas. Sony Alpha 7 IV. Sony 50mm f/1.2 G Master. 1/80-sec., f/1.2, ISO 100

Photo by Al Thomas. Sony Alpha 7 IV. Sony 50mm f/1.2 G Master. 1/80-sec., f/1.2, ISO 100

Sony Artisan of Imagery Caroline Jensen is a botanical photographer who captures images of flowers that are so stunning they could be a painting. Her go-to lens for these images is the Sony 50mm f/1.2 G Master. “I am 100% IN LOVE with the Sony 50mm f/1.2 G Master!” she says. “This lens has hardly left my camera since I got it last year. The lens is so incredibly sharp and it also has a fairly close minimum focus distance, which lets me get details as well as pull back shots.” Read more her use of the lens in How This Creator Uses Light & A Favorite Lens For A Moody, Painterly Look.

Photo by Caroline Jensen. Sony Alpha 7 IV. Sony 50mm f/1.2 G Master. 1/250-sec., f/14 and ISO 200

Photo by Caroline Jensen. Sony Alpha 7 IV. Sony 50mm f/1.2 G Master. 1/250-sec., f/14, ISO 200

On-location portrait specialist and Sony Artisan Scott Robert Lim loves this lens for his work. “This is my favorite lens,” he says. “Perfect for portraits but I can also pull back and take wide angle establishing shots too. This lens will not distort the perspective of your subject. The shallow DOF at 1.2 gives me a signature look.” Read more about his portrait kit and see more of his portraiture in What’s In My Bag: A Pro’s Kit For On-Location Portraits, Cinematic Wedding Shots & More.

Photo by Scott Robert Lim. Sony Alpha 7 IV. Sony 50mm f/1.2 G Master. 1/250-sec., f/1.2, ISO 200

Photo by Scott Robert Lim. Sony Alpha 7 IV. Sony 50mm f/1.2 G Master. 1/250-sec., f/1.2, ISO 200

Sony Artisan and professional wedding and portrait photographer Kesha Lambert considers the Sony 50mm f/1.2 G Master one of her go-tos, and she used to create the dramatic low light portrait below. “When creating a portrait, especially one involving movement in low light, the 50mm f/1.2 G Master is my go-to,” she says. “It is impressively fast and precise, and this lens paired with the AI-powered AF system made it possible for me to execute this portrait quickly and easily.” Read more in Behind The Shot: Creating A Dramatic Low-Light Portrait.

Photo by Kesha Lambert. Sony Alpha 7R V. Sony 50mm f/1.2 G Master. 1/200-sec., f/4.5, ISO 200

Photo by Kesha Lambert. Sony Alpha 7R V. Sony 50mm f/1.2 G Master. 1/200-sec., f/4.5, ISO 200

Sony Artisan and professional fashion and portrait photographer Nino Rakichevich added the Sony 50mm f/1.2 G Master to his kit and uses it a lot for his high-level work. “Since it came out, I’ve been using it for all of the portrait work and beauty work that I do. It’s a beautiful lens with amazing bokeh.” Read more in What’s In My Bag: A Look At The Photo Kit This Pro Uses For Runway And On-Location Fashion.

Photo by Nino Rakichevich. Sony Alpha 7 IV. Sony 50mm f/1.2 G Master. 1/2500-sec., f/1.2, ISO 250

Photo by Nino Rakichevich. Sony Alpha 7 IV. Sony 50mm f/1.2 G Master. 1/2500-sec., f/1.2, ISO 250

Photographer Ivan Wong’s work is inspired by the use of light, neo-noir, cyberpunk and other futuristic themes. The Alpha Collective member always includes the Sony 50mm f/1.2 G Master lens in his kit to achieve this style. “The 50mm is the focus length that I’ve started shooting portraits at,” he says. “Before I liked to shoot wider head-to-toe shots of models, now I have become more comfortable shooting more compressed head-to-body shots. This lens can also be used to shoot full body shots at wider distances between the subject and me, but have less distortion on the subject compared to the 35mm. Similar to the 35mm f/1.4, the 50mm f/1.2 is my go-to for bokeh and low-light conditions. This lens is also extremely sharp and fast, which works incredibly well with the high fps of the Alpha 7R IV and Alpha 1.” Read more in What’s In My Bag: A G Master Lens Kit For Cyberpunk Portraiture.

Photo by Ivan Wong. Sony Alpha 1. Sony 50mm f/1.2 G Master. 1/80-sec., f/4, ISO 320

Photo by Ivan Wong. Sony Alpha 1. Sony 50mm f/1.2 G Master. 1/80-sec., f/4, ISO 320

Photo by Ivan Wong. Sony Alpha 7R IV. Sony 50mm f/1.2 G Master. 1/60-sec., f/1.6, ISO 160

Photo by Ivan Wong. Sony Alpha 7R IV. Sony 50mm f/1.2 G Master. 1/60-sec., f/1.6, ISO 160

Alpha Collective member Quay Hu calls the lens his go-to for portraits. “The 50mm is a perfect lens because of the distance. It’s not so close but not too far away to capture the perfect images.” He used it to take the beautiful portrait below, and you can read more about his kit in What’s In My Bag: See This Soccer Dad’s Ultimate Sony Setup.

Photo by Quay Hu. Sony Alpha 1. Sony 50mm f/1.2 G Master. 1/3200-sec., f/1.2, ISO 100

Photo by Quay Hu. Sony Alpha 1. Sony 50mm f/1.2 G Master. 1/3200-sec., f/1.2, ISO 100

Ever since outdoor photographer Gareth Llewellyn added the Sony 50mm f/1.2 G Master to his kit, it’s become a staple for his work. “This is potentially the best lens on earth – there I said it! And I have not owned it for long at all. I have often carried two zooms and one prime, typically deciding between a 35mm or 85mm, to reduce the weight that I carry. I decided to swap these out for the 50mm as for me it is the perfect do-it-all lens. Storytelling, details, tight - but not quite 85mm tight, landscape images. And at f/1.2 I can make the most of the blue hour walk back to the car or camp and carry on capturing photos in the lowest of light.” Read more in What’s In My Bag: 2 Cameras & 3 Lenses For Outdoor Photography.

Music culture and commercial lifestyle photographer Chad Wadsworth always includes the Sony 50mm f/1.2 G Master in his kit. The Sony Artisan says, “This may just be the best autofocus 50mm lens money can buy. At maximum aperture, it creates incredibly sharp and smooth images that rival the Medium Format look. In this image the GM draws both the subject and the larger setting in a way that tells the story with a harmonious transition between the elements. I used the APS-C crop mode on the Alpha 1 (programmed to the C1 button) to quickly punch into a 75mm equivalent.” Read more in What’s In My Bag: An Alpha 1 Kit For Music Culture & Commercial Lifestyle Photography.

Photo by Chad Wadsworth. Sony Alpha 1. Sony 50mm f/1.2 G Master. 1/320-sec., f/1.2, ISO 100

Photo by Chad Wadsworth. Sony Alpha 1. Sony 50mm f/1.2 G Master. 1/320-sec., f/1.2, ISO 100

Motor sports photographer Peter Summers uses a variety of prime lenses for capturing the action, including the Sony 50mm f/1.2 G Master. “I really like the way the primes look for my work. I try to shoot at as low of an aperture as I can,” Summers explains. Read more about his gear and see more of his images in How This News & Motorsports Photo Pro Gets Creative With Cars, Racing And The Need For Speed.

Photo by Peter Summers. Sony Alpha 9 II. Sony 50mm f/1.2 G Master. 1/4000-sec., f/1.1, ISO 50

Photo by Peter Summers. Sony Alpha 9 II. Sony 50mm f/1.2 G Master. 1/4000-sec., f/1.1, ISO 50

Award-winning portrait photographer and Sony Artisan Tony Gale calls the Sony 50mm f/1.2 G Master one of his favorite lenses. “I really like doing portraits at f/1.2,” he says. “In the old days, if you wanted to photograph someone at f/1.2 with a 50mm lens, most of the time the camera would focus on their nose or their ears or their cheek, and their eyes wouldn't be sharp. But with Eye Autofocus, almost all of the frames are tack sharp on the eyes, which is the most important thing. It's absolutely amazing.” Read more in Photo Fundamentals: A Pro's Simple Autofocus Setup For Portraits.

Photo by Tony Gale. Sony Alpha 1. Sony 50mm f/1.2 G Master. 1/2-sec., f/16, ISO 200

Photo by Tony Gale. Sony Alpha 1. Sony 50mm f/1.2 G Master. 1/2-sec., f/16, ISO 200

Learn more about the Sony 50mm f/1.2 G Master HERE.

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