The new Sony 50mm f/1.4 G Master lens is here, and in the video below professional portrait photographer Miguel Quiles walks us through the details on what this new lens is all about. See more and order the new Sony 50mm f/1.4 G Master HERE.
Professional portrait photographer Miguel Quiles gives us the details on what the new Sony 50mm f/1.4 G Master lens is all about.
Quiles first examines the outside of the lens, where you’ll find many of the same features of the Sony 50mm f/1.2 G Master – a de-clickable aperture ring and two focus hold buttons that can be customized in the menu. “There’s also a Focus Mode switch and an Iris Lock which prevents the aperture ring from being accidentally moved when you’re shooting. This is the first time that they’ve implemented an Iris Lock on a prime lens by the way, which will come in handy for some.”
The lens also features a 67mm front filter thread, just like the 24mm and 35mm G Master lenses. It’s moisture and dust resistant, and has Sony’s lens coatings to help repel dirt, oil and water, as well as help with flaring and ghosting. Moving to the inside of the lens, Quiles takes a closer look at its focusing system. “The focusing on the new Sony 50mm f/1.4 lens is internal, and most of all it’s nearly silent. If you like using the 50mm focal length for shooting video, this is going to be a great option for you.”
The linear motors quickly move the internal lens elements to give you better autofocus for both stills and video. After testing the autofocus while shooting in New York City, Quiles says that the performance was reliable even when you’re shooting wide open. “This was something that I wouldn’t have imagined doing 7 or 8 years ago, but here we are in 2023 getting silent and consistent tracking on a 50mm f/1.4 lens.”
Weighing in at 18.2 ounces, the new 50mm f/1.4 G Master lens is close to the weight and size of the Sony 35mm f/1.4 G Master, which is one of Quiles’ favorite primes to shoot video with. In fact, it’s what he uses to shoot most of his talking head videos at f/1.4. “It’s one of my favorite lenses for that style of video shooting, so I was happy to see that the new 50mm lens shared a lot of the same features.”
Quiles tested the lens with the Sony Alpha 7R V in a variety of shooting scenarios including video and stills both on location and in studio. “This is where I realized how important this lens is to have in the lineup,” Quiles says. “With the newer Sony bodies having these insanely fast and accurate focusing systems, you need a lens that can keep up. The new 50mm lens was so good and I could see where some video shooters might just put this on a gimbal, shoot it at f/1.4 and not have to worry about tracking and keeping your subjects in focus.”
He also says the design of the lens makes it a great one to pair with the Sony 24mm f/1.4 G Master and Sony 35mm f/1.4 G Master for use on a gimbal, as it requires less rebalancing and adjustments when you’re swapping focal lengths.
The 50mm focal length is classic focal length for shooting portraits outdoors. “I’ve used all of the modern 50mm E-mount lenses, as well as many classic 50mm lenses in these types of conditions,” explains Quiles, “and I can honestly say that this new lens is just awesome. Being able to rely on the camera and the lens to keep [the subject’s] eyes sharp and in focus – it frees me up to pay more attention to how she’s posing and expressing herself to the camera, as well as being able to pay more attention to the composition and other elements that might be in the frame.”
Quiles also tested the lens coatings to see how it would perform in terms of flaring, ghosting and purple fringing. He set up his subject in a backlit situation to see how the lens would perform, and he found the flaring, ghosting and purple fringing to be at an absolute minimum.
“I’ve personally had photo shoots in the past that were wrecked due to shooting portraits of someone that’s backlit and then getting home to realize that all of the highlights have this really gross-looking purple fringing that takes time to edit out in post-production, if you can even get rid of it at all. The new 50mm f/1.4 G MAster lens performed exceedingly well at this and should lead you to getting some really high-quality results.”
See more and order the new Sony 50mm f/1.4 G Master HERE.