Lens review

Sony FE 50 mm f/1.2 GM

16 March 2021
Maciej Lata³³o

3. Build quality

The following chart presents a comparison between basic parameters of different mirrorless 1.2 lenses designed for mirrorless and rangefinder cameras. One glance is enough to say that the Sony autofocus model is indeed the smallest and physically the lightest in this group, although it is not as optically complex as its Canon and Nikon rivals. Leica and Voigtalnder also offer much simpler optical systems.

In the photo below the Sony FE 50 mm f/1.2 GM is positioned between the classic gauss 50 mm lens designed for reflex cameras, namely the Sony A 50 mm f/1.4, and the Voigtlander Apo-Lanthar 2/65.

Sony FE 50 mm f/1.2 GM - Build quality

The tested lens starts with a metal mount that surrounds a rear element, 30 mm in diameter, and a contact plate. The rear element is situated almost on the same level as the contacts and the area around it is black and properly matted. From this side everything looks as it should.

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Sony FE 50 mm f/1.2 GM - Build quality

The proper body of the lens starts with a black ring made of plastics which diameter increases as you move further from the mount. On that ring you can find a frame with an inscription “FE 1.2/50 GM”, a white dot, making an alignment with a camera easier, the mount type (E-mount), and the symbol of the lens, its serial number, and its place of production, Thailand in this case.

Sony FE 50 mm f/1.2 GM - Build quality

Then you see an aperture ring as wide as 14.5 mm, covered by ribs and moving every 1/3 EV step. It performs properly well and its working mode can be click-stopped every 1/3 EV or clickless, certainly a piece of good news for those who like shooting video movies.

Sony FE 50 mm f/1.2 GM - Build quality

Another immobile ring features the Sony logo, the G series mark, a CLICK ON/OFF toggle that allows you to control the aperture ring, and a focusing mechanism mode switch AF/MF. You also get two aperture lock buttons which, additionally, can be programmed from the camera menu level.

Then you find a manual focusing ring, as wide as 24 mm, covered by rubber ribs that feel nice to the touch. The ring is a focus-by-wire construction and its focus throw amounts to about 140-160 degrees, depending on how fast you turn it. Such a value is enough for normal type of performance but, in a case of such a good aperture fastness as featured by this lens I think you should expect something closer to 180 degrees.

Sony FE 50 mm f/1.2 GM - Build quality

Behind the ring you also find an immobile part of the barrel made of metal with a red mark for proper alignment of the hood and a hood mount.

The front element, 48 mm in diameter, is quite flat and it doesn't move. It is surrounded by a part of the barrel with inscriptions stating the name of the lens, and its minimum focusing distance; then you see a non-rotating filter thread, 72 mm in diameter.

Sony FE 50 mm f/1.2 GM - Build quality

When it comes to optical construction you deal here with 14 elements put in 10 groups. There are three XA aspherical elements among them. Inside you can also find a round aperture with as many as 11 diaphragm blades; it can be closed down to a value of f/16 at the maximum. The producers also boast of using very advanced Nanon AR Coating II.

Buyers get in the box with the lens: both caps, a hood and a very solid and stylish hard case.