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Sony 50mm f/1.4 GM Lens Review

50mm lenses are amongst the most popular prime focal lengths of all time, providing a ‘standard’ field of view, which is similar to the human eye. This allows a 50mm lens to be used for virtually any subject, even during extremely low light situations, thanks to a wide maximum aperture, which is brighter than most zooms offer. Due to this popularity there are plenty of 50mm Sony lenses to choose between and Sony has now updated the six year old ZEISS f/1.4 lens with a brand new model.

Sony 50mm f/1.4 GM Lens Review

Our Sony 50mm f/1.4 GM Lens review covers everything you need to know when considering how to choose the best Sony lenses for your creative toolkit. There are sample images with 100% crops to pixel peep, showing off the almighty resolution of the A7R V camera reviewed here, as well as the high resolving power of the lens. You can also watch our 50mm lens video review, compare specs with other options and discover everything about this fast, compact prime lens.

What are the benefits of a 50mm lens?

50mm lenses offer a natural field of view, similar to that of the human eye. This is ideal for capturing almost anything, including portraits and street photography, weddings, travel and as an all-day option, which stays on your camera as you snap subjects that catch your eye.

They tend to have a bright aperture, which can give attractive out-of-focus background blur and bokeh balls, as well as helping to separate the subject from the background, with a shallow depth of field. 50mm prime lenses are also quite portable and easy to handhold, which is great if you need to react to situations and capture spontaneous shots.

New 50mm G Master lens mounted on camera body

Sony FE 50mm f/1.4 GM Lens with G Master optics

As a G Master lens, users tend to be professionals and advanced enthusiasts who demand certain features from a lens. These include:

  • A bright aperture for shallow depth of field
  • Excellent bokeh rendition from an 11-blade circular aperture design
  • Corner to corner sharpness with high resolution capabilities thanks to XA (extreme aspherical) lens element
  • The lens reproduces subtle changes in contrast with minimal optical aberrations such as chromatic and coma aberrations
  • Fast and accurate focusing from two XD linear focus motors
  • High build quality, weather sealing and robust materials used throughout
  • Fluorine and Nano AR coating II coatings

sample image with Sony A7R V. Camera settings: 1/160 sec. f/1.4. ISO 100

Sample image with Sony A7R V. Camera settings: 1/160 sec. f/1.4. ISO 100

Sony 50mm lens comparison

The new full-frame lens (FE) fits into a range of excellent primes for content creators, which include the class leading f/1.2 lens, which is explored in the Sony 50mm F1.2 GM Lens review here. The table below compares key specifications between Sony’s new and outgoing 50mm lenses, as well as the flagship f/1.2 lens, in order for you to see just how appealing the new version is.


Sony FE 50mm F/1.2 GM Lens

Sony FE 50mm f/1.4 GM Lens *New

Sony FE 50mm F/1.4 ZA Zeiss Planar T* Lens





Lens elements/groups




Focus motor

Four XD (extreme dynamic) Linear Motors

Two XD (extreme dynamic) Linear Motors

SSM (Super Sonic wave Motor)

Aperture blades




Minimum focus distance

0.4 m


0.45 m

Maximum magnification ratio

0.17 x


0.15 x

Filter diameter

72 mm


72 mm


Nano AR Coating II

Nano AR Coating II

ZEISS T* Coating

Fluorine coat




Dust and moisture resistant design




Dimensions (D x L)

87 x 108 mm

80.6 x 96 mm

83.5 x 108 mm


778 g



Not only is the newer model the smallest and lightest by quite a margin, it also delivers closer focusing, has a smallest filter thread and similar optical technology as the top-end model. This presents a whole new choice for anyone who wants a professional 50mm prime from Sony.

100 percent crop from previous sample

100 percent crop from previous sample showing amazing detail and clarity

50mm f/1.4 GM Lens for video

The 50mm f/1.4 GM Lens includes particular features in order to meet the demands of hybrid content creators and videographers who shoot with the Sony mirrorless camera system. These include:

  • A de-clickable aperture ring for silent exposure changes
  • Near silent autofocus from the two linear motors
  • Smooth, fine control manual focus ring with linear response
  • Iris lock to prevent accidental exposure changes
  • Breathing Compensation compatible with select cameras including A7R V, A7 IV, FX30 and more
  • MF/AF focus mode switch

Significantly, this lens also shares similar weight distribution as Sony’s FE 24mm F/1.4 GM and FE 35mm F/1.4 GM lenses. This allows you to switch between these three models without needing to rebalance a gimbal stabiliser when shooting movies, saving time and money on set.

Another advantage this provides is a common 67mm filter thread size, saving on purchasing different filters for lenses, as they can be shared between all three. This is a nice touch for anyone who prefers shooting with a selection of primes, particularly for moviemaking where you rely on ND filters and other accessories.

sample photo 50mm prime with Sony A7R V. Camera settings: 1/640 sec. f/1.4. ISO 100

Sample image with Sony A7R V. Camera settings: 1/640 sec. f/1.4. ISO 100

Lens customisation

High-end lenses often provide advanced customisation through programmable buttons and the Sony 50mm f/1.4 GM Lens features two focus hold buttons, which can be customised via the camera body. This allows you to set useful features to suit your particular workflow, such as Eye AF, focus magnification, video recording on/off, single shot to continuous shooting and so on.

This level of control quickly becomes intuitive and is extremely useful when you need to change settings without moving your eye from the viewfinder or LCD screen.

100 percent crop from Sony 50mm f/1.4 GM lens

Another 100 percent crop from previous sample photo

Best accessories for the 50mm f/1.4 GM

It pays to stock up on accessories in order to get the most out of any lens, as well as being able to respond to different shooting conditions. Sony does provide a useful lens hood, which helps to maintain contrast by reducing incidental light, however you can also add a Hoya 67mm HD II UV filter to reduce the effects of ultraviolet light. This will also protect the front element from excess dirt and scratches.

A circular polariser is essential for reducing reflections and another option from Hoya is the 67mm UX II PL-CIR Circular Polariser Filter, while the Hoya 67mm HD NANO II CPL adds the latest coating technologies for slightly more refined results.

Nobody wants to spend hours removing smears and dust spots from their shots during post processing, so why not keep your lens clean with disposable ZEISS Lens Wipes (24 Pack). You can also combine a dust blower with a Spudz cleaning cloth for sustainable lens cleaning with less waste.

Sample photo with Sony A7R V. Camera settings: 1/640 sec. f/5.6. ISO 100

Sample image with Sony A7R V. Camera settings: 1/640 sec. f/5.6. ISO 100

Videographers will inevitably require an ND filter or VND, in order to reduce light when recording video during brighter conditions. Once again from Hoya, the second generation Hoya 67mm Variable Density II Filter is a brilliant option, with 1.5 to 9-stops of control. If you have the budget available, the PolarPro Peter McKinnon 67mm VND MIST Edition II 6-9 Stop combines a VND with diffusion for dreamy results straight out of camera and is also available as a 2-5 stop 67mm VND MIST Edition II.

Video review Sony FE 50mm f/1.4 GM Lens


If you need an extra stop of light and ridiculously quick focusing the Sony FE 50mm F/1.2 GM Lens is the one you. On the other hand, if you’re happy with professional optics and a compact design, relying on two linear focus motors, the new Sony FE 50mm f/1.4 GM Lens is the perfect choice.

It’s smaller, lighter and faster than the original, delivers professional GM optics, premium build quality and is extremely versatile, especially when paired with Sony’s two similar wide and standard primes.

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By Nick Dautlich on 21/02/2023

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