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The 7 Best Lenses of 2021

2021 has been a bright year when it comes to new lenses for professional photographers

Sony FE 50mm f/1.2 GM

Photo of Sony 50mm lens

There was so much demand for the Sony FE 50mm f/1.2 GM (G Master) lens when it was first released there were widespread reports of product delays. There’s a reason for that demand from photographers: it’s a damn good 50mm lens. Our colleagues at Imaging Resource got their hands on one for testing and said the Sony FE 50mm f/1.2 GM (model SEL50F12GM) “makes an excellent first impression.” According to IR’s Jeremy Gray who wrote the review, “Sony has hit a home run with its 13th G Master lens. It performs very well at its maximum aperture of f/1.2, delivering good sharpness at the (very shallow) plane of focus and smooth bokeh in front of and behind the subject. The lens is also impressively compact and lightweight, given its fast aperture and large glass elements.” The Sony FE 50mm F1.2 GM has dimensions of 3.42 x 4.25 inches and weighs 27.44 ounces, making it one of the smallest 50mm, f/1.2 prime lenses in its class. The lens is made with three XA (extreme aspherical) lens elements that are designed to capture high resolution detail across the entire image, even at f/1.2. It uses a newly developed 11-blade circular aperture and has Sony’s Nano AR Coating II that’s designed to minimize internal reflections to reduce ghosting and flare when shooting backlit scenes. The Sony FE 50mm f/1.2 GM uses four XD (extreme dynamic) Linear Motors to produce fast, precise and quiet autofocus including when shooting 4K video with human eye tracking. The lens, if you can find one available, sells for $1998 so it’s certainly not a “thrifty fifty” but with its fast aperture, surprisingly small size, and excellent performance, it lives up to its hefty price tag.

Check the price and availability of the Sony FE 50mm f/1.2 GM: Adorama | Amazon | B&H

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