Sony announces Planar T* 50mm lens, prices G Master 70-200mm, teleconverters and wireless flash


posted Monday, July 11, 2016 at 7:59 AM EST


If you're a fan of bright portrait primes and you're shooting with one of Sony's E-mount bodies, your week is about to get off to a great start! The company has just taken the wraps off its latest full-frame lens, and it's a Zeiss Planar T*-badged 50mm prime with a bright f/1.4 maximum aperture. Alongside this newly-revealed optic, the company has also put a price and ship date on several other products, including its G Master 70-200mm zoom, the related 1.4x and 2.0x teleconverters, and the commander and receiver for its new wireless lighting system. (The zoom and teleconverters were first announced in February, and the wireless flash rig the following month.)

A bright, full-frame 50mm f/1.4 prime aimed at both still and movie shooters

But let's start with the newest of the bunch, the Planar T* FE 50mm F1.4 ZA lens, which carries model number SEL50F14Z. Although natively a 50mm prime, it can of course also be used on APS-C E-mount bodies for an effective 75mm focal length. Its optical formula consists of 12 elements in nine groups, including one apiece of advanced aspherical, aspherical and extra-low dispersion glass lens elements to combat spherical and chromatic aberration. Sony has also included Zeiss' flare-and-ghostbusting T* coating, and an 11-bladed, rounded aperture should offer up some very attractive bokeh in your large-aperture portrait shots.


The Planar T* 50mm lens has a dust and moisture-resistant design that will prove handy if you want to shoot in inclement conditions, and accepts 72mm threaded filters on its front surface. Physical controls include an aperture ring with on/off switch and an auto/manual focus switch. The lens will also accept a petal-shaped bayonet lens hood (model number ALC-SH143), which is included along with a case and front/rear lens caps in the product bundle.

Autofocus is catered for with a ring drive Super Sonic Wave Motor system that's said to be quick, precise and near-silent, something that will be of particular importance if you're a movie shooter. An internal focusing design is used, and if you plan on using filters, you'll be pleased to hear that the filter threads don't rotate. Sony promises that the optic will provide "impressive contrast and outstanding resolution", even wide open in the corners.


Sony will be shipping the Planar T* FE 50mm F1.4 ZA lens this month, with a retail price of US$1,500 in the American market, and CA$1,950 in the Canadian market.

Pricing and availability for G Master 70-200mm zoom and related teleconverters

Moving on to the FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS G Master lens (model number SEL70200GM) and its related 1.4x and 2.0x teleconverters (model numbers SEL14TC and SEL20TC respectively), these were announced last spring as mentioned previously, and we've already covered basic specs at that time.


The big news here is that both the zoom lens and teleconverters will also be shipping this month. The 70-200mm G Master optic will carry a retail price of US$2,600 (CA$3,300), while the 1.4x and 2.0x teleconverters will each be priced identically at US$550 (CA$700).

Pricing and availability for wireless lighting system

Finally, Sony's brand-new wireless lighting control system will be arriving just slightly behind all of these other products. First announced in March, the FA-WRC1M wireless radio commander and FA-WRR1 wireless radio receiver will hit retail this August.


In the US market, the wireless commander will sell for around US$350, and the receiver for about US$200. In Canada, meanwhile, pricing is expected to be in the region of CA$480 for the commander, and CA$280 for the receiver. That seems pretty reasonable for a system capable of commanding up to 15 strobes in five groups with a 30-meter (98 foot) range!



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