Lens duo poised for March release for full-frame Alpha 7-series cameras

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Sony has announced two new prime lenses for its a7 series of full-frame cameras – the G Master Series FE 100mm F2.8 STF GM OSS and a new compact FE 85mm F1.8 prime – that will launch in March 2017. Whilst the lenses may at first glance be obvious choices for shooting stills they do have some potentially attractive benefits for filmmakers…

The FE 100mm F2.8 STF GM OSS full-frame prime telephoto lens is built to produce ‘beautiful’ bokeh with a STF™ (Smooth Trans Focus) design, whilst aiming to deliver the high-resolution quality of Sony’s flagship G Master series lenses. Indeed Sony claims it has the highest ever quality of bokeh seen in one of its lenses to date.

G Masters for video use
Whilst the 100mm optic will clearly appeal to portrait, fashion, nature and wedding photographers it can also operate as a lens for video. Indeed at the 2016 press launch of the G Master lens series Sony clearly suggested that the G Master lenses will have a resolution that’s high enough to cope with shooting high res video, potentially right up to 8K.

The lens is said to have ‘impressive defocus capabilities’ made possible by an advanced optical structure, with a new 11-bladed aperture and a unique optical apodization lens element. In a similar way to a neutral density filter that increases in density towards the edges, the apodization element creates transitions of in-focus to out-of-focus areas within an image, making for exceptionally soft, smooth bokeh that adds depth and dimensionality. This should allow subjects to stand out against defocused elements in both the foreground and background, producing an image that is naturally pleasing to the eye. The design of the lens is also said to ensure that vignetting is kept to an absolute minimum.

The new 100mm lens supports both contrast AF and focal-plane phase detection AF and has a direct drive SSM (Super Sonic Motor) system to aid fast and accurate AF performance. The lens also offers close-up capabilities up to 0.25x via a built-in macro switching ring, built-in Optical SteadyShot™ image stabilisation, a customisable focus hold button, an AF/MF switch, aperture ring and is also dust and moisture resistant.

Sony FE 85mm F1.8
The new Sony FE 85mm F1.8 is said to be a ‘versatile, lightweight and compact’ mid-telephoto prime lens. It features a wide F1.8 aperture that can help to produce portraits with soft background defocus that take advantage of its 85mm focal length and wide F1.8 maximum aperture. Like its 100mm sister lens it can also be utilised for video shoots, such as filming people or nearby wildlife.

It features a 9-bladed circular aperture mechanism that helps to offer smooth, natural looking bokeh, and a double linear motor system to allow for ‘fast, precise and quiet focusing’. It also has a focus hold button that can be customised and assigned together with functions in the camera body, such as the Eye-AF feature. There is a ‘smooth and responsive’ focus ring and AF/MF switch and the lens is also dust and moisture resistant.

Find out more…
The new lenses will start shipping in March 2017 with the 100mm optic to be priced at approximately £1700 and the 85mm at approximately £550. To find out more about potential of the the G Master lenses for video purposes click here. To watch videos about the G Master lens range and Sony Alpha cameras just click here.