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Sony 50mm Lens, Wireless Flash System and Pricing

Sony has announced a new lens and flash system comprising of the new 50mm f/1.4 ZA lens and a wireless radio controlled flash system. Additionally they announced final pricing on the FE 70-200mm f/2.8 lens and teleconverters.

Sony already has 2 f/1.8 50mm lenses in their current lineup, but needed a 1.4 model to round out their 50mm offerings. Personally, I think they needed other lenses in their lineup such as an inexpensive 70-300mm FE lens more in line with the Canon and Nikon 70-300 consumer zooms. At $1500 for a 50mm f/1.4 their pricing is pretty steep compared with Canon and Nikon 50mm f/1.4 lenses however, this is a Zeiss design, so that does command a hefty premium. However, I would personally opt for the excellent FE 55mm f/1.8 Zeiss lens and save $500.

Pricing for the 70-200mm f/2.8 came in (dissapoiningly) right where I expected it: $2,600. This is pretty high and I am sure it will come down in the near future to around $2,200. This is a lens that Sony needs to help convince Canon and Nikon professional and advanced amateur owners to switch, but at a higher cost and similar size and weight for the lens, there is not much incentive. One of the selling points of mirror less is the small size, but since physics doesn’t care if your camera has a mirror or not, when you build a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens that covers a 24x36mm sensor there really isn’t anything you can do to make the lenses smaller.

The teleconverters will help sony since they are “telephoto challenged”. The new 70-300mm lens is the longest native FE focal length available to the E mount system. Sony really needs a 400mm option, similar to their excellent A-mount 80-400 lens.

The new wireless radio trigger system looks pretty cool, especially since none of the FE mirror less cameras have a built in flash that can be used as a wireless trigger. Flash has been one of Sony’s weaknesses compared to Canon and especially Nikon.

More details about these products can be found in the press releases below.

Press Releases

Sony FE 50mm f/1.4 ZA

Sony Releases Full-Frame FE 50mm F1.4 ZA Prime Lens
A quintessential wide-aperture 50mm “normal” lens, the new ZEISS® Planar F1.4 offers high resolution, high-contrast and overall exceptional performance

SAN DIEGO, July 11, 2016 – Sony Electronics, a worldwide leader in digital imaging and the world’s largest image sensor manufacturer, has today introduced a new full-frame lens for their E-mount camera system, the Planar T* FE 50mm F1.4 ZA (model SEL50F14Z).

This 50mm prime lens features a large F1.4 maximum aperture that offers impressive contrast and outstanding resolution that are hallmarks of the ZEISS® brand. It produces these consistently strong qualities throughout the entirety of the frame – from center to corner – and at all aperture settings, even while shooting wide open at F1.4. The cutting edge optical structure includes high-precision AA (Advanced Aspherical) and ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass elements that reduce spherical and chromatic aberration, as well as a ZEISS® T* Coating that minimizes flare and ghosting creating the classic ZEISS® clarity. Additionally, its Planar design ensures minimal distortion.

The large F1.4 maximum aperture of the FE 50mm F1.4ZA lens provides a level of brightness and speed that are advantageous for dimly lit indoor shots, night scenes, and portraits, while its 11-bladed circular aperture allows for stunning “bokeh”, or background defocus, in images. The lens also features an aperture ring with an adjustable ON/OFF switch, an AF/MF focus mode switch, and a dust and moisture resistant design¹, further increasing its functionality.

The new lens is also equipped with a ring drive SSM (Super Sonic wave Motor) system, which allows it to efficiently lock focus with speed, precision and in near silence, making it particularly useful for shooting movies.

Pricing and Availability – FE 50mm F1.4 ZA Lens

The new FE 50mm F1.4 ZA lens will ship this July for a retail price of $1,500 US and $1,950 CA. The new FE interchangeable lens will be sold at a variety of Sony authorized dealers throughout North America.

Sony FE 70-200mm f:2.8 GM OSS telephoto zoom lens

Pricing and Availability – New FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS G Master lens. Teleconverters and Wireless Lighting Control System

Today, Sony has also released pricing and ship timing for the FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS G Master lens, 1.4x and 2.0x teleconverters plus their new wireless lighting control system. All products were introduced earlier this year.

One of the most eagerly anticipated lenses of the year, the Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS G Master lens takes its place as the flagship telephoto zoom in the Sony lens lineup. Featuring built in Optical Stead Shot (OSS) and a fast f/2.8 maximum aperture across the zoom range, the lens will be an ideal fit for nature, sports, travel, fashion, beauty and wedding photographers. This lens will ship this July for a retail price of $2,600 US and $3,300 CA.

Teleconverter Pricing

Designed exclusively to fit the 70-200mm F2.8 G Master lens, the new 1.4x and 2.0x teleconverters (models SEL14TC and SEL20TC) will both be sold for the same retail price of about $550 US and $700 CA, and will ship this July.

New Wireless Flash and Control System

The versatile new wireless flash and control system – comprised of the FA-WRC1M wireless radio commander and the FA-WRR1 wireless radio receiver – was designed to meet the growing demands of professional Sony photographers. With a maximum range of 30m (approx.. 98 feet) and the ability to control a maximum of 15 separate flash units in 5 different groups, it offers a flexible wireless flash shooting experience with exceptional performance.

The FA-WRC1M commander will be sold for about $350 US and $480 CA. The FA-WRR1 receiver will be sold for about $200 US and $280 CA. Both products will ship this August.


Sony Launches New Radio-Controlled Lighting System for Sony α Photographers
Sony today announced the availability of a new radio-controlled lighting system to meet the growing demands of professional and advanced amateur Sony photographers.Designed for compatibility with Sony’s α interchangeable lens cameras and external flash units, the new lighting system will include the FA-WRC1M wireless radio commander as well as the FA-WRR1 wireless radio receiver.

The flexibility of the system means that it can be a totally portable solution, benefitting people like wedding photographers who are often working at locations where it is cumbersome to transport studio lighting but the results need to be perfect first time.

With a maximum range of 30m (approx. 98.4 feet), the new radio controlled system will allow for an extremely adaptable wireless flash shooting experience with exceptional performance in all types of shooting conditions using TTL, Manual or Group modes. In total, the system can control a maximum of 15 separate flash units in up to 5 groups of flashes which gives the photographer a huge amount of creative freedom to experiment with different settings to accurately capture their vision for the project.

Whilst using the system, shooting mode, flash ratio and exposure compensation on remotely located flashes can be controlled via the local commander which is equipped with a large, easy-to-see control panel on which the communication status with each receiver can be confirmed, thus making it convenient for one-man or small-crew shooting. The system also offers the added benefit of enabling remote release of multiple cameras which is particularly useful for sports and wildlife photographers as the system can work at up to 30 meters, enabling them to capture a wide range of views at the crucial moment.

The new lighting control system will be capable of flash sync speeds of up to 1/250th of a second with high speed sync (HSS) available as well. Flash level can be controlled over 25 steps (1/1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32, 1/64, 1/128, 1/256) in 1/3 EV step increments.

The new system is designed for photographers who are creating specific set-ups necessitating multiple light sources, controllable at each flash station for dynamic lighting effects. By delivering a fully radio controlled system, the user does not have to worry about the limitations of IR triggering where strong sunlight or physical barriers may cause problems. It is dust and moisture resistant for use in a variety of conditions.

The new system will start to ship in September 2016 with the Remote Commander priced at approximately €420 and the Remote Receiver priced at approximately €240.

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