Sony Releases 50mm f/1.4 for E-Mount & Wireless Radio Flash System

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Sony has finally completed a trio of fast high-end prime lenses with the release of the full-frame Planar T* FE 50mm f/1.4 ZA Lens for E-mount cameras. This lens offers advanced optics, a physical aperture ring, and a smooth 11-blade aperture that make it a great normal-length option in between the 35mm f/1.4 and 85mm f/1.4 that are already available. Along with this, Sony has officially announced its Wireless Radio Lighting Control System for the company lineup of on-camera flashes. This allows users to control their flash units remotely from up to 98' away while maintaining full support for TTL and High-Speed Sync.

The new flagship 50mm features Zeiss’s Planar design for minimal distortion, along with the remarkable T* anti-reflective coating, to minimize flaring and ensure high resolution and contrast. The 12-element-in-9-group design also incorporates Advanced Aspherical and Extra-low Dispersion glass elements to reduce spherical and chromatic aberration. The fast f/1.4 maximum aperture makes this lens ideal for low-light conditions, as well as creating a shallow depth of field, something further benefitted by the use of 11 blades in the aperture diaphragm for smooth bokeh.

For speed, a ring drive Super Sonic wave Motor autofocus system ensures fast, near-silent performance and is useful in movies, as well as stills. Further improving its video chops is the integrated aperture ring, which at the flip of a switch can be de-clicked for smooth iris pulls. A physical AF/MF switch is also available.

 

Cutting cords is a huge trend nowadays, and flash is no exception. Sony is jumping into this game by releasing the FA-WRC1M Wireless Radio Commander and FA-WRR1 Wireless Radio Receivers, which can be used in combination to remotely control up to 15 flash units from up to 98' away. The system works directly with Multi Interface Shoe flashes and cameras with full support for TTL along with High-Speed Sync features, including exposure compensation, flash ratio, and more. A sync terminal on the radio units even permits a connection to a strobe or monolight via a PC sync cable. Additionally, it is dust- and moisture-resistant to match the compatible cameras, which at the moment include the a7R II, a7S II, and a7 II. Furthermore, a VMC-MM1 Multi-Terminal Connecting Cable allows users to trigger cameras remotely.

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Why would I need anything more than a commander plus a Sony flash?? I have had the Canon commander unit and the Gary Fong commander/flash configuration, so what is the purpose of the wrr1 receiver??!! I am not interested in spending hundreds of dollars for what should be a fairly straightforward off camera setup.  ????

Hi Richard,

The reason you need the receiver for the Sony flashes it that they do not have radio receivers built into them as they were released before the Sony radio system existed. The newest Canon flashes (600EX II-RT and 430EX III-RT) have receivers built into them, but are newer releases that are designed to work within Canon's proprietary radio system. Also, if you want wireless triggering for Sony without this system, they do have an optical wireless method where a shoe-mounted flash on camera can control and trigger units located off camera. But, if you want the advantages brought by the radio system you will need to invest in the new pieces. Hopefully, future Sony flashes will have this tech built in so that users won't have to keep buying additional receivers to make it work.

A bonus of the separate receivers is the ability to use other flashes in manual mode that are not a part of Sony's lineup or for wirelessly triggering a camera or strobe.