WPPI 2017: Sony Reveals FE 100mm STF GM, FE 85mm f/1.8, and Radio Flash

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Telephoto lenses and fast, portable lighting are staples of wedding and portrait photographers, which is why Sony has chosen WPPI 2017 to release the FE 100mm f/2.8 STF GM OSS and FE 85mm f/1.8 lenses for full-frame E-mount cameras, as well as a new radio-equipped HVL-F45RM Flash. These new telephoto options start to fill in some desired areas of Sony’s still relatively new full-frame lens lineup and bring some technology from its A-mount system to the E mount. Additionally, it begins Sony’s expansion of its radio flash system, which started with the introduction of the Wireless Radio Commander and Receiver released last year.

Adding to Sony’s already well-received G Master lens series is the FE 100mm f/2.8 STF GM OSS, which incorporates an apodization optic to help create exceptionally smooth, rounded bokeh while maintaining tack-sharp focus on the subject. This newly designed element nearly eliminates peripheral highlight distortion from vignetting and works with the 11-blade circular aperture to produce pleasing out-of-focus areas. However, a side effect of the element is a reduction in light transmission, rated here as T5.6 when set to the lens’s maximum f/2.8 aperture. Another benefit of this lens is a 1:4 magnification ratio along with a minimum focus distance of 1.9'; a ring switch is present to choose between standard shooting and close-up distances.


FE 100mm f/2.8 STF GM OSS

As a member of the G Master series, the 100mm is measured to ensure excellent sharpness, even wide open. Also, it features one aspherical element and one extra-low dispersion element to combat aberrations, while a Nano AR Coating minimizes flare and ghosting. Furthermore, the lens is constructed well, utilizing a Direct Drive SuperSonic Motor (DDSSM) for fast, near-silent focusing, as well as Optical SteadyShot image stabilization to compensate for camera shake. The lens barrel also offers a physical aperture ring and de-click switch along with a programmable focus hold button for those who prefer tactile controls. Additionally, as with the previous G Master lenses, the 100mm is dust and moisture resistant.

Another very welcomed addition to the FE lens line is the FE 85mm f/1.8, which joins the FE 28mm f/2 and FE 50mm f/1.8 in creating a more affordable and accessible system while still providing excellent optical performance. It uses an ED element to reduce aberrations, as well as a nine-blade circular aperture for smooth bokeh. Also, it features a double linear motor system for fast, quiet autofocus. The lens is designed for manual focus, as well, and it has a programmable focus hold button.


FE 85mm f/1.8

In response to the increasing popularity of radio-equipped lights and flashes, Sony has started to seriously expand its system with the release of the HVL-F45RM Wireless Radio Flash, which has been optimized for the a7 series. Using a built-in 2.4 GHz radio transceiver, the HVL-F45RM can be set up as a wireless TTL commander or receiver with a range of up to 98'. It also features complete compatibility with Sony’s P-TTL / ADI metering, as well as with the FA-WRC1M Wireless Radio Commander and FA-WRR1 Wireless Radio Receiver. Users will be able to set up and control up to 15 flashes in five different groups and can choose from 14 channels. On top of this, the flash supports Sony’s optical transmission protocols, ensuring it can be easily implemented in existing flash setups.


HVL-F45RM Wireless Radio Flash

While the radio system is its most notable feature, the HVL-F45RM offers numerous improvements over its predecessor. This new dust- and moisture-resistant model was able to shrink in size and weight by just over 10% while boosting the power with a guide number of 148' at ISO 100 and 105mm and speeding up the recycle time at full power to 2.5 seconds. Also, the flash forgoes the Quick Shift Bounce in favor of a more conventional design, with -8 to +150° of tilt and 360° of rotation. The dot-matrix LCD on the rear offers improved visibility and a Quick Navi control interface provides more direct control over your settings. Additionally, some of the rear buttons can be customized for further improved operational speed.

This isn’t all for the flash—it retains the LED video light of its predecessor along with high-speed sync support, auto white balance adjustment, auto zoom control from 24-105mm, and wireless ratio control. New settings include a flash distributions setting and an improved memory setting. Finally, the HVL-F45RM comes equipped with a Micro-USB port for future firmware updates. The flash is compatible with all Sony cameras equipped with a Multi Interface Shoe, however, wireless radio modes are only supported on the a7 II, a7R II, a7S II, a99 II, and a6500.

8 Comments

Sony flashes are way too expensive and overpriced. I sold my HVL-f43m as it overheats, The HVL-f32m does not recycle fast enough,

Switched to Godox / Flashpoint and I am really happy. 

Also Sony flash mount is really fragile, I can not put a speedlight in my camera bag without first putting it in its own case. Replacing the shoe / foot is pricey. I think they improved the design in this newest model. but transmitters and receivers are way to pricey. 

When I used Nikon DSLR, speedlights like SB600/800/700 would not overheat after 30 shots, they had a solid metal foot. 

85mm seems really interesting, I bought the Zeiss Batis 85mm, but I use the 28 mm and 55 mm lenses most.  The focus lock button that can be programmed as eye focus is really what interest me, the Batix does not have it. But if I sell the Batis, I'd just go even to buy the Sony. Hard to justify.

Those lens look great...but what about Sony producing some new lens for the a range of camera. They seem to have forgotten about them and totally concentrating on the E camera customers 

Hi Mary,

As an older system, Sony seems to think that most essential offerings are covered for A mount at the moment and if you are looking for more there are some third-party options as well. The newer full-frame E-mount system is still missing many lens types and it makes sense for Sony to want to fill out this relatively new lineup. The release of the a99 II last year was a sign that they have not completely abandoned the A mount system and I would expect more to come in the future.

I have been waiting to purchase a 6500 sony but am concerned that sony does not really produce lens systems that are proper or efficient for this camera and others like it.  First, the camera sports excellent 5 axis stabilization--but most all lenses offered are OSS.  So the costs and size are un necessarily large. From what I can tell the OSS takes over when used in this camera--why?  When can we see a good set of lenses that make sense for the 6500 and related cameras?

 

I'm incredibly happy with my a6500. I have it paired with the G Master 24-70 2.8. 

According to Sony, OSS and IBIS actually work together - OSS lenses only stabilize 2 axis - pitch and yaw, the body does the roll and the vertical and horizontal shift. For non OSS lenses, IBIS takes care of 5 axis.

Hi Dane,

In regards to the in-body stabilization tengizk is correct, lens and camera stabilization work together with the lens handling two axes and the camera handling the other three. Sony claims this results in more effective stabilization than either system separately. Also, Sony does have a fairly large existing system of APS-C E-mount lenses for the a6000 series cameras, which can be supplemented if needed with the larger full-frame offerings. Third-party manufacturers like Sigma and Zeiss have also created their own compact E-mount lenses as well. You can see all the options here.

Check the Sigma 30mm f1.4. It is really a beautiful great lens. The 30mm 2.8 is also really good, as sharp and small, but 2 stops extra on the 30mm 1.4 are worth as you can compensate on the noisier crop sensor of the A6000 series vs the A7 series. If that Sigma 30mm were a Sony lens it would cost 3 times as much.