Sony AF DT 50mm F1.8 SAM A-mount lens review by QuietOC

reviewer#20416 date: Nov-6-2015
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP24MP24 MP36MP36 MP42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony DT 35 F1.8 SAM
Minolta MD 45 F2
Minolta MD 50 F1.4
Minolta AF 50 F1.4
Minolta AF 50 F1.7 & RS
Sony E 50 F1.8 OSS
Minolta MD 50 F2
Minolta AF 50 F3.5 Macro
Minolta MC 55 F1.7
Minolta SR 55 F2
Minolta MC 58 F1.4
Neewer 50 F2(.4)
Tamron SP 60 F2 Macro
Sigma 60 F2.8 DN Art
Sony AF 85 F2.8 SAM
price paid:37 USD (used)
positive:Small and light
Sharpness wide open
AF accuracy
Curved aperture blades
negative:Minor barrel distortion (more than 50/1.7 RS)
Purple fringing in corners
Short focus throw
Small, loose focus ring
Noisiest SAM
Shorter focal length than other 50s
comment:This has officially been the cheapest Sony lens since its release. The original retail price was $150 in 2009 with occasional sales at $125. It is currently selling for about $170 new or $100 refurbished. The 18-55 and 55-200 kit zooms are often available for less. It is at least twice as expensive as used Minolta AF 50 f/1.7 full-frame primes. It is also more expensive than the current Canon and Nikon 50 f/1.8 full-frame primes. It is much cheaper than the E-mount 50 F1.8 OSS lens and slightly cheaper than the FE 50 F1.8 lens. I bought my latest used copy for $37 in 2018.

50 mm is not a difficult focal length. Even the 18-55 SAM II kit lens performs well at 50 mm, and pretty much every other normal zoom lens covers this focal length fairly well. The 50 F1.8 has a wider field-of-view than Minolta 50's but is narrower than the 45/2 and Fotasy 50 F1.8. The angle-of-view is very similar to the 50 mm end of the Sony DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM.

The DT 50 F1.8 is quite sharp wide open though it does suffer some chromatic aberration and sometimes fairly heavy purple fringing. It outperforms the Minolta 50 F1.7 lenses especially wide-open. The 1/6th step difference in maximum aperture is more than made up in better image quality. The smaller Minoltas do look and feel better made. The more curved aperture blades on the DT 50 F1.8 yield smoother bokeh when stopped down.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 87
  • sharpness: 4.59
  • color: 4.53
  • build: 3.53
  • distortion: 4.61
  • flare control: 4.49
  • overall: 4.35 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania