Sony 50mm F1.8 OSS E-mount lens review by QuietOC

reviewer#43009 date: Feb-8-2018
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Minolta 40 F1.7
Konica AR 40 F1.8
Canon EF 40 F2.8 STM
Pentax-M 40 F2.8
Pentax-DA 40 F2.8 XS
Pentax-FA 43 F1.9 Limited
Samyang AF 45 F1.8 FE
Tamron SP 45 F1.8 USD (VC & non VC)
Minolta MD 45 F2
Sigma 45 F2.8 DG DN C
Rokinon 50 F1.2
Yongnuo 50 F1.4
Canon EF 50 F1.4 USM
Sigma 50 F1.4 EX DG HSM
Minolta MD & AF & Sony AF 50 F1.4
Minolta AF 50 F1.7 & RS
Sony FE 50 F1.8
Canon EF 50 F1.8 STM
Sony DT 50 F1.8 SAM
Fotasy 50 F1.8
Konica AR 50 F1.8
Vivitar 50 F1.8
Minolta MD 50 F2
Neewer/Meike 50 F2
Minolta MC 55 F1.7
Sony FE 55 F1.8 Sonnar
Minolta SR 55 F2
Minolta MC 58 F1.4
Tamron SP 60 F2 Macro
Sigma 60 F2.8 DN Art
price paid:169 USD (used)
positive:Good uniform sharpness
Quiet & fast
Deep, reversible hood
Minimal corner shading
49 mm filter size
Mild CA
Focus breathing
Metallic exterior
Doesn't cover full-frame
comment:A like-new black copy with original retail box and paperwork purchased from a smaller eBay store. I purchased a second more used looking silver copy in 2019 from a pawn shop on eBay for $152. This copy had an alignment problem.

This lens is currently and frequently on sale for $250. The original retail list price was $300, but was increased to $350 in the fall of 2019. On APS-C it acts like a 77mm F2.8 lens on full-frame. "Made in CHINA"

This is a fairly substantial lens. It is much larger than the manual Fotasy. It is about the same size as an Minolta MD 50 F2 or F1.7 with adapter and a bit larger than the Sigma 60 F2.8 Art. It has more lens elements than the FE 55 F1.8 Sonnar. It is quite the bargain compared to that lens, though 55 mm might be a better focal length.

The black copy is quite sharp wide-open and very good across the frame especially compared to old SLR primes like the Canon EF 50 F1.8 STM and Sony DT 50 F1.8 SAM. It does have a bit more chromatic aberrations than the Sigma 60 F2.8 Art. The corners are brighter than other APS-C lenses, but unlike the SAM lens it doesn't cover much beyond the APS-C crop.

As noted in other reviews below, contrast-based autofocus on the A5000 is erratic with this lens (as with the Sigma 60 F2.8 Art) perhaps caused by the shallow depth-of-field. It does much better with the hybrid AF of the A6000.

Overall an excellent, fairly inexpensive, stabilized, somewhat fast 50 mm lens for APS-C. Faster legacy lenses can be purchased cheaper but are not be as useful. This is one of the best lenses in the system.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 10
  • sharpness: 4.50
  • color: 4.40
  • build: 3.90
  • distortion: 4.50
  • flare control: 4.20
  • overall: 4.30 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania