Sony AF 50mm F1.4 A-mount lens review by wingedpower

reviewer#12101 date: Jan-23-2015
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.2
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 own this lens
compared to:* Tamron 17-50/2.8 XR
* Sony 85mm/2.8
* Sony 35mm/1.8
* Minolta 50/1.7
price paid:450
positive:* Very bright/fast 50mm prime.
* Very light(plastic construction)
* Fairly sharp,if stopped down a bit.
negative:* Slight blur when wide open
* Build quality found wanting. (plastic construction)
* VERY noisy when auto-focusing
* AF speed is slow for the lens.
comment:As a previous owner of the Minolta 50/1.7, I had really high hopes for the Sony 50mm/1.4.

This lens is fairly compact. It will DISAPPEAR when mounted on a A77/A99 with vertical grip. It is very light.

This lens works very nicely in tough lighting conditions. Though at 50mm on an APS-C, it's a bit long, not wide enough. On a full frame, I find the fall-off in the corners to be very noticeable.

The lens' focusing ring up front is very small and very thin, making manual focus with this lens to be a bit of a pain. The wiggle and give does not help.

I found I missed the pull out lens hood of the Minolta 50/1.7. The provided plastic lens hood often added bulk and would twist off easily.

When the above issues were not at play, I found the images taken with the lens to be sharp, provide good subject/background separation, and were pleasing.

The AF gears on the lens are noisey, which greatly detracts from video shots and for when you want to remain in the background. :(

I find myself thinking fondly of the Minolta 50mm/1.7, Tamron 17-50/2.8, or one of the new 50mm lenses with silent drive systems.

This isn't a bad lens. But it's just not built as well as it can be.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 138
  • sharpness: 4.70
  • color: 4.78
  • build: 4.20
  • distortion: 4.79
  • flare control: 4.49
  • overall: 4.59 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania