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

reviewer#44151 date: Oct-23-2018
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.4
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 & AF 50 F1.4
Minolta AF 50 F1.7 RS & RS
Fotasy 50 F1.8
Vivitar 50 F1.8
Sony E 50 F1.8 OSS
Sony DT 50 F1.8 SAM
Minolta MD 50 F2
Neewer 50 F2
Minolta AF 50 F2.8 Macro RS
Minolta AF 50 F3.5 Macro
Minolta SR 55 F2
Minolta MC 55 F1.7
Minolta MC 58 F1.4
price paid:156 USD (used)
positive:Size and weight
Flat focal plane (APS-C)
Better contrast/flare control
Reversible circular hood included
Lens Compensation support
negative:Axial CA/focus shift
Slight barrel distortion
Sample variation
comment:A clean, undamaged copy with original hood and front cap. The original Minolta AF version was $175 in 1985 about twice the price of the AF 50 F1.7. Sony's current list price is $450. "JAPAN"

This lens performs much like the earlier Minolta MD and AF versions. There is heavy axial CA which makes focusing accurately wide-open difficult. Stopping down to F1.7* cleans up a lot of the axial CA fringing. Unfortunately there is no way to focus A-mount lenses stopped down. Like the much older 58 F1.4 the focus plane of the 50 F1.4 is quite flat from corner to corner on APS-C. The corners are brighter than the other lenses. It is definitely brighter wide-open than the F1.6, F1.7, and F1.8 lenses.

This lens is a bit lighter than the earlier Minolta versions despite the addition of the focus distance encoder.

*My Sony cameras display the aperture range from F1.4 as F1.6, F1.7, F2... It is strange especially when Sony only sells F1.8 lenses, and F1.7 is the half-step between F1.4 and F2. Probably this F1.7 is actually F1.8 which would also fit with the second stopped down F1.7 setting when using the Minolta AF 50 F1.7 lenses. F1.8 lenses display as F1.8 wide-open.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 136
  • sharpness: 4.71
  • color: 4.77
  • build: 4.19
  • distortion: 4.79
  • flare control: 4.49
  • overall: 4.59 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania