Sony AF 50mm F2.8 Macro A-mount lens review by QuietOC

reviewer#44286 date: May-11-2019
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.6
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:Tamron 20 F2.8 OSD M1:2
Tamron 24 F2.8 OSD M1:2
Sony DT 30 F2.8 Macro SAM
Tamron 35 F2.8 OSD M1:2
Sony FE 50mm F2.8 Macro
Minolta AF 50 F2.8 Macro RS
Minolta MD 50 F3.5 Macro
Minolta AF 50 F3.5 Macro
Tamron SP 60 F2 Macro
Sigma EX 70 F2.8 DG Macro
Tamron SP 90 F2.5 Macro
Minolta AF 100 F2.8 Macro RS
Vivitar 135 F2.8 Close Focusing
price paid:120 USD (used)
positive:Modest size and weight
Circular aperture
Wide rubber focus grip
Focus range limiter
Focus distance encoder
Lens Compensation
negative:Chromatic aberration
Field curvature
Extends to focus close
comment:The original Minolta AF version of this lens was $350 in 1985. The RS version added the circular aperture, the focus hold button, and the range limiter and was $300 when released in 1993. Minolta added a focus clutch and distance encoder in 2001. Sony's current list price is $600. This was a well used copy with a discolored focus grip and original caps purchased from an individual eBay seller. "JAPAN"

The focus grip is much wider than the one on the Minolta RS and the focus hold button is slightly larger. The focus clutch keeps the grip from spinning during AF, but introduces some vagueness to the manual focus action. The range limiter and focus hold buttons are no longer aligned with the mounting indicator and each other.

This lens extends almost as much as the 100 mm macro at 1:1. The focus scale looks to be nearly identical to the 50 F3.5. The amount of grip rotation and barrel extension at 1:2 is very similar to the smaller lens. The optical elements are barely any larger. The front elements of both are deeply inset.

This lens reduces angle-of-view with close focus like most unit focus primes.

It performs just like the earlier Minolta versions. The Sony FE 50 F2.8 Macro has much less optical aberrations especially at low magnification, but it has slightly higher distortion and loses more focal length at close focus.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 27
  • sharpness: 4.87
  • color: 4.93
  • build: 4.22
  • distortion: 4.93
  • flare control: 4.70
  • overall: 4.73 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania