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

reviewer#9701 date: Dec-18-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
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:Minolta 100/2.8 macro D
Minolta 100/2.8 macro RS
Tamron 90/2.8 macro
Minolta 50/3.5 macro
price paid:
positive:Small and light
Focusing is fast for a macro
Limiter is nice
Nice focus ring for precise focusing
Focus hold can be used as a DOF preview
Circular aperture renders perfect bokeh
Sharp across the frame at f2.8
negative:Focus ring is a dust magnet
Build not so solid but not bad
Extends quite long
comment:I have a love-hate relationship with macro lenses. They are difficult to use and get good results, but I think the 50mm is easier to operate for novice and the results can be nice sooner

It is sharp like a knife, no CA, the limiter is quite effective and can be used as a portrait lens like the 50/1.4 offering more versatility. I always used the 50/1.4 at f2 so there is only one stop advantage that is something not to be worried with the nice ISO6400 output from the A580. Of course you always can go to f1.4 with the SAL 50/1.4 but you cannot focus at 0.2m

Bokeh is better than the one you get with SAL 50/1.4, the OOF lights are rendered mich better, although they are not circular to f2.8, you have to close a bit

Focus ring has two level of resistance, at least mine do. At macro distances it offers a nice resistance to get precise focusing and at longer focus distances it is smoother

Compared to the 50/3.5 it is very similar regarding sharpness and colour but it is 1:1 and f2.8. So the 50/3.5 can be only recommended at lower prices

Highly recommended

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 26
  • sharpness: 4.88
  • color: 4.92
  • build: 4.19
  • distortion: 4.92
  • flare control: 4.73
  • overall: 4.73 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania