Sony AF DT 50mm F1.8 SAM A-mount lens review by Sky_walker

reviewer#10619 date: Oct-25-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 2
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.1
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:
price paid:750 PLN (new)
Chromatic Aberrations
Very light and small
negative:AF worse then in some screwdrive lenses
Build quality
comment:One of best lenses for beginners. Excellent for portraits - with virtually no Longitudinal Chromatic Aberrations, excellent sharpness and creamy bokeh you hardly can imagine any better lens to start with. Especially because it's one of the cheapest A-mount lenses available!

And I think it's worth every penny. 50mm focal length gives you a nice advantage over it's 35mm counterpart - you get clearer perspective, and more shallow depth of field. At the same time it's tiny size and light weight makes it always possible to keep it in a pocket or backpack, ready to use. I still keep my even after buying Zeiss 50 f/1.4 for exactly this one reason: I can take it everywhere and not even feel it's there! Additional advantage is that it doesn't need a hood and still has got really nice flare control. Great achievement.

AS for it's weak points - well, this lens should be screwdrive. SAM doesn't give any advantage - it's as loud and as slow as any other screwdrive lens I have (actually: some screwdrive lenses focus faster and more quietly then this one!). Meanwhile for some reason it seems to eat more power then them. I don't feel much difference on A77, but I do on A200. And if we're on that: This lens sux for video. Never try to use it for recording. It's too loud. Even with external microphone.
Another issue is the plastic build - if not the metal ring in a middle of it I'm quite sure you could crush it with your fist. That said: there are several lenses with worse build quality, 18-70mm kit being most notable one. So no worries - it won't shatter after falling down from backpack, though I wouldn't recommend trying it ;).

What you buy with 50mm f/1.8 SAM is picture quality. Nothing more, nothing less. But it's really great in what it does, and after getting it you'll have a very little to complain. I wish it'd be full frame, or offer more smooth manual focusing, but even now: It's one of "must-have" lenses if you are learning photography.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 89
  • sharpness: 4.58
  • color: 4.52
  • build: 3.53
  • distortion: 4.61
  • flare control: 4.48
  • overall: 4.34 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania