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

reviewer#20416 date: Nov-6-2015
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
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 used to own this lens
compared to:Minolta 40 F1.7
Konica AR 40 F1.8
Canon EF 40 F2.8 STM
Pentax-M 40 F2.8
Pentax-DA 40 F2.8 XS
Pentax-FA 43 F1.8 Limited
Samyang AF 45 F1.8 FE
Tamron SP 45 F1.8 USD (both VC and non)
Minolta MD 45 F2
Sigma 45 F2.8 DG DN C
Rokinon 50 F1.2
Yongnuo 50 F1.4
Canon EF 50 F1.4 USM
Minolta MD & AF & Sony AF 50 F1.4
Minolta AF 50 F1.7 RS & RS
Sony FE 50 F1.8
Canon EF 50 F1.8 STM
Fotasy 50 F1.8
Konica AR 50 F1.8
Vivitar 50 F1.8
Sony E 50 F1.8 OSS
Minolta MD 50 F2
Neewer/Meike 50 F2
Sony AF 50 F2.8 Macro
Minolta AF 50 F2.8 Macro RS
Minolta AF 50 F3.5 Macro
Minolta MD 50 F3.5 Macro
Minolta MC 55 F1.7
Minolta SR 55 F2
Minolta MC 58 F1.4
Tamron SP 60 F2 Macro
Sigma 60 F2.8 DN Art
price paid:37 USD (used)
positive:Small and light
Center sharpness wide open
Curved aperture blades
negative:Barrel distortion
Purple fringing
Short focus throw
Small, loose focus ring
Noisy DC motor
comment:This has been the cheapest Sony lens since its release. The original retail price was $150 in 2009 with occasional sales at $125. It is currently selling for about $170 new or $100 refurbished. The 18-55 and 55-200 kit zooms are often available for less. It is at least twice as expensive as used Minolta AF 50 f/1.7 full-frame primes. It is more expensive than the current Canon and Nikon 50 f/1.8 full-frame primes. It is much cheaper than the E-mount 50 F1.8 OSS lens and slightly cheaper than the FE 50 F1.8 lens. I bought my latest used copy for $37 in 2018.

50 mm is not a difficult focal length. Even the 18-55 SAM II kit lens performs well at 50 mm, and pretty much every other normal zoom lens covers this focal length fairly well. The 50 F1.8 has a wider field-of-view than Minolta 50's but is narrower than the 45's. The angle-of-view is very similar to the 50 mm end of the Sony DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM.

The DT 50 F1.8 is quite sharp wide-open in the center though it does suffer some chromatic aberration and sometimes fairly heavy purple fringing. It does covers full-frame, but the corners are not very good. The smaller Minoltas look and feel better made. The more curved aperture blades on the DT 50 F1.8 yield smoother bokeh when stopped down.

The Canon EF 50mm F1.8 STM is a much better lens especially on full-frame.

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