Sony AF DT 50mm F1.8 SAM A-mount lens review by Phil Wood
|Phil Wood#44303 date: May-21-2019|
flare control: 5
|ownership:||I own this lens|
|compared to:||Minolta - AF 50mm F1.4|
Minolta - AF 50 F1.7
Minolta - AF 50 F3.5 Macro
Minolta - AF 50 F2.8 Macro
|price paid:||44 GBP|
|positive:||Well priced fast 50mm lens. SAM drive an improvement on screw driven alternatives.|
|negative:||Built like a toy (seemingly), APS only.|
|comment:||I have been reviewing all my A-Mount 50mm lenses (see list above) and left this one to last because it is the hardest one to place. 50mm is the standard lens for full-frame, it's what can on the first 35mm SLR I bought 50 years ago, it's what I use all the time on my full-frame A900 - but what sense does it make on APS-C? It's equivalent focal length of 75mm is a bit short for portraits, though that is what Sony promoted this lens for. |
It is in competition with readily available full-frame 50mms from Minolta (f1.4, f1.4 RS, f1.7, f1.7 RS) and the Sony f1.4 - what does it do that they don't?
It's big positives are:
1 SAM drive (SSM would be a lot nicer, but then it probably wouldn't be a budget lens)
2 improved anti-flare coatings and CA resistant glass/plastic.
3 significantly closer minimum focus distance.
These are all good reasons to go for this lens - the build quality is not - it's a lightweight (okay another plus) plastic marvel, the marvel being that it hasn't broken yet. But it hasn't, perhaps there is a bit more to the build quality than the obvious?
If I only had APS-C camera bodies, if I didn't have all those other 50mms I would be pretty happy with this lens, but I do have them and a FF body - so this lens gets very little use. I just love my old full Minoltas too much.
In direct comparison the f1.4 has the extra speed that makes such an important difference, the macros have macro and are sharper - the real competition is with the f1.7 - FF/APS 4WD or APS only cheap sedan, take your pick there isn't a lot to choose between them optically.