Sony FE 50mm F1.8 E-mount lens review by 2manycamera

reviewer#27576 date: May-12-2016
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.4
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:Minolta AF 50/1.4
Sony E 50/1.8 OSS
price paid:250 USD
positive:Very sharp from F2.8-8, acceptable at 1.8

No discernible distortion

Very light, but still feels well made, all metal mount

While not a "bargain" when compared to other brands 50/1.8's, it is the least expensive FE lens currently available.

One more positive step in expanding the FE lens line-up.
negative:AF speed is less than ideal, pulsing and noisy.

Noticeable CR to 2.8, much less 4.0 on on, but never got away completely. Not a big deal, but needs to be

Would have paid a bit more for a better AF motor.
comment:Overall, there is not much to complain about in this lens, with the exception of the AF motor. This motor is noisy, and definitely slower than the motor used in other E/FE lenses. As an A-mount user, a bit of focusing noise seldom bothers me, but when the camera is in pre-AF, it is constant whirr-whirr, pulsing in and out. Focus speed is on par with the Minolta AF 50/1.4 on the LA-EA4. The motor is the reason for a 3 rating for build. Otherwise, the build is a 4.

Optically, it is a surprise, a bit soft wide open to about 2.2, but sharpens up very nicely after that. Sharpness is pretty much across the field on a flat subject. Corners match up nicely to the center. Haven't shot enough to know if that is as true in more 3D situations. No distortions that I can see, and flare is well controlled, though I haven't put it to serious tests as yet, it's been cloudy and rainy since I got the lens.

While this is the least expensive FE lens currently available, it is still more expensive than the major competition from Canikon, about the same price as the Panasonic equivalent, and cheaper than the Olympus and Fuji lenses that fit the same roll. So for the mirrorless market, it is by far the best buy because it will work well on APS-C, as well as full frame. Something that none of the competition can claim.Also, I'm sure it will get an instant rebate discount at some point, bringing it down to $200-225. Wasn't enough to make me wait to satisfy my lens lust.

So if you have an a7 camera, and do not currently own the Zeiss 55mm, this is well worth considering.

I've just updated my review since testing the lens on th a7Rii. Build from 3 to 4. On the a7 the AF was slow and the focus motor drove me nuts. The a7Rii's improved AF makes this a much better experience, definitely faster and doesn't pulse in-out nearly and much. I see myself using this lens more than I ever did on the a7.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 12
  • sharpness: 4.46
  • color: 4.58
  • build: 3.50
  • distortion: 4.75
  • flare control: 4.25
  • overall: 4.31 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania