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

reviewer#44197 date: Dec-16-2018
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
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 MP24MP24 MP36MP36 MP42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Zeiss Touit 32 F1.8
Fotasy 35 F1.6 APS-C & Mini
Kaxinda 35 F1.7
Sony E 35 F1.8 OSS
Sony DT 35 F1.8 SAM
Minolta AF 35 F2
Minolta MC 35 F2.8
Vivitar 35 F2.8
Tamron SP 45 F1.8 USD
Minolta MD 45 F2
Canon EF 50 F1.4 USM
Minolta MD & AF & Sony 50 F1.4
Minolta AF 50 F1.7 RS & RS
Canon EF 50 F1.8 STM
Fotasy 50 F1.8
Vivitar 50 F1.8
Sony DT 50 F1.8 SAM
Sony E 50 F1.8 OSS
Minolta MD 50 F2
Neewer/Meike 50 F2
Minolta AF 50 F2.8 Macro RS
Minolta AF 50 F3.5 Macro
price paid:48 USD (used)
positive:Corner performance
Little purple fringing
20 FPS Tracking
Lens Compensation
negative:Not very sharp wide-open
Dark corners
Slow unit focus
Stepper motor
Minimal sealing
comment:The first one I tried was a retail copy with 2016 manufacturing date purchased from a local camera story. I had bought a new retail copy of the Canon EF 50 F1.8 STM at another store the day before. I won the second copy of the Sony lens on eBay with claimed damage from a sports drink. I steam cleaned this copy, and it seems to work fine now, though it still smells a bit sweet. "Made in CHINA"

This is a simple 6 element 5 group planar double gauss design like most other budget 50 mm primes including the Minolta 50 F1.7 lenses, the Canon EF 50 F1.8 lenses, and the Sony DT 50 F1.8 SAM. The rear element is an aspherical which might be an innovation in such a simple design.

The Canon EF 50 F1.8 STM is much sharper wide-open in the center, but the Sony has better edge and corner performance on full-frame. Purple fringing is pretty much absent, but there is some axial CA.

Like most E-mount lenses it uses focus-by-wire. It uses a stepper motor that functions very similarly to the Canon STM lens. Both have quite rough granularity to the focus action. It is not possible to manually focus either very precisely.

I prefer the durable plastic construction and rubber focus grip to the aluminum exterior of the E 50 F1.8 OSS. The APS-C lens is definitely a better, more complicated lens.

This lens supports the 20 FPS tracking mode on the A9 while the E 50 F1.8 OSS and Sonnar FE 55 F1.8 do not.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 7
  • sharpness: 4.43
  • color: 4.57
  • build: 3.00
  • distortion: 4.86
  • flare control: 4.29
  • overall: 4.23 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania