Sony FE 50mm F2.8 Macro E-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 5   
reviewer#44530 date: May-30-2020
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.6
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:Tamron 20 F2.8 OSD M1:2
Tamron 24 F2.8 OSD M1:2
Sony DT 30 F2.8 Macro SAM
Tamron 35 F2.8 OSD M1:2
Sigma 45 F2.8 DG DN C
Sony A 50mm F2.8 Macro
Minolta AF 50 F2.8 Macro RS
Minolta AF 50 F3.5 Macro
Minolta MD 50 F3.5 Macro
Tamron SP 60 F2 Macro
Sigma EX 70 F2.8 DG Macro
Tamron SP 90 F2.5 Macro
Minolta AF 100 F2.8 Macro D
Minolta AF 100 F2.8 Macro RS
Vivitar 135 F2.8 Close Focusing
price paid:376 USD (used)
positive:Size and weight
Good sharpness and contrast
Flat field
Three position range limiter
Focus distance encoder
Lens Compensation
Durable anodized finish
20 FPS support
Sealing?
55mm filter
negative:Chromatic aberrations
Minor pincushion distortion
Manual focus-by-wire
Slow, noisy DC motor
Extending/unit focusing
f/16 minimum aperture
More like 40 mm at minimum focus
Less magnification than other 1:1 lenses
Redundant MF switch
comment:I've been using A-mount 50mm macro lenses for product photography but wanted native autofocus. I had upgraded to the Sony A-mount macro a year ago for the distance encoder that my previous Minolta RS version lacked. The FE macro is currently listed for $50 less than the A-mount lens this is after Sony raised the price of the FE lens $50 late last year (2019). It was once on sale in 2017 for $350 and had a few sales of $400 and was often on sale for $450. I made three unsuccessful Greentoe offers for this lens, before winning this used copy on eBay. "Made in CHINA"

This lens extends less than the Minolta/Sony A-mount macro lenses. Its angle-of-view is wider than the A-mount 50mm. It's front element is less recessed. The focusing distance is 4 cm shorter at the same magnification, but the working distance is similar. In the plane of focus it is optically very similar to the older lens with more lateral CA.

The autofocus is similar to the FE 50mm F1.8 and Tamron SP 60mm F2. The Tamron OSD primes are quieter and focus a bit faster. Like the FE 50 F1.8 this lens supports 20 FPS tracking AF on the A9 models.

The f/16 minimum aperture is a problem for a dedicated life-size macro lens. The cheaper FE 50 F1.8 can stop down to f/22. The A-mount macros stop down to f/32.

This lens continues the Minolta tradition from 1961 of a 55 mm filter thread diameter on macro lenses.
reviewer#44231 date: Feb-19-2019
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
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:Sony FE 2.8/90 Macro G OSS
Tamron 90 mm F2.8 Macro
LAOWA 15 mm F4 1:1 Macro
+ various other lenses
price paid:EUR 475
positive:+ light and compact
+ sharp
+ reasonably priced
+ focuses close
negative:- focuses close (not suitable for insects and such)
- no sunhood
- slow, erratic and noisy AF
comment:Handy small macro lens, although its AF is somewhat disapointing especially in low light: slow, hunts easily and the focus motor is not even silent.
reviewer#41978 date: Jan-3-2018
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
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 50mm f2.8 Macro A-mount with LA-EA4
Tamron 60mm f2 A mount with LA-EA4
Sony 50mm f1.8 E mount
Sony ZA 55mm f1.8 E mount
Minolta 50mm f1.4 A mount with LA-EA4
price paid:350
positive:Balances well and focuses fast on A7Rii
Compact and lightweight
Great value for money
negative:None significant that I have found
comment:This in a great normal view lens on the A7Rii for either macro or general walk-around use. Image quality equals that of much more expensive lens. For a macro lens, it is fast focusing with both focus limiter and focus hold buttons; as a nifty fifty it is a little slower than some, but that does not mean it is slow. Overall, this lens beats any thing else I have tried for a good general use, normal view lens with macro capability and weather sealed.
reviewer#32709 date: Nov-20-2016
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.5
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 have experience with this lens
compared to:A-MOUNT MINOLTA 50MM F2.8 MACRO
CANON EF 50MM F2.5 MACRO
price paid:500
positive:Light
Compact
Quiet
Water proof
negative:Contrast not as good as the A-MOUNT 50MM F2.8 MACRO
VERY Slow AF (compare to Vintage A-MOUNT 50MM F2.8 MACRO)
hunting on Model Without PDAF such as A7R, A7SII, A7S
comment:This lens is sharp, light and compact, but the AF is Very Very slow on macro. On a A7R which is no PDAF point,
I have to wait for a few seconds for the extension of front unit, than hunt for another few seconds (that the downside of no PDAF).

ON the other hand I got a MINOLTA 50MM F2.8 MACRO with the LA-EA4 adaptor, and a CANON EF 50MM F2.5 macro with a china AF adaptor

the LA-EA4 did a very good job, the extension of front unit take only 1-2 second and no hunting. for the IQ, I can't tell the different of sharpness between the A-Mount and the FE-mount, but the Canon seems a hair-little sharper. compare to the Minolta, the Sony FE is lighter in saturation and contrast but is same as the Canon EF.

I am not recommend the SONY FE for it's price, it is lot more that a LA-EA4 plus a 2nd hand MINOLTA 50MM F2.8 MACRO. and it preform optically no better than that, On the AF issue, I guest it works better on a PDAF model like A7RII, but the motor in the FE LENS is far slower than the motor in LA-EA4. You can see the different when it extend its front unit. very slow......

For the Canon, there is AF problem with the EF-FE adaptor. I guest many old EF lens have AF ISSUE when using EF-FE adaptor
reviewer#31703 date: Oct-17-2016
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.6
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:SEL50F18
SEL2870
SAL50M28
price paid:498 USD
positive:Sharpness, Contrast, Handling, colors, very light, additional buttons including 3 steps focus limiter. Reasonably quick AF in AF-S mode.
negative:Slow AF and AF hunting in AF-C, CA with wide apertures
comment:Slow to focus in poor lighting conditions and also whenever f=8 or narrower. Hunts a lot. (Look below for the update).

Build wise, I prefer an inner focus mechanism, hence my rating. It is much better than the Sony A mount variant which extends a lot making it very easy to wobble.

Otherwise a very good lens for very sharp pictures.
No distortions and did not notice any flare despite trying to shoot in prone-to-flare scenarios. I will test this lens further.

CA is present with wide apertures, and in extreme cases up to f/5.6 but in the corners. Though very easy to remove.

UPDATE: Always use this lens in AF-S mode, where you will mostly not encounter AF hunting, you will get more AF accuracy even in narrower f-stops. Using the focus limiter makes AF much quicker.
reviews found: 5   

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 5
  • sharpness: 4.90
  • color: 4.60
  • build: 4.00
  • distortion: 4.80
  • flare control: 5.00
  • overall: 4.66

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