Sony 50mm f/1.8 Mid-Range Lens for Sony E Mount Nex Cameras

Sony 50mm f/1.8 Mid-Range Lens for Sony E Mount Nex Cameras – Product Description:

Sony 50mm f/1.8 Mid-Range Lens for Sony E Mount Nex CamerasBuilt-in Optical SteadyShot image stabilization. Large F1.8 aperture. Smooth and quiet high-speed focusing. Compact and lightweight Direct Manual Focus (DMF)

Product Features :

  • Fixed 50mm mid-range telephoto focal length (35mm format equivalent: 75mm)
  • Built-in Optical SteadyShot image stabilization
  • Large F1.8 maximum aperture enables beautiful defocusing effects

Sony 50mm f/1.8 Mid-Range Lens for Sony E Mount Nex Cameras – Review:

GREAT LENS, GREAT PRICE!

Pros:
Very sharp across the frame, even wide open
Low distortion for lens class
Silent AF
Effective Shake Reduction (OSS)

Cons:
Purple fringing and longitudinal CA from f/1.8 to f/2.8 or so.

Bottom Line:
Finally a great lens that shows off the NEX system for a reasonable price. It is a bit more expensive than other 50mm f/1.8 lenses, but has built in OSS that is very effective and performs superbly. Very sharp even in the corners.

Review:
The lens is about the same size as some of the other NEX lenses like 30mm f/3.5 Macro, and is actually about the same size as an old manual focus 50mm SLR lens adapted to the NEX system. So it isn’t compact, but not huge either. I also like that there is a lot of glass in the lens so it feels nicely weighted.

Construction is similar to other NEX lenses, with a nice machined aluminum barrel, and this has the better nickel plated brass lens mount (the 16mm has a cheaper feeling aluminum mount, but it is also slightly lighter).

The lens comes with a deeply recessed bayonet hood that can be reversed on the lens for storage, and a center pinch lens cap that is a bit finicky to get on and off with the hood since it slips out of my grasp when I try to squeeze the tabs.

Auto focus is typical of NEX lenses. Be sure to disable your focus assist light for fastest focus. The light doesn’t work well with this lens and actually makes focus less reliable and slower. The auto focus mechanism is completely silent and is also very smooth.

The shake reduction is probably good for 3 stops with me. I was able to get almost all shots sharp at 1/25, and 80% at 1/13. By 1/6 I still had 80% of the shots usable, but they weren’t as sharp as the 1/13 and up shots.

The optical performance of this lens is astounding, the only real drawback is the longitudinal CA (magenta/green fringing in the out of focus areas), which also leads to purple fringing. This effect is most noticeable from f/1.8 to f/2.8 or so.

The lens resolves well corner to corner at all apertures, but is just outstanding from f/2.8 on up. To avoid the CA issue for landscapes, shoot at f/4 and up and you will get a very clean image.

Lens distortion is very minor for this class of lens, and is slightly pincushion. It might also be slightly complex, a little bit of wave to it, but it is pretty minor.

Overall, I am very impressed by this lens, and there is little reason to shoot older legacy 50mm lenses unless you want to go cheap, just like manual focus, or like the character of a particular older lens. This lens performs significantly better than most of the older lenses. The range finder lenses might still hold some appeal due to the small size, but this lens is comparable to the adapted 50mm SLR lenses, so they don’t have any size advantage.

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