There has been something I think all Sony shooters have been waiting a long time for and it’s not more megapixels.
That something is a good affordable lens.
This is why I don’t have a lot of Sony lenses, they’re a rip off. Let’s be honest here, some of their lenses for what you get at the price you have to pay, are a total joke. Like that Zeiss Sonnar 35mm f2.8, which has a lens hood that is held together by double sided tape. The lens performance is fine, but considering its flaws, it’s really a $400 dollar lens that Sony sells for $900.
So finally in 2016 Sony decided to make something photographers want at a price normal people can afford. The lens I am talking about is the Sony 50mm f1.8, Sony’s nifty fifty.
I’ve seen a lot of love and hate for this lens and I was a little hesitant to buy it, but you know, why not, it’s only $200 bucks.
I’ve been shooting with this lens for a few days and so your probably wondering, is it good? Well, does the Pope pee in the pool?
Let’s take a look.
It will be a little while before I’ll have a chance to do a full review on this lens. A lot of new cameras just came out and I’ll be busy catching up on memory card tests with each one, then I have about three or four other lenses in the queue I have to review before this lens. So we’re looking at a few months. But in the meantime, I’ll share my impressions.
Sony 50mm f1.8 – Amazon
Sony 50mm f1.8 | First Impressions
When I first unboxed this lens I got very excited. I thought the lens would feel like a cheap piece of trash, like a lot of Sony products, but it doesn’t. It’s rock solid and has a really nice build quality. Better than the Canon, or the Nikon nifty fifty.
So how does it perform?
Without getting too technical, I can say the lens is very sharp, or sharp enough to resolve great detail on the Sony A7rII, even holding up well in the corners. Of course it’s always hard to ger razor sharp images with the Sony A7rII when shooting handheld because of the insane resolution, but if you stabilize yourself you can get some amazing detail.
Click this image to see full quality.
What I do notice is there is quite a bit of chromatic aberrations when wide open, which honestly, I’ve never really been bothered by. I would rather have a less expensive lens that’s sharp with good micro contrast than one plastered with lens coatings and loaded with extra glass that cuts down on light transmission and costs a fortune.
This is the area where this lens gets a lot of hate. The autofocus is rather slow. They say it’s better with the updated firmware but I didn’t notice a huge difference on the A7rII. While the autofocus is fine for most situations, it will miss quite a bit, and if you’re shooting something that’s moving around a lot, then you’ll have a hard time – especially on the Sony A7rII which has pretty crappy autofocus.
On the Sony A6300, autofocus is a bit quicker, still not as fast as a lot of other lenses but it’s definitely a huge improvement over the A7rII.
For video you’re not going to want to use this lens in autofocus even on the A6300, It’s still a little seeky, and it’s pretty noisy. You might be able to get away with it if you have a directional mic off camera. But I would definitely use manual focus if you’re shooting video on anything that’s important with this lens.
For the family shooter, I shoot my kid dancing around with this lens on autofocus just fine, it just bounces in and out of focus a little bit and is noisy.
Sony 50mm f1.8 First Impressions | Bottom Line
Honestly, at the price of around $200 bucks, I would classify this lens as a must have. You get some really nice images out of it without taking any huge hit to image quality. If you want dead accurate focus, then manual focus is probably your best option. However, in studio or landscape environments where things aren’t moving around too much, the autofocus will perform just fine even on the Sony A7rII.
I haven’t really been able to find any huge flaws, except maybe Sony quality control. Mine shipped with a huge piece of dust in it, so I’m exchanging it, but that’s the only problem I’ve had so far. It’s just a great lens and super fun to use.