First Impressions: Sony 50mm f1.8 (Sony FE Mount)

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony 50mm f1.8 first impressions product images (1 of 8)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 2.8

You’ve been waiting for a while now if you’re a Sony a7 camera user for a nice, affordable 50mm prime lens, and today you’ve finally got your new nifty 50. The Sony 50mm f1.8 FE lens has seven aperture blades and a very typical body of 50mm f1.8 lens: therefore justifying the price point.

Today, I had a couple of minutes to play with the lens and more are coming later on. But here are my first impressions.

Tech Specs

Here’s some info taken from the spec page:

Performance
Focal Length 50mm
Aperture Maximum: f/1.8
Minimum: f/22
Camera Mount Type Sony E (Full-Frame)
Format Compatibility 35mm Film / Full-Frame Digital Sensor
Angle of View 47°
Minimum Focus Distance 1.48′ (45 cm)
Magnification 0.15x
Elements/Groups 6/5
Diaphragm Blades 7, Rounded
Features
Autofocus Yes
Physical
Filter Thread Front: 49 mm
Dimensions (DxL) Approx. 2.70 x 2.34″ (68.6 x 59.5 mm)
Weight 6.56 oz (186 g)

Ergonomics

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony 50mm f1.8 first impressions product images (3 of 8)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 2.8

The Sony 50mm f1.8 for a7 series cameras is a small lens overall in the same of compact prime lenses, but it’s not as small as the 35mm f2.8 or the 28mm f2. For what it’s worth, it also has a much larger lens hood and a bigger focusing ring on the body.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony 50mm f1.8 first impressions product images (5 of 8)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 2.8

Like much of the Sony glass, the 50mm f1.8 is devoid of controls. For the most part, what you’re going to have to do is work with it via the camera’s menu system. But that makes a lot of sense for who this lens is targeted toward.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony 50mm f1.8 first impressions product images (7 of 8)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 2.8

When you remove the lens hood, the package becomes much smaller overall. The exterior has a smooth, plastic-feeling body with the exception of the rubber focusing ring.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony 50mm f1.8 first impressions product images (6 of 8)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 2.8

On the front, the lens packs a 49mm filter thread for your favorite filters.

Build Quality

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony 50mm f1.8 first impressions product images (8 of 8)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 2.8

The Sony 50mm f1.8 FE lens is made of a plastic-feeling exterior and not being a G master lens, it doesn’t have weather sealing. Also keep in mind that there are no controls on the body itself.

Autofocus

I got a couple of minutes to play with the lens on the Sony a7r II today, and I’m really stoked to say that it focuses quickly overall as you can see in the video. But I’m getting more playtime later, so I’ll update accordingly.

Ease of Use

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony 50mm f1.8 first impressions product images (2 of 8)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 2.8

Considering that this is a standard Sony lens, you’re essentially slapping the lens on, focusing and shooting. It’s very straight forward as it has been with Sony’s products for a while. To that end, you may not even really be paying attention to the focusing ring unless your in DMF mode when shooting.

Image Quality

These are coming later tonight! Stay tuned!

Update: So far, the image quality is very impressive for a 50mm f1.8 lens. But I only got the time to spend a couple of hours with it

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony 50mm f1.8 first impressions portrait samples (2 of 9)ISO 1001-640 sec at f - 1.8

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony 50mm f1.8 first impressions portrait samples (3 of 9)ISO 1001-400 sec at f - 1.8

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony 50mm f1.8 first impressions portrait samples (4 of 9)ISO 2501-250 sec at f - 2.8

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony 50mm f1.8 first impressions portrait samples (5 of 9)ISO 2501-250 sec at f - 2.8

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony 50mm f1.8 first impressions portrait samples (6 of 9)ISO 2501-250 sec at f - 2.8

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony 50mm f1.8 first impressions portrait samples (7 of 9)ISO 2501-1000 sec at f - 1.8

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony 50mm f1.8 first impressions portrait samples (8 of 9)ISO 16001-10 sec at f - 1.8

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony 50mm f1.8 first impressions portrait samples (9 of 9)ISO 64001-30 sec at f - 1.8

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony 50mm f1.8 first impressions portrait samples (1 of 9)ISO 4001-1000 sec at f - 1.8

First Impressions

So far, I obviously believe that you’re getting what you pay for. But at the same time, I tested this lens with the a7r II, which because of its price, doesn’t totally seem like the camera someone may have when getting a lens like this. That’s kind of the equivalent of getting a Canon 1Dx Mk II with a Canon 50mm f1.8 STM vs a 50mm f1.2 L USM. The Sony a7 II would make much more sense, and so I’m going to call that camera in when testing this lens in addition to using it with my Sony a7.

Stay tuned for a full review.