Is this budget fast prime lens the perfect choice for Alpha 7 users? Andy Westlake finds out
Sony FE 50mm f/1.8 review: Sharpness, shading and distortion
There’s not much to complain about in terms of sharpness, with the lens delivering pretty good results wide open. It improves progressively as it’s stopped down, with the very sharpest images obtained around f/5.6-f/11. The corners are measurably softer than the centre at all apertures up to f/8, but thanks to the aspheric element, they are better than what we would expect from a 50mm f/1.8 at large apertures.
As usual for this kind of lens, vignetting is quite obvious at large apertures, with a maximum of 1.5 stops fall-off at the corners of the frame at f/1.8. But it reduces quickly on stopping down, dropping to a barely noticeable 0.6 stops at f/2.8 and disappearing entirely by f/4.
Typically for a 50mm prime, distortion is exceptionally low. Unlike with many CSC lenses this near-perfect correction is entirely optical and doesn’t rely on any software compensation. In concert with the lens’s normal focal length, this results in subjects being drawn in a very natural-looking fashion.