Is this budget fast prime lens the perfect choice for Alpha 7 users? Andy Westlake finds out

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Sony FE 50mm f/1.8

Product:

Sony FE 50mm f/1.8 review

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£239.00
TAGS:

Sony FE 50mm f/1.8 review: Sharpness, shading and distortion

Sharpness

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.

Solid line: Centre Dotted line: Corner

Solid line: Centre
Dotted line: Corner

Shading

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.

f/1.8

f/1.8

f/2.8

f/2.8

Distortion

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.

SMIA TV = -0.2%

SMIA TV = -0.2%

  1. 1. Sony FE 50mm f/1.8 review: Introduction
  2. 2. Sony FE 50mm f/1.8 review: Features
  3. 3. Sony FE 50mm f/1.8 review: Build and handling
  4. 4. Sony FE 50mm f/1.8 review: Focusing
  5. 5. Sony FE 50mm f/1.8 review: Image quality
  6. 6. Sony FE 50mm f/1.8 review: Sharpness, shading and distortion
  7. 7. Sony FE 50mm f/1.8 review: Verdict
  8. 8. Sony FE 50mm f/1.8 review: Full specification
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