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
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Sony FE 50mm f/1.8 review: Verdict

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It’s easy to understand what Sony has done with this FE 50mm f/1.8 lens. By giving it a tried-and-tested double Gauss design, the lens can deliver a very decent image quality, meaning the company is spared the need to expend resources developing a new optical formula. The result is a lens costing a lot less than Sony’s existing Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA lens. But this approach comes with drawbacks, too – most notably, the painfully slow autofocus.

This is a shame, as it makes the lens difficult to recommend wholeheartedly. It’s OK if you mainly take your time over shooting static subjects, but this kind of fast prime is well suited to genres where fast focusing is desirable, such as environmental portraiture and street photography. For these, the 55mm f/1.8 would be a better choice. However, users on a budget who can tolerate the AF are unlikely to be disappointed by the image quality.

TESTBENCH RECOMMENDED 4

  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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