Sony’s latest full-frame E-mount lens brings affordable macro imaging to Alpha 7 cameras. Richard Sibley takes a closer look

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Sony FE 50mm f/2.8 Macro

Product:

Sony FE 50mm f/2.8 Macro review

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£499.00
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Sony FE 50mm f/2.8 Macro review: Resolution, shading and curvilinear distortion

Resolution

Sony FE 50mm f2.8 macro MTF chart

Solid line: Centre. Dotted line: Corner

The lab tests match the real-world examples, showing a good level of centre sharpness across 
all apertures, but importantly there isn’t a huge difference in quality between the centre and edges. At f/2.8, the lens performs very well, but it achieves its peak sharpness at around f/5.6, before dropping off slightly at f/11. There is another drop at f/16, but the real-world examples show the lens is still acceptably sharp at this aperture setting.

Shading

Sony FE 50mm f/2.8 Macro Corner Shading chart

50mm @ f/2.8

Our tests show that when shooting wide open at f/2.8, there is almost 1EV darkening in the corners of images. However, stopping down to f/4 reduces this to near 0.5EV, and by f/5.6 it is less than 0.3EV. It is worth noting that the built-in raw profile helps to reduce this even further when using compatible conversion software.

Distortion

Sony FE 50mm f/2.8 Macro Distortion chart

SMIA TV = 0.5%

As expected for a 50mm macro lens, curvilinear distortion is minimal. Our tests reveal the merest hint of barrel distortion, measuring just 0.5%, which you’re unlikely to notice in practice. This makes it a great lens for archival reproduction, or anything else where low distortion is essential.

We continually check thousands of prices to show you the best deals. If you buy a product through our site we will earn a small commission from the retailer – a sort of automated referral fee – but our reviewers are always kept separate from this process. You can read more about how we make money in our Ethics Policy.

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Sony FE 50mm f/2.8 Macro review: Features
  3. 3. Sony FE 50mm f/2.8 Macro review: Build and handling
  4. 4. Sony FE 50mm f/2.8 Macro review: Image Quality
  5. 5. Sony FE 50mm f/2.8 Macro review: Resolution, shading and curvilinear distortion
  6. 6. Sony FE 50mm f/2.8 Macro review: Verdict
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