The 50mm focal-length lens is a true photographic icon and an essential piece of kit for any photographeru2019s kit bag, but there are quite a few to choose from. Richard Sibley and Andrew Sydenham test 12 such optics to assess their particular qualities

Specifications: Sony DT 50mm f/1.8 SAM

RRP: £159Street price: Around £115
Filter diameter: 49mm
Lens elements: 6
Groups: 5
Diaphragm blades: 7
Aperture: f/1.8-22
Minimum focus: 34cm
Length: 45mm
Diameter: 70mm
Weight: 170g
Lens mount: Sony Alpha DT (APS-C only)

Chart analysis

Tested on a Sony Alpha 58

Although the edges of the Sony DT 50mm f/1.8 SAM lens aren’t very sharp when shooting a f/1.8, the centre is almost as sharp as when the lens aperture has been stopped down. This is common with other f/1.8 lenses released over the past couple of years. The dome shape of the shading illustration shows that the lens vignettes more than most of the other f/1.8 lenses on test here, although it isn’t as bad as the Nikon equivalent. Curvilinear distortion could also be better when compared to some of its counterparts, although again, it is comparable to the equivalent Nikkor lens.

Score: 4 out of 5

  1. 1. 50mm lens test - Introduction
  2. 2. Page 2
  3. 3. Page 3
  4. 4. Specificiations: Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM
  5. 5. Specififications: Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II
  6. 6. Specifications: Nikon Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.4G
  7. 7. Specifications: Nikon Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G
  8. 8. Specifications: Pentax SMC DA* 55mm f/1.4 SDM
  9. 9. Specifications: Pentax SMC DA 50mm f/1.8
  10. 10. Specificiations: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM
  11. 11. Specifications: Sigma 50mm f/2.8 Macro EX DG
  12. 12. Specifications: Sony Carl Zeiss Planar T* 50mm f/1.4 SSM
  13. 13. Specifications: Sony DT 50mm f/1.8 SAM
  14. 14. Specifications: Zeiss Planar T* 50mm f/1.4
  15. 15. Specifications: Zeiss Makro-planar T* 50mm f/2
  16. 16. Our verdict
Page 13 of 16 - Show Full List