The Sony FE 50mm f1.Eight is an inexpensive normal prime lens for Sony’s mirrorless cameras and corrected to be used on full-frame fashions. Introduced in March 2016 it delivers normal protection on full-frame our bodies making it a great walk-around possibility, and turns into a brief telephoto on cropped-frame APSC our bodies, equal to 75mm, making it good for portraits. In the meantime the intense f1.Eight focal ratio helps you to shoot extra simply in low mild whereas additionally delivering shallow depth-of-field results.
Sony’s lens catalogue isn’t in need of 50mm (or thereabouts) choices, however the FE 50mm f1.Eight is by far probably the most inexpensive and as such is a no brainer for a lot of homeowners. Certainly it’s attainable to assemble a reasonably low-cost threesome of brilliant primes with the FE 50mm f1.Eight and its inexpensive siblings, the FE 28mm f2 and FE 85mm f1.8. If you happen to’re after one thing higher-end, there’s the unique FE 55mm f1.Eight ZA at spherical 4 instances the worth, or the Sony Planar T* FE 50mm f1.four ZA that’s much more nonetheless. In order for you autofocus, none can match the worth of the FE 50mm f1.Eight which, like low-cost 50mm lenses on different methods, represents a terrific first prime for anybody exploring low-light or shallow depth-of-field pictures on a funds.
For this overview I examined all three Sony normal prime lenses talked about above on the 42MP Sony A7R II digicam physique. I additionally included the Sigma 50mm f1.four Artwork as an fascinating third celebration different. So if you happen to’re by which normal prime lens to decide on in your Sony mirrorless system, you’ve come to the precise place!
Details from the catalog
As typical I’ll take a look on the technical knowledge of the Sony FE 50mm f1.Eight first. I’ve rated the options with a [+] (or [++]), when it’s higher than common and even state-of-the-art, a  if it’s normal or simply common, and [-] if there’s a drawback. For comparability I take advantage of the Sony FE 55mm f1.Eight ZA, the Samyang AF 45mm f1.Eight FE (“Samyang” for brief) and the Sigma 50mm f1.four Artwork (“Sigma Artwork” for brief).
Measurement (diameter x size): At 69 x 60mm (2.7 x 2.4in.) plus 26mm for the lens hood (76mm diameter) the Sony FE 50mm f1.Eight is shorter than the FE 55mm f1.Eight ZA (64 x 71mm + 49mm lens hood) which already is a small lens. Solely the Samyang is even smaller at 62 x 56mm however then it has solely 45mm focal size. The “elephant within the room” is the Sigma Artwork which exhibits its heritage as a DSLR design at 85 x 126mm + 47mm lens hood. [+]
Weight: Solely 166g (5.9oz.) plus 18g for the lens hood which has similarities to the Samyang (162g). The Sony FE 55mm f1.Eight ZA is 281g + 41g lens hood. The Sigma Artwork is the heaviest lens on this comparability at 910g plus 43g for the lens hood. [+]
Optics: The lens is a quite simple design with solely 6 parts in 5 teams with one aspherical factor. The Sony FE 55mm f1.Eight ZA and the Samyang have 7 lenses with three resp. two aspherical parts. The Sigma Artwork is a extra complicated design with 13/Eight parts/teams 
Closest focus distance is 0.44m (17in.) in handbook focus with a magnification of 1:6.6. That is just like the opposite Sony lenses on this comparability and higher than the Samyang with 1:8.Three magnification at 0.45m. Solely the Sigma Artwork presents a barely higher magnification of 1:5.four at 0.38m distance. The Sony FE 50mm f1.Eight achieves a magnification of 1:10 at 0.62m distance. 
Filter-thread: 49mm, identical to the FE 55mm f1.Eight ZA and the Samyang. The Sigma Artwork takes 77mm filters. [+]
Picture stabilization: No optical stabilization of the lens. The Sony A7 Mark II our bodies onwards present built-in sensor-shift stabilization. Similar with the opposite lenses on this comparability. 
Auto focus: Constructed-in AF drive. Handbook-focus override is by merely turning the main target ring. The main target ring has a non-linear gearing that enables for exact handbook focus however makes clean focus pulling for videographers virtually unimaginable. Solely the Sigma Artwork on this group has linear gearing. The Sony lenses and the Samyang don’t have any distance or dof markings. Concentrate on the Sigma Artwork works otherwise because it has a direct linear mechanical coupling between the main target ring and the main target motion. It additionally presents the gap and dof markings that usually include lenses designed for DSLRs. [+]
Covers full body/FX or smaller. Similar with the options. [+]
Worth: The lens at the moment sells at round 200 EUR (incl. 19% VAT) / 250 USD. The FE 55mm f1.Eight ZA prices 4 instances as a lot (830 EUR / 1000 USD), the Samyang is round 400 EUR/USD, and the Sigma Artwork goes for 700 EUR / 850 USD. So the Sony FE 50mm f1.Eight is the completely most cost-effective different to get a full-frame, autofocus normal lens with a focal ratio of f1.Eight for E-mount. [++]
The Sony FE 50mm f1.Eight comes with out a pouch however the lens hood is included and is reversible for transport. The FE 55mm f1.Eight ZA comes with a tender pouch, the Sigma Artwork comes with a pleasant padded pouch however no strap. [-]
Aperture ring: No, identical to the opposite lenses on this comparability. 
Sealing: The Sony FE 50mm f1.Eight just isn’t particularly sealed, identical to the Samyang and Sigma Artwork. The Sony 55mm f1.Eight ZA has particular weather-sealing all through the development however lacks a rubber sealing on the lens-mount. 
The rating within the “features-department” is 1[-]/5/7[+], probably the most outstanding options of the lens being that it’s very small and lightweight, and comes at a cut price worth.
In order for you a typical lens (45 to 58mm focal size) with a focal ratio of no less than f2.Zero and autofocus for Sony E-mount full-frame cameras there are fairly a number of options:
- Sony presents the FE 55mm f1.Eight ZA from 2013 for 830 EUR / 1000 USD. See my Sony FE 55mm f1.Eight ZA overview the place it earned a Extremely Really helpful. And there may be the FE 50mm f1.four ZA from 2016 for 1500 EUR/USD. It’s a lot larger and heavier than the FE 50/1.Eight but in addition presents 2/Three of a cease higher light-gathering energy. It earned a Extremely Really helpful in my Sony FE 50mm f1.four ZA overview.
- Sigma presents their 50mm f1.four Artwork lens for E-mount since 2018. It’s an optical design from 2014 and got here Extremely Really helpful in my Sigma 50mm f1.four Artwork overview when examined on a 36MP Nikon D800 in 2014. It prices 700 EUR / 850 USD.
- Samyang has two fascinating options: The AF 45mm 1.Eight FE from 2019 for 400 EUR/USD and the AF 50mm 1.four FE from 2016 which sells for 480 EUR/USD.
Different options embrace handbook focus lenses or lenses with even shorter focal size. To get the angle-of-view of a 55mm lens from a 40mm shot it wants a 38% crop which suggests virtually halving decision:
- Sigma has their 40mm f1.four Artwork now additionally out there for E-mount for 1200 EUR / 1400 USD. The lens is large and heavy however optically wonderful. See my Sigma 40mm f1.four Artwork overview the place it earned a Extremely Really helpful. However with its shorter focal size you need to crop 25% to attain the identical angle of view as a 50mm lens which reduces your efficient decision of a 42MP full-frame sensor to 27MP.
- Samyang has a number of handbook focus 50mm lenses one in all which is the 50mm 1.four AS UMC which sells for round 350 EUR/USD.
- Zeiss presents the Loxia Planar T* 50mm f2.Zero from 2014 which is handbook focus solely. It sells for 750 EUR / 950 USD. And there may be the Zeiss Batis 40mm f2.Zero CF from 2018 which presents autofocus and has a really spectacular close-focus functionality. It prices 1200 EUR / 1300 USD and got here Extremely Really helpful in my Zeiss Batis 40mm f2.Zero CF overview. With its shorter focal size of 40mm the identical remarks maintain true as with the Sigma 40mm f1,four Artwork.
How large is the distinction between 50mm and 55mm focal size? Right here is the angle of view that the Sony FE 50mm f1.Eight covers on a full-frame physique in comparison with the FE 55mm f1.Eight ZA:
Focus accuracy and repeatability is essential to constantly produce sharp photographs particularly with giant aperture lenses. Repeatability (the accuracy of concentrate on the identical topic after repeated focus-acquisition) of this lens is superb (measured 97,3% in Reikan FoCal) with no outliers over a collection of 40 photographs. There may be solely a really slight focus variation whether or not the lens focuses from a better distance or from infinity.
The lens focuses in round 0.7 sec on a Sony A7R II from infinity to 0.62m (1:10 magnification), which is comparatively quick and corresponding to the Sony FE 55mm f1.Eight ZA and the Sigma Artwork (on a Nikon Z7 with FTZ adapter). The main target ring of the FE 50mm f1.Eight is 20mm large. Each Sony lenses and the Samyang provide very clean focus by wire operation which may simply be operated with one finger. Solely the Sigma Artwork has a a lot stiffer mechanical coupling between the main target ring and the main target motion.
AF-operation of the Sony lenses on this comparability is inaudible from the surface and if you happen to document video with the built-in microphone solely the FE 50/1.Eight registers a tiny little bit of noise. The Sigma Artwork produces an audible focus noise. As you pull focus, you’ll discover fairly some focus respiration: the picture of the Sony FE 55mm f1.Eight ZA turns into 11% extra magnified when I adjusted the main target from infinity to 0.62m. This may be fairly distracting when capturing movies and is worse than from the FE 55mm f1.Eight ZA and the Sigma Artwork that are round 7%.
Subsequent take a look at my high quality outcomes!