Sony 50mm f/1.4 ( SAL-50F14 ) - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Sony Alpha/NEX (APS-C)

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published March 2008

Special thanks to Klaus Wagner for providing this lens for testing!


The Sony 50mm f/1.4 is currently the only standard lens available in Sony Alpha mount. Most likely it is not a new lens but simply the relabeled variant of the old Minolta AF 50mm f/1.4 RS plus ADI encoding. On an APS-C DSLR its focal length is equivalent to about 75mm and as such within the classic range of portrait lenses. Thanks to its ultra-large aperture it is also an obvious choice for available light photography but naturally it is not limited to that - these 50mm lenses are about as good as it gets when used at medium aperture settings but more on this later.

The build quality of the lens is very decent. The lens barrel is made of good quality plastics combined with a metal mount and the all-rubber focus ring located at the very front of the lens operates smooth. Unfortunately the focus ring is not decoupled in AF mode so it rotates during AF operations. The lens uses an extension system for focusing so the inner lens tube is moving accordingly. The filter mount does not rotate.

Typical for conventional Sony lenses the 50mm f/1.4 does still rely on the classic focusing system driven by the camera (via a slotted drive screw). Consequently the AF produces a moderate degree of noise during operations but thanks to the low weight of the glass elements the AF is pretty fast.

Equiv. focal length75 mm (full format equivalent)
Equiv. aperturef/2.1 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)
Optical construction7 elements in 6 groups
Number of aperture blades7 (rounded)
min. focus distance0.45 m (max. magnification ratio 1:4)
Dimensions66 x 43 mm
Weight220 g
Filter size55 mm(non-rotating)
Hoodbarrel-shaped, snap-on, supplied
Other features-

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