Sony E 50mm f/1.8 OSS (SEL-50F18) - Review / Lens Test
Lens Reviews - Sony NEX

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published March 2012

Introduction

50mm lenses were almost a forgotten species but during the very recent years they have seen a revival - on APS-C format cameras they are something like a moderate tele lens and as such a quite attractive option for portrait- or street-photography. Now Sony did a little more than just releasing a "plain" 50mm lens - they added an optical image stabilizer ("Optical Steady Shot" in Sony terms). The Sony E 50mm f/1.8 OSS is also the fastest stabilized system lens ever built (as of the time of this review). This was certainly a difficult engineering task considering the centering effects on the optical system at such large apertures.

The build quality of the Sony lens is excellent based on a metal lens body and a metal focus ring. The front element does not rotate and the physical length remains constant regardless of the focus setting. A plastic barrel-shaped lens hood is part of the package.

The AF performance is very good for a contrast detection system (albeit highly dependent on the base camera). AF operations are basically noiseless. Manual focusing works "by wire" so the focus ring is not directly coupled to the focus gears but to the AF motor. DMF ("Direct Manual Focusing" in Single Shot AF mode) is supported.
During our field tests we had the impression that the Optical Image Stabilizer gave us a potential of about 2-3 f-stops which is a little less than expected but certainly good enough considering the original light gathering capabilities of the lens.

Specifications
Equiv. focal length75 mm (full format equivalent)
Equiv. aperturef/2.7 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)
Optical construction9 elements in 8 groups
Number of aperture blades7 (circular)
min. focus distance0.39 m (1:6.25)
Dimensions62 x 62 mm
Weight202 g
Filter size49 mm
Hoodbarrel-shaped, bayonet mount, supplied
Other featuresOptical Image Stabilizer (OSS)




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