FE 1.8/50 firmware update

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Lenses' started by addieleman, Sep 9, 2016.

  1. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur Subscribing Member

    Nov 13, 2012
    Ad Dieleman
    Thanks to @unlo@unlo I became aware that there's a Ver. 02 firmware for the FE 1.8/50mm. Now this update was overdue the day the lens came on the market because its autofocus in AF-S mode was mind-blowingly slow; oddly enough AF-C was much better.

    At this moment the firmware updater is only available from Sony Japan. Now I've never been accused of being patient, so I took the plunge and downloaded the Mac version of the updater. I was greeted by a Dutch introduction so that seemed alright and updating went like a breeze.

    So, does the lens better now? Yep, it does. Initial movement to the focus point from a largely different one remains as fast as before (I think), probably the focus motor is moving at max. speed. However, in AF-S it doesn't overshoot as much before hitting focus, making it snappier. This helps a lot if focussing takes place within a fairly narrow range. To put it in perspective, focussing in AF-S is now simply slow instead of a total embarrassment. Don't notice a lot difference in AF-C speed but I'll know more about that after tonight when I'll head out for some street shots. For you sceptics there's a quick impression of focus speed. The A7R2 operates in AF-S, flexible spot, medium size.

    AF accuracy is about the same as before, I'd say. I kept a nagging suspicion that the lens had some back-focus so I set out to check it with the Spyder LensCal. I did the test with the flexible spot, small size. In AF-S focus is accurate enough, but at f/4 there's the tiniest amount of backfocus increasing on further stopping down. At f/8 it's just about tolerable, but the focus point is at the far end of the sharpness zone. Here's a full-res example.
    AF-C behaviour surprised me. It's quite OK at apertures between f/1.8 and f/5.6, if somewhat more variable than in AF-S. However, at f/8 it started jittering audibly and 2 out of 7 shots were not critically sharp.

    All-in-all the improvements aren't earth-shattering but welcome nevertheless.

    BTW, the update is here. For those of you whose Japanese is like mine: the big blue button is the download button; upon pressing it a window opens, click on the left blue button and the download starts.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2016
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  2. SRHEdD

    SRHEdD TalkEmount Veteran

    Nov 25, 2012
    Viera, Florida, USA
    ...and after you download, everything is back in English. No worries, works fine on a Mac here.
  3. nidza

    nidza TalkEmount Regular

    Nov 1, 2013
    Many thanks @addieleman@addieleman !

    I got my fifty yesterday, and initially I was disappointed. Camera firmware upgrade 3.10 --> 3.20 changed a lot, but I was not aware there is a lens upgrade as well. Just applied it and there is additional small improvement. Now this little lens is really useful.

    What a pity Sony didn't install proper AF motor, but let's be honest, who would have been buying Zeiss 55 for 3x price tag? I enjoyed today shooting with our little overpriced nifty fifty. It is a decent lens.
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  4. nidza

    nidza TalkEmount Regular

    Nov 1, 2013
    I have another contribution, made a YouTube video with sound, so you can see for yourself how upgraded lens and camera work together. Focus is from minimum to infinity, several times. For my needs this is decent, performance and motor noise.

    Please find video:
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  5. A7shooter

    A7shooter TalkEmount Regular

    Feb 6, 2015
    What camera is used in the video?
  6. nidza

    nidza TalkEmount Regular

    Nov 1, 2013
    Sony A7ii
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2016
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