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Sony FE 50mm 1.8f - for the money, it's really not a bad lens

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Lenses' started by orlcam88, Feb 11, 2018.

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  1. orlcam88

    orlcam88 TalkEmount Regular

    141
    Dec 24, 2017
    Long Island, NY
    I had a business trip last week in Dallas and needed a carry around lens but the only lens I had was the 100-400m. The lens I was waiting for (24-105mm) wasn't available for shipping until this past Monday so that wouldn't work out. As I didn't want to bring that large lens due to not being able to shoot during the day time, I went over to B&H photo in the city to see what used lenses they have. I was going for cheap but capable. I asked the clerk to list out what he had for Sony and heard him mentioned the 50mm for $156. I read about this lens having slow focusing but the glass was good so I went for it.

    I shot some around the city on my way back and I didn't find an issue with focusing. It took some nice landscapes. When I got home, I wanted to see what would cause the slow focus people mentioned and it's basically any object in near focus. Strangely, it would take time to get a focus on near objects. I'm not talking about getting within inches, but anything within around 10 feet. As I wasn't going to use this lens for that, I was fine with it.

    So for less than $200, I'd say I got a pretty good lens. Here are my shots.
     

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    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018
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  2. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    I’d say you’re right! :thumbup:
     
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  3. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur Subscribing Member

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    Some nice shots you've made! I have this lens too and it's kind of a bargain IMHO if you don't mind the crippled AF. And its geometric distortion is super-low, even uncorrected, so it's ideal for cityscapes with all their straight lines.
     
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  4. SRHEdD

    SRHEdD TalkEmount Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    544
    Nov 25, 2012
    Viera, Florida, USA
    Steve
    But if you're shooting something like a portrait, AF within range is fine. It really only racks out slowly, or goes from far to near slowly. Within a smaller range, I find it perfectly acceptable. I love it on an A6500, too.
     
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  5. Hamsong

    Hamsong TalkEmount Regular

    44
    Sep 20, 2017
    Minneapolis, MN
    I bought this lens for my wife, who has begun shooting family portraits, maternity, birth, etc. Aside from the minor focusing sound and the slower but predictable focus, it renders VERY well and is a cheap alternative to the stunning Zeiss 55 f1.8. Since they are now selling for only $199, it's a steal.
     
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  6. Tipton

    Tipton TalkEmount Top Veteran

    599
    Jan 30, 2016
    Rae Leggett
    I just have to say I really like the pic of the big eyeball.
     
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  7. jon84

    jon84 New to TalkEmount

    5
    May 21, 2018
    Sorry to Bump!

    Newbie to the forum here. I am looking between this lens and the SEL35 on my a6000. Being Equivalent of 75mm on the SEL50, does any one feel that the lens is too restrictive when shooting on the street?
     
  8. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur Subscribing Member

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    Depends on what you're looking for on the street, but for me 50mm equivalent is already fairly long, I prefer 35-40mm equivalent and in crowded places I sometimes use 28mm. 75mm equivalent, using the FE 1.8/50 on an A6000, would be much too tight for me.
     
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  9. jon84

    jon84 New to TalkEmount

    5
    May 21, 2018
    Thanks for the reply :) 

    I like to capture people with some more context to their environment. Also like taking Architecture shots too.

    My thinking was I'd be too tight with the 75mm equiv
     
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  10. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    Will
    On the a6000, I found my SEL5018 OSS to be too long for street photography. The f/1.8 is great at night, but difficult to frame decent shots. My Sigma 19 and 30mm f/2.8 Art primes work better for street and architecture. The FOV is similar to Ad's recommendations.
     
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  11. JonathanF2

    JonathanF2 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    901
    Aug 16, 2014
    Los Angeles, USA
    I think the optics of the 50mm 1.8 FE are very good. My issue with that lens is that they put a 90s throwback AF motor into it. It makes it pretty useless for things like video. I don't think Sony should be rewarded for cutting corners, especially when the competitors have faster focusing budget 50mm or equivalents lenses in the same price range.
     
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  12. saledolce

    saledolce TalkEmount Regular

    34
    Nov 22, 2018
    Completely agree with you @JonathanF2@JonathanF2.

    I already mentioned this in another topic, but feel it's more appropriate here: I recently swapped my Panasonic 20mm f1.7 for a Oly 25mm f1.8 (on m43 this is equivalent to 50mm FL) I was really really happy with the sharpness and the color rendition of the lens. But since I use fast primes in low light condition, the moment it struggles to focus in low light, it becomes a lot less useful in my kit. On m43 I also had another supercheap 50mm equiv, the Panasonic 25mm f1.7. Thats a sub 200 euros lens, my only complaint was size, since the Olympus equivalent is smaller.

    Both the lenses I gave away on the other system were much much better then this plasticky beercan, AF is slower than the Panny 20mm and (for obvious sensor size reason) it's bigger than the Panny 25mm. The optics, as you said, seem very good, I'm happy with sharpness, color and overall tridimensionality of the shots, but AF motor is just embarassing for current standards.

    I wonder if using it on A7ii makes it somehow more painful, but if I got it correctly you are on A7iii. By the way, I already checked the firmware release and I'm on the latest both for body and lens.
     
  13. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave

    The slow AF seems to be this lenses biggest complaint. On the APS-C side the 50mm SEL is just as sharp and just as fast
     
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  14. ionian

    ionian TalkEmount Regular

    77
    Aug 27, 2018
    Kent, UK
    Simon
    @saledolce@saledolce - have you had a chance to try it in AF-C mode? Did it make a difference?

    When I used it on my original A7 I remember it being quite frustrating especially coming from the instant AF-S focus on m43. But it was a price I was able to endure because of the subjects I was using it for - and because in AF-c it tracked a subject better than any m43 camera I have ever owned, even on the original A7.

    On the A7iii it performs well.
     
  15. saledolce

    saledolce TalkEmount Regular

    34
    Nov 22, 2018
    I'm used to AF-S (small focus point) on Oly, and moving the focus point with my thumb on the rear LCD. I will definitely try with AF-C. What Focus Area do you suggest using?
     
  16. ionian

    ionian TalkEmount Regular

    77
    Aug 27, 2018
    Kent, UK
    Simon
    I be honest I just put face detect on and zone focus and let it do its thing, if I remember correctly. I was using it for shots of my family mainly so limited usage.
     
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  17. ionian

    ionian TalkEmount Regular

    77
    Aug 27, 2018
    Kent, UK
    Simon
    Here are a few shots that I know were taken on the A7 with AFC and face detect - ive taken them from Facebook so excuse the quality and they are just family snaps, but you can see that the tracking works well. If it were hunting I couldn't have taken these:
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    FB_IMG_1544309884557.jpg
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  18. orlcam88

    orlcam88 TalkEmount Regular

    141
    Dec 24, 2017
    Long Island, NY
    Not bad at all, actually I'm even more impressed by this lens. I was planning on using this lens for a party tonight. I hadn't used it with people yet, so I thought I'd give it a shot. I brought my goto lens as well but I'm hoping to leave that one in the bag until I really need it.
     
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  19. SRHEdD

    SRHEdD TalkEmount Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    544
    Nov 25, 2012
    Viera, Florida, USA
    Steve
    If that was my daughter on the swing, that one photo would be worth the cost of the lens to me. Excellent.
     
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  20. saledolce

    saledolce TalkEmount Regular

    34
    Nov 22, 2018
    @ionian@ionian The 3 examples you posted prove that a slow AF lens can track fast. Probably need to change my AF strategy to squeeze the best from this lens. Was that A7 or A7iii?
     
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