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Sony 50mm f/1.4 Lens for Sony Alpha Digital SLR Camera

by Sony
4.7 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews
| 24 answered questions

List Price: $449.99
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US Version

DPReview Gold Award
From the experts at DPReview
Overall score: 88%
See review summary and sample images
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  • Ultra-bright standard 50mm lens with f/1.4 maximum aperture for Sony Alpha digital SLR cameras
  • Provides superb clarity and visual accuracy even when shooting at fully open apertures indoors
  • Employs in-camera Super SteadyShot image stabilization system to minimize blur from camera
  • Circular aperture for low-light shots; 1.5-foot minimum focus distance; 55mm filter diameter
  • Measures 2.56 inches in diameter and 1.69 inches long; weighs 8 ounces
  • Please note this product is only compatible with A mount cameras
9 new from $448.00 17 used from $249.00 1 refurbished from $419.95

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Sony 50mm f/1.4 Lens for Sony Alpha Digital SLR Camera
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Total price: $459.60
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Technical Details


Review summary from DPReview

DPReview Gold Award December 2008
It's not perfect, but it has low light capabilities unmatched by any zoom, and image quality unrivalled by all but the most expensive.
Andy Westlake Andy Westlake
88%

Conclusion

Like any fast prime it's not perfect (shooting through all that glass at large apertures inevitably introduces more aberrations), but it has low light capabilities unmatched by any zoom, and image quality unrivalled by all but the most expensive. It's also small, light and unobtrusive, and therefore perfect for discreet shooting. These qualities add up to give a lens worthy of all Alpha users' consideration.

Reasons to buy

  • Unusually good performance on APS-C even at wide apertures
  • Excellent image quality when stopped down
  • Low distortion

Things to consider

  • Soft across most of the frame at wide apertures on full frame
  • Bokeh chromatic aberration, most visible at wide apertures
  • Vignetting at wide apertures on full frame
  • Somewhat susceptible to flare

Suggested for

Those in search of a small, relatively sharp portrait or low light lens on their Sony DSLR -- a good match for full frame or APS-C.

Not suggested for

Full frame shooters who are highly critical about corner-to-corner sharpness
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Product Description

Configuration: US Version

Product Description

Sony 50mm f/1.4 Lens for Sony Alpha Digital SLR Camera

From the Manufacturer

Sony make . believe

50mm F1.4 Prime Lens

The stunning clarity and contrast delivered by the 50mm F1.4 lens proves that it is one of the finest in its class. The combination of F1.4 maximum aperture and circular aperture design makes it possible to elicit silky-smooth defocusing effects to enhance dimensionality and isolate important visual elements. This is a lens that should should be part of every serious photo enthusiasts's toolkit.

50mm F1.4 Prime Lens

Technology

Circular Aperture
Distance encoder

Circular Aperture

When changing your aperture to defocus the background, the light sources appear blurred. This ‘bokeh’ effect of the blurred background can be enhanced with circular aperture blades used in this lens. Conventional aperture blades have flat sides creating unappealing polygonal shaped defocussed points of light. α lenses overcome this problem through a unique design that keeps the aperture almost perfectly circular from its wide-open setting to when it is closed by 2 stops. Smoother, more natural defocusing can be obtained as a result.

Distance encoder

The distance encoder plays an integral part in ADI flash metering, which delivers high precision flash metering that is unaffected by the reflectance of subjects or backgrounds. The distance encoder is a lens component that directly detects the position of the focusing mechanism, and sends a signal to the CPU in order to measure distance to the subject. During flash photography, this data is very useful in calculating how much flash output is appropriate to the scene.

Sony make . believe

2008 Sony Electronics, Inc.

All rights reserved. Sony, the Sony logo, Alpha, “&#945” and Super SteadyShot are trademarks of Sony. All other trademarks are trademarks of their respective owners.


Product Details

Configuration: US Version
User Manual [PDF]
  • Product Dimensions: 1.7 x 2.6 x 2.6 inches ; 7.8 ounces
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • ASIN: B000DZH9MY
  • Item model number: SAL50F14
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
  • Manufacturer’s warranty can be requested from customer service. Click here to make a request to customer service.
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: September 29, 2006

Read about our customers' top-rated lenses and cameras on our review pages: Lenses, Digital SLR Cameras, Compact System Cameras

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Configuration: US Version
I bought this lens because I needed a "portrait" lens for my K/M 7D when my Sigma 28-70 f/2.8 EX "Pro" lens took a dump on me. The lens hasn't been dropped or anything like that (that I'm aware of) but it suddenly is always out of focus and won't focus at infinity at all ... but that's a problem for the Sigma people, so I digress.

In need of a good "portrait" length lens for my 7D I opted for this Sony 50 f/1.4. I'd had a Maxxum 50 f/1.4 years ago but had gotten rid of it shortly after getting a zoom lens. Big mistake. In any case, because my Sigma lens mentioned above was in need of repair and I had a portrait shoot coming up, I got this lens and I must say it's been a worthwhile investment.

Wide open the lens is tack sharp at point-of-focus. Stopped down between f/2.8 and f/4, doing head and shoulder shots of an average-sized adult the lens provides fantastic portraits ... nice contrast, beautiful color and of course very sharp with beautifully de-focused backgrounds.

I shoot a lot of film with Medium format Mamiyas (RZ67 and 7II) and have very high expectations for image quality. With the purchase of this 50 f/1.4 I realized I've been compromising image quality on my 35mm cameras (film and digital) by using "off brand" lenses like Tokina and Sigma. Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that Tokina and Sigma make flat-out junk. Just that I didn't realize that the image quality could be better in my 35mm cameras.

Up to now I'd thought that the sensor in the K/M 7D was just mediocre. And, I'm sure that some would say it still is. But, I'm here to tell you that this 50 f/1.4 proved to me that the problems I've thought were all in the body were in actuality all in the lenses.
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Configuration: US Version
I bought this lens to try out with my Alpha 350 to take flashless indoor pictures of my ever moving 2 year old, and the results were Amazing!

The sharpness is way better than I had ever gotten with my kit lenses, and the speed of the lens makes sure that I get no blurs, or noisy dark pictures.

Strongly Recommended.
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This Sony update of the Konica-Minolta 50mm f1.4 will be a welcome addition to anyone wishing to shoot low-light candids or close sports photos.

Although the Sony A100 offers and anti-shake system, a large aperture lens has a few distinct advantages. First, sports photos require fast shutter speeds to stop action. While the AS system might allow you to hold a camera steady, such slow shutter speeds will blur sports action photos (or the 3 year old running around the house).

The larger aperture, more than 4x more light than any zoom for the Alpha, also gets more light to the focusing system. This allows both faster and more accurate focusing.

Another advantage is an increased flash range. Each aperture larger increases your maximum flash range 40%.

For many, another improvement will be the shallow depth of field (putting more background out of focus). Used wisely, this can really make some photos "pop".

The slight drawback is that this is a great 35mm focal length, but a rather odd on on the Alpha. It's a bit long for a "normal" lens, and a bit short for a portrait lens.
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I like this one a lot. It is very sharp. It is very quick to focus. The wide aperture means you can shoot in very little light and that you can have really shallow depth of field for portraits. Be careful though. Like with all 1.4s the depth of field is very shallow indeed at 1.4 and it takes some skill to make sure you nail the focus because the in focus area is so small at that aperature. On an APS-C crop camera such as the Sony A100 and A700 this lens makes for a great portrait lens at a reasonable price.

One thing though. The lens is awesome but I don't know if its a gigantic enough upgrade from a used Minolta 50 1.7 to justify paying more than three times the price.
Comment 14 of 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Configuration: US Version
I bought this lens a while ago and have used it a lot, mainly doing portrait shots. I must say it surprised me, it's better that I had hoped. It's very bright, delivering clear and sharp pictures with great colors. I must say that compared to the Canon lenses of similar class, the Sony lens comes out victorious. I really think that the guys at Sony are doing a great job with their SLR camera.
(P.s. I'm not working for Sony or anything like that, I'm just really happy with my lens :)
4 Comments 23 of 26 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Configuration: US Version Verified Purchase
So after reading every single dingle review it came down to this and the Sigma equivalent. I chose this because one of the reviews I had read said something very important to why I wanted a Prime for my Sony a57 (don't giggle, I wanted it for the 16mp vs 24 on the a65) and it was for portraits. He said "sure it may not be the sharpest at 1.4 but if you need TACK sharp go up to 2.8 (and a tripod of course)! But what he said you get at 1.4 is a beautiful glow to who you are shooting! Not blurry or fuzzy but when I have taken portrait street photography shots, I tell them this lens will make you look GOOD! It's not an OLAN MILLS High school photo look, its just the right amount of like a silk screen glow or something. The men still look like men with all the characteristics of a worn look but the girls ESPECIALLY LOOK GOOD! The reviewer said you can't get that kind of glow with the other lens because at 1.4 its TOO SHARP and when your older, YOU DON'T WANT TO LOOK SUPER SHARP! It is kinda funny to hear the lens focus but its kinda a neat machine sound but a quality VERY TIGHT sound. I have heard the cheaper f 1.8 which is 1/2 cheaper but it sounds like a ahh a feminine machine for girls...HA. I'm a girl reviewer so I can say this. Its made of hard plastic and looks very clean and modern. I have read it is the old Minolta from the 80's but the reviewer says its been updated and tweaked to todays standards. He said that this lens and the way its made is so good that it has stood the test of time for Sony to have decided on using it. I agree. I have been doing more manual focusing lately but I notice you do have to put it to manual and can use focus peaking but you should switch out your iso button to magnify in the menu and that will allow you a zoom focus.Read more ›
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Sony 50mm f/1.4 Lens for Sony Alpha Digital SLR Camera
This item: Sony 50mm f/1.4 Lens for Sony Alpha Digital SLR Camera
Price: $448.00
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Want to discover more products? Check out these pages to see more: zeiss 50mm 1.4, sony alpha a350, sony alpha lenses f/1.4, minolta 50 1.4