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

by Sony
| 17 answered questions

List Price: $449.99
Price: $448.00 & FREE Shipping. Details
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DPReview Gold Award
From the experts at DPReview
Overall score: 88%
See Review Summary and Sample Images
What is DPReview and its awards?
DPReview

Digital Photography Review is the most popular dedicated enthusiast digital photography site on the Internet. Our authoritative reviews have earned us the trust of photographers and camera buyers all over the world, for more than 15 years.

Gold and Silver Awards are given to products that deserve special recognition based on how well they perform relative to their competitors at the time of review.


  • 50mm focal length
  • 75mm equivalent focal length on APS-C cameras
  • F1.4 maximum aperture; F22 minimum
  • AF via camera body motor
  • 55mm filters
  • 0.45m/17.72" minimum focus
  • Sony Alpha mount for full frame and APS-C DSLRs
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Sony 50mm f/1.4 Lens for Sony Alpha Digital SLR Camera + Tiffen 55mm UV Protection Filter
Price for both: $454.96

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  • Buy Used and Save: Buy a Used "Sony 50mm f/1.4 Lens for Sony Alpha Digital SLR Ca..." and save 39% off the $449.99 list price. Buy with confidence as the condition of this item and its timely delivery are guaranteed under the "Amazon A-to-z Guarantee". See all Used offers.

Technical Details

  • Brand Name: Sony
  • Model: SAL50F14
  • Maximum Aperature Range: F1.4
  • Minimum focal length: 50 mm
  • Maximum focal length: 50 mm
See more technical details

Review summary from DPReview

DPReview Gold AwardDecember 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 WestlakeAndy 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
PoorExcellent
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Features
Image Quality
Value
Scoring is relative only to the other lenses in the same category.
DPReview is the world's most popular dedicated enthusiast digital photography website. Since 1998 its mission has remained unchanged: to deliver the best reviews of cameras and lenses anywhere on the Internet, and help you find the right gear for your needs.

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

Compare to Similar Items


This item: Sony 50mm f/1.4 Lens for Sony Alpha Digital SLR Camera
Customer Rating (49) (27) (153) (209)
Price $ 448.00 $ 273.00 $ 168.00 $ 899.00
Shipping FREE Shipping FREE Shipping FREE Shipping FREE Shipping
Sold By Amazon.com Amazon.com Amazon.com Amazon.com
Lens Prime lens Prime lens Prime lens Prime lens
Maximum Sensor Size Compatibility 35mm FF 35mm FF APS-C / DX 35mm FF
Maximum Aperture Range F1.4 F2.8 F1.8 F1.4
Min Aperture 22 22 32 16
Photo Filter Thread Size 55 millimeters 55 millimeters 49 millimeters 67 millimeters
Minimum Operating Distance 0.45 meters 0.6 meters 0.34 meters 0.3 meters
Item Weight 0.49 pounds 0.39 pounds 0.37 pounds 1.47 pounds
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Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 1.7 x 2.6 x 2.6 inches ; 7.8 ounces
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S.
  • ASIN: B000DZH9MY
  • Item model number: SAL50F14
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: September 29, 2006

Product Description

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.

Customer Reviews

It is very quick to focus.
Erick McCourt
Very light, fast focus, tack sharp and good quality lens.
Blu
I can say this lens was worth every penny.
michael paniagua

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

59 of 63 people found the following review helpful By P. Ciullo on November 14, 2007
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.
Read more ›
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Rishi Chhibber on October 15, 2008
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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52 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Hiram Grant on August 2, 2006
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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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Erick McCourt on November 18, 2008
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.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Sindri Hilmarsson on July 8, 2007
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 :)
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By genews on March 4, 2009
Verified Purchase
This lens is tack sharp and provides beautiful color reproduction. The size and weight are convenient for frequent use, and the focal length on a camera with an APS-C
size sensor is very useful for both portraits and general photography. For all its qualities, and at the Amazon price, this lens is an exceptional value in the Sony lineup of lenses.
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31 of 40 people found the following review helpful By W. E. Hattersen on January 9, 2007
I received this lens as a Christmas present and I have been very pleased with it. I of course had to try a head-to-head with my 85mm f1.4 to see how the bokeh compared. It was close, very close to being a draw. I was floored by the buttery smoothness of the 50/1.4's bokeh.

I was also surprised to find that at f1.4 the lens was pleasantly sharp with soft and suttle blurring melting away from the sharp point of focus. I had expected it to be f2 or higher for such sharpness and detail. At f8 - f11 it is just absolutely brilliant!

From my experience with this lens (and 85/1.4) I am now drooling for a 35mm f1.4 G! I am so hoping for a Sony full-frame to truely exploit the full potential of this lens - but I digress.

If you have a KM/Min 50/1.7 (and I do) you will find the f1.4 version is significantly better in bokeh and detail. The plus comes in with this being a "D" lens so it has the ADI flash advantage.

If you you do not have a 50mm lens then this is what you are looking for and you will not be disapointed.
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