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143 of 146 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Lens, Great Price
Pros:
Very sharp across the frame, even wide open
Low distortion for lens class
Silent AF
Effective Shake Reduction (OSS)

Cons:
Purple fringing and longitudinal CA from f/1.8 to f/2.8 or so.

Bottom Line:
Finally a great lens that shows off the NEX system for a reasonable price. It is a bit more expensive than other 50mm...
Published on February 25, 2012 by Eric T

versus
25 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good enough
It's nice to have a decent prime lens for the NEX system, and the Sony 50 is a decent lens at a decent price. Center sharpness is good. Edge sharpness, even at F/8 is a bit soft. Shooting into bright light, the Sony is prone to flare and noticeable fringing near the image edges. Neither is bad enough to be a deal breaker. This makes a pretty good portrait lens, where edge...
Published on May 24, 2012 by Michael McKee


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143 of 146 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Lens, Great Price, February 25, 2012
By 
Eric T "ejt" (Marion, IA United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Sony 50mm f/1.8 Mid-Range Lens for Sony E Mount Nex Cameras (Electronics)
Pros:
Very sharp across the frame, even wide open
Low distortion for lens class
Silent AF
Effective Shake Reduction (OSS)

Cons:
Purple fringing and longitudinal CA from f/1.8 to f/2.8 or so.

Bottom Line:
Finally a great lens that shows off the NEX system for a reasonable price. It is a bit more expensive than other 50mm f/1.8 lenses, but has built in OSS that is very effective and performs superbly. Very sharp even in the corners.

Review:
The lens is about the same size as some of the other NEX lenses like 30mm f/3.5 Macro, and is actually about the same size as an old manual focus 50mm SLR lens adapted to the NEX system. So it isn't compact, but not huge either. I also like that there is a lot of glass in the lens so it feels nicely weighted.

Construction is similar to other NEX lenses, with a nice machined aluminum barrel, and this has the better nickel plated brass lens mount (the 16mm has a cheaper feeling aluminum mount, but it is also slightly lighter).

The lens comes with a deeply recessed bayonet hood that can be reversed on the lens for storage, and a center pinch lens cap that is a bit finicky to get on and off with the hood since it slips out of my grasp when I try to squeeze the tabs.

Auto focus is typical of NEX lenses. Be sure to disable your focus assist light for fastest focus. The light doesn't work well with this lens and actually makes focus less reliable and slower. The auto focus mechanism is completely silent and is also very smooth.

The shake reduction is probably good for 3 stops with me. I was able to get almost all shots sharp at 1/25, and 80% at 1/13. By 1/6 I still had 80% of the shots usable, but they weren't as sharp as the 1/13 and up shots.

The optical performance of this lens is astounding, the only real drawback is the longitudinal CA (magenta/green fringing in the out of focus areas), which also leads to purple fringing. This effect is most noticeable from f/1.8 to f/2.8 or so.

The lens resolves well corner to corner at all apertures, but is just outstanding from f/2.8 on up. To avoid the CA issue for landscapes, shoot at f/4 and up and you will get a very clean image.

Lens distortion is very minor for this class of lens, and is slightly pincushion. It might also be slightly complex, a little bit of wave to it, but it is pretty minor.

Overall, I am very impressed by this lens, and there is little reason to shoot older legacy 50mm lenses unless you want to go cheap, just like manual focus, or like the character of a particular older lens. This lens performs significantly better than most of the older lenses. The range finder lenses might still hold some appeal due to the small size, but this lens is comparable to the adapted 50mm SLR lenses, so they don't have any size advantage.

Buy one today!
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161 of 173 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm "Disappointed"..., March 31, 2012
This review is from: Sony 50mm f/1.8 Mid-Range Lens for Sony E Mount Nex Cameras (Electronics)
I'm "disappointed" that my $4,000 (if you can find one at retail) Leica Summilux 50mm f/1.4 didn't blow this $300 Sony lens out of the water. This will be a limited, non-technical review, as there are plenty of in-depth reviews on-line already, and my quick comparisons were only done at f/2.0. First, I shot both lenses using my tripod mounted Sony Nex-7 APS-C at 1/125 sec, manually focusing on a building and street construction across the street from my loft. The average person would not be able to chose which photo was "best," though the aspherical lens Leica had a very slight edge (sharpness, distortion, color e.g.) over the Sony. I then shot close-ups at ~3 ft, table mounted, 1/30th sec, f/2.0. Bokeh and sharpness on the Leica was only slightly better, unnoticeable to most, and again the Sony performed beautifully in this David versus Goliath comparison. Of course, for my extra $3700 I can open the Leica to f/1.4 and leave the Sony in tears. Or did I just see the egoless but autofocusing and anti-shake Sony wisely smile at my all-manual big-ego Leica?
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82 of 89 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, especially for videos, March 31, 2012
This review is from: Sony 50mm f/1.8 Mid-Range Lens for Sony E Mount Nex Cameras (Electronics)
- I use this lens with a Nex-5N

- Picture quality is a good as my Nikon d-SLR with a 50mm F/1.8 prime on it.

- Background blur (ie: Bokeh) is smooth & creamy looking. Better than with the kit 18-55 lens.

- It's actually quite nice to have OSS on a 50mm prime lens. I don't really think it changes anything for photos (it's more of a portrait lens) but it's almost a must for hand-held video shooting (video is too shaky without OSS enabled).

- Hand-held low-light "blow on a candle - face in focus - everything else blurred" awesome looking videos now possible with this lens ;)

- Advice for beginners: don't buy a 300$ prime lens unless you know you want or need one. Shooting with a fixed focal lenght is entirely different dynamics than with a 18-55mm zoom. Achieving spot-on focus @ F/1.8 is also harder than with 18-55m kit lens @F/5.6 (example here: you take a close-up portrait of somebody and front of nose is in focus yet eyes are a bit soft and ears are completely out of focus)

Edit: two months of ownership, and this lens is awesome for video shoots. While I won't compare this with professional stuff, my Nex-5N + 50mm F/1.8 shoots absolutely incredible videos, even indoors. I've pretty much stopped using the kit 18-55 lens now ...
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very nice fast prime - focus ring a bit of a slow pony, April 29, 2012
This review is from: Sony 50mm f/1.8 Mid-Range Lens for Sony E Mount Nex Cameras (Electronics)
This lens has not been widely available for nearly a year after it was announced. I finally got one last week (April 2012). So in the meantime I have been shooting mostly with an old Nikkor 50 f/1.4 on a Sony E mount adapter, so that is what I will compare it to. I love this focal length, which is about a 75mm equivalent 'portrait' kind of lens on the Sony NEX series crop sensor. It's a fairly tight lens that makes it great for detailed shots of people, and with a fast prime it allows you to get lovely soft 'bokeh' focus at wider f stops. Now, the problem with the old Nikkor is it's not autofocus, not auto aperture, and not stabilized. The stabilization is sorely missed, as I really like to use the NEX-5n for it's incredible video shooting at 24p. Handheld with a non-stabilized lens, this is very jittery, I mainly have used a tripod doing this. Also, it takes a lot of effort to manually focus a 50mm, especially when shooting near wide open, as the focus field is extremely shallow. Also, the old Nikkor has fairly poor contrast on the NEX for some reason, and needs quite a bit of post processing to correct the contrast.

So. This E mount 50 should remedy nearly all of these shortcomings. Stabilized, auto aperture and focus, and the contrast is very good. It's slightly slower at 1.8 rather than 1.4 but here's the thing: 1.4 has such shallow focus it's almost too much, very difficult to focus. Your subject's nose will be in focus but her ears may not be! I found myself stopping down to around f/2 much of the time on the Nikkor. So, f/1.8 is just fine.

Still, it's nice to be able to manual focus much of the time when your subject is not centered or a filming situation where you might want to rack focus from one subject to another and then back again, for instance. That I will say is one area where I'm disappointed in the Sony lens. There is no focus range indicator, but the real problem is that the focus ring is just too slow - you have to turn it a long long way to sweep focus from near to far. This makes it easy to fine tune focus, but pretty impossible to quickly sweep from a near object to one even just a few feet back. The Nikkor for all it's shortcomings, has a wonderful focus ring that only takes less than half a turn from near to far, and yet is perfectly able to fine focus. In fact I may have to keep the old Nikkor around for this ability, which is a little sad.

To me this shows that Sony is designing these lenses more for stills shooting at the expense of cinema. It could be a great cinema lens with its fantastic sharp and contrasty image and stabilization. But instead it's merely a very good 'camcorder' kind of lens.

You can definitely hand hold this and shoot 24p movies if you're careful. The stabilization is very good, and a vast improvement over a non-stabilized 50. Worth it just for that I think.

On autofocus it is pretty good and fast in stills mode. On video, so so. However, it's probably more the fault of the camera focus system, as with fast moving children it will do some hunting and not always recognize faces and follow objects. I don't think you can conceivable blame the lens for these problems.

Once you start shooting with good fast primes, the slow kit zoom seems like it doesn't do anything really well. I would much rather be able to get this camera with a good medium-wide prime like a 24f2 or something as a kit. Let's hope Sony gets a number of other good fast primes like this in it's E mount catalog. And keep it under $400 please, that Zeiss looks nice but not $1000 nice.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably the Best Consumer Lens Ever | Clobbers Legacy Glass, June 12, 2013
This review is from: Sony 50mm f/1.8 Mid-Range Lens for Sony E Mount Nex Cameras (Electronics)
Sony did something different from Canon, Nikon, and others. Instead of letting the accountants build the same lens as every other company, they let the engineers and designers build the lens that everyone didn't even know they wanted. This lens is basically the best consumer lens ever made because of that design philosophy. It's sharp, small, fast, stabilized, autofocusing, and cheap. This is now my favorite lens, ever.

Sharp: This lens is cut yourself sharp. Anyone saying otherwise has probably never used it. I have used Canon L glass, and in comparison this 50mm simply blows me away with the clarity and sharpness. I'm sure the Zeiss 24mm is sharper on paper, but this lens delivers all that anyone could ever expect or need, and is muuuuch cheaper. And it's sharp from wide open, which most Canon L primes can't say.

Small yet Fast: I was using an f1.4 legacy lens. I was worried going from f1.4 to f1.8 would be a downgrade. Not at all. The high ISO on the NEX is so good that the extra light gathering is irrelevant. In terms of depth of field, I was getting too many out of focus shots with the f1.4. A picture of 2 people would have one in focus and one not. This lens is the perfect balance and f1.8 was the right choice for Sony. The lens is small and light, fast enough to blur backgrounds, but not so fast as to be heavy, costly, and hard to use.

Stabilized: Using legacy glass or the Sigma primes, I would constantly worry shooting video. Do I shoot video with an un-stabilized lens and get camera shake? Or do I switch to the kit lens every time I want to shoot video? This lens fixes that dilemma. The stabilization smooths out video and also allows you, along with the high ISO ability and fast aperture, to take pictures in absurdly low light.

Autofocus: I hated autofocus on my Canons. It always got it wrong. I started using manual focus to get what I wanted in focus instead of what the camera's computer wanted. On the NEX, focus peaking was a god send. I could now get faster, more reliable manual focus. Then I got a NEX 5N. You touch what you want to focus. You just touch it! Finally, I could get the benefits of autofocus (reliability and speed) with the benefits of manual focus (focusing on the right thing). I got a lot of missed focus shots with legacy lenses on the NEX. With this lens, I don't. I touch the camera and tell it where to focus, and the lens nails it, every time. The combination of the touch screen and sensor based contrast detect autofocus have converted me from legacy glass to autofocus E-mount lenses.

Cheap: A legacy f1.8 lens can be found for $50. This lens is 6 times more expensive. A Canon 50 f1.8 costs $100. This lens is 3 times more. How can I say this lens is cheap? Because you're making the wrong comparison. This lens is undoubtedly sharper at f1.8 than a Canon 50L costing 5 times more. Sure the Canon is faster, but most of the time you'll shoot it at f1.8 anyway. This lens is also metal construction, much more comparable to a Canon L than to the "Plastic Fantastic" Canon 50 f1.8. And finally, it's stabilized. Canon's only stabilized primes are twice as expensive and over a stop slower (f2.8). There simply is no comparable lens to this, and that makes it an absolute bargain.

This is by far my favorite lens I've ever used. If you need wider, get the 35mm. Skip the 24mm, which is waaay overpriced and lacks stabilization in return for a tiny increase in sharpness. This lens, if the focal length works for you, is the bees knees.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good lens for portrait, but with a flaw, September 8, 2012
By 
TonyZ (Northern California) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Sony 50mm f/1.8 Mid-Range Lens for Sony E Mount Nex Cameras (Electronics)
Pros:

Very sharp images and amazing color representations. The bokeh is pretty pleasant when using large apertures like f/1.8, and as stated in product description, you'll have nice circular shape of bokeh instead of a stupid polygon.

Cons:

As mentioned by one customer, purple fringing could be serious with large apertures when you use it in highlight situations. If you zoom in you image on your computer, you'd find a ghostly bright purple line around the high-contrast edges, which really bothers me when i was trying to have a large print.

Basically you'd better not use this lens for highlight and\or high-contrast situations in large apertures. But for all other cases, you would find it very satisfactory.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow, April 1, 2012
This review is from: Sony 50mm f/1.8 Mid-Range Lens for Sony E Mount Nex Cameras (Electronics)
My brother just got this for our nex 5n. Under lamp light, handheld, iso800 wide open, 1/10 exposure from 6 ft away, he resolved the threads in the weave of my t shirt and the hair follicles on my eyebrows. Shooting the 100 dollar bill from minimum focusing distance, you can see fine detail on the microprint 100s inside the large 100. We were both just stunned by how sharp this lens is.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this lens!, April 30, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Sony 50mm f/1.8 Mid-Range Lens for Sony E Mount Nex Cameras (Electronics)
I am new to anything but point-and-shoot photography, and have had my Sony NEX-C3 for about 3 months. I love it, and my photography teacher suggested I should get a f1.8 lens. I first ordered this from Sony directly, but they kept delaying shipment so I cancelled and bought here. This is my 3rd lens - I have the the pancake lens and the telephoto. This kills the pancake in terms of picture quality, detail, etc. Definitely worth the money!
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent in all respects - except size, May 16, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Sony 50mm f/1.8 Mid-Range Lens for Sony E Mount Nex Cameras (Electronics)
This lens is sharp; it's a good value; it focuses pretty well and silently; it works well for cinema/movie/video; it is fast and has very nice bokeh. Stablization works very well on both stills and video. Other reviewers have comments on this which all I would agree with. So what's not to like?

What I would take issue with is the size. It's a big as the kit normal zoom, actually slightly bigger. Look, Sony, the reason we are buying an NEX camera is because they are a lot smaller than the SLR competition. Problem is, almost none of your lenses are small. I know it's possible to design more compact primes lenses, because Sigma is doing it for NEX E mount. Sony has one nice compact lens for this mount, the 16 2.8 pancake I'm sure everyone is familiar with. I have that lens and it's really the only option if you want to take the camera along and maybe stick it in your pocket. But it's image quality is merely good, not great.

I feel the NEX series is easily best interchangeable lens mirrorless cameras on the market. However, the lenses are still few and far between and too large. It's especially hard to believe that Sony doesn't even have a normal fast prime for this mount, which accounting for sensor size would be a focal length of about 30 or 35mm at f/2 or at least f/2.8. Sigma has one at f/2.8 at least that's inexpensive, but not stabilized, so that's what I would be looking at at this point to round out my basic-3 collection (16mm wide, 30mm normal, 50mm near-tele). As it is I'm using an old Nikkor 28mm f2.8 on an adapter, which is actually a very nice lens on an NEX. But large and manual everything and no stabilization.

At the moment, this 50mm f/1.8 is your only option if you want a very sharp, stabilized, fast prime on the NEX series. That's good, but it's also too bad.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every A6000 Owner Deserves To See What This Lens Can Do!, December 1, 2014
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I bought this to use on my new Sony A6000 camera and I have to say its totally blown me and my wife away at how AWESOME the pictures are coming out. Honesty the combo is producing endless stunning photographs and the image quality is 3D like and super sharp. The Kit Lens is something you will not want to use after seeing the image quality difference this camera provides.

This lens will get you that awesome blurred background and foreground effect that everybody loves normally see when they pay a professional photographer to take their family or personal photos.

If you have a Alpha 6000 camera then this is a must have lens. I was looking at the Zeiss 55mm prime also which has the highest rating as far as quality image goes on DXO Review Site goes for the best prime lenses on the Sony A6000 specifically but it also has a $1000 price tag which really didn't stop me from buying it if i thought it was better but the lack of OSS "Optical Image Stabilization" which helps improve night shots and prevents video distortion was what made me buy this lens instead.

I never leave reviews normally due to time restraints but I have to urge A6000 camera owners to please buy this lens for your camera if you want to really make the A6000 spit out superb high quality photographs that when taken right will need zero editing.
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