Review

In this Hands on Review I will be going over the Sony 50mm f/1.8 OSS E-Mount lens as tested on the Sony Nex-5n. I’ve done extensive testing with the SEL50F18 E-Mount lens and you will see exactly what it’s capable of in this review.  At ~$300 US it’s easily one of the best bang for the buck Sony E-Mount lens currently available in my opinion. It has a super fast f/1.8 aperture, high quality ED Glass, Optical Steady Shot, and a Silent, Smooth as butter focus motor. Oh Yeah, and it costs hundreds less than anything else even remotely close to as good.

The 50mm focal length on a 1.5x crop factor sensor body, like the Nex cameras, works out to an effective 75mm. (50mm X 1.5x = 75mm) 75mm is an excellent focal length for portraits in particular and with such a fast aperture of f/1.8, in combination with the huge sensor on the Nex-5n, you can get awesome separation between your subjects and backgrounds.  Just like an SLR!!


I took a ton of sample pics and I have some sample video that shows off just how smooth and quite the Sony 50mm f/1.8 OSS lens really when focusing from one subject to another, as well as focusing in really low light. I also wanted to note that I shot Jpeg for most of these images as that is what most users will be using when shooting with the Nex-5n in my opinion. Plus the fact that the camera fixes the lens flaws in jpeg mode!!

 

 

SEL50F18 – Sony 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens

Here’s the Sony E-Mount 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens w/ the provided lens hood.

Sony E-Mount 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens - SEL50F18

Sony E-Mount 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens – SEL50F18

Sony E-Mount 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens - SEL50F18

Sony E-Mount 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens – SEL50F18

Sony E-Mount 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens - SEL50F18

Sony E-Mount 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens – SEL50F18

Here’s the Sony E-Mount 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens mounted to the Sony Nex-5n.

Sony Nex-5n and the Sony 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens

Sony Nex-5n and the Sony 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens

Sony Nex-5n and the Sony 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens and lens Hood

Sony Nex-5n and the Sony 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens and lens Hood

 

Sony 50mm f/1.8 OSS lens – Full Specs

Optics/Lens
Aperture (Max.) f/1.8
Aperture (Min.) f/22
Filter Diameter 49mm
Lens Groups-Elements 8 groups, 9 elements
Minimum Focus Distance 15.3” (0.39m)
AF for Movie Capture Yes
Angle of View 32°
Aperture Blade 7 blades (Circular aperture)
Dimensions (Max. Diameter x Length) 2-1/2 x 2- 1/2” (62x62mm)
Direct Manual Focus Yes
Exterior Finish Metal
Focal Length (35mm equivalent) 75mm
Internal Motor Yes (Stepping motor)
Lens Weight 7.25 oz (202g)
Low Noise During Movie Capture Excellent
Maximum Magnification 0.16x (APS-C)
Mount Material Metal
Weights and Measurements
Dimensions (Approx.) 2-1/2 x 2-1/2” (62 x 62mm)
Weight (Approx.) 7.25oz (202g)
Service and Warranty Information
Limited Warranty Term 1 Year Parts & Labor 1

Sony 50mm f/1.8 OSS lens – Full Feature Set

Built-in Optical SteadyShotTM image stabilization

The built-in Optical SteadyShot image stabilization system provides a 4-stop (approx.) shutter speed advantage, making it significantly easier to achieve crisp, blur-free images and video.

Large F1.8 aperture

The SEL50F18 has an innovative optical design to achieve clear, high-quality images by effectively minimizing distortion and chromatic aberration. Moreover, the large maximum aperture of this lens with its circular aperture design, can produce beautiful, creamily defocused backgrounds.

Smooth and quiet high-speed focusing

Lens operation is fast but at the same time smooth and quiet, minimizing noise and image jitter when shooting movies. A linear motor used for focus drive contributes to low-noise focus operation, while a stepping motor built into the lens, technology inherited from Sony’s professional camcorders, results in smooth, quiet aperture actuation ideal for movie shooting.

Compact and lightweight

The SEL50F18 is remarkably compact and lightweight for a large-aperture mid-range telephoto lens (50mm focal length/75mm equivalent in 35mm format). It is convenient to carry around for general photography, and particularly well suited to shooting portraits. The elegant aluminum alloy exterior of this lens affords an appearance that blends beautifully with the graceful design of E-mount bodies, and the engraved focus ring offers sophisticated appearance as well as superior grip and operating feel.

Direct Manual Focus (DMF)

Direct Manual Focus (DMF) allows the user to go directly to manual focusing after autofocus lock-on without having to switch modes. In cases where autofocus has trouble locking onto the subject, or when the user wants to focus at a specific point, DMF facilitates fast, easy fine focus adjustments. This can be particularly useful for portraits in which depth of field can be extremely shallow.

Price: ~$298.00 @ BHPhoto (Click Here)

 

Build Quality

As you can see from the high res images above, the build quality is very good on the Sony E-Mount 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens. It’s skin is metal so it’s rigid and strong, yet relatively light weight at 7.5 oZ considering the large f/1.8 Aperture. It also looks really sharp in my opinion and has tight tolerances all around. When focusing manually, the focus ring is smooth as butter and when in auto the AF motor is virtually silent. What stands out with the autofocus to me in particular is how it transitions from one focus point to another. It almost seems like it has a ease/ in, ease/ out effect on the focus transitions and you’ll see in the sample video below what I’m talking about. I don’t think it actually does that, but it’s super smooth unlike other lenses I’ve used.

The lens hood is really large, but does the job well as I had no flare issues shooting outside etc.. The Hood also screws into the lens front itself which ultimately gives it a slightly smaller profile and tighter seal. Again, a sign of quality that you normally do not get with a lens at this price point. Honestly, this lens should cost more like $5-600 if I were to rate it on quality and features alone. Sony can’t be making much on this lens!!

 

Sample Photos

I’ll Start with a few of my favorite pics, then I’ll go over in detail with 100% Crops the corner sharpness, lens blur (bokeh), vignette, etc..

Be sure to Click on the Photos for the Large 1200px version!!

A few of my favorite sample pics

I shot these first two African Daisy flower photos in Raw as I wanted to insure I captured as much highlight detail as possible.

Sony Nex-5n w. Sony 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens @ f/4, 1/800sec, ISO 100, Tri-pod, Manual Mode

Sony Nex-5n w. Sony 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens @ f/4, 1/800sec, ISO 100, Raw, Tri-pod, Manual Mode, BW Conversion

Sony Nex-5n w. Sony 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens @ f/4, 1/1250sec, ISO 100, Raw, Tri-pod, Manual Mode

Sony Nex-5n w. Sony 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens @ f/4, 1/1250sec, ISO 100, Raw, Tri-pod, Manual Mode

 

A few of my favorite sample pics cont..

Nex-5n, Sony E-Mount 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens @ f/1.8 1/320sec, ISO 100, Hand Held

Nex-5n, Sony E-Mount 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens @ f/1.8 1/320sec, ISO 100, Hand Held

Nex-5n, Sony E-Mount 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens @ f/1.8 1/80sec, ISO 320, Hand Held

Nex-5n, Sony E-Mount 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens @ f/1.8 1/80sec, ISO 320, Hand Held

Nex-5n, Sony E-Mount 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens @ f/1.8 1/250sec, ISO 400, Hand Held

Nex-5n, Sony E-Mount 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens @ f/1.8 1/250sec, ISO 400, Hand Held

Nex-5n, Sony E-Mount 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens @ f/1.8 1/250sec, ISO 400, Hand Held

Nex-5n, Sony E-Mount 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens @ f/1.8 1/250sec, ISO 400, Hand Held – LR4 conversion

Nex-5n, Sony E-Mount 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens @ f/1.8 1/320sec, ISO 400, Hand Held

Nex-5n, Sony E-Mount 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens @ f/1.8 1/320sec, ISO 400, Hand Held – Vignette and vintage look added in LR4

Michele got me this cool fire-pit for fathers day, so we can all roast marshmallows and stuff together in a somewhat safe way. I prefer the raging fire pit, but I guess it’s not the safest and the portable fire-pit is really nice!! Layla was so kind as to be my little helper assembling it, and Michele took a few pics. I really like this one :) -  “Layla, can I have the Screwdriver please??”

Nex-5n, Sony E-Mount 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens @ f/1.8 1/4000sec, ISO 200, Hand Held

Nex-5n, Sony E-Mount 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens @ f/1.8 1/4000sec, ISO 200, Hand Held

Michele made me Pancakes for Fathers day as well!! Man am I lucky :) Look at those delicious juicy fresh blueberries!!

Nex-5n, Sony E-Mount 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens @ f/4 1/80sec, ISO 1600, Hand Held

Nex-5n, Sony E-Mount 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens @ f/4 1/80sec, ISO 1600, Hand Held

Nex-5n, Sony E-Mount 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens @ f/4 1/80sec, ISO 1600, Hand Held

Nex-5n, Sony E-Mount 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens @ f/4 1/80sec, ISO 1600, Hand Held

 

SEL50F18 Sharpness Test

This next series is a Real World sharpness test, and the results are solid performance across the board from the 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens. These were taken hand held with Auto ISO in order to maintain a somewhat constant shutter speed for the sharpness test. You may see a tad more noise in the f/8 images. Note the corner sharpness consistency!!

Be sure to Click on the Photos for the Large 1200px version!!

 

Sony 50mm f/1.8 OSS lens Lens Flaws

The vignette is noticeable when shooting wide open at f/1.8, but goes away completely by about f/- f/2.8 or so.

nex-5n, Sony 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens @ f/1.8 - Vingette Test

nex-5n, Sony 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens @ f/1.8 – Vignette Test

nex-5n, Sony 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens @ f/5.6 - Vingette Test

nex-5n, Sony 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens @ f/5.6 – Vignette Test

 

Chromatic Aberrations are also somewhat noticeable in high contrast areas. When shooting in raw it’s more noticeable than when shooting in jpeg mode. It’s easy to fix this in any raw processing program though encase you decide to develop yourself ;)

Nex-5n, Sony 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens @ f/1.8 ,1/400sec, ISO 100, Hand Held

Nex-5n, Sony 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens @ f/1.8 ,1/400sec, ISO 100, Hand Held

Nex-5n, Sony 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens @ f/1.8 ,1/400sec, ISO 100, Hand Held

Nex-5n, Sony 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens @ f/1.8 ,1/400sec, ISO 100, Hand Held

Nex-5n, Sony 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens @ f/8 ,1/80sec, ISO 200, Hand Held

Nex-5n, Sony 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens @ f/8 ,1/80sec, ISO 200, Hand Held

Nex-5n, Sony 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens @ f/8 ,1/80sec, ISO 200, Hand Held

Nex-5n, Sony 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens @ f/8 ,1/80sec, ISO 200, Hand Held

 

Sony 50mm f/1.8 OSS lens – Lens Blur Test Shots

Be sure to Click on the Photos for the Large 1200px version!!

 
Nex-5n, Sony 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens @ f/8 ,1/500sec, ISO 100, Hand Held

Nex-5n, Sony 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens @ f/8 ,1/500sec, ISO 100, Hand Held

Nex-5n, Sony 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens @ f/2 ,1/125sec, ISO 100, Hand Held

Nex-5n, Sony 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens @ f/2 ,1/125sec, ISO 100, Hand Held

Nex-5n, Sony 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens @ f/2 ,1/125sec, ISO 100, Hand Held

Nex-5n, Sony 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens @ f/2 ,1/125sec, ISO 100, Hand Held

 

Sample HD Video Testing

Here is two sample clips showing how the Sony 50mm f/1.8 OSS lens performs in the focusing department in various lighting conditions.  I also recorded the Naked Nex-7 Video with this set-up!!

Be sure to select the 720p quality option for the best viewing experience.



 

Conclusion

Overall I had a blast using the Sony 50mm f/1.8 OSS lens with the Sony Nex-5n, and I highly recommend this lens for anybody in the market. Like all the E-Mount lenses in my opinion, the 50mm is a killer value for the dollar at ~$298.00 US.  The 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens is sharp from corner to corner and has a very pleasing bokeh in my opinion, similar to that on the 55-210mm E-Mount lens. The OSS works really well and as you can see in the video is very smooth and quiet.

The focal length, wide aperture, and OSS, make this lens a no brainier for anybody interested in portrait photography, and low light photography in particular. Wedding reception always comes to mind. You could even take some excellent HD video and get top quality professional grade results with this lens.

As far as lens flaws go, they are so minor and easily correctable that I would not worry about them very much. For the price point, it’s incredible how good this lens is. I gave it a 5 Star rating as it’s the best E-Mount Lens for the money I have tested to date!! I may actually have to lower some other lenses ratings after some further analysis, but I don’t think so.

That is all for this review on the Sony 50mm f/1.8 OSS lens, and please feel free to ask questions if you have any!

Jay

Price: ~$298.00

Compare Sony SEL50F18 Lens Prices @ BHPhotoVideo | Amazon | Adorama | Ebay Auctions

Check out the E-Mount Lens Guide >>

 


Subscribe to sonyalphalab.com

Your support is greatly appreciated as we run this site in our spare time and are not paid. We can however, make a small commission if you click a product link that your interested in. That click will then give us credit if you choose to purchase any given item. This has no effect on the cost of the product, and is a simple way to give back to SonyAlphaLab.com for the effort and info we provide.

Also, be sure to keep following us on Google+, Twitter, RSS-feed, or Sign up for Email Updates!!

Direct Shopping Links – Thanks for your Support!!

BHPhotoVideo | Amazon – US, CA, UK | Adorama | Ebay – US, CA, UK, DE, FR, ES





Thanks,
Jay

Share and Enjoy



About the Author

Jay
Hello, I'm the owner and operator of SonyAlphaLab.com. Please check out the About page for a full background on myself and the Lab ;) Google+ | Twitter | RSS-feed | Email Updates!!