The Sony 50mm 1.8 is the icing on the cake.

I came for the EVF's.  I stayed for the lenses. Like this one, the 50mm 1.8.
(©2012 Kirk Tuck, do not appropriate)

This will not come as a surprise to anyone who is already shooting the Sony Nex system but...the 50mm 1.8 lens is a jewel. A really wonderful lens. I picked one up when I bought the basic camera kit and I'm absolutely pleased. You can go to one of the test sites to read what they found out when they aimed it at a two dimensional chart a meter away or try one for yourself and see what you think.

Here's why I like it: 1. It has a very long and very efficient lens hood that should do a really nice job of shielding the front lens element from any sort of non-image forming tangential light that may degrade contrast by causing veiling flare (that was a mouthful of words).
2. On the APS-C sensor cameras it is nicely longer than normal.  Not too long to be almost universally useful to selective shooters but not too short as to be too all inclusive.  3. Stop it down one or two stops and you've got a lens that goes toe to toe, performance wise with just about any normal or long normal lens I've owned. 4. It's beautifully and minimally designed. 5. It has an efficient, in lens, image stabilization feature and that means you can see the effect in the finder. I miss that on my bigger Sony cameras.

I wish they made this lens in black but it's so good I can't even hold the lack of color choice against it. My recommendation, if you shoot with a Sony Nex 5n or a Sony Nex 7, is to buy this lens and enjoy the heck out of it.  On my first journey out with the lens I dropped by Whole Foods bakery in the store at 6th St. and Lamar Blvd. and took some casual shots of their decorated cakes.  The light was low and mixed but the camera did a fine job sorting that out. I did the "stinky baby diaper hold" on the camera which means I wasn't doing the stabilization control any favors, and this is what I got, nearly wide open.

These shots do what food photographs are supposed to do; they make me want to go back to the store and buy a cake so I can reach out with my index finger and slide off a hunk of frosting and lick it right off my finger.  

Silly but fun.  Anyway, it's a great little lens and I'm pretty sure it will become a classic for the system.  If it's not already.

Note about old, nasty, cheap lenses:  I was at Precision Camera and I glanced through the used Sony equipment last weekend. I found an old, old, Minolta Zoom lens that looked and felt kind of cool.  It was a 24-85mm 3.5 to 4.5.  I bought it.  Some reviews say it's sharp and some reviews say it isn't. The only way I was ever going to know for sure was to bayonet that pup onto the front of my a77, put it on a tripod and aim it at something. I shot the image of the 50mm lens at the top of the blog with the lens.  My evaluation? Sharp enough for me.  In fact, sharper than the 16-80mm Zeiss lens (by a good margin) that I bought and returned last week.  The price? Around $100.

I may have gotten a bad copy of the Zeiss, it was used. I may have gotten a good copy of the Minolta...luck happens.  One thing I do know is that they made lenses out of much heavier materials back then.  It may not always translate into performance but the heft is reassuring.


cidereye said...

The Sony 50mm f/1.8 sure looks tempting to me too. But I've promised myself to try my Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f/1.5 M mount first once the adapter arrives before caving in and spending more money.

Have you tried either of the Sigma E lenses yet Kirk? The 30mm is a real beauty as is the 19mm going by owners comments, sure f/2.8 is a slight downside but it is tack sharp even when wide open. Brilliant price too, will get myself the 19mm too when the wife's not looking. :-)

Keith I. said...

I second the thoughts on the 50/1.8. I have a Minolta MC 58/1.2 and a Nikon AIS 50/1.2 that rarely see camera time because the 50/1.8 is so impressive, and stabilized, and AF. I tell everyone I know with a NEX to snag one of these.

atmtx said...

Never underestimate the power of the "stinky baby diaper hold" .