Sony FE 50mm f/1.8 Review

June 27, 2016 | Jack Baker | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star

Sharpness at 50mm

For this test, the Sony FE 50mm f/1.8 lens was attached to a Sony A7S body, which in turn was mounted on a sturdy tripod. Exposure delay mode was activated. Tonal and colour variances across the crops are due to changes in natural light during the session.

The full frame at 70mmThe full frame at 50mm

A prime lens should excel at corner to corner image sharpness, and though the FE 50mm may be compromised in some areas, there are no flaws here.

A hint of softness is visible centre-frame at f/1.8, though this is more likely due to the combination of a very shallow depth of field and minor autofocussing inaccuracy. Stop down to f/2.8 and detail is pin sharp, and this level of sharpness remains right the way through to f22 where diffraction causes minor softening.

Corner sharpness stays impressively high at apertures of f/4 and narrower, with detail levels barely lower than in the centre of frame. There’s minor softness wide open and at f/2.8, but it’s nothing particularly noticeable.

One thing to note is that only an Alpha a7S was available for this lens test, which we appreciate isn’t the ideal body on which to assess outright lens sharpness.

Aperture Centre Crop Edge Crop
f/1.8 Sony_SEL50F18F-sharpness-50mm-f1_8-centre_crop.jpg Sony_SEL50F18F-sharpness-50mm-f1_8-edge_crop.jpg
f/2.8 Sony_SEL50F18F-sharpness-50mm-f2_8-centre_crop.jpg Sony_SEL50F18F-sharpness-50mm-f2_8-edge_crop.jpg
f/4 Sony_SEL50F18F-sharpness-50mm-f4-centre_crop.jpg Sony_SEL50F18F-sharpness-50mm-f4-edge_crop.jpg
f/5.6 Sony_SEL50F18F-sharpness-50mm-f5_6-centre_crop.jpg Sony_SEL50F18F-sharpness-50mm-f5_6-edge_crop.jpg
f/8 Sony_SEL50F18F-sharpness-50mm-f8-centre_crop.jpg Sony_SEL50F18F-sharpness-50mm-f8-edge_crop.jpg
f/11 Sony_SEL50F18F-sharpness-50mm-f11-centre_crop.jpg Sony_SEL50F18F-sharpness-50mm-f11-edge_crop.jpg
f/16 Sony_SEL50F18F-sharpness-50mm-f16-centre_crop.jpg Sony_SEL50F18F-sharpness-50mm-f16-edge_crop.jpg
f/22 Sony_SEL50F18F-sharpness-50mm-f22-centre_crop.jpg Sony_SEL50F18F-sharpness-50mm-f22-edge_crop.jpg