Call (802) 651-4100

sel50f18

  • First Look at the Sony E-Mount 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens (SEL50F18)

    We recently discussed Sony's plans for expanding the E-mount lineup of lenses for Sony's NEX camera system. At the time of this discussion the Sony E-mount 50mm f/1.8 OSS (Optical SteadyShot Stabilization) lens had already been announced. Now, at that time, although the 50mm f/1.8 had been announced, it had not yet been released and shipped. We just received our first shipment of the Sony E-mount 50mm f/1.8 OSS lens a few days ago, and were curious how it performed. We decided to slap it on a Sony NEX-7 and take the 50mm f/1.8 for a stroll.

    Sony 50mm f/1.8 OSS lens on Sony NEX-7 Digital Camera

    Sony E-mount 50mm f/1.8 mounted on Sony NEX-7

    Sony 50mm f/1.8 Build and Construction

    The Sony E-Mount 50mm f/1.8 OSS lens construction feels solid, and the design is minimal and elegant. The lens has a good weight in the hand, and it feels like Sony used a good amount of metal in the construction. Although this lens is more expensive than 50mm f/1.8 lenses from other manufacturers, the construction feels nicer than some of those other lenses. Where other manufacturers are building lenses with plastic lens mounts to cut costs, Sony's 50mm f/1.8 has a metal bayonet mount. This is nice to see as many of our customers's lens repairs involve broken plastic bayonet lens mounts. The focus ring is set flush in the lens barrel, but still gnarled with a good feel for accurate manual focusing.

    The first thing that struck us was the size of the lens. This 50mm f/1.8 lens is larger than similar lenses from other manufacturers. The Sony 50mm f/1.8 is approximately the same size as the Sony E-mount 18-55mm zoom lens.

    Sony 50mm f/1.8 and 18-55mm zoom lenses side-by-side

    50mm f/1.8 and 18-55mm lenses side-by-side

    The size of the lens is a little perplexing considering that it is designed for the Sony NEX camera system, which are small cameras by design.

    Nikon 50mm f/1.8 compared to Sony E-mount 50mm f/1.8

    Compared to Nikon 50mm f/1.8

    Sony 50mm f/1.8 Image Samples

    The Sony E-Mount 50mm f/1.8 lens and the Sony NEX-7 make for a great pair. Except for a slow, hunt-and-peck autofocus in low-light or dark subjects, the image quality is superb. The Sony 50mm f/1.8 is able to take advantage of the high, 24 megapixel count of the NEX-7. Take a look at the image of Charlie below:

    Sample of Charlie taken with the Sony E-Mount 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens and NEX-7

    If you zoom in on the eye and take a look at the image at 100% , the detail is all there:

    Cropped image sample of Sony 50mm f/1.8 and NEX-7

    100% crop of eye

    Sony NEX camera users have been waiting for an affordable, fast-aperture lens. The Zeiss 24mm f/1.8 was the first to come out, but at $1000 is a little out of reach for most users. In addition, the Zeiss 24mm is a wide-angle lens, and, although good for low-light, does not make a good lens for portraits. The Sony 50mm f/1.8 is effectively a 75mm lens on the current NEX cameras, and, therefore, makes for a better portrait lens. The fast F1.8 aperture creates nice, soft out-of-focus backgrounds:

    Sony 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens Image Sample with out-of-focus background

    Although the 50mm f/1.8 has a fairly close focus of 1.28 feet, it is not a macro lens. The above image was cropped from its original composition to make this image look like a macro shot. The 24 megapixel NEX-7 sensor provides plenty of resolution to be able to crop images, even this close.

    The Optical SteadyShot Stabilization in conjunction with the fast F1.8 aperture allows for hand-held, low-light shooting:

    Sony E-Mount 50mm f/1.8 OSS low-light image sample
    Sony E-Mount 50mm f/1.8 OSS low-light image sample

    Sony E-Mount 50mm f/1.8 OSS low-light image sample

    Even in low-light and hand-held, the Sony 50mm f/1.8 is able to produce sharp images with the NEX-7:

    Sony E-Mount 50mm f/1.8 OSS low-light image sample detail

    Here are some other images taken with the Sony E-mount 50mm f/1.8 OSS lens on the Sony NEX-7:

    Sony E-Mount 50mm f/1.8 OSS image sample
    Sony E-Mount 50mm f/1.8 OSS image sample
    Sony E-Mount 50mm f/1.8 OSS image sample
    Sony E-Mount 50mm f/1.8 OSS image sample

  • Update: Availability of Sony A77, A65, NEX-5N, NEX-7 and New Lenses

    As noted in our previous post comparing the features of the Sony A77 and Sony A65, we have received a lot of interest in the new Sony cameras and lenses that were recently announced: Sony A77, A65, NEX-5N, NEX-7, SAL1650, SEL24F18Z, SEL50F18, and the SEL55210. A lot of the interest has been a curiosity in when these new products will be made available. We were able to get a release schedule from Sony, and we are providing this information here. Each item links to our website where you will be able to purchase the items when we receive them in stock. If you would like to pre-order an item to be one of the first to receive the product, please contact us at sales@gmcamera.com, or (802) 244-0883. All pre-orders are first come, first serve. We currently have all of these products on order with Sony, and will therefore be part of the first shipments as the products are released.

    Release Schedule for Sony A77, A65, NEX-5N, NEX-7, and New Lenses

    Sony NEX-5N Body Only (Black) First Week of September
    Sony NEX-5N 18-55mm Lens Kit (Black) First Week of September
    Sony NEX-5N 18-55mm Lens Kit (Silver) First Week of September
    Sony Alpha SLT-A65 Body Only Mid-to-Late October
    Sony Alpha SLT-A65 18-55mm Lens Kit Mid-to-Late October
    Sony Alpha SLT-A77 Body Only Mid-to-Late October
    Sony Alpha SLT-A77 16-50mm f/2.8 Lens Kit Mid-to-Late October
    Sony NEX-7 Body Only Early November
    Sony NEX-7 18-55mm Lens Kit Early November
    Sony DT 16-50mm f/2.8 SSM Lens (SAL1650) Early November
    Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* E 24mm f/1.8 Lens (SEL24F18Z) Early December
    Sony E 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens (SEL50F18) Mid December
    Sony E 55-210mm f/4.5-6.3 OSS Lens (SEL55210) Mid-to-Late October

2 Item(s)