Sony 50mm F2 8 Macro Review

By | 19/10/2022

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The Sony FE 2.8/50 Macro is a pocket-size and relatively affordable lens which can embrace a wide range of applications. In this review I will bank check how well it actually performs.

Image Samples

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Specifications

Diameter 72 mm
Length 71 mm
Filter Thread 55 mm
Weight 236 g
Max. Magnification 1:1
Close Focusing Altitude from the sensor 16 cm
Number of aperture blades 7 (barely rounded)
Elements/ Groups eight/7
The Sony Iron 2.8/l Macro sells for $498 at amazon.com and B&H photo (affiliate links). At amazon.de (affiliate link)it sells for 498 €.

Disclosure

This lens was loaned to me from Sony Frg free of charge for 3 weeks.

 Build quality and handling

The Sony FE ii.8/50 Macro is comparable in build quality to the Fe ii/28. The outer hull is made from metallic, the inner tube is fabricated from plastics and markings are not engraved. Information technology feels overnice plenty, much better than a Iron one.8/l, only non every bit prissy as a Atomic number 26 ane.eight/55.

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Manual Focus

The focusing ring travels around 35 degrees from 1m to infinity and a farther 900 (!) degrees to the brusk focusing distance of 0.16m.  And so you take to turn it a lot to focus at the closest altitude which is abrasive but the upside is that you lot can focus it very precisely, fifty-fifty at longer distances which is oft difficult with Macro lenses. The manual does non depend on the speed with which yous turn the focusing ring only is of course a focus past wire design.

One nice feature is that fifty-fifty afterward restarting the camera the Sony FE 2.8/50 Macro returns to it’s last focus position.

And so all in all a skilful performance for a Atomic number 26-lens but certainly not as dainty as that of a proper transmission lens.

AF

Well… the Sony FE 2.8/50 is a macro lens and those are usually quite irksome to focus. The Sony is certainly no exception.

AF is much slower than with other FE lenses similar the 1.8/55 or 2/28. While those are focusing more or less noiseless and make short focus changes well-nigh instantaneous, this macro makes some noise and takes it’south time. It is not as bad that I would telephone call information technology useless, for well-nigh subjects it is adept plenty, but you can forget about shooting anything more dynamic with it. I too experienced some inconsistencies at longer distances.

At shorter distances I noticed quite a chip of hunting and it can take several seconds earlier the AF finds it’southward target.dsc07286

Hood

In that location is no hood merely the forepart of the lens is deeply recessed so it is well protected from devious light and scratches then there is no need for one and yous also don’t need to bother with a lens cap.

Size and Weight

The Sony FE 2.8/50 Macro is a small to medium sized lens and very lite, you barely detect the weight on the photographic camera or in the purse. I recall this is a pregnant advantage over the competitor’southward offerings.

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Optical performance

These results are based on the use with a Sony Alpha 7.

Flare Resistance

The flare resistance is very practiced. I had to try really hard to provoke whatsoever ghosting or dissimilarity loss and so all I got was a very small green blob.

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Bokeh

Bokeh is quite smooth at f/2.viii. Bokeh circles aren’t totally clean though.

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At longer distances bokeh gets a bit nervous.

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Stopped downwards the shape of the discontinuity blades is clearly visible because opposite to the Sony’s marketing section they aren’t rounded.

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Chromatic Aberrations

Axial CA is well but certainly not perfectly corrected.

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ca
100% crop

Vignetting

Vignetting is very stiff at f/ii.eight at virtually two stops. Stopping down to f/four reduces vignetting to about a terminate and at f/8 it remains at relatively high 0.7 stops. Adobe LR automatically corrects about 1 end of vignetting at f/2.eight.

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Distortion

In that location is almost zero distortion.

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Sharpness infinity

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Click for my 1:1 sharpness test.

The Sony FE 50mm two.viii is fantabulous in the center from f/two.8 and sharpness drops to still good levels every bit you lot approach the corners. At f/5.vi information technology is very sharp across the frame. Remarkably performance at 1:ane is pretty similar to that at infinity. About other macros don’t maintain such a level of sharpness at every distance.

Applications

ForMacro
use the SEL50f28M has it’southward strengths and weaknesses. Sharpness in the center is excellent fifty-fifty wide open at 1:one so y’all don’t need to worry near that.

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sharpness
100% crop from the image above

One limitation are the more or less straight seven aperture blades, they are detrimental to the image when you are stopped downwardly to f/5.half-dozen or f/eight which happens quite oft for when you shoot macros.

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Another limitation is the very short working distance of just 45mm from the front of the lens at 1:ane. For my use information technology wasn’t much of a limitation only other macro lenses requite you quite a flake more than working distance at 1:one magnification and so you won’t shade your bailiwick and in that location is less of a chance of information technology flying abroad.

Focusing the Sony Macro at 1:1 takes quite a bit of fourth dimension because you need to plough the focusing band twice but the upside of that is that you lot tin can focus very precisely.

All in all it performed well as a macro lens for me but information technology certainly isn’t perfect.

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For
portraitsthe Sony worked well enough, there is yet quite a bit of mistiness and the bokeh is decent. Only the tedious AF was a bit abrasive.

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Every bit a
landscape
lens the Sony FE 2.viii/50 Macro performed actually well. From f/5.6 it is very abrupt across the frame, flare resistance is great and manual focus is amid the best of all the Iron lenses.

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Alternatives

Sony FE two.8/xc G Macro:Sony’s other macro lens is about about twice every bit expensive and you get a faster, basically noiseless AF drive and a fleck nicer build quality. I liked transmission focus on the FE50M better for longer distances and the FE90G improve for shorter distances. Optically the FE90G is pretty similar equally far as sharpness is concerned but it’south correction of centric CA is superior and it does have 9 proper aperture blades. The FE90G is much bulkier and more than twice as heavy. Both lenses are good solutions for a wide range of applications but the focal length is of grade quite unlike.

Tokina At-X 2.five/90:1 of my favorite manual lenses. Super precipitous, very prissy bokeh, not likewise large and pleasant to handle. Just the coatings requite it’s age away.

Olympus OM three.5/50 Macro:It costs 10% of the Sony and is congenital to much higher standards merely it merely focuses down to ane:two. Optically the Sony is superior in nearly any aspect, especially because the Olympus is conspicuously optimized for a reproduction ratio of about i:10 but for well-nigh applications the actual difference will be rather small. With adapter information technology is well-nigh every bit long, thinner and a few grams heavier than the Sony. All in all the Sony is more versatile but the Olympus certainly offers improve value.

Sigma 2.8/50 Macro:
1 of the few manual macros which focus down to i:one without an extension ring. Optically it is every bit good or better than virtually manual 50m lenses just information technology isn’t built to the aforementioned standards. Since my re-create broke I can’t couldn’t compare information technology to the Sony but I would extrapolate that the Sony is still a bit but not much meliorate.

Determination

pros

  • Very practiced sharpness
  • Skillful flare resistance
  • Medium size and small weight
  • Pleasant Bokeh (most of the time)
average

  • Short working altitude between front of the lens and subject
  • Decent value
  • Aural AF
cons

  • Slow AF
  • Aperture blades aren’t rounded
  • Stiff vignetting

The Sony Iron 2.8/fifty Macro has performed well in virtually of the challenges I put information technology trough, the eyes are very solid.

The Sony Macro is very lightweight and not too large. Then it permit’s you enjoy the size and weight advantage of your mirrorless photographic camera over DSLRs. One trade off you lot accept to alive with is that the working distance betwixt the front of the lens and your bailiwick is very short.

The but aspect which I don’t like and then far is the AF, which just isn’t on the aforementioned level as other Fe lenses. In lite of the otherwise great performance and considering it is however proficient enough for most applications I am willing to put upwardly with it.

All in all the Sony FE ii.8/50 Macro is a very welcome addition to Sony’s lineup. It’s optics are really solid: the Sony is very precipitous, has pleasant bokeh, petty CA and great flare resistance. Dissimilar some of Sony’s other offerings information technology does this without existence large and heavy or super expensive. The only trade-offs are slow AF, direct aperture blades and very piddling distance between the lens and the subject at 1:1 magnification. I think it will find it’south way into the bags of many photographers.

The Sony Iron 2.8/50 Macro sells for $498 at amazon.com and B&H photo (affiliate link). At amazon.de (affiliate link)information technology sells for 498 €.

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Images Samples in full resolution

You can discover more images in this flickr set:Sony FE 2.eight/50

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I accept two hobbies: Photography and photographic gear. Both are related only to a small caste.

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