Lens review

Sony DT 50 mm f/1.8 SAM

Sony DT 50 mm f/1.8 SAM
20 May 2009
Arkadiusz Olech

1. Introduction

Originally posted 2009-05-20 on Optyczne.pl

A few days ago, Sony has presented three new DSLRs of the lowest price level, and four lenses. On the conference devoted to new products, Sony’s spokespeople didn’t keep secret for whom their newest offer is. Crisis is the time to save money, but as researches show, also the time for small investments in e.g. hobbies. The offer, then, is directed at photography amateurs, who wish to exchange a compact camera for a DSLR, not spending a fortune and getting all compact camera’s features at the same time. It should not surprise us to see less buttons in new DSLRs, reducing their weight or implementing a selector very similar to those in Cyber Shot cameras.

It’s very similar with lenses. All four new products are aimed at beginner photographers, who are just starting their DSLR adventure and don’t want to spend a large amount of money, but to buy something that gives them good quality/price ratio. Hence the appearance of the new 18-55 kit lens and its tele extension, the 55-200mm model. Sony focuses on some sort of education. Within the framework of the advertising campaign and exhibitions in their shopping malls and expositions, wants to show the effects you can get with fixed focal length lenses. Researches conducted by the company show that many people don’t buy DSLRs because they don’t understand the idea of interchangeable optics. That’s why the company wants to show the beginning customers what quality you can achieve using fixed focal lengths. This is the reason for introducing not only 18-55 and 55-200mm sets, but also the ones with new fixed focal lengths.

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These fixed focal lengths are also a favor towards beginning customers. The appearance of the DT 30mm f/2.8 SAM Macro lens is a clear indicator of that. A person who used only compact cameras before now is usually glad that a macro function allows them to take pictures from 1-2 cm distance from the front element of the lens. That’s the way they see macro photography, as they never heard of something called 1:1 scale of reproduction. Macro, for them, is nothing more than putting the lens under the photographed object’s nose.

If so, Sony fulfills their needs and releases a lens that takes pictures 2cm off the front element. Still, you need to take care of the customer and maximally reduce their shock from switching a compact camera to a DSLR.

As far as the DT 50mm f/1.8 SAM is concerned, Sony bridges a gap after Minolta 1.7/50 and fills up the hole it showed against serious competitors, as well. Cheap, mostly plastic prime 50s of f/1.8 aperture have long been present in the offer of Canon and Nikon. How does the new Sony lens come off in the light of those constructions? Thanks to Sony Poland, which has made ready the lens for reviewing very quickly, we can answer to this question. We’re asking you to read further chapters.

Information about our review method can be read in our article “How do we test lenses?"

Sony DT 50 mm f/1.8 SAM - Introduction

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