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Lens review

Sony FE 50 mm f/1.8

24 November 2017
Maciej Latałło

3. Build quality

The following chart presents a comparison between the tested lens and other 50 mm full frame devices as fast, aperture-wise, as f/1.7-1.8. As we noticed in the introduction chapter most of them are simple constructions consisting of 6 elements positioned in 5 groups. In most of cases the minimum focus of the lenses amounts to 45 cm, with an exception of the new Canon.

In the photo below the Sony FE 50 mm f/1.8 is positioned next to the A mount Sony 50 mm f/1.4 and the Nikkor AF 50 mm f/1.8D.

Sony FE 50 mm f/1.8 - Build quality

The tested lens starts with a metal mount surrounding a contact plate and a rectangular frame. That frame begins a quite long, dark, and well-matted tube inside which a rear element is positioned about 2 cm deep. The element is 23 mm in diameter and it moves with the whole optical system when you set the focus. The tube surrounding it features slits and gaps – you can spot some electronic parts through them.

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Sony FE 50 mm f/1.8 - Build quality

The proper body of the lens is made of black plastics. It starts with a smooth ring which doesn’t move. On that ring you see a white dot, making an alignment with a camera easier, the producer mark, the lens and mount mark, the serial number and information that it was produced in China.

Sony FE 50 mm f/1.8 - Build quality

The diameter of the ring increases as you get away from the mount and on that widened fragment you see an inscription ‘FE 1.8/50’. A manual focus ring, as wide as 22 mm, is another part of the lens. It’s a ‘focus-by-wire’ construction, without any distance or depth of field scale.

Sony FE 50 mm f/1.8 - Build quality

Further on there is a narrow, metal ring which turns into a hood mount. The front element is 27 mm in diameter and round it you see an inscription with the name and the parameters of the lens. Then comes a non-rotating filter thread, 49 mm in diameter. The front element extends along with the whole optical system during focusing.

When it comes to optical construction you deal here with 6 elements positioned in 5 groups. One of these is aspherical. Inside you can also find an aperture with seven blades which can be closed down up to f/22.

Sony FE 50 mm f/1.8 - Build quality

As the diagram above shows, you deal here with a classic Double Gauss construction. The system of elements: one group (1+1+1) plus the second one (2+1) are very much like the older reflex camera devices, e.g. the Minolta AF 50 mm f/1.7, the Canon EF 50 mm f/1.8 II or the Nikkor AF 50 mm f/1.8 D. One aspherical element is the only serious difference here.

Inside there’s also an aperture with seven blades which can be closed down to f/22 at the maximum.

Buyers get just two caps in the box.

Sony FE 50 mm f/1.8 - Build quality