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Archive 2016 · Thoughts on the new 50/1.8 FE

  
 
sholt
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p.5 #1 · p.5 #1 · Thoughts on the new 50/1.8 FE


I downloaded it for the Japan site and installed it a few days ago. It definitely improves the focusing performance, especially when the lens is stopped down down a little. Before the upgrade there was a lot of racking back and forth at f5.6 and f8.


Sep 18, 2016 at 04:37 PM
bjornthun
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p.5 #2 · p.5 #2 · Thoughts on the new 50/1.8 FE


I downloaded it from Sony Japan, the day sonyalpharumors reported about it. Not to worry, the installer is in English.

The fw update did improve the focus speed!



Sep 18, 2016 at 04:44 PM
realVivek
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p.5 #3 · p.5 #3 · Thoughts on the new 50/1.8 FE


Difficult to believe. I am looking forward to a hardware update.

Why can't Sony do something like the 28/2?



Sep 18, 2016 at 05:23 PM
Jimi3
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p.5 #4 · p.5 #4 · Thoughts on the new 50/1.8 FE


Awesome, thanks guys. It's a nice little lens, but yeah, the pre-updated AF is pretty atrocious.


Sep 18, 2016 at 05:33 PM
DavidBM
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p.5 #5 · p.5 #5 · Thoughts on the new 50/1.8 FE


realVivek wrote:
Difficult to believe. I am looking forward to a hardware update.

Why can't Sony do something like the 28/2?


Because a mildly retrofocus 28 is easy to design with a light focusing element.

The best way to get a really good but inexpensive 50 is with a unit focusing double gauss design. That requires a motor to move the entire optical unit, and at the price not a fancy one.



Sep 18, 2016 at 05:42 PM
realVivek
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p.5 #6 · p.5 #6 · Thoughts on the new 50/1.8 FE


DavidBM wrote:
Because a mildly retrofocus 28 is easy to design with a light focusing element.

The best way to get a really good but inexpensive 50 is with a unit focusing double gauss design. That requires a motor to move the entire optical unit, and at the price not a fancy one.


Why would it be difficult to make a lens (albeit unit focusing) NOT sound like grinding sand while focusing it manually. I am speaking of the Fe 50/1.8 i bought and returned within a few days.

Are you a lens designer, DavidBM? Thanks for your insight!



Sep 18, 2016 at 06:44 PM
DavidBM
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p.5 #7 · p.5 #7 · Thoughts on the new 50/1.8 FE


realVivek wrote:
Why would it be difficult to make a lens (albeit unit focusing) NOT sound like grinding sand while focusing it manually. I am speaking of the Fe 50/1.8 i bought and returned within a few days.

Are you a lens designer, DavidBM? Thanks for your insight!


I'm not a lens designer. But I did study optics in physics as an undergraduate, not that that really gives one much insight into the details of modern design.

But my original post was not claiming that you could not make a unit focussing 50 that was fast and quiet. That would be absurd obviously. It was rather about the *relative* difficulty of it and the 28 (which is also rather more expensive).
So the challenge for the 50 was that it was both more difficult (read expensive) to build an AF system to drive it because of unit focus, and the budget was likely more constrained because of price point.

Could they have built a quieter and faster motor and still made a decent profit at this price given their market share? That's a different question, and I have no idea, and nor I suspect does anyone else outside of Sony. I haven't used it, but some people seem to think it meets their needs. Many, like you, find the focus a showstopper. Is it worse than a legacy lens on the TAP? If not, I can see why you might buy it.



Sep 18, 2016 at 08:01 PM
bjornthun
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p.5 #8 · p.5 #8 · Thoughts on the new 50/1.8 FE


The Sony/Zeiss 55/1.8 employs internal focus, and is a Sonnar, or Sonnar derivative, and focuses quickly. It's also almost three times as expensive as the 50/1.8 FE. A third alternative might have been a mildly retrofocus 50/1.8 like a Zeiss Distagon type, but it would hardly be cheaper than the current, existing 50/1.8 FE. I think the current 50/1.8 FE strikes a good balance between price and performance. Don't forget that the double Gauss construction is by now a tried and tested design, and Sony has given this incarnation an aspheric surface to improve performance a little more.


Sep 18, 2016 at 09:01 PM
realVivek
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p.5 #9 · p.5 #9 · Thoughts on the new 50/1.8 FE


Yong nuo 50mm f/1.8, made in China, 6/5 double gauss, plastic mount (EOS, ~$50); metal mount (nikon, ~$80).

Sony FE 50/1.8, made in China, 6/4 double gauss with an "exotic" aspherical element. 319 (EU prices).



Sep 19, 2016 at 05:10 AM
gyoung143
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p.5 #10 · p.5 #10 · Thoughts on the new 50/1.8 FE


To that you can add the Nikon 50/1.8 G, 153 at UK prices (about 180 Euros I would guess), quick and silent AF. (And good optically too)
The Sony, like most of their lenses, is overpriced and underdesigned, IMHO, and is what is putting me off getting any more native lenses for my Sony A7 and Nex 6

Gerry



Sep 19, 2016 at 05:20 AM
bjornthun
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p.5 #11 · p.5 #11 · Thoughts on the new 50/1.8 FE


The manual focus feel of the Sony 50/1.8 FE is much better than that of Nikon's AF-S 50/1.8, imho. Sony has tuned the focus byvwire differently than before.

Filter size is down to 49mmnon the Sony compared to 58mm on the Nikon.



Sep 19, 2016 at 08:42 AM
ISO1600
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p.5 #12 · p.5 #12 · Thoughts on the new 50/1.8 FE


ISO1600 wrote:
A year from now, when there a million used copies out there, and it's $150, and hopefully the AF is faster on mk1 bodies through firmware updates (lens+camera), I'll probably buy another.


hahahaaaha

I had to revive this.
Almost a year in, I've got an A7 again, and I'm looking at getting a used/refurb FE50/1.8 because they are cheaper and there has been a FW update that gives it slightly better focusing speed.



May 05, 2017 at 10:57 AM
Phillip Reeve
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p.5 #13 · p.5 #13 · Thoughts on the new 50/1.8 FE


ISO1600 wrote:
hahahaaaha

I had to revive this.
Almost a year in, I've got an A7 again, and I'm looking at getting a used/refurb FE50/1.8 because they are cheaper and there has been a FW update that gives it slightly better focusing speed.

I would stress the slightly. I also got myself another copy and with the current firmware on the a7ii AF is better than with FW 1 on the a7 but still annoying and unsuitable for any kind of faster shooting.




May 05, 2017 at 11:11 AM
ISO1600
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p.5 #14 · p.5 #14 · Thoughts on the new 50/1.8 FE


haha thank you, Phillip, for the sanity check.

I'll probably go with the ol' nFD 50/1.4 then.



May 05, 2017 at 11:17 AM
AdaptedLenses
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p.5 #15 · p.5 #15 · Thoughts on the new 50/1.8 FE


ISO1600 wrote:
haha thank you, Phillip, for the sanity check.

I'll probably go with the ol' nFD 50/1.4 then.


Optically I liked the Sony better anyway, and though I love MF, it's still not quicker (or slower - haha) than the poor AF performance...



May 05, 2017 at 11:25 AM
Phillip Reeve
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p.5 #16 · p.5 #16 · Thoughts on the new 50/1.8 FE


Well the Canon is actually quite a bit sharper but the Sony has higher contrast and smoother bokeh


May 05, 2017 at 11:52 AM
ISO1600
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p.5 #17 · p.5 #17 · Thoughts on the new 50/1.8 FE


My "manual SLR lens for adapting" family of choice is Canon nFD- I like the handling, I like the size of most of them, and I like the price. Most of them have a very similar optical feel to them as well.


May 05, 2017 at 12:55 PM
esanchez
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p.5 #18 · p.5 #18 · Thoughts on the new 50/1.8 FE


I had been debating on buying the FE 50mm as I already own the Canon 50mm STM. I really like the lens and performs amazing on the A7II. I will wait till another 50mm comes. For now I will continue to use my canon 50mm 1.8 STM


May 13, 2017 at 07:56 AM
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