Make the move from the standard zoom and explore the world of portrait photography with the SAL-50F18 lens for your α DSLR camera. It boasts a large aperture which makes it easy to get great-looking portrait shots. The SAL50F18 is one of the first fixed focal length lenses in the DT series, which is designed exclusively for α DSLRs that use an APS-C type sensor. Please note: DT lenses are not recommended for use with the DSLR-A900.
SteadyShot INSIDE™ In-Camera Image Stabilization
A major reason for its compact, lightweight lens design is the benefit of SteadyShot INSIDE™ in-camera image stabilization, built into every® α (alpha) DSLR camera — and enabling lenses to eliminate the extra weight and expense of in-lens stabilization mechanisms.
ED (Extra-low Dispersion) Glass
To reduce chromatic aberration at telephoto extension, correcting certain wavelengths of light for sharp, clear images with well defined colors.
Smooth Autofocus Motor (SAM)
The built-in Smooth Autofocus Motor (SAM) eliminates the need to use a mechanical coupling system in the camera body to transfer auto foucs (AF) drive power and control signals to the lens. Instead, AF control signals from the camera body are sent to the lens-mounted SAM unit, which drives the focusing lens group directly, helping to assure smooth AF response.
DT Lens Design
A more compact, lightweight lens designed specifically for the APS-size CCD imager used in some Sony® α (alpha) DSLR cameras.
Because aperture blades form a near circle at the wide openings used for low-light shots, spot-light sources have a pleasing circular defocused effect.
The Sony DT 50mm F/1.8 SAM lens turned in a good performance. It’s compact and very light-weight, and reasonably fast for a low price of just $149. This lens would be a less expensive alternative to the Sony 50mm F/1.4 I’ve compared it to in the review. This first prime “DT” lens is a little soft at F/1.8-2.0, but sharpens up quickly at F/2.2-2.8 where the centers look good at large sizes. This is a good lens to have if you really need shutter speed in poor lighting and don’t want to ramp up the ISO; it’s almost two stops faster than a regular zoom or prime lens. If you don’t need a fast shutter speed, use your regular slow lens and a tripod for the best results. This lens is being marketed as a “portrait” lens, and used as such; the rather long equivalent focal length (75mm) wouldn’t be a factor. As a fast, walk around lens it may not be so useful indoors or in confined areas. I guess it all depends on your intended application.
For its price point, the new Sony 50mm ƒ/1.8 does fairly well wide open, but for maximum sharpness one must stop down to ƒ/5.6.
The lens is very much aimed at the consumer market, with an all-plastic construction; even the lens mount is plastic.
While the lens is just slightly soft at ƒ/1.8, it’s no more soft than its contemporaries from other manufacturers, and when stopped down to ƒ/2.8 it provides sharp images indeed. Chromatic aberration is very well-handled, though when used wide open there is a bit of corner shading to contend with. Distortion is also very slightly noticeable. But, for the money you really can’t go wrong; the only way it could be any better would be if it were full-frame compatible. If you’re contemplating a move to a Sony full-frame body, this lens won’t make the transition. But for everyone else looking for a nifty fifty, it’s a no-brainer decision.