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Compared to...

This review is part of a series looking at a number of 50mm primes, including those which we use for the test shots in our camera reviews (the Sony lens currently under review is very similar to our old faithful Minolta 50mm F1.4). We're also taking the opportunity to compare the brand new Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM with those older designs, to see if the benefits of modern computer-aided lens design and manufacturing techniques translate to a tangible improvement in image quality.

Side by side

Below you can see four fast standard primes side by side; from left to right the Canon EF 50mm F1.4 USM, Nikon AF-Nikkor 50mm F1.4 D (just recently replaced by the AF-S Nikkor 50mm F1.4G, which is similar in size to the Canon), Sony 50mm F1.4, and the Pentax smc FA 50mm F1.4. The Sony is very much in the middle of the road in this group, almost identical in size and weight to the Nikon, more compact than the Canon and a little larger than the petite Pentax. Of course it's very much smaller than Sigma's 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM, with its oversized optical unit which is designed to reduce vignetting at large apertures on full-frame cameras (click here for a similar comparison shot).

Specifications compared

 

Sony 50mm F1.4
Street price
$350
$500
$325
$290
$200
Maximum format size
35mm full frame
35mm full frame
35mm full frame
35mm full frame
35mm full frame
Focal length
50mm
50mm
50mm
50mm
50mm
35mm equivalent focal length APS-C)
75mm
• 75mm (1.5x)
• 80mm (1.6x)
• 85mm (1.7x)
80mm
75mm
75mm
Diagonal Angle of view (FF)
47º
47º
47º
47º
47º
Diagonal Angle of view (APS-C)
32º
31º
31º
31º
31º
Maximum aperture
F1.4
F1.4
F1.4
F1.4
F1.4
Minimum aperture
F22
F16
F22
F16
F22
Lens Construction
• 7 elements/6 groups
• 8 elements/6 groups
• 1 aspherical element
• 7 elements/6 groups
• 7 elements/6 groups
• 7 elements/6 groups
Number of diaphragm blades
7, rounded
9, rounded
8
7
8
Minimum focus
0.45m
0.45m
0.45m
0.45m
0.45m
Maximum magnification
0.15x
0.14x
0.15x
0.15x
0.15x
AF motor type
• 'Screw drive’ from camera body
• Ring-type ultrasonic
• Full-time manual focus
• Micro-type ultrasonic
• Full-time manual focus
• 'Screw drive' from camera body
• 'Screw drive' from camera body
Focus method
Unit
Unit, internal to barrel
Unit
Unit
Unit
Image stabilization
• None
• None
• None
• None
• None
Filter thread
• 55mm
• Does not rotate on focus
• 77mm
• Does not rotate on focus
• 58mm
• Does not rotate on focus
• 52mm
• Does not rotate on focus
• 49mm
• Does not rotate on focus
Supplied accessories
• Front and rear caps
• SH0011 lens hood
• Front and rear caps
• Hood
• Soft Case
• Front and rear caps
• Front and rear caps
• Front and rear caps
Weight
222g (7.8 oz)
505 g (17.8 oz)
290g (10.2 oz)
230g (8.1 oz)
220g (7.8 oz)
Dimensions
65.5mm diameter x 43mm length
(2.6 x 1.7 in)
84.5mm diameter x 68.2mm length
(3.3 x 2.7 in)
73.8mm diameter x 50.5mm length
(2.9 x 2.0 in)
64.5mm diameter x 42.5mm length
(2.5 x 1.7 in)
63.5mm diameter x 38mm length
(2.5 x 1.5 in)
Lens Mount
Sony Alpha/
Minolta MA
Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sigma, Sony
Canon EF only
Nikon F only
Pentax K only
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163
I own it
22
I want it
37
I had it
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