After not a very pleasant "first encounter" of this 50mm lens, and not long after this, I got a call from a friend who is a mother to be in next few months. She called :"I want a lens ar, that can shoot with back ground blur blur one so I can take my baby photos lar, like you. And not very expensive one. But hor, I heard ar, this Sony DSLR ar, the lenses are very expensive one wor~~ How ar?" In other words, she wants a portrait lens with big aperture one.
I told her:"You are lucky. Sony just launched a considerbly cheap portrait lens, and it meets all the requirement you want. I can help you to find one as this lens is currently like a hot cake now (at the time of this post been typed lar.)"
So, after my not so pleasant first encounter, why I still recommend her this lens ? Because this is the lens that suit her requirement. Simple as that, period.
Then I paid a visit to the Sonystyle shop in The Curve, Damansara. When I asked a staff there about this SAL50F1.8 DT lens, he looked at me like I speak alien language to him. Being a good service salesperson in the shop, he went into the counter and bring out an Alpha catalogue and politely asked me which lens I want. I told him, this lens is just launched 2 weeks ago, and you can't see it in the catalogue. He looked confused and not understand what I am talking about. Finally, he went and asked his supervisor about my lens, and the answer I got is :"We don't have stock, but we can order for your from KLCC, and it'll take some days lar." He replied with a super white teeth good enough to become the model for Darlie.
Well, this is the 3rd time I go to Sonystyle, The Curve and everytime I wish to get something they say no stock one. WTF.
I'm not sure about others, but If I were the salesperson, I would advise the buyer to pay a visit to KLCC to get what he/she wants, since travelling from Damansara to KLCC wouldn't take much time, right ?
Anyway, I refused to place an order, and went to KLCC instead.
Then, I got the lens, and hence I had a small little time with this lens for me to do some extra test shots as my very own review of SAL50F1.8 DT.
The box is pretty standard and small. Believe it or not, it's the last unit in KLCC when I got it for my friend!
In the box come with the lens, real and front lens cap, instruction manuals in many many languages and a warranty card. The lens design is nice to my own standard. There is an AF-MF button, and the focusing distance (in metre and feet) scale printed on the focusing ring. When focus, the lens does not elongate. It's a SAM lens. SAM is the short form for Smooth Autofocus Motor, which means that this lens has a motor inside to assist on focusing.
The mount is a plastic mount, which is a bit cheapy for me. Take note that the real glass is actually protrude out from the lens barrier. Hence, it can't be mounted on a teleconverter to get the extra focal length.
The front glass is actually built further deep into the lens. This explain why this lens does not need a lens hood. 49mm diameter lens mouth: we got problem finding a filter for this lens...... (too bad I just sold 2 of mine!)
And the lens is made in China! Well, there is a difficult task for me not to find anything around me that isn't made in China nowadays......
Since I have basically one night to do some simple test out of this lens, I did the wide open MFD sharpness test. With in-camera setting of sharpness set at 0, I took a shot of a stamp as shown here:
Straight out from camera, resize and watermarked. Not really on MFD at 0.34m as stated on the lens, but about 0.40m focusing distance to get this shot. It hunts a bit to get the focus lock, but with noisy SAM put on work, finding a suitable point to focus is not a problem for this lens.
Blow up of the stamp part. Well, sharpness wise, I think there is some rooms for improvement. Of course, this shot was done at F1.8.
Since this is a big aperture lens, so how's the bokeh part ? I'm not sure how to see if the bokeh is creamy or not, but I did these two shots just for fun: Meet Lego Spaceman : Yellowson !
Ok what... right ? Oh, these two shots are not crop shots. With about 1:4 magnification from this lens, shooting Yellowson in real life shouldn't be a problem. LOL.
Now come the flare part. I'm not sure if the way I test the lens flare is correct or not. What I did is placing a flash with a softbox just make like sun-light, and I point my lens towards the "sun".
So, first shot :
Hmm.... the flare control is quite impressive. There is a slightly ghosting on top of that pic, but not noticeable. This is very good already to my standard lar. Then I took another shot again with this time including the "sun" in the pic :
Ooooo.... pretty impressive I would say. The flare from the "sun" is basically not visible in the pic ! That why this lens doesn't come with a hood, because it doesn't need one.
Let's compare a lens that is so famous and everyone thinks it's a super good "God" lens that bears a blue label on it one and see how the flare control. Same focal length, shutter speed and aperture:
What lens is that ? Hmm.. I shall remain silent. LOL. Well, good also what, at least there is artistic touch about it, no ? LOL
And finally, how heavy is this lens ? Very light :
So light that when mounted on my camera like nothing on it ! LOL
But it's still heavier than my spacemen collection. LOL.
So, here are my very own personal conclusion about this lens:
1) It's a prime for sure.
2) Price wise, I do feel it should be sold cheaper than the current RM 599.00 RRP. But it's still lot cheaper than SAL50F1.4.
3) Plastic built. Very cheap feel....
4) It's a F1.8 lens, so, it's a fast lens and a great portrait lens.
5) Focusing is fast, but SAM is damn noisy.
6) It's light weight ! A very great travel lens. (No law says 50mm can't be a travel lens.)
7) It's quite sharp. If in-camera sharpness +3, the result is very sharp !
8) I don't know if this is a good replacement for 50mm F1.7, but if I have a 50mm F1.7, do I need a plastic SAL50F1.8 DT lens?
And I end my review with a sample shot at KLCC when I got this lens from the store:
Well, as I said, this lens is a portrait lens, and it does what it does. :)
Did I mentioned that this isn't my lens ?
My first review here.