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My First Prime Lens

In the middle of a brutal work schedule I managed to remember that I wanted a fast prime, and Sony happens to be selling their fairly new 50mm F1.8 for $125 until mid-June.
The general consensus on the internet is that this lens is great, and that the low price makes it a must-have for Sony DSLR owners.

All I know is that I needed more light to get a faster shutter speed when shooting my bands, so I would have accepted lower image quality if I had to.
But this lens seems to be a really nice new design.
The internal AF motor is fast, but now I have MF/AF switches on both the lens and body.
Which one has priority?

The focal length suits my needs, being 75mm in full-frame equivalent.
A little tight framing-wise sometimes, but my previous favorite was using the 55-200mm wide open at a dark F4 and this lens beats that option by a mile.

The 18-70mm kit lens?
Never again!
At 50mm it was probably F5.6 !!!

At iso1600 I'm now shooting in the 1/60-1/80 range instead of 1/30, and not only is motion-blur greatly reduced, I'm also getting brighter results.

Looking forward to playing with manual focus next weekend--my left hand likes to twist things.
Working with such a wide aperture is good for me because in the cluttered world of a stage, the more out-of-focus that non-subjects become, the better I like it.

The short minimum-focus distance is also helpful for my other uses, plus I think it's going to be my main potrait lens.
I like to get the maximum value from my purchases and this lens is suddenly my favorite for image quality, too.

[Image: keithalank.50mmF1.8.jpg]

Good purchase Keith. I purchased an older design Nikon 50 f/1.4 at a relatively low price. Initially I did not make much use of it, but now i use it much more to make use of the shallow DOF. It is also quite sharp. If I were shooting portraits, it would be my choice (75 mm equivalent). Take care


Please see my photos at (fewer, better image quality, not updated lately)
or at (all photos)

Awesome Keith - the cheap and cheerful 50 mms are usually regarded as excellent value for essentially a very useful, sharp and bright lens. Good to see that this holds true for the Sony world as well.

Very cool. I love the little 50/1.8's of the world; I'll happily put mine on a D700 without feeling foolish. Having one on a stabilized body is absolutely huge. I can't wait to see what it lets you do now. • @matthewpiers | | @thewsreviews •

Sony have really done well , I reckon, in terms of them getting on top of dSLRs. Are the older Minoltas compatible at all? I ask this partly as I'm not sure where the dividing lines are/were between Cosina or Minolta or Sony in terms of their lenses. I'm rummaging in my mind, but I think I remember a very nice Minolta 50mm of a few years ago..and Sony I think took over their lenses...or was it Cosina or Hoya glass..?
(Earth calling Matthew's galactic superbrain at this point! Big Grin )
I've also noticed that often old SLRs complete with sometimes superior 50mm lenses, turn up in the bargain basement at some camera shops: often the price of the "kit" is much less than the worth of the lenses, and sometimes shops can let them go through their fingers without cottoning onto what they are. There was a Canon 50/1.8 MkI stuck onto an AE locally not so long back, and the whole shebang was going for considerably less than the lens alone would have if they'd known what they had.
Yes, likewise to Matthew's comment above: when I have the 50 on my Canon, I can trick myself into telling myself I've something that feels relativley dinky and a nice change from the usual bulkier ones I have on...nice to be able to rely on past f11 too.

All my stuff is here:
(Just click on the TOP RIGHT buttons to take you to my Image Galleries or Music Rooms!)
My band TRASHVILLE, in which I'm lead guitarist:

Sony bought the camera assets of Konica-Minolta, and uses the Minolta lens mount. Many of the 'Sony' lenses are Minolta designs, as were some of their early DSLRs - in particular the A100, A200, and A700 are all adaptations of Minolta cameras, with the A300/350 and A900/850 still being strongly Minolta. (Sonica-Minolty?) That's a good thing; people who had Minolta cameras aren't as comfortable with the newer styles. Minolta has always had a great reputation for lenses, and some of the newer designs for the Alpha are also outstanding. Their Zeiss 135/1.8 is an exceptional reason to buy a camera.

Hoya bought Pentax; Cosina is still doing their own thing, from what I can tell.

That old Canon AE uses an FD mount lens, which isn't compatible with the EOS system, but it's still a pretty desirable camera wherever there's an art school. The FD lenses are supposed to be pretty great on m4/3, too. • @matthewpiers | | @thewsreviews •

Congratulations on your new lens Keith. I also have a 50mm F1.8 and I love it. Smile

A work of art which did not begin in emotion is not art.
Paul Cezanne

Thank you Matthew!
I also obviously mis-identified the camera that the lens was on(you can tell I'm a photographer can't you...! :/ )

All my stuff is here:
(Just click on the TOP RIGHT buttons to take you to my Image Galleries or Music Rooms!)
My band TRASHVILLE, in which I'm lead guitarist:

Come to think of it, my first prime was a Canon 50mm f/1.8 as well... hmm now I'm tempted to try to find a copy for myself again... Big Grin

Great Keith - a little nifty fifty is always good to have around.

Canon stuff.

I haven't taken it off the camera yet.
Still trying it in as many different situations as possible.

[Image: DSC07914.0600.jpg]

[Image: DSC07921.0600.jpg]

[Image: DSC07942.0900.jpg]

[Image: DSC08007.0600.jpg]

[Image: DSC08087.0900.jpg]

[Image: DSC08098.0900.jpg]

So far I like it.
AF is fast, but not always accurate.
Changing to spot AF helps a lot.

Bokeh on points of light isn't pretty, but I've seen much worse.

Overall, very pleased.
Will soon try stopping-down to find it's sharpest range, although I bought it for using wide-open.

Very impressive work, KAK. All excellent

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