I tried the new Sony 50mm F1.8 DT SAM (Smooth Autofocus Motor) lens today! Here it is, on a Sony Alpha 330 digital SLR.
Left: Minolta 50mm F1.4 (Original); right: Sony 50mm F1.8 DT SAM.
The Sony is fatter but somewhat lighter. It comes with the standard black lens cap (not the cheap plastic cap that comes with the Alpha 330 with kit lens package!)
Note that the Minolta has a built-in retractable lens hood which is so short that it’s quite useless. The Sony however has no built-in retractable lens hood; what you see, is two tubes when extending out to focus closer. It seems that the lens simply does not have any provision for a bayonet-mount lens hood; however you can buy a third-party screw-on hood.
Bokeh is nice at F1.8, and the lens is rather contrasty even at F1.8! Note that the depth of field is shallow with a F1.8 lens, and so her nose is already out-of-focus in the picture.
The lens can focus to 34cm close (measured from the sensor plane.) This makes for an impressive maximum magnification of 1:5x!
Another close-up shot at F1.8!
Again, at F1.8 – the collar is in focus but his shirt is not.
So how does it look like on the A900, on full-frame? Normally, the A900 would automatically enable APS-C crop mode and not allow you to disable it. Unless, of course, you press the lens release button to trick the camera, and shoot in M mode to let the A900 shoot despite it not detecting a lens.
Vignetting really isn’t that bad, amazingly… many suspect that this is a full-frame lens made into APS-C format.
Vignetting only shows when you focus at further distances – here, the lens is focused at infinity. The corners get dark real quick.
The 50mm F1.8 (again, on full-frame hack mode) exhibits very good out-of-focus disc rendition; no harsh bright-line bokeh. It is also contrasty wide open, in fact a bit more than I’d have liked!
This is my Minolta 50mm F1.4 Original. Pardon the person blocking my view. Depending on the background lights I could get a lot of bright-line bokeh from this lens. (The Minolta 50mm F1.7 also has this.) Also note the classic lower contrast at F1.4.
Note that I have edited my previous blog entry about the A330, after another round of trying it with the SAM lenses.