Sony 50mm f1.8 Real World Review

This is a real world test of the Sony 50mm f1.8 FE lens. It is not sponsored or funded by anyone. I am just making this blog post to show a different approach to photography. 

If you are reading this post, you probably are into photography and you know that it can be a really expensive hobby with all the gadgets around. There are so many cameras, lenses, accessories and they are mostly advertised as the best of the world. If you are starting photography and know little about it, you can easily spend thousands of dollars on gear thinking that your photos will get better with the dollars you spent. The truth is, gear is only a small part of the equation. LIGHT, COMPOSITION and your CREATIVITY is more important than any gear you can buy. 


Whenever I post an image online, I get the same question, "what do you shoot with?". I can't say I haven't been at that point when I was just focusing on equipment. It took me at least 4 years to figure out that gear is just something you use to create images. It is just a tool. If you don't know what you are doing with it, a 50K Phase One will not help you get good images. 

It takes some time to learn the basics of photography and if you are persistent enough, new doors open. Your camera becomes a part of you. You just choose the system that is suitable for your needs. It doesn't have to be the newest or the most expensive camera or lens. You just stick to what you feel most comfortable with. 


So, last week I decided to tell a story with my photos.  A story that I have been trying to tell everyone who has been asking me about my camera gear.

I bought the cheapest Sony FE lens, the 50mm f1.8. I got it open box with some extra deals at Best-buy for $174. I put it on a used A7 which I bought for $900 and ordered a 49mm circular polarizer for $20. I created the whole kit for $1100 which is less than just one Zeiss lens for Sony system.  I needed to see if I was right or wrong. Would I still be able take some cool images with an odd focal length for a landscape photographer.  


We drove to Estern Sierras for 1.5 days. I was only gonna use this setup for the whole trip. No excuses. @bukeii was using Olympus E-P5 with the 12-40 f2.8. 2 cameras and 2 lenses for a complete photo trip.

I know 50mm f1.8 has one of the worst autofocus systems ever built. It hunts, and sometimes misses focus. But, I shoot products and landscape photos. I am not shooting a football game or birds. I really don't care about auto focus that much. I can live with it. The next lens I could buy has better autofocus but it is $900 more expensive. 

I really loved the sharpness of this lens. Especially center sharpness is great. Color and contrast looks as good as my other lenses. I was actually tired of using Canon lenses with adapters. This is a better performer than my Canon 50mm f1.4 and 24-105 f4 L at 50mm. 


So, all these shots you see here were shot with this lens in just a short period of time. I stitched the panoramas in Lightroom. I love the 50mm pano look more than any wide angle lens. 

I am going to keep this lens with my 28mm f2 and hopefully buy the new 85mm f1.8. I am pretty sure it will be a great performer as well.

Check out the rest of my photos on my instagram @barparildar and on Amy's instagram @bukeii


I hope this blog post helps you save a little bit of money and use it on a new photo trip. 

Have a wonderful day.











Sony 28mm f2

I am not one of those online gear review guys that tell you to buy stuff. I just love sharing my thoughts about the gear I use.  

I started using mirrorless cameras 2 years ago with an Olympus E-P5. It was actually a funny story how it all started for me. I will write another blog post for that in the future. 


To cut the story short, it worked pretty well for me. I used the E-P5 almost everyday. Got some incredible results with it. I still have it as a back up camera with me when I travel.

Point Vicente Lighthouse. Palos Verdes, CA

Point Vicente Lighthouse. Palos Verdes, CA

 Last month I decided to buy a full frame Sony. I got the regular A7. It is the perfect portrait camera for me. It could get me used to the Sony Alpha system before they release the new A7rii or A9. Whatever the name is gonna be, the upcoming high resulotion A7x camera will be my main landscape camera soon. 

Sunset in Santa Monica, CA

Sunset in Santa Monica, CA

I had no native Sony lenses so I got a cheap adapter and started using with my Canon L lenses. They work pretty good in most situations. But... There are some issues. Canon lenses are big, autofocus is so slow and if there is a light source in the frame you sometimes get some weird flare. 

A couple enjoying the beach at Manhattan Beach, CA

A couple enjoying the beach at Manhattan Beach, CA

I immediately started checking the native Sony lenses. I wanted to get something small and lightweight as my first lens. Zeiss 35 f2.8 looked like the only good option available. I like 35mm focal lenght. I could get used to a little slow f2.8 aperture. Then I saw the new Sony 28mm f2. It wasn't a Zeiss. I was a little sceptical at the beginning. I heard so many bad things about the old sony NEX lenses in the past. But I needed something soon. I couldn't wait more. I ordered the lens 20 minutes after it was available on Amazon US.

So, I got the lens delivered 4 days ago. There is no other lens that I fell in love that quick. It is sharp, lightweight and feels amazing. Manual focusing is great even though it's focus by wire lens. The best part for me is how it handles the direct sunlight. It's unbeliavable. That must be a special coating.

One of the first images with my 28mm f2  

One of the first images with my 28mm f2  

Of course there are some downsides. Barrel  distotion is the most obvious one and I can get rid of it on Lightroom in 2 seconds. It is not an issue for me. Corner sharpness might not be excellent on f2. But I do not even consider that an issue.

Cutest car in Palos Verdes, CA

Cutest car in Palos Verdes, CA

I took all the pictures you see here in just a short amount of time. I can't wait to get this thing to a phototrip with me.

I needed an all purpose lens that could stay on my camera most of the time. I think I found what I dreamed of.

Check my Instagram acount for the future images. 

Have a great week!!!