Third time around with this lens… But I am getting ahead of myself. One of my most popular posts currently is about the Sony FE 40mm f/2.5 G.
I championed the 40mm f/2.5 G as an excellent prime lens alternative. And I stand by every word said in that post. That lens is going nowhere. But here is the thing. I have a problem… Ok, that could be plural. But the specific problem I am talking about in this post is a massive predilection for a certain lens spec.
- Not 35mm, 40mm, or even 55mm. 50mm please and thank you.
- f/1.8 or faster.
- Not f/2, f/2.5, or f/2.8.
Commonly referred to as a nifty fifty. I honestly thought that the 40mm f/2.5 G was so good that I could overlook this… but I cannot evidently. At first I was ok, but another event changed things. In an effort to consolidate and cut down on gear creep after much consideration, I let go of my digital Pentax cameras (Not film Pentax cameras though. That would be crazy talk.). Thought I might miss them, but I did not miss most of it with one notable exception. The K-1 (Was more of a coping mechanism than a functional necessity, and while not whole I was far better than I had been.) combined with the FA 50mm f/1.4.
That pairing I really missed. (I still have the lens and it pretty much lives on my Pentax *ist.) But it was not about that particular lens and camera. I missed the digital nifty fifty thing. And this had filled the void. There is a reason these lenses are so popular. While the 40mm is clearly superior in many areas I have now realized that I need a simple 50mm f/1.8-ish lens in my life. That is why I liked the Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM so much when I had a toe in RF land. Sure, the 35mm f/1.8 STM Macro was great but 50mm is where it is at for me.
There are plenty of perfectly good third party options but I decided to stick with Sony this time around. The The Sony 50mm f/1.2 G Master is pretty much perfect in every way (A phenomenal lens for “serious” work.) but one. It is not an everyday lens (Hence the title of this post.). It is far too precious and just on the wrong side of being too heavy and too large to knock about on the daily. Same goes for the nearly as fast, large, heavy, and precious new Sony 50mm f/1.4. The FE OG Sony Zeiss 55mm f/1.8 was not the choice of the day simply because there was another slightly smaller and considerably less expensive option.
Welcome back dagnabbit.
In that 40mm post I said this about the FE 50mm f/1.8:
“If I were a rational man this could have been it. Most every AF complaint I leveled against it in the past has been addressed.”
In a prior post about this lens, I wrote that it had been redeemed by firmware teamed with a camera I really like and makes for a much better whole than I would have expected. Still true. With caveats as cut and past from that prior post.
What it is not.
- Great at everything.
- The sharpest.
- But plenty sharp.
What it is.
- Good at many things.
- A solid stills and even video solution in a pinch.
- Not prestigious, but very practical.
- Not gorgeous, but a solid aesthetic pairing.
- Released many years apart they make for a great match in look and feel. Especially with an all black A7c.
- Not only is it the least expensive Sony 50mm-ish full-frame lens, it is the least expensive AF option from any brand.
No. It is not meant to be. Plus there is no such thing. There are always compromises.
Best lens for A7c?
Depends on the task at hand. As an example, the 40mm would be my preference for the smallest option or for video for instance. For ultimate performance I would likely go with larger, heavier, and more expensive faster aperture options. But that is the beauty of a compact interchangeable lens solution with many lenses to choose from. A lens for every preference.
That brings me to my point. The purpose is not to debate what camera and lens are “best”. So much energy is expended debating this gear or that. This brand over another. This format over another. This lens or camera over another. That is a fool’s errand. Choose what you like and have at it. Part of me would love to choose everything from all brands but even if I had the funds to do that I would never be able to leave the house as I would be stuck in analysis paralysis over what to bring. In this space, I seek to review that which I have tried and liked. With no intention of putting down anyone else’s preferences.
I have enough experience to know what to expect from this lens. I will like it.
- Small, light, and unassuming bringing little or no attention to me while being able to fit in a jacket pocket when attached to the A7C.
- Fast enough focusing.
- That added extra bit of aperture for better low light performance than the 40mm.
- Low budget enough that I can use it without much worry.
And it has already proven to be just what I was looking for.
Again, are there better lenses?
Certainly. But given the smaller size, smaller weight, smaller price along with new life the last firmware breathed into its AF and perfectly good IQ and low light performance this is a lens that I would have no issue using for any task.
Well done Sony.
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