Sony 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 Kit lens at 50mm vs. Sony 50mm F1.8 OSS lens
In this review I wanted to compare the Sony 18-55mm F3.5 kit lens at 50mm to the Sony 50mm F1.8 OSS lens, to see if the Sony 50mm F1.8 lens was worth the money. I used “real world” images so that it would be more applicable to actual use. Here is the set up. I photographed the building at ISO 100, and at the following apertures (f-stops) on the Sony 50mm F1.8 lens: 1.8, 2.8, 4.0, 5.6, 8.0, 11, 16, and 22 and at the following apertures (f-stops) on the Sony 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 kit lens set at 50mm: 5.0, 5.6, 8.0, 11, 16, and 22. I’ve made 100% crops for each of the images at the focusing point so that you can see the differences at the different apertures for each lens. Here are the results.
Full Test Image: Sony 18-55mm F3.5 kit lens at 50mm Vs. the Sony 50mm F1.8 OSS
The image above is the full framed image that I took with each lens. The images below with be 100% cropped images from each lens.
Sony 50mm F1.8 OSS Lens at F1.8, F2.8, F4.0, F5.6, F8.0, F11, F16, F22
100% Crop 50mm F1.8 Lens at F1.8
100% Crop 50mm F1.8 Lens at F2.8
100% Crop 50mm F1.8 Lens at F4.0
100% Crop 50mm F1.8 Lens at F5.6
100% Crop 50mm F1.8 Lens at F8.0
100% Crop 50mm F1.8 Lens at F11
100% Crop 50mm F1.8 Lens at F16
100% Crop 50mm F1.8 Lens at F22
Sony 50mm 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 Kit Lens at F5.0, F5.6, F8.0, F11, F16, F22
The reason the widest aperture (F-Stop) I was able to shoot was F5.0 is because the kit lens is a zoom lens and the wides aperture is limited as you get farther into the zoom so at 18mm the widest aperture is F3.5 and at 55mm the widest is F5.6 so equivalently at 50mm the widest is F5.0.
100% Crop 18-55mm Kit Lens at 50mm and F5.0
100% Crop 18-55mm Kit Lens at 50mm and F5.6
100% Crop 18-55mm Kit Lens at 50mm and F8.0
100% Crop 18-55mm Kit Lens at 50mm and F11
100% Crop 18-55mm Kit Lens at 50mm and F16
100% Crop 18-55mm Kit Lens at 50mm and F22
Lets start with the Sony 50mm F1.8 OSS lens. The lens is fairly sharp at F1.8 but as you stop down farther the real beauty of the lens starts to show. At F2.8 the lens is almost as sharp as its sweet spot of F5.6. As you stop down farther you start to experience diffraction at F16 and more so at F22. All things considered though, the diffraction is not that bad. The reason you would want to buy the lens, having larger apertures (F-Stops), is the well done and the sharpness wide open is very well resolved.
As for the Sony 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 Kit Lens, at F5.0 the sharpness is only “good”, it will do the job but not it is not that impressive. As expected the sweet spot for the lens is F8.0 with a more predictable sharpness fall off all the way to F22. This is very typical for most zoom lenses. The “sweet” spot for focus is around F8.0. The reason that you would buy this lens is to have a good all around lens that you can be “lazy” and just zoom in and out without moving around. It makes a “good” work horse lens that will work in most situations. I also understand that having the flexibility of lens that can cover most subjects gives us that warm a fuzzy feeling that we will be ready with what comes our way.
That being said. There is something beautiful with just carrying one “great” lens that also just happens to be “fast” also. In this case I’m speaking about the Sony 50mm F1.8 OSS
lens. There are so many good things about this lens, why not keep it on the camera all the time? Honestly, normally I don’t go walking around carrying a mid range telephoto lens. I normally prefer a “50mm 35mm equivalent or a 35mm”, But in the last couple of weeks testing this lens, I’ve found it a great pleasure and challenging to carry this lens. Sure for this test I had to change to the Sony 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 Kit lens
, but I didnt’ want to. Really! I was having so much fun getting new views, angles, and being challenged to find alternate framing when a mid range telephoto just isn’t ideal. I’ll admit that there are cases where the Sony 50mm F1.8 OSS lens may be too close, and it may just be me, but the fact that the color doesn’t match lingers in the back of my mind.
In reality though, if you force yourself to “use” the lens for what its good at and adjust your composition, the challenge feels good! Maybe its like going to the gym, you may not really want to go and get a good sweat on, but you know its good for you and usually you feel great afterwards. That’s what photography should be “FUN”and makes your “Feel Good”, otherwise why do it right? There are other hobbies out there that are “cheaper”. So I challenge you, find a lens that you love and just stick with it for a couple of weeks and see all the fun and unique images you can come up with, go exercise that muscle! In my case for the time being its the Sony 50mm F1.8 OSS lens. But I do got my eye on the Sony Carl Zeiss 24mm
So what is your favorite lens?? Use the comments to share what your favorite lens is. Which lenses are you “married” to and which lenses are you just “Dating”?
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