Earlier this summer I briefly owned and tried some Sony SLT cameras. Sony was not an historic camera maker. They made compact cameras but had no photographic culture or background to speak of in the SLR world. When the decided to start producing DSLRs, they just bought Minolta, who had a huge history, prestige, and user base as a serious photo gear maker. So Minolta’s mount became Sony Alpha mount (“A”, in short).
Last week I finally gathered the gut to buy and try the LA-EA2 A mount adapter for NEX, so the 50 1.7 found a new use for me. It’s a sharp lens with good color, smooth bokeh and reasonably fast AF. On the LA-EA2 it’s slightly capricious and only randomly accurate on moving targets, which had me looking at other similar options.
In search of an alternative, I purchased a Sony 50 1.8 DT. It’s a small and rather sleek looking plastic lens. Light, cheap, and quite good. From the early tests I find it slightly better than the Minolta. AF performance is also slightly better.
So here’s my verdict. Optically the 50 1.8 DT seems better than the old Minolta 50 1.7. The 1.7 vs 1.8 max aperture difference is totally negligible for practical purposes. AF is slightly faster, more solid and more accurate. It’s still not as fast or as reliable as it’d ideally need to be, but it’s usable. It’s very cheap and gives great bang for the buck. However, based on the absolute its numerous and absolutely raving reviews, I’m gonna try the Sony 50 1.4…