After switching from Canon to Sony system, I wondered for a long time if I wanted to have 50mm 1.8f again. My need was not very big, because I was already super happy with my Sigma 30mm 1.4f and nothing else could separate me from him (but for him in another article more).
However, as they say: Nifty-Fifty, 50mm happiness, classic, and a thousand other definitions that I would not argue with. I decided it was okay to find my 50mm anyway, but somehow I didn’t want to take the standard Sony lens, it would be too boring. After Sigma, I seemed to need a new experiment and challenge. AND THE VEIL – Yongnuo YN 50mm f / 1.8.
I got him quite casually, in the midst of a pandemic coming from China… and he darling travels 20 days… right from there! I ordered it from Aliexpress because you can guess that in Bulgaria Yongnuo are just lightning. But they’re also obviously creating lenses, and that sounded interesting. Moreover, it was at an extremely low price of about $ 140 new. I got it without a problem and without Covid-19 in the package, fortunately for me (but before unpacking it I thoroughly sprayed the whole package in a ventilated place 🙂 just in case!)
For the Lens in General
I admit that I watched several videos that presented the lens as a technical feature with all its strengths and weaknesses. I’m not going to tell you that this is the best 50mm lens you can buy. BUT I can share with you my personal impressions of him – positive and negative, during the shooting with him. In the following lines, you will read the strengths and weaknesses that I found in this lens while using it in many different situations – portrait photography, street photography, night photography (they were not so successful). I will also share photos taken with him so you can get an idea of what I’m really talking about.
Strengths of Yongnuo YN 50mm f / 1.8 for Sony
- Extremely light and normally compact for 50 mm – 146 g.
- It has a chrome-plated metal ring for a secure fit to the camera body.
- USB port on the lens itself to update the lens firmware – you don’t need docking stations and anything else – just one cable. (It did a great job for me, as the lens came out of date and I had to upgrade it myself)
- Medium-fast autofocus, which was slow at first and didn’t even focus well, but after the firmware update it got better and things went pretty well with the photos.
- Autofocus is accurate and even at 1.8f it rarely loses.
- Due to the fact that it has an open aperture, the lens is great for shooting in low light.
- Used on the APS-C, it is approximately 70mm lens, which makes it perfect for portrait photography (do not underestimate it for street photography, you will see below in my photos).
- Its colors, without any processing, seem to have a Moody style, which I really liked. I wouldn’t call its colors gloomy, but I would say that they are an idea more dramatic or they look like that to me.
- Did I say that it is super convenient to carry even in a small backpack (which I do not recommend so as not to damage it, as well as your camera).
- Low-budget – if you don’t like it in the end, you won’t make a lot of money and you’ll be sorry… at least that was a motivator for me to take it.
And now before I share your weaknesses, I will show you a little, WITHOUT any processing, photos that I took with Yongnuo YN 50mm.
Weaknesses of Yongnuo YN 50mm f / 1.8 for Sony
- There is no information about it in Bulgarian and I don’t even know if it would enter the Bulgarian market.
- It can only be used on APS-C, ie it is compatible with
- It doesn’t have the fastest autofocus you might hope for, but it’s great for the price.
- There is no stabilization, which would be a problem for video recording, unless you shoot with Sony a6500 and above (they have stabilization in the body and it is not necessary for the lenses).
- Focus sharpness is not always top. I would say that at about f2 – 2.8 it reveals its best qualities and does not soften the focus in the image.
- When shooting with high contrast, there are pronounced chromatic aberrations in cyan / magenta, which are easily corrected in Lightroom (I’m not sure this should be in its weaknesses, as it would apply to many other lenses).
With that, I think the weaknesses I find while shooting with the lens are exhausted, but they are hardly the only ones. I believe so with his strengths. I would say that it is a great lens for shooting in an urban environment and with more experience many of its weaknesses can be avoided and minimized.
So, with my Nifty-Fifty experiment. Expect me to share a few lines about my other lenses soon, which I hope will be useful to some of you!
See you soon and don’t stop shooting!