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Sony NEX-EA50 (all variants)
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Old June 10th, 2015, 08:26 PM   #1
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Sony 50mm f/1.8 for interviews?

Sony E 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens (Black) SEL50F18/B B&H Photo Video

This lens is very affordable. I want a lens to give me shallow depth of field when shooting interviews (sometimes through a telelprompter which cuts more light).
I might also use it some for low light weddings but it will be limited being a prime.

My concern is that the APS-C equiv will be 75mm which seems a bit long.
Thinking back I usually have to zoom in some on my interviews with my wide 28mm lenses so maybe it'd be okay. I know I have some digital zoom if I need it, but once you physically move back as far as you can, you can't make a lens go any wider :)
What do you guys think?
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Old June 10th, 2015, 11:07 PM   #2
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Re: Sony 50mm f/1.8 for interviews?

I would opt for the Sony 35mm 1.8 first for interviews, as with the APC sensor it equates to a more conventional 50mm lens. I have both lenses and prefer the 35mm as it's also a sharper lens.

Sony 35mm f/1.8 OSS Alpha E-mount Prime Lens SEL35F18 B&H Photo
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Old June 11th, 2015, 03:05 AM   #3
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Re: Sony 50mm f/1.8 for interviews?

Even nicer is the Sigma 18-35 F1.8 .... gives you a nice range for framing and is a huge asset at wedding receptions. I sold my 50mm Sony as it was just too long at a crowded reception!!

Of course you would have to use manual focus on the zoom but it works well!
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Old June 11th, 2015, 10:00 AM   #4
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Re: Sony 50mm f/1.8 for interviews?

Thank you, Michael and Chris.

The Sony 35mm 1.8 looks really nice for sure. The Sigma 18-35 would be great except I'd have to also get an adapter for E-mount, so not sure whether A mount or what would be the best route. Also not sure about which adapter. Plus it costs more but gives me like 3 lenses in one though. I wish it came in E mount.
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Old June 11th, 2015, 10:41 AM   #5
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Re: Sony 50mm f/1.8 for interviews?

I have the Sony 50mm f1.4 and it's my go-to for medium close-ups on interviews. I typically shoot at 6ft and around f2.2 or 2.8 for sharpness. The longer focal length really helps isolate the background...but you're right about it being a bit long otherwise.
I also have the 18-35 lens, but find that it falls a bit short at the 35mm length, especially if you're looking to get tight and emotional MCU's without having the camera come uncomfortably close.
A slower/softer but possibly more versatile suggestion is the Canon FD 35-105, which you can find used for under $100. Add a cheap adapter and you've got a versatile zoom that has the benefit of being Parfocal. At f3.5, it's not the fastest lens, but if I need one lens for an interview with flexibility, I go with that one.

The attached stills were all taken with the 50mm f1.4 on a RedRock Micro One Man Crew parabolic slider, which has to be exactly 6 ft. from the subject
Attached Thumbnails
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Old June 11th, 2015, 01:24 PM   #6
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Re: Sony 50mm f/1.8 for interviews?

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Originally Posted by David Banner View Post
Thank you, Michael and Chris.

The Sony 35mm 1.8 looks really nice for sure. The Sigma 18-35 would be great except I'd have to also get an adapter for E-mount, so not sure whether A mount or what would be the best route. Also not sure about which adapter. Plus it costs more but gives me like 3 lenses in one though. I wish it came in E mount.
David I also have the Sigma 18-35 1.8 and LOVE it. It's sharp as a tack and works wonders in low light. I went with the Sony A Mount and went for the LA-EA4 as I wanted to keep it Sony. The adapter works flawlessly except for one thing in regards to auto focus. Since the LA-EA4 has a mirror in it you lose aa couple of stops of light when using auto focus, as the adapt stops any iris down to 3.5 anytime you use auto focus. Now you can run manual with no issue, but if you swap to AF on the camera the lens will stop down to 3.5. If you use push auto it stops down only until it focuses and them all is good again. But if you run AF all the time then you can't go higher than 3.5 on any lens.

You have full iris functionality which is most important to me.
If you don't want to deal with the AF stop down then go for the Canon EF mount and Metabones adapter.
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Old June 11th, 2015, 07:00 PM   #7
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Re: Sony 50mm f/1.8 for interviews?

If you are also working to a budget, Sigma make a fairly sharp 35mm lens that is e-mount so no adapters are required but from memory I think it's only F2.8
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Old June 14th, 2015, 06:21 PM   #8
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Re: Sony 50mm f/1.8 for interviews?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oren Arieli View Post
I have the Sony 50mm f1.4 and it's my go-to for medium close-ups on interviews. I typically shoot at 6ft and around f2.2 or 2.8 for sharpness. The longer focal length really helps isolate the background...but you're right about it being a bit long otherwise.
I also have the 18-35 lens, but find that it falls a bit short at the 35mm length, especially if you're looking to get tight and emotional MCU's without having the camera come uncomfortably close.
A slower/softer but possibly more versatile suggestion is the Canon FD 35-105, which you can find used for under $100. Add a cheap adapter and you've got a versatile zoom that has the benefit of being Parfocal. At f3.5, it's not the fastest lens, but if I need one lens for an interview with flexibility, I go with that one.

The attached stills were all taken with the 50mm f1.4 on a RedRock Micro One Man Crew parabolic slider, which has to be exactly 6 ft. from the subject
Those attached pics look good. Were those were taken with the 50mm which ends up being 75mm on an APS-C camera? I tend to shoot interviews around 6ft also.
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Old June 14th, 2015, 06:45 PM   #9
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Re: Sony 50mm f/1.8 for interviews?

Yes, all photos were with the 50mm f1.4 from 6 ft. I'm reasonably sure I shot around f2.8 or f3.2, wide open is a bit too soft.
Shooting with a 35mm would not give you as shallow a DOF, and you'd have to get closer to the talent, possibly blocking your lights to get the same field of view.
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Old June 15th, 2015, 04:11 PM   #10
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Re: Sony 50mm f/1.8 for interviews?

I've been using the 50mm for over two years and find it to be excellent.
Attached Thumbnails
Sony 50mm f/1.8 for interviews?-facu.jpeg   Sony 50mm f/1.8 for interviews?-lemoyne-1.jpeg  

Sony 50mm f/1.8 for interviews?-lemoyne.jpeg   Sony 50mm f/1.8 for interviews?-lloyd.jpeg  

Sony 50mm f/1.8 for interviews?-promper-read.jpeg   Sony 50mm f/1.8 for interviews?-leon.jpeg  

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Old June 15th, 2015, 04:22 PM   #11
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Re: Sony 50mm f/1.8 for interviews?

Here's one I shot with an 85mm Samyang f1.4
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Sony 50mm f/1.8 for interviews?-85mm-samyang.jpg  
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Old June 15th, 2015, 06:04 PM   #12
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Re: Sony 50mm f/1.8 for interviews?

Beautiful!!!
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Old June 16th, 2015, 02:51 PM   #13
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Re: Sony 50mm f/1.8 for interviews?

Thank you everyone. You guys are great!
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Old December 11th, 2016, 12:06 PM   #14
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Re: Sony 50mm f/1.8 for interviews?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Berger View Post
I've been using the 50mm for over two years and find it to be excellent.
the SEL50MMF1.8 from sony with emount and OSS?

I have already the sony zeiss 24mm F1.8 which is a great lens (expensive but bought it second hand)

I also have the 85mm F1.4 (or F1.5) from samyang but I don't use this lens much because the fullframe 85mm is too much for more general use. I have to stand to far away from my subject.

So which 50mm lens must I buy for portraits?

I also read some good things about the old konica minolta 50mm F1.7
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Old December 11th, 2016, 01:27 PM   #15
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Re: Sony 50mm f/1.8 for interviews?

The 50mm f1.4 is a re-badged Minolta 50mm f1.4, from what I've read. (Sony bought Minolta back in 2006). I recently picked up a Ukranian 58mm Helios 44-2 f2 lens for $20 (plus $20 shipping), which is noted for it's unique bokeh. Wide open, it flares quite a bit, so it's not ideal for every situation. But you'll find plenty of interesting options out there.
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