Sony Reveals 50mm Macro for Full-Frame E-Mount Mirrorless Cameras


Sony has been very interested in the normal perspective lately, evidenced by the most recent release of the FE 50mm f/2.8 Macro Lens, the company’s third 50mm release this year. The lens provides a different take on the focal length, offering a life-size 1:1 magnification and minimum focusing distance of 6.3" for macro and close-up photography. It features all the physical controls you would expect on a macro lens, including an AF/MF switch, range limiter switch, and focus hold button. Also, as the front of the lens extends, it provides a distance and magnification scale for use in technical applications.

To ensure the highest image quality at all focusing distances, it utilizes one extra-low dispersion element to combat axial chromatic aberration, as well as an aspherical element to reduce spherical aberrations. In addition, its 7-bladed circular aperture diaphragm renders smooth, out-of-focus elements. What makes this lens great for E-mount cameras is its compact size and light weight—it measures just 2.8" long and weighs only 8.3 oz. Along with all of this, it accepts 55mm filters and is dust- and moisture resistant.

FE 50mm f/2.8 Macro
Lens Mount Sony E
Focal Length 50mm
Maximum Aperture f/2.8
Minimum Aperture f/16
Angle of View 47°
Minimum Focusing Distance 6.3" / 16 cm
Lens Construction 8 elements / 7 groups
Diaphragm Blades 7, rounded
Filter Ring Diameter 55mm
Dimensions 2.8 x 2.8" / 70.8 x 71.0mm
Weight 8.4 oz / 236 g



Does anyone know the minimum working distance (distance to subject from the front of the lens filter thread) when used at 1:1 maginifcation? I would have thought working distance to be a common specification to be listed for a 1:1 macro but I can't find that information anywhere. Specs list minimum focus distance from the film plane but not working distance. Length of the lens when full extended at 1:1 would be helpful too...

Unfortunately, this isn’t a spec that Sony has provided.  I wouldn’t be able to say what the working distance might be of the lens. 

I have a Alpha 6300 and have been considering a macro lens.  I had been considering the FE90 mm especially with the possibility of upgrading or adding an Alpha 7 II in a year or two.  However I have also been concerned that the 90mm may be too long on the 6300.  Would the the new 50mm be a better option? Or would you still go for the 90mm?

PS:  By too long I mean the effective focal length would be 135mm on the 6300.  Is this getting a little too much telephoto for with macro or portrait?

Hi Mike,

If you are specifically going to be using the lens for macro photography (and not just general purpose), the crop factor shouldn't be a huge deal, unless you have limited space and want to do overheads. The 90mm is a better lens, I own one and love it, so if you want the best and are looking to upgrade to full frame later I would vote for the 90mm. Hope this helps a bit.

PS: Portrait should be no problem, as taking a couple steps back isn't really a problem there unless you have a tiny studio. Also, some people love 135mm for portraits, so it might be nice in that sense.

Can you please compare this to the Zeiss Touit 50mm f/2M and the Sony FE90mm f/2Macro G OSS for use on a NEX-7? Thanks.



Hi Alison,

I haven't used this new 50mm so this won't be perfect but I will do my best to compare these lenses. They all have an f/2.8 aperture so that makes it easier.

I'll start with the Touit, it is the only APS-C only lens on the list. Optically this is a fantastic lens. Sharp and contrasty with the signature Zeiss look and T* coating. However, if you are planning on going Full Frame in the future you won't be able to use the Touit on a FF camera. The other two lenses are full-frame compatible, meaning they can have a longer lifetime.

Moving onto the FE 90mm, this benefits from a slightly longer focal length, meaning you can have more distance from your subject, useful for setting up more elaborate lighting or just not startling some subjects like bugs. It also means that you have a telephoto length that is more flattering for portraits. And, on top of all that, it has optical image stabilization, a nice large focusing ring that can be easily switched to MF where it has a "mechanical" feel due to its design. Both this and the above lens are internally focusing as well, meaning the lens length doesn't change when focusing closer so you don't have to worry about balance or hitting your subject if you aren't careful. But, the only downside of th eFE 90mm is that is is going to be very large compared to the NEX-7.

Finally, we have the new Sony 50mm. This has the benefit of being small and about half the price of the other options. It is also full-frame compatible if you want the option to upgrade later on. Compared to the Touit and 90 it will probably not be as good optically, but for the price it will likely perform superbly. Really, this comes down to price, size, and whether you hope to upgrade to FF later on. If price is no object and aren't thinking of getting a full-frame camera, the Touit is best. If price is no object, you want a full-frame lens, and you aren't too concerned with size, the FE 90mm is the best. If you want something compact and full-frame that is relatively inexpensive, the just announced Sony 50mm is the best choice.

Hope this helps!

Maybe I'm confused. Is this new 50 mm a good lens for general photography also or do I still need to carry my 55mm f2?  Hate to carry mor than I need to.

Hi Brad,

The 50mm macro will be good for general photography as well, but it will have a slower aperture and AF than your standard 50/55mm lenses. So unless macro is a common need, you might be better served by a standard 50mm lens.

Can these lenses be used in close up or any portraiture ? I would like to have a dedicated macro/ portraiture lense for my A7's 

Hi Chris,

This lens will excel when it comes to close-up photography, for portraiture it will be good as well, but it has a relatively slow maximum aperture compared to general purpose 50mm lenses meaning you won't have as shallow a depth of field. But, if you are looking for a single lens for both macro and general shooting/portraiture, this will be a fine option.

You may want to consider Sony FE 90mm F2.8 Macro G OSS. Though more expensive, it could be better suited for portreture because of its focal length.

Hi pbochman,

Thanks for adding that, I only left it out because of the cost being twice as much but I completely second your opinion. I actually use the 90mm all the time on my a7R II and can attest to its quality.