At $150 (street), it's a little pricier than Canon's EF 50mm f/1.8 II ($115, street) and Nikon's AF 50mm f/1.8D Nikkor ($135, street). Although these others cover a full-frame sensor, the Sony is made for APS-C sensors (sorry, A900 owners). In practical use, it scales up to a 75mm field of view.
The barrel and mount are plastic, making for a very light, though not so sturdy-feeling, lens. Its silver ring indicates Sony's Smooth Autofocus Motor (SAM)- while it focused relatively quickly and without much hunting on our A380, it was far from quiet. Manual focusing is aided by a nifty rubber edge on the front of the focus ring, as well as a very legible distance scale, but there's no aperture scale, and the action feels loose and scratchy.