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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 23 April 2012
As a keen photography enthusiast i have decided to take a plunge and upgrade my old Sony a200 system (that i couldn't get on with) to a canon 7d - the first mistake i have made was buying expensive body and not having the funds to buy a decent lens. I love photographing people so i thouht a prime lens will be the best choice for me (this is a fixed focal lens ) 50mm lens can basically mimic the perspective seen by the human eye . i felt that this will be the best choice .Also prime lens made me more creative , as i hadn't had the opportunity to just zoom in if i wanted to.I had to move around and try viewing subject from different angles.

when the lens arrived i was surprised by the toy feel - its all made of plastic (besides optics) - it felt cheap like it will brake any minute ,there iwasnt any pouch with this lens .just an instruction manual .The lens is very light ( 130g ) and small (2.7" x 1.6"/68.2mm x 41.0mm - WxL ) - it is also a canon smallest lens on the market . before i have decided to review it i thought i will use it for a bit (i have used it for over a year ) .I was a bit doubtful if constant lens change could affect plastic lens mount in any way - but it didn't .On the lens itself there is only one switch AF/MF (Auto focus and manual focus ). Autofocus is driven by a micro motor - that is pretty fast. With a minimum focus distance of 1.5' lens can deliver some good images.

My first test shots look terrible , the lens flare that was on the images looked pretty bad and affected the overall quality . Lens flare is created when forming light enters the lens and subsequently hits the camera's digital sensor. I have decided then to buy lens hood and filter (to reduce glare) and try again. i would strongly recommend buying lens hood (ES-62 ) that includes the Hood adapter that threads onto the lens - the hood then attaches to the adapter by pinching two latches

With everything in place i decided to do a few test shots again on few different light situations and f settings (aperture size are often referred as a f settings .The aperture size determines the depth of field, or zone of sharp focus, that surrounds your subject the smaller the f i.e. f/1.8 - the shallower the depth of field is ). i love the way my images came out - sharp where i wanted them to be , and colours where fantastic .focus worked well on a 4 year old who run around the park like a tornado and because lens is very light i was able to take some decent shots handheld , without the discomfort, or a lense shake.
The strongest quality of this lens is sharpness - it produces fantastic pictures , i can honestly say that its sharpest at f/2.8 and beyond on f1.8 it performs also good but not as sharp if the camera is hand held .All depends what you want to shoot . i tend to shot people at f/5.6 (but this depends how much of the subject i want to stay sharp) and landscape at f/8 - as i find this my safe zone , and i know images will come out decent.

Autofocus is pretty fast when shooting moving objects ,it focuses quickly witch is handy when shooting kids (that just don't sit still ... ) or fast moving objects .
Lens its very good in limited light conditions ( in the house ) - but only if you shooting on wider aperture (smaller f number) .- most of portraits are shot in low light condition and all of them are shot using this lens

another good factor was the lens size and weight -it is very easy to carry around , despite being plastic it is also very robust ,and it can take some serious banging. Just imagine me trying to strap screaming 4 year old into a booster seat with camera still hanging on my neck - it usually bash straight into car paintwork (that did chip)

I have grown to love this lens in fact this is the lens and i use in 98% of my images as the lens is very portable and light , so its easier to take hand-held shots without minimal camera shake.
most of the new dlsr's on the market come with a standard kit lens either 18-55 or 17-85 . so if you are looking for a nice addition to your camera i can highly recommend buying this lens despite it plastic look , its a very nifty lens with fantastic price tag. , and as i mentioned earlier i would recommend purchasing lens hood and possibly a UV filter .

"please bare in mind that im Polish - and English is not my strongest point but i try my best to give as honest review based on my own experience , and i know my grammar is terrible . "
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on 18 November 2006
Most reviewers of this lens will talk about the lack of build quality and plasticky feel overall - and they are to be believed!!

However, don't let this put you off.

Yes this lens has a plastic mount, yes the focus ring is narrow and fiddly and yes, the autofocus motor is an older, noisier, slower type but do I care one bit - NO!!!

This lens an absolute gem. I thoroughly recommend it as a replacement for the 18-55mm kit lens (I bought it for my Canon 400D) and recommend it simply because it's a great lens in it's own right no matter what you already have. It's a nice focal length for portraits.

Where this lens scores highly is its 1.8 f-stop - very fast!!! Images are definitely soft at this setting but acceptable in a pinch. I reckon you'd need to go above A4 prints for it to be noticeable. You always have to remember that you may not have got the shot at all if you didn't have the f1.8 setting so a bit of softness is the trade-off! Noticeable improvement in shrapness is seen at f2.2 and it just gets better from there on in. Stopped down to around f4 - f11 the lens displays stunning levels of clarity and sharpness for the price (by all accounts rivalling L series pro lenses costing much, much more from what others have said- I can't personally verify this but the results I've had are truly excellent.) It also focuses down to 45 cm!

To sum up, this lens punches far above its weight. For £65 you will get a lens that gives you fantastic pictures typical of lenses costing many times the asking price. Go for it!
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on 14 April 2007
I've got a Canon 400D with the standard kit lens. It's OK but I was a little disappointed by the sharpness that it achieved. After quite a bit of reading up I'd heard so much good stuff about this relatively inexpensive lens that I decided to get one.

Most of my pictures are of my kids and many of them are indoors. This lens is great for portraits and because the aperture can be opened to 1.8 it gets enough light that flashless indoor pictures become feasible. The results are great. Nice, natural colours compared to the flash and as others have mentioned, the blurring of the distant background is very pleasing.

Having read that it had an old fashioned and noisy focus motor I was expecting something horrific which would cause people to look around if you were taking a picture in public. In reality it's marginally louder than the USM lenses and a little slower. We're talking 25% in my view. It's perfectly useable. In low light, manual focussing is preferable and is very easy. People also say the plastic housing is fragile. Well, if like me you've got a 400D with kit lens, it's not really any more plastic like than the either of those so don't be put off.

I've only had the lens one day and I've already taken some pictures which I'll treasure. Only downside of the lens is that at 50mm on a 1.6 ratio camera like the 400D it's a telephoto. In other words, you have to step back a bit to get everything in, so not ideal for indoor group shots. A 30mm lens would be better *but* the one I was looking at was three times more expensive and that's what swung it for this one.
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on 16 January 2007
I bought this lens to go with my Canon EOS 400D kit, along with an expensive image stabilising lens. Although the image stabilising lens is fantastic, this little one is definitely my favourite. It has no zoom, but is a joy to use. The wide aperture available makes it unbelievably good for low light indoor photography (especially compared the compacts that I was used to) and the low depth of field makes great portraits. It really encourages you to be creative and imaginative with your photos. As other reviewers have said it doesn't feel extremely solid, the autofocus is a bit noisy and the manual focus ring is too small, but all of these negatives are far outweighed by the brilliant results you get almost every time. You just have to be absolutely sure where you're focussing!
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on 31 January 2007
Having last year bought a DSLR (350D) with a zoom lens and then experienced its limitations with quality (poor sharpness) and inconsistant AF focussing (hit and miss to say the least) I decided to buy this prime lens to see if that helped improve the situation. Wow, what a difference, this is a real corker for the price. The images captured with this lens is in a different league - pin sharp even at high ISO's and fantastic replication of colour and levels. Yes it is plastic and will hunt if the subject is not central but it gets a highly recommended from me.
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on 10 February 2008
I can only concur with the other reviews. The lens is lightweight and feels like a toy. Whenever I take off the lens cap I am worried that I will pull off the manual focus ring too. When the autofocus motor reaches the end of its travel it stops with an undampened thunk, and I am worried that the lens will burst open.

On the other hand, and this is a huge factor that outweighs all the above, the image quality is very good. The lens is useable at f1.8, with a nice tight depth of field, and it gets sharper from there. At f5.6 it is very sharp indeed, and from the test results I have seen on the internet it is probably sharper than most digital camera sensors can resolve. For the price it is very impressive, and based on image quality alone it would be very impressive at any price. There is a big argument on the internet as to whether the 50mm f1.4 is superior when stopped down to f2.8 or thereabouts. My feeling is that most people who care about such things will buy the f1.8 anyway, and use it as a "beater". I wonder how it compares to Nikon's 50mm f1.8, which has a similar reputation and costs much the same?

On a 1.6x camera the focal length is 80mm, which is one of the classic focal lengths for portrait lenses. It's ideal for faces, head-and-shoulders, upper body shots. For anything else it falls between two stools, neither telephoto enough for lions nor wide enough for crowds. Along with the build quality, this is the only real drawback of the lens. It's a shame Canon couldn't combine the low price and image quality with a 28mm focal length, it would be an ideal party lens.

As a lark, I decided to test it against an old Pentacon 50mm f1.8 M42 lens I had lying around, which is solid and made of metal, and sells for about a tenner on eBay. The Canon lens seemed much sharper at f1.8, and slightly better at all apertures, although not noticeably so unless I zoomed right in; but on the other hand the autofocus was more accurate than my manual focus. Against an old 50mm f1.4 Super Takumar the results were less "dreamy" when wide open, but when stopped down I had to strain my eyes to detect any difference in sharpness, and unless you habitually enjoy photographs by looking at them zoomed in at 500% on a giant monitor I doubt you would notice any difference.

As an added bonus, the lens works fine on full-frame cameras. It also has a very mild cult following. And it's slightly melancholic, in the sense that you start to realise that other lenses, which cost ten times as much, are not ten times better. You pay a lot extra for a little extra.
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on 19 February 2007
I bought this lens for my Canon EOS 400D and has became my favorite in term of depth of field. You can create photo like you see in the magazine.

I am a spoiled user since all my other lenses have got USM (Ultrasonic focus motor) which make them quicker and quieter but at a price.

This lense is maybe noisy and a little bit slower to focus but at a really good price!

You need to work out your composition since there is no zoom, but this is somehow great as it help you to take better photos. You are observing more before taking the shot rather than just using the easy zoom option with other lenses.

It is a must have really.
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on 13 June 2010
I can't really add much to what has already been said about this lens. It feels cheap and insubstantial. It's what I suppose it is - just a few bits of thin glass stuck into a thin plastic body. BUT - it works!!!!!
In my opinion, it just can't be beaten for value and performance. I am a semi-pro and I have to work sometimes in demanding environments. I would never be without this lens. If I dropped it - I'm sure it wouldn't survive, but hey - I'd just go and get another one. Incidentally - a GREAT BIG THANK YOU TO AMAZON is due. I bought one of these lenses a few months ago and after a few weeks a loose piece of plastic appeared inside the lens cavity which got in the way of every picture. I called Amazon who were amazingly helpful and efficient. I actually had a new relacement lens rushed to me BEFORE I sent the faulty one back. It was the best service I have ever had!
Thank you Amazon. Another very good reason to shop here!
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VINE VOICEon 23 May 2007
If you are thinking of buying the CANON EOS 400 or 350, I recommend you get the body only option and then buy this lens.

It costs a third of the top of the range 50 mm lenses and produces the almost identical results.

It works very well with low light conditions and produces sharp pictures.

This is a fixed focal length lens ideal for indoor portraits (not for group photography indoors) and landscape photography

The white balance is excellent and It weights 132 grams only
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on 17 March 2006
This little thing weighs almost nothing, compared to all the zooms that I've got. Having f/1.8 at your finger tips will also change the way you photograph if all you're used to is a zoom - depth of field takes on a whole new significance. The lens is great for throwing a cluttered background out of focus when you're taking portraits.
Excellent value for money. Just wish I could afford the 50mm f/1.2 :)
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