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on 19 December 2002
This lens is definitly a must have.
It's a good opportunity to try out a fixed focal lens.
I've got a sigma 24-70 f2.8 but tend to use this lens more and more. First it gives a very good picture quality with very good rendition of the color. No distortion is visible.
This lens is also very light and make the camera far more easy to take everywhere. Finally,it's cheap ! You will be less scared to bring it in any conditions.
The best thing about a fixed lens, is teh new vision it gives you on photo. I was a big fan(like everybody I guess) of the zoom. But with this lens you have to frame by yourself by moving to the subject and being in the good position. It definitly improved my photos.
It's also very good if you add extension rings for macro shots.
I really recommend this lens to anybody wanting to improve the way they take photos.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 16 October 2006
IF you're in the market for a Canon EOS SLR, you might be tempted to do what I did and get this lens instead of the 'kit' zoom lens.
I'm not saying you shouldn't, but there are some points to consider.
On a camera like the EOS 400D, this lens effectively becomes an 80mm lens. So without a tripod, you really need shutter speeds upwards of 1/100 to avoid camera shake.
Well that's fine, you think, because at f1.8 you can surely get the shutter speed up. Indeed you can, but the depth of field becomes razor thin. Not only that, but focus becomes very important. Slightly out and you've lost it, so you really can't afford to focus-lock and recompose at f1.8.
And... at f1.8, sharpness is only so so.
Still, this is a very cheap lens. And in the right conditions, it gives great results. It's very sharp indeed if you stop down even to f2.8 and seems to me to remain so through to f11 at least.
You might want to get this lens for great blurred backgrounds, and it does pretty well with this, for sure. The only snag is that any highlights (discs of coloured out of focus light, are a funny shape because of the diaphragm. At least they're smooth and flat.
The lens focuses as close as 45cm so photos of flowers are a posibility.
One thing I don't like is the MF/AF switch on the lens, which is too stiff. And the tiny focus ring right at the front of the lens is a bit hard to find and use.
But the lens is small, very light, very cheap, great for portraits and (like any lens) capable of very sharp results - in the right conditions.
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on 30 March 2007
I bought this lens after reading positive reviews of it here and elsewhere and seeing sample shots. I'd just acquired a Canon EOS 400D with the 18-55mm EF-S kit lens, which is by no means a bad lens but I wanted something a bit sharper, with a wider range of depth-of-field, and to try working with a fixed-length lens.

The Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II lens did not disappoint. Optically, it's a little marvel: the images are clear and sharp, colour and contrast representation is excellent, and if there's any chromatic aberration with this lens, I certainly haven't noticed it. It's not a USM lens, so to manual focus you need to push the gear-switch on the side of the barrel. The manual focusing ring is right on business end and although ridged, tends to be a bit fiddly. However, wide-open, the depth-of-field is so shallow one really needs the autofocus, which is not silent but is as quick as it need be. In fact, I'm glad it's non-USM since this would only bump up the price; similarly with the construction, yes, it's made out of plastic but unless you're a routine and systematic lens abuser, how tough does it have to be?

All in all, given its optical quality, this little lens is fantastic value for money and a good buy for anyone who's just moved into the world of digital SLR.
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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 . "
22 comments| 21 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
This prime lens is one of the most popular lenses for Canon users, and for one obvious reason "it's cheap as chips" in relative terms this is very little outlay for any kind of lens. But with the low price comes a few compromises too.

It falls short of a 5 stars only because of a few areas which could be improved, and this lens is overdue an update from Canon.

The usual good and bad points as follows.

+ Price, no. 1 reason for buying this lens it's very cheap/affordable even if you are on a small budget.
+ Optics are good (not great but good) usable wide open at f1.8 (copies can vary though) of course sharper stopped down as most fast primes are. Corners are quite poor until stopped down quite a bit (maybe not an issue for field use)
+ Chromatic aberration is surprisingly well controleed (better than most fast primes)
+ It's a full frame lens so can be used on FF and APS-C bodies.
+ Filter thread is 52mm and does not rotate with focus (useful for filter users)

- Build is very cheap and it shows the quality of plastics is low. Plastic mount too which is acceptable for the price but Canon could have used better grade plastics overall.
- Fall off quite notable on full frame cameras at fast apertures. Not unusual for any fast prime on a full frame body, but a bit more than I've seen with some other 50mm primes. Less of an issue on the 1.6x crop body cameras for obvious reasons.
- 5 bladed diaphragm blades can lead to some less than great background blur/rendering, not always an issues but this is one area where the Canon needs an update to at least 7 or more blades (or even curved blades) No distance scale either.
- Basic DC micro motor is acceptable performance wise (speed is ok, accuracy is not bad though not superb either), clearly a step down from the USM motor of it's f1.4 brother
- No lens hood supplied. Most probably won't use it but Canon's "no hood policy" is starting to look a litte behind the times.

It's hard to be overly critical of the lens cheap or not it's capable of producing some very nice images, and this should be your first stop after a body and kit lens purchase to open the door to doing some real low light photography. For the very low price this is the cheapest 50mm prime around and quite a lot cheaper than the Canon 50mm f1.4 which is obviously in a different league for build and it's faster.

Canon should really update the lens though, the basic design has been around since the end of 1990 start of 1991, the MkI version was better built and had a metal lens mount. If Canon brought out a new version with a metal mount and improved build quality/better AF motor/more aperture blades I think most people would be quite happy paying a little bit extra on top for that. As it is right now it's a 4 star easy to recommend at this bargain price.
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on 13 December 2010
For anyone first getting into DSLR's who is on a budget but wants a good lens, buy this! Sure, there are better lenses like the more expensive 1.4 and the focusing can be a little slow and noisy AND the manual focus ring is extremely narrow, but you won't be disappointed with the new photo options it gives you. The colours are fine, the aperture makes for small depth of field and nice background blur. Cheap, simple, but good!

Edit: Since writing this I actually bought the 1.4 and gave the 1.8 away. I had both at the same time and tested some shots with them. To the naked eye, there is very little difference in picture quality/bokeh etc. The difference between 1.4 and 1.8 is not that great and in fact shooting wide open seems to produce images which are way too fuzzy for my taste. Where the 1.4 excels is in quieter, faster focus and full manual override. The front of the lens on the 1.4 does not rotate as it focusses which can be important for when using filters (I dont recall if the 1.8 does this too). The focus ring is also wider which makes manual focusing easier. If budget is your priority the 1.8 is great. If you have enough money for the 1.4, I recommend seeing both in a shop to find out if the difference in the lenses is significant enough to you seeing as I felt they are capable of producing similar quality and colour images.
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on 12 July 2008
So much has been said about this great little lens that it's hard to add something new. Quality is far and above what you'd expect for the price, and it's so light you hardly notice in in the bag.

Build quality is strictly amateur, but don't be fooled, this lens delivers and unless you treat it badly it will reward you for years.

Going back to a fixed lens after the comfort of a zoom may seem strange at first but it takes me back to m old SLR days, when you simply walked back to fit more it. It makes you concentrate more on your framing and will make you a better photographer. The more shots you take, the more you'll want to use this lens, especially when you see the results.

If you're used to the plastic kit lens, the quality will blow you away. If you're used to L series, then it's worth buying for the heck of it.

Have to agree with the vast majority.
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on 24 May 2010
I originally only had the standard kit lens for my Canon 350d, but after reading lots of reviews i decided on the wee nifty fifty. Honestly, best buy for my camera yet. If you are quite new and don't have lots of lenses this is a great wee starter to get your passion back!

It's very light, so when its on the camera its great for slinging into your bag :-)

It's a bit strange getting used to the fact that you can't zoom mind you, but it does make you a bit more mobile ha.

The focus takes a bit of getting used to as well, I personally have found that I prefer it on manual focus. For me, the autofocus hasn't always zeroed in on what I want, but for me these are such minor issues I wouldn't even consider them negatives.

and the, it's just beautiful :-)
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VINE VOICEon 2 December 2010
I bought this lens for my 350D a whilst ago and the prices havent gone down on this lens (actually gone up), although with such a good value lens I shouldnt really be suprised. Yes its cheap and plasticky but it one of my favourate lenses. Cheap and cheerful, the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Lens is a good low-light indoor photography lens - especially when a flash is not appropriate or desired. It works very well in a gym or church for example. makes a good focal length for full-body portraits. Its a very fast lens, but soft at 1.8, however this improves from f2.8+. The drawbacks of the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Lens are easily overlooked when one looks at the price. The only thing you have to remember if you have a cropped sensor, like the 350D it effectively becomes an 80mm lens.

This lens is not for everyone, but I don't know of a better lens available for twice this price.
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on 11 December 2011
A very nice piece of kit, compact and very easy to use good for portraits and will be attracted to my camera more often than not.

 Canon EOS 50mm/F1.8 Ef Lens (Mk11)
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