Cheap As Chips & Just As Good,
This review is from: Canon EF 50 mm f/1.8 II Lens (Camera)
When it comes to buying a new lens for your DSLR, they don't come much cheaper that this "Canon EF 50 mm f/1.8 II Lens" a fast fixed focal length lens that may not look stellar but makes up for it in terms of performance and quality.
Technical details and features include a 50mm Focal Length (fixed) with a 45cm Minimum Focus Distance. Manual and Auto Focus with a F/1.8 Constant Aperture. Gaussian Optics with a 52mm Thread Size for using filters (such as UV and ND filters). It's light weight and compact with the added advantage of the lens not "expanding" outwards as it is in use.
The focal length of 50mm is considered ideal for many aspects of photographs as that length is said to closest mimic the perspective seen by the human eye. There are also many times where a lens such as this would benefit your photography. Portraits in general or even group shots such as at weddings or other events. If depth of field is important to you then the maximum aperture on offer really give a creative edge over telephoto or kit lens.
As you would expect at this price range build quality is very basic. The lens itself has a plastic body and is almost "toy like" in appearance. This isn't the type of lens that can take a beating, and you should invest in a lens pouch to keep it safe and sound - or at the very least take extra care. The front focusing ring is also very narrow and care should be given when using manual focus not to over twist it one way or another.
The micro motor is a cheaper version of the hyper sonic motors you get on it's bigger brothers, therefore it's considerably more noise and not as fast to focus. This isn't really a massive drawback as it only takes maybe a second or two longer to focus. As for the noise, I would only see it being a problem should you be interested in wildlife photography which is something that lens isn't really suited or designed for to begin with.
While there are a few things to fault, these are greatly out weighed by what makes this lens great. When in use there is no noticeable distortions whatsoever, combined with very little vignetting. From time to time there is a bit of glare but this can be controlled easily with a UV filter should it pose a problem.
The lens excels in low light conditions producing crisp and clear images with easy. It does struggle a bit with fast moving subjects when the light isn't great but not massively so.
Images straight from the camera are excellent almost regardless of shooting conditions, photographs require little or often no post production. You can use a large range of shutter speeds even hand held without worrying about introducing blur and you can go even further with a tripod. I've been able to capture some stunning light trails using this lens. Due to it's price it is most suited for more "dangerous" conditions or more extreme environment, where you won't cry for long should it get wet or damaged.
At the end of the day this lens is ideal for those interested in low light or portrait photography and who don't want to spend a small fortune. An essential lens for your kit bag.