Customer Review

1,067 of 1,103 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Value in Photography!, December 28, 2005
This review is from: Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens (Camera)
Wow! My theory now is that Canon doesn't put this baby as their kit lens because many people would decide that they DONT NEED ANOTHER ONE! And many of them would be right!

Like others, I bought the Rebel XT and the 28-135 IS lens. The 28-135 is heavy and priced like a gold brick. I guess it does OK, and I do keep it mounted most of the time.

And like others, I stumbled on this lens somehow, read the raving reviews, and for the price figured, "What the heck?"

This lens in tack sharp. It shows the fire in the colors you photograph. The wide aperture means candles can be excellent lights for portraits. Its narrow field is great.

There are pitfalls though. I snapped a pic of my face at arm's length using autofocus a while back and (1) the focus locked on the tip of my nose and my face was already blurring (2) the lens was so sharp that I saw blackheads clearly on my nose tip I can't really see in the mirror (doh!). I've read that dSLR images are slightly soft to aid in later editing. I can only imagine what it would do on a film camera.

Yesterday while camping I slapped this lens on. Unlike the 28-135, this one is light enough that I didnt notice I was carrying a camera everywhere. At night I put the lens on the top of the car pointed at the sky, set the shutter for 15 secs, and hit the button. Much to my amazement, the lens not only showed hundreds of stars that were invisible to my eyes, but it also found a galaxy. That pic is on the customer image section of this page. You can see what I saw, but the smaller size doesnt do the lens justice.

One quirk of Amazon is that this page keeps alternating pictures of lenses. This lens does not have the distance focus scales on the outside of it.

Zoom is nice for many things. But where zoom isnt necessary, performance is very, very nice. Performance at $70 is almost too good to be true.

Let me close by repeating what has been said elsewhere and will continue to be said here....IF YOU OWN A SLR, STOP NOW AND GET THIS LENS!

UPDATE 12/06 I have owned this lens for about a year now. Over that time I have immersed myself in photography, workshops, books, tests, etc. I have since upgraded to the 30D and a couple of L lenses, and now have a portfolio strong enough that I am now getting dollar signs thrown at me that I didnt even see coming. I say all this to give you some perspective on what I will write afterward.

Now that Ive really learned the difference, I can agree with others that it is a tad soft wide open, but that is to be expected. I read a lens test recently that put the 1.8 against Canons heavweight L glass, and, not surprisingly, the L beat out the $70 plastic wonder in most categories. What might surprise you, however, is that when the lens was tested at F 8 it BEAT THE L GLASS in sharpness! As one that has felt the pain of trading large sums of money for L glass, I appreciate affordable quality...not something anyone can plan on seeing much of in photography.

My 28-135 has since joined my kit lens in the garage. The 1.8 is still in my case with my newer 30D.

With some experience under my belt I now would make the following recommendation. Right now, as you read this, you may have an idea if you've been bitten by the photog bug. You may know that this beast is going to morph into something more than a simple pasttime. If you look inside the depths of your aspirations and you know that you are going to be a serious amateur, bite the bullet and get the 50mm 1.4. Trust me on this one. Eventually you'll end up getting it anyway, so just apply the $70 to the 1.4 now.

If you're just exploring different areas of SLR photography, you cant go wrong with this lens. Case in point- as of this writing the baby in pink in the customer images section of this lens is one of the top-ten rated images of all pics uploaded on Amazon! This lens will allow you to dazzle friends and relatives used to snapshots from point & shoots. It will be the start of what you upgraded to a DSLR for in the first place. For you, the 1.8 is still, by far, the best value in photography!
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Comments

Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 23 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 7, 2010 5:08:35 AM PST
Marxist Jew says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Mar 19, 2010 9:19:50 AM PDT
Eric L. Fox says:
Thanks for the good review...I'm borderline...so you review got me thinking. Thanks.

In reply to an earlier post on May 20, 2010 3:48:25 AM PDT
Patti Cake says:
Eric, it really is a great lens - my first prime, and it blew me away. My husband, who was into film photography and fast primes felt this lens holds up to some of his favorites. And while the build quality is meh, the optics are awesome as is its lower light performance.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 4, 2010 1:18:01 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Nov 9, 2011 12:25:15 PM PST]

Posted on Oct 4, 2010 1:21:31 PM PDT
I agree with you about the quailty of this lens. I just purchased the Canon 50D with the 28-135mm lens and I love it! The images are great and yes it is the primary lens on my camera most of the time. Being a returning college student majoring in photography I feel this lens is essential in a camera bag.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 4, 2010 1:29:49 PM PDT
Eric,
Trust me you won't be sorry if you purchase this lens, it's great.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 23, 2010 5:52:20 PM PST
I. Sorkin says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2010 3:10:53 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Nov 24, 2010 3:51:09 AM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2010 3:56:07 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 24, 2010 3:57:06 AM PST
Thanks for pointing that out I. Sorkin, but if you had read my post I wrote that I purchased the 50mm along with the 28-135mm, which is the kit lens for the 50D. I also posted that I loved the 50mm and didn't say anything about what I thought about the 28-135mm lens. Perhaps you should read the post more carefully before posting. a reply.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2010 3:57:51 AM PST
Eric,
Just curious did you get the 50mm? If so what did you think?
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