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Showing 1-10 of 3,798 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 4,757 reviews
on June 19, 2016
I bought this lens as a replacement for a 50mm f/1.8 lens that I had bought a few years ago but a friend had knocked my camera off of a table and it broke, I had been using this lens for everything, so I had to get one ASAP. I prefer this lens to the kit lens that came with my T3i, the lower aperture makes it possible to get more light in and you can make an awesome bokeh effect if you have it all the way down. I paid about $90 for my lens which seems like a fair price because I use it all the time and I absolutely love the way the picture come out. I think it's a great lens for beginners to use and is a good lens to invest in if you're just starting out and you don't want to go straight for the more expensive lenses.
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on July 1, 2014
If you just bought a DSLR and want to dabble in photography, this is a great lens to start off with. Although it is audibly slightly noisier than the $1000 f/1.4 version, it is still able to take marvelous shots with the ability to experiment with depth of field. In my experience, it's narrow field of view becomes a crutch at times, but I feel it does a great job of training your eye on how to frame shots well. Getting the 'entire picture' doesn't necessarily mean it's going to be a good one.

Being able to stop down the lens to f/1.8 means you can shoot in lower light situations and still manage to get fantastic shots. The autofocus does struggle at times when you are in dim situations, so practice manually focusing, especially for indoor shots that are only illuminated by artificial lighting.

Aside from all the great things previously mentioned, this lens really shines when used for portrait shots. There is an acuteness to detail that none of my other average grade lens can attain and the subtleties of the image really pop. In addition, there is a slight softness felt in the image that makes the pictures you capture feel intimate. Pictures speak a thousand words so I'll upload a few pictures to demonstrate this better than I can describe.

In conclusion, for $100, this is one of the best lenses one can buy and even after you save up for months to purchase more expensive L lenses down the road, I'm sure you'll still be coming back to this one.
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on October 25, 2010
I understand I am comparing Fuji Apples to Gala Apples, but when I compare the image quality from this cheap, plastic-bodied prime lens to those from my several L-series Canon zooms, there is no contest: this lens outperforms. Now to those who say one cannot compare a prime to a zoom, I say: why not? Aren't we discussing image quality or are we discussing something else?
Given the very large images produced by modern DSLRs, I can crop the image from this 50mm and get the zoom effect I need given the minimum zoom of 50mm (times crop factor). I can also place this lens on my Elan 7 film camera and get spectacular results. I use this lens more and more and zoom using my physical zoom (feet) and digital zoom (Photoshop or Aperture or any image editing software). The results are always great. No, I cannot print to 40x60 inches if I crop from this lens, but I am not planning to do that anyway.
When I shoot a wedding (not bridal portraits, I use the 85mm prime for that) the photos made using this lens are always the best and always the favorites. I know it does not have the little red ring around it but that is just to show other photographers that you are hip and with it, not necessarily to get better images and certainly not based on the money-to-image-quality ratio. Nope, buying a more expensive camera or a more expensive lens will NOT make you a better photographer. Using a prime lens, however, like this very affordable option, will certainly improve your images.
The cons are obvious: low build quality. This means that the lens is likely to last for only ten years or so, judging by the fact that other Canon primes (and all Canon lenses in general) are notoriously and incredibly reliable (the more expensive f/1.4 version of this lens a notable exception, but still very, very, very reliable).
The sum of all my comments is but this: for the money, there is no finer nor more useful lens for your Canon EOS Camera.
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on February 7, 2013
This review is targeted to new photographers and those a little more serious.

Having started out as a hobby photographer and transitioned to professional photography, I can safely say this is the most important lens to have. There are a few important things to know...

You need a kit lens with zoom range "just in case". Don't toss that lens. The wide aspect is very important and a special lens for wide shooting is one of the last lenses you'd get when building your kit. Yes, the 10-22mm is amazing, but if I need room in my bag, my 17-55 is just fine. This is especially true with the new kit lenses starting at 15mm.

That being said, you'll love this lens for everyday shooting. The most important factor is that wonderful f/1.8 number. This means that the lens can suck in a ridiculous amount of light. More light means less need for flash. Less need for flash means much more natural looking images. The awesome natural looking, well balanced, non-contrasty photos that you see are accomplished one of two ways: manually altered light with color tinted flashes/reflectors, or the lens was able to capture the natural light just fine. This lens is how you accomplish the latter. Obviously this is more convenient.

There is a side effect to this light gobbling advantage called bokeh. This is the crisp image where the camera focused and very blurred image everywhere else. There are many variables to this difference (called depth of field), but the "f" number is one of the main driving factors. Beautiful girl/child in the image with the background perfectly blurred to create a super professional looking image? No expensive camera needed. Not even an expensive lens needed. A decade old Canon Rebel and this lens can accomplish that look easily. Don't like that look? You change this "f" number (also called aperture) to a higher number and viola, you have a clear foreground and background. Keep in mind though, this directly impacts how much light the camera can grab.

Focus speed: This is important because people don't realize that this is where a lot of cost comes from. This lens can take a few moments to focus. Want something faster, but all of the other advantages? You're going to have to spend a couple hundred more for the Canon 50mm f/1.4 USM. Not for that fancy 0.4 difference in f stop, but those magical letters that say "USM" for ultra-sonic motor. I want to be clear, though. This is not a reason to not get this type of lens. Just want you to know where it stands. Want to switch to manual and focus faster? Definitely! The focus ring is small, but usable.

Quality: Yes, good glass is nice, but you're looking at a $100 lens for Pete's sake. Trust me, if you are able to notice a difference, you would have the budget to get a 1.2 anyways. I'm not saying you don't want quality, I'm saying that it takes that good of pictures where you shouldn't be considering this variable unless you're a pro. You're going to want to upgrade for the speed before you upgrade for picture quality.

Durability: I stands the test of time. Yeah, plastic, but you're not throwing your camera around either. Protect the glass like you would any other lens and you'll be fine.

Usability: For the amateurs, buy this lens, put your camera on "AP" mode (aperture), and set it to 2.0. Turn off the flash and set your ISO to 400. Take some pictures of people, objects, cute kittens, whatever, but make sure there is at least a few feet of space behind what your shooting. You'll want to sit down before you look at the results. You'll then realize that this is why you bought a DSLR because the pictures look great.

A little blurry? Look at the shutter speed of the picture you took (will be either 1/? or a decimal with ") If it's a number bigger than 1/50, increase the number of the ISO.

If that number is fine, it may be the focus. Remember that holding the shutter halfway locks in the focus (if you know the particular situation where this isn't true, keep it to yourself because this explanation obviously isn't for you anyways). That means you'll lose focus if you hold it halfway down and then you or the subject moves before you click the shutter.

Overall, a must. Get it. It'll make you smile. Just make sure to laugh when people look at your pictures and say "wow, you must have a really nice camera!". Those are the type of people that stick with the kit lens...
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on June 25, 2012
I thought my pictures taken on my Rebel XS using the kit 18-55mm lens were all right. After reading lots of rave reviews on this lens, I figured it was a small price to pay to change things up. Plus, I really wanted a lens with greater f-stop capabilities.

Having never shot with a prime lens before, I admit it did take some adjusting. Gone were my days of lazily standing in one spot and turning a dial to zoom in and out. The price and the need to move around in exchange for the changes in my photos were well worth the price. The images (when focused well) are amazingly sharp and I love the depth-of-field capabilities. It did take me some time to learn to focus more precisely when using this lens, but once I did, I couldn't believe the difference in my photos.

I now shoot with this lens pretty much all the time. For those just starting off with an SLR and looking to take your photography up a notch, after ditching "auto" mode, I'd highly recommend investing in this lens. You'll soon find yourself pining for other prime lenses to add to your collection.
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on October 19, 2013
This lens is what truly got me obsessed with photography. Having a prime lens (one that does not zoom in or out) forces you as the photographer to be the zoom and to move your body to the best possible position for the shot. This makes you think so much more about your positioning during your shot and forces you to actually move around which is a huge positive. Also, having a lens that has an aperture as wide open as 1.8 forces you to actually learn about aperture and when it is a good idea to shoot with it wide open at 1.8 and when it is a better idea to use a smaller aperture. At first you'll be very tempted to shoot with it wide open, but I have found I more often shoot with this lens at 2.8 because the depth of field is more usable otherwise it's too easy to let's say have one eye in focus while the other eye is out of focus.

Like many others I use this on a canon T3i with a 1.6 crop sensor which means this lens will actually be 80mm. This makes it a very ideal lens for portrait photography but it can be a little tight for let's say street photography. If the focal length is a little long I would suggest going with an 35mm prime instead. This lens doesn't have as nice of a build quality as some of the more expensive canon lenses but the price is unbeatable and the image quality is unbelievable at this price point. This is the lens that is on my camera 95% of the time and I recommend it to all of my photographer friends. Please stop reading this review and order this lens, you won't regret it!
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on March 5, 2015
I'm new to the whole photography bug, but dove in with both feet. I bought the Canon T5i kit with the 18-55mm and the 75-300mm lenses, then the EFS 24mm Canon lens. All are fantastic, but after reading reviews, I wanted to give this lens a try.
While it isn't nearly as solid feeling as the other lenses, it works extremely well for a variety of photos.
Because I'm still a novice, I don't have a lot of technical information to share, but thought I would share a photo to demonstrate the clarity that this lens is capable of, and the beautiful blur of the background it creates.
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on July 22, 2015
I bought this lens for wide field astrophotography, very happy with the results. Picture was taken with a stock Canon T3i, 18x 300 sec @ ISO800
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on March 21, 2013
This is the cheapest Canon lens you can get. And it is a MUST for any hobbyist's kit, and is in fact working it's way into my paid work as well.

Okay, first off, on film or full frame (35mm) sensor sized DSLRs, this will provide the oft-sought-after 50mm focus length. This has been explained a million ways, but the simplest explanation is that the human eye itself has around that same viewing angle, so pictures taken on the 50mm range will produce a very comfortable image, something we are used to seeing, and this works very well for close-ups or portraits.

If you have a crop sensored DSLR (of which I do, T2i and 7D) the range is changed due to the crop magnification, but this will still produce a nice 80mm equivalent focal length, and still produces that comfortable feel you want in portraits. This will slightly widen the space between the lens and the subject, but not tremendously, and you will find where it is comfortable in a hurry.

This lens has a very wide aperture, but surprisingly considering the price even out at f/1.8 the image is quite sharp, and just a notch or two lower will produce some of the sharpest shots you've seen. I will note that with an aperture set so wide, you will have a super shallow depth of field, which may be confusing initially. For example, my emergency test model (my 16 year old cat) had to put up with me doing macro shots, and I was able to get his eye in perfect focus, with his nose (closer) blurred and his ears (father) also blurred. Absolutely stunning in how fine it goes. This will dial down to as far as f/22, which is almost infinity as almost everything is focused, but this isn't really where you want to have this lens fit overall due to the 5 bladed aperture window, which I will explain more below.

I picked this up initially as a once-in-a-while lens for studio work, where my go-to lens at f/3.6 (which had to be dialed at f/5.6 due to wide softness) sometimes just has be pushing the ISO into grain to produce the images I need. Working at f/1.8 produces good quality, while allowing me to jump from 1/60s to 1/120s and drop the ISO from 3200 to 800, and the improvement in image quality is amazing. Cleaner movements with no blur, and very true color with very minimal visible grain.

As far as construction goes, remember that this is plastic, even down to the mounting ring, so keep this in mind. This lens will not tolerate the abuse I sadly inflict on my other lenses, and I advise that this should never be on the camera when it is in a slung-over-the-shoulder not-using-it situation. The f/1.4 or f/1.2L would be a lot tougher, and if this lens continues to dominate on my shooting as it is right now, I will have no choice but to pick up a better lens because I WILL KILL THIS, with out a doubt.

As I said above, the 5-blade window will produce some odd effects, so this is really the only part that I had to take a star off. In bright sunlight or a strobed studio, this won't really affect image quality tremendously; the bokeh won't be as buttery as the f/1.4 or f/1.2L, or even alternatives like Sigma's f/1.4, but they are still quite smooth. Note though that when getting into high contrast, especially night photography, bright objects will be skewed into 5 pointed stars, and this can be distracting or even ruin what would be a very nice shot. Similarly, at very tight apertures (f/22) this same effect can intrude on your photos, so it would be a better idea to widen the lens up a bit and drop the shutter time and ISO to compensate.

As I said before, this is a must have part for the budget kit, whether hobbyist or pro. Overall, you will be impressed that something so cheap can shoot so well.
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on May 25, 2016
I got this lens on a great deal (used). Warning to everyone: this lens feels CHEAP. However, the quality of the image this lens can capture is extraordinary for the price! I would definitely recommend this prime lens, especially if you are just starting out. It's quite affordable, and like I said before, the images turn out great. I've used this lens for a documentary shoot. Remember though, you might want to make sure you have a nice case or bag for this. I feel like if I dropped it, even from a small height, it would break instantly. If you can take care of your lenses, this is definitely a great starter prime. I used this with a 100D (Rebel SL1).
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