Right up front let me give you a warning. If you pick this lens up in your hand it will feel super light, I believe about 130gms, it will feel very "plasticy" and it will feel cheap. Don't be fooled, this is a classic case of when you should not judge a book by it's cover.
I came across this lens from a photographer friend who loaned it to me to try out before deciding if I wanted to buy one. My aim was to use it all weekend and give it back on Monday. Well, that never happened.
I went for a walk with this lens attached to my camera early Saturday morning. After 90 minutes of shooting with it I was convinced. About 2 hours later I owned one. I purchased this one from Digital Camera Warehouse in Canterbury in Sydney.
You can get this lens for as little as $109.00 online, plus about $20.00 delivery.
Digital Camera Warehouse had what they call a Portrait Package that included the Canon 50mm f1.8 Prime Lens, a Canon RC-6 Wireless Remote and a lens cleaning cloth all for $159.00 so I grabbed this pack, I'm a sucker for bundle!
So, let's talk about the lens. Yes, it is very plastic feeling, however the friend I borrowed the original one from has had his over 2 years, has kicked it, dropped and generally abused it and it is still shooting fine clear, crisp shots. It's much tougher than it looks or feels.
What was important to me was the ability for this lens to give me crisp, clear well details shots, and boy does it deliver.
Yes, it is just a "little" soft at the maximum aperture of f1.8, but then, this is true of almost every lens on the market when it's wide open like that. I hasten to add though, it is still quite sharp even wide open.
The shot above was taken at f5.0 1/1600 ISO100. At 100% magnification it is crisp from the back of the boat to the front and even has some quite good detail in the distant background. Very impressive.
Here are a couple more shots of this boat taken with very similar settings.
What really impressed me is in the shot above, again taken at f5.0, the boat is very sharp and detailed, however at 100% you can also see every shell in the foreground really clearly. That is an impressive performance.
The next shot was taken at f2.5 so with that kind of depth of field you obviously expect out of focus areas, particularly as I was standing within a metre of the subject, however the detail within the area of focus is again very good.
Want to be really impressed? The next shot is one of a landscape of the beach and water and I was not even thinking about the birds in the shot. Out of curiosity I cropped this to 100%, just look at the detail and sharpness, this lens is a little killer!!!
Is there a bad side to this lens? If there is, I have not yet found it. It is quiet, quick to autofocus and performs almost as well as f1.8 as it does at f5.0, f8.0 or higher.
If someone asks me if they should get one, my answer would be I can not think of a single reason you would NOT grab one of these. Possibly the best value lens I have ever used.
Here are a few more shots to show how it captures landscapes as well as close ups.