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I purchased this Lens for approx £100 a few years ago. It is available from Amazon for the lower price of £77, which is a great price in my opinion. Jessops.com has it for sale at £85, and there are few available to buy from eBay from prices starting from £50.
Although this a cheaper option compared to others on the market, I decided to get it a go, as I had read many good reviews about this lens. The cheapness of the lens is somewhat reflected by its build, which consists of a mostly plastic design coloured in the usual black finish.
It is lightweight and easy to hold, which is a plus for me as it makes it easer to attach to my camera and carry around in my camera case and bag. The more expensive ones would be more heavier and therefore more sturdy and durable, however this one is slightly more fragile and would need a litte more care when handling.
The fragile aspect of the design continues to the manual focus button located on the outskirts of the lens, having to use this manual focus function frequently makes it quite annoying, as the button can be quite stiff at times and if you put a little but off pressure on it, it does make me worry that it will end up breaking off or damaging the lens itself.
The plastic area at the front of the lens also feels very fragile and there has been instances when the plastic felt like it was going to pop off or come apart, thankfully this is yet to happen but I feel it is only a matter of time before it does. I have had this Canon Lens for approx one year, and I only use it on special occasions, however I feel it might last me a few more months before falling apart.
The Auto focus function produces clear images and pictures have a great sharpness to them that really shows off the quality of the lens. however the auto focus can be quite noisy when operated. The motor is also quite noisy, which gives off a buzzing sound when in use, it can be slightly annoying but something I can bare. The quality of pictures is great even at F1.8, making the images excellent for canvas pictures etc, which makes the negatives worth dealing with in my opinion.
Although the design is on the fragile side, I find the quality of pictures and the low price makes this lens more than worth it. Therefore I would recommend this lens and give it a rating of 4/5 losing a rating for the slightly cheap construction and fragile build.
My husband is a keen photographer I treated him to this lens as he needed a new lens and this was within my price range.
In my opinion the Canon EF 50mm f1.8 MK2 is by far the best value lens in the Canon portfolio. If you need a fast lens for shooting in low light conditions you will not do better than this lens for the price (under £100). I bought the Canon EF 50mm f1.8 MK2 as my husband I needed a fast lens to photograph our infant son indoors. My husband uses it on his 7d and the results are very pleasing. He tells me the bokeh is beautiful and to those of you who arent familar with camera speak I can confirm that with this lens you get a sharp picture of the subject with a beautiful hazy background. The shots of my son playing are just great. You could look at different lens but I would struggle to justify the upgrade to the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Lens which is more than three times the price or the L Series equivalent for which you need to invest £1-2k+.
If in doubt, buy this lens. For the price it's a no-brainer!
I received this Canon 50mm prime lens for my camera last Christmas.
~ Prime lenses ~
A prime len is a fixed lens and this lens is fixed at 50mm so instead of using the optical zoom to zoom in and out, a prime lens means that you, as the photographer, have to move forwards and backwards to shoot your subject at the right distance.
The benefits of using a prime lens are that it usually offers better quality results than a zoom lens would at the same distance, 50mm in this case.
~ 50mm lenses ~
A 50mm lens is great for photographing people, animals or plants, subjects that you can get quite close to. The depth of field is far superior to that on my zoom lens.
F/1.8 is the F-number, which refers to how much light is allowed in to the camera. Lower F-numbers such as F/1.2 allow more light into the camera and create a better depth of field and you are able to produce better quality results.
You are able to change the aperture/ F-number to a higher number using the camera settings, but F/1.8 is the limit or the lowest number that this lens allows you to shoot with.
The 50mm F/1.2 lens costs over £1000.00 more than this 50mm F/1.8 lens.
~ Price ~
This lens costs around £90.00 and is available to buy from Argos, John Lewis, PC World or Amazon.
~ In use ~
The lens is black and about 2 inches long, which is quite short for a lens.
The lens comes with dust caps front and back to protect both sides of the lens. The lens on the back twists off easily.
The lens is made by Canon so it has a red circle on the side. You line this up with the red circle on your camera body and twist it until it clicks onto the front of your camera.
The lens cap on the front of the camera is smaller than the cap on the front of my other Canon lenses, but is removed in the same way, by pushing in the grips on either side of the cap.
If you press the shutter button half way down the camera will focus and then if you press it fully it will take a photo.
Sometimes if the camera is struggling to find a subject to focus on it will not take a photo when you fully press down the shutter button. It will keep trying to focus using the motorised focus on the lens which will spin one way and then the other until it can focus and take the photo. This tends to happen when I am experimenting with the camera and taking photos of door handles out of desperation. I have never had much trouble when I was actually trying to take a photo of someone or something.
There is a little switch on the side of the lens which allows you to change to and from AF to MF (auto focus to manual focus - or even the other way round.
I never have any trouble when using the manual focus because the camera is doing what it has been told and taking photos whether it can focus on a subject or not. The manual focus is alright, but the manual focus on all lenses are quite difficult to get perfect.
I have found the image quality excellent when using this lens.
I have taken some great close ups of people and animals and they have excellent depth of field. The background is really blurred and the subject is very detailed.
When taking photos of a subject a bit further away the photos tend to appear flatter. The depth of field can still be good if you have something closer to the camera.
I think this lens is best to use to take photos of people or animals. It produces very good quality photographs.
~ Conclusion ~
This is the best lens I have for taking portraits or close up photographs of flowers, insects or animals.
For the price I think it is really good. It has a great depth of field and my photos look very good quality.
I would recommend this lens.
This has got to be one of the cheapest lens for a canon camera that you can buy, but you can also get some of the best results.
If you only have the kit zoom lens that you were supplied with when you bought your canon dslr then buy one of these as your next lens.
The lens is very light and makes it easier for you to carry your camera about all day.
Shoot wide open (Set your camera to AV and set the aperture to 1.8) to obtain a lovely blur (bokeh) in the background of your photos.
Although this is a 50mm lens - when you use it on a DSLR with a APC-C sensor it comes out around 60-70mm - so you need to stand back a bit further from your subjects - but it also makes it a nice portrait lens.
Although its light - it also means its a bit fragile - I dropped my camera once with one of these lenses on it and ruined the lens - but at least the camera survived. But I bought a new version of this versatile lens straight away.
Only complaint is that this lens can give quite soft results when shooting wide open, and sometimes the camera will find it hard to autofocus . But this is not a pro lens - but can give you pro results
anon's 50mm II is both the lightest and cheapest Canon prime lens. The fixed focal length of 50mm is perfect for head and shoulder portraits on a crop body camera and used with a full frame camera it works just as a great upper body portraiture lens.
The build is very plastic, feeling cheap as if it is poorly made. Don't let that fool you as this lens itself is cheap to buy, the important thing is that the actual glass used inside is fantastic. Take a little extra care when using and storing this lens and you should have no problem with it lasting a generation or two.
Continuing with the build, the lens comes with tiny slither of a focus ring on the very front of the lens. This isn't very easy to adjust due to its size, placement and the lack of feel and control when rotating it. It also feels a little like something inside is grinding away when rotated in manual. Leave it on auto focus and the lens becomes a little loud in action.
The last two paragraphs may feel mean, but this is what I feel when being used to the more expensive range of Canon lenses I have. When compared to the 18-55mm II for example, there is less of a noticeable quality difference.
The lens has a wide 1.8 aperture that is fantastic for creating very shallow depth of field. I find that I prefer to use it around the 2-2.8 range unless I am in a darker environment without flash, where the 1.8 then allows more light onto the sensor.
Picture quality is superb. This lens works at just one focal length 50mm, so the glass inside is optimised to create a perfect capture of the scene. This is evident when you see the first images you take with this lens, with perfectly sharp images from edge to edge.
I also used this lens when filming video as although the focus ring is difficult to use, the prime lens is able to create a great image with a pleasing background blur to focus the viewer on to the main characters.
The Canon 50mm f1.8 II is a great introduction into the world of prime lenses and shows the step up in quality they offer. It is a usefully common focal length for many uses and has a wide aperture for either background blur or low light scenarios. The Canon 50mm 1.4 is around 3 times the cost of this lens, but I feel you should buy the 1.8 instead as an introduction to proper photography. If you feel you need better control, trade in at a later date as quality lenses like this one suffer very little depreciation.
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.
(I'm a reviewer on Amazon, and some my reviews are copied from there to dooyoo. Please feel free to check out my Amazon profile under my real name of Mr Andrew M Kerr.)
this lens is probably the lightest lens in the world, it weighs practically nothing, and it must also be the cheapest lens in the world too.
every photographer should have a 50mm in their bag, and with this lens being so cheap there is no excuse to not own one.
very very sharp, even at f1.8, and with such a big aperture it's really good for portraits, especially on an aps-c camera like the 550d. You can shoot in really low light with this lens.
you have to make sure that you take exceptional care of this lens otherwise it will fall apart, it is a fragile lens.
the manual focus ring is on the front edge of the lens, and it's an absolute pain to use, making it very hard to manual focus- also you have to switch it to manual focus mode too, where as with the 50mm 1.4 you can just turn the focus ring and adjust the focus even when you're in AF mode
the AF is not the newer USM type motor, so it makes a noise when you focus, it's hard to be stealthy with this lens, your friends will always know you are taking their picture and turn around.
The lens is good for the price, but you might want to save up more for the 50mm 1.4, it's a better lens but much more expensive
for the price you really cant beat this lens, although this lens is clearly build to a price, and when it breaks (and everyone I know that has one has broken one- including me) you'll see why.
I managed to fix a couple of the ones my friends broke, but mine was beyond repair- I ended up purchasing a 50mm 1.4 second hand to replace it and it only cost about twice what the 1.8 cost- which sounds a lot but i'm still using the 1.4 3 years on, the 1.8 lasted only 1 year.
The good thing about this lens is that it's so lightweight, the 1.4 is light but this is even smaller and lighter, it really is no trouble at all to slip this in your bag or your coat pocket, and makes a good 2 lens kit with a more general purpose zoom lens on the camera.
For the money this lens is sharp, even wide open at f1.8 and puts most zoom lenses to shame. of course the trade off is the loss of versatility, and on a crop sensor camera (aps-c) it can be too 'zoomed in' for most purposes- portraits are where it does excel though.
The af makes a noise when it focuses, but it's pretty quick in good light but can struggle in low light.
The main fault of this lens is the build quality, it's completely plastic, and as such can't take much of a beating. In that respect despite being cheap it can be a false economy because if you break it then you've lost your money- if you're a keen photographer then i'd recommend saving for the 1.4, but if you're only going to use it very occasionally then this lens is an absolute bargain
So, This is by no means going to be on anyone's things to buy when you win the lottery list but, if you're looking to add to your lens collection and bring a more interesting look to some of your images this is probably the place to start.
So - in the title of this review I made a terrible joke about this being photography in it's prime, which I can only apologise for but let me just cover what I'm on about if you don't know. This is a prime lens, basically meaning it doesn't have the capabilities to zoom in or out, meaning you have to move!
A crazy thought huh? After you get a DSLR usually with an 18-55mm lens as standard you begin to notice that you will very rarely move closer to or further away from your subject but instead choose to zoom in and out. This makes for rather lazy composition in my opinion. The fact that this lens is fixed makes you really think about your image as a complete thing. You'll instantly notice yourself moving around what you're photographing and finding new and interesting angles. Thus making for better images.
This lens as I've already said isn't the best of the best but when you're on a budget and looking to get down to f1.8 I think you'd be hard pushed to find something better. Yes the build quality feels like a toy you get in a happy meal and the glass could be a million times better but, you can now capture those low-light moments at weddings in a gorgeous way.
I bought this lens basically just out of curiosity and because of my slight addiction with new lenses but I haven't regretted it. At around £70 if you're thinking what it'd be like to shoot with this lens, just go for it. You'll get images you would never of thought possible before. Sure they might be a little soft but, it will help build up your photography skills, I promise!
Anyone who has an interest in photography using SLR's and particularly Canon bodies should take a look at this prime 50mm lens. Extremely inexpensive for what it is, it delivers sharp images and does exactly what it says on the tin.
The feel of the lens is what gives the price away, and this is mainly due to the build quality which makes the lens feel plasticky and very light in comparison to the kit lens (18 - 55mm) which are double the price of this. The lens weighs just under 5 oz due to its compact size and material. The weight of this lens (apart from the sharper pictures) is just what I like about this lens. For some people, this is the reason why they dislike it, however for me, when you are carting around the body, a lens, 2 children, a handbag, etc (!), the featherlight weight means it is easy to carry and unobtrusive for street use. It also makes whoever you are taking pictures of feel slightly more at ease rather than having a huge lens pointing at them, but it still shows you mean business!
The autofocus is powered by a micro motor and is fairly loud in comparison to other higher spec lens, but is fine for amateur photography. It certainly isn't a deal breaker, and unless you plan on using for wildlife shots (which is unlikely as you would have to be extremely close!), then the noise isn't massively noticeable. For me, again, I quite like this about the lens, and while it would put some people off, it means for me that I know that the focus is working properly.
The sharpness of this lens is its number one selling point, for the price you will pay for this lens, I don't think this could be beaten. As this is a fast lens it is perfect for indoor use and to gain the same range of aperture you could pay over a thousand pounds, so for £80 ish you are going to get a good deal!
This particular lens I have found forces creativity upon you as a photographer as the only zoom capability is your feet! This forces you to take a bit more time and think about the composition of your shot rather than shooting straight away, but after a little bit of practice it becomes second nature. This makes it excellent for head and shoulder portraits but will mean extra room is needed for full body shots (although this is mainly used for our young girls so space doesn't always pose a massive problem when the subject is 3 foot tall!). The lens can take a 54mm filter ideal for landscape photography.
For a compact, lightweight and cheap companion to the Canon body this is the lens for you.
Everything about his lens screams "budget!"
The construction feels cheap and light - it feels like a toy - and the 3 I have used have all have different quirks - one focused beyond infinity, another focused beyond infinity then if you kept turning it clicked back to infinity focus, and the third was defective and the right of an image was smudged (it was replaced promptly by Canon). This poor build quality is unusual for Canon.
Image quality is fine - good even, particularly for the cost. It's a 50mm lens with a simple and effective construction, and as such you won't see much chromatic aberration or curvature - only a true pixel peeper would! But one of the best and most distinctive things about 50mm lenses in general is the background blur, or bokeh, and on this lens it is quite ugly (to me). The highlight circles take on a variety of approximately circular shapes near the image edge which I find distracting, and at higher aperture values the unusual 5 pointed aperture gives bokeh a cluttered feel.
On the plus side, this lens is a steal - cheap, better quality than the kit lens, and it does offer that low depth of field, which opens up various creative possibilities denied by zooms, and low light possibilities.
For a beginner with an 18-55 kit lens looking to improve image quality, this is a no brainer - get this lens. For more experienced photographers, it may disappoint, and the more expensive big brother of the 50mm 1.8 mkii, the 50mm 1.4, is a better bet.
I had been getting a little tired of my standard 18-55 kit lens and my secondary 28-135 Canon lens. Both were producing good results - but I wanted something a little better and a little sharper. Of course, most people would say that the next logicial step would be the 'L' series lenses produced by Canon. However, the 'L' series lenses are just too costly to justify purchasing one for what is basically a hobby.
I had heard that 'prime' lenses (ones where there is no actual zoom function) offer an improved image quality and sharpness if used correct. Furthermore, I had also heard that Canon's 'nifty fifty', the 50mm prime lens, was something of a bargain. At £60ish, I thought it was a great opporunity to try out a new lens and after reading a few positive reviews, I splashed the cash and snapped up this petite lens.
Picking up the lens for the first time, it was hard to believe the size of it! I had been used to a lumbering 25-135 lens and this little guy was tiny in comparison. There was also a substantial weight difference, with the 50mm feeling feather-like in comparison.
Many people have made much about the plasticy feel to the lens, and yes, while the lens is plastic, it certainly doesn't feel like it's THAT badly put together - but you do get what you pay for. Much has also been made about the noisy focusing motor. Yes, it makes a noise but it's not exactly 'loud' - just a little noisier than most lenses.
The limitations and drawbacks of this lens are really centered around it's usage with a cropped-sensor camera (e.g. the 400D, 450D, 500D...etc... camera range) With a 1.6x sensor, it seems more like an 80 or 90mm lens than a 50mm. It does require a little more thought process in terms of where you stand when you take the photo (as you may need to move further away to get all the shot in) - but after a little bit of adjustment, it's easy to get used to.
Another positive point with the lens is that it is a standard 'EF' lens, rather than 'EF-S'. This means that if you ever decide to upgrade to a full-frame sensored camera - you can use this little lens with it. What's more, I have heard of photographers with high-end SLRs, using this little lens to great effect.
In reality, this lens is more suited to portrait photography than anything else. The camera excels indoors and opening up the aperture to 1.8 allows for flashless photographs - even in slightly dull conditions. In most conditions, the lens will produce clear, sharp shots and that was exactly what I was looking for.
Certainly, this lens is a bargain when it comes to lenses and is a nice little lens to add to any Canon photographer's kit. To be honest, it's not really suited to landscape photography, but if you like taking portrait snaps or just want a lens with good sharpness, then this lens is a must!
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 please take a look for the example images http://probinsphotography.weebly.com/
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 . "
This lens comes with a great reputation amongst many photography forums and magazines and it's easy to see why...one of the cheapest lenses from Canon, lightweight, and with a very good performance. Here's my thoughts having owned two copies:
This is the only thing in the lens that I feel lets it down. The first lens I owned I had in my pro bag and took it to jobs with me, using it from time to time. I don't molly-coddle my equipment but neither do I abuse it but one day the lens fell apart in my hands. I don't know if it was a bad sample or not but it's not what I'd expect from anything after a few months of moderate use (a couple of times a week). Compared to other Canon lenses I've owned it feels "cheap".
I bought a second though because as a cheap lens it's ok to throw in the bag and not worry about.
Images are good - good enough for me to have used the lens professionally a few times. Stopped down to F4 or so I have no complaints at all about the sharpness. F1.8 is a different though - it's useable, but I wouldn't want to enlarge the images too much. I should say too that I'm using full frame cameras - on a crop sensor where less of the lens is used it might not be so bad.
The big let down for me on images was the purple fringing you sometimes see around objects. Branches of trees against a pale sky showed it pretty badly for me.
Used cautiously and with awareness of the limitations the lens was overall ok - not as good as the 50mm f1.4 and a long way from the 50mm f1.2 but then those lenses are a lot more expensive.
-Canon EF lens F/1.8 50 mm
-Minimum Focus Range: 45 cm
-Automatic and Manual Focus Adjustment
-52 mm Filter Size
-Light Weight (130g) and Compact (68x41 mm)
I was given this lens as my birthday or Christmas present - I'm a Christmas Eve baby and I bought it for myself, with love from the husband, and can't quite remember if it was for my birthday or Xmas ;).
Let me just say: I love it. I bought it for my Canon 1000D, not sure whether or not I would 'like it' and I am totally smitten. In fact it's rarely left my camera mount!
It is a 'cheap prime lens', effectively, with a plastic body and glass optics - fine by me, as it means it's light to tote around in a camera bag and on the camera body. When I got this lens I was surprised by it's small build - another positive for me as it means I can fit it into my camera bag easily.
The quality of the images is outstanding with this lens - very clear and sharp. I find the lens works best when the camera is set to the 'manual' mode and I am happy with the 1.8 f-stop - which is a setting that lets in light and is important in a poorly lit/low light photo situation. You can adjust the f-stop number by pressing the Av button (with little + & -'s by it, too) by the side of the LCD screen. Turn the dial beside the ISO button on your camera and bring down the f-stop in those low light situations. With these settings I haven't had to use my flash or flash bounce indoors since :). And seeing as I like to take lots of indoor photos, this works for me.
The build of this lens is often quoted as being flimsy but being quite the klutz that I am, I haven't found it to be flimsy at all (with a few incidents of actually dropping my camera, lens first on a carpeted surface.) This lens is a perfect 'family' lens and I wouldn't necessarily use it for professional purposes, but it is perfect for my requirements :).
The only 'cons' I can think of are if you own a cropped sensor camera (and most DSLRs are cropped sensor cameras, rather than being full frame) then you will have to step back a bit for group shots as the lens has a bit of trouble focusing or getting the full picture on a cropped sensor camera. The best way to remedy this is to simply stand back - problem solved. I had this problem a few weeks ago and simply stood elsewhere in the room. No bother for me. But I would think that a professional would probably own a better camera than me anyway and that they wouldn't necessarily own this lens.
As it's a fixed focal length there is no need to faff around with focal lengths - perfect. This is why I love prime/fixed lenses. The focusing ring on the lens itself is pretty small and fiddly - and definitely *not* the best focus ring. I never use the manual focus on the lens and prefer auto focus for this purpose.
This camera has an EF mount which means it will fit on most modern DSLRs - I attach this lens to my Canon 1000D.
Overall I would give this lens a 5/5, for it's bargain price (you can try and find one cheaper, but I thought the price for a brand new lens was justified, especially because I wanted to have it in time for Christmas photos), the quality of images it produces and I'm never disappointed with the results I manage to capture with this lens.
Features: Diagonal Angle of View: 46° / No. of Diaphragm blades: 5 / Minimum Aperture: 22 / Closest Focusing Distance: 0.45m / Maximum Magnification (x): 0.15 / Filter Diameter: 52mm