Note: Before you start reading please remember you can always click on any picture to view it in its original size.
Are you looking for an inexpensive prime lens that has a large aperture for faster shutter speeds in low light? You won’t find anything better than the 50mm F/1.8 Canon lens. Costing only $100 dollars retail this lens has some of Canon’s best optics. It is light, small, and versatile and many call it their ultimate pocket lens. Here is a small rundown of the lens:
Build Quality: 3 Stars
There is a reason this lens is so affordable, absolutely everything on this lens is plastic. And while the plastic feels solid, like it could take a small punch, it will never compete with Canon’s much more solid feeling 50mm F/1.2 lens. Of course, there is a tremendous price difference, but if price isn’t an issue and build quality is your number one concern go with the F/1.2. On this lens, the focusing ring is on the very outside rim, when you turn it the inner part of the lens extends up to a quarter of an inch outward (revealing yet another plastic optical holder). The reason I am mentioning this is because the inner ring and outer part of the body don’t actually touch in a snug fit. This leaves a very minuscule gap that could potentially allow dust to enter the lens. To get a better picture of what it is I am talking about, look at the red line in the picture shown on the left. Take care of this lens, and it will last you indefinitely.
Ergonomics: 4 Stars
How does this lens feel to use? It feels fine. As said before, there is a moving part on the lens that protracts when focusing, but it will most likely never get in your way. There is a switch to change between auto-focus and manual focus, but that shouldn’t really be a problem for anyone.
Focusing: 5 Stars
The focusing on this lens is very fast and precise. Only once you start trying to take pictures in low light will it start to falter, but then again what lens doesn’t? Even an F/1.8 this lens can pin-point focus wherever you tell it to. You can not however adjust the focus while on the auto focus mode; you are made to choose between either completely manual or automatic.
Usefulness: 5 Stars
This lens will serve you well for almost all of your needs. It takes great pictures of landscapes, people, you name it. Its usefulness is only limited in cramped areas since the lens is zoomed in – wide angle shots therefore take a lot of room to create.
Overall: 5 Stars
It’s affordable and has great optics, besides the plastic body there really isn’t anything to dislike about this lens. Below you will find sample pictures of the depth of field at different aperture values. Remember, if you want to view any picture in its original size, simply click on it.
On a side note, I would also like everyone to notice the difference in sharpness. The lens stays consistently sharp all the way up to an f-stop of 11, however, after that the sharpness starts to augment and at F/22 the lens is actually performing at its worst. This happens with almost all lenses. Every lens has an f-stop that it performs its best at. This lens’ peak performance is obtained at F/4.0.
If you have any further questions, or would like us to add any more information (including any pictures of anything) please feel free to comment.