This lens is one step
up from the real budget lenses but a good notch below anything with an
'L' designation. This puts it above beginner but below
pro-class lenses. It has a metal lens mount, focusing scale,
the front element doesn't move while focusing and there's a full time
focus ring which are all higher-end features. It feels more
solid than a starter lens but not as rugged as an 'L' lens.
On the down side, the aperture isn't constant and the lens
grows longer when you zoom out.
It's an older designed image stabilized (IS) lens but the IS still gives you a stop or two extra hand-holding ability. Compared to my old 28-105 it is huge; compared to the 24-70L it is small. It is pretty solid and heavy with professional features like a metal lens mount, focusing scale and a full-time, manual focus ring. On the other hand, it has more consumer like composite construction than the L-series' metal rigidity.
Canon's 50mm f1.8 II is probably the worst kept lens secret
around. With a street price of $75, legendary sharpness and
fast f1.8 optics you cannot get more bang for your buck. It
is both the lightest and cheapest EF lens available from Canon; in
fact, it is light to a fault. Everything apart from the
optics seems to be made from cheap plastic (including the lens mount).
Picking up the lens alone feels like a cheap toy.
When you put it on you camera it's as if there's nothing
There is something about being brought up in the English class system and 'knowing your place' that seems to carry into my adult life and into the gear I usually chose to buy and carry. In England, for my generation at least, if you carried professional equipment you damn well better be able to use it. You didn't buy a good cricket bat unless you were a good cricketer. If you turned up to a gig with an American Fender...
I get frustrated by all the negative reviews this lens gets on the web. Yes, the AF is slow and the IS is first generation. Yes, it's not totally sharp and it's slow at the long end. But what other $440 (inc shipping) 300mm lenses with IS is there? The DO costs $1100 and is shorter but heavier and the optics are not much better. The 100-400L costs $1400, is much larger and just as slow. The 70-200/4L is 50%...
Does anyone have a good word for the kit lens that comes with
digital rebel? It is pretty hard to find anyone on the web willing to
stand up for this bargain under-dog but let me throw my hat in the ring
and say that I don't think it's as bad as everyone makes out.