Photo packs have come a long way in the past decade, especially those that are targeted toward outdoor and adventure photographers. Alaska-based adventure photographer Dan Bailey takes a closer look...
is the lightest cheapest-feeling lens I've ever used on an SLR. It is
all plastic, right down to the lens mount. The optical performance of
the glass inside is fine, but manual focusing isn't much fun. Auto
focusing isn't much fun either, because this lens does not contain a
USM motor, but rather an
ancient Canon EOS lens motor. Because of this primitive motor,
simultaneous manual/auto focus isn't available with this lens.
So why do I own this
lens? It only costs about $80. It is incredibly lightweight. It takes
vastly better pictures than a mid-range mid-priced zoom. It can take a
photo without flash in light that is one quarter as bright as the
light required by a consumer zoom (usually these have max apertures of
If you intend to use manual focus often, you'd be better off with
the 50/1.4 USM, which is a much more modern
design and has a wider manual focus ring. It also has the USM so that
you can do simultaneous manual/auto focus, the best feature of the
Canon EOS system (though Nikon has begun to compete with their S range
Note: the Nikon 50/1.8 AF lens is also rather cheesy but it has a somewhat
smoother and better-damped manual focus ring.
Where to Buy
Photo.net's partners have the Canon 50/1.8 lens available. Their
prices are fair and you help to support photo.net.