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Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC HSM

113_small
Review Date: Dec 12, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $439.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Very good Normal lens. Nicely built. Relatively light. Fast.
Cons:
APS-C/DX only.

I bought this lens mainly to have a normal lens on my Canon 7D for general walk around. I quite happy with it.
The build quality is quite good for the price. AF is fast (at least as fast as my Canon 50 1.4). Basically a good general purpose fast lens (which can also be used for portrait but for this I usually prefer the 50 1.4).
CA, distortion and vignetting are ok, but nothing stellar for a prime lens.

Some samples:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/eddie_pick/4136465159/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/eddie_pick/4110539748/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/eddie_pick/4136066675/

A portrait:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/eddie_pick/4136044997/

Overall I highly recommend it for those seeking a fast normal lens on an APS-C/DX body.


 
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

ef50mmf_18_1_
Review Date: Nov 8, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $150.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Price.
Cons:
Build quality. AF.

Let's face it for this price you won't get a better portrait lens. It's a must have for any photography starters on a budget. It'll allow you to take pictures you just cannot take with your standard kit or even most zoom lenses.
Got it for a year, once I got more serious about my new hobby I updated it for the 1.4 model, sold it for the price I bought it.

It's very cheaply built, doesn't always focus correctly, and manual focus is more or less useless, so anybody who's got some extra hundreds in his pocket is better of going directly for the 1.4 version directly. But still a nice starter lens to fall in love for prime lenses.

Some examples:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/eddie_pick/3578779708/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/eddie_pick/2778382587/