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Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

ef50mmf_18_1_
Review Date: Jan 24, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $75.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Weight, size, price, sharpness stopped down, F1.8
Cons:
Build quality, focus ring

One can't ask all that much out of a $75 lens, and the 50 1.8 isn't perfect. This is a plastic lens, and it feels plasticky. More importantly, the focusing ring is simply useless, it just feels crude and inaccurate, and it doesn't combine well with the small viewfinder on the 300D, it's just hard to get a good focus at wide aperatures, which is where you'd be using the MF on this lens.

This is a very good snapshot lens for avalible light. Set the ISO to 800 or 1600, and shoot away. As long as shutter speeds are acceptable, you can get very printable results with this lens wide open, although it does gain noticably in sharpness if you close it down a couple stops.

This makes a good AF portrait lens, for the price, but the pricier 50mm F1.4 and 85mm F1.8 will get better results - you do have to be careful with the background a little bit here, as bright lights are poorly represented. The background blur itself could be better, but it isn't bad.

This is a lens that many people will use a lot of the time, and some people will use rarely, but there will usually be some kind of a need for a fast prime lens, and at the price of this, few people have reason to not carry one.


 
Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 XR Di Zoom AF

28-75mm
Review Date: Jan 23, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $360.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Wide aperature, sharp, well built, inexpensive, warranty
Cons:
Not quite wide enough on the wide end on a 300D

For the money, I can't complain at all. In practice, this lens is as sharp as my Canon 50mm F1.8, except maybe at F2.8 (It isn't tack sharp there, but it's close). I haven't had very many opportunites to use this lens, but the ones I have have yielded excellent results. The limited macro function works well enough for those of us who want some close-up shots without really getting into macro photography, and it works nicely for portraits with its good bokeh.

If only it were a 24-75 like the Canon L lens, but at 1/3rd the price, I can't complain one bit.