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Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

Review Date: Jul 17, 2009 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 5 

Pros: Cheap, sharp at f/2.2 but f/1.8 is still usable, great in low light, lightweight
Very poor build quality, lens takes from 5-18 months to fail

I have owned 5 of these lenses in the last 3.5 years. The lenses are cheap, the IQ can be excellent but the build quality is awful and they don't last long.

The 1st one was second hand and lasted 18 months before the focus mechanism stopped working. But the lens was 10 years old so I wasn't so upset especially as the image quality was so good and it hadn't cost me any money to buy as I had inherited it from my brother. The 2nd one I bought from new also had excellent image quality and this one lasted just over 12 months before the focus mechanism stopped working.

I then bought a new one and this one front-focussed badly so I sent it back and got a new one which focussed as it should. This one lasted 5 months before the inner section of the lens came part from the outer casing while I was changing the lens. My on-line retailer blamed me for this and refused to repair or replace lens so I cut my losses and bought a Canon 50mm f/1.4.

So my message is buyer beware. If you buy one, yes, the lens is cheap and it could take excellent images but expect it to break pretty soon due to the poor build quality.