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Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

ef50mmf_18_1_
Review Date: Mar 29, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: SHARP! CONTRASTY! SWEET BOKEH! Focuses fairly quickly and accurately.....uh, lightweight plastic.
Cons:
...uh, lightweight plastic. Loud, rough (to the point of being funny) chunky autofocus. Not really made to be manually focused.

I love this piece of crap! If you have kids and don't have the scratch $$$ (little kidlets are expensive) to buy a 'real' lens, get this one. At least you can put beans on the table and capture their cute little faces eatin' em. Kidding aside, there are few better bargains on glass, you almost always get what you pay for, with this, you get a little more.

 
Canon EF-S 17-85mm f4-5.6 IS USM

EF17-85
Review Date: Jan 20, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Weight doesn't seem terrible. Very nice having 17-85mm on a 20D with 1.6 crop. Pretty decent resolution. Color and contrast are pretty good. Image Stablization is nice to have. Good all around lens.
Cons:
17mm shows noticable distortion. I don't like how the lens extends when it is tipped down or pulled from my bag...just a pet peeve. Slight softness.

This is a real step up from the 18-55 kit lens and shouldn't get harshed on as much as it does. I am kind of an amateur, just recently getting a 20D (which I love), but when I get a FF rig I will need to ditch this glass. By the time I can afford a FF on the used market, there will be plenty of these lenses out there, making my lens that much less valuable. But for now, I do like the flexibility of this unit. It does good for landscape photos and even gets good images of the kids, despite its 'slowness'. It's obviously no L lens, maybe I will get a 17-55 or 17-40 at some point, but I'm always surprised how much I find myself on the 85mm side of this lens. I think it's a good 'compromise' lens, just wish it costs less, like about $300.00. I read the good/bad/ugly before I bought and still really like it. I would like to be a PhotoGog purist but have come to the realization that I just have to take the shot...spice it up in PS. That's just life in the digital world.