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Canon EF 24mm f/2.8

ef24mmf_28_1_
Review Date: Sep 5, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $150.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Ideal focal length for general use on a DSLR, and sharp even wide open. Nice build quality.
Cons:
For what it does, it's a bit large and heavy on a DSLR, as it was designed for FF use. Focussing is not as precise as I would like with Digital Rebel XT/ 350D.

With the crop factor on a 1.6x DSLR, this becomes the equivalent of 38mm, which is a very good general purpose focal length. It is quite sharp even wide open at f/2.8, giving it an advantage over most zoom lenses for low-light use.

Autofocus accuracy leaves something to be desired with the Rebel XT as far as middle distances are concerned, as it is prone to focussing errors in the 8 to 15 foot range, where it has only a very small amount of focus travel. (The errors are relatively small -- they are noticeable wide open, when there is not much depth of field, but not when stopped down.) At first I thought it might be my own copy (purchased used), but I tried a brand new one in a store and it was the same. It seems to work better with the focus sensor of the 20D.


 
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

ef50mmf_18_1_
Review Date: Sep 5, 2005 Recommend? no | Price paid: $80.00 | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Cheap and lightweight.
Cons:
Very poor build quality and no focussing scale. Not very sharp until stopped down to about f/5.6

I bought this because it was quite cheap, and it is worth its low price, but not much more. It is well below average in quality for a 50mm prime. I think that people who don't have experience with fast primes from the old days are impressed with it because of the out of focus backgrounds, which creates the illusion of sharpness in the main subject. In fact, it is not very sharp until you stop down to about f/5.6. Canon would do a better service to its customers by offering a 50mm f/1.8 that costs more than this one does and increases quality to the usual standard for this kind of lens (e.g., similar to a Nikon 50mm f/1.8).