8 out of 10 points and recommendedVery useful zoom range, Light and Compact for a 2.8 zoom, Good Image QualityNoisy AF Motor, Pronounced barrel distortion @ 17mm, Colour Fringing, Lack of Full Time Manual.
I own the Canon EOS mount version of this Lens.reviewed November 15th, 2006 (purchased for $420)
Like most 2.8 lenses this one is sharpest at 5.6. It's usable wide open, but really does benefit from stopping down. It's also sharpest at it's long end. It's not quite 50mm. I'd guess closer to 47-48mm.
Center resolution is very good all throughout the zoom range. Edges do soften on the very wide end, but I've seen far worse. It's nothing to worry about.
Chromatic Aberrations are noticeable on the wide end.
It feels good in use, not lacking in build quality, but certainly nothing like the Canon L-series. I like it's small size and light weight.
The Auto Focus motor is quite loud and annoying. A wasp in a matchbox, as they say. I usually use this lens in Manual focus anyway, so it doesn't matter to me. The AF accuracy and speed is fine. I wouldn't use it for fast paced sports, but it'll probably handle most situations very well.
Very high value for the money.
9 out of 10 points and recommendedVery Sharp, Macro Capability, USMA little heavier than I'd like
Extremely sharp. Even wide open.reviewed November 15th, 2006 (purchased for $500)
The AF is not slow at all, in my opinion. It's quite quick. Not quite as fast as the 85 1.8 or 24-70L, but close and noticeably faster than the 50 1.4. I use it even in some macro situations with great success. I wouldn't depend upon the AF in all macro situations, but it is useful when needed.
It's a hefty lens and doesn't feel as though it's lacking in build quality. It's a little heavier than I'd like, but it's not heavy enough to make you think twice about using it.
I'd love for it to be weather sealed, I'd love Image Stabilisation, but other than that it's just about all you could ask for in a macro lens.
8 out of 10 points and recommended1.4, Very light, Extemely Sharp, Very Good Wide open.USM could use an update, Focus ring could use more dampening.
I guess I lucked out.reviewed November 15th, 2006 (purchased for $320)
It seems there might be Quality Control issues with this lens.
I find mine to be quite sharp wide open. Sharper at 1.4 than my 100mm is wide open at 2.8. It's my Sharpest lens at any aperture.
I really don't like the Field of View the 50mm lens gives my on my 1.6 crop, but I can't bring myself to sell this lens because it's so sharp.
The USM could really be faster. There is a little noise, but nothing to worry about. The Focus ring isn't suitable for a 1.4 lens. AF accuracy can be a little sketchy on a 20D in low light or on areas with less than high contrast.
If you like the 50mm length and sharpness is your highest priority this lens highly recommended.
8 out of 10 points and recommendedSharp, USM.Low magnification, far Minimum focus Distance.
The AF certainly is fast, but It's not instantaneous. It's Sharp and Very good wide open, but there are CA issues.reviewed November 15th, 2006 (purchased for $340)
The very long minimum focus distance and low magnification is quite annoying if you are a macro lover.
If you shoot sports or other fast moving subjects this is an outstanding lens. It's good for portraiture if you like the focal length.
9 out of 10 points and recommendedVery Sharp, Fast AF, FTM, Great Zoom Range on a Full Framenot the best zoom range on a 1.6 crop
I was skeptical of the mythological reputation of this lens. It really is everything people make it out to be. The AF is very fast and absolutely silent. Very good Sharpness all throughout the zoom range. Very usable wide open. Clever hood design.reviewed November 15th, 2006 (purchased for $1,600)
It is a bit heavy, but it's a 2.8 zoom. It's to be expected.
If you need this zoom range and 2.8 this is your best option.