7 out of 10 points and recommendedCheap, good Image Quality (for price)Build Quality (plastic mount and parts)
Having just jumped into the world of Digital SLR's I found the image quality of this lens to be great compared to my Canon S2 IS point & shoot. The Bokeh (background out of focus) is really nice and the first few candid shots I took with it blew me away. Such Bokeh was never even imaginable with the P&S.reviewed December 12th, 2006 (purchased for $70)
With a 1.6 crop factor this focal range can prove to be a bit tight indoors. I have found it a good range inside for head and shoulder shots.
However, this lens is cheap in regard to build quality. The entire build is basically plastic including the mount. The focusing ring is rather loose on my copy and rattles a bit more than I would like. The AF to MF switch also takes a bit of persuasion to switch. Lastly, when in auto focus this lens tends to do a lot of hunting especially in darker conditions. I find myself often switching to manual focus not necessarily out of desire but necessity.
With that said, for $70 this lens remains a great deal. Personally, I will eventually upgrade to the 50 1.4, but this will do just fine holding me over for a while.
9 out of 10 points and recommendedExcellent Build Quality, Sharp PicturesF/4 Aperture, limited focal range
This is currently my walk around lens. On my 1.6x crop 30D the focal range works out to about 28-64 mm which is a decent walk around wide angle range. There are times I find myself wishing for more reach, but the 70-200 will have to wait for a bit until my bank account is replenished.reviewed December 12th, 2006 (purchased for $650)
I have used this lens for some portrait shots and have generally been happy although my 50 1.8 provides much better Bokeh. However, I am often pulling this lens out when the area is too tight to get a good shot of my children.
I am thinking now that I have this lens that at times (architectural photography) I would prefer to have a wider angle which is taken away with the 1.6 crop factor. This lens is probably a beauty on a full frame SLR. However, it still provides an excellent range to cover a wide array of subjects.
The build and image quality are excellent and I am very happy I went with an L on my first lens purchase.