8 out of 10 points and recommendedCheap, perfectly sharp above F/4, tiny & light, well protected front elementsoft at F/1.8-2.2, hard MF switch, focus accuracy unreliable
A good lens overall, one that pairs really well with a small camera like the XT series. I feel quite safe putting it on just to walk around. It's a good focal length for 'shy' street photography, and the way the front element is recessed so deeply lets you feel safe swinging it around in less than ideal conditions.reviewed December 7th, 2006 (purchased for $110)
The manual focus switch is ungodlily stiff though... almost feel like i'm going to break something when having to use it.
The sharpness at and above above f/4 will surprise you - it is as good as it gets for an 8MP camera, all macro lenses included!
9 out of 10 points and recommendedfast and silent focus, sharpness, reasonable pricepurple fringing
Everything about this lens is great, and definitely worth buying, except for the purple fringing. In high contrast scenes (think trees against white sky, or specular reflections) it is *really* bad. So know to avoid those, and everything will be fantastic.reviewed December 7th, 2006 (purchased for $405)
8 out of 10 points and recommendedUSM, ultrawidefront element a bit exposed, some CA, biggish, fucusing ring small
Although it's almost a novelty lens i use this a lot as a general zoom. It is quite a big lens, and does draw attention to itself. It also has a propensity to get its front element dirty for some reason.reviewed December 7th, 2006 (purchased for $730)
Focus seems a little inconsistent sometimes, but it doesn't seem to affect end results too much (due to the tiny focal lengths). It is quite hard to pick a proper hyperfocal distance (just look at the tiny jump from 1m to infinity in the photo of the lens). Sharpness is good, except at the long end (which gets a surprising amount of use from me).
6 out of 10 points and not recommended*can* be shockingly sharp, cheapfocus ring spins, big, very plasticky
I have bought two copies of this lens, but returned both of them due to extreme softness at the long end. I have tested both extensively, an so have a good impression of this lens.reviewed December 7th, 2006 (purchased for $400)
First off, it's quite big, especially when extended. Search the web for images of it extended - you'll see what I mean, if you don't know already. The build quality felt surprisingly poor, in a 'lowest-bidder' kind of sense.
The focus ring spins when AF is working, and has a sharp and abrasive ribbing, so it really jumps in your hand if you're holding it wrong (which is very easy to do). I found this a real problem, having big hands.
I found the focal range is rather on the long end on APS-C, not truly ideal for touristy walk-around. Unfortunately there's no cheap lens that has the right focal range and also works on FF, for future upgrades of the camera body.
One of the copies was unbelivably sharp at the wide end (fully open!), so I can believe all the raves about this lens. It just wasn't amazing enough overall for me to try a third time...