7 out of 10 points and recommendedSharpness and contrast, priceBuild quality, loose focusing ring, poor bokeh
A great bargain, capable of producing better images than all the consumer zooms.reviewed November 26th, 2006 (purchased for $90)
It is let down by very poor build. The focusing ring is almost unusable, it has some play and no dampening at all. The inner barrel is wobly and the AF/MF switch is very stiff. It is totally plastic, including the lens mount.
But all this is forgotten when you see the results. At f1.8 it is slightly soft, but from f2.8 on it is very sharp all the way to the image borders.
You can't go wrong with this lens.
6 out of 10 points and not recommendedReasonable build qualityLow contrast, range on a 1.6x body
I've had this lens from the film days and I used to like it's results then, but since buying a 20D I've been dissapointed with the image quality.reviewed November 26th, 2006 (purchased for $390)
Even on a 1.6 crop body it shows low sharpness and contrast wide open and it doesn't improve much when stopped down. It's very prone to flare. Even the 18-55 has better sharpness, although it suffers more from CA.
I would not recommend it for a digital camera user.
3 out of 10 points and not recommendedNoneToo many to list
This lens came as part of my 20D kit and I wasn't expecting much from it. It turned out to be even worse than I had thought.reviewed November 27th, 2006 (purchased for $130)
Contrast is reasonably good in the center of the frame when stopped down, but everything else is just terrible. The image borders are never really sharp, it has strong barrel distortions at the wide end, it suffers from heavy CAs at all focal lenghts, colours are washed out.
Build quality is even worse than the 50 f1.8 (lower quality plastic) and the focusing ring is impossible to use. The zoom ring is wide and ruberized, which is good.
Canon should not be putting their name on such a poor product. If you are looking for a really cheap starter lens for your 1.6x body buy the 28 f2.8, you will be much happier with your results.
3 out of 10 points and not recommendedSpecs, priceImage Quality, Manufacturing Defects, Quality Control
This lens would be great if it weren't unusable. My copy has obvious left-right sharpness differences, a clear sign of decentered lens element(s). I can't take a decent picture with it. Hate it!reviewed October 20th, 2008 (purchased for $405)