4 out of 10 points and not recommendedBuild quality, feel, f/2.8, focus clutch mechanism, felt-lined lens hood.Weight, flare, soft, noisy AF.
I recently purchased a copy of this lens for my Canon 20D after reading mixed reviews for this lens. I wanted to like it a lot: the feel of the lens when I took it out of the box and mounted it was exceptional, and all of the parts felt amazing.reviewed January 5th, 2007 (purchased for $350)
On the other hand, optically, it's a mixed bag; the lens I got front focused quite significantly, so I had to manually focus (which was very easy and accurate thanks to that smooth MF feel). Also, the aperture wouldn't stop down to quite the right value so equivalent exposures with differing aperture values produced slightly different exposures (up to +2/3 EV @ f/4). Apparently it's a problem with all newer EOS cameras, or so I've heard.
At 28mm f2.8, the lens is okay, and improves after a stop. On the other hand, at anything past 50mm f2.8, such as 80mm f2.8 this lens is pillow soft and doesn't really get very much better until it's at f5.6. Even then, it's about the same sharpness as the 18-55 kit lens. In fact, I was quite surprised when, at f5.6, both lenses produced a very similar image. Actually, I preferred the look of the 18-55 which controlled contrasty scenes better.
Another note I'd like to add is that the flare control on this lens is absolutely nonexistant. Any little source of light will cause internal flare and ghosting in this lens, even if the source is way ouf the frame. Even the tiny lights in my room give off huge amounts of flare.
All in all, this is a lens that I really wanted to like. I loved the feel and everything, but there was just too much going against it and sadly, I had to send it back.
8 out of 10 points and recommendedGood sharpness, pleasing color, very good aperture and zoom range for kit lens, AF-S.Barrel extends too far for my taste, 67mm filter.
First and foremost, this is an excellent kit lens and it covers a very useful normal 27-105 for nice, wide landscapes as well as pleasing portraits (minus the small aperture around that range). Wide open at all lengths, I have no complaints about sharpness, although it isn't going to cut you. Stopped down, the lens becomes a very good performer.reviewed January 5th, 2007
Flare and ghosting is well controlled and the lens reproduces colors nicely and vividly. Mine copy is starting to show signs of wear though (after 2 good years of use), as the lens will no longer retract to 18mm if I am zooming out from 70mm. It hits 24mm and stops, and I must make a slight turn in the opposite direction and turn it back before it will retract to 18mm. Slight barrel misalignment error but it has not affected the sharpness of the lens.
For most people, this lens and a telezoom would be everything that they would ever need.
5 out of 10 points and recommendedCheap, sharp if stopped down, light and compact.Cheap, front element rotates during focus, very soft wide open.
This lens is a mixed bag. As a kit lens, it's not too bad, but it's not that great either. You can get sharp photos if you know what you're doing, but then again, you don't necessarily NEED razor sharp photos either unless you're going to be printing at large sizes or you're doing professional work.reviewed January 5th, 2007
This is a great starter lens and the quality you'll get with it blows away any point&shoot, but that's all that it is: a starter lens. If you feel you're outgrowing the capabilities of this lens, then it's definitely time to trade up. Sell it and get a 50mm prime.
8 out of 10 points and recommendedCheap, great picture quality for the price, large apertureCheap, MF ring rotates during focusing, 1.5ft closest focus distance
All in all, this is an exceptional lens in many ways. The constant f/1.8 aperture on a crop body makes it a fast portrait lens, but it could still benefit from some additional magnification. Of course, I shouldn't be complaining since this is neither a macro lens nor very expensive in the first place. The quality of this lens really shines when stopped down to f/2.8 and beyond. The focus is noisy but it's still very fast. This is one lens every canon photographer should have on hand.reviewed January 7th, 2007 (purchased for $85)