9 out of 10 points and recommendedFantastic sharpness at smaller apertures, low price, great value for moneyAF seems uncertain at low light
The 50/1.8 II is a great value-for-money lens, the best deal with Canon at the moment. I've using it for 5 years now, intially with the EOS film Rebel ( the famous Rebel 2000) and now with 350D. Because it effectively becomes a 80 mm lens on the 350D, it's not that practical a lens for my needs, but I still use it.reviewed November 2nd, 2007 (purchased for $95)
Its best qualities are remarkable contrast, and sharpness. Both suffer at higher apertures,though. AF appears hesitant in low light (no USM), but then again, when it focuses, it will be right on the money. The bokeh has been said to be poor, which, some say, makes it a not-so-good portrait lens despite the convenient 80 mm focal length. I think that's unjust. I have shot many good portrait shots with it (with heartwarming praise from those shot), and any other lens other than L zooms falls flat in comparison.
Buy this lens, and use it as a short telephoto or a portrait lens at 2.8 and above. Highly recommended.
9 out of 10 points and recommendedVery sharp lens (with caveats); very well-built; relatively low distortion; very good value for moneyHigh field curvature; high lateral CA in the edges and corners; push-pull AF mechanism not ideal; easily flares when the sun is just outside the frame.
I have been using this lens for a year now. I bought it after major research and am generally happy with it.reviewed April 23rd, 2016 (purchased for $450)
Some shots with this lens and the Nikon D7000 can be seen here. They are 2160 pixels on the short side.
It is a very sharp lens, but pronounced field curvature means that a centrally placed distant object will never be sharp at the same time as a distant object at the edges. Either the centre or the edge will be sharp. AF then becomes tricky, but with experience, I have learnt to control it. The foreground is always so sharp that it is unreal.
The CA in the corners and edges is disturbing, and Lightroom or similar software can't completely deal with it. The new 11-20/2.8, I am told, is better in this respect.
Another problem is flaring. The hood is almost useless. The problem is aggravated when the sun is just outside, in which situation, concentric arcs are seen on the other side of the frame.
The build quality is superb and better than some OEM options. The hood however is plasticky and weak, and a little loose as well. A Sigma 10-20/4-5.6 I used in the past was not only well-built but also had a strong and well-fitting hood. The Tokina's hood easily shifts, causing vignetting in 2 corners of the frame that you will notice only after the photos are uploaded to the computer.
You will need thin filters to avoid vignetting. That was not the the case with the Sigma.