I recently switched from your standard point-n-shoot to the Nikon D5000. I was amazed, evan as an amateur photographer, at the capabilities of my new camera. It only took a few months and I started looking for new lenses. I stumbled upon this lens after reading reviews on dpreview.com and seeing all of the other comments about this lens. First off, the pictures from 70mm-200mm are absolutely stunning. Anything over 200mm and you better be using a tripod and a wireless remote. Even stabbing at the shutter release will cause noticeable artifacts at that zoom range. The best feature about this lens, in my opinion, is the macro function. It can only be used from 200mm-300mm but it allows for spectacular field of depth control! Overall, I would highly reccomend this lens as a cheap entry level telephoto lens which takes amazing pictures for the amount it costs.
Have been using this lens with my T2i in lieu of kit lenses (18-55mm and 55-250mm) over the past year. Am enthusiast/my extended family photographer by default. All of my best pictures have come with this lens. The problem I have with the lens is depth of focus, but I am still experimenting with non-auto settings, it is not necessarily the fault of the lens. No issues with the mechanical problems noted on other reviews thus far and have easily taken 2000 pics with lens. Relied on reviews to buy product originally and would buy lens again based on my experience. What I would have done differently with this lens was to buy the camera body only and this lens separately. I still use the 2 kit lenses but wish they offered the same super sharp focus this lens provides. I continue to shoot with this lens as my first choice and continue to evolve into a better photographer. Looking for next lens to complement this one......
Obviously this lens is not as versatile as a zoom lens, but the image quality is SO superior to any of my other lenses that I choose this over getting the subject framed in many cases. Lately I have been using it for video projects and the depth of field at f1.4 creates a look that cannot be reproduced by standard video cameras. This week I shot interview in very low light and at f1.4 I got the video to turn out like it was taken on a bright day. I really want to try the f1.2 now to see if it really gets better than this. For the money, I think this is a great lends to have in your bag.
I have owned this lens for 5 years and used it to photograph weddings. Pros: Very near L lens image quality as far as I can discern. I'd say the contrast and colors are a tad flatter than the 50/1.2. Considering the low price and fast aperture, it has to be the best value of any lens in Canon's lineup. It is wide enough for group and individual full length portraits with minimal distortion. The subject's legs don't look stretched like with a wider lens. But, one has to be careful not to use it for very close up portraits because barrel distortion will become evident in the facial features. I use a tripod to get maximum sharpness at 1/50 shutter speed. I can zoom in to see tremendous detail because it is so sharp. If you're nitpicky about sharpness like me, I don't recommend shooting below 1/50 shutter speed even if you use a tripod because of subject motion blur. The bokeh is rather pleasing, like an L lens. And, the lens is rather lightweight, so it's great for walking around as a tourist. Minimum focusing distance is short enough that it can be used as a macro in a pinch. Cons: AF is slow and gets slower in low light. AF occasionally misses under f/1.8, like 10%, where it is focused on something else besides what was intended. Not super sharp at f/1.4 but acceptably sharp by f/1.6. That isn't much of a drawback considering its low price. There is some purple fringing below f/2.0, and at f/1.4 it has a heavy vignette. The vignette is easily correctable in post if you don't like it. Overall: I could photograph an entire wedding with this lens considering its versatile focal length, wide aperture, and near L lens image quality. It's the first lens I purchased, and if I had to sell off all my other lenses and keep just one, this would be it.
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