Conclusion: Whether you opt for the 1.2, 1.4, or 1.8, every photographer should have a 50mm in their bag. I chose the f/1.4 strictly for the combination of price and performance. This lens rarely leaves my camera body, and is really diverse enough for almost any situation. At f/1.4 I usually switch over to manual focus to get the right shot, but leave it on automatic at f/2 and above. The AF is not quite as fast as some other primes, however it is not an "L" either.
Conclusion: Pros: When it focuses where I want, the image is stunning. Good low light captures of still objects. Cons: It takes skill to use I use a T3 Summary: Build quality is good, the Lens quality is great, it certainly does what it says, just realize what you are getting. Autofocus takes a while, but there's a reson for it. Before I review the product, I always like to know the reviewer's perspective. I consider myself a seasoned novice photographers.
Summary: Excellent image quality, and excellent for low light. A little soft wide open (which can be a nice effect in itself, if desired), and sharpness is very good when stopped down to f/2 - 2.8. As far as value for the money goes, it doesn't get any better.
Conclusion: 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.
Pros: sharp images, inexpensive - great value, nearly l lens image quality, great in low light, lightweight, nice background blur, near macro short focusing distance
Cons: Slow auto-focus, af occasionally misses under f1.8, heavy vignette at f1.4, purple fringing under f2, slightly soft at f1.4
Conclusion: This lens was one of the most exciting things to get in the mail. I had been a photographer for only a year, but I knew its potential. I focus in portraiture and concert photography. The first doesn't need, but it greatly helps to have such a large aperture. The latter needs such a large aperture because of how many indoor concerts I had to shoot in. It worked great for the first year and a half, then the AF just started to go out on me.
Pros: Fast auto-focus, Superior build quality, Super-sharp images
Cons: stopped working after 1.5 years, af doesn't always work on lower end cameras, slow af in the cold
Summary: Great lens for the price. Sharp at f1.8 and greater. Light. Focus can be a little slow in darker environments. Much better than the Canon 50 f1.8. It can be hard to justify paying for the Canon 50L lens (f1.2) which is 4x more expensive over this lens. If you need the f1.2, need the build of an L lens, and have the money to spend, then maybe get the L lens instead of this one. But this lens is hard to beat for the cost. Also consider the Sigma 50 and the Zeiss 50.
Pros: Consistent Output, Easy To Use, Fast, Good bokeh, Lightweight, Sharp