Summary: I don't know why so many people rave about this lens. Perhaps it's a quality control issue, but I've been extremely disappointed with my copy. I was hoping for a reasonably sharp prime lens, but this lens is soft - even compared to my 18-70 zoom. Admittedly it does get better after f/2.8 - but still not great. Less that 2.8 is unacceptably soft in my opinion - so is of little use. Colour reproduction and contrast are also not great.
Pros: Low price
Cons: Soft, Very poor build quality, No lens case supplied, Slow focussing, Poor colour reproduction and contrast
Summary: This lens real price is 126.00 I own it for a long time... it sharp at f8... totally junk at f1.8... This is terrible lens for portrait work... it's way to wide (barrel distortion will make faces look stupid)... This lens was updated recently with 50mm 1.8g, this is far better choice as it will autofocus on lower price range dslr such as d3000 & d5000 series. Also, this lens never been sold for anywhere near 200$... Highly not recommend.
So you have a 50mm lens... and it isn't even a 1.4...
23 December 2004
Excerpt: In my opinion the "indispensability" of this lens will depend on your needs. I bought one after so many "glowing" reviews and from time perspective I wish I would have spent my 100 in other ways. It somewhat useful for macro shots on a digital body (assuming that you are using extension tubes or close up filters) or portraits.
Pros: optical quality.
Cons: eh, so you spent 100 bucks on a 50mm lens that has been around for ages and provided pretty much the same result since its inception...