50's not so nifty, need something comparable to Nikon's offerings

Started Jul 14, 2011 | Discussions thread
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zaphod911
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50's not so nifty, need something comparable to Nikon's offerings
Jul 14, 2011

I purchased a 50mm 1.8 II a few months back specifically to have one wide-aperture lens in the bag. I had read a fair amount regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the lens and figured for $100, I couldn't go wrong. My intent was to have the 50 specifically for low-light and short portrait situations where the wide aperture would be handy. I'm likely in the minority, but my experience with the lens has been quite disappointing.

I can live with the build quality, AF noise, and mediocre bokeh, but the focus problems render the lens unusable except for situations where focus can be adjusted/confirmed via live view. On a positive note, if proper focus is achieved, the IQ is excellent. The AF is so unreliable I've lost all confidence in the lens. Frankly, if the lens cannot accurately focus, all other attributes are irrelevant. I simply make due with my 17-55 where I would otherwise choose the 50.

I recently mounted my 60D and nifty on a tripod and used EOS utility's remote shooting application. Using quick mode focusing, it was apparent the lens front focused 80% (a click or two of adjustment towards infinity needed), totally missed 10%, and was right on 10%. For comparison, my 17-55 and 70-200 were both consistently right on. My other entry in the craptastic plastic category: Vivitar (Cosina) 100mm macro with an AF motor which sounds similar to a food disposal, focus was noisy, slow, but very accurate.

Perhaps I'll send the nifty to Canon to see if I can at least get it to focus accurately.

Hopefully Nikon's recent releases will spur Canon to update its offerings. Nikon now offers both a 35 (aps-c) and 50 1.8 with 7 blade diaphragms and ultrasonic focusing motors for ~$200. There's nothing even close in the Canon stable.

 zaphod911's gear list:zaphod911's gear list
Canon EOS 60D Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM +1 more
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