First things first. I am a Canon lens hound. There is nothing like getting a new lens in the mail and cracking open that box to shoot around a bit. I am a sucker for mail order and that is generally how I buy my lenses. I’ve stuck to Canon lenses for years and yes, I know I could get a comprable lens through a different company like Sigma but damn, to quote the immortal so and so – sometimes these lenses are “just too sweet.”
My last lens purchase was actually a nice macro 50MM from Canon and after being enamored with that and going on a few successful gigs I decided to go smaller. Why? Why not? I enjoy experimenting with my products and that is another reason why I dig getting items through mail order instead of hitting a store and “trying them on.” Reviews be damned. Sometimes you get a feeling for something and want to take it for a walk.
Honestly, I know this lens has gotten a lot of crap from reviewers, die hards, Nikon lovers, Olympus lovers, and maybe even some mother lovers but I gotta tell ya, kid; I enjoy it! I am using this lens on a Canon 60D, which was my upgrade from my old tried and true Canon Rebel XSI ( with which I have done MANY a great gig) This lens adds a different dimension to whatever you are shooting. Since it is a static lens without any zoom you are getting what is basically an old school picture feel that is a bit bigger and better than your old standard of 35mm. Your center focal points reaches out very nicely into a great peripheral and with the option of manual focus you can get some really gorgeous rack focus shots of subjects that are relatively close. Now this isn’t a technical review but just my opinion on how this lens feels on a camera. Now, this lens was pretty much built as a compliment to the Canon Rebel T4i Camera and this is where some more technically apt folk may run into trouble. This lens was built to function with that camera while shooting video and employing Canon’s new trend of STM within their new lenses. the STM is supposed to eliminate motor noise from lenses as they focus but for those of us that love the gentle whirr of a camera, it’s really no big deal. This lens works perfectly on my camera, which is one it’s not necessarily supposed to be paired with.
The lens itself is lightweight and just feels great in the palm of your hand. I enjoy the focus ring and to me it is semi-sensitive so it needs to be played with a bit to get a better shot, which is also not a big deal. Now, the one frustrating part about this lens is that the auto focus can be just plain crap sometimes. I usually use auto focus if I am just out and about wandering around and just happen to have my camera with me. The auto focus on this lens leaves a bit to be desired because you can get a quicker shot off while using MF. Canon sort of blurred the line with their AF and MF on a few of their lenses and this is definitely one of them. The blurred line means that AF is there for a quick snap and also for those that aren’t too camera savvy. If you can’t get your AF to work immediately and with no blur then you may have missed a tiny step. I would recommend this lens to someone who has been around a digital SLR before and knows their way around it. In low light conditions this lens can deliver but you need to really hone your settings in order for it to flourish.
All in all this is a great little pancake lens to have for the money you would put into it. You really can’t go wrong with the $150 compared to some of the other higher priced lenses that do not deliver as consistently as this one does. This is a fun keeper that could be used professionally for its non in your face appeal and for shooting around town on a whim.