Reveiw – Canon EF Lens 50mm f/1.8 II USM

The Canon Lens EF 50mm f/1.8 II also called the “Nifty-Fifty”, is the cheapest (read cost effective) and one of the most popular lenses in the Canon lens lineup. This lens is probably the most preferred and sought after replacement of the kit lens. Being an ‘EF’ this lens can be used on both the full frame and crop sensor Canon bodies. I have been using this lens for more than two years now and I felt this lens is worthy of getting first comprehensive review on this newly launched website. Here is my experience with this lens.

Chandni Chowk Portrait

Image Quality (IQ) and Performance

The IQ of this lens is excellent. See the image below I made with this lens mounted on a Rebel XS. This lens is little soft at large apertures i.e. 1.8 and 2.2 but from f/2.8 onwards it’s excellent. Stop it down to f/5.6, and you will see absolute sharp images from this lens. Stopped down it can even outperform some of the expensive zoom lenses.

The f/1.8 allows large amount of light to reach the camera sensor. This large aperture of f1.8 provides for an excellent choice of lens which could be used under low light situations. The large aperture also makes this lens an excellent candidate for the videos for HDSLRs. You can see a sample video that I shot with this lens mounted on Canon EoS 60D.

The bad about the lens is the visible chromatic aberration (CA) and softness on large apertures. The CA makes me avoid this lens when it comes to weddings especially Indian Weddings. However, I have seen some good photographers making great photos with this lens in weddings.

Auto focus is fast and accurate. It focuses fast even in low light situations. The lens sometimes hunts for focus on a plane wall or dark surface. The quality of Bokeh is not great but very much acceptable. The Canon 50mm f/1.8 on a crop sensor body (APS-c sensor) provides an 80mm equivalent focal length which makes it candidate lens for portraits. On a full frame body it renders a Normal focal length.

The Build Quality

Before putting my point of view, I want you to read what most of the reviews have to say about the build quality of Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II.

  • Build quality of this lens is pathetic
  • The lens Lens is made of cheap plastic even the lens mount is of plastic
  • The lens does not have a full time manual focus ring. I have to use the switch to move from AF to MF
  • The focus ring is very thin
  • No IS
  • etc. etc.

Well guys (read girls if you are a girl), if you ask Canon to remove the above mentioned shortcomings of this lens then probably you would get all the frills i.e. a metal body with a metal mount along with a possible image stabilizer and a rubber (soft) focus ring with manual focus override. What you don’t realize here is that along with all these goodies attached, the price tag for this lens would be considerably hiked. Such a ‘with frill’ lens will cost at least four to five times the existing price.

People need to realize that this lens is targeted at users who are looking to replace their kit lens or have a cheaper option for a normal or portrait lens with great quality optical output. This lens perfectly serves the target customers. With all the frills attached the lens will no longer serve the target segment.

Being said that, as the build quality is cheap you need to take precautions while using this lens. This lens is not meant to be used in harsh conditions so don’t do it. Don’t pick the camera by the lens as it will damage the plastic mount, always pick the camera by the camera body.

If you are trying to make a decision whether to buy this lens. I strongly suggest you go for it. The price of the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II usually hovers around US $100 to $105. I believe it is a great bargain for the price.

Facebook Profile Pictures At Rs. 40000

Today morning I saw an interesting article in a leading newspaper having the Headline “Facebook Pic @ Rs. 40000″.
The article talks about youngsters spending huge amounts to Look Good Online.

This got me thinking for a while. Not going further into the discussion as to whether or not youngsters should spend a bomb to look good online, I felt that this is a good opportunity for me as a photographer. This News brings to me a new segment of clients to me as a professional photographer.
The demand for fashion or glamor photography by the masses is a reality now. It’s not limited to models and actors (established or aspiring). It will only increase with the time, digital social integration and new application and hi tech devices. However the requirements for this opportunity are simple. You will not require a regular studio set up or tons of studio equipment as the clients would want pictures which are natural looking and shows some creativity or art in capturing the moment.

The choice of the clients would be to get the pictures made at home, office space, streets of the city, restaurants, cafes and public transport etc.
The location could be anything to give a more natural and candid look.

I have started working on a package to deliver a “Professional Facebook Portfolio in Delhi”. The package would include artistic and natural looking photographs at different locations/spots in the city. It will cover all times of the day i.e during mornings, evening and nights.

Stay tuned for updates!!

First Post

So here I am commencing my blog journey on my new website and new venture on photography. I am totally confused whether I should start blogging on this site or only put photographs. But then I feel blogging could be beneficial to my business in the long run.

How do I put my first post? What should I be putting in my first post? Should the post be a tutorial or photo with a story behind it? Should I put some video or a post about my current photographic gear? Or the best should I put some Photographic resolutions for the next year now that this year is coming to an end.

So after thinking for the last 2 minutes, “Yes”, only two minutes (c’mon I won’t waste my time on what to write in my blog, I have more important things to do) I came up with the following things to be done with my blog

  1. A 365 days photo project (I am ruling it out now as I know it will be a burden over the next year)
  2. A self portrait project with a limited 20 quirky/unusual shots of mine.
  3. A weekly photo walk and the displaying it on the blog
  4. One lens one camera covering the whole city of Delhi
  5. Shooting the backs of odd statements on the trucks in the city of Delhi
  6. Putting up Photoshop tutorials
  7. Some creative in house/studio (I don’t own a studio and don’t want one)
  8. As always a tutorial series on photography
  9. A photography book (tutorial or otherwise)
  10. A video book (I will sell it ;) ) but then it’s a long shot

These are the 10 top things that came to my mind in the last 2 minutes and I wrote it down. After looking at the list for a long 20 minutes I guess I should go with the following. For my Photography I think I shall choose no. 4 , no. 3  and no. 2 necessarily in that order. For my blog I think I should put up point no. 8, no. 9 not necessarily in that order and I can’t ask the readers of the blog as there are none as of now (damn it’s so childlike to put the first post)

I hope I find time to be regular on my blog but who knows what’s in store in the next year. I also feel  I should make a video log along with the blog posts. This would be a better idea as most of us also like to watch videos instead of reading it.

Till the next time and next post Ciao!!