First off I would like to say that this is one of the most under rated lenses in the whole market. In this article I will try and inform you why I have formed this opinion.
Many people feel slightly underwhelmed with the results they get when they start shooting with their first digital slr camera. Their are two main mistakes that people make when moving from compact cameras to SLRs. The first is that they use the automatic or preset modes within the camera while shooting. In my eyes this is like buying a Ferarri and never getting out of first gear. To unleash the power of a SLR camera you need to start learning about how to use some of the semi manual or manual modes.
The second mistake is that people fail to appreciate how important lenses are on a camera. In the world of compact digital cameras marketing efforts seem to be based about the number of mega pixels a camera boasts. Large numbers of pixels will only give you a large image, not necessarily a sharp one. The lens on any camera is the most important part and the one that truly defines the image quality the camera produces. One downside is that most great lenses cost many hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.
The Magic Lens
The Canon 50mm f1.8 is without doubt the best value lens money can buy. Commonly known as the ‘nifty fifty’ it costs under $100 and produces images that are up there in quality with those taken on Canons L series or professional range. The reason this lens is so cheap is because Canon has only focussed on the glass optics in this lens. The rest of it such as the plastic body, noisy auto focus, barrel design etc are all built cheaply .
My advice to anyone starting out in the world of digital slr photography would be to buy this lens. In fact I would recommend buying it in place of the standard kit lens if you are about to buy a new camera.