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I use my copy of the Canon EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact makro for product photography. This lens is not a true makro lens it only reaches reproduction ratio of 1:2.
Good construction with metal mount, light, but its AF motor is slow and noisy, but is less prone to focus hunting than my Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II.
This lens has good sharpness starting at f/2.5, at f/5.6 it is very good from corner to corner. You do not need a lens hood for this lens as the front element is deeply mounted inside the lens and Canon doesn't offers a lens hood. No noticeable barrel distortion.
Cannon offers for this 50mm lens the so called Life Size Converter. This Life Size Converter enable you to reach the 1:1 ratio and also increases the working distance. In the EXIF data you will notice that this combo shows up as a 70mm f/3.5 1:1 makro lens.
Compact, very high image quality from wide open, perfect as a portrait lens on APS DSLR cameras, nice to use and handle, excellent value for money.
Older AF a bit noisy.
I have used many different lenses over the years. This is my personal favourite as it delivers great bang for the buck considering the low price for a pukka macro lens from a major manufacturer. Very sharp and I use it as portrait lens on my DSLR and its great for close ups of flowers and small objects. I love the handling and feel of this lens. I bought mine on Ebay for £160 but I have seen them new for as little as £200.
Good and Sharp for macro and product photography when You start .
Long tube on 1:1,
Autofocus problem when You have not enought light ( checked with Canon 5D Mk II )
Good price to value at begining with macro and product photography