Dropped this bad boy during the annual Red Dress Run (see pics below) and broke the front element right off. I wasn't upset about the lens at all...I knew this day was coming. I was more upset about the fact that I couldn't take any more pictures. In fact, I had already decided that my next lens was going to be the 50mm f/1.4. (I just got it in and its amazing.)
But the fact remains that this little $100 beauty took some stunning pictures. Wide open at 1.8 and its soft as hell and has trouble hitting the focus mark...but that's to be expected. Stop it down a few stops (between 3.2 and 4.5 was my personal sweet spot) and this lens was tack sharp. Tack. I was regularly amazed at how sharp this lens could be. I've rented lenses that cost 20 times as much (literally) that weren't as sharp. The point is, if you're just starting out in photography (which I still put myself in that category) this lens should be your first purchase, period. You'll be a better photographer for it. I've always felt that I take much better photos with a prime lens. Don't really know why that is, other than the fact that it probably makes you think just a tad bit longer. Anyway, check it out. The insides of a $100 lens.