Jeff (@legacyB4) posted an interesting link on Twitter. You can see his public Flickr profile here.
PopPhoto.Com is running an article extolling the merits of the 50 MM f/1.4 lens:
What's so normal about a 50mm f/1.4 "normal" lens?
There's little this superhero can't do. Low light? No problem. Portraits? On most DSLRs, oh yes. Sports? For indoor action, it's the bomb. Extreme close-ups? With a reverse-mount adapter, it's what the doctor ordered. Street photography? Nothing better. Soft-focus romance? Absolutely.
Compact for travel, it's light enough to carry 24/7. And that big maximum aperture delivers a blindingly bright finder image. Want more? Even the expensive ones are a bargain. Compare, for example, Nikon's 50mm f/1.4, at $290 (street), to its 85mm f/1.4, which costs $1,000. No wonder every pro we know owns a 50mm f/1.4.
While teles compress space and wide-angles expand it, the 50mm renders spatial arrangements almost exactly as your eye sees them. Try this: Mount a 50mm on your DSLR and look through the viewfinder. Now, slowly lower the camera. Photographers weaned on superzooms that yoyo between expanded and contracted space may be surprised -- there's little difference between views. This distortion-free magnification, perspective, and angle of view is why it's called "normal."
The article then goes into detail explaining why this lens is good for all those applications.
My DSLR world is fairly narrow. I love my Pentax K10D, and my Mother gave me the Pentax 50mm f/1.4 lens for Christmas. It never occurred to my that this would also be a popular lens spec for Nikon, Canon, and the others.
I haven't given mine too much of a workout yet, but I have liked the results I've gotten from it so far.
The low light versatility is one of the main reasons I wanted the lens. It's a great indoor piece for taking pictures without using the flash.
I generally like longer zoom lenses, but with a 10 megapixel camera, that's less important. As long as I have good light, I can take pictures of a larger area and zoom in later. The ease of digital cropping and zooming is one of the key advantages for digital vs film photography.
If I was making large prints from my photos, a longer physical zoom would be more important to prevent pixelation on blow up. But on my blog, Flickr, and my screen saver, that's not really an issue.
On Amazon, this lens have 50 reviews. What's really interesting is that of those 50, 44 are 5-star reviews and 6 are 4-Star reviews. It's rare to see a product that draws so few haters on the Internet.
I'm looking forward to my next indoor, photo worthy opportunity to give this lens a true workout.