I was introduced to a Chinese company a few years ago when I bought their flashes. I had broken two Nikon brand flashes that cost $300+ a piece and I was tired of paying astronomical prices just to have things break. I bought an oddly named $60 flash online and have never looked back.
The brand is Yongnuo. I have no idea what it means and I can barely say it, their manuals are horribly written and the customer service is lacking. BUT their products are very interesting.
I mentioned buying one of their flashes a few years ago, I currently own 12 of them and they all work wonderfully. Last year they announced a 35mm F/2 lens and this year they released a 50mm F/1.8 for around $65. I bought them all. I couldn’t resist. They also have an 85mm lens that I have yet to get!
For comparison Nikon’s 50mm and 35mm lenses cost about $200 and up until Yongnuo, the only sub $100 lenses were manual focus only. Yongnuo is really shaking things up!
I have bought and shot with quite a few different 50mm lenses over the years. Here is the list.
Nikon 50mm F/1.4 AF-D
Nikon 50mm F/1.8 AF-D
Nikon 50mm F/1.8 AF-S
Sigma 50mm F/1.4
Sigma 50mm F/1.4 ART
Is it sharp? I shot several sessions with this lens and as I was editing I was very pleased with the sharpness. I alternated between the Yongnuo and the Sigma ART just to compare sharpness and there is VERY minimal difference in the center. I didn’t pixel peep the edges because I rarely put my subject on the extreme edge. From what I did see, edge sharpness is just fine. This lens is on par with all the other F/1.8 lenses I have shot with. The $800+ F/1.4 lenses may be ever so slightly sharper (especially stopped down to 1.8) but you and your clients will never ever be able to tell. You will never look at this lens and think “that is soft”