I'm planning on giving my college age daughter my Canon 40D sometime soon. (Not Christmas, but the Christmas sales are getting me thinking).
She has a point and shoot and turn out pretty amazing work for her age. I'd like to see what she can do when I get her some "real" equipment. My crop body 40D is sitting gathering dust but I don't have any lenses to spare for it.
There seem to be three choices, the Canon 18-55mm kit lens (which is pretty good from what I read), the new 40mm f2.8 pancake lens, and the classic and venerated nifty-fifty, the 50mm f1.8.
One problem I have sometimes when shooting is going too fast, I know I need to slow down, so I don't want to get the kit lens, shooting with a prime will slow you down, make you think more about the shot.
Now, if she had a full frame camera I'd go with the 50 no questions asked. But the 40D is a crop body with a 1.6 factor, so the 40 will act like a 64mm, and the 50 will act like a an 80mm (which is close to perfect for portraits.)
The 1.8 will, of course, give her a narrower depth of field.
So, what does she shoot? That's the classic question when someone asks about lenses. How would I know what she'll be shooting years from now. She's just learning it all, started with film in high school and now is off to college. Her point and shoot will be great for snaps, but I hope the 40D will help her become who she can become in the future.
So, if you had only one lens on a crop body Canon, would you recommend a 40mm f2.8 or a 50mm f1.8?
Update: I got the 50mm, gave her the whole kit and she was ecstactic!