Has 2-4 years of SLR/camera experience.
Very solid feel, smooth focusing, massive aperture and great DoF
A little on the heavy side
I bought this lens to fill the gap in my FD lens collection; I had a 28mm and a 35mm, but no 50mm standard. Then the 50mm f/1.4 SSC came into the equation, for a staggeringly cheap £35. Naturally I snapped it up immediately; there\'s no way you can turn down a lens like this for that price. And I do not regret my purchase one iota.
It\'s a big lens for a camera like the AE-1, and the weight is very reassuring. The body feels well built and very sturdy. I don\'t really mind the extra bulk to lug around, but I\'d imagine some people might. From what I can tell, the 2nd and 3rd incarnations are smaller and lighter, with little change in optical quality.
What really shines from the f/1.4 is the quality of the optics. The closest comparison I own is my Summicron f/2 (which is also excellent), and the f/1.4 really gives it a run for its money. The sharpness and saturation, for me, is absolutely perfect. The focusing is smooth, if a little slow, and the advantage of that huge aperture means the ability to work in a huge number of lighting situations (sadly, the maximum aperture of f/16 is a slightly limiting factor). f/1.4 gives a very shallow DoF, really wonderful for portraits in poorly lit environments.
I would definitely recommend hunting around for this lens, I love mine.