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Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM

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67 328723 Jul 21, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
87% of reviewers $395.73
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.56
7.53
8.3
ef28mmf_18usm_1_

Specifications:
With the large maximum aperture, excellent background blur is possible even with a fast shutter speed. The aspherical lens element makes the lens compact and corrects spherical aberrations. The image is sharp even at the edges. Lead-free glass is used.


 


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JesseShotland
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Registered: Jun 17, 2011
Location: United States
Posts: 293
Review Date: Jul 21, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: fast, fast AF, light weight, smooth focus ring, sharp
Cons:
not crazy sharp stopped down

This lens is great. Fast wide angle lens that's pretty darn sharp wide open. My only complaint is that it doesn't get that much sharper closed down even to f/8-11.

Jul 21, 2014
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Alex de Groot
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Registered: Nov 1, 2005
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 91
Review Date: Feb 21, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Compact, Build feels really solid, Butter smooth focus ring, F1.8
Cons:
Not so cheap

I wanted a faster "normal" lens, either a zoom or a prime for my crop body (canon 550d). First I have tried 2 copies of the tamron 17-50 F2.8, but the first one had serious backfocus, and the other one was so soft at f2.8 that I would not use it at 2.8.
Finally I decided to go with a prime lens with a "normal" 50mm like view for a crop body. Just got this lens and did some indoor testing on my daughter and my dog and this lens gives me razor sharp images even at f1.8

Here are 2 test images I took when just unboxed the lens, dont mind the composition, just for testing the optical quality of the lens.

This is at f1.8, focus is on the eye
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ajdegroot/8496638521/sizes/k/in/photostream/

This one is at f2.0
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ajdegroot/8496638683/sizes/k/in/photostream/

I've read all the reviews online and hear a lot of people about that it is not really sharp at f1.8, but so far I'm really impressed.


Feb 21, 2013
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greenmind
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Registered: Aug 30, 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 38
Review Date: Feb 7, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $360.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: great IQ from f/2.8, relatively small and light, ring USM is fast and accurate, very good build quality, relatively inexpensive in Canon's new pricing paradigm.
Cons:
Somewhat Soft (while still useable) at f/1.8. Canon doesn't include hood which is BS.

Would you rather have this or the EF 28 or 24 f/2.8 IS? Well this one goes to f/1.8. Sure, it's soft there, but it makes an image that is just fine for most purposes. The other one doesn't do that. The other ones have IS, which can make up for the 1.3 stop deficit in some situations, but IS doesn't stop fast things like kids at all.

At f/2.8 I'd bet the IQ is similarly excellent. The decision is whether you want to have 1.3 more stops available to you to improve things, or IS available to you to improve things.

The other kicker is the new IS primes cost hundreds more, which is kind of crazy IMO. I'd buy one of them if they were $400-ish. Not at $650.

Sorry, this is supposed to be a review of the 28/1.8. See above for its pros and cons. It's offers a lot of nice features for the price. It's not perfect, but none are.


Feb 7, 2013
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scott_scheetz
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Registered: Oct 31, 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Oct 31, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, fast and quiet AF, great build quality.
Cons:
A little soft on the extreme corners on a full frame.

This lens is fantastic. I use it on a 5D, and the 2 make a perfect pair. The colors and contrast are excellent. This lens is sharp in the center wide open, but a little soft in the extreme corners. Stop it down a little bit, and everything looks fantastic. The AF is fast, quiet, and very accurate thanks to the USM. This lens does very well in low light. I highly recommend this to anyone who needs a large aperture wide angle lens.

Oct 31, 2012
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Trevor Sowers
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Registered: Aug 14, 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 102
Review Date: Jul 27, 2012 Recommend? | Price paid: $700.00

Pros: Inexpensive for a lens of this focal length and aperture.
Cons:

The last time I rated this lens I had only used it on a 40D and I gave it a 8. Now that I have been using it on a 5D MKII for a year I would give it a 9. It really is a useful lens of FF and there just isn't much to compete with it at it's price range. The 24L is better but it is much more expensive. I don't have any trouble making good shots with this lens. I did a micro focus adjustment of -5 and this made a world of difference and I find even 1.8 looks good. f2.2 and up is fantastic. Light fast and good focus system makes this a great lens. Stop down to reduce CA

Jul 27, 2012
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bonjerdo
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Registered: Feb 14, 2011
Location: South Africa
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jun 24, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Silent, good weight and very quick in most light conditions.
Cons:
In very low light it battles to focus. But most lenses do that.

Quality isnt an issue here, the photos are always sharp and colour is quite good. F1.8 is always a bonus and this lens starts looking great when shooting at f2.5 and up.

Cropped sensor 1:1.6 (Canon 40D)
I found that using this lens for day to day photos like going to a park or walking around the city and taking the odd photo doesn't always look great when you see it on your pc later when viewing. Its not an arty type lens if you know what i mean.

Cropped sensor 1:1.3 (Canon 1D mkIIN)
This lens really performs when it comes to food photography. With the right light it focuses quickly and give great results, you can come in quite close to a subject and get good detail. I would highly recommend it for this.

Full Frame (Canon 5D classic)
I tried my luck and popped it on my 5d and did some seascape and landscape photos and this is where i enjoy this lens. The images came out beautiful, not too wide either but you capture all you need.
Also when photographing people this lens works well on the 5D.

Here are some images to look at.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/bonjerdo/6648255241/in/photostream
http://www.flickr.com/photos/bonjerdo/6729594893/in/photostream/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/bonjerdo/7387359548/in/photostream
http://www.flickr.com/photos/bonjerdo/6369795173/in/photostream

Here is a little something extra
Most of the images on this blog were taken with this lens
http://www.yuppiechef.co.za/spatula/vintage-baking-lamingtons/







Jun 24, 2012
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sehdata
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Registered: Apr 22, 2007
Location: Denmark
Posts: 0
Review Date: Feb 20, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Build like a tank but a nice walk around lens -sharp
Cons:
No negative sides

A wery underestimated lens - one of my favorites at all time when traveling to urban cities i always carry this one together with my 50 2.5 macro and my 85 1.8 - Its razor sharp at 2.8 and okay at 1.8 in lowlight indoor scenery i just love it



Feb 20, 2012
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kmyers1us
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Registered: Nov 16, 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Nov 6, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Low light focus, "Normal" lens on crop (7D), lightweight, Accurate AF (my copy)
Cons:
soft below f2.8

I wanted a "Normal" "low light" prime for my 7D that I could use on FF if I choose to upgrade. Overall I am somewhat satisfied with this lens. At 5.6 and above it is just fine. At f2.8-4 it takes good pictures. However, If you expect any "keepers" at f2.0 or f1.8, forget it. It is sadly soft. I wasn't expecting L lens performance for this price range, but I was surprised at just how bad it does perform at 1.8/2.0. Having said that, It does let in more light for low light AF and will AF in very dark conditions. I like that part so as long as I shoot 2.8 and above, I get the AF performance I wanted and a good shot. My recommendation for this lens is on the condition that you don't expect to actually use it at 1.8 or 2. Also if its bokeh you want, this is not your lens. If you intend to stick to a crop format get the Sigma 30mm f1.4.

Nov 6, 2011
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anoriega
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Registered: Jun 20, 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 13
Review Date: Sep 12, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Excellent build quality, fast/accurate/silent focusing, buttery-smooth focus ring with zero play, pretty sexy design, good contrast+color, decent hyperfocal markings, relatively cheap
Cons:
Soft at 1.8 and 2.0

I've seen a lot of mixed reviews on this lens (and generally better reviews for the 24mm 2.8), and I've got to say - I disagree with the notion that the 24mm might be your best relatively-inexpensive wide angle prime on full frame.

(Don't worry as you read all this about the 24/2.8, this is indeed a review of the 28/1.8 - I just think comparisons to its closest competitor are warranted.)

I picked up a new 24mm f/2.8 for $250 on Craigslist, and did some testing on a tripod from f/2.8 to f/8 on a 5D Mark II. It was very close to the 16-35mm f/2.8L Mark 1 in sharpness, and better in contrast/color/flare resistance, but had terrible CA (easily corrected in ACR / Lightroom / Photoshop, granted).

The thing that turned me off about the 24mm was the gross circa-1988 build. The focus ring was scratchy, and didn't inspire a sense of confidence that it would stay put if you set it precisely manually. It was ugly, and though the AF worked fine, it was slow and sounded like a dentist drill grinding into enamel.

Enter the 28mm f/1.8 USM, which I picked up for $350 mint on CL: on full frame, you only lose 4mm of width from the 24mm alternative (take a step back for your composition), but you gain so much.

The focus ring is BUTTERY smooth, and very solid in that it stays put where you leave it. There's no play whatsoever with the ring, if you move it 1 millimeter, the readout in the distance window (and the focus) moves with it. This is critical when focusing at night on a distant point of light for what I see as one of this lenses' primary uses: wide-field landscape astrophotography.

The barrel is very smooth and sleekly designed, and it feels nice and densely built. It has a built-in rectangular flare blocker inside the lens, I'm not sure how effective it is but it certainly can't hurt. The overall build quality is as good as it gets without going to a 24mm f/1.4L for $950 used.

Regarding wide-aperture performance: the 28mm is downright hazy/bloomy/dreamy at 1.8. I'd only use this for video, or a critical handheld shot indoors I'd rather not miss. At f/2.0, it's noticeably better, but not great. At f/2.2, suddenly it's at 90% of its peak performance - very impressive! Sufficiently sharp, fringing/blooming mostly gone - this is the aperture I'll be shooting the stars at - 25 seconds at f/2.2 and ISO 1600 or 3200 should do very nicely on a FF 5D2.

I'll go down to 25 second exposures for this 28mm (from 30sec on a 24mm) to freeze the movement of the stars on full-frame (I push the standard formula of (focal length)/(600 sec) a bit). In doing so, I'll lose 16% of my light, but I'll gain 66% more light by shooting at f/2.2 instead of f/2.8 on the 24mm - for a net gain of 1/2 stop. This is quite important when it comes to pushing your sensor to the usable limit at ISO 1600/3200 - you can shoot at 1600 and only push 1/2 stop in post, or shoot at 3200 and lower exposure by 1/2 stop in post (I'll have to do some testing and see which works better on a 5D2).

From f/2.8 onward, it's razor sharp - no complaints whatsoever. Stop down as you require for depth of field. The corners get progressively better from 2.8 onward, but that's not terribly important to me - the center- and mid-frame performance is outstanding.

On a crop sensor, I can only imagine this lens getting better as a relatively-normal 44.8mm equivalent, using only the sweet spot of the lens. If I had to step down to a 7D with only one prime, this is the one I'd take.

I guess there's some sample variation (as with most lenses) due to the mixed reviews I've seen, but let me say - this copy is damn good.. and I'm extremely picky. Get one!


Sep 12, 2011
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DerrickWong
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Registered: Jul 31, 2011
Location: Canada
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 31, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: small, compact, light, fast USM - your little nifty lens!
Cons:
soft

This lens was my first prime lens for my 550D. For the price you pay, you get more than you have paid for.

I love prime lenses and I have always wanted the 50mm focal length. Since I am using a cropped sensor camera, I had to choose between the 28mm and 35mm focal length. I went with the 28mm with this 1.8 aperture because it was the largest in the category and I didnít want to purchase the 35mm just yet.

The 28mm is SO good. I was SO happy with it. Why? Because it wasnít expensive and it was PERFECT for what I needed my lens to do. Inconspicuous, light and fast.

If you are new to prime lenses and you use a 1.6 cropped sensor camera, THIS IS THE LENS FOR YOU! Believe me, you canít go wrong.

If your budget allows you to spend more, get the 35mm f1.4 L USM. I have both because my girlfriend convinced me that there is no point in settling for less. However, donít let my words alter what you think. The 28mm is SO good but what annoyed me was, there was something better. This is why I ended up getting the 35mm f1.4 L USM. If you can wait, wait. However, getting the 28mm can NEVER be a wrong choice. Just make sure you test two of them to find the sharpest one. I got lucky and got a decent copy!


Jul 31, 2011
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edatc
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Registered: Jul 17, 2009
Location: N/A
Posts: 45
Review Date: Feb 19, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: This lens works very well, focuses and gives great results
Cons:
microcontrast isn't as good as some other lenses near this focal length

This lens works great on a 1.6 crop, it gives you a nice normal angle of view. I have shot lots of events with it and it didn't disappoint. I've also used it wide open for full body portraiture and it works for that. On a full frame, stopping it down to f5.6 or f8 gave results that were quite acceptable in corners... This lens is great for using as normal on crop or an in betweener on full frame (in between 24mm and 35mm). The focus on this lens works well. The only problem is that I don't use it much because it can't compete with my other lenses. But it is a solid lens for anyone on a budget.

Feb 19, 2011
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bnhocking
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Registered: Feb 14, 2011
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Feb 14, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Focal length, price
Cons:
why not f/1.4? For the money and getting what you pay for not too many negatives.

I used to have a 40D with a 50mm 1.4 and like everyone it was too long for in the house shots. Then I picked a 5D II and things got better, I used the 50mm primarily for video. With the 40D and 50mm I was plastered against the wall to take a shot of 2 people, still close to the wall with the 5D II. So I picked up what looks to be a good copy of the 28mm 1.8 and I have not looked back. IQ is a little less than the 50mm but not by much. Finally indoor group shots at some one's house.

Some complain about a little less IQ but it is much better then not being able to frame a shot or having to pay 1,300 for the 24mm f/1.4 L. Really look at what you are going to be shooting, no one is going to shoot hand-held, low light modeling shots with this lens but it is great for the family. After coming from a crop body to full frame Canon really really needs to make a EF-s 18mm f/1.8 (1.4 would be even better) with good IQ; I think that would make most of Canon's customers happy. If you need aperture and short focal length don't hesitate on this lens.


Feb 14, 2011
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Tad Killian
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Registered: Sep 20, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 3024
Review Date: Jan 19, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Relatively usable at 1.8. I own and use the 35/2 frequently. I have nothing bad to say about the color and contrast of the 35/2. When I bought the 28, I thought I'd get comparable contrast and color from the 28, but I didn't. I wasn't ready to throw this lens away though. It feels a lot like an 85/1.8 to me, just smaller. The files, in digital format, seem to all PP the same way. The contrast and colors seem to be really close to one another. If your looking for a wider prime, and aren't ready to commit to a 24 or 35, then buy this thing, and have some fun on FF with it. I use mine at 2.0 quite a bit, and it's sharp enough. Good bokeh, as well.
Cons:
lacks a bit in color and contrast, compared to older lenses. Easy fix in PP. Just sayin.



Jan 19, 2011
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bradc
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Registered: Aug 10, 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 5
Review Date: Aug 31, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $430.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Small, light, fast to focus, good performance, FTM focusing, price.
Cons:
No hood included, loose fit with EW63II.

I hesitated to buy this lens against some of the other lenses in this category, due to some reviews - but I'm very happy with this lens so far. Focus is fast and accurate. Shots at f/2.2 are great. Wide open performance is still good, but like many primes is much better in low light, low contrast, higher ISO - rather than for test charts or backlit tree braches on a sunny day. F/1.8 in bright sun is a bit dreamy. Haven't noticed too much CA.

Background blur is nice - at f/2.2 or so you can nicely isolate a subject. Good focal length on a crop body (used on 40D). Against the competition it offer better build and focus than the 35mm f/2 (and slightly better focal length on a crop body), work on full frame (unlike the Sigma 30mm), and cheaper than either the Zeiss with manual focus or the Canon L - significantly so.

Very happy with this as a walk around prime lens for a crop body. Works great with a subject and blurred background, but needs to be stopped down on a crop body to get sharper corners. For family shots where corners aren't as critical it is ideal.


Aug 31, 2010
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rideklein
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Registered: Apr 2, 2010
Location: N/A
Posts: 18
Review Date: Jun 8, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $459.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Good for Low Light, USM is Fast and Quiet, Focuses Accurately, Nice Size, Reasonable Price, Good Colors, Equivalent FL is near Standard Lens on APS-C.
Cons:
Can be soft at f/1.8 and f/2.0. Sharpens at f/2.2. Very sharp at f/2.8. Bokeh can be nervous when shooting near wide open and the blurred background objects are a only few feet away. (Bokeh improves substantially as the background objects are farther away.)

I use this on a T1i (APS-C) primarily as my indoor lens, never with a flash. My primary subjects are our two young children. (Fast-moving targets.) We live in a relatively dim-lit house, so I use this lens at f/1.8, f/2.0, and f/2.2 most of the time at ISO200 and ISO400.

I started out with the 50mm f/1.8 II, but found its reach too long for indoors. I checked out the 35mm f/2, but was discouraged by how noisy that non-USM lens was. Noisy focus distracts my subjects -- whether they're kids, friends, or family. No one liked candid shots taken of them by a noisy camera. (I realized this when using the 50mm.)

So I opted for the more expensive 28mm f/1.8. No regrets. The keeper rate with this lens is high enough to be satisfactory for me. In fact, last weekend I rented the 35mm f/1.4L, to test the water. I'd rather have the reach of the 35mm, and wanted to see what f/1.4 and f/1.6 looked like, as well as "L" color and depth. It was enjoyable to use, and some pictures turned out great, but in the end I didn't feel it was worth $1,000 more than the 28mm.

My 28mm f/1.8 is a great lens. From reading some of these posts, it does seem that there may be a QC issue, as the reports are all over the map. I'd recommend giving it a shot. If it doesn't meet your expectations, try another copy before throwing in the towel.


Jun 8, 2010
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rk-d
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Registered: Feb 25, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 109
Review Date: May 13, 2010 Recommend? no | Price paid: $440.00 | Rating: 4 

Pros: Build quality is good. Small size and weight. Good AF speed.
Cons:
Soft - poor focus at infinity. Dull, lifeless images. Expensive for the image quality.

This is a poor lens. It is difficult to get a quality image with it - even with AF microadjustment, the focus is poor and general image quality is soft. I would equate it's sharpness to a low end kit lens. Just terrible.

Build quality is good. AF speed is very good and the USM is silent. Nice weight and size for travel and a decent FOV for crop cameras as a walk around lens.

Not recommended.


May 13, 2010
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†††



Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
67 328723 Jul 21, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
87% of reviewers $395.73
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.56
7.53
8.3
ef28mmf_18usm_1_


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