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Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM

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66 324594 Feb 21, 2013
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86% of reviewers $395.63
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.57
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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Terry G
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Registered: Feb 11, 2003
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 89
Review Date: Dec 7, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Good image quality.Fast focusing. Nice build (feels well made),usm,ftm.
Cons:
none (so far!!)

I`d had a yearning for a fast `normal` prime since I switched to APSc sensor cameras (from 35mm film when I often used the 50mm 1.4).

I suppose I`d been a bit put off by the less than glowing reviews of this lens up untill very recently, but because I like USM and FTM so much I didn`t see much of an alternative (short of buying a Sigma, which I didn`t want to do), so took the plunge and bought one.

All I can say is that I must have dropped lucky yet again !! I must have bought around twenty or so canon lenses since around 1999 and had good copies every time. To hear some people talk, you`d think canon were incapable of making a half decent lens ! I`ve found the image quality to be very good all round - lovely colour, contrast and sharpness (its even decent wide open at the image centre). Not quite as sharp as the 85 1.8, but not that far behind either..

I`ll be using this lens most of the time as a walk-around lens on my camera (a 40D).

Absolutely no regrets here.





Dec 7, 2007
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wiyum
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Registered: Oct 6, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 26, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Great substitute for a 50mm prime on cropped sensors, 1.8 maximum aperture, image quality is great if you're not shooting charts in a lab
Cons:
Possible build quality issue

I've had this lens for 18 months, after I added it to my 16-35/2.8, 50/1.4, and 100/2.0 because I missed my old film days of walking around the city with a 50mm prime. On my 20d it was perfect for that job, and quickly became my most-used lens. With the hood (a must-buy on this one), I've never seen a bit of flare and sharpness has always been up to snuff. I was always impressed with the image quality, and I certainly got pictures that my 16-35 (because of max aperture) or my 50 (because of focal length) would never have gotten me. Plus, it is small and light, which is a plus.If you bring your SLR to parties or indoor events, this is perhaps the best lens you can buy for the job, short of the 24/1.4L. I've loved my 18 months.

But a problem has been developing for the last 6 months, and finally came to a head today. The front assembly of my lens, from the focusing ring forward to the front element, has become dislodged. Not entirely disconnected (yet), but loose enough to screw up focus and move around changing the entire image... much like movements on a large format camera... shifting the frame without a perspective shift. At any rate, I'm getting it repaired and expect all to be well, but my friend, who grabbed this lens because of my high praise, had the exact same issue (and luckily saw it developing early and fixed it on the last day of his warranty). No other reviews have mentioned it, and in fact this lens is often praised for its build quality, but the lenses that I've owned longer exhibit none of this and this one had become a disaster. It might be an isolated problem, but because the only two I've ever held in my hands both had the same problem, I'm keen to believe there's something going on. Handle this lens gently!

One final note, both my friend and I use the hood with this lens, and both of us store the lens with the hood on backwards. We do the same with our 50mm/1.4 lenses without the same problem, but I am wondering if the issue has something to do with the frequent tension involved in attaching and detaching the hood. Just speculation.


Aug 26, 2007
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R. Piotrowicz
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Registered: Dec 15, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Review Date: Feb 21, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: IQ, speed, build quality, AF speed and accuracy
Cons:
Price

Like many, I was considering this lens along with the Canon 35 2.0 and Sigma 30 1.4. Really just trying to replace the feeling of a 50mm lens on a film body. One can go crazy trying to find the perfect solution here, because there is no perfect solution - all of these lenses have their problems, whether it's CA, build quality, corner sharpness etc. You just have to know what you want out of it and go with the one that gives you more of what you're looking for.

For example, a common complaint about this lens is CA. And yes, if you point this lens up into the sky to photograph tree branches you're going to get some CA. But is that why you want this focal length? I use it mostly for people shots, and lots of indoor available light shooting. CA isn't a problem in these situations.

Looking at samples from all lenses, I don't think there's a huge difference in IQ. The Sigma may have slightly better center performance, but in real life situations (i.e. non-pixel peeping) the difference is barely visible. I find this lens' center sharpness at 1.8 to be pretty good, though I may be in the minority on that one. It improves a good deal stopped down even a little bit.

I've found AF on this lens to be very fast and very accurate in low light. Build quality is as good as it gets for non-Ls - on par with the 100 2.0 and 85 1.8.

The only downside really is price. ~$400 is a lot for this lens, especially considering that the 35 2.0 can be had for around half that, with similar speed and IQ. For me, though, the difference in build quality and AF speed is worth the extra cost - to others it may not be.

All in all, a great little lens. It does what I want it to do and excels in most situations. Highly recommended.


Feb 21, 2007
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ISO1600
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Registered: Jul 6, 2005
Location: Korea, South
Posts: 4388
Review Date: Feb 1, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Price(used), fast focus, sweet image quality, small/tight package
Cons:
not sealed? Not f1.4? i'm reaching here. I love this lens.

I finally got this lens, after thinking about it for a long time.

Really good deal IMO. Focus is lightning fast, as it is on most Ring-USM lenses. Image quality (on 5D) is to be expected for a wide-aperture wideangle- a bit of falloff wide open, and DoF is pretty narrow so it can be hard to nail the focus sometimes. No focus-recompose here!
I couldn't be happier w/ it personally, and i fully reccomend it as a cheap alternative to the 35L.


Feb 1, 2007
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Jman13
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Registered: May 1, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 9827
Review Date: Dec 12, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $399.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Large aperture, fast and accurate focusing, sharp in the center wide open, very sharp across the frame from f/4-f/5.6. Build is very good
Cons:
Corners are soft at large apertures. Contrast is lessened at f/1.8, but is back to good at f/2.2.

I got this lens after owning the Sigma 30 f/1.4 for a while. My Sigma was front focusing a LOT at longer distances, so I took advantage of double rebates and got the 28 f/1.8.

Build is very nice. It's a compact lens, but it's very solid and very well put together.

Autofocus is excellent. Very quick, near silent, FTM, and very accurate. No problems whatsoever.

Colors appear very good and natural. Contrast is very nice. Plenty of contrast is there when stopped down a smidge, and colors are saturated, but not overly so. Images require very little post-processing in many instances.

The lens is sharp at the center from f/1.8. Wide-open sharpness is very acceptable at all focusing distances, and it gets better from there. By f/2.8, the center is razor sharp and the edges are very close. By f/5.6, the entire frame is sharp corner to corner. Corners suffer at large apertures, but not overly so, and it was better wide open in the corners than my Sigma 30mm. Contrast suffers a bit wide open, but returns to normal as early as f/2.2.

Overall, I'm extremely pleased with the lens. Fast, accurate autofocus, definitely usable wide open, and is just a knockout from f/4-f/5.6 and beyond.


Dec 12, 2006
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asabet
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Registered: Sep 13, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 476
Review Date: Nov 30, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, especially at f2 and smaller apertures, especially in the middle 2/3 of the frame
Cons:
Corners are not as sharp unless you stop down a great deal. I am using this on a Canon 30D.

I wanted a fast "normal" prime for my 30D. I agonized over this lens versus the Sigma 30mm f1.4. After reading everything I could find on the net about both lenses, I ordered the Sigma. After trying the Sigma for 2 days, I realized it wasn't for me. The autofocus was not reliable with that lens, and the triangular highlights (due to lens coma) bugged me quite a bit. After returning the Sigma, I bought this lens and have been *very* satisfied with the results I am getting. The autofocus is bang-on even in low light. It is more compact than the Sigma, and build quality is excellent. Sharpness, color, and contrast are good wide open, excellent at f2, and fantastic above f2.2. The only downside is that corner sharpness requires stopping down quite a bit. Very satisfied with this purchase!

Nov 30, 2006
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laimg
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Registered: May 27, 2006
Location: Singapore
Posts: 0
Review Date: Nov 19, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: small, solid and compact build
Cons:
Image quality lower than 35L, but good enough

After buying my 50mm F/1.8 II, I got this 28mm F/1.8. The build is small, solid and compact.
Swapping between 50mm is fast and easy because both are small and light.
Once confirmed I like my 50 and 28, I got 20mm F/2.8 for group photos. Then eventually also got other primes including the 35L.
But I do not find my 28 redundant because changing lenses is easier than 35L.
Hood removal and attachment is also easier than that of 35L.
I can forgive its slightly lower image quality than the 35L, but it is really good enough for event and general usages.
So 28mm F/1.8 confirm my preference of prime. Best buy after 50mm prime.
If not sure what to take, I will attach the 28mm on my 350d first.
I do not consider 3rd party primes (e.g. sigma 35 F/1.4) for color consistency.
Maybe I like it so much because i am just a general user.


Nov 19, 2006
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versiani
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Registered: Jul 6, 2006
Location: Brazil
Posts: 1
Review Date: Nov 8, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: colour, bokeh, contrast, USM, f/1.8
Cons:
at f/1.8 the image may get to soft

It took a long time for me to choose between this lens and a 28mm f/2.8. The MTF results indicate that the f/2.8 is a bit sharper, but I really like low light potential.

After a week using this lens, I'm quite happy with it, as a "standart" on my cropped sensor camera.


Nov 8, 2006
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httivals
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Registered: May 7, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 959
Review Date: Sep 11, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Excellent close focus performance. Excellent bokeh. Very good and even sharpness to edges on a full frame camera, and into the corners from f4 and above. Excellent performing autofocus.
Cons:
Chromatic aberration (which is easy to correct in Photoshop RAW). Microcontrast at infinity focus is good, but not on the level of a NIkon 28mm AIS (or the Zeiss 28mm I'm guessing).

I just got the Canon 28mm f1.8 lens, and am using it on a 5D. I pixel peep, and overall I'm quite impressed with the lens, although it's not at all perfect. I've been testing 28mms in general recently, and the Canon 28mm f1.8 is quite good. It's reasonably sharp in the corners from f2.8 (better than any other 28mm I've tested on full frame at that fstop) and excellent by f4 -f5.6. It is much better than the Canon 28mm f2.8 in the edges and corners at all f- stops. It equals the Canon 28mm f2.8 in the center of the frame. It trounces the 28mm Nikon f2.8 AIS I was testing (with a Fotodiox pro adapter) in the corners until f8. The Canon 28mm f1.8 doesn't have as good of microcontrast at infinity focus as a classic wide angle like the 28mm Nikon f2.8 AIS (one of the truly great 28mms) except in the extreme corners, but it's much better than its so-so reputation. The Canon 28mm f1.8 has very even performance throughout the frame, which is a big plus for wide angles. And it performs excellently for close-ups with nice bokeh. It lives down to its reputation for chromatic abberation. Chromatic aberration is a problem if you don't shoot raw. If you do, it's easy to correct in Photoshop ACR with a -20 adjustment to the red/cyan channel. It's of course a pleasure to have the ability to auto focus and not to need to use stop down metering. Not all Canon wide angle primes are as bad as their reputation. The 28mm f1.8 is an excellent lens if you want a fast 28mm lens. It excels for "environmental portraits," street shooting, and is quite good for landscapes, though perhaps not the best for landscapes. I suspect that it would not perform quite as well on a 1DSII or its rumored higher pixel density successor given the mtf charts. I suspect that the 5D is probably close to maxing out the resolution of the lens, but I have no firm data on which to base this suspicion. On a 5D, it's a very good value, and an excellent overall performer if you want a fast 28mm lens with autofocus. If you only want a 28mm for landscapes with maximum resolution at f8 or above, I'd look at the Nikon 28mm AIS, Contax 28mm f2.8, or maybe the Olympus 28mm lenses.

Sep 11, 2006
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geniousc
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Registered: May 8, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 1773
Review Date: Aug 28, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $260.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Fast focusing USM, large aperture, good IQ
Cons:
None at least now.

After reading all the bad reports on this lens I had the opportunity to pick one up at a good price so I decided to give it ago. The first day I recieved it I went in my backyard and took 4 comparison shots using my 24-105L as a standard shooting both at F 7.1. I must have a defective 28 1.8 because the 28 is very clearly sharper than the 24-105L at 7.1 edge to edge on a 1.6 crop camera. I viewed both shots at the same time 100% crop on a 21 inch monitor. So far I am impressed with the 28 1.8 and unfortunately less impressed with my 24-105L. I'm sure it's not as good at more open apertures but no lens is, but the fact that it is so good at 7.1 satisfies me. It is way better than my 24-105L at F 1.8.

Aug 28, 2006
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Greg83
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Registered: Jan 19, 2005
Location: Slovenia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 13, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $250.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fast, minimal vignetting, sharp, very good at night.
Cons:
CA on some occasions - but easily fixed in PS

I had 35/2 for a long time and it is a very good lens. Friend of mine was selling his 28/1.8 and i took a chance to compare the two. The results on 10d for these two samples showed 28 is a better lens:

- far more precise focusing
- much less light falloff (vignetting)
- better sharpness at same stops (corners also)

It's useful open, very sharp from 2.5 and extremely sharp from 2.8 on. I'd say 35 catches it from 3.5-4.0. It is a bit more expensive, still i think considering the build quality, it's worth it.

This is my main indoor lens and i highly recommend it as a standard lens for cropped cameras.


Aug 13, 2006
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Folk312
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Registered: Aug 5, 2006
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 5, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: solid build, nice lens on a 20D (1.6x makes it almost a 50mm lens), very responsive
Cons:
a bit soft at the edges

This lens is very, very sharp in the center but gets a bit soft toward the edges. It is not an amazing lens, but it is a good one and considering the options in wide angle lenses with USM, I would recommend it. However, for what it delivers I think it is a bit overpriced.


Aug 5, 2006
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Xabier
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Registered: Apr 26, 2006
Location: Spain
Posts: 27
Review Date: Jun 6, 2006 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: 1.8, USM, Good colors, contrast
Cons:

Now, I have a 5d and this lens is incredible! I use it all the time. It isn't an "L" but its image quality is very good. For its price this quality is "outstandying"!.

Jun 6, 2006
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tellingthm
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Registered: Jan 26, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 335
Review Date: Apr 28, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $330.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: size, build, usm, compliments 50/1.4 and 85/1.8 & 100/2 very well, fantastic "normal" prime for a 1.6 crop, good colors and contrast
Cons:
iq not as good as the other canon usm non-L primes, but it's MUCH better than a lot of the bashers of this lens give it credit for

Looking for a "normal" prime, I initially bought a Sigma 30/1.4, but (surprise) it had AF issues, before AND after calibration. So I bought the Canon 28/1.8, and it's fantastic. It feels great on a 20d, and it's built well- very similar to the class of USM non-L primes (20/2.8, 50/1.4, 85/1.8, 100/2).
AF speed is what you'd expect from USM- fast and silent. And, most importantly, accurate. It's not the sharpest lens wide open, but it is definitely more than usable. It's an excellent walk-around lens during the day when used between f/2.8-11, and I don't at all hesitate to use it wide-open when the light gets low or when I'm indoors.
I suppose if I had to find a negative aspect of this lens, it would be the price. You can find great deals on this lens here on FM, but new I wish it was more evenly priced with the 50/1.4 and 85/1.8.

This lens has a lot of bad reviews out there, and if you like to take a picture of a cat sitting in front of a brick wall 50 feet away with the lens wide-open and then blow up the image to an A2 sized print, then this lens probably isn't for you. But if you actually enjoy taking real-world pictures, then I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it.


Apr 28, 2006
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Xabier
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Registered: Apr 26, 2006
Location: Spain
Posts: 27
Review Date: Apr 26, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Construction, 1.8, sharp, contrast
Cons:
-

I have this lens for two months. I have used it on a 20d and on a EOS-3. I like it on the 20d (45mm eq.) but I LOVE it on the EOS-3. Really good Lens. I'm asking for the mitic EF 24mm 1.4 L... will it be so good??

Apr 26, 2006
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nickmeertens
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Registered: Aug 4, 2005
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 41
Review Date: Mar 19, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: It's fast, it's sharp, it's solid and it focusses fast and reliable.
Cons:
-

I got this lens to use as a 'normal' lens on my 20D and i cant find anything to fault it!
Reports about it lacking in sharpness must be from brick wall shooting pixel peepers because in my opinion it is plenty sharp wide open and stopped down i think it exceeds the sensors capabilities.
Color and contrast are great, build quality excellent and the best thing is that it focuses fast and reliable even when the light is dim enough to have to use it wide open at ISO3200!
Go and get one, you won't regret it!


Mar 19, 2006
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Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
66 324594 Feb 21, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
86% of reviewers $395.63
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.57
7.53
8.3
ef28mmf_18usm_1_


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