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Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

ef85mmf_18usm_1_
Review Date: Jul 28, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, bright, and light, with fast USM focusing. An excellent value.
Cons:
Chromatic aberration at the widest apertures, but cleans up easily.

Smaller and FAR LESS costly than the admirable 85/1.2, the 85/1.8 is a perfect value. In the three years I've owned this lens, it's been my top portrait glass. At receptions, it's usually on the 20D when the 40D is wearing the 17-55/2.8. Its sharpness and bokeh have elicited "ooooos" and "aaaaas" from my customers. That's good enough for me. :-)

 
Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM

ef28mmf_18usm_1_
Review Date: Mar 2, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: sharpens up nicely at f2.2 and beyond; very good bokeh (7-blade); the perfect walk-around prime for a 1.6x FOVCF camera (45mm FF-equiv); unquestioned compatibility
Cons:
price may be a little steep for some, but compare to L-series; 'dreamy' appearance at f1.8, but not a probem in the real world

My hands-off comparison against the Sigma 30mm/f1.4 was long. After months of studying reviews, forum posts, charts, and sample photos, I determined the anguish was unneccessary. The Canon 28mm/f1.8 is welcome addition to my 20D.

Where the loose but otherwise excellent 50mm/f1.4 is a great portrait lens for a 1.6x FOVCF camera, the FF-equivalent 80mm is too long for indoor gatherings. At a FF-equivalent 45mm, the 28mm lens is the perfect walk-around prime for me, and a perfect choice for low-light indoor events. Having shot through a 50mm prime for years with an AE-1, I should have known better.

Chromatic abberations? Distortion? Softness wide open? None of these 'problems' appear to manifest themselves significantly in real-world use. f1.8 is nice for a brighter viewfinder, but I prefer shooting at f2.2 and above. Stopped down just a bit, the lens sharpens up nicely, and has bokeh nearly as pleasing as that produced by the 50mm/1.4.

Stop pixel peeping, stop vacillating, and start shooting. The Canon 28mm/f1.8 is a very good prime.