Canon EF 28mm f2.8 IS USM review

Canon EF 28mm f2.8 IS USM review

Canon EF 28mm f2.8 IS USM Is a full frame lens for Canon DSLRs, released in 2012 alongside the Canon EF 24mm f2.8 IS USM and Canon EF 35mm f2 IS USM. All of these lenses are very good optically. They also have a plus in the form of effective optical stabilization. The choice is only for the focal length. In this article, we will talk about 28mm.

Thanks to the store for the lens provided.

The focal length of 28mm is roughly the same (equivalent) to that of standard cameras in phones. It's a wide angle, but not too wide. With a lens like this, you won't feel the problem of drooping sides / corners and, at the same time, it is quite easy to shoot with it. The frame will fit approximately what you see in front of you without significant distortion. It is not without reason that this field of view was chosen as the standard one for mobile devices. On the other hand, as an experienced photographer with such a lens, I am frankly bored. It doesn't give you the opportunity to play with wide-angle perspective and shoots pretty mundanely.

Outwardly looks like this


Speaking of optical qualities, Canon EF 28mm f2.8 IS USM - shows itself very well already from an open aperture of f2.8. Covering the aperture slightly improves the edges of the image, but even when the aperture is open, they cannot be called soapy. The Canon R5 easily "resolves" all 45 megapixels. Moreover, this lens was recommended by the manufacturer for the Canon 5DsR with its 51 megapixels.  Sample photos and tests are in the video review at the end of the article.

Built-in optical image stabilization compensates for up to 4 stops of exposure. In fact, with a lens like this, you can shoot handheld at night. reasonable ISO around 1000. But I would still strongly recommend using tripod for night landscape photography. Optical stabilization also allows for quite comfortable shoot a video from hands, shaking is compensated quite confidently.

  • The lens has small dimensions and weight, which is a definite plus.
  • Focusing is quiet and average in speed.

Briefly about the previous model 28mm f2.8

Previously, I had an older version (1987 of release) of this lens - Canon EF 28mm f2.8... It does not have a USM motor, which makes the focusing process quite noticeable - in terms of sound and speed. The previous version has a weaker construct. Although both lenses are made of plastic, the quality of the material is different. The newer Canon EF 28mm f2.8 IS USM feels tighter and more expensive. Optically they are similar, but the new one will have a slightly better sharpness at the edges when open. The updated EF 28mm f2.8 IS USM has an optical stabilizer, which is very nice in some situations. The old EF 28mm f2.8 feels cheap and old, the more modern EF 28mm f2.8 IS USM will be more fun to own. This is how I would describe the difference between them. Photos will be +/- the same.

Canon EF 28mm f1.8 USM in brief

There is another ancient lens - Canon EF 28mm f1.8 USM... It was released in 1995. I also had it. It's nice that there is a USM motor, so it focuses relatively quickly and quietly. But the trouble is with the sharpness. The lens was clearly not designed for use with digital cameras. Even covering the diaphragm did not give satisfactory results. But with an aperture of f1.8, when shooting at close distances, you get significantly more bokeshki compared to f2.8. Today I would no longer recommend it for purchase.

Watch my video review on the Canon EF 28mm f2.8 IS USM

Review of Canon EF 28mm f / 1.8 USM

I was pleased with this lens when I bought it in 2014 with a Canon 5D mark II. I would not recommend it for modern cameras. Sharpness is frankly lame.

What is it for?

This is a convenient travel lens (on par with the Canon EF 28mm f / 2.8). Why? There are 2 very good reasons for this:

First, a very convenient focal length. On full frame 28mm is wide. You can shoot landscapes, narrow streets, sights near you, etc. However, this focal length will still be quite convenient on the crop.

comparison of wide-angle lenses

Canon 24-70 2.8, 28 1.8 and Sigma 35 1.4 in size comparison

Secondly, what I consider to be a very important advantage, it is very small and light (310g). Dimensions and weight are very important when traveling. He does not attract attention to himself (from the outside it looks quite amateur), and will not be a burden if you carry him with you all day.

However, travel is not its only use. It is convenient for them to shoot reports indoors. With 28mm, you will never be cramped. And if you need to take a close-up of something, you just need to come closer. With this approach, you can completely do without zoom. You don't need to place people at the edges of the frame, because there are distortions in the corners. Distortion is tolerable for general scenes, but the faces of people in group portraits in the corners of the frame will be elongated.


I started by describing the focal length, while the Canon 28 1.8 has another important advantage - aperture. Really you can shoot from f2... At 1.8, the image is low contrast and not at all sharp. Closing f-stop improves the situation, but now there are many more adequate lenses in sharpness. For example, Canon EF 35mm f2 IS. Yes, it's more expensive, but it's worth it.

Canon EF 28mm f / 1.8 USM vs Canon EF 28mm f2.8

Also worth mentioning is the Canon 28mm f2.8. It is also a very good lens. I would safely recommend it as a staff instead of everyone's favorite Canon 50mm 1.8... It's inexpensive, sharp (slightly sharper than the Canon 28 1.8), very light (185g) and compact. Should the 2.8 aperture be considered a disadvantage? Indoors f2 is beneficial. The Canon EF 28mm f / 1.8 USM lets you shoot much more in low light. It even seems that more light is visible in the pictures than the human eye sees (I'm not talking about Sigma 35 1.4). But is it always necessary? You need to understand why the lens is purchased. Because at closed apertures the Canon 28mm f2.8 and Canon 28mm f1.8 USM are almost identical. And the difference in cost is 2 times.


Canon 28mm 1.8 USM bokehThe bokeh is nice. It's a matter of taste. My opinion is better than +24(70)2.8-XNUMX XNUMXbut worse than Sigme 35 1.4... However, it is not surprising that the higher the aperture, the better the background blur. More details in this stuff.


Test videos (bokeh)

Overall image quality

It pleases. Excellent color reproduction, typical of native lenses from Canon, saturated colors, picture contrast - everything is excellent.

Sharpness. This is not the sharpest lens I have ever held in my hands. By modern standards, to be honest, it is soapy on any diaphragm.


Subjective opinion - it is very pleasant to hold it in your hands. Small, compact, and at the same time fast and versatile and with poor detail. Together with Canon 85mm 1.8 they can shoot anything. These two lenses complement each other well. There are more expensive alternatives like Canon EF 24mm 1.4L or Canon EF 35 1.4L and Sigma 35mm1.4, but there is a very, very good lens - Canon 35mm f2 IS USM... Moreover, it has an advantage in size and weight over the listed expensive wide-angle lenses.

Also read Canon EF 28mm f2.8 IS USM review

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To protect the front lens of the lens, I recommend using Hoya protective filters.