Canon EF 28mm f/2.8 USM IS Reviews And Video (Update)

Update: added another EF 28mm IS USM review.

The Canon EF 28mm f/2.8 IS USM succeds the EF 28mm f/2.8, a lens that was in production for 25 years and has now been discontinued. The old Canon 28mm can still be found on Amazon ($349) and on eBay (for $399, which is excessive in my opinion). 28mm on a crop sensor give you a focal length of 45mm, near the normal focal length (50mm). I like the focal lenght on the crop body and I own the old Canon 28mm. It is one of the lens I use more often on my crop body, especially for street photography.

The new Canon EF 28mm isn’t an earthshaking technical progress. Focal length and maximum aperture didn’t change, although Canon widely changed the optical design. An ultrasonic motor that drives the auto-focus and image stabilization are the new features. A fast and very silent auto-focus isn’t a bad feature, though the micro-motor on my EF 28mm has never been to slow, it was louder. Canon claims the IS gives you 4 stops, although you should probably consider a more realistic figure of 2-3 stops. Uh, and the price, which is around three times the price of its predecessor.

A relatively fast prime (f/2.8) that’s not an “L” lens and goes over the counter for $800/€700. There is nothing revolutionary or innovative in this Canon prime. It’s a well built lens (though not being an “L” lens the build quality is very high), and it doesn’t extend and hence is little exposed to dust and water. It has a rock solid, reliable performance, sharpness is absolutely impressive, it’s lightweight, and wouldn’t it be for the price I am sure this could be a bestseller. Some macro capabilities are also given, the lens has a 0.2x magnification and a close-focusing distance of 23 cm (9 inches). Here are some Canon EF 28mm f/2.8 USM IS reviews for you to check. writes

The Canon EF 28mm f/2.8 USM IS is, undoubtedly, a high performance lens with only a few weaknesses. The center performance is breathtaking and the border quality is also very good if you close the aperture by a stop or so. The lens is also capable of keeping its performance in close-focus scenarios. The low amount of lateral CAs contributes to the high sharpness perception as well. The lens produces a slight amount of mustache-style barrel distortion which is lower than most zoom lenses. The vignetting characteristic is a a weak spot – at max. aperture there’s quite a bit of light falloff so you should stop down to at least f/4 to reduce the issue to a more sane level (unless you’re after the effect, of course).

From Slrgear’s lab test:

On a sub-frame camera such as our studio Canon 7D, the lens provides excellent sharpness across its aperture settings; on a full-frame camera, the corners of the lens show a little softness.

Mounted on the Canon 7D, the lens provides consistent sharpness from its widest setting of ƒ/2.8 through to ƒ/11; while it’s not tack-sharp, it is very sharp indeed. Diffraction limiting sets in appreciably by ƒ/16, and there is a generalized softness when fully stopped-down at ƒ/22.

Mounted on the full-frame Canon 1Ds mkIII, we noted a bit more of the lens’ corners: specifically, it’s a bit soft in the extreme corners when used wide open at ƒ/2.8 and ƒ/4, and while the central region of the frame offers excellent results for sharpness, the corner areas trail very slightly behind.


[Update] Another detailed review with samples (and comparison with other Canon primes) can be found at The Digital Picture. Some excerpts:

I am modestly surprised that Canon decided to not include the Canon EF 28mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens in the L Series, but, like the 24 f/2.8 IS, the 28 f/2.8 IS has image quality that challenges these impressive lenses. The 28 f/2.8 IS has a price that makes adding the extra red paint around the end of the lens seem logical. […]

With good technique and a stable, standing shooting position, I am getting a very good percentage of sharp shots at 1/5 – 1/4 second. Beyond 1/4 sec, the keeper rate drops off gradually with sharp images still obtainable at close to 1 sec exposures. The IS assistance I experience is about 3 stops. […]

In a quiet environment, you will be able to hear the shuffling of elements inside the lens while autofocusing, but … this is one of the quieter-focusing lenses available.

Canon EF 28mm f/2.8 USM IS Reviews

Canon EF 28mm f/2.8 IS USM price check: Amazon USA, Amazon CA, B&H Photo, Adorama, Digitalrev, KEH Camera, eBay US, Canon USA, Canon CA, BestBuy

Canon EF 28mm f/2.8 price and availability check: Amazon USA, Amazon CA, B&H Photo, Adorama, Digitalrev, KEH Camera, eBay US, Canon USA, Canon CA, BestBuy


Deal: Rebel T3i/EOS 600D Kit With Two Lenses, Printer And More For $599

Deal: Rebel T3i/EOS 600D Kit With Two Lenses, Printer And More For $999

Canon Rebel T3i Kit with 18-55mm IS II & 55-250mm IS II Lenses and PIXMA Pro9000 Printer and more stuff for $599 (after mail-in rebates, click here). Great starter kit with lots of accessories. You get all you need to express your creativity. With all these new Canon cams arriving next (EOS 6D announced, EOS M shipping, others to come) we will see more Canon sales. These sales usually have limited stocks.

The EOS Rebel T3i Digital Camera with 18-55mm IS II & 55-250mm IS II Lenses and PIXMA Pro9000 Printer Kit from B&H Photo provides you with the Rebel T3i DSLR camera body, both of the EF-S 18-55mm IS II and EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II lenses, and PIXMA Pro9000 Mark II inkjet printer. In addition to these, you also get accessories to complement them like a memory card, shoulder camera bag, and photo paper. You’ll be ready to shoot from day one with this set-up. And should you want to expand your selection of lenses for the T3i, all Canon EF and EF-S lenses are compatible with your new camera.


Canon EOS-1D C vs EOS-1D X – More Than Just Firmware

Some time ago we reported a news saying that the only difference between the Canon EOS-1D X ($6,799 – click here for specs) and the Canon EOS 1D C ($12,999 – click here for specs) was the firmware and that the two cameras had the same hardware. Exactly the same hardware, and $7000 more to pay for the EOS-1D C and its Cinema features (4k recording). The information we reported (source: EOSHD) came from a Canon Europe product manager

Canon confirmed me today the 1D C 4K DSLR is a 1D X with a firmware update. Identical hardware. […] I also had a impromptu talk to a Canon Europe product manager who was very open and honest about Canon’s approach with this camera

The 1D C is a 1D X with a 4K firmware update. Canon’s man told me that the only hardware change was to do with the flash sync jack (or one of the other jacks if my exact memory fails me). So essentially the 1D X hardware – sensor, processor, everything – is capable of 4K video, 100%, no heat or bandwidth issues either.

But things are not as they appeared. Canon Rumors investigated further and it seems there is more than just firmware that differentiates the EOS-1D C from the EOS-1D X. While it wasn’t possible (so far) to find someone who agreed to open his or hers EOS-1D C and have a look inside, some more information came in about the EOS 1D C internals, saying that, yes, the CPU, the image sensor and the auto-focus system are the same as in the EOS 1D X, but there is «reworked circuitry and design to dissipate heat for the 4K recording». I guess the info came from someone at Canon. Sounds plausible, but does this legitimate the $7000 price difference between the two cameras? We will know for sure as soon as someone will open the camera. It’s a pity that Canon doesn’t release an official statement about this issue.

One of the reasons for the higher price tag of the EOS-1D C are taxes. In Europe, for instance, there are much higher import taxes to pay for the EOS-1D C than for the EOS-1D X. The reason is: the 1D C is classified as a video camera, hence the different tax tarrifs. Have you ever questioned why there is a 29 minutes limit for clips you record with your DSLR? For exactly the same reason. If a camera can record clips longer than 30 minutes it would be classified as a video camera and get a higer price because of the taxes.

Canon EOS-1D X price check: Amazon USA, Amazon CA, B&H Photo, Adorama, Digitalrev, KEH Camera, eBay US, Canon USA, Canon CA, BestBuy


Remains Of The Day


Deal: Canon EOS 5D Mark II Kit For $2200 (EF 24-105mm, Pro9000 Mark II And More Stuff)

Canon EOS 5D Mark II with EF 24-105mm, Pro9000 Mark II And More Stuff For $2.200

There is a very interesting sale going on at B&H: Get the Canon EOS 5D Mark II kit for $2.200 with EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens, PIXMA Pro9000 Mark II printer and more stuff (after additional mail-in rebate of $400). The kit includes:

  • Canon EOS 5D Mark II Digital Camera
  • Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM AF Lens
  • Lowepro Rezo 170 AW Camera Shoulder Bag
  • Vello FreeWave Plus Wireless Remote Shutter Release – 2.4GHz (for Canon)
  • Canon PIXMA Pro9000 Mark II Inkjet Printer
  • Canon Photo Paper Plus Semi-Gloss 13 x 19″ (50 Sheets)

The kit is listed with a price tag of $2,599 but there are additional rebates to top on. After the mail-in rebate of $400 the kit comes for $2,199 (click here). The offer lasts until December 31st, but it will probably be over much earlier (limited quantity).

In order to start you off right with professional level equipment, B&H Photo has created this EOS 5D Mark II DSLR with 24-105mm f/4L IS Lens and Pro9000 Mark II Printer Kit which also includes a wireless remote, semi-gloss photo paper, and camera bag to store and carry your gear. The EOS 5D Mark II DSLR camera improves upon the previous EOS 5D model with an increased resolution of 21.1MP and the addition of Live View to preview your shots on the 3.0″ 920K-dot LCD display, or shoot Full HD 1080p video with stereo sound. You can also use the included remote to shoot hands-free for self-portraits or vibration sensitive images.

Chris Gampat over at The Phoblographer wrote an interesting post about why he is still sticking with the Mk II.