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Keywords: Canon EF Wide Prime 35mm IS Stabilized USM tested

Prime Minister

Registered: May 2011
Posts: 39
Canon EF 28mm f/2.8 IS USM review by Prime Minister
Review Date: 6/6/2015 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $415.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, compact, lightweight, stabilization, build quality
Cons: Somewhat expensive

Unlike Nikon, Canon decided not to drastically change the optical design of their budget prime lenses (24mm, 28mm, 50mm). This resulted in a series of lightweight and compact lenses with a classic feel. Personally, I think these primes have just the right size and shouldn't be any bigger.

Build quality is fine. The stippled texture looks great, the lens feels sturdy and nothing moves when focussing. The lens mount is metal. I never buy a lens with a plastic lens mount. The AF/MF and IS switches are small, but they don't feel particularly fragile. I don't use them that often anyway.

Autofocus is quick, accurate and virtually silent. I don't know if it's suitable for video. I think you will hear the focusing motor. The image stabilization is nice for video. The focus ring feels nice and makes focussing manually easy.

Optically, this Canon 28mm f/2.8 USM IS doesn't disappoint me. Yes, the corners are a little soft (full frame), there's a significant amount of vignetting wide open and there's visible chromatic aberration, but I don't really mind. Stop it down a little and the results certainly look good enough for me. It might not be the best companion for a 50 megapixel sensor, but on a 22 megapixel sensor it works fine.

Some people think that image stabilization on a wide angle lens is totally unnecessary, but I think it's a useful option to have. You can shoot this lens handheld under moonlight. Great for photos at night or indoors. I can see myself using the IS in museums, churches and on the street. Combined with the excellent high ISO performance of the Canon 6D, the IS can help me make detailed photos in situations I normally needed a tripod.

The image quality is good enough for most of us, the price is reasonable, it doen't weigh much and it doesn't take up much space in your camera bag. To me this new USM IS version is a big upgrade from the previous cheap plastic version.

So, would I recommend this lens? Yes, if you're not someone who demands the absolute best image quality. If you need that, you will have to spend more money. Prepare to carry more weight and you might need a bigger bag.


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