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Keywords: Canon EF Wide Prime 35mm USM Tested


Registered: December 2012
Posts: 2
Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM review by DanSlr
Review Date: 12/31/2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $500.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: "Normal view" for a APS-C camera, sharp, excellent bokeh, lightweight compared to zoom lenses, excellent built, great film lens
Cons: Some "travelling" of the auto focus, difficult to focus in low light

I recently got this after thinking about buying it for at least one year. After reading the reviews I decided to go for this one instead of the Sigma 30mm F1.4.

This lens have been "glued" to my Canon 7D after I got it. The feel and "fun factor" of this lens is huge. This lens makes the focus point stand out like you want it to due to the F1.8. However, I choose to use F2.0 and above since F1.8 can seem a bit soft and some different colours than above F1.8.

The bokeh is absolutely lovely. For filming this lens is superb. I wish it had IS, but so far it seems ok without it as well.

For low light, handheld photo or filming on a APS-C sensor camera I would not hesitate to recommend this lens.

Get it.

Registered: October 2012
Posts: 52
Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM review by dugong5pm
Review Date: 10/9/2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $425.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: fast f1.8, IQ, price
Cons: rather soft wide open

this is a lens intended to be used on FullFrame (35mm) system. Use it on Full Frame cameras, and it shines. I use it mostly for street photographs with my 5D. It never let me down. It's like a 24mm f/1.4 on a budget (for a fraction of price and weight).

I wouldn't use it for my APS system. Tried once, and it sucks (so so results). You won't buy one of these for an APS system.

Registered: May 2012
Posts: 3
Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM review by sjp010
Review Date: 5/21/2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $360.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: Small, great build, very sharp away from extreme corners
Cons: slightly soft wide open - clears up by f/2.2, hood not included

Honestly, I think this lens has an undeservedly bad reputation among "technical" reviewers on the internet. I'm sure it sucks at shooting test charts wide open. I don't shoot test charts - I shoot people indoors (groups, activity-based portraits, etc) with this lens on an original 5D with wide apertures. The image quality is great as far as I am concerned. Test chart reviewers knock this lens for soft corners at wide apertures - I couldn't' care any less about that in my style of photography.

Build is great - very solid and fast AF via ring USM.

My only real complaint is the noticeable softness at f/1.8. It's useable there, but it's so much better just 2/3-stop away at f/2.2 that I shoot there most of the time.

Registered: November 2008
Posts: 31
Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM review by MartinM
Review Date: 2/3/2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $450.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: Fast and accurate AF, light, very good IQ at f2.0
Cons: no hood, no leather case

On my 5D Mark II this lens is the total opposite of the Ef 50 1.4. It is fast and accurate. Even if at f1.8 it tends to be a tad soft, at f2.0 this one is really good. I have no clue how so many people complain about this lens. I had the 50mm and that one was really not good. No 10, because the 70-200L IS II USM is sharper. ;-)

Registered: June 2011
Posts: 3
Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM review by Kenneth67c
Review Date: 6/6/2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $540.00| Rating: 8 

Pros: Ultra fast autofocus, decent sharpness, bright lens
Cons: Soft corners, some CA, cost

This is a bright lens, good for its fast autofocus, shooting young kids running around. Even if they move, the wide angle is sufficient to cover the area. Has nice bokeh and good for low light photography. I now realize its a bit expensive, but still cheaper than the 35L and 24L. A poor man's fast wide angle lens.

Registered: August 2010
Posts: 4
Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM review by redvsion
Review Date: 1/26/2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $360.00| Rating: 8 

Pros: Size/weight, build (for the price), AF, Aperture.
Cons: Softer at f/1.8, esp. on crop sensor. MF ring too stiff.

When I purchased my first L lens I worried I would never be able to enjoy a cheaper lens, but I'm finding that's not the case, I'm simply more picky. The 28mm is not L-quality, but it's very good for what it is. On a full-frame 5D it's brilliant to use, just enough heft to make it not feel cheap but light enough to not be a burden. At f/1.8 it's a bit soft and lacks contrast, but it's still very usable for low-light work. It improves dramatically even at f/2. Colors are spot-on, as opposed to many aftermarket lenses I've used, and AF is as good as I've come to expect from anything with USM.

However, this is a lens that doesn't seem to like pixel density. On a 10D, my thoughts are the same for this lens as they are for the 5D. On a 40D, however, it remains soft at f/2 and only really improves in sharpness as you approach f/2.8. There also seems to be more bloom in highlight areas. It's harder to justify the purchase of this lens on a newer crop-sensor body since you're losing so many stops to image softness. In my opinion a lot of the "cool" factor of this lens is lost at 45mm, too.

Registered: July 2010
Posts: 1
Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM review by veritas
Review Date: 7/18/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $489.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: Razor sharp images, fast accurate and silent auto focus, light weight and built like a tank.
Cons: A bit pricey but not bad.

I recently bought my first camera to take to Europe.

I had no idea what I was doing so studied long and late on the online sites and decided on the Canon 50D.

I also got this lens for the low light indoor, no flash shots I would be taking. I stumbled right into optical excellence, beginners' luck I guess.

As I had no photographic experience I used the camera's auto scene modes and took every pic with different settings till I got what I wanted.

The thing that struck me first was how all the images shot in the dark interiors were brighter than what I was seeing with my eyes!

Color and contrast were exceptional even in very low lighting. I didn't even know enough to manually focus in dim light and most shots were great.

Outdoor landscapes were sharply focused all the way through the optical range using Canon's A-Dep setting. It basically sets a high aperture setting and lets fly.

I recently read an online review that said this lens has very poor image quality.

I went back to look at my results and am even more amazed at them given the fact that as a complete beginner the camera/lens combo did all the work and still got some amazing shots. The low light ones really show what the lens can do.

A friend of mine who travels all over the world has never had anything but a cheap point and shoot.
Now that he's seen my results he's going to get real equipment to record his travels.

My son also wants to get into photography after seeing the night shots I took in Paris while riding down the Seine River.

Two converts with one lens,what else needs to be said?

Registered: February 2010
Posts: 1
Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM review by JT
Review Date: 2/4/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $5.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: Perfect for indoors low-light portraits
Cons: Forget it in architecture shots

This lens really shines when comes to portraits of children indoors in poor lightning. Its tack sharp on short distance. Not so sharp if you want to take a picture of a group of people. I use it set to 2,0 when my three grandchildren (boys) visit every sunday. I tried my 17-55 2,8 and my 50 1,4. Both great lenses, but the images can´t match those taken by the 28 1,8. If I use my flashgun 430 ex ii the images are almost to sharp. The bokeh is wonderful by the way.


Registered: December 2009
Posts: 1
Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM review by scooterzz
Review Date: 12/24/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $475.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: Fast, accurate, never miss AF. Excellent center sharpness even wide open.
Cons: Price a bit steep ...

The standard criticism of this lens revolves around (a) corner softness wide open, and (b) CA issues. But unless you're in the habit of putting your main subject in the corner in a low-light situation where f1.8 counts, the sharpness issue is moot; this lens if plenty sharp in the center wide open. Similarly, unless you're shooting landscapes in daylight at f1.8, the CA "problem" never arises.

Great lens, particularly for folks looking for a normal lens on an APS-C frame. Dead-bang AF accuracy - and great speed - at all settings. Blows away focus-troubled products like the Sigma 30mm f1.4.

Registered: June 2007
Posts: 1
Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM review by solenostomus
Review Date: 6/30/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 7 

Pros: very fast lens, good price
Cons: not terribly sharp

I use this lens on a 1.6x crop body and take it mainly to museums, churches and other dark places. In places where you can't use a flash this lens is the difference between a decent shot and none at all. The lens is small, unobtrusive and has a good solid feel to it.
I tried it for portraits once, because the room was too small for a 85 or 100, but the photos looked weird and weren't really usable. It is however quite decent for landscape, outdoor and campfire scenery.

Registered: May 2006
Posts: 62
Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM review by gadgetguy
Review Date: 1/5/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 9 

Pros: great image quality
Cons: none

On a crop camera, this is the much cheaper alternative to the 35/1.4L as a "normal" lens. For many - the price difference between the two doesn't translate to an image quality difference. This lens is 90% of the 35L at 30% of the price.

Highly recommended.

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 10
Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM review by tdotduffman
Review Date: 12/31/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 9 

Pros: Useable at near-max aperture, high-speed low-drag
Cons: AF accuracy in sub-optimal light

This is a splendid little lens which has forced me to be less lazy on my feet. I like it as an indoor lens when quarters are tight and the light is low. It improves dramatically from 1.8 to 2, and I find that I can achieve a good number of keepers at that aperture — better to have a little less sharpness for the sake of the shutter speed, but really, f/2 produces quite good quality. Above about f/5.6 it's impressively sharp (or f/4, by the SLR gear tests). Its small size make people less unsettled by the photographer's presence, especially when he's up close getting a tight shot with a short lens.

Autofocus is another issue. I'm not sure if it's the lens or the body (350d), but at distances of over eight or ten feet, focus precision is really inconsistent. Perhaps it's because of the stage lights, or maybe the subject was isolated enough from the background; my EF-S 17-85 is more accurate and hunts a bit less at 28mm given the same conditions. Nonetheless I only feel comfortable using this lens at close range. The wideangle nature combined with a small viewfinder makes it very difficult to manual focus in conditions where the autofocus won't do. I know available light is tough, but this is the sort of lens designed for such situations. As usual, good light solves the AF issues.

Registered: July 2006
Posts: 9
Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM review by photogjack
Review Date: 7/22/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $400.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: Relatively small and lightweight, very sharp
Cons: none

This is a great lens on a full frame body, like the 5D or 1Ds series cameras. My copy is significantly sharper and less prone to flare than my 16-35 f2.8 zoom, even wide open and it focusses very quickly (much faster than my 50 f1.4). It is a terrific lens with no negatives.


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