Canon EF 28mm f/2.8 USM IS - Full Format Review / Test
Lens Reviews - Canon EOS (Full Format)

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published October 2012


The (old) Canon EF 28mm f/2.8 is a relic of the earliest days of EOS. This year it celebrated its 25th(!) year in production which is nothing short of amazing for an AF lens. However, 2012 is finally also the year of its successor - the Canon EF 28mm f/2.8 USM IS. As you may notice the focal length and speed remained the same but Canon added a modern USM (Ultrasonic) AF as well as an image stabilizer. While USM is not really a killer argument (the micro-motor AF drive was fast enough after all), the IS certainly widens its usage scope specifically with respect to low light photography. As such it is an obvious choice e.g. for street or indoor photography. Given its focal length and speed it certainly faces stiff competition from the zoom lens gang here but some users may prefer to have a smaller and more light-weight option here.

The build quality is on a very high level thanks to a lens barrel made of high quality plastics based on a metal mount. Officially the lens is not weather-sealed but it keeps a constant physical length at all focus settings so there aren't really many spaces where water/dust could penetrate into the body anyway. The focus ring operates smoothly.

As already hinted the AF is based on a ring-type USM which is both very fast as well as virtually silent. Full-time manual focusing (FTM) is, of course, supported. According to Canon the new IS stabilizer is good enough for about 4-stops. As always we suggest to take this with a little grain of salt. In the real life it is about 1 stop less in our opinion.

Optical construction9 elements in 7 groups inc. 1x aspherical element
Number of aperture blades7 (circular)
min. focus distance0.23 m (max. magnification: ~1:5)
Dimensions68.4 x 51.5 mm
Weight260 g
Filter size58 mm (non-rotating)
Hoodpetal-shaped, optional
Other features-

Disclosure: When you click on links to various merchants on this site and make a purchase, this can result in this site earning a commission. Affiliate programs and affiliations include, but are not limited to, the eBay Partner Network and Google Adsense.