Canon EF 28mm f/2.8 USM IS - APS-C Format Review / Lab Test
Lens Reviews - Canon EOS (APS-C)
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Review by Klaus Schroiff, published October 2012

Note: We've reused some of the corresponding full format review for obvious reasons.


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. Used on APS-C DSLRs the field-of-view is equivalent to a 45mm full format lens so it's more like a standard/normal lens here rather a wide-angle one. Something like street photography would be an obvious application.

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.

Equiv. focal length45 mm (full format equivalent)
Equiv. aperturef/4.5 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field - not speed)
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-

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