Monday, October 15, 2012

[Review] Canon 28mm 2.8 IS

Color and contrast on this lens are amazing.

Summary: Canon 28mm 2.8 IS is a nice light lens that is very usable and has somewhat a care-free nature. (Tested on the full-frame 5D Mark 3)

+ Reasonable sharp open wide @ f/2.8
+ Fast AF
+ IS
+ Small and light
+ No moving front element for focusing
+ Color and Contrast

- Cost
- Bad vignetting open wide
- Low-light focusing issues (maybe due to my 5D Mark 3 or the f/2.8)

I needed something small, light, good IQ, and usable. I want to carry a lens that is worry free and take photos at or near magical focal length on a full-framed camera.

Rationale for choosing this lens:

Canon 24mm 2.8 IS - I chose the 28mm instead of the 24mm because of sharpness concerns (not saying the 24mm isn't sharp) and, to my shooting style, 24mm on the full-frame is a bit wide. I also do not like the 24mm wide-angle distortion.

Canon 24-105mm IS - too big and not sharp enough against primes. Distortions, etc. f/4 aperture

Canon 24-70mm I - too big and heavy and no IS. Front elements extend out while zooming.

Canon 24-70mm II - too big and no IS. Front elements extend out while zooming. I'd be a bit scared carrying this 2k+ lens around to adventurous places.

Canon 24mm 1.4L II- 24mm distortion. And also, the 24mm focusing is not quite accurate in my opinion. In a walk-around situation, I would like a care-free point and shoot feeling. The 24mm just doesn't cut it for that in my experience. The 28mm IS also has IS, which helps a bit with camera shake. 28mm IS is also lighter! 24mm costs 50 dollars more.

Canon 35mm 1.4L - 35mm is just not wide enough for certain situations. The 28mm IS actually reminds me of this magical 35mm focal length. I love shooting at 35mm for most walk-around situations. The 28mm IS also has IS, which helps a bit with camera shake. 28mm IS is also lighter!

Therefore, 28mm fits right in the middle! It complements the 24mm 1.4L and the 35mm 1.4L very well. As a travel and walk-around lens, I am enjoying the lens a lot.

The price is ridiculous. Think about this (prices at this moment)-

Lens: 799
Hood: 55
Pouch: 35
= 889

That is a price nearing 17-40, 24-105, 135, and others. If you don't have a 35mm 1.4L, I suggest saving up for it and buy that lens used. 35mm 1.4L really is the partner in crime with this lens in my usage; the 35mm's color, contrast, and f/1.4 are unbeatable.

Has that 35mm 1.4L look with lack of distortion (taken with the Canon 28mm 2.8 IS)

Colors are amazing (taken with the Canon 28mm 2.8 IS)

Sharpness is great; light fall-off is an issue (taken with the Canon 28mm 2.8 IS)

keywords: 28 24 f/2.8 f2.8

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