The Canon 28mm 2.8 lens is a budget version of the Canon 28mm 1.8 lens. You can get the best price on this lens from Amazon. B&H Photo and Adorama also have it in stock.

This is an old lens that was released back in the 80s. This lens is just as old as the EOS system itself.

Canon EF 28mm 2.8 Lens

Lens Score (APS-C Sensor)
Optical Quality: (3.5 / 5)
Build Quality: (3 / 5)
Value for Money: (4 / 5)

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This lens is compatible with both cropped sensor and full frame sensor DSLR camera. When used with a cropped sensor this lens effectively become a normal lens.

I personally think that this lens is better than the more expensive f/1.8 version. Sure, the f/1.8 offers much better build quality, but the optical performance is simply not up to my liking.

This lens surprisingly performs better optically compared to the f/1.8 version. However, you should not expect professional build quality when you look at the price.

If you are after good optics and want an excellent lens for the money, this lens will not disappoint.

See my complete Canon 28mm 2.8 review below.

Technical Specs

Official Name:
Canon EF 28mm f/2.8

Focal Length Markings:
28mm

Features:
EF – Electro Focus – Compatible with both full frame and cropped sensor DSLR camera.

Full Technical Specs (from Canon’s website):

Technical Specifications
Groups / Elements 5 / 5
Angle of View 75° (FF)
Number of Blade Diaphragm 5
Minimum Aperture f/22
Minimum Focusing Distance 0.3m
Filter Thread 52mm
Weight 185g
Dimension (Diameter x Length) ø67.4 x 42.5mm)
Macro Magnification Ratio 0.13X

Optical Performance

Sharpness

Center sharpness is excellent at any aperture.

Border sharpness is a tad weak at f/2.8. Stop down one stop to f/4 to make it much sharper.

To get the maximum sharpness, shoot at f/4.

Sharpness Scale (from Best to Worst):
(5) Excellent
(4) Great
(3) Good
(2) Fair
(1) Poor

Center Sharpness

Focal Length / Aperture f/2.8 f/4 f/5.6 f/8
28mm Excellent Excellent Excellent Great

Border Sharpness

Focal Length / Aperture f/2.8 f/4 f/5.6 f/8
28mm Good Great Great Great

Distortion

Barrel distortion is quite visible on this lens, but not to the extreme degree. It can easily be corrected in post processing.

You can see the distortion grid test below.

Canon 28mm 2.8 Distortion Test

Distortion Test

Vignetting

Vignetting is visible at f/2.8. Stop down to f/4 and it will be greatly reduced.

See my vignetting test chart below.

Canon 28mm 2.8 Vignetting Test

Vignetting Test

Chromatic Aberration

Chromatic aberration control is just average on this lens. It behaves a bit strange.

At f/2.8 and f/4, chromatic aberration is well controlled. However at f/5.6 and f/8, there is visible chromatic aberration.

You can avoid it by shooting at wide aperture or correct it in post processing.

See the full chromatic aberration test result below.

Chromatic Aberration Scale (from Best to Worst):
(5) Negligible
(4) Very Low
(3) Low
(2) High
(1) Very High

Chromatic Aberration

Focal Length / Aperture f/2.8 f/4 f/5.6 f/8
28mm Very Low Low High High

Build Quality

Materials

Good quality plastics. Very decent for a budget lens.

Focusing

The focusing ring is not as smooth as other Canon lenses. This might be due to the old design.

The lens extend slightly when focusing. Autofocus is very fast and accurate, event though this is a non-USM lens.

The front filter does not rotate so using a polarizing filter will not be a problem.

Image Stabilization

There is no Image Stabilization feature on this lens.

Compatibility

Being an EF lens, this lens can be used with both cropped sensor and full frame DSLR such as Canon 5D Mark II. It is also compatible with 35mm film SLR camera.

Sample Image

Below are some sample shots that I took using this lens. Click on any thumbnail to open the image.

Canon 28mm 2.8 Sample Image 1

Sample Image 1


Canon 28mm 2.8 Sample Image 2

Sample Image 2


Canon 28mm 2.8 Sample Image 3

Sample Image 3


Canon 28mm 2.8 Sample Image 4

Sample Image 4


Canon 28mm 2.8 Sample Image 5

Sample Image 5

Conclusion

Let us conclude this Canon 28mm 2.8 lens review.

As I have mentioned in the beginning, I much prefer this lens than the more expensive f/1.8 version.

This is because it has better optical quality even though it does not offer the same build quality.

Sharpness is excellent on the center. Borders are a bit weak at f/2.8 but should not be a problem since stopping down to f/4 greatly improves the sharpness.

This lens only has some minor issue in the f/2.8 aperture. At this aperture, the vignetting is apparent. Distortion is slightly visible, but can easily be corrected (much better than the f/1.8 lens).

Chromatic aberration gets higher when you stop down the lens (which is really awkward).

Since this is a budget lens, you cannot expect the same build quality as the Canon 28mm 1.8 lens.

However, in terms of optical performance, I would say that this lens is better. The lower price will make this a more interesting purchase as well.

Drawbacks

  • Slightly soft borders at f/2.8
  • Visible vignetting at f/2.8
  • Chromatic aberration is apparent at smaller aperture (which is strange)

Positives

  • Excellent optical quality above f/2.8 both on the center and borders
  • Better distortion control compared to the f/1.8 version
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Fast and accurate autofocus
  • Excellent value for money

Good For

  • Budget wide angle prime lens
  • Landscape photography for full frame DSLR
  • Normal lens for cropped sensor DSLR

Not So Good For

  • Shooting in very dim light
  • Portraiture due to slightly visible barrel distortion

What Others Are Saying…

by “Scott Burgess”

Waterfall lovers will appreciate a 28mm lens, and the Canon f/2.8 is no exception. A 24mm lens often puts you into the spray zone. A 35mm lens isn’t as dramatic. I prefer fixed focal length lenses…
Click here to see the full review

by “William McLean”

I like my Canon EFS 60mm f2.8 USM better, but this 28mm f2.8 lens is easily equal to it (just noisier focusing). With both lenses the colors, contrast, and sharpness are excellent. I prefer the…
Click here to see the full review

Where to Buy

Canon EF 28mm 2.8 Lens

Lens Score (APS-C Sensor)
Optical Quality: (3.5 / 5)
Build Quality: (3 / 5)
Value for Money: (4 / 5)

Visit Website

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Thank you for reading this Canon 28mm 2.8 review and I hope you get a lot of value out of this.

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