I'm so happy I took the plunge and opted for this lens. The widest lens I own is the 24-104 f/4 and I have to say this lens struggles to separate a subject from it's background at the wide end because the aperture simply won't allow it. I couldn't stretch to the 24mm 1.4 'L', the 24mm 2.8 is not fast enough, the 28mm 2.8 was also only 1 stop better than my other lens so the 28mm 1.8 was the obvious alternative. The 28mm does not disappoint in it's ability to create a wonderfully shallow depth of field and allows a much bigger range of creative expression because there so many more options aperture wise.
Probably like many others I read a lot of reviews on other websites before before investing close to 4 ton in a piece of equipment and I have to say, this lens seems to very hard done to in some quarters. I've read a lot of negativity about sharpness wide open in particular and vignetting. After having put hundreds of shots through this lens IN THE FIELD I can state with confidence that this lens is a stellar performer. I've used it exclusively on an old full frame 5D mk 1 and it's just been great. None of the aforementioned 'weaknesses' will actually lead to an unusable shot. Sure the lens is a bit softer wide open than it is stopped down a bit but it is still very sharp and provides shots that are perfectly usable. Would you notice this supposed lack of sharpness on a 6x4 print? Never in a million years. In my estimation you'd have to be printing above A2 for this to be noticeable and then you'd just add some sharpening in Photoshop anyway! Yeah, I'm sure certain 'L' lenses are technically sharper wide open but this lens is under £400 and punches far above its weight and in terms of pure image quality can, in my opinion, more than hold its own in 'L' company.
The fast 1.8 aperture also allows some amazingly shallow Depth of Field effects when close up. Move in close for a portrait and you can get some really beautiful shots with the backdrop beautifully thrown out of focus. The quality of the blur is very nice indeed. Shooting portraits at 28mm is quite unusual and they have a 'look' about them but again, used in the right circumstances these kinds of portraits can be very striking. Despite being a wide lens it doesn't introduce much in the way of distortions to the face unless really close. The closest focusing point is a mere 25cm away. Here the depth of field is razor thin and coupled with he wide field of view allows for some unusual effects. Focus accuracy is also very good wide open in good light - even close up. I was very impressed with this element of the lens' performance. It will hunt a bit in poor light as the AF system needs contrast to work so that's normal as far as I can see.
The vignetting wide open is not as pronounced as the 50mm 1.4 and is actually something I've come to like about my fast lenses. And the build quality of the 28mm lens seems significantly better than the 50mm 1.4 too. Shake the 50mm gently in your hand and it rattles a bit - the 28mm does not; at least mine doesn't. The focus ring in particular is very smooth compared to the 50mm. The lens is also very compact too - almost exactly the same size as the 50mm and the 28mm does not extend whilst changing focus. It has a really nice weight to it also and will take hardly any room in your kit bag. I own the the 85mm 1.8 and I'd be happy to shoot anything from a wedding to a fashion shoot with just these three aforementioned lenses ; they're all very fast and very sharp.
If you have any of APS-C sized Canon's then this lens will work as a 45mm lens - which is very close to standard so still a very viable purchase if you intend to use it on a 7D, 60D etc.
I can't believe it's taken me so long to pick this lens up and my expectations have actually been far exceeded in a short space of time. If for any reason you got caught up in some of the perceived weaknesses of the lens I don't think you'll actually be disappointed if you buy one.