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on 22 May 2015
I've been struggling for years to take consistently sharp, quality images with traditional zoom lenses with either Canon, Nikon or Sigma, giving myself a hard time for camera shake, lack of experience and skill etc. etc. Best images I could get were with a trusty little 50mm but that becomes a bit limited after a while. So I invested in this and I can't believe the difference. A complete revelation. I'm now getting effortlessly crisp images every time which has restored my confidence and reignited my passion for photography. Am now saving for a 100mm to broaden my range. It's prime lenses for me all the way.
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on 19 December 2013
I use a 60d and have the kit lens 18-135 is non-stm lens and the 50mm F1.4 lens. I bought this lens to get as close to a 50mm standard lens on the crop sensor as possible. I am an amateur and take lots of photos of people in particular my children. The reviews from the majority of the recognised sites give the impression this lens is junk due to its softness in the off centre portion of the photo. Thankfully I read one review which just said you have to try it to see that actually it is good.

I found the 50mm lens restrictive at taking photos indoors on the crop sensor to the extent of missing photos because of the focal distance, therefore I looked at getting either the 35mm F2, but the mention of slow focus put me off due to wanting to get photos of mobile children. The 35mm F1.4 looks great but is both very expensive and quite large. The new 35mm F2 IS is not cheap either. The pancake 40mm lens is too similar to the 50mm focal length for what I wanted.

The 28mm F1.8 is an ideal lens for shots inside due to the focal length. I can get shots very close up, which make for interesting pictures. I rarely use it wide open as the depth of field is too shallow for what I require so mainly use it at 2.8 and above, but when I do use it wide open it provides a lovely background blur. The focus is quicker and more accurate than my 50mm F1.4. On numerous self tests using the same lighting and subject I have found that the 28mm is sharper than the 50mm both in the centre and the periphery and obviously better than the 18-135 kit lens. I really haven't found any issues with peripheral softness (but then I am not often taking pictures where I want the entire frame to be in complete sharp focus). If it wasn't for the likelihood that at some point I would get a full frame sensor camera I would get rid of the 50mm, as I use the 28mm all the time now. It has great balance on the 60d and is well built (it feels of better quality than the 50mm).

Overall if you are looking for an effective 50mm focal length lens on a crop sensor I think this is a good choice and I find it works well for me.
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on 7 February 2009
Bought this from Amazon a few months back as I have a Canon 50 f1.4 which I find not wide enough on my EOS 40D.

Everything I've read about this lens is true.
Its built better and feels more solid than the EF 50 f1.4, it focuses very quick (a lot quicker than the 50 1.4) - thanks to "Real" USM. Acceptable image sharpness at f1.8 and gets better as stepped down.

Great focal length with my 40D.

The only complain I can make so far is that it doesn't come with a lens hood - c'mon Canon!
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on 24 February 2013
This lens has hardly been off my camera since purchase. I'm using it as a 'standard' lens for my 60D, as the 50mm options always feel like the framing is cramped, especially indoors. It is sharp enough at low light wide open (although in the daylight you will get noticeable softness all over, especially in corners, and some CA), but stopped down to f2 it starts to improve, and by f2.8 and beyond gets much better and by f4 it's as sharp as any lens I've used. Lens is well built, focuses quickly and quietly, and takes smaller (cheaper) filters.
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on 10 October 2011
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.
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on 21 April 2012
This lens is an absolute stunner. It is one of the sharpest and most under rated lenses Canon do. I love it nearly as much as my 85mm f1.8 (and way more than my expensive L lenses).

This is stop and a third faster than any expensive zoom lens Canon do. It focuses almost instantly due to the USM and has a 7 bladed design for magnificant bokah.

The build quality is not up to L lenses however it is much better than most of Canon's slightly cheaper primes such as the 50mm 1.4 (and way better than the cheap plastic 50mm 1.8).

The focal lens works really well on a crop sensor body such as the 40D/50D/60D/7D/etc. which magnify the image by x1.6 so this will be equivalent to 45mm (a tiny bit wider than our eyes see) and on my 5D2 this is a super sharp distortion free wide-ish angle lens. You can manually override the auto focus with a nice focus ring if you need to, shoot directly into light with minimal flare and use it in low light with no flash if you need to.

Personally having used this lens on numerous occasions (mainly for street photography and weddings) I can't believe it is not more popular than it is. If you are looking at a wide-ish lens then look no further, this is much better than the 24mm f2.8, 20mm f2.8 and 35mm f2 which are all in a similar price bracket (although slightly cheaper). It is worth paying the extra, and you will know why every time you look at a shot captured on it.

Best of luck and I hope my review helps someone.
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on 31 July 2015
Old Gem of a lens. This lens is getting on a bit and has been overshadowed by the 28mm F2.8 is version but I like this one. I have only just bought this F1.8 version as quite frankly you don't need image stabilised if you can handhold this at 1/30 second and still get a sharp image. The focus is very fast and whisper silent on this lens. I put it on my canon 6d and liked it a lot. It's not too wide a lens and falls nicely between my 20mm and 35mm primes. On a crop sensor body it is close enough to a standard size lens. The design of this lens is from the early 1990s I believe but really if it isn't broke don't fix it. I found this lens at f8 to be extremely sharp but a little soft at F1.8 but its not really noticeable unless you blow up the image. The 28mm F1.8 feels solid with a metal mount and feels well made. Personally I like it and falls within my use for the likes of weddings etc. Just GET one as it really does the job. Fast, silent focus and wide enough. A good sharp lens but Just wish Canon would put the hood in as included in price. NIKON can.....
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on 25 August 2012
I spent a lot of time researching, discussed options with my tutor and rented a Canon 35mm 1.4L lens to try (sadly couldn't find a place renting the 28mm to compare) - then I took the gamble of trying the cheaper but well thought about 28mm, I thought if I tried it and it was no good I would send it back, you can do that if you dont damage any of the packaging or lens of course. So glad I did, it is a fantastic lens on my cropped sensor 7D body. I find it easy to focus, super sharp and has real quality. If you are considering different lens, best thing is go to Flickr or other photo sharing sites and look for the lens on the body your use then you can see examples of what people have done with the exact same set up. I did and that is why I took the gamble after reading mixed reviews online.
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on 13 February 2014
I read lots of reviews by more learned people than I but when I tried it and tested it, it was even better than I thought.
I use a Canon 6D and most of my photography is in low light.
Even at 600 magnification in Photodraw 2 I could see no difference in focal sharpness at the perimeter of shots or any vignetting.
Very nice differential in focus at the F1.8 and if you don't want that effect move all the way up to F22 and get more light on.
I read that the ultrasonic focus motor is not as quiet as the newer STM focus motor, I have STM on my 40mm pancake lens and find them both equally silent.
Very, very pleased with my purchase.
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on 21 May 2014
I've had my eyes on this lens for a while after wanting a 28, 50, 85 1.8 setup as I love primes but don't want to spend £1K for 1.4 lenses.

I had a very brief chance to use a friend's 28mm before purchasing mine and was pleased with the results. This lens is great for users with a cropped sensor and full frame (great on APS-C as it's virtually a 50mm.) This lens does vignette quite a lot wide open, but that isn't a problem with Lightroom or built in illumination correction on some camera bodies, but some people like the look of it.

Sharpness wide open is pretty good, I buy prime lenses to shoot wide open (stopped down occasionally) and after using a 24mm 1.4 I was worried this would suck pretty bad in comparison but I'm really happy with the results it putting out. It's definitely usable at 1.8. The bokeh it pushes out is generally pretty smooth wide open and bokeh balls remain circular and clean, it can however be a bit of an eyesore as it's a wide angle and at 1.8 there just isn't a narrow enough depth of field to create an even blur, but that's something to watch out for.

Build quality will surprise you. For the money it's built really quite well. The focus ring on my copy doesn't wobble and it feels solid in the hand, but not ridiculously heavy like some lenses. If you're coming from the 18-55 kit lens and the likes of the 50mm 1.8 you'll be very happy with the increase in quality. The auto focus switch it's easy to switch and also isn't wobbly at all.

I can't really find a fault with this lens, as for the money it's awesome. The pop it gives wide open is great and doesn't cost an arm and a leg like the 24 1.4 or 35 1.4. Definitely worth the money!!
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