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Old January 31st, 2011, 04:10 PM   #1
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Input on the EOS 28mm F1.8?

Anyone using this lens for video? I know it isn't the sharpest Canon lens for stills but I just ordered one basically for handheld/low light situations and am hoping I will be happy with it. Yes, I wanted the 24mm 1.4 but I just couldn't swing $1,600.00 for a lens.

Feedback?

Dan
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Old January 31st, 2011, 06:00 PM   #2
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I think this lens is quite underrated - especially for video. 28mm is a nice view. f/1.8 is as fast as anything out there for the price in a wide. Also, this lens breathes the least of all my Canon lenses. It's sharp enough for video - especially if the object of interest isn't in the corners. The focus ring is similar to that of the 85/1.8, so it's no great shakes, but unless you are focusing close, it's adequate for a wide. The other limitation is that the close focusing distance isn't all that close.

Overall, I expect that you'll be happy with the lens. :)
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Old January 31st, 2011, 07:58 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Dan Brockett View Post
Anyone using this lens for video? I know it isn't the sharpest Canon lens for stills but I just ordered one basically for handheld/low light situations and am hoping I will be happy with it. Yes, I wanted the 24mm 1.4 but I just couldn't swing $1,600.00 for a lens.

Feedback?

Dan
I went with the Sigma 28 mm f 1.8 lens, which is also a macro lens. It works great. I think that it is more expensive than the Canon though.

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Old January 31st, 2011, 08:47 PM   #4
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Fair enough guys, I will give it a try and report back when it arrives and I have a day to play with it. I was shooting outdoor campfires in the snow at night in Italy a few weeks ago and I had my 50mm 1.4 Nikon AI. Worked great but the 50 was just too long to shoot nice shots of groups of people from reasonable distance. I was wishing for something wider but almost as fast.

That Birger mount coming for the AF100 is reaffirming my investment in Canon glass. I like the look of my 17-40 F4L and the 70-300 F4.5-5.6 IS, thinking about rounding out the Canon kit with the 50mm 1.4 and the 85mm 1.8. That new Okii USB FF is looking like yet another reason to invest in some Canon glass since I can't afford cinema glass.

Thanks,

Dan
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Old February 1st, 2011, 06:59 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Dan Brockett View Post
Fair enough guys, I will give it a try and report back when it arrives and I have a day to play with it. I was shooting outdoor campfires in the snow at night in Italy a few weeks ago and I had my 50mm 1.4 Nikon AI.
I've found myself in a similar situation wanting a fast wide. Only this was in a cave and the lens I had was a 50mm 1.4 takumar. I needed the wide to get as much of the cave in shot as possible. I ended up having to go with the extra noise of my 24-70mm 2.8 zoom. That extra stop would have come in handy.
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Old February 1st, 2011, 07:27 AM   #6
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The 20mm f/1.8 has surprisingly good optics. A touch soft wide open, but excellent from f/2 onwards.

The build quality could be better, but given the price it's not too shabby and the plastic case does keep weight to an absolute minimum which is good.

The biggest drawback for me is the focus ring has no hard stops and the throw is very short. Other than that it's a superb value lens.
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Old February 1st, 2011, 07:14 PM   #7
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I agree with Liam. The EF 28/1.8 has the same shortcomings as other EF AF lenses. If you've used the EF 85/1.8, you will have a good idea of how the 28/1.8 feels. I believe that the two lenses were released during a similar generation of development.

I'm surprised that the 85/1.8 gets so much praise while the 28/1.8 gets so little. It might have to do with the way they are used. A portrait lens can succeed with soft corners, while a landscape lens does not. That said, for video, we often want the audience to look at the main subject which is away from the corners. We don't have time to study a shot for minutes on end while peeping at the corners.

BTW, the 85/1.8 is my worst breathing Canon lens. The 28/1.8 is my best. Also, the so-so AF focus ring is less of a problem on a wide than on a tele. Given that, I personally rate the 28/1.8 as a better video lens than the 85/1.8, even though their popular ratings are reversed.
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Old February 15th, 2011, 08:49 PM   #8
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Just received the EOS 28mm 1.8, finally. I really dig this lens, it seems to be noticeably sharper than my Nikon 50mm 1.4 AI. I was also surprised at the focus ring feel, I thought it has very nice dampening and a decent feel, although different than the Nikon manual focus glass. I need to really get out and shoot with it and take a look at some stills and video.

I only played with it for 20 minutes and had to leave town on a trip where I won't have time to shoot with it but first impressions are impressive. I may also get the Canon EOS 50mm 1.4 and the 85mm 1.8 or even the 100mm F2 if they impress me as much as this lens has so far.

Dan

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Old February 15th, 2011, 11:42 PM   #9
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I've been using the lens for my 7D as a portrait lens but on last weekend I plonked it on my 5D and was really impressed to see its performance as a wide angle lens. Impressively sharp and find it very useful for glidecam/sliding works.
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Old February 17th, 2011, 02:30 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Dan Brockett View Post
Just received the EOS 28mm 1.8, finally. I really dig this lens, it seems to be noticeably sharper than my Nikon 50mm 1.4 AI. I was also surprised at the focus ring feel, I thought it has very nice dampening and a decent feel, although different than the Nikon manual focus glass. I need to really get out and shoot with it and take a look at some stills and video.

I only played with it for 20 minutes and had to leave town on a trip where I won't have time to shoot with it but first impressions are impressive. I may also get the Canon EOS 50mm 1.4 and the 85mm 1.8 or even the 100mm F2 if they impress me as much as this lens has so far.

Dan

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Hey Dan, coincidentally the scene we shot yesterday that used the Rode VMP was with the 28mm 1.8.

Having virtually all the glass you mention I pretty much agree on all counts. The 28 is very sharp and the build is the same as the 85 1.8 - hardly L quality but nice.

The 50 1.4 is not of the same class in construction or focus as the 28 or 85. and

As far as the 85 1.8 - just get one. It's one of the best lenses you'll ever use on the 5D, faster focus and sharper than the 1.2 AF and so much smaller and lighter that I traded the AF. The bokeh is just as good as well, just softer at full 1.2 obviously. And if you like the focus ring on the 28, the 85 is twice as wide and also reasonably well damped for an EF

That said the old 50mm 1.4 is very sharp and extremely light...great IQ. Just not solid feeling or focusing.

We shoot in lots of styles and many times light and fast is more important than L quality and an extra 1/2 stop. So I keep the 28, 50, and 85 in the kit at all times. I also rely on AF constantly for filming (don't understand why others with AF lenses don't) I get perfect focus with the 28 and 85 95% of the time with no need to tweak.

I could show you a clip form a recent spot with the 28 and 85 both that are simply gorgeous.
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Old February 17th, 2011, 03:01 PM   #11
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I also rely on AF constantly for filming (don't understand why others with AF lenses don't) I get perfect focus with the 28 and 85 95% of the time with no need to tweak.

Jim you mean you shoot video with auto focus on?? I thought you had to shoot with manual focus...
really or did I misunderstand you?
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Old February 17th, 2011, 05:52 PM   #12
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Well yes and no. When we're filming with AF lenses, EF or L, then the lens' autofocus is always on to grab initial focus for a shot...it's not hunting for focus afterwards.

I shoot AF lenses the same as I do our dedicated manual focus primes and zooms with Canon adapters. It's just that the autofocus is usually so accurate with the Canon glass that it makes it very easy for initial framing.
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Old February 22nd, 2011, 01:06 PM   #13
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Re: Input on the EOS 28mm F1.8?

I really like having the EF 28/1.8, 50/1.4, and 85/1.8 as a mid-priced, baseline prime set for the 5D2. They cover the needed range for human-scale narrative films.

The 28 and 85 are like cousins. Very similar. I prefer the 28 since the focus ring isn't as critical on a wide. Also, the 28 breathes the least of my Canon lenses. The 85 breathes the most.

Photographers dis the 28 since the corners aren't super sharp for landscapes. This isn't so critical for video resolution. The 28 really rocks when you center your subject in the frame and use the wide for forces perspective, rather than "getting it all in." Besides which, "getting it all it" is a recipe for aliasing on the 5D2.

The 50/1.4 is a nice match, but as noted above, it's ring doesn't feel as good. That said, it has relatively long travel, so it's not as bad as it feels. Its breathing is between the 28 and 85. My biggest complaint is with the barrel distortion. I prefer my normal lens to be ruler straight. I want the lens to disappear. That's not the case with the 50/1.4 and I hear that this is a common fault of this design across most all manufacturers.

At work, I have access to the Zeiss 35/2, and 85/1.4. For video, I'll take these two lenses over the above three Canon EF lenses any day. I especially love the 35mm view and the 35/1.4 looks to be even better with similar specs and a longer focus throw. If I was to shoot a narrative film with only one lens, that would be my choice. (And, if I didn't need the f/1.4 speed, I'd choose the 35mm T2.1 CP.2 lens for the cine features.)

But if you need to hold to a budget and don't want to give up the AF feature, I can really recommend the EF 28/1.8, 50/1.4, and 85/1.8 as a set. I bought the 28 and 85 used and the 50 new and was able to stay right around the $1k mark.

Enjoy the 28/1.8, Jim. IMHO, it's the best of the three (for video).
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