When it comes to Canon, there is a dominating number of people asking for reviews for Canon 24mm and 28mm. This article will thus walk you through the pros and cons of each lens to make sure that whatever you choose for your usage, it would be definitely a smart decision.
Review of Canon 24mm and Canon 28mm
Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Review
This lens the third Canon pancake lens. It is not a really wide angle, but more like a standard for street photography. With a 23mm length and 68mm width At 125g of six elements in five groups, the EF-S 24mm is quite thin, and they feel like a camera cap instead of an optical instrument.
Because it’s short and rubberised, the build feels very robust and much more solid than larger low-cost lenses. The operation is dead simple with a single AF/MF switch, and a fly-by-wire manual focusing ring. And it features the full-time manual: at any moment, you can compensate using the ring. It transfers an electronic signal to the stepping motor and moves the internal optical piece, which extends almost 1cm at the minimum focusing distance. The STM focus is typical. Silent, smooth, but not speedy.
Chromatic aberrations are discrete, and it appears to be the best Canon 24mm lens in this aspect. There’s no need to turn the camera correction, nor the software correction in post. And on the background, the axial chromatic aberrations are nowhere to be seen neither.
It works best for graffiti, street photography, and architecture. The colors seal the deal of the 24mm f/2.8 STM. From the EOS M screen, you will have very saturated tones on primary yellow, blue and red colors. It is commonly considered as a reasonable lens with excellent build quality, perfect usability, and different pancake design. With a wide angle and a tiny optical arrangement at the center of the EF-S mount, it’s impressive what Canon delivered on the 24mm STM pancake. Its resolution is impeccable and aperture-independent. The contrast is perfect from f/4. And its colors, as always, are the best part of the EOS system.
You may not expect much from a US$149 product. But Canon hit the bullseye: we have a new crop winner. The colors just pop, working at f/8 is smooth with lots of light, and the files are excellent from an APS-C compact camera.
Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM Review
This lens is a wide angle, large aperture Canon option. With 10 elements in 9 groups at 310g, it matches nicely with APS-C or full frame cameras. It is highly compact in just 7.3mm and never bothers you on the streets. It also has manual focusing ring featuring full-time manual.
This lens is quite robust with just a little play and wobbling. It is plastic built with metal mount, and no weather sealing. An excellent design touch is the almost built-in internal hood, which supports an external EW-63 2 lens hood, but it’s not available in the box. The distance window is easy to read, and the frontal 58mm filters don’t rotate. The USM focus is very quick and trademark of every Canon lens. Be it with the phase detection 5D Mark II, or the hybrid mirrorless EOS M, it was instantaneous under good light conditions. The AF/MF switch has a tiny bump to make it easier to use. A lot of photographers do not use the MF ring because most EOS M photos were excellently focused. You just need to touch the LCD screen to focus on any part of the frame.
The colors are okay, and for reasonable sized prints, its files are more than enough detailed. Bricks, leaves, animal fur and signs will all be there no matter the focusing distance. But the lateral aberrations are so heavy that it must be corrected via DIGIC5 or post processing. The bokeh can be a little bit smoother, and sometimes it’s difficult to separate the subject from the background.
Lastly, the geometric distortion is well controlled. Somtimes it just shows just near the edges. It is barrel type and noticeable on architectural elements. But it’s a good performance for a wide angle lens. This lens is an excellent wide angle option for those who own an APS-C camera and want the 50mm f/1.8 equivalency. If you work under low light and is building a large aperture kit with 35mm, 50mm, and 85mm lenses, you shouldn’t leave the 28mm behind.
Comparison of Canon 24mm vs. 28mm
Even though Canon 24mm is much more reasonable than its opponent 28mm, it’s still not a low-cost lens. The low price comes with over-delivered quality. In the case of Canon 28mm, the price guarantees its quality.
The Canon 24mm is much lighter than the 28mm. The difference is significant when it comes to compact properties.
Canon 28mm is proven to be the better performer with its wider angle. Its only problem is that sometimes it focuses on sharp bokeh highlights, giving you a hint of how weird the bokeh is. But even the aspherical design cannot guarantee the corner resolution. Axial aberrations were low and not a problem on my pictures. The out of focus highlights don’t gain weird colors. Tip: fill the background with complementary colors and avoid competing lines with the subject.
Taking about Canon 24mm, the first problem is the short depth of field that prevents the lens to get perfect focus on 3D elements; an often desired street photography look. The resolution is high on whatever falls on the focal plane, and you don’t have to stop it down to get more details. But the vignette and the contrast get better at f/4, so take it into consideration if it’s important to you.
The geometric distortion is barrel type near the edges, which needs different framings to hide the problem. If you can’t avoid it, any software can fix it in a post. Plus, If it is much less than any 24mm zoom, it should not be a worry.
Flaring can happen on backlit scenes if the source is near the edges of the frame. But the contrast can be enhanced by software.
Even though Canon 28mm gives you a higher-quality photo, it cannot be denied that Canon 24mm gives you a more vibrant colors.
Canon 24mm wins. As it is rubberised, it feels more professional, robust and solid than Canon 28mm, which is plastic built with the metal mount and no weather sealing.
It really depends on your taste, using habit and personality to choose any of the two for your future purchase of usage. If you want a good-looking, compact and vibrant lens, Canon 24mm is a perfect choice. However, if you want a high-quality lens with a wide angle and perfect focus, you cannot miss out on Canon 28mm. Thank you for reading my reviews and comparison. Hope they may help.