Lens review

Canon EF 28 mm f/2.8 IS USM

25 October 2012
Arkadiusz Olech

4. Image resolution

The resolution test of the Canon EF 28 mm f/2.8 IS USM was based on RAW files from the Canon EOS 1Ds MkIII body. In the case of that camera the decency level is situated near 30-32 lpmm and the best fixed-focus lenses can get as high as 44-46 lpmm.

Let’s glance at a graph below to assess how the tested lens fares in the frame centre, on the edge of the APS-C sensor and on the edge of full frame.

Canon EF 28 mm f/2.8 IS USM - Image resolution

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We don’t have any reservations concerning the results in the frame centre. It is true that, near the maximum relative aperture, the lens gets values 1-2 lpmm worse than the 2.8/24 model we tested not so long ago but still its performance is very good. The result of over 40 lpmm reached at the maximum relative aperture is especially praiseworthy. However if you compare the resolution values of the Canon 2.8/28 IS with those of the older 1.8/28 model they are hardly so impressing anymore. The older device was weak at the maximum relative aperture but on stopping down it performed very well so its best results are higher than those of the new construction.

Looking how the lens fares on the edge of the frame you can notice what you gain, compared to the 24 mm instrument (and also compared to the older 1.8/28 which was really very weak on the edge of the frame). Small resolution loss in the centre is recompensed by noticeably better results on the edge of both types of detectors. It’s worth reminding here that the 2.8/24 device had to be stopped down to f/5.6 to provide a decent image quality on the edge of full frame. Here it’s enough to stop down to f/4.0.

The crops below present the performance in the frame centre. They were taken from JPEG files (with the lowest sharpening level) saved along RAW files, used for the analysis above.

Canon EF 28 mm f/2.8 IS USM - Image resolution