Classic SLR Series : Canon EOS-1N
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In late 1995, Canon has introduced three lenses for EOS single-lens reflex cameras. Two of the lenses continue Canon's policy of updating earlier lenses, and there was also a brand new lens, EF 28mm f1.8 USM wideangle. With the successful Canon EOS-1N introduced in 1994 for the professional photographers, the following years have seen an increasing demand for a fast, wide-angle lenses and Canon's answered. The f/1.8 maximum aperture is more than a stop wider than that of the current EF 28mm f/2.8 AFD lens. The new EF wideangle is particularly suited to indoor or other low-light work, where the brighter viewfinder image will make viewing and composition easier. Unlike the f/2.8 which uses the AFD, the USM focusing system on the EF 28mm f/1.8 USM provides high-speed, near-silent operation, making this a high-performance wideangle lens for enthusiasts and professionals alike.
Other significant features include:
* Aspherical lens element for enhanced image quality
* minimum focusing distance of 0.25 metre (the shortest in its class)
* flare-cutting diaphragm to increase image contrast
* manual focusing in AF mode with USM
* filter size retaining at 58mm
* A non-rotating filter mount
* environmentally-friendly lead-free glass used for the lens elements
* measures just 73.6 x 55.6mm and weighs merely 310g
Cable cars and scenic view of the 5,000 ft high Genting Highland, Malaysia with Kuala Lumpur as the far distance. The light gathering power of the f/2.0 wideangle lens has made it works at the evening.
Just treat this as a dummy picture as I don't think it is good enough to be used here.
Private Visual works for another project on IMAGES.com.my
Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM wideangle Lens
Marketed: 1995; Status:- Current Model (as at 2006).
1. Product Concept It was probably the sudden surge in volume after the Canon EOS-1N and the Pellicle mirror powered EOS-1N RS that at the time during the mid-90, they have seen growing popularity of standard zoom lenses that can cover wide-angle ranges up to 28mm. This popularity has been accompanied by an increased selection of single-focus lenses in this class. The EF28/1.8 USM lens offers the appeal of a single focal length, large-aperture f/1.8 lens with a closest focusing distance of 25cm/0.8f and use of USM in its AF Drive. Basically, what Canon had in mind was to ensure each category of important, frequently used focal length will have a large aperture prime lens to fill up the product line-up.
(1) Bright & fast, large-aperture f/1.8; much due to the single focal length which enable design of such lens type is possible. Handheld photography without flash in possible in dark surrounding; it is almost two f-stops faster than the 28mm end of the EF28-80mm f/3.5~5.6III USM.
(2) Closest focusing distance of 25cm/0-8ft, which makes it the shortest in its class. The maximum aperture of f/1.8 permits close focusing even in dim lit area for high quality image delivery.
A quick visual comparing the two Canon EF 28mm wideangle lenses.
3. Comparison of specifications with other lenses from rivaling brands. This is not intentionally created for open-debate but simply as a quick comparison in various approach by each manufacturer in their design for their top 28mm wideangle lens.
CANON EF 28mm f/1.8 USM
NIKON AF-Nikkor 28mm f/1.4D
MINOLTA AF 28mm f/2.0
SIGMA 28mm f/1.8 AL Micro
10 elements / 9 groups
11 elements / 8 groups
9 elements / 9 groups
9 elements / 8 groups
Suggested factory retail price/
Online prices via Epinion Search
USD1,450 ~ 2,300-00
Optically most complex is the AF-Nikkor (& most expensive); Cheapest is the Sigma 28mm f/1.8; most compact is the AF-Minolta; lightest is the Sigma; The Nikkor has the best built quality; the closest focusing is the Canon at 0.25m; except for the Minolta AF & operates at quietest in AF, all are using Aspherical lens elements. The best value can be the Canon or Sigma. Optical performance is the sensitive area, I reserved my comments.
When the Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 was introduced; Canon provides a quick summary of the objective via a Q&A session:
Q: What was the objective for developing this lens?
A: It was to further complement Canon's lineup of EF wide-angle lenses. A large-aperture version of the popular 28mm lens has been developed.
Q: How superior is it to other 28mm lenses from other manufacturers?
A: The closest focusing distance of other-brand 28mm lenses is around 0.3 m. With the EF 28mm f/1.8 USM, it is 0.25 m for close-ups (max. magnification of 0.18x). The lens also features silent and high-speed autofocusing, full-time manual focusing, and retrofocusing where the front lens element does not rotate during focusing. Circular polarizing filters, etc., can therefore be attached without additional adjustment after focusing.
Q: How does the image quality compare with that of the EF 28mm f/2.8?
A: The high contrast, high resolution, etc., are virtually the same. With the large maximum aperture, excellent background blur is possible even with a fast shutter speed. The aspherical lens element makes the lens compact and corrects spherical aberrations. The image is sharp even at the edges.
From a consumer point of view, I would assume most active Canon photographers could have had a super-wide to medium tele zoom lens in his collection. If you don't - I guess the moderately price EF 28mm f/2.8 is a better choice as your fixed prime wideangle. IF your EF lens collection already had one high performance, versatile zoom such as the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM in place, there could be more reasons for you to look at the brighter EF 28mm f/1.8 USM due to its light gathering power factor and I wouldn't worry too much on weight factor. The main advantage the lens presents is its ability to help you work in low ambient light photography where sometimes even a f/2.8 zoom may has its limitation with use of slower shutter speed and hand stability issue. Naturally, you can compensate these via use of a tripod, higher speed ASA film or set your digital SLR to higher ASA but if maximum image resolution or handheld photography is often desired, nothing is better than having a fast speed lens mounting onto your camera, huh ?
Credit: Image courtesy of "Ebay - Mathew Duren" <ebay@adorama> URL: Adorama.com, who also operates a popular Ebay Store. Image Copyright © 2003. All rights reserved. Adorama Inc. also can be contact at: Used & Collectible Ebay Department Adorama® Inc. 42 West 18th Street New York, N.Y. 10011 1-212-741-0052 1-880-223-2500 Option 55 Ext.119 FAX: 1-212-675-8715
Recently, I heard a heated debate over the choice between versions of 28mm wideangles, come to think of it, comparing with an antique Canon rangefinder 28mm f/3.5 of 1951 which requires an added viewing aid with this modern day's Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM autofocus wideangle is like comparing between a stone age and a space age product; those days Canon photographers could still live with what it has to offer by Canon and still took great pictures, right ? so - why bother so much in the little differences...
Credit: Image courtesy of Eugene ® from Runique Antiques and Modern@Ebay ® where I found this lovely image of the antique Canon RF 28mm f/3.5 lens via the Company's Ebay Store. Image copyright © 2006. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.
Although this wideangle is not the 28mm prime wideangle lens with the fastest maximum aperture in the world, neither it is an L-specific Canon EF optic; but personally, it presents a very practical solution for those who wishes to own a lens that works for them other than exercising individual aspiration in visual interpretation. It possesses various good factors in concluding it as a truly outstanding moderate wideangle in an affordable price/performance package and it only takes a good photographer to appreciative its value. As I said earlier, modern photographers are a luckiest bunch of users as most modern lenses are actually a resulting product that went through evolution in lens development on past decades. Personally, I would think optical aberration is the least concerning factor and I would rather spend time visualizes an intended captured rather worrying minute details in possible defects, that's all. I know it may not be the most welcome remarks made especially for those who may be performance conscious users who may put things to absolute detail, but it is just a difference between a user and photographer, huh ?
Physically, the EF 28mm f/1.8 can be considered very well made optical lens with an usual customary Canon upper market EF lens type finishing; as with most prime EF lenses, the lens mount is a rugged, stainless steel which assumes be able to withstand long lasting wear and tear even with thousand of inter-lens changing. The printed Depth of Field scales engraved near the distance scale window has a lovely index markings at each sides for f/8, f/16 and f/22 - good for quick visual reference for DOF estimating. Optically, it has an aspherical element placed as its 6th element, this has reduced the number of possible additional glass elements in its optical design and keep the lens size down as well as reducing spherical aberration to minimal level. A flare cut diaphragm is actually installed behind group one that helps to improve contrast even when backlit scene shooting is required (the lens hood EW-63 II also helps - it also fits for other Canon EF lenses such as EF 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 USM & EF 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5II USM etc.). The non-rotating front section permits specialized filter accessories to be used without the hassle of turning during focusing.
The applications of this lens can be very broad; its primary usage as an 28mm wideangle can be ranging from photojournalism, news, sports, candid, travel and even architectural as astigmatism and distortion is less distinguished than comparing wideangle zoom lenses; basically, it is an ideal lens for keeping a good perspective balance between subject and background (information) of any given scene. In the hands of a creative photographer, it can be also a very good lens for portraiture as its wideangle nature's perspective is best for creating a strong yet not overwhelming visual with less apparent distortion than ultrawides. Naturally, since its primary strength still on its light gathering ability, so, it can help to open a doorful of picture opportunities in low ambient light photography as well as shooting close-ups; besides, the f/1.8 permits full aperture viewing with ease and comfort photo compositions even in low available light situation.
Technical Specification for Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM wideangle lense: -
Type: - Autofocus lens type with manual focusing mechanism
Focal Length: Fixed focal length 28mm
Focus Adjustment:- Autofocus or manual focusing
Manual Focusing:- possible via AF/M switch or during AF operation
Zoom Adjustment:- Nil. Fixed Focal Length Lens
Closest Focusing Distance:- 0.25 (0.8ft)
Maximum Magnification:- 0.18X
Drive System:- Ring-type USM with built in Actuator for manual focusing during AF
Distance Scales: Provided via window on metres/feet.
Angle of View:- 65° 46° 75° (horizontal, vertical and diagonal)
Aperture range:- f/1.8- f/22; Minimum Aperture: - f/22
Number of Diaphragm Blades: - 7 blades;
Depth of Filed Scale: f/8, f/16, f/22
Filter Attachment Size:- 58mm front mounting, non-rotational
Extenders: Usable but not advisable.
Lens construction:- 10 Elements in 9 Groups (one aspherical element at 6th)
Others: - Extension Tube EF 12II:- 0.61X~0.43X; Extension Tube EF25 (II) 1.13X-0.96X;
Diameter:- 73.6mm x 55.6mm (2.9" x 2.2");
Weight:- 310g (10.9oz.)
Accessories:- Lens Cap/pouch E-58U (supplied ); lens hard case: LP-814; lens Hood:- EW-63(II); Soft Case:- no info. Gelatin Filter Holder (Hood) III (52)- 0; Gelatin Filter Holder (Hood) IV:- 0; 58mm UV Haze; 58mm Close-up Lens 250D, 500D; Dust Cap E Rear; 58mm Circular Polarizer; Macrolite Adapter 58C; EF Adapter
Status: Current model (as at 03.2006).
Credit: I found these few lovely images and downloaded from an online Ebay sale at its last day and the advertiser never appeared to put up more sale items since then and thus I could not establish contact and ask for permission. I don't like to use other's works without asking and if any of you can provide me with some replacement images - PLEASE DO and save me before the actual owner found this out and blasts me...
| previous | 2/2 The highly affordable Canon EF 28mm f/2.8 AFD wideangle lens
Relative: Manual Focus Canon FD mount Series Lenses
Suggestive External Web Resources on Canon 28mm f/1.8 USM: A) WLcatleman's Review; B) Photozone Review; C) The Digital Picture.com Review; D) Ebay Price Search for new and used EF 28mm f/2.8
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