Canon Zoom Lens EF 28-80mm 1: 3.5-5.6 II review

According provided by lens Canon Zoom Lens EF 28-80mm 1: 3.5-5.6 II many thanks to Eugene Petruchok.

Canon EF 28-80 / 3.5-5.6 II

Canon EF 28-80 / 3.5-5.6 II

In short

The Canon EF 28-80 / 3.5-5.6 II is the second incarnation of one of the simplest and cheapest all-round lenses for Canon EOS film cameras. In short, this is a whale lens for film cameras. In our time, it is not of practical value and interest, nevertheless, even such a lens can be useful for some photographic tasks.

Canon EF 28-80 / 3.5-5.6 II

Canon EF 28-80 / 3.5-5.6 II maximum lens length


Canon has 8 different lenses with a range of 28-80 mm: 2 versions with a conventional micro focus motor, 5 versions (!) With a USM motor and one L version with a USM motor. All lenses, except for the L-series, came as a whale lens (the lens that came with the camera).

Lenses with a conventional micro focus motor (MM, Micro Motor):

  1. Canon Zoom Lens EF 28-80mm 1: 3.5-5.6. September 1996. Scheme 10/10.
  2. Canon Zoom Lens EF 28-80mm 1: 3.5-5.6 II. April 1999. Scheme 10/10.

USM (Ultrasonic) Focused Lenses:

  1. Canon Zoom Lens EF 28-80mm 1: 3.5-5.6 USM. October 1991. Scheme 10/9.
  2. Canon Zoom Lens EF 28-80mm 1: 3.5-5.6 USM II. October 1993. Scheme 9/9 with 2 aspherical elements.
  3. Canon Zoom Lens EF 28-80mm 1: 3.5-5.6 USM III. August 1995. Scheme 9/9 with 2 aspherical elements.
  4. Canon Zoom Lens EF 28-80mm 1: 3.5-5.6 USM IV. September 1996. Scheme 10/10.
  5. Canon Zoom Lens EF 28-80mm 1: 3.5-5.6 USM V. April 1999. Scheme 10/10.

L-series lens:

  1. Canon Zoom Lens EF 28-80mm 1: 2.8-4 L USM. April 1989. Scheme 15/11.

It's funny that at first it was the L-version (1989), then the USM-version (1991) and only then the regular version with a micro motor (1996).

The first USM version had a metal bayonet mount, a ring USM, a window with a focus distance scale, and internal focusing. Subsequent USM II-V models already use a plastic lens mount, the usual micro USM (more like an MM for cheaper production), without a focus distance scale and without internal focusing.

The Canon EF 28-80 / 3.5-5.6 and Canon EF 28-80 / 3.5-5.6 II (with MM) range is a simplified version of the already fairly simple Canon EF 28-80 / 3.5-5.6 USM II-V.

Canon EF 28-80 / 3.5-5.6 II

Canon EF 28-80 / 3.5-5.6 II

Main technical specifications of Canon Zoom Lens EF 28-80mm 1: 3.5-5.6 II:

Review Instance Name Canon Zoom Lens EF 28-80mm 1: 3.5-5.6 II Canon Inc. Ø58 0.38m / 1.3ft 3714119
Basic properties
  • EF (Electro-Focus) - Designed for Canon EOS full-frame cameras. Suitable for Canon EF and EF-S mount cameras.
  • MM (Micro motor) - built-in micro motor for auto focus
  • AF-MF (Auto Focus-Manual Focus) - the lens is equipped with a focus mode switch
  • light weight, compact size
Front Filter Diameter 58 mm, plastic thread for filters
Focal length 28-80 mm EGF for APS-C 1.6X cameras is 44.8-128 mm, EGF for APS-H 1.3X cameras is 36.4-104 mm
Zoom ratio 2.9 X (usually rounded to three)
Designed by for full-format film cameras. Lens fits all Canon EOS SLR cameras
Number of aperture blades 5 petals
Tags The red dot is the label of the bayonet mount, the label indicating the value of the MDF. Focal lengths for 28, 35, 50, 80 mm. AF / MF switch
  • 28mm - F / 3.5-F / 22
  • 35mm - F / 4.0-F / 25
  • 50mm - F / 5.0-F / 32
  • 80mm - F / 5.6-F / 36
MDF 0.38 m, maximum magnification ratio 1: 3.8
The weight  200 g (according to some sources - 220 g)
Optical design 10 elements in 10 groups. The lens does not use special optical elements in its optical design. The lens uses lead-free glass to protect the environment. There is information that some lenses can be made of plastic (data are not accurate).

Optical design of the Canon 28-80 II
The schematic image is clickable. It is reliably known that the same optical design is used by lenses:

  • Canon Zoom Lens EF 28-80mm 1: 3.5-5.6 USM V
  • Canon Zoom Lens EF 28-80mm 1: 3.5-5.6 USM IV
Lens hood Canon EW-60C Japan plastic lens hood. The hood can be installed in the opposite direction for transportation or storage.
Manufacturer country Unknown There is no data on the lens.
Period Since April 1999. The lens has no direct descendant. A replacement can be considered Canon Zoom Lens EF 28-105mm 1: 4-5.6 2002 year.
Price Out of stock. Yes, and the lens itself was not sold separately, it came as a lens from the delivery kit along with some kind of camera. Prices for modern Canon lenses can be see here.

Most likely, the first (original) version of Canon Zoom Lens EF 28-80mm 1: 3.5-5.6 uses the same optical design as the Canon Zoom Lens EF 28-80mm 1: 3.5-5.6 II (from this review).

Canon EF 28-80 / 3.5-5.6 II

Canon EF 28-80 / 3.5-5.6 II, rear lens


The Canon EF 28-80 / 3.5-5.6 II case is made of plastic, with a plastic mount for the bayonet mount. The zoom ring is rubberized. When you change the focal length, friction between the plastic and the plastic is felt. The front of the frame has a slight backlash. During a change in focal length, the front of the frame (trunk) moves in waves. From 28 to 40 mm the trunk is shortened, from 40 mm to 80 the trunk is lengthened. The maximum lens length is available at 80 mm focal length and focusing on MDF.

A nice little thing - while changing the focal length, the rear lens remains stationary. However, users note that dust is sucked in by the lens and dust particles settle on the lenses. But the rear lens does not drive air / dust into the mirror shaft. The sample from the review did not spontaneously change the focal length under its own weight.

The lens came to my review without a hood. Canon EF 28-80 / 3.5-5.6 II can use a plastic bayonet hood. The lens hood should be quickly fixed using special grooves near the front lens. In addition, the hood should be installed in the reverse position for transportation.

Due to the plastic case, the weight of the lens is only 200 grams. Unfortunately, I could not find information about the country of manufacture on the lens body. Even on the new Canon EF-S 18-55 / 3.5-5.6 IS STM feel free to write 'CANON INC. Made in Taiwan '(Taiwan).

Canon EF 28-80 / 3.5-5.6 II

Canon EF 28-80 / 3.5-5.6 II on a Canon EOS camera 1100D.


The focus ring is plastic, uncomfortable. The focus ring is aligned with the front of the lens barrel. Lens does not have internal focus. During focusing, the front lens rotates and moves forward. It will be difficult to work with specialized filters (gradient, polarizing, etc.).

For focusing uses a conventional micro-motor. Focusing speed is average (closer to high). Due to the use of a conventional focusing motor, automatic focusing is not very quiet, however, it is much quieter than Nikon screwdrivers (for example Nikkor AF 28-80mm 1: 3.3-5.6G).

There is only one switch on the lens barrel - 'AF / MF' (AF - automatic, MF - manual) to control the focus mode. To focus manually, be sure to set the focus mode to 'MF' (Manual Focus). Failure to do so could damage the auto focus mechanism. During autofocus, the focus ring rotates and must not be touched.

In manual focus mode, the focus ring rotates less than 45 degrees. The focus ring travel is very small. Given the fact that the focus ring itself is very narrow, plastic, without rubber inserts, then focusing manually is hard enough.

The minimum focusing distance is only 38 cm, while you can get the maximum magnification for macro photography of 1: 3.8, which is even very good for a lens like this. You can shoot small objects without any problems.

When using the Canon EOS camera 1100D I did not notice any obvious focus problems. At the same time, this camera uses one of the simplest phase focusing modules. Also, there were no problems while focusing in Live View (including when shooting video).

Canon EF 28-80 / 3.5-5.6 II

Canon EF 28-80 / 3.5-5.6 II and Tokina AT-X 80-400AF (set for a range of 28-400 mm)

Image quality

In general, for modern cameras, the lens is poorly suited and creates a low-quality image. Of course, the whale lens is easily trampled into the dirt, however, I want to note a good contrast of 28 mm and good work in backlight. A copy from the review behaves badly on a 12 MP camera Canon 1100D. Catch your eyes chromatic aberration and poor sharpness on open and closed apertures. Often the image looks like molded from plasticine.

Who knows what is happening at the corners and edges of images on full-size cameras, please add information to the comments.

Camera Canon 1100D does not support vignetting adjustment for this lens. Most likely, in other CZKs there is no data for adjusting the optical defects of this lens.

In the gallery above, images are shown without processing (only down size + exif print). You can download the source files download from this link.

Comments on this post do not require registration. Anyone can leave a comment. Many different photographic equipment can be found on AliExpress.

My experience / results

Canon EF 28-80 / 3.5-5.6 II, some users consider as a replacement for whale class lenses 18-55/3.5-5.6, but I do not recommend making such a substitution. Working with old optics is always interesting, especially interesting to see what you can squeeze out of it in the era of modern digital SLRs. Of course, Canon EF 28-80 / 3.5-5.6 II does not shine with anything, nevertheless, you can shoot something with it. The Canon EF 28-80 / 3.5-5.6 II and Canon EF 28-80 / 3.5-5.6 are among the weakest versatile lenses in the Canon EF line. As someone wrote 'Canon EF 28-80 / 3.5-5.6 II is better than nothing'.

Material prepared Arkady Shapoval. Training/Consultations | Youtube | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Telegram

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Comments: 43, on the topic: Canon Zoom Lens EF 28-80mm 1 review: 3.5-5.6 II

  • Oleg

    One word is Jah. And no one knows if kenon has modern lenses: 24-85 type?

    • Dmitriy

      Of the budget full-frame zooms (not L-frames), Canon has:
      Canon EF 24-105mm f / 3.5-5.6 IS STM
      Canon EF 28-135mm f / 3.5-5.6 IS USM

      • Oleg

        Essentially one. 28-135 old man as I understand it

        • Dmitriy

          Well, yes, it seems to have already been discontinued.

          • Oleg

            not much

            • Dmitriy

              Well, what's the point of making cheap lenses for expensive cameras? Whoever has enough money for a full frame will buy an L-ku

              • Oleg

                It is truth too

  • Sergei

    I have a whale for canon eos 3000нOn 1100d I didn’t like it, although a couple of times it produced a completely acceptable picture, I still don’t know the results on the film, I acquired it not long ago and I didn’t completely film it. A plus of the lens is its focal lengths.

  • anonym

    Arkady, the question was past the ticket office, but still: was it possible that you filmed the wedding by Canon? :) And if so, where can I see it?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      It is the wedding - no.

  • Roma

    solid soap and review as always super !!!

  • varezhkin

    Yes…. I don't think I have seen such hellish soap and HA yet ... film 28-80 nikkor is just an L-lens compared to “this” :)

  • Rodion

    Just an abomination, not a lens, to be honest. How you can shoot like that - I don't understand.
    More precisely, you can, but ...

  • Vadyukhin

    Why are you so hay lens? Yes, no worse than 17-85!

    • Rodion

      So 17-85 is still disgusting.

  • B.R.P.

    And Minolta had a similar plastic in the 90s. But Nikonovsky 28-80 is really better. Thanks for the review.

  • Dmitriy

    And on film, he was pretty good. Canon EOS 30

    • Oleg

      Yes, on film, an aerial photograph came out

    • Ivan

      He was bad and bad will remain. From the word Boots and Soap ... That is, in fact, there is absolutely no attitude to optics up to the L series. Lki and the rest of Canon is rubbish.

      • Vania

        Of course, this is not so. There are not L lenses, more than worthy. Apparently not this particular one, yes.

  • Denis

    the woman with a camera smiled. if she turned it the other way, her nose would not rest on the screen

    • Oleg

      Everyone has their own technique.

  • Eugene

    Arkady, thanks for another interesting constructive and fair review! I am always happy to read your articles!

    This is the fourth lens I am sending to Arkady, there have never been problems! He always pays for shipping and insurance, so friends do not hesitate and send more techniques! There will be something for us to read and develop)

  • Grandfather with Fotik

    I had a nickel 28-80 that is old and with a diaphragm ring, so it was much better. But in fact, and on the figure, all the old film optics are chromate and very soft both in sharpness and contrast. For beginners, I do not recommend such body gear buy a native 50 mm 1.8 or yungnuo 35 mm 2.0 and you will be happy to take off a wide angle whale 18-55.

  • Vladimir

    The site finally became a fan of Nikon.
    Will there be anything normal from Canon ???
    You have a bunch of sponsors and 0,5 million visitors. Tighten Canon Sponsors.

    • Ivan

      So he was originally Nikonovsky. Create your own boots - a flag in hand and an armored train for a meeting!

  • Andrei

    Great lens. Those who haut him are unlikely to photograph anything other than brick walls and fucking cats (an option is a wife in a dressing gown and curlers). For the money that it costs now, try to find an analogue.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      C'mon, here I have samples even from the wedding :)
      Finding cheaper and not worse is easy:
      Tamron AF 28-80mm f / 3.5-5.6
      Quantaray / Sigma 28-80
      Quantaray / Sigma 28-90
      Quantaray, due to the fact that it is little known, can be met almost for nothing.

  • Alexander

    What kind of whale lens - can you still pick up for the veteran "first-timer" Canon EOS 5D? On this full-frame camera, this Canon Zoom Lens EF 28-80mm 1: 3.5-5.6 behaves normally, normally, without any complaints ... Despite the absence of a stabilizer, it produces a clear picture even in cloudy weather. In sunny weather, with good lighting, in general, quite decent pictures are obtained. In the corners of the photo, as without it :) - vignette, there are HA, but all this can be easily removed in the editor. What else can be purchased - as a standard kit autofocus lens on Canon 5D, at the price of a manual Helios-44M-4? So, a good lens for amateur photographers, for performing simple photographic tasks ... :) image image

    • Oleks

      Thanks! This is the option! They took off the load :)

  • Alexander

    The lens weighs 213 g without covers and 234 g with covers (I am writing data from electronic kitchen scales, it may come in handy. 15.01.2019/XNUMX/XNUMX)

  • Sergei

    An excellent lens for Canon full-frame DSLRs (D5 Vark III). Small vignetting by 28-50 mm (the smaller the focus, the more vignetting) is easily eliminated in digital photo processing programs. I didn’t notice the drawbacks described above on cropped cameras. The assembly, however, is Japanese. Metal mount. Superb bokeh. In my opinion, the best and cheapest replacement is 24-105 mm.

  • Doina

    Good day. So I would like to understand better to take a basic Canon 18-55mm lens or a Canon 28-80mm? I want a Canon Eos 450D, maybe it’s old, but as a beginner I liked it, the more I saw it in practice for some, if you know the DSLR, it’s even possible to get such good pictures .. But I still know almost nothing and I want start with it. Yes, and for the price I can afford for now. Well, I just have 2 options right now: take the whale Canon Eos 450D 18-55mm or Canon Eos 450D 28-80mm .. but I just can’t understand what choice to put? I read right now about the 28-80mm and not very pleased .. Maybe in the end you can help me with the choice?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Definitely 18-55 and better than the latest revisions

  • Dima

    Ideally if you bought ff for the last and was left without pants)))

  • Dima

    The funny thing is that the first vermia was with a metal mount and a focusing scale .... and they made this one completely defective.

  • HaZarD96

    As if everyone expects some miracles from glass for 4 thousand ..
    This lens can only be compared with WHALE lenses!

    Canon EF 28-80 3.5-5.6 II Lens

    Testing on “full frame” Canon 5D mark II

    Pros :

    1) Suitable for Full Frame (FF) ! (and this is the main plus)
    2) Very cheap! (it costs ~same as whale 18-55)
    3) Better approximation than 18-55


    1) Slightly less sharp than more expensive lenses when zoomed in a lot.
    2) Darker than more expensive lenses.

    And here are 3 examples - on Canon 28-80mm usm II, on Canon 50mm 1.8 Stm, on Canon 40mm 2.8 Stm

    The only thing I decided to do is to add +28 brightness in Photoshop at 80-12.
    ->By the way, what else is interesting - Canon 40mm "pancake" gave the brightest picture, I even had to twist the camera settings a little.

    Conclusion: if there are no expensive lenses, then this 28-80 lens fulfills itself by 200%.
    I did not see a global difference in the TEST. Who needs higher resolution pictures write me send hazard dog inbox dot ru

    • HaZarD96

      50mm 1.8 “that pop portrait that only takes passport photos”;)

    • HaZarD96

      40mm pancake

    • HaZarD96

      For fun, I went to the park today ...

      + Bokeh is better than 18-55
      + The picture is “more alive” than at 18-55

      - There is a feature, the picture is not very contrasting, as if dull.
      But it is easily treated.

      Yes, this is deshman, but for some reason the impressions were positive. The picture seemed "alive".

      For your 2 kopecks for FF - you can safely take it as a makeshift or spare.

    • HaZarD96

      floating kettle

  • Dima

    But the first time was an excellent lens .... for ff if money is tight but you just want a godsend. But as always, they made everything worse, made it cheaper, and in this case very much.
    I myself shot it on the second or third roofing felts, the piece G is still the same, but they even buy a couple of pictures from it on the stock)

  • kesha-dj

    I bought it because my only lens is being repaired)

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