Canon RF 28mm f/2.8 STM review

The Canon RF 28mm f/2.8 STM is flat as a pancake and delivers delicious image quality

Canon RF 28mm f/2.8 STM lens
(Image: © James Artaius)

Early Verdict

We still need to conduct our lab tests, but the Canon RF 28mm f/2.8 STM has really captured our hearts. It's pocket-friendly in terms of both size and price, but doesn't compromise on performance. While its a worthy optic on both full frame and APS-C bodies, it truly comes into its own when paired with the Canon EOS R50 or R100 – where, as the niftiest nifty fifty, it becomes an essential prime lens for everyday shooting, travel, street photography and video work.


  • +

    Pocket-sized pancake lens

  • +

    Useful FF/APS-C focal length

  • +

    Very affordable


  • -

    Very thin focus ring

  • -

    RF 24mm is more versatile

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The Canon RF 28mm f/2.8 STM is Canon's first ever pancake lens for the RF mount – and it's also the smallest ever RF mount lens. However, there's much more to this optic than its pocket-friendly size (and price). 

Its 28mm focal length helps flesh out the impressive range of affordable RF primes (which now comprises a 16mm, 24mm, 35mm, 50mm and 85mm), giving full frame users a useful wide-angle option for street, travel and reportage. However, with an effective 44.8mm focal length on APS-C bodies, it pairs perfectly with compact cameras like the Canon EOS R10, Canon EOS R50 and the Canon EOS R100

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients like Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photo and lighting tutorials, as well as industry news, rumors and analysis for publications like Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-Photo: The Nikon MagazineDigital Photographer and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and talks at The Photography Show. He also serves as a judge for the Red Bull Illume Photo Contest. An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.