I've been shooting for about a year now and am slowly acquiring lenses. I just bought two used on craigslist from someone who was getting rid of equipment.

  • Canon EF 28 - 105 mm 1: 3.5-4.5
  • Canon EF 75 - 300 mm 1: 4-5.6 III

I know why the 75-300mm is popular, it's one of the lower priced but still OK zoom lenses, at least for entry-level photography.

But what is the 28-105mm really good for? If the kit lens can do 18-55mm, and the zoom lens does 75-300mm, do you really need a lens that covers the 55mm - 75mm ?

I realize that it has a half stop less than the 75-300mm, but it just generally seems like nobody would buy this lens. However, on amazon.com it has many positive reviews. What am I missing?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ the 28-105 is basically the equivalent of the 18-55 for full-frame cameras. \$\endgroup\$
    – Fake Name
    Aug 27, 2011 at 4:19
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Note that the 28-105mm is substantially sharper than the 18-55mm, so you can make bigger prints. You can also shoot at over one stop wider at 50mm+, getting more light in and therefore either a faster shutter-speed to freeze action or a lower ISO for better quality. \$\endgroup\$
    – Itai
    Aug 27, 2011 at 14:45

1 Answer 1


While it doesn't cover the entire range of the very popular 24-105mm f/4 L lens (popular among professional studio photographers, at least), the 28-105mm represents an almost complete coverage for "people pictures". At the wide end, you have what would be a "normal" lens on an APS-C camera (around 40mm classic equivalent), and at the long end you have something that's just a bit longer than the classic portrait tele (at an equivalent of about 170mm, it's a bit longer than the 135mm classics that often include a soft-focus option). For individual and small group portraits, the focal length range is close to ideal.

The only real drawback for the portraiture niche is that it doesn't have a wide enough maximum aperture for the narrow depth of field currently in vogue, so it may be difficult to adequately isolate the subject from the background in environmental shots at the shorter focal lengths. That said, typical studio work has traditionally been done (in the 35mm format) at apertures around f/5.6 to f/11.

The focal lengths available may not seem adequate for "walkin' around" photography, but if you know that people are going to be your focus, then a lens in this range will cover most of your needs.


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