24mm vs 28mm Lens: Know The Differences

If you’re interested in photography, you must be a fan of different lenses. Are you looking to buy one? But there are a thousand different brands and options to choose from. Which one should you choose? 24mm vs 28mm?

Well, 24mm lenses are also known as “pancake lenses”. They are small lightweight, wide-angle prime lenses. They have a focal length of 40mm and are known for travel and street photography. A 28mm lens is a soft opening lens with sharp centers. Their mid-frame performance is better than most other lenses. Are you still confused? Don’t worry we have got you.

We have also compared all the specifications and chosen one for you. To know it all, let’s jump into the next section.

Head to Head Comparison

The traditional photography advice used to be that 28mm was the start of ‘wide,’ and 24mm was ‘really wide’. That’s when the distortion started to steepen. And there’s a strong chance you’ll capture the entirety of a towering structure. The difference comes down to some other factors alongside these.

To know more, let’s go into the next section.

What Is The Focal Length Of The Lens?

Both the lenses are for different uses and so is their focal length when compared together. The 24mm lens has the longest focal length that may be considered a “wide-angle” lens. It includes more of the picture than a 50mm lens and has obvious distortion, often spanning a diagonal angle of view of approximately 84 degrees. 28mm is one of the most common focal lengths for landscape photography. It’s an excellent focal length because it may include a reasonably wide area of view (75 degrees) without creating apparent aberrations. 

24mm lenses offer to shoot on a wide end of the spectrum without any hit of distortion of the final image. This lens is EF-S qualified and has 1.6x FOVCF. It has similarities with a 35mm lens. This lens emphasizes closer things to the camera related to the background.

 If used at a close distance, it emphasizes on closest subjects like the nose to the rest of the body. For this reason, the lens is not a good choice for headshots. The 24mm lens provides an image circle that covers the APS-C sensor. This provides an angle of view that is similar to a 38.4mm lens on a full-frame. 

However, there’s about no focus variation for a 28mm lens. It is even when the lens focuses from a close distance or infinity. The lens focus time is about 0.3 secs which is quite fast. It utilizes an ultrasonic motor for quick autofocusing. 

The 28mm Lens is a near-normal 45mm lens that can be mounted on a 1.6x FOVCF body. You’ll feel quite at home with a 28mm prime if you’re used to a 50mm lens on your film SLR. For 28mm lenses, the repeatability of the lens is good having no outliers over about 40 shots. It keeps the perspective between near subjects and the backdrop balanced.

So the focal lengths of both lenses are quite good. But the 24mm lens has some obvious distortion that is noticeable. So for focal length, 28mm is the one.

Which One Has Better Built Quality?

24mm lenses are very light when it comes to handling. But compared to a greater lens, the weight of 28mm is very handy and travel-friendly as per its lens weight. This gives the 28mm lens a better competitive edge. So if we see the build quality, 28mm wins the game.

The 24mm feels very well made. The body is made non-weather sealed with engineering plastic and a metal mount. They also come with a single switch, an extending inner lens barrel, and a tiny MF ring. The lens hook attached to it is not thick enough to add protection to the front elements. The angle of view for light blocking is also very small. The lens contains no case in the box and this is probably because it is inexpensive.

The lens of 28mm is made of a semi-gloss black metal barrel exterior. Its design is dust and moisture-resistant. The rear mount is not gasketed and the lens is lightweight. So it’s easy to carry the lens outdoors. Because of the tiny lens size, fingers are not constricted in compact camera grips. The lightweight straight external design makes this lens easy to hold for long.

Coming to the build, 28mm has a better build quality. This makes it easier for a photographer to carry and handle.

Which One Has Better Image Quality?

The 24mm lens has barrel distortion. The distortion is modest. However,  Individual test results reveal that a 28mm lens is highly constant. So, as per the quality of the image, 28mm serves a better purpose.

The STM of 24mm lens has an average amount of coma in frame corners, especially in night sky photography. The closest stars to the corner of the frame seem like comets with stretched tails. The bokeh ie quality out of focus blur is decent. The specular highlight is ice and the 7 blade aperture shows a 14 point star radiating from light points. This lens has some CA (Chromatic Aberration), although it isn’t as bad as some other lenses.

The only time the scores drop for 28mm is when the lens is used with a tiny aperture and the resolution drops. Chromatic aberration is nicely managed, distortion isn’t extreme and transmission is good. The vigilance is exactly what you’d expect from a 28mm lens when used wide open.

Now, you may sometimes find your image to be a bit grainy. But there is some difference between noise and grain of the image. It doesn’t depend on the lens but rather on the model of your camera.

So as for image quality, 28mm serves a better job here.

Which One Has better Image Stabilization?

When it comes to image stabilization, 28mm offers way better performance. In fact, 24 mm lenses don’t even come with image stabilization. Comparatively, 28mm lenses get the job done with a four-stop effective image stabilizer. 

Image stabilization isn’t present in the 24mm lens. Although, unsurprisingly, a lens this compact and cheap lacks image stabilization. The lens’s relatively wide aperture allows it to be used handheld in low light even without IS.

A four-stop effective Image Stabilizer of 28mm helps the optics. This is done by reducing the impression of camera shaking. This is for clearer handheld photos. A ring-type USM also provides a full-time manual focus override. 

It also gives a quick, quiet, and smooth autofocus performance. When shooting in the wind and/or on shaky ground, we won’t enjoy indoor stability. But the IS will still make a huge impact. It potentially makes the same relative difference outdoors. You will need a still subject for exposure.

So for image stabilization, 28mm is the clear winner.

What Is The Aperture Of The Lenses?

Compared to 24mm, the 28mm lens has a soft wide opening. If the aperture is stopped down to f/1.8, the center becomes sharp. The 24mm aperture is considered a minimum to stop motion indoors or for night sky photography. So, the lenses have a tie.

A 24mm has a relatively wide aperture of f/1.8 for Nikon and f/2.8 for Canon. A prime lens is a fantastic way to get a wider aperture lens into a kit. This is because f/2.8 is a full stop wider (allowing in twice as much light) than a normal kit lens covering 24mm. EF-S kit lenses are typically f/4 max at 24mm. Maximum apertures as wide as f/1.4 are obtainable in prime lenses.

The mid-frame performance of the 28mm lens is even softer for a full-frame DSLR. The corner performance doesn’t degrade much with the mid-frame results. But the sharpness delivered by this lens is not quite extraordinary.  Another noteworthy unfavorable trait is a proclivity to flare. There is also some barrel distortion. The quality of the background blur is acceptable. When the lens is shut down, out-of-focus highlights have seven sides. This wing to the seven-blade aperture.

So for aperture, both the lenses have a tie.

What Is The Usage Of The Lens?

24mm is a fantastic choice for outdoor pictures and especially street photography. On the other hand, architectural photography and group portraits are popular uses for the 28mm lens.

Basically, 24 mm is your best friend is for where you want to give the viewer a feel of the surroundings or some information about the subject. In general, you won’t want to utilize this focal length close to your subject. Especially not if you’re looking for a more classic portrait look. It also lets you play with the foreground and give a fantastic view into the distance.

However, depending on your aims, a 24mm lens might work well up close for portraiture as well. But it might make a person’s face look bigger than it is. There are lenses very popular for landscapes. 24 mm is especially for skyline pictures of scenes or mountains.

Maximum apertures of 28mm lenses are as wide as f/1.8 are found in prime lenses. Urban geometry uses lines and colors for photography. A 28mm lens will give you more of the scene in focus every time. This is due to the principles of the depth of field.

Although we love declaring the winner for you, we won’t be able to do so here. So depending on your personal preference, pick either.

Which One To Go For?

The Canon EF-S 24mm lens may be the ideal choice for you if you require a good-quality photo focal length lens. It will not give versatility of zoom for any particular purpose. The 24 mm is a useful lens to take with you wherever you go because of its small weight and compact construction. Here are some of the best 24mm lenses.

After that, you’ll always have a wide-angle lens on hand. For landscapes, 8mm lenses like the Canon EF-M have a huge impact on bringing a scene into focus. These lenses are especially useful for concentrating far away. This is since contemporary 28mm lenses have less distortion. 28mm lenses have a very good focus in works like food photography. So if you’re planning on buying one, here are some top ones listed.

So which one to choose will depend on your photography needs and purpose.


You may still have some common queries in your mind. To know more, let’s go to the next section.

Is The 24mm Lens Good for Vlogging?

Yes, for story-telling images, a lens about 24mm is ideal. Manufacturers vary their diameters around this range. In terms of magnification, 24mm is very near to what the human eye perceives. Rather than zooming in, simply go closer to your topic. If you’re shooting wide handheld, any wobbling will be less noticeable.

Is 28mm Wide Enough for Astrophotography?

Yes, for astrophotography, the 28mm lens performs admirably. It’s not perfect. But suitable for uses like general sharpness and aberration performance. It’s the cheapest and best value lens on the market. The lens has a lot of wonderful qualities: it’s sharp, has fast quiet focusing, and has decent build quality.


That is all from us on 24mm vs 28mm. As you have come this far, we have an added tip just for you.

Before buying your lens, be sure about your use. Different lenses have a variety of uses that cannot solve all purposes. You should always try to improve your skills. Especially in aperture, zoom, focal length, etc for better quality photography.

Before we end, do you have any queries? Let us know in the comment section below. Till then, we wish you a good day!

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