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Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
100 165341 Sep 29, 2016
Recommended By Average Price
96% of reviewers $949.58
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.33
8.73
9.6
ef10028lmisu_586x225

Specifications:
Canon's newest "L" series lens is its first mid-telephoto macro lens to include Canon's sophisticated Image Stabilization. With the highest quality optics available, combined with near-silent Ultrasonic focusing and life-size close-up capabilities without an adapter, the EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM is simply unrivalled.

This is the first lens on the market to incorporate Canon's new Hybrid Image Stabilization Technology. Hybrid IS effectively compensates for both angular and shift camera shake during close-up shooting. The lens was developed to expand users' photographing range and allow a wider range of users to easily enjoy macro photography.

* Focal Length & Maximum Aperture: 100mm 1:2.8
*Lens Construction: 15 elements in 12 groups
*Diagonal Angle of View: 23.4°
*Focus Adjustment: Inner focusing system with USM. *Full-time manual focus available.
*Closest Focusing Distance: 0.99 ft./0.3m (maximum close-up magnification: 1x)
*Filter Size: 67mm
*Max. Diameter x Length, Weight: 3.1 x 4.8 in./77.7 x 123mm, 22.0 oz./625g


 


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irispatch
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Registered: Feb 3, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 111
Review Date: Oct 30, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $996.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Everything that is great about the non IS version, sharpness, IQ etc. With the IS L version better focus speed with IS the ability to hand hold more shots.
Cons:
Price. but quality isn't cheap

I have used the non IS version for nearly 2 years and have loved it. My decision to move to the IS L version was due to increasing difficulty with hand holding a 50D with the 100mm non is. This is a physical issue related to arthritis not the set up. I found the lighter weight and supurb balance very helpful in being able to handhold for close-up shots again. High grade plastics very often have better stress and impact resistance than metals ( the exception being the mount system metal is preferred because of the tabs and twisting). Thus by using them in a lens of this sort it allows for a lighter and better balanced lens that works very well with the lighter crop cameras. I have been delighted with the lens. Color, sharpness, IQ etc have been equal to or better than my old 100mm 2.8 non IS.

Oct 30, 2009
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cameron12x
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Registered: Sep 4, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 1957
Review Date: Oct 29, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $997.50 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Image stabilization (IS). Sharpness. Build-quality.
Cons:
Larger filter size (67mm) necessitated buying an adapter so that I could mount the 14EX ring flash.

I owned the legacy Canon 100mm f/2.8 macro lens. While there was absolutely nothing wrong with that lens, I found myself missing hand-held shots at times because of the lack of IS. I sold my old macro lens as soon as Canon released this L-series derivative with IS.

The new lens does not disappoint in any way. It's razor sharp throughout the entire field from f/2.8 upwards, with IQ similar to or perhaps even surpassing the older lens.

But the IS is what separates this lens from all other macro lenses without it. I can easily get two stops of IS, and sometimes as many as four stops. That can make a difference between "missing a shot" and getting one. And at the end of the day, that's what really matters. I'm very happy with my purchase.


Oct 29, 2009
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akilah
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Registered: Aug 27, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 162
Review Date: Oct 29, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, best IS I've ever used, great color
Cons:
None, except price

I own the 180mm L macro, the non-IS 100mm macro and now this macro. The reach of the 180 is handy, but in every other respect this lens is better than 180 and old 100. My wife took a photo of an insect that was in poor light, handheld -- while holding one of our dog's leashes in her hand. The photo is beyond stunning: the detail is sharp, the color is great.

I do have to comment on posts like this 5/10 because "IS is not usable with insects in movement" -- er, excuse me? The lens is somehow supposed to track the insects too? People buy lenses thinking they will make them great photographers, my advise is to only buy this (or any expensive) lens when you understand what it will do for you and why.

I too was a little dismayed by the plastic body, but I'm not entirely sure it is bad. My alloy lenses are much heavier, so if the material used for the lens is strong and durable, the lower weight may well be an acceptable trade off. I'm not going to automatically assume it is second rate because it is not alloy -- not in this age of miracles: the airframe of the Airbus 380, for example, has a large amount of plastic. I know I might feel differently if it drops and breaks, but barring destructive testing, I'm going to reserve judgement on this.

But the most impressive thing of all is being able to handhold the lens for macro photos. Yes, you should still use a tripod, but the great thing is you can get away with not in a pinch. This makes the lens perfect for hiking, for exploring nature. The IS is a dream, and (provided you understand it won't track moving insects for you) you will get great shots.

My wife is not a technical user, but under difficult circumstances she produced a photo that is a genuine masterpiece, and has already consistently produced some also great photos, proving it was no fluke.

The 100mm L IS is a no-brainer particularily for a cropped sensor for macro or a full frame sensor for other uses. For a full frame sensor shooting macro, if you are committed to using a tripod, the extra reach of the 180mm may still make it a better choice. Determine this based on your needs and what equipment you are willing to carry.


Oct 29, 2009
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JanPhoto
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Registered: Feb 27, 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 32
Review Date: Oct 29, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,039.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Excellent resolution and color reproduction / IS very, very welcome specially in close-up situation / No need for supporting collar / Nice design / Light.
Cons:
Maybe price but then quality is not cheep !

I have tested this lens in studio with Elinchrom Lighting System then doing evaluation of images on G5 in CS4 Photoshop.

Close-ups / Portraits / Some Art situations in low lighting on location.

In short, I am very pleased. Definitely it is an improvement compare to my old 100mm USM lens.

I am happy with this purchase.


Oct 29, 2009
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widyhs
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Registered: Jul 29, 2009
Location: N/A
Posts: 45
Review Date: Oct 28, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,049.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: IS, Sharp pics, Great bokeh from compression at the focal length, nice for portrait shots, lightweight.
Cons:
Slow focusing speed relative to non macro lenses, excessive use of plastics feel cheap, rather expensive for IS and L ring.

I waited almost 4 weeks before getting my first L prime lens. The focal length makes it great for taking portraits outdoor. I like how it focuses much faster than a sigma 150 macro that I traded this one for. The build quality is too plasticky for my taste considering this is a $1000 lens. Canon should make it look and feel expensive. Without the red ring, it could well have been mistaken as a non L lens. That said, the weight is a welcome change from 24-70 that I normally have on my lens. I have yet to try the lens with tubes but I think it will help with the mediocre focal length for serious insect photography. Noticeably sharper pictures than zoom lenses is expected from a prime lens and in this regard the macro 100mm doesnt disappoint. With nighttime shooting, the IS compensates for the shake coming from my unsteady hands, a welcome change from non IS lenses. If you are looking for a decent medium focal length lens with ability to shoot macro and IS, then the 100mm Macro L2.8 will not disappoint. If, on the other hand you already have a non IS macro 100mm and shoot mostly on tripod, you'd be better off saving the money for something else as this lens has essentially the same bokeh, sharpness as the non IS with the addition of stabiliser and red ring.

Oct 28, 2009
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mahonet
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Registered: Nov 30, 2008
Location: Finland
Posts: 0
Review Date: Oct 28, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: excellent resolution even wide open, fast af, good colours, excellent bokeh, new IS.
Cons:
expensive compared to non IS -model

Excellent macro and portrait lens because of itīs bokeh quality. The lens is exceptionally sharp even wide open, which with new IS is a very good combination.
I prefer the colours and especially the fast auto-focus compared to non is version. I think I will sell my 135L IS, because this lens is in my opinion as good but with IS. I have tried almost all possible 100mm macros and this is a keeper!


Oct 28, 2009
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GeraldTew
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Registered: Oct 27, 2009
Location: Singapore
Posts: 0
Review Date: Oct 27, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $965.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Lightweight, Sharp, Focuses VERY fast, good at both macro and general photography
Cons:
Plastic build, very un-"L".

This is one excellent lens. I was deliberating buying the 135 f/2 when I saw this lens. Tested both on the spot and the IQ was brilliant for both, but the Macro, Hybrid IS and lightweight won me over. This lens is a permanent feature on my 5D MkII now. Absolutely brilliant. I think the reviewers who had bad experiences merely picked up bad copies of the lens. Go change it! It is BRILLIANT!

Oct 27, 2009
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sunpole
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Registered: Jan 3, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 320
Review Date: Oct 27, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $960.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Focus is fast and silent, good color and contrast, tack sharp. sharp enough for any purpose of photography. Mighty 4-stop hybrid IS, every useful for portrait and macro works. Build feels solid and light material. Price is just about right.
Cons:



Oct 27, 2009
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victoriae
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Registered: Sep 13, 2009
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Oct 26, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Almost silent AF and IS, Fast AF for a macro, Razor sharp, IS makes possible sharp hand held shots, Dust and weather proofing. Very nice backgound blur.
Cons:
Don't like the hood and no Mount ring

The lens i have been waiting for. I have found this lens superb to use and razor sharp with none of the problems other reviewers have had, maybe there is a bad batch out there?
IS, makes for great hand held shots. Insects don't exactly hang around waiting for you to set your tripod up so this has to be for me the best macro i have ever used.
Don't use AI focus for hand held shots as it will hunt (sorry if i'm stating the obvious).
Price is not cheap but is also not over expensive.
Think this is going to be one of my most used lenses.


Oct 26, 2009
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Jman13
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Registered: May 1, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 13003
Review Date: Oct 26, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,049.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Exceedingly sharp at all apertures, beautiful color and contrast response, good smooth bokeh, sharp both at macro distances and infinity, extremely fast AF for a macro lens, and with the focus limiter, very fast for any lens, weathersealed, solid build, outstanding IS.
Cons:
Doesn't include the tripod collar.

I have owned 43 lenses at one point or another in my life, including three macro lenses. The 100 f/2.8L IS Macro might be the sharpest lens I have ever used. At the very least, I have never used a lens sharper. The 135L and Zeiss 50/1.7 Planar may have been just as sharp, but none have been sharper. This lens is just razor sharp, at all focus distances, and all apertures. Ok...I should have a caveat...only the center 85% is that sharp from f/2.8...it takes till about f/5.6 for the corners to get super tack sharp, but they are still plenty sharp at f/2.8 for most any size print.

Color and contrast are wonderful, and the lens suffers no contrast loss wide open. The build is solid and weathersealed, though the plastic shell may leave people wanting for those good old days of solid metal lenses (with their extra weight).

Autofocus is extremely fast for a macro lens. Now, if you're going from 1:1 to infinity, no it's not fast, but flip that focus limiter to 0.5-infinity, and it's every bit as fast as my 100 f/2 and very nearly as fast as the 135L. Remember that 0.5m is much closer than any other non-macro lens in this range can focus, so you're really not limited with that switch set when not shooting macro. I have found autofocus to be extremely accurate as well. The only down side to the AF is that servo with non-cross type focus points in dim light will cause the lens to hunt...but that's pretty extreme lighting.

At macro distances, it performs like most any other macro lens: very well. At non-macro distances, it's as good as the very best primes in this range.

The image stabilizer works very well. With good hand held technique, I get pixel level sharp shots at about 1/13 sec most of the time, and have gotten over half my shots at 1/8 sec sharp. I have even, with bracing against a surface handheld, gotten a sharp shot at 1/2 sec. The IS works well at macro distances too, allowing handheld shots at between 1:1 and 1:2 magnification around 1/50-1/60s, which is very good for those magnifications (I usually need a minimum of 1/250-1/400s for those magnifications without IS).

I have to think the negative reviews here had bad copies of the lens, as I can't think of any possible reason to give this lens any sort of a negative score...it's a gem in every way imaginable.


Oct 26, 2009
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wencules
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Registered: Oct 26, 2009
Location: Germany
Posts: 0
Review Date: Oct 26, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Extermly shapr, Easy to carry all the day, AF is quick and reliable even for non macro pictures, Bokeh,
Cons:
Hood is to big, IS has no panning mode

After reading the first news, I was actualy expesting price over 1000Eur.
Tripod collar is not included, but you know this before you buy this lens (as well as the filter size).
IS is perfect for common shooting, in macro distances you will need times over 1/200sec even vith IS on.
Lack of panning mode results in suden moves in movie mode (for video turn the IS off).
The IQ is wonderfull! On my 5DmkII this is the sharpest lens I've used. This is perhaps not a lens I will use on my 450 to much. Croop sensor cut off a lot of quality.
Feels not as solid as most of L lenses, but its nice to have such a easy to carry around lens.


Oct 26, 2009
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jonbrach
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Registered: Dec 22, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 919
Review Date: Oct 25, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,049.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp,quick AF,terrific IS,better build quality
Cons:
price

this is a terrific lens...tack sharp with very quick focus and fantastic IS..it is a bit pricey but for me the iS makes all the difference in the world.

Oct 25, 2009
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BradleyGibson
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Registered: Jul 28, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 46
Review Date: Oct 25, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,050.00

 
Pros: Nice build quality, IS, weather-sealing, reasonable weight
Cons:
For a macro, AF speed is quick, but not as fast as Canon's fastest (that should not be a surprise to anyone)

A razor sharp lens. Incredibly flat field, just about aberration-free! Beautiful, smooth bokeh. One of the best of Canon's offerings.

Doesn't snap into focus like, say the 300/2.8 IS, but as a macro lens the helical has much further to travel. That being said, as a macro, I still consider it a quick focuser, at least on par with 135/2's AF, for example.

I'm not sure whether the Hybrid IS makes it more effective than Canon's previous generation 4-stop IS, but the IS is very effective. Tack-sharp handheld macro photography makes for a more spontaneous and free-flowing creative shoot.

Highly recommended!
-Brad


Oct 25, 2009
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JTS0719
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Registered: May 13, 2009
Location: China
Posts: 40
Review Date: Oct 24, 2009 Recommend? no | Price paid: $1,029.00 | Rating: 4 

 
Pros: Better built than the non IS version
Cons:
not as sharp as the non-IS version

I either have a bad copy or it's not nearly as sharp as the non-IS version. I'm sending it back to the store and will try and get a replacement.

Oct 24, 2009
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antonyyip
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Registered: Dec 7, 2005
Location: China
Posts: 0
Review Date: Oct 23, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $840.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, as light as old non-IS version, well built (including the hood), 4-stop IS, slient and fast USM
Cons:
None

I owned non-IS 100 marco before buying this lens. The difference I have to pay for this lens is around $440. But what extra I can get includes "L" lens optical quality (sharp!), new hybrid IS fuction, more slient and faster auto focus, and better build of lens and hood.

Oct 23, 2009
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Mr.Jsph
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Registered: Oct 22, 2009
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Oct 23, 2009 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 5 

 
Pros: sealed.
Cons:
Size of filters, no tripod ring, AF doesn't works perfect, IS is not usable with insects in movement, you need a tripod, no buld as others L series lens, cromatic aberrations.



Oct 23, 2009
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Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
100 165341 Sep 29, 2016
Recommended By Average Price
96% of reviewers $949.58
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.33
8.73
9.6
ef10028lmisu_586x225


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