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Canon EF 100mm f/2 USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
85 220352 May 7, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
96% of reviewers $352.02
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.81
9.17
9.1
ef100mmf_2usm_1_

Specifications:
Despite the large maximum aperture, the lens remains compact. Lens group 5 moves for rear focusing, and sharp, crisp pictures are obtained at all apertures. The background blur is ideal for portraits. The USM autofocuses the lens quickly and quietly.


 


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fteter
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Registered: Jan 24, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 5
Review Date: May 30, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros:
Cons:
Minor CA in high-contrast images with bright sunlight

I picked this lens up new recently. It was a consolation prize after selling my 135L (which in itself is a long story involving poor decisions by a daughter old enough to know better). After using this lens a bit and checking the images, I'm surprised to find that I don't miss the 135L all that much. In fact, had I owned this lens first, I probably would not have ever purchased the 135L - it's that good.

The build quality is OK...clearly not as solid as an L lens, but you're not paying an L lens price either. In terms of image quality, however, this lens "runs with the big dogs".

This lens really shines indoors, especially in low light. Does a great job for me on both my 5D and 350D, shooting both portraits and indoor sports with available light (I've taken a few basketball shots in available light with this lens that really made me smile). It's simply flawless indoors. Sharp as a tack, even wide-open. Very rich color, especially with the 5D.

My copy does display a little CA wide-open with high-contrast images taken in bright sunlight, but it's nothing that can't quickly be fixed in post processing.

Can't understand why Canon doesn't sell more of these. Highly recommended. An outstanding lens and one of the best values in the Canon lens line-up.


May 30, 2009
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catchup
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Registered: Apr 29, 2009
Location: China
Posts: 1
Review Date: Apr 29, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Compact, sharpness in close distance
Cons:
not sealed very well, is apt to get dust in purple fringe at large F stops, not just F2 misfocus in longer distance every time, on my 450D!

I bought this lens more than 2 month ago, brand new.

I strictly tested its focus in close distance on my 450D, using a vertical test card. The result was satisfactory: very fast and accurate. The only thing boths me is the serious purple fringes at F2 if high contrast exists.

Within about 4m it is a great lens, capable of producing nice headshots. But if I shoot from more than 5m away(at F2 of course), it misfocuses every time. When distance goes to 10m, I can clearly see the DoF one or two feet in front of my main subject. So the autofocus is almost useless. I'm not sure it's lens' fault or my 450D's, and these two are going to be sent to Canon for calibration when I got my time. Canon's service in China is quite poor, the calibration could only be done in 2 cities: Beijing and Shanghai.

I've conducted a test under relatively strict condition, and the sharpness@F5.6 of this lens is a little bit better than my tarmron A16(17-50@50mm@5.6)

The first time I use this lens outdoor, a midium sized dust got into it. So I can not give any credible to it airtightness.

As everyone knows, on an APS body, its background blur is far from as good as on an FF.


Apr 29, 2009
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toiyeumetre
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Registered: Feb 24, 2008
Location: Vietnam
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 26, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: AF extremely fast & accurate, compact and inexpensive
Cons:
None for my task

Only 1 word : EXCELLENT

I chose this one over 85 f1.8 for my Canon 30D and no regret. Even its focal a little long on crop body but it suite my taste.


Apr 26, 2009
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Jman13
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Registered: May 1, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 10769
Review Date: Apr 26, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp, beautiful bokeh, fast AF, wonderful color, well built, compact
Cons:
It can have a little purple fringing wide open in very high contrast situations, but honestly, I don't see it much.

A hidden gem of the Canon lineup. I've owned the lens for over a year, but only really began using it when I went full frame. I bought it for my 30D but it was a bit too long, and after getting the 85L, the 100 f/2 sat unused for a while. I was going to sell it, but I'm so glad I didn't. After I moved to full frame, I realized how much I preferred the 100mm range over the 85mm focal length, and since the DOF is so shallow on full frame anyway, the 85L is going and the 100 f/2 is staying. I've been using the 100 as my longer portrait lens for a while now, and it is simply stellar. At f/2, it is essentially indistinguishable from the 85L at f/2.

The lens is sharp straight from max aperture. Very high resolution at any aperture. Color is wonderful...nice contrast curve and even saturation. The bokeh is stellar. Not QUITE as smooth as the 85L, but pretty darn close. AF is very fast, and the build quality is very nice. Solid and compact. I've also owned the 135L, and the 100 f/2 is 99% of the optical quality of the 135. The only thing the 135 does better really is it controls fringing a little better wide open. That's it.

As mentioned, purple fringing can crop up outside if you blow highlights, but other than that CA is very well controlled, and images are great!


Apr 26, 2009
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jdryan3
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Registered: Aug 3, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 328
Review Date: Mar 14, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Compact, inexpensive, fairly fast AF
Cons:
none with lens, but task specific

I got this when I got the 200 f/2.8, about 3-4 years ago. I had upgraded to the 'new' 5D from a 300D and was trying to start upgrading my lenses. I actually returned the 200 (a great lens) and got the 70-200 f/2.8 for a number of reasons. However I kept this lens since it was f/2.

But I never really used it. It seemed to be the 'poor lens' that always got left behind when I filled my bag. So about a year ago I was going to a small B'Day party and took my 5D and only this lens for fun. I was very happy with the results. Like any prime, foot zoom and positioning were key.

And back into the drawer it went for the most part.

Last fall I got my hands on a new 50D the week they came out - and this was the first lens I put on it. And I have used it a number of times since then on the 50D: compact, decent AF, and while an odd FL @160, it works great in a lot of situations where a little reach is needed, especially stopped down to f/2.8.


Mar 14, 2009
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petr vokurek
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Registered: Apr 16, 2007
Location: Czech Republic
Posts: 5
Review Date: Jan 22, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: quality, cheap
Cons:
none really

I bought this lens only after I already had all of the Līs (85 f1,2, 135 f2, 70-200 f2,8...) more or less out of curiosity. All I can say this is such a nice lens! Very compact (especially when compared to the 85 f1,2:-), very fast AF, sharp rihgt from f2. The close focusing ability (0,9m) is another bonus over the 85mm f1,2. Since I bought this lens I rarely use my 135 f2 because the 100mm is smaller and equally good and the focal lenght is often better suited for my needs.

It produces excellent background blur wide open. Of course the 85 f1,2 is better in this respect (it is probably the best of all)but given the price difference one would kind of expect it:)

All in all this is an exteremely useful lens, especially as a complementary lens for zooms. If you cannot afford the 85 f1,2 and want a medium telephoto for portraits then donīt hessitate and get this one. I used to have the 85mm f1,8 and I think the 100mm is better overal, which is not to say the 85mm f1,8 is a bad lens at all. At the price it can be had for either new or second-hand itīs a must-have lens for every canonist.


Jan 22, 2009
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johnahill
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Registered: Jan 8, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 2566
Review Date: Jan 6, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great image quality, nice bokeh, very quick and accurate AF, nice build, great price for f2.0 lens
Cons:
None

I was thinking of getting the 135L or 100mm f2 for portrait shots on the 5D, well a 100f2 in nearly new condition came up for sale at a really attractive price, over 3 times cheaper than the L.

Shot some pictures with family at Christmas and very pleased with this lens, it has very fast and accurate AF, super image quality right from wide open and had great bokeh. At close distance the DOF can be quite thin making some very striking images.

I'm very pleased I got this lens, it performs as good as I expected from the 135L but at 30% of the price.

This lens has a real bang for buck appeal.


Jan 6, 2009
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rfwilliams
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Registered: Oct 12, 2006
Location: N/A
Posts: 19
Review Date: Dec 23, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Inexpensive, Solid, and Tack Sharp @ f/2. On a APS-C body (APS-C = 160mm), I can keep a comfortable distance from my subject.
Cons:
It is not an L.

I bought this lens used on ebay. I already had a zoom that had this focal range (70-200mm 4/L USM IS) but wanted a lens I could use in low light situations. I found just what I needed in this lens. My copy of this lens is tack sharp wide open, corner to corner (on my APS-C Camera bodies).

This lens was such a good lens for the money, I immediately bought a 85mm 1.8 hoping it was the same caliber lens. While the 85mm is another qualtiy vs. dollar winner, it cannot keep up with my 100mm f/2. I can get extremely sharp shots with the 85mm, but the keeper ratio is not as good as what I get with the 100mm.

I would not hesitate one minute to recommend this fine piece of glass. I understand that some samples of this lens are not as great as others, so make sure you can return any ~off~ sample you might purchase and be patient. Once you get a good one you will be well rewarded for the dollar you spent. I cannot say enough good about this lens!


Dec 23, 2008
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twistedlim
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Registered: Oct 20, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 3127
Review Date: Oct 2, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, light, inconspicuous, fast accurat focus. F/2.0
Cons:
Wish it could focus a bit closer.

Outstanding lens. Sharp, accurate, fast focus. Image quality on par with the 135L at less than half the cost. A great bang for the buck.

Oct 2, 2008
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dhphoto
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Registered: Feb 15, 2003
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 10034
Review Date: Jul 5, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Good sharpness and contrast, small size, full time manual focusing, decent build. Shares the same hood with the 85 1.8 Cheap for an f2 telephoto. Unobtrusive street-sleeper.
Cons:
It gets a bit lost alongside the 85 1.8 and 100 2.8 macro, but it shouldn't.

This is a very fine lens, without being stunning in any particular way.

It focuses well, it has excellent colour and contrast, it is a very useful length on full frame and a much better portrait lens than the 100 macro, but it isn't significantly different from the also excellent 85 1.8 to which I think it loses out often.

It's an odd length on a 1.6 crop body, not short, not long, not proper telephoto, but it's excellent for medium length full frame work where the f2 maximum aperture is excellent for out of focus backgrounds.

A very competent all round lens, without being spectacular.


Jul 5, 2008
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ALCAN
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Registered: Feb 25, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 5
Review Date: May 4, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: lite, sharp, fair price.
Cons:



May 4, 2008
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Kristian ra
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Registered: Feb 1, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 53
Review Date: Feb 27, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $250.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Accurate AF, price, F2.0
Cons:
Gives me doubt whether to bring the 85mm F1.8

I have been a great fan of the 85mm 1.8, and also the 50mm 1.4. Found a cheap second hand copy of the 100 F2, and I really love this lens. It is all as good as the 85mm - but having switch from the 20D crop body to full frame, I wanted slightly more tele-effect, and this was what I looked for.

Only drawback is that the focus-ring is a tad sluggish, but it is no problem at all. Cannot expect L-build at this price, but optically, it is stellar. Also, considering you will get a 160mm when used on a crop body, you have a quite long tele with F2.0, which is nothing short of spectacular!


Feb 27, 2008
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jlorenzo
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Registered: Nov 16, 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 4
Review Date: Nov 16, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: I found it too sharp for portraits. But overall I like it a lot.
Cons:
I used it in AF mode at it closest focus and this wasn't a nice experience. I ended up putting it back in manual mode.

I like the speed of the lens in that at a proper distance it is quite fast in AF mode, however up close to the closest end of it focal range wasn't too impressed. AF kept jumping all over the place. Using it in manual mode was where I go thte best results, mainly for a portrait lens it's too sharp.



Nov 16, 2007
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Nello Milanese
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Registered: Sep 22, 2007
Location: Italy
Posts: 7503
Review Date: Nov 14, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Bright lens, super-fast focusing, sharp even wide-open, full-time manual focusing.
Cons:
None

I've had it for a few months now and i must say it's the best €€ I've spent so far. i don't use it a lot but when I do I get that dam** feeling and a smile! it's problably one of the fastest focusing lens in Canon's line-up. I wasn't expecting good sharpness wide open but boy was I wrong. this lens is SHARP even at F2..a few clicks down and it's a killer (maybe too sharp for portraits?). here's a shot that I sold to the dog's owner (he loved it) wide open:
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1023/1460019926_484240bf03_o_d.jpg
I haven't seen the CA's that people talk about. Add a 50mm prime to this and you're all set. You really can't go wrong with primes. I'd never part from this lens. Love it. Highly reccomended.


Nov 14, 2007
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john Paul
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Registered: Jul 22, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 150
Review Date: Aug 31, 2007 Recommend? no | Price paid: $370.00 | Rating: 3 

 
Pros: Nice focal length for portraits / head shots.. Fast, smooth AF.. Build quality is good..
Cons:
Useless wide open..because of the CA.. Not as sharp as 85 f1.8


Well,....if it weren't for the CA,...this lens would be pretty nice to work with.. It was noticeably not as sharp as my 85mm f1.8 either.. The CA was noticeable up to f4.0..and wide open, it was so noticeable that it made shooting wide open unacceptable. I've shot with many different Canon lenses from fisheye to super teles, and this was the worst as far as CA goes.. I ended up selling it after it sat for 6 months without using it..

It's possible that I just got a body copy, but then again, maybe my standards are higher than most...and for a prime lens, I felt the lens should have performed better than it did, considering my old 85mm is much better and shows no sign of CA....which was what I was expecting from this similar lens design..

Sorry!

JP


Aug 31, 2007
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Ben Delfont
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Registered: Jul 20, 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 4
Review Date: Aug 21, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Extremely sharp, lovely bokeh, great shallow depth of field at f2
Cons:
Not a lot, really...

This lens is great for portraits - i use it on a 5D, and I can be far enough away not to be intrusive... Fantastic sharpness, no CA that I've noticed, lovely shallow depth of field... Highly recommended, and good value too, for once....

Aug 21, 2007
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Canon EF 100mm f/2 USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
85 220352 May 7, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
96% of reviewers $352.02
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.81
9.17
9.1
ef100mmf_2usm_1_


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