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Canon EF 100mm f/2 USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
84 215603 Dec 12, 2013
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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damongrounsell
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Registered: Jul 3, 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 165
Review Date: Jul 8, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Razor sharp images, wide apperture, fast focus
Cons:
CA's in extreme light,

Fantastic sharpness in film and digital, does what it was designed for, performance in low light is amazing even wide open it give good sharpness and focus performs in very low light. As good as my 50mm f1.8I in terms of sharpness but delivers much more pleasent portraits due to flattening of perspective. Amazing I love it, well worth the price I paid

Jul 8, 2007
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Steven Myatt
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Registered: Nov 29, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 5, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $360.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Lightweight. Small size. Excellent sharpness. Fast focus. Great in low light. Cost.
Cons:
Purple fringing wide open on bright subjects.

I needed a lens to capture school events indoors. This lens is perfect for that mission. The first thing I did with this lens was test it out. Others have mentioned purple-fringing as a major problem with this lens. In the test shots I made, I did see a purple fringe around bright items (like snow piles on a dark driveway) at large aperture settings. As the lens is stopped down, the fringing disappears. By f5.6 it was gone. At this point, I'm seeing a razor-sharp, high-contrast, color-perfect, image. Wow.

In indoor situations (which is what this lens was bought for), purple fringing is not a problem. Outside, I stop the lens down a bit to get stunning images. This lens accomplishes its mission in spectacular fashion... and the cost was very reasonable. All in all, this is a hard lens to beat for the money.


Apr 5, 2007
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Review Date: Feb 24, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $280.00 | Rating: 5 

Pros: light, fast focusing, built well and very sharp
Cons:
horriffic CA

This lens would get a good rating but the CA was soo bad with my copy. I suspect it was a return as the box was not sealed Sad

the pictures were amazingly sharp though and if you get a copy without the levels of CA I got then great but sadly mine was bad.


Feb 24, 2007
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Christian S.
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Registered: Dec 7, 2006
Location: Germany
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 7, 2006 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

Pros: sharp, small, f 2, feels sturdy, silent USM.
Cons:
CA worse than kit lens!, focus range, AF hunts in low light.

This lens broke my heart.
I love the way it feels and I love its sharpness. The sharpness kills every cheap lens I ever owned and / or tested. And for that price...ahhhh.

But the CA is so extreme outdoors, best see the shot. I admit it's with f 2 but see for yourself:

<img src="http://percievium.com/100tst.jpg>

Combining its bad performance outdoors (w sunlight) and its troubles indoors with a min distance of about 1m and 160mm focal range, I can't find any use for this lens.

I will buy it if I ever have a full frame, but for now it's going back...


Dec 7, 2006
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Dave Indech
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Registered: Apr 13, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 53
Review Date: Nov 4, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Surefooted AF, solid build, small size, very sharp at close distances, excellent bokeh
Cons:
Not sharp until at least f/2.8 past ~2m

This is a stellar portrait lens.

Various reasons why:

Unlike a 70-200/L zoom, it's small, short, and black. It rarely ever causes people to give it a second glance. It's possible to be unobtrusive with this lens.

AF is very accurate in low light, very fast, and almost completely silent. On my 300D, it'll pick up contrasty targets in a room lit by a single 60W bulb with no assist.

Build is very good; similar materials as my 50/1.4, but with more heft, and no loose pieces inside. I've dropped this one from a short distance. Save for a dented filter, no harm.

Optical quality is way up there at close distances. I have Provia portraits on this one from my Elan II, wide open, that are just exceptional. I can count lines on the irises on certain subjects.

It isn't so strong over longer distances. Detail perks up at f/4 or so, but it's definitely soft at f/2 if I'm shooting people 10m to infinity. Over very long distances (>50m), I'd rather use ISO 1600 and f/2.8 than ISO 800 and f/2.

---
I should point out my copy is a refurb, and unlike my 50/1.4, I haven't sent it back to Canon a dozen times for calibration, so I have no idea if this performance is 'OEM spec'.
---

But none of this is surprising. It's optimized to be a portrait lens.

Incidentally, at 160mm equivalent, it's a little long for the job on a crop body. I tend to use my copy in good light because handshake becomes a major problem indoors. Even f/2 and ISO 800 isn't enough when you want to maintain 1/200. My 50/1.4 is at least two stops faster in relative handholdability.

Nor is it so easy to zoom with one's feet at 160mm. If you want to take a picture of two people, you'll have to stand about ten feet back. That makes it bit impersonal, and if it's at all crowded, you may not be able to move that far back.


I highly recommend this lense for the following:




Anyway, I highly recommend it as a portrait lens when you need discretion. Various zooms can catch it at f/4, but none have that gorgeous f/2 bokeh.


Nov 4, 2006
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Dan Zinc
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Registered: Feb 22, 2006
Location: Romania
Posts: 39
Review Date: Oct 7, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Pros: - 10 pts, central to marginal sharpness: - 10 pts, contrast and color rendition, in Adobe RGB, despite the Kelvin degree of the light; - 10 pts, AF speed in medium to low light, even in AF Servo; - 10 pts, weight and handling; - 8.5 pts, build quality (front glass is too close to the extern barrel); - 8.5 pts, prints over 40cm; - 9 pts, overall quality of the pictures produce by this lens; - I like the discrete way it looks on the camera.
Cons:
Cons: - 6 pts, 7 blades diaphragm which produce poor backlight bokeh; - 7 pts, sever CA at the boundary of white or high reflecting surfaces when shutting backlight; - no hood in the kit.

Reviews about this lens have misleading me. My experience most with Zeiss lenses taught me that there is no universal lens. On digital, I use to shot with 300D, 350D, 30D and 1D.
Canon lenses: EF-S 18-55/kit; EF 17-40/4L; EF 70-200/4L, EF 200/2.8L; EF 100/2.0.
In short..., about 100/2.0 USM
Pros:
- 10 pts, central to marginal sharpness:
- 10 pts, contrast and color rendition, in Adobe RGB, despite the Kelvin degree of the light;
- 10 pts, AF speed in medium to low light, even in AF Servo;
- 10 pts, weight and handling;
- 8.5 pts, build quality (front glass is too close to the extern barrel);
- 8.5 pts, prints over 40cm;
- 9 pts, overall quality of the pictures produce by this lens;
- I like the discrete way it looks on the camera.
Cons:
- 6 pts, 7 blades diaphragm which produce poor backlight bokeh;
- 7 pts, sever CA at the boundary of white or high reflecting surfaces when shutting backlight;
- no hood in the kit.
Conclusion:
- lens dose the best job by shutting action on low light, but no far than 20m targets;
- very good on action at snow sports (ski, snowboarding, etc) if you carry the camera (that why I bought it);
- good on portrait (a little bit too sharp if the subject is over 30 yo)
Highly recommended.


Oct 7, 2006
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ivyinvestor
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Registered: Mar 17, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 237
Review Date: Sep 10, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $394.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness, bokeh, value, size, focus.
Cons:

I love this lens. I'd previously tried a friend's and was quite impressed with the sharpness from f2.2/2.5 onward, and the bokeh around f2.8/3.2. Upon purchasing the lens, I was overjoyed to discover both better sharpness (impressive wide open and just great by 2.2/2.5 in most circumstances) and smoother bokeh. I've also done some comparing of my lens with an 85mm f/1.8 that I used to own and I'm quite a bit more impressed with the CA performance at wide apertures with the 100mm than with the 85mm: at f/2, CA is present in high contrast situations, but not nearly as bad as with my 85mm; by f/2.5-2.8, the CA is already greatly reduced; and, by f/3.2-4, it's nearly absent. For a non-L, the contrast and color are great, as well. For the cost, size, and capability, I have yet to use a more impressive prime!

Sep 10, 2006
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Califfoto
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Registered: Dec 18, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 26
Review Date: Jul 26, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Price, Opticals, silent, focal length
Cons:
None

It's an amazing lens for portraits. The 100mm combined with f2 gives a great bokeh. Since I've gotten this lens, I have only been taking portraits. Here are a couple of examples:
http://califoto.my-expressions.com/archives/2186_1665899495/167445

http://califoto.my-expressions.com/archives/2186_1665899495/163462

At this price, no lens can beat its' quality ...


Jul 26, 2006
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Heechee
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Registered: Dec 19, 2004
Location: Finland
Posts: 383
Review Date: Jun 28, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Image quality is already very nice at f2. Small size.
Cons:
Doesn't focus very near.

If you want a 100mm prime, the choice between this one and the f2.8 macro USM is pretty hard. I tried the macro a while back, and decided not to keep it.

Reasons:
- Macro lens was too large
- I really need f2 for low light action shots
- I shoot macros pretty infrequently
- Did I mention the macro is too large :-)


Jun 28, 2006
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joe mama
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Registered: Oct 3, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 4618
Review Date: Jun 24, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: IQ, speed, size, weight -- everything
Cons:
Absolutely nothing.

It is my most used lens on the 5D, usurping the 85 / 1.8. I have nothing bad to say about the 85 / 1.8, and, in fact, the 85 / 1.8 and this lens are basically the same. I guess I just prefer 100mm.

I used to own the 135 / 2L. However, I found that I almost always used the 100 / 2 and got closer instead. The IQ is identical (if there was a difference, I never saw it) as was the AF speed. Actually, truth be told, if anything, the 100 / 2 might be a bit quicker on recovery from a miss.

But the size and weight of this lens makes is a joy to use, and, as I mentioned, the IQ is *top rate*.

Let me put it this way -- the lens is so good, that you will find a way to frame a shot at 100mm even when you want something different, and be happy with what you got.

That said, I own a few other lenses, too. : )

Oh yeah -- pics. Millions of them. Here are a few:

http://www.pbase.com/joemama/image/61342151/original

http://www.pbase.com/joemama/image/62001005/original

http://www.pbase.com/joemama/image/62102132/original

http://www.pbase.com/joemama/image/60364439/original

http://www.pbase.com/joemama/image/61244174/original

http://www.pbase.com/joemama/image/58583932/original

http://www.pbase.com/joemama/image/59653078/original

http://www.pbase.com/joemama/image/56892684/original

http://www.pbase.com/joemama/image/61035077/original



Jun 24, 2006
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Denizen
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Registered: Jul 4, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 470
Review Date: Jun 7, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Great focal length for portraits. F2 is certainly enough for low light and for a pleasing bokeh (at this focal length).
Cons:
I give my 135 2L the edge over this lens but at over twice the cost I might have expected more than just an edge. None really.

I went to a local shop (My new favorite) to do a side by side comparison between the 85 1.2L and the 85 1.8. Christy being my new favorite sales person set me up with a card, reader and nice display screen to sample the results. (Must say, I could ogle the 1.2 for the length of time I was getting out of debt from it but really not any discernible difference between the two side by side. (at least not $1,550 worth of difference!)
Anyway, my new favorite sales lady, knowingly slid a 100 2 across the counter. With my trusty super model girlfriend along to help me test. I snapped some shots, put them on the display.... and WOW!

A clear winner.

I shot with this lens the very same day that I bought it and was amazed by how 3D of an appearance I got. My subject was 2-3 feet from the closest object with the rest of the background much further off and it was shocking how much she appears to be separated from her surroundings.

Stunning!!!

I feel like I will have to strap some weight to the side of it and paint a fine red stripe around the end to make me feel better but when I pull the images up I can't help but think of all of the money I will make on top of all of the money I've saved.


Jun 7, 2006
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incdigital
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Registered: Aug 2, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 226
Review Date: May 18, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $275.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: As good as or better than canon 85 1.8, Excellent build for non L, Sharp at all stops, Works well w/ 250D Close-Up filter, Quick AF ...almost as fast as 85 1.8, Compact design, 58mm filters, Bargin
Cons:
Not best FOV on 1.6x DSLR, CA wide open, Shorter working distance would be nice

This is one of those win-win canon lenses...price is a bargin and the image quality is outstanding.

May 18, 2006
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tstrauss
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Registered: Apr 26, 2006
Location: Germany
Posts: 1
Review Date: May 17, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fast AF, sharp even wide open, build quality.
Cons:
None

I'm always impressed of the resulting images with this lens. It's most time on my camera. I change to other lenses only when i need a different field of view.

May 17, 2006
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lacksative
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Registered: Jan 30, 2006
Location: Finland
Posts: 302
Review Date: May 15, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very good sharpness! Excellent contrast! It's weight and size is just about right
Cons:
No hood A little CA Slow AF

I just bought this lense some time ago with an 100/2.8 macro ( I'm a collector Wink ). I didn't use it at all first, didnt even test it actually, until with my friend by mixing it up with the 28 1.8. I was amazed by the contrast and overall image quality ( despite the little amout of CA it has ). I really never have liked shooting color pictures, because of bad contrast ( 70-200 4L and 24-70 2.8 EX especially imo ), but this one is a real diamond.

About the build. Well ... It's as good as any other lense from canon, no need to brag about anything.

I do alot of street photography and this lense performs quite good. The slow AF limits getting great shots though ( I don't actually know if it focuses slow, but it seems like it doesn't really focus on the point i want it to? )


May 15, 2006
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xsynch
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Registered: May 2, 2006
Location: N/A
Posts: 213
Review Date: May 8, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Fast AF, great for portraits, nice color and contrast
Cons:
Some barrel distortion, but rare

I bought this lense to compliment my 28-75 XR Di because I figured 85 wasn't much of a difference in length from the tail end of the Tamron. I owned a 50/1.4 a while back and was incredibly pleased; the photos from the camera (camera didn't change) compared to my 24-70L was MUCH better on the 50/1.4. Primes simply beat zooms, even still today.

www.RazorShots.com


May 8, 2006
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gwhitegeog
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Registered: Jun 16, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 4
Review Date: Apr 14, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Good build quality, fast maximum aperture, optically very good, 'cheap'
Cons:
Older USM, otherwise nothing

I'll say it again - you can't beat fast, prime lenses. I picked up my copy of this secondhand for a very reasonable price. Optical quality is excellent, the lens is light, very versatile and gives a bit more reach than a 85mm. It's great for architecture and landscapes, not just portraits.

Canon's EF 50 f1.4, 85 f1.8 and 100 f2.0 mm lenses are the bargain of the century - even if you buy them new - don't worry that they haven't got the 'L' suffix - the shorter focal length and simple construction (fewer elements) makes the L suffix lens important than it is for zooms. The 85mm f1.8 is virtually indistinguishable in terms of results from the f1.2 version - unless you really need such a super-wide aperture - and it is less than a fifth of the price!

Canon don't make another 100mm lens at all and this is an early design from the first launches of EF lenses in the late 80's and early 1990's, but you won't be dissappointed with the results. I have been doing stock photgraphy for over 20 years and all my best shots are taken with primes - they just make you think and work in a better way.


Apr 14, 2006
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Canon EF 100mm f/2 USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
84 215603 Dec 12, 2013
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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