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Canon EF 100mm f/2 USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
85 219831 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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John Black
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Registered: Jul 14, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 3686
Review Date: Aug 12, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $369.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Nice bokeh, reasonably sharp wide open, lightweight, decent build quality for a non-L lens.
Cons:
Barrel distortion. Color & saturation fall short of an L lens, and since Canon doesn't have a 100L, I was hoping this lens would have more punch.

Overall the 100/2 is a nice lens. I had been using a Zeiss 100/2 Planar on the 1Ds and loved the Zeiss. I sold some Zeiss lenses & 1Ds to buy a 1DsII. I didn't want to go with a manual lens again, so I purchased a Canon 100/2 to replace the Zeiss.

The Canon 100/2 is sharp and a good all around performer, but it doesn't have any pop to the color. I think the 24-70L has more punch (stronger colors, richer saturation) at 70mm than the Canon 100/2. The 100/2's barrel distortion is really bugging me (on a 1DsII).

On the positive note:

1) AF speed is pretty quick & quiet
2) Very lightweight - very easy to carry around
3) Build quality is solid, much nicer than Canon 50 1.4
4) Color & contrast are nice - just not L-like
5) CA hasn't been a problem
6) Sharpness is good wide open
7) Bokeh is nice & very smooth

On the downside:

1) Images feel/look dark, I'm usually shooting +2/3 to compensate
2) Manual focus ring is the typical garbage
3) Barrel distortion (on a 1DsII)

Overall the Canon 100/2 is a very competent lens, but I really miss the Zeiss 100/2 --- punchier colors and less distortion.


Aug 12, 2005
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Al_10D
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Registered: Dec 7, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 1800
Review Date: Aug 8, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $325.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Extremely sharp @ F2.5 and up, very pleasant creamy and colorful bokeh, fast, precise autofocus on 20D, optical quality of L-lenses at non-L price.
Cons:
None.

I compared 100F2 side by side at 100mm to my favorite zoom 70-200F4L and 100F2 @ F2.8 beats the zoom @ F4 hands down in every respect of image quality. Sure it was not apple to apple comparison, but 70-200F4 was the best lens in my bag. Highly recommend for head portraiture. Now I'm considering purchase of 50mm F1.4.

Aug 8, 2005
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hogband
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Registered: Apr 4, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 639
Review Date: Jul 21, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: USM, lightweight, 2.0 speed
Cons:
None that I can think of

I purchased this lens in October 1995, two months after I attempted shooting football with a 35-80 4.0-5.6 lens after I got out college.

I used this lens with my Rebel II and loved it...In fact, I will use it during basketball season...It is always in my bag. I use it also, during baseball season, on my D60 when i'm shooting a 300 on my 10D.

Great lens.


Jul 21, 2005
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Gorham
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Registered: Jun 1, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Review Date: May 18, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Fast, produces good images. Focuses well with quiet USM motor.
Cons:
Wish it were f/1.8!

This lens rather replaced my beloved 85/1.8 when I went to 1.3x multiplier cameras. This was a specific shooting distance and I needed to keep that.

I don't like this lens as well and in fact will probably not be keeping it. Not by choice. I like it pretty well but it was part of a grant project I was involved in and the grant PTB are likely to take it back.

I'd recommend the lens for medium tele work, especially with 1.3x (and similar) DSLRs.


May 18, 2005
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jshetley
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Registered: Feb 4, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 13
Review Date: May 12, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $425.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fast, sharp, rich colors and contrast, great background blur.
Cons:
None really. It is my favorite lens.

I love this lens. Everything I shoot with it comes out beautiful. The colors are rich and saturated, the contrast is perfect. Background blur is smooth and creamy. I use it for indoor sports as well and it produces some extremely sharp photos for me. I love to shoot low light candid shots with it. I think it does people shots very well - renders great skin tones.

May 12, 2005
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gerrit p
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Registered: Jun 10, 2003
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 2
Review Date: Apr 4, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharp, fast af, can be used wide open.
Cons:
none

highly recommended

Apr 4, 2005
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pinna
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Registered: Mar 30, 2005
Location: Italy
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 30, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $369.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, nice DOF, focus speed and fast, especially for indoor sports
Cons:
nothing

I find really confortable with this lens. I use it especially for indoor sports(i shoot often at waterpolo events) and the results are always excellent. It's fast, sharp and the focus is enogh quick to catch any action. I use it also for portrait sometimes when i don't want to be too much invasive getting close like with childrens playing. I really reccomend this lens to anyone in a budget that doesn't need bigger, heavier and more expensive zooms.

Mar 30, 2005
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Ser G O
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Registered: Feb 27, 2005
Location: Argentina
Posts: 9
Review Date: Mar 9, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fast, sharp, light , small, price.
Cons:
None

I bought it used. I ve got more out of this lens than what i payed for it.
Wish i had it before.
Ser G O


Mar 9, 2005
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neiluk
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Registered: Oct 15, 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 20
Review Date: Jan 2, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great for close in sports in low light and very fast to focus
Cons:
non

I nearly didn't get this lens after being very disappointed with my 50.1.4 but am really glad I did as it is my most used lens after my 24-70L and has kept me shooting in low light. It seems to be a lot better built than my 50 prime and has got me interested in a 300F4IS. This lens is definitely worth considering even though most people seem to overlook it and get the 85 1.8 or 100 2.8 macro

Jan 2, 2005
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spartan123
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Registered: Nov 9, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 3683
Review Date: Sep 3, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $225.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Size, weight, color and sharpness.
Cons:
None

Sharper wide open and less CA then the 85 f/1.8

Extremely good lens for general shooting. Love the photo's this lens produces. The size and weight are also a plus.

Yet another highly underrated Canon lens.


Sep 3, 2004
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Unregistered
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Location: United States
Review Date: Jul 14, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $249.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Great fast lens for those on a tight budget. I use it mostly for indoor Ice Hockey shots in smaller arenas (High School). The fast f/2.0 is good for the low light present in the low end arenas where the action is fast.
Cons:
soft at f/2.0, better at f/2.8, but than I lose the abilty to capture the stop action in high speed sports in low light without bumping up to 800 or 1600..

I have used this lens to shoot waterskiing action and the background blur is amazing. Your subject stands out like red on white.
As a potrait lens it is left standing alone against all others and that includes the sister 85mm f/1.8 in my opinion.
This is no L lens, but darn close, and it is the perfect prime lens for the non professional.


Jul 14, 2004
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Location: United States
Review Date: Jul 11, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Optical Quality or par with "L" lenses. Great AF speed. Light
Cons:
Had to send it to Canon Repair twice for the USM freezing up for non use.

I am stuck on Canon Prime lenses

Jul 11, 2004
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rwduncan
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Registered: Jun 28, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 232
Review Date: Jul 3, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $365.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Light, very very sharp, fast AF, great low light lens! wonderful portaits, Priced right!
Cons:
None. Looking for more reasons to mount this lens!

This lens is a must for outdoor, evening work. Our kids are big swimmers and the meets all start at 5:00 PM in the summer or are indoors. This lens rules for late evening and indoor sports! (Basketball right around the corner) It also is sharp, fast, light and just wonderful!
You need to be very careful when taking outdoor candid portraits. I took a few of my lovely wife and she was very mad that she found blemishes that I swear can not be detected under normal light with the naked eye. I also took a few of her friends and she was surprised that they were also "showing a little age" If you are outdoors with your camera in early morning or late afternoon this lens is a must have. At 160 mm crop this lens is just right for low light sports, evening events of all types!


Jul 3, 2004
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vince
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Registered: Mar 18, 2002
Location: China
Posts: 306
Review Date: Feb 17, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Incredibly fast AF, extremely sharp, excellent colors and contrast, good build.
Cons:
Can't think of any.

I don't understand how some people could say this is a slow focusing lens. When used on my EOS-3 this lens focuses instantaneously, in almost any situation. You're probably using a Rebel or something like that?

Of course this is not a 135/2L but the optics are superb for the price and there are many used 100/2's floating around which are available cheap. This is one of the best portrait lenses I've used. The lens is very compact and it's a pleasure using this lens as a walk-around street-photog lens. Background blur is very pleasing and portraits come out very well.


Feb 17, 2004
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Jack Flesher
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Registered: Oct 23, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 3489
Review Date: Oct 23, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Sharp, Fast, reasonable cost
Cons:
not many...

This lens is a surprisingly good lens. IMO it seems slightly sharper than its smaller brother, the 85/1.8. It is a tad soft wide open, but this is not necessarily a bad thing for some subjects like portraiture. It makes a great short telephoto companion the the 50/1.4.

Oct 23, 2003
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Brendan Getchel
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Registered: Jun 14, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 1990
Review Date: Oct 4, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp. Cheap. Quick AF. Extremely compact. Small filter size. f/2
Cons:
Somewhat soft wide open, but otherwise perfect

This was my first lens with my migration into Canon dSLR from Nikon. I quickly replaced it with the Canon 135/2L USM, but only because it's so much sharper at f/2 than this 100/2 is. However, the 135/2 is also over TWICE the price of this one, so in that light it's hard to find fault with what may very well be Canon's best-price secret weapon.

The 100/2 is cheap, compact, incredibly sharp past f/2.8, has reasonably quick AF speed, and is just an all-around wonderful lens. Bokeh is very good, if not quite up to the quality of its big brother(s), and it'll make a very good portrait lens, if not a little on the long side on a 1.6X FOV dSLR.

If you hunger for a sharp portrait lens, then the 100/2 USM should satisfy even the most discriminating photographer. It's not much larger than the 50/1.4, so it won't break your back or the bank, for that matter. If you're not able to spring for a 135/2L or the venerable 85/1.2L, then this little gem doesn't make a bad compromise.

I would normally give it a 4/5 because it is noticeably softer at f/2 than the 135/2 is, but for the price that would be a damnable heresy.


Oct 4, 2003
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Canon EF 100mm f/2 USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
85 219831 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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