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Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM

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97 152401 Nov 12, 2014
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96% of reviewers $956.55
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.33
8.70
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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chingbaby
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Registered: Sep 15, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 794
Review Date: Apr 19, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $920.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Bokeh, sharpness, IS, focus speed is decent for a macro.
Cons:
Plastic, plastic, plastic, including the filter threads, need an adapter ring to add the MR-14EX ringlight.

Optics and handling are great. However, every other 100mm macro from Canon has had the groove to mount the MR-14EX and other Canon macro flashes built in. This one does not. Normally, the adapter rings for the ringlights are $15. This one is $40. Why? Other than the fact that Canon knows you will need it.

Which brings us to the second point: plastic. I understand that there are people who favor plastic, and people who favor metal. However, the adapter ring is metal, and the filter threads on the lens are plastic. That means you are screwing a metal thread into a plastic thread. And the plastic is on the lens. The metal ring is sharp enough to cut the plastic if you cross-thread it. So your overpriced $40 adapter ring (or any other filter with a metal ring) will take out the threads on your $900+ lens. BOO CANON!!! Think harder next time.

Which is too bad, because the optics combined with the IS and the bokeh are a stunning combination. Too bad I have a nagging lack of confidence in the build quality of the lens detracting from an otherwise great lens. I rate it an "almost great" as a result.



Apr 19, 2010
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Phil UKNet
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Registered: Oct 20, 2007
Location: Thailand
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 18, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: A flexible lens that can used in true macro mode or as a medium telephoto. Consistent, reliable autofocus and effective IS. Very sharp with pleasing colours, contrast and bokeh. Fairly compact and light.
Cons:
Good for telephoto use, but not stunning. For portraits my 85mm f/1.8 performs just as well, if not slightly better.

I should still have my original Canon 100mm f/2.8 macro lens but although it worked well for macro shots, the autofocusing was completely unreliable when used for telephoto work. It frustrated me so much that I sold it.

I am very pleased to be able to report that its successor has inherited none of the autofocusing problems that I personally experienced with the original lens.

This is still a new lens to me but early impressions are very positive. In macro mode (with or without extension tubes) it is very sharp. I am looking forward to doing lots more close-up work.

Used as a telephoto lens for portraits, the autofocus works flawlessly with good colour, contrast and bokeh. The new IS system is very effective but no better than my EF 70-200 f/4L IS.

What's not so good? I'm not absolutely convinced about the new hybrid IS system. This new IS system has supposedly been designed especially for macro work but I always find I need a tripod for macro, so turn off the IS. Maybe I will find a use for this some time in the future?

For portraits the lens gives very good results but actually no better than my humble Canon EF 85mm f/1.8, which was a lot cheaper.

In summary, if you plan to do an equivalent amount of macro and telephoto it's a useful lens. If you think you will mainly do telephoto work, then there are cheaper lenses that will probably perform just as well.

Some sample images and more thoughts at the following link (more images to come soon):

http://phil.uk.net/photography/canon_100F28LIS.html


Apr 18, 2010
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pkupcik
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Registered: Jul 27, 2006
Location: N/A
Posts: 268
Review Date: Apr 6, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: IS, weather sealing, light weight, quick AF, beautiful colors and sharpness
Cons:
Lens hood is rather long

This is an excellent macro lens especially for its IS feature. I just took the lens to a botanical garden, took few hundred shots and not one had any motion blur. I'm able to take shots all the way down to 1/8sec - simply amazing as with macro at close distance things can get shaky very quickly. The focus ring throw is relatively short, but manual focus works very well. The colors and sharpness are excellent. Overall this is a very very good lens that is very easy to work with and get great results. I would not hesitate to recommend it to new buyers. I have experience with 60mm EF-S macro and the non-IS 100mm EF macro, and while they are optically great as well, the IS feature alone makes the 100L well worth the extra money.

Here is a recent post of mine with sample shots from Atlanta Botanical Garden:

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/885412


Apr 6, 2010
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calvin2
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Registered: Jan 1, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 1402
Review Date: Apr 4, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $884.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Feel in hand, sharp wide open at 2.8, weather sealing, IS, good focus speed
Cons:
A bit pricey

The 2.8L IS USM is a definitely step up from the 2.8 USM it replaces. Wide-open it really shines. Bokeh is definitely improved.

The IS is every effective even for macro shots (albeit more like 1-1.5 stops for macro use).

This lens is plastic, but it doesn't feel like the non-L plastic lenses. It feels better built and well sorted out.


Apr 4, 2010
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John Mangan
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Registered: Aug 21, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Review Date: Mar 24, 2010 Recommend? | Price paid: $884.00

Pros: Relatively small/light body, fast/quiet AF with 1:1 (1x) macro capabilities - and HIS (Hybrid Image Stabilization). Build quality overall is very good - and includes weather sealing. I like the smooth, straight design of this lens - including the flush-mounted switches.
Cons:
long hood

If you have a full framed body - buy it. It is on our 5D Mk2 75% of the time. The focal lenght is great.....
A 100mm macro lens with a relatively wide aperture, superb image quality, fast AF and an impressive IS implementation has a huge number of uses in addition to macro photography - including portraits, landscapes and indoor sports. Additional uses make it easier to justify the purchase cost of the lens - and the space it takes in the bag. Color and contrast are great. Bokeh is excellent - the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 L IS USM Macro Lens creates a very high quality foreground/background blur. OOF (Out of Focus) highlights are rendered very smoothly.


Mar 24, 2010
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John Mangan
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Registered: Aug 21, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Review Date: Mar 23, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $984.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: This lens is sharp; great smooth bokeh; light to travel; 100mm on full frame in my opinion is a great focal length; AF is fast, quiet and accurate; Canon Hybrid Image Stabilizer "helps" with hand-held macro
Cons:
Long Hood

This is just not a macro lens. For botanical-landscape photography - it is on my 5D MkII most of the time.
The Digital-Picture. com Review:
"Color and contrast are great. Bokeh is excellent - the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 L IS USM Macro Lens creates a very high quality foreground/background blur. OOF (Out of Focus) highlights are rendered very smoothly.................
A 100mm macro lens with a relatively wide aperture, superb image quality, fast AF and an impressive IS implementation has a huge number of uses in addition to macro photography - including portraits, landscapes and indoor sports. Additional uses make it easier to justify the purchase cost of the lens - and the space it takes in the bag."

Buy it - you will have more "fun" with this lens than any other.


Mar 23, 2010
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stargazer78
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Registered: Jan 18, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 383
Review Date: Mar 20, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $949.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Amazing optics; Light weight; USM and image stabilizer makes the lens versatile enough for non-macro work.
Cons:
Hood is unnecessarily long; Does not include tripod mount;

The EF 100mm f2.8L IS Macro is the sharpest lens I own. It surpasses both my 35L and 70-200 f4L IS, which are two of Canon's sharpest lenses. The lens is very sharp @f2.8, even in the corners --- that definitely surprised me. The only optical flaw in this lens is the moderate amount of vignetting at f2.8. It's largely gone by f4.0, and it shouldn't be an issue for anyone shooting macro. I think the bokeh is also very pretty, but that's subjective.

Initially, I thought Canon was overstating the image stabilization's effectiveness at 4-stops. But it actually works --- I can consistently get pixel-sharp images with 1/6 sec exposures on my 5DII. Image stabilization becomes less effective as you approach minimum focusing distance. At 1:2 magnification, I get maybe 2 to 3 stops benefit. At 1:1 magnification, it's only about one stop of benefit. Image stabilization only corrects for horizontal and vertical shake; it doesn't correct for forward-backward shake. At 1:1 magnification, forward-backward shake becomes a serious issue.

The USM motor is lightning fast and quiet. The focus limiter has three settings: Full range, macro range, and non-macro range. A common complaint about this lens is that it refuses to auto focus to a normal distance, if it's starting from a macro distance (and vice versa). What many people don't realize is that this phenomenon is not due to the lens, but rather to the way a camera is configured. Most Canon SLRs have a custom function for "Focus Seek when AF is impossible". For the 100L to auto focus flawlessly, this custom function should be enabled.

Like any macro lens, the focus throw is heavily slanted towards the macro distances. The focus ring travels about 3 inches when going from minimum focus distance to 1 meter. That allows for very precise manual focus at close distances. Unfortunately, going from 1 meter to infinity requires only a quarter-inch turn of the focus ring. That makes for some extremely imprecise manual focus at non-macro distances. This is true for virtually all true macro lenses, and it's in no way unique to the 100L. People should keep that in mind if they're considering using any macro lens for portraiture work.

The build quality is exactly like the EF 17-40mm f4.0L, which is very good. It's made of some type of lightweight polycabonate material. It's not made of metal, like some of the other L-series lenses are. This is one of the reasons why Canon was able to keep the weight almost identical to the non-L version of this lens, despite having added image stabilization. The lens feels very solid, and oozes quality. Engineering plastic is used in everything from airplanes to rifles. Unfortunately some people still associate weight with quality, and have complained about this lens's non-metallic body.

I don't have much to complain about regarding the lens itself. My only complaints have to do with its accessories --- the missing tripod mount, and the inappropriate hood. The fact that Canon didn't include a tripod mount with this macro lens is a shame. It would've helped justify the huge price discrepancy between this lens, and the non-L version.

The hood of this lens is unnecessarily long. While it provides ample protection from flare, it also ensures that you'll keep bumping into things at macro distances. With the hood mounted, you're left with a working distance of about 2.5 inches at minimum focusing distance. Even if you don't bump into things, the enormous hood will often shade your subject in addition to shading your lens. Naturally, most people would simply reverse the hood when working at close distances. But that's not really a viable option. The hood is so long, when it's reversed it will cover the entire focus ring as well as every single switch on the lens. I really wish Canon had designed the hood with a better compromise between flare prevention, and practicality.

So in summary: The lens itself is near-perfect, but the accessories leave much to be desired.


Mar 20, 2010
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petiot
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Registered: Apr 10, 2003
Location: France
Posts: 22
Review Date: Mar 14, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very good optical quality (color, contrast, sharpness), IS, internal AF, flexibility (macro, but fast enough for aother usage)
Cons:
Plastic, plastic, plastic.

I had a 135 F2 and sold it (me fool) when i switched to the 5D. The question was should I re-buy the 135F2 or buy the 100mm Macro IS instead. I bought the 100 macro L.

I am not a macro shooter (so far) and my review is based on my experience of L and non L primes. This lens has very good glass in it: incredibly sharp (really, as good as the 135 I think), the micro-contrast is amazing and the color are rich straight out of the box.

The IS is useful. Is it useful for Macro? As I said i am not a macro expert. I think it helps, but it does not make macro easy. As many said, instead of an "in-plane" stabilization, a system that would compensate for front-back motion would have been a lot more useful. Overall the IS is good, but I feel it is not as good as the one on the 24-105. IS is a tad noisier than on the 24-105. AF is fast, having a limiter makes it very usable in non macro situations.

My biggest grip with this lens it the plastic construction. don't get me wrong, the build quality is good ... ok. But Plastic has no place on a L lens. The 100mm Macro feels cheap in comparison with the 135f2 or the 17-40 for instance. I think that in really cold conditions, if I bang the lens, plastic will split. Metal wont. Weight? who care. I prefer to carry 50g more than having a plastic casing (you can even see the molding joint ... come on canon, put yourself together). Focus ring also rattles a bit.


Mar 14, 2010
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evanjc
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Registered: Aug 16, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 2
Review Date: Mar 11, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $944.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Light, fast focus, easy access to controls, silent IS
Cons:
None

This is the first true macro lens I have owned but I have several other L lenses (500, 400, 300, 200, 70-200, 24-70) and I have to admit that this is the MOST fun lens of them all. The switch positions are absolutely perfect for me unlike some of my other glass. The AF is almost as fast as my 400 which is huge for a macro lens. And the IS...is absolutely quite. So much so that I think its not even on!! Compared to my other L lens IS operation this lens beats them hands down. Tripods can be a total pain in the ass for macro work so having IS is a real bonus. This lens is also sharp wide open and the bokeh is absolutely beautiful. I've not used the non-IS version of this lens but if you are considering which one of these lenses to purchase I would not hestitate to recommend this one for its fast AF, super IS and build quality. My only nit would be that you can't pop the lens cap on or off when the lens hood is on.

Highly recommended.


Mar 11, 2010
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neighhoma
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Registered: Jan 22, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 876
Review Date: Mar 7, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $929.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fast focus for a macro when used as portrait lens. Nice hood. IS is great!
Cons:
None

Nice improvement by Canon, but the older version, non-L is also a great lens. If you don't need IS, get the older version. I was impressed by the sharpness of this lens. The IS is effective in getting sharp photos! The fast focus speed to use this lens as a portrait lens is definitely a plus. I would use this lens to shoot an event without hesitation.

Mar 7, 2010
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largesock
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Registered: Jun 9, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 37
Review Date: Feb 20, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $950.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Superb sharpness and contrast, beautiful bokeh, great size and weight, IS is very effective
Cons:
Expensive for as little an improvement as there is over the non-L, noticeable vignetting wide open, some very slight longitudinal CA wide open

I use this lens on a 5D Mark II. It is phenomenally sharp even into the corners, and even wide open. Stopping down is entirely optional for sharpness. Unfortunately there is some significant vignetting when wide open, which is what kept me from giving the lens a 10. It's almost perfect in IQ, but not quite. I also think it would make more sense for it to be priced closer to the non-L.

It's of course great for macro shots, but it's also a wonderful walkaround lens (for FF at least). Portraits are definitely a strength of this lens. At f/2.8, which this lens does so well, background details blur away pretty well, and the bokeh is great.

Focusing moves very fast and is accurate. Only downside is that without the limiting switch engaged, it can hunt through a pretty big range before locking.

I definitely have no regrets about purchasing this lens.


Feb 20, 2010
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thw2
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Registered: Dec 26, 2004
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Posts: 2931
Review Date: Feb 19, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Super sharp, light-weight, IS works beautifully
Cons:
None

This is one hell of a sharp lens. Sharpness is maintained even when mounted on a 1.4x TC.

Light-weight but superbly built.

IS really works giving 4 to 5 stops advantage at non-macro distances and 1 stop at 1:1 magnification.

For its incredible performance, this lens is worth every cent of its price.

Oh, did I say this lens is sharp from corner to corner? Unbelievable.

Canon has blown me away with this release.


Feb 19, 2010
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Photon
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Registered: Jan 18, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 10159
Review Date: Jan 30, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great optical quality throughout distance range, at all apertures. Very effective IS. Weather sealed, fine build quality. Fast, accurate AF. Versatile lens.
Cons:
none

I have used this lens extensively (on 5DII and 1DIII) for all sorts of macro subjects, portraits, and walk-around detail shots. It has not disappointed me in any significant way. The only nit picking observation I'd make is that after shooting at close range in low light, the AF sometimes freezes if I shift my attention to a more distant subject. However, in situations like that it only takes a moment to use manual focus to get close to the mark, and AF will then take over immediately when called. The full time manual focus makes this no problem. This is probably partly a characteristic of the 5DII; I haven't noticed it with the 1DIII, but I haven't done as much of this sort of shooting with that body.

I find the 100L to be a terrific portrait lens. It's not a substitute for an 85L or 135L, but very versatile. Often f/2.8 is more appropriate for a portrait than 1.2 - 2.0, and in low light situations, four stops of compensation for hand held shake (which is the amount of benefit I get from the IS) is often more useful than one to two and a half stops wider aperture.

No one lens suits all purposes, but this one is a winner that I wish I could have had years ago!


Jan 30, 2010
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dccb2009
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Registered: Feb 16, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 2
Review Date: Jan 17, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Responsive AF, IS works well for non-macro shots, very sharp
Cons:
no collar ring available

I sold my old 100 f/2.8 macro for this lens and couldn't be happier. The AF seems quick and accurate. The bokeh looks a bit better than the old macro as well, and the overall handling of the lens seems more balanced on my 5D MkII

Jan 17, 2010
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markle
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Registered: Jan 16, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 252
Review Date: Jan 12, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $980.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: red ring for the looks , IS (but useless in my macro shoots)
Cons:
red ring for the price: not as good as the 70-200 2.8IS mark I

get the 100 without the red ring, it takes the same pictures! quality not up to a 70-200 2.8IS (which is better, from 3.2 and up)
this lens makes sense only for the fashion of the red ring, and that's about it.
now all the 100 macro (all of them!) are sharp. The IS is not as good as the old 70-200 2.8 (again) for a much lighter lens by the way.

for macro I'd get the old 100 (or any 90-100 lens as a matter of fact) and a tripod . for better IS and better quality I'd use the money saved to get a 70-200 2.8IS (which is a zoom therefore more useful)



Jan 12, 2010
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choiboyogg
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Registered: Jun 9, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 3955
Review Date: Jan 8, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $875.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: OMG...
Cons:
nothing

so, i own a lot of lenses. 14 to be exact. of all my lenses, the one that i used almost exclusively was the 100mm 2.8 USM non-IS.

when i heard about the IS, i was excited but then i realized that i probably didnt need the IS. so i canceled my pre-order and didnt think twice about it

then one day, i was decided to go for it. on ebay, beachcamera was selling it for $965 - 8% came out to about $875.

i just got the lens today and i have to admit, WOW... the quality out of this lens is incredible. i mean, the non-IS was awesome but something about this lens just takes it to the next level. the images just seem that much more crisp. i guess the best way to put it is, it is like the 135L but with macro capabilities.

i've only played with it for 10 minutes and i am just blown away by its performance.

if you have been on the fence about this lens because you can't justify the extra amount from your 100mm non-IS, trust me, do it. you WILL NOT regret it!

now it is my new favorite lens!


Jan 8, 2010
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Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
97 152401 Nov 12, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
96% of reviewers $956.55
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.33
8.70
9.6
ef10028lmisu_586x225


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