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Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM

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95 145445 Mar 15, 2014
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96% of reviewers $956.55
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.33
8.69
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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Ezzat
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Registered: Dec 28, 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 28, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp images even at 2.8, excellent IS performance (great for indoors portraits without flash).
Cons:
AF sometimes hunts in low light/low contrast subjects (it may be my 5D2, but on the 85mm 1.2 L II it's much less).

Excellent lens. Highly recommended; I suggest you overlook the original 100mm f2.8, and get this one. It is worth the extra penny.
I will be getting a crop body, perhaps a 500D for macro work.


Dec 28, 2009
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Jiri
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Registered: Jan 16, 2009
Location: Slovakia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 28, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros:
Cons:

very good macro objectiv!

Dec 28, 2009
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Gavaconda
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Registered: Dec 25, 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 25, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharpness, background blur/bokeh, hybrid IS, weather sealing, colour/contrast
Cons:
None

I bought this lens as soon as it came out. I was quite impressed that it didn't take long from product announcement, to product availability - thanks Canon. I've had it for about 2 months now.

PROS: Sharpness. Whoah is this baby sharp. For most lenses I like to stop down at least 1 stop from max aperture for added sharpness, but for me on my 5DII it is plenty sharp at f/2.8. Shooting macro, this is far too shallow a DoF, so tend to shoot around f/9 - f/11, and even use a stacker to increase the DoF.

For portrait I thought maybe I might need a larger aperture (say f/2) but when I saw the shallow DoF for 100mm f/2.8, I was very happy. This brings me to my next high praise point:

Bokeh. With 9 blade circular aperture (9 blades!), this lens is second to none in the bokeh dept. Background blur is super creamy. I have a distinct disliking for pentagon/hexagon bokeh and 'unwrapped condom' circular bokeh. This lens has none of those failings - truly a great portrait lens - but better suited to full frame portraits being 100mm.

Hybrid IS. Doesn't mean anything much for extreme macro because it can't stop that in-out shallow DoF focussing issue, so close macro work really needs a tripod, but still a benefit for not-too-extreme handheld macro. For handheld portraits though it is really great.

Colour/contrast is superb. It's weather sealed with a filter in place.

Nit-picking. The plastic beyond the focus ring does seem a bit 'plasticy' but I am sure they put light plastic there so as not to unbalance the lens and make it too front-heavy, since hybrid IS probably adds to the front-end weight. I think this is the right choice, and don't think that a tripod collar is necessary. The lens does have a quality feel about it, and I'm not just talking about the red ring.

I haven't noticed any CA or distortion. I micro-adjusted the lens but found it was spot on.

A 77mm filter thread would be nice so I could use my current CP filter, but that's a minor gripe. The hybrid IS makes a bit of a squeal noise at times, but this is nothing to worry about. Sometimes I forget to change the focus range when going from portrait to macro and vice versa, but that's a 'dumb operator' issue! As for price - I think it's totally worth the money (and I don't say that about all Canon lenses). I couldn't care less if Canon discontinue the non-L 100mm macro. This is worth the added money for sure.

This lens works wonderfully with the extension tubes (I have the 25mm). If you are serious about macro - I feel you really need to get an extension tube as well to boost the magnification.

All in all a great lens, and I'd probably now rate it as my favorite. For full frame - go out and get one now!


Dec 25, 2009
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star_stardust
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Registered: Jul 26, 2006
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 19, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharpness, Depth of Field (amazing !), bokeh, build
Cons:
a bit pricy, sometime you forget that the AF is set at the wrong distance. And especially with portraits you need to make more use of PS because every line. pimple is shown :).

I only have it a day, but the shots until now are amazing. Especially the DOF (thin like a razorblade) and the bokeh are astonishing. You pay quite a lot of money but I'm sure I will use it for a very long time.

Dec 19, 2009
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Grandin
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Registered: Mar 12, 2006
Location: Sweden
Posts: 51
Review Date: Dec 6, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent auto focus & IS-implementation- no other lens comes close (tried all Canon's and most of Nikon's macros), light - I salute this lens being manufactured by high quality plastics instead of metal, sharp
Cons:
Price - but I'd still say its good value for (a lot of) money

Owned and or used all Canon's macro lenses as well as a few third party alternatives. My former favourite used to be a combination of Canon EF 100/2.8 USM Macro and Sigma EX 150/2.8 Macro - but I replaced them both with this lens.

I've never had so many keepers as with this lens, it's auto focus and image stabilization are truly excellent. Really happy I decided to get this lens - its a really good multi-purpose lens (available light general tele, portrait, macro etc).

Buy this lens!


Dec 6, 2009
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bobbytan
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Registered: Feb 2, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 7293
Review Date: Nov 24, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness, color, weight, AF speed, and above all .... the IS rocks!
Cons:
Slight CA.

I've had this lens for only a couple of weeks but I am really enjoying it. I switched from the old Canon 100/2.8 to the Voigtlander APO Lanthar 125 Macro to the new Canon 100L IS. In terms of IQ, the 100L is somewhere between the old 100 and the CV 125. The 100L is as sharp as the old 100 but it has better color and contrast, better AF speed, and the IS is worth the $400 premium IMO. I have shot macro hand-held that I could never possibly get with the old 100, so my keeper rate has gone up significantly. There is a bit of CA but nowhere near as bad as some of my fast lenses like the 85L II. I didn't use my old 100 much, and neither did I use the CV 125 very much either (only because it's MF) but I love this 100L IS lens. It is such a FUN lens to shoot with.

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Nov 24, 2009
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Rey_G
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Registered: Mar 31, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Nov 22, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $999.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, faster focus than the non L, build quality, color rendition, sharp, bokeh, hybrid IS, quiet, sharp.
Cons:
None

Canon's first L lens featuring the new hybrid IS technology and it is a good one. This has to be Canon's sharpest lens; it is at least as sharp as the 135mm L, and definitely is sharper than the non-L 100mm macro wide-open. I also found the color rendition and contrast to be more pleasing than the non-L. I find the IS helpful at this FL, and the new IS system is quiet. I can usually hear the IS wind-up on my 70-200mm 2.L IS, but not on this one. I purchased this lens more as a general purpose prime for use with portraits, product shots, as well as the occasional macro shot. This lens delivers. Beautiful color, bokeh and did I mention sharpness?

Nov 22, 2009
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MX5NC
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Registered: Dec 27, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 76
Review Date: Nov 13, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: IQ, Ease of use, Metal mount
Cons:
77mm filter would have been nice

My first macro lens so need to get use to using it. Initial attempts have been impressive. As a short telephoto I have found it very good.

Will have to get one of those macro sliding plates (e.g. Manfrotto 454) ... any views on this approach?


Nov 13, 2009
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jwsparty
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Registered: Jan 3, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 597
Review Date: Nov 13, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,060.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness, Fast Focus, Color, Bokeh
Cons:
None

Fantastic lens! Sharpest lens have ever had and the addition of IS really makes this useable in so many conditions. The bokeh is really nice and smooth as well.

Highly recommeded for everything from flowers and bugs to indoor sports.


Nov 13, 2009
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Cometsoft
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Registered: Dec 6, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 117
Review Date: Nov 13, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,049.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: IS, build, weather sealing, macro capability
Cons:
no tripod collar, heavier than I expected

I've been waiting for something like this. I shoot a lot of textures for 3D modeling and this is just the ticket. Can't say I've tried it enough to test the sharpness, but looks excellent so far. The DP review caused me to pull the trigger on the purchase.

The IS is fantastic. I normally can't get anything anywhere near acceptable at 1/125 of a second and with this I can do it at 1/30. I'm not shooting 1:1 with textures, but am close enough that any shake would be clearly visible.

The lens is heavier than I thought and feels very solid. I have quite a few "L" lenses and this one feels as well made as the rest. Will gladly exchange "plastic" for metal for the weight difference.

It will require a new adaptor to use the Macro Twin Light.


Nov 13, 2009
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djpapa
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Registered: Nov 4, 2009
Location: China
Posts: 234
Review Date: Nov 6, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: fast focus , IS, good color like my 85L,
Cons:
price ??a very tiny sound come out when focus but not bother me...

finally canon had the macro IS release and i don't have the old version 100mm Macro, but i take the shoot before use the old one...

The new one give me the result as same as the good color as my 85L II
I use this 100L for portrait too.

the focus as fast as the 70-200mmL IS ,better than the 24-105mm
but have a tiny sound come out sometime ...don't know is it about the IS system..

need more energy from your battery compare with the 24-105 f4L when IS on ...u can feel it easy .(no need stop watch ) Smile

Overall the image quality is very impress me for the color and contrast.


Nov 6, 2009
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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: 1653
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: 17
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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Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
95 145445 Mar 15, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
96% of reviewers $956.55
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.33
8.69
9.6
ef10028lmisu_586x225


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