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Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
208 485995 Jul 6, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
95% of reviewers $470.83
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.12
9.22
9.6
ef_100_28_1_

Specifications:
Autofocus lens for macro photography up to life-size (1x) magnification. Inner focusing affords a long working distance of 5.9in. (149mm) at 1x. A 3-group floating system results in excellent delineation at all focusing distances. Ring USM for silent and high-speed AF, and full-time manual focusing also provided. The optional Tripod Mount Ring (B) B (with adapter) enables the lens to be rotated for vertical or horizontal framing.


 


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cogitech
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Registered: Apr 20, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 11365
Review Date: May 3, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

Pros: Seems to be very sharp, as stated in every review here. Build quality seems great, but I've never held an "L" yet. Macro shots look terrific. Focus "snaps in" in ample lighting.
Cons:
Low light hunting is extreme, almost unusable. Focusing at 2.8 is hit and miss, not sure if this is a lens issue or my issue yet.

To be honest, I expected more from this lens than I have seen so far. I am finding it very difficult to get used to. Autofocus hunting in low light is truly aweful. My Tamron 28-200 is WAY better at this (how can that be?) This is shocking, considering that HUGE 2.8 hole is letting in so much light.

It gets high marks for being sharp, but at 2.8, it's sharpness is hit and miss. I suspect this is due to the extremely short DOF, and it's likely just that I need to improve my skills. For now I'm going to try to stop down to 4 or 5.6 to see if I can control the focus a bit better.

I paid a lot of money for this lens (on e-bay) and got slapped with huge customs fees, so right now I'm doing my best to try to justify the cost. I'll keep trying, but this lens might be for sale in a month.


May 3, 2005
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godfreyz
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Registered: Feb 3, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 1022
Review Date: Apr 11, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $420.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Outstanding macro shots and portrait shots. Very sharp lens!
Cons:
None

Great medium-telephoto lens for the price. Very sharp pics whether used as a macro or for normal photography.

Apr 11, 2005
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Barry F.
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Registered: Apr 10, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1
Review Date: Apr 10, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Stunning lens. Great sharpness and contrast.
Cons:
None really.

Second only to my 135 f2 L lens in terms of sharpness and contrast. This lens really deserves a L classification.

Apr 10, 2005
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d10d
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Registered: Nov 29, 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 1090
Review Date: Mar 25, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: RAZOR sharp!!!
Cons:
AF could be a little faster and it hunts in low light...

This lens in amazingly sharp! On my camera in doing some tests with my other lenses I think this one is perhaps the sharpest of the bunch. I don't always use this lens as a macro so in other non-macro situations I love that it has such a close focussing distance. This adds much to its versatility.

If the focus was faster and more sensitive(?) (less hunting) this lens would be on my camera the majority of the time... great for portraits but a little unreliable for candids... (but hey... it IS a macro lens).

I recently discovered that when used with a 1.4tc it gets VERY interesting!...

...a definite thumbs up!


Mar 25, 2005
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JMK-FI
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Registered: Jan 17, 2005
Location: Finland
Posts: 1
Review Date: Mar 24, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $460.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Light, sharp, the price. Exelent quality
Cons:
2.8 is IMO not useful. AF hunts, and could be faster.

I have made many outstanding portraits with this lens, and some amazing macros on orchids and other plants.
The 2.8 is really not very useful IMO, the focused area is really thin.
The lens is light and compact, and feels comfortable on the 20D. The manual focusing ring is exelent. In good light the AF is fast and works very well, in low light it hunts, but that is normal.

I have made indoor shooting with no flash, it is possible, but this is not the best lens for that.

If you like macro photography, you should get this lens, the price is very low for this quality, and this lens could have a red stripe on it.

Still waiting to do some real outdoor shooting this summer, and i know this fella will do well. For portraits this is relly an exelent lens, and macros... Uuuh jeah, go buy it, NOW !



Mar 24, 2005
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cezars
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Registered: Mar 1, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 137
Review Date: Mar 18, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: quality, lifesize, f.2.8, affordable, polyvalent (makes a good portrait lens)
Cons:
very sensitive to movement (like any macro lens i guess); slow AF at lifesize

This lens sure is a must-have for any insect-lover.

I bought Kenko extension tubes and are more than happy with the results. They are made in Japan and are high-quality while being quite cheap compared to Canon extension tubes.

The technique for this lens takes some time to master. For example, I found out that the tripod is essential, even with natural light.

I took about 300 sample shots to better understand how this lens works.

One negative aspect (but I guess it's the same with every macro lens) is that moving only an inch away from the subject will make it go from 1x to 1/2x

After many tests, I also discovered that this lens is best at F9, while being great at other apertures, but not perfect in my opinion.

Here's one of the samples I took (this is ordinary salt): http://cezar.ca/macro/IMG_7213b.jpg

The angle is not perfect; focus is on the center of the image. The corners are a bit blurred.

This is my first macro lens, and I just can't wait for spring time to shoot some bugs Smile


Mar 18, 2005
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saaketham
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Registered: May 17, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 5664
Review Date: Mar 14, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $480.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, wonderful colors, creamy bokeh, 1:1 macro without attachments, can be easily enhanced with 1.4x or 2x Extender + an Extension tube for more working distance and/or more magnification. Doubles very nicely as a high-quality portrait lens. Very reasonable price.
Cons:
Not enough working distance for insects.

I used this lens for nearly a year. Sold it only to finance the purchase of a 70-200 f/4L which I needed for the zoom. Regretted selling it immediately. Wish I'd kept it. Would recommend this lens to anyone interested in a minimal lens setup that includes a dedicated macro + portrait lens. Some folks say it's too sharp for portraits. I think sharpness is wonderful, because images can be made soft using software, but creating sharpness involves introduction of noise. This is one heck-of-a-lens! Here are some samples:

<a href=http://www.pbase.com/saaketham/image/38927992>Flower</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href=http://www.pbase.com/saaketham/image/38927991>Flower</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href=http://www.pbase.com/saaketham/image/38927995>Grapes</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href=http://www.pbase.com/saaketham/image/38927996>Leaves</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href=http://www.pbase.com/saaketham/image/37106432>Folks</a>


Mar 14, 2005
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samthase
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Registered: Feb 1, 2005
Location: N/A
Posts: 0
Review Date: Feb 1, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $590.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Great sharpness at all aperatures, great macro features, great AF for a macro lens
Cons:
None

I own a number of L lenses as well as the 45 mm tilt-shift, and the tilt-shift lens is the only one that beats this lens in sharpness, but that's a manual focus only lens.

Shooting at all distances, from macro to infinity, this lens is sharp as can be and it now serves as my general purpose lens when I don't want to carry around a whole pile of lenses.

Built quality could be better, but for a relatively inexpensive lens it does quite nicely.

There's also something to be said for its light weight, especially when compared to the aforementioned tilt-shift lens, which requires a tripod as well.


Feb 1, 2005
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CurtPick
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Registered: Nov 21, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 3260
Review Date: Jan 19, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $385.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very Very Sharp ! Through out its focal range. Doubles as a nice portrait lens on the 10D.
Cons:
Very cheap build quality for the price. Hunts on Autofocus.

This is the cream of the crop when it comes to Canon Macros. The picture quality is simply amazing using macro or as a Portrait lens. The sharpness will cut right through your eye. Amazing lens. Now the bad points. Its build quality is very cheap. Maybe I was used to some weight to my lenses. This one just felt like a feather. It also hunts when close up. It does take some getting used to when shooting macros. You will need a hood no matter what anyone tells you. A very good lens, just not great in my opinion.

Jan 19, 2005
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Keith Wong
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Registered: Dec 25, 2003
Location: Australia
Posts: 1049
Review Date: Jan 15, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Versatile, sharp, affordable. L class build quality.
Cons:
Slow AF is a very minor nitpick. I can live with the AF.

One of Canon's great lenses. Even though I own an 85/1.2L and have tried some of Canon's great L lenses I have to say that my best pictures were taken with this lens. It is incredibly sharp wide open but once you stop down to F/8 it becomes nearly unbeatable. It is also very versatile - it's a macro which goes to a true 1:1 magnification, it's a great portrait lens, it's great for a short telephoto for street photography.

I have also compared this lens to the Tamron 90/2.8 Macro and the Sigma 105/2.8 Macro. In terms of image quality, both the Tamron and the Sigma are nearly indistinguishable from this lens.

The Tamron however is a variable aperture. The aperture gets smaller the closer you AF. Both the Sigma and Tamron have front elements that extend with AF. And both are significantly slower to AF than the Canon (and people complain that the Canon's AF is slow!). The build quality of the Tamron is on another planet. It feels like a cheap consumer lens. The Sigma is a bit better but both are not as solid as the Canon.

If you compare it to the 85/1.2L for portraits then the 100/2.8 is more clinical at F/2.8. All detail is mercilessly resolved. The 85/1.2L has a certain flattering look for portraits that cannot be described. But this is a VERY MINOR nitpick. This lens certainly served me very well for portraits until I got my 85/1.2L.

Build quality is on par with L lenses. If I blindfolded you and gave you the lens to handle, you would think it is an L. If I showed you the images, you would think it is an L.

In short, this lens is superb! It is affordable, sharp, and versatile. It has a permanent place in my bag for this reason.


Jan 15, 2005
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msuben
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Registered: Feb 1, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 103
Review Date: Dec 28, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $449.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Solid build, sharp from edge to edge, focus on my 10D is sharp - even wide open. USM is fast but it will hunt a bit in low light. This is a great lens for the money!
Cons:
None.



Dec 28, 2004
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Paulyoly
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Registered: Sep 26, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 59
Review Date: Dec 16, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp wide open, solid as a rock, 1:1 lifesize, quiet as a mouse.
Cons:
AF hunts in low light

They should really put a red ring on this lens and call it the 100 f2.8L, but I guess they would have to charge more. It is build like a rock This is the only lens I've used that is truely sharp wide open. The focus is fast in good light, but in low light/ low contrast conditions it will hunt and sometimes not lock focus, but the outstanding manual focus ring more than makes up for that. I couldn't rate this lens anything but a 5. I told my wife I was going to sell this lens in order to pay for the 50 1.4, which for my purposes would get more use. What she doesn't know is I lied!

Dec 16, 2004
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luigicane
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Registered: Dec 12, 2004
Location: Italy
Posts: 12
Review Date: Dec 15, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Ability to cope with very different shooting ranges
Cons:
None that I've noticed, yet.

The actual item I'm using right now is the second one. I have literally worn out the
first model. Closing down much the diaphragm doesn't help at all (obv. besides d.o.f.)
for studio still life of (relatively) flat items f=4 is my preferite.


Dec 15, 2004
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dacop
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Registered: Jun 23, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 622
Review Date: Nov 13, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: SHARP, SHARP and SHARP!
Cons:
None

One of the sharpest lenes I own. Fast, excellent colors and contrast, the 100mm offers a good range for macro use and more.

I highly recommend this lens.



Nov 13, 2004
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drfrank
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Registered: Apr 2, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 9
Review Date: Oct 30, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $414.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Its all been said.
Cons:
None for me.

This lens is the sharpest lens I currently own . I use it for more than just Macro. It is often compared to ďLĒ lenses for photo quality thatís why I just ordered a 70-200mm F4L. If the quality of the 70-200 is anywhere near the 100mm 2.8 macro, Iíll be satisified.

Oct 30, 2004
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TwoBoy
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Registered: Jan 10, 2004
Location: South Africa
Posts: 25
Review Date: Sep 8, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $800.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Good reports in FM reviews made for buying decision. Very sharp, build quality excellent, internal focusing,
Cons:
No lens hood or bag provided. That's stingy Canon.

Every bit as good as the reviews say it is. The AF on my copy is quite fast, I expected much slower having read previous reviews so I am satisfied with this.

The build quality seems to be more in line with an "L" instead of standard Canon quality and what shots I have tried have been very sharp. As with any macro lens there is a "getting used to it learning curve" but I am more than satisfied on initial testing. It seems a 10D & 20D "friendly" lens.

Also, very sharp portrait lens. Impressive at all levels.


Sep 8, 2004
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Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
208 485995 Jul 6, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
95% of reviewers $470.83
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.12
9.22
9.6
ef_100_28_1_


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