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Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM

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208 483680 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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go4it
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Registered: Sep 2, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 746
Review Date: Sep 8, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $580.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: LIGHTNING-FAST AF! Not an "L" series lens but indistinguishable from one as far as quality. Built like a brick ship-house. PERFECT 1:1 macro lens w/o an adapter.
Cons:
Missing a red stripe on the front lens barrel ... and a lens of this price w/o a lens hood is terrible!!

GREAT non-L Canon macro lens! 1:1 without an adapter, lightning-fast USM AF and colors that are hard to believe. The contrast and overall fidelity of images is astonishing! If you do any serious macro at all, this is your baby.

Sep 8, 2004
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Jesper
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Registered: Sep 9, 2003
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 817
Review Date: Aug 10, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $449.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp, great image quality, very fast AF, light weight, internal focussing
Cons:
None

This is a great lens - the image quality is super, better than any of my zoom lenses and better than my EF 50 f/1.8 II.
I don't understand the comments below about slow AF. The AF is very fast with this lens on my 10D.


Aug 10, 2004
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samirkharusi
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Registered: Sep 16, 2002
Location: Oman
Posts: 16
Review Date: Jun 2, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $530.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Good build, a very good all round lens @ 100mm
Cons:
The lens hood ought to be included

Of course it's excellent as a macro lens (you already knew that) but so was the older nonUSM version. However this USM version is also excellent at infinity, wide open at f2.8. First short focal length lens I owned that is usable on starscapes at f2.8 on a 1Ds, yielding coma-free stars right into the corners, and no violet halos anywhere. That cannot be said for the 28/2.8, 28/1.8, 50/1.8, 50/1.4, nor the older nonUSM 100/2.8 macro. To see what I mean by star-sharp at infinity, wide open at f2.8, including 1:1 crops:
http://www.geocities.com/ultimaoptix/deneb.html


Jun 2, 2004
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MarkSaperstein
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Registered: Sep 23, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 1344
Review Date: Jun 2, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Wonderful macro and medium telephoto lens.
Cons:
Poor tripod collar design.

This is an "L" category lens without the "L" price tag. I have no complaints about the performance of this lens. It is excellent. The tripod collar design is a bit awkward, but it works. However, if your camera has a grip, you may not be able to rotate from landscape to portrait because the collar sits so far back on the lens. If you already have the Mount Ring B (180 macro, 70-200 IS, 300/4 IS), you can order the plastic mount ring adapter directly from Canon for under $30.

Jun 2, 2004
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dan hillis
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Registered: Apr 4, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 731
Review Date: May 25, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great Macro lens! Fantastic Color, very sharp and contrast is excelent! Built like a rock.
Cons:
Really can't think of any.

Has to be the sharpest non-L lens in Canon's arsonal. Macro photo's are just great and also this lens is excelent for taking non Macro shots.
Contrast, sharpnest and color are fantastic! Build quailty is great a real solid lens. Have taken many macro's and non-macro shots with this lens and have never been dissapointed. If you don't have the 1200.00 for a 180L this lens is the next best thing!


May 25, 2004
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zeldon
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Registered: Oct 2, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 53
Review Date: Feb 29, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpest Lens I own, 1:1 without extension tube, IF means that the lens doesn't get longer when focused - so it doesn't smash into my jewelry when I focus it, plus it has a good working distance with live subjects.
Cons:
None in my opinion.

Hi -
Bought a Sigma 105mm macro first, to save some money. I shoot jewelry for local clients, and had been using the Canon 50mm macro. As soon as I shot with the Sigma, it went back to B&H - too soft.

So, I bit the bullet and bought the Canon 100mm. Absolutely top notch. USM is NOT slow, as some have suggested. Rather, because the lens has an enormously long focusing range (infinity to lifesize), it APPEARS to be slow. Not to worry, simply engage the focus limiter.

While I agree that the lens collar is expensive, it's the same price as the lens collar for the $800 Canon 70-200mm f/4.0L. Someone suggested that it was a "con" that the collar wasn't included. Lenses of this relatively short telephoto focal length aren't usually candidates for collars anyway. (AND, the 70-200L f/4.0 doesn't come with a collar either!)

One of its best features is that its internal focusing means that it won't get longer as you focus it and scare away live subjects, or smash into stationery subjects, either.

Canon outdid themselves on this one!


Feb 29, 2004
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zeldon
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Registered: Oct 2, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 53
Review Date: Feb 29, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpest Lens I own, 1:1 without extension tube, IF means that the lens doesn't get longer when focused - so it doesn't smash into my jewelry when I focus it, plus it has a good working distance with live subjects.
Cons:
None in my opinion.

Hi -
Bought a Sigma 105mm macro first, to save some money. I shoot jewelry local clients, and had been using the Canon 50mm macro. As soon as I shot with the Sigma, it went back to B&H - too soft.

So, I bit the bullet and bought the Canon 100mm. Absolutely top notch. USM is NOT slow, as some have suggested. Rather, because the lens has an enormously long focusing range (infinity to lifesize), it APPEARS to be slow. Not to worry, simply engage the focus limiter.

While I agree that the lens collar is expensive, it's the same price as the lens collar for the $800 Canon 70-200mm f/4.0L. Someone suggested that it was a "con" that the collar wasn't included. Lenses of this relatively short telephoto focal length aren't usually candidates for collars anyway. (AND, the 70-200L f/4.0 doesn't come with a collar either!)

One of its best features is that its internal focusing means that it won't get longer as you focus it and scare away live subjects, or smash into stationery subjects, either.

Canon outdid themselves on this one!


Feb 29, 2004
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vince
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Registered: Mar 18, 2002
Location: China
Posts: 306
Review Date: Feb 2, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Absolutely the sharpest lens I have used, great design compared to the older non-USM lens, very fast AF.
Cons:
None whatsoever.

Optics wise, this is absolutely the best Canon lens in my experience. I dumped my older 100/2.8 non-USM lens to get this, thanks to its pathetically low-powered and insufficient AF motor dying multiple times on me. The optics of this lens are as good as the older non-USM lens, i.e., absolutely top notch. I love this lens because it makes a great portrait and general purpose lens too. For all the people who complain about the slow AF, please use the distance range limiter - I use it all the time, and the AF is really really fast in everyday situations. I use this lens regularly for street shooting. I'm not sure about AF on the D30/D60/10D but on my EOS-3 it is very very fast.

One nitpick - the front element is so close to the edge of the lens and the filter threads that it's very easy to get it scratched. I almost stopped breathing when my circ-pol's threads accidentally scratched the front element when I was removing the filter. Yet, there's no difference in the images and it's still superb.


Feb 2, 2004
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ShootsQA
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Registered: Oct 28, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 26
Review Date: Nov 20, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $470.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Great image quality and bokeh.
Cons:
Slooooow USM and Autofocus hunting.

Very good lens and agree with many users comments below regarding picture quality. Biggest drawbacks are the lack of a hood and tripod mount and the most annoying part of it is the hunting of this lens with the 10D. Pretty much just plan on using it in MF mode.

Nov 20, 2003
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stephensont
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Registered: Jun 16, 2003
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 83
Review Date: Nov 18, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Razor sharp, superb colour, contrast & bokeh, quick AF, FTM support, 1:1 reproduction, internal focusing and it's lightweight. Canon only missed one thing with this lens - the red ring !
Cons:
No tripod mount or hood included but the lens is light enough to not cause problems when using the camera's mount. Polycarbonate body.

Simply excellent.

After spending hours playing around shooting macros with my other lenses and a collection of extension tubes, I finally decided to purchase a "proper" macro lens - and haven't looked back since.

The 100mm f 2.8 is a brilliant lens, and provides a nice working distance from your subject. Resultant images, colour rendition and contrast are amazing and the wide aperture allows incredibly fine control over the focal depth.

It seems to be as sharp as some of the L primes, and feels solidly built even though it isn't metal bodied. The range limited USM AF is generally pretty quick, and FTM support allows easy overriding if you don't agree with the AF sensor.

Although there are cheaper macro lenses out there from other manufacturers, it's very difficult to beat this lens for the price.


Nov 18, 2003
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Brendan Getchel
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Registered: Jun 14, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 1990
Review Date: Jul 6, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: The best mid-range macro on the market -- bar none. Internal focusing. Handles well. Available tripod collar. Relatively cheap. Pulls double-duty as a solid portrait lens with excellent color and bokeh. Sharp, sharp, sharp. It may not have a red ring, but it sure performs as though it does.
Cons:
Doesn't come with a hood! What's up with that? USM stands for "Ultra Slow Motor" in this lens. $130 for a tripod collar? Hello? Canon?

For the money, there is no better (or equal) medium-length macro lens on the market. I say this in full confidence, having owned both the Sigma 105/2.8 EX Macro and Nikon's 105/2.8 AF Micro. The Sigma, at $300, may be a value-conscious shopper's dream, but for a measley $150 more you get a lens that is far superior in virtually every respect.

All three are very, very sharp, but the Canon edges out its competitors by a nose, and is sharper wide-open -- which makes it a superb multi-function portrait lens as well. Flare is well-controlled, and bokeh is silky smooth. Color is accurately rendered as is contrast. Focus is fully internal so there is no extension or rotation of the front element. Filter size is a cheap (even for B+W) 58mm.

AF is USM-quiet, but not typical USM-fast. In fact, it's downright slow and likes to induce hunting on a 10D. Also, why Canon neglected to include a hood for this lens is somewhat disconcerting. In fact, it's downright silly and borders on "money grubbing."

However, for $450 relatively small details like these can be overlooked. I would much prefer Canon's 180/3.5L USM, but at 3X the price it is difficult to justify, as the primary advantage of such a lens is the compressed perspective.

Don't even consider competing, off-brand alternatives in this price range. It'd be like selling your soul for a TV dinner when you could've had Filet Mignon for a buck more.


Jul 6, 2003
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Griffin
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Registered: Jan 8, 2002
Location: China
Posts: 879
Review Date: Jun 3, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Life size (1:1) marco with quiet AF, light, reasonable sharp, reasonable priced, versatile and handy to use
Cons:
Plastic body, AF hunts somewhat (on D30), no IS :)

After using 500D coupled with my EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM, I think it is time to get a "real" macro lens. This lens is a logical choice. A 180mm f/28 macro lens may appeal to more afforable user but this one, the price is just right. I have used this lens before and find it also a very good portrait lens for its wide apareture.

As my current default lens for macro work, I cannot express in words what a new world of close-up photography this lens shows me. I personally don't find it necessary to use a collar even I have stacked a 25mm extension tube with a 1.4x TC (non-Canon) without probelms. I secretly wish it has IS. Nevermind.


Jun 3, 2003
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Richard N
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Registered: Apr 3, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 146
Review Date: Apr 21, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $445.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great macro lens, very useful at portraits too, focus limiter
Cons:
Tripod ring way too expensive

I love this lens. Since getting a DSLR, I find myself using primes more often and 100/2.8 macro USM is my favorite. Excellent sharpness - edge-to-edge, even at telephoto distance.

Not a record speed setter in terms of AF performance. If used w/ focus limiter, or manually pre-focusing (which is possible w/ FTM), its focusing speed is fine for most of my applications.

Would love to have a tripod ring included in the package, but not for $135 extra.




Apr 21, 2003
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smackie
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Registered: Nov 19, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 229
Review Date: Apr 6, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $540.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharp, detailed results. f/32 can often be handy.
Cons:
Terrible autofocus performance

I have a love/hate relationship with this lens. On one hand, it's a permanent member of my photo backpack. I find myself reaching for it whenever I need to take shots of flowers or fine detail. The results can be truly breathtaking.

However, the autofocus performance of my copy is horrific. It hunts and dances around on my D60 unless it gets a really high contrast edge on the autofocus sensor. It's a bit better on the 1D but I tend not to use that for macro work. As a result, it gets used almost exclusively in MF.


Apr 6, 2003
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Jack Flesher
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Registered: Oct 23, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 3489
Review Date: Apr 1, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $475.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Very sharp throughout the entire magnification range, making it useful for more than just macro.
Cons:
Exhibits slight barrel distortion, somewhat slower focus than other USM lenses.

A sharp lens, but since I do only occasional macro work, owning a dedicated macro lens is somewhat of a luxury. Ultimately I sold it as I am able to use my 90 TS-E with tubes for macro.

Update 03/2004: I recently got a good deal on an older non-USM verison of this lens, and thought I'd leave some remarks here FWIW. The non-USM lens is a normal extension-focus design, while the USM is an internal-focus design. Extension-focus moves the lens group forward, allowing closer focus while the internal focus designs alter (shorten) the focal length slightly to achieve closer focus. In normal applications, there is not a significant practical difference between the two, other than IF is faster. With macro however, these differences do get exaggerated. In the IF lens, the focal has to be reduced pretty significantly to get down to 1:1 -- in the case of the USM it become about a 70mm lens when focused to 1:1. The EF lens remains 100mm, but the extension robs light and thus the EF designs become slower by a stop or more of effective aperture at 1:1. So pick your poison Smile

Anyway, the non-USM lens is also VERY sharp and may offer a less-expensive but high quality alternative to those of you who, like me, only do occasional macro work.


Apr 1, 2003
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araz
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Registered: Jan 1, 2002
Location: Canada
Posts: 743
Review Date: Mar 29, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $650.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: very sharp, internal focusing, macro (1:1), feels solid
Cons:
tends to hunt for focus (w/ D30), tripod collar is expensive (sold separately), colour & contrast need tweeking in photoshop

The 100mm f2.8 USM macro is one of my favorite lenses. Very sharp, internal focusing (does not change length when focusing), 1:1 magnification, feels relatively solid, effective focal length of 160mm on the D30/D60/10D (bonus for macro work), and works great with extention tubes. Negative sides are that it hunts quite a bit (not really an issue with macro photos), tripod collar is not included and is very expensive, IMO colour and constrast can be better (easily corrected in photoshop though). Nevertheless, this lens really suits my kind of photography. Paid 960CND.



Mar 29, 2003
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Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
208 483680 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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