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Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
52 172614 Apr 22, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
96% of reviewers $1,218.60
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.88
8.50
9.7
ef_180_35_1_

Specifications:
Another telephoto macro lens with a maximum magnification of 1x. Life-size close-ups can be taken from a farther distance without disturbing the subject (insects, etc.). The internal floating system minimizes fluctuations in aberrations caused by changes in the focusing distance. Optical performance is outstanding from 1x to infinity.

Focal Length & Maximum Aperture: 180mm 1:3.5
Lens Construction: 14 elements in 12 groups
Diagonal Angle of View: 13 30'
Focus Adjustment: Inner focusing system with USM
Closest Focusing Distance: 0.48m / 1.6 ft.
Filter Size: 72mm
Max. Diameter x Length, Weight: 3.2" x 7.3", 2.4 lbs. / 82.5 x 186.6mm, 1090g



 


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Luisifer
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Registered: Jul 20, 2007
Location: Czech Republic
Posts: 75
Review Date: Aug 31, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,760.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: beautiful colors, superb bokeh, perfect built quality, good to very good sharpness, heavy (it's pros to me)
Cons:
not so super sharp on 1:1, really overprised (imo about 25 %),

Cost of this lens (not only this) in Czech Republic (maybe in Europe) is dirtily overpriced. Canon's marketing smell like a shit there (no way to unwrite it). :-((((( (price $ 1.760 @ 21 Kč/$ => 37.000 Kč - about year ago. Present-day it is about 42.000 => $ 2.000 @ 21 Kč/$)

But i love this lens. If will be Mark II of this lens i buy it again. I use it on crop 1.6 now but i hope that at near future will used on FullFrame.


Aug 31, 2007
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Aberdeen Photo
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Registered: Mar 9, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 3812
Review Date: Jul 23, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,164.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great macro with wonderful sharpness and color
Cons:
Not so quick to focus, but hey it is a macro and mf is what I normally use

Great macro and a step up from the 100 2.8 from Canon. I really enjoy using this for product work as well as macro work. It is a bit slow to focus, but it is a macro and has great sharpness, color, saturation and fore and background blur. It is simply the best macro which I have used.

It is wonderful for small product work and I love this lens for what it is. The results can be stunning! Excellent build and I prefer the working distance esp w/ ff. If you want the best in a macro, this is it.


Jul 23, 2007
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Tony Rogers
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Registered: Jul 9, 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 299
Review Date: Jul 9, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Excellent image quality, ability to get 1:1 macro at a greater distance, usable as a 180mm prime telephoto
Cons:
Not a lightweight lens, tripod almost a necessity for macro shots, some difficulty finding a suitable tripod head when used with a battery grip or a 1D series body - the body interferes with many heads (eg: Manfrotto 410 geared head) - I'd rather the tripod collar lifted the lens higher.

This lens is awesomely sharp, as all good (true) macro lenses are. It can be used for things other than straight macro shots; it makes an interesting lens for portraits, but it can be cruel, because it shows every slight imperfection in the skin.

I am not using my 100mm Macro lens any more.


Jul 9, 2007
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Fetor
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Registered: Mar 21, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 7
Review Date: Jun 14, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,196.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great ergonomics, very similar to the 70-200 2.8L sturdy build, i wouldn't expect anything less from a L series lens
Cons:
72mm diameter :(

awesome lens, well worth the money, tripod collar fits 70-200 2.8 lens as well. weight not a problem, unless your a weak pansy
sample photo i took
http://img164.imageshack.us/img164/1605/img8105sk8.jpg


Jun 14, 2007
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Hacker
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Registered: Feb 24, 2006
Location: Singapore
Posts: 92
Review Date: Apr 30, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,300.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Tack sharp, IF, smooth focusing and solidly built.
Cons:
Heavy, needs 72C to mate with the MT-24EX and expensive.

You will not regret if you decide to get this lens.

Apr 30, 2007
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ChillAloha
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Registered: Jun 19, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 529
Review Date: Oct 30, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Super sharp, excelent build quality, good color and contrast.
Cons:
AF at macro distances (it's fine at non-macro distances and set to focus that way).

This lens is really sharp. It's easy to get good images of things that don't want me all that close and the ability to use extenders and extension tubes gives this lens a lot of versatility and power.

I don't really care about auto focus when I'm doing macro work and it is reasonably fast when set to distant focus and is being used as a telephoto - so I have no reason to lower its score on that count.

When this is set up with flash adaptors, flashes, extension tubes, and tele-converters, it can get a bit heavy, and it's not light to start with, but that's all part of the game. If it moves slowly, a tripod is a nice respite, but for timid fast moving targets... well, it's a bit of a workout.

Gorgeous, crisp, colorful images out of this. Highly recommended!


Oct 30, 2006
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2in3
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Registered: Jun 7, 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 6, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: everything of a macro lens dream
Cons:
not f2.8


..this is the first canon lenses came with my first canon dslr, 5d..i was very impressed by the cool metal tube of the lens when i touched it for the first time, and it soon became my favorite lens with no regret to skip 100 macro...

..the wide manual focus ring make it very precise when focusing..the nice creamy bokeh proved there are really somethings photoshop can't do..this lens narrowed my vision but broadened my world with inspirations...

..some people complain about the weight, non-IS and slow AF (actually it's pretty fast when switch to 1.5m to infinity)..isn't this lens supposed to be mounted on tripod, manual focusing and shutter released by remote control with mirror locked up?..then why should we pay extra money for IS and faster AF instead of a sturdy gitzo?...

..some sample pix are here:

www.flickr.com/photos/2in3/sets/


Sep 6, 2006
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luke.price
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Registered: Aug 12, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 41
Review Date: Aug 13, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,250.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Build quality, handling, image quality, ability to use TC's, reasonable fast AF when used in the >1.5m range.
Cons:
Black not White body, not weather sealed fully

I love this lens, this is the kind of lens that makes you actually want to try different types of photograhy than you would otherwise. I hate spiders and would normally kill them on sight. But now I just chase them around the house with this lens taking their portraits. Safe in the knowledge that I have a good working distance Wink
I have also been using this lens as a makeshift telephoto for sporting events such as the US GP and the Gold Cup power boat racing here in Detroit. Even used with a 1.4TC it takes very sharp images with great contrast and saturation. The only problem I have found is that it gets very hot during the course of a day shooting. Its large enough that it warrants the white coating I think.


Aug 13, 2006
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coachjohn
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Registered: Oct 12, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 79
Review Date: Jun 13, 2006 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: Much better focus than original; very sharp, excellent color rendition; great bokeh; excellent build quality
Cons:
Slow AF

A while back I posted a review on the 180mm f/35. macro that I later got taken to task for. I'm updating my review NOT because of the "worthless" comment, but because of now owning a different copy of the lens. After using the used copy I had purchased for sometime, I ended up returning the copy and buying a new 180mm; the difference and been pronounced. Would I rate it a 10 now? No..it's not the "perfect" lens and a 10 is perfection...but it's very, very close. A 9.5 or 9.8...fast becoming one of my favorites lenses to shoot with.

Jun 13, 2006
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cjjmst
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Registered: Oct 7, 2005
Location: France
Posts: 475
Review Date: Jun 13, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Built. Sharpness. Sharpness. Sharpness. Compatibility with TCs. Internal focus. Collar. Working distance.
Cons:
Weight.

I've been so happy for so many years with my 100 macro thay I long didn't feel any need for this one. Eventually I got one used, compulsively I would say.
But Oh my God! What a lens!
This is a real winner.
For macro of course, the working distance is simply great. Never dreamed before of making macro so comfortable.
Compatibility with Tcs. With the x1.4 is excellent (even x2 but I don't recommend it except when high IQ is not the point). With TC and tubes together, it still works fine (on a good tripod), you then almost have a microscope!!...
Internal focus is a real plus. The lens has a constant length and can't be suspected to suck any dust in.
I also often use it for portraits. Wide open, the sharpness is impressive and you get a dreamy bokeh.
Built like weaponery, it's heavy though and not so easy to shoot handheld (I almost never...).
The price? Yes, it's not a cheap lens, but when you have it in hands, you know that you are not holding a cheap lens...


Jun 13, 2006
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Chris Schlaf
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Registered: Feb 9, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 2693
Review Date: Jun 1, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Extemley sharp very nice bokeh and built like a tank
Cons:
Slow AF

I purchased this about 3 years ago and decided to sell it after about a year and trying a few other macro lenses I repurchased this and wont be selling this one anytime soon (ever).I use the 1x4 and the 2x extender on this lens and the quality has been outstanding.And for me the AF is pretty slow but I use the MF most of the time so it doesnt matter to me.
Hope this helps


Jun 1, 2006
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lowbone
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Registered: May 7, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 666
Review Date: May 23, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: A very high quality macro lens with excellent build quality
Cons:
None

I already owned a Sigma 180mm f 3.5 macro lens and was fairly pleased with it. I reluctantly bought the Canon 180 macro because of reports that the Sigma lens was just as good. Believe me, it is not. The Canon 180 macro produces sharper photos with better color. You do get what you pay for. If you have the money get the Canon.

May 23, 2006
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stelin
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Registered: Dec 22, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 4
Review Date: May 20, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very very sharp
Cons:
max aperture -- f2.8 or wider would be nice to make manual focussing easier

Incredibly sharp, and works very well with the 1.4x Canon extender or extension tubes to increase the magnification beyond 1:1.
I find the AF obviously slower than my zooms, but not horrendous as some would have you believe. The internal focussing is a boon as is the length over my previous 105mm Sigma. -- I prefer to be further back from things with stings!!


May 20, 2006
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johnastovall
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Registered: Apr 7, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 1332
Review Date: May 20, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,264.95 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great color and so sharp it'll make your eyes bleed. Very glad I got it.
Cons:
Non but be prepared to accept it on it's terms and do the work it demands.

I debate about this L lense and the cheaper 100 or a Tarmon 180 cheaper still. I'm very glad I paid what I did. In just a morning of work it shows it's ever thing one expects from a Canon L lense. Some people complain about the AF speed. I don't expect to use AF that much with a macro and it has silk smooth manual focus. I only have on question for Canon and it's not about the lens, "Where's the MLU button on the 5D!" This lens demands such a feature on the camera body. Also a good heavy tripod is a must.



May 20, 2006
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DigitalDreamer
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Registered: Apr 20, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 151
Review Date: Apr 27, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,129.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: all
Cons:
none

coachjohn if it is everything you described then why a rating of 9? It is reviews like this that make people think of them as worthless.

My review of this lens is simply outstanding if you know how to use a Macro lens. As ALL Macro lenses it does focus slow, but not hindering at all. How ever when put into 1.4 to infinity it can be used as a very nice tele as well and focus locks on fast and holds.
This lens used on my 1dsmkII and my 5D has produced some terriffic portrait shots as well.
I have the Sigma 150 Macro as well which is also another great lens for the money, if money is an objective then go for the Sigma 150 macro, if not get the Canon 180 macro. The big difference between these two lenses to me is color, the canon has much more true color and is sharper, but by a very small amount, and not noticable at all on prints up to A3.
By far the sharpest lens in my Canon lineup!

EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
EF 35mm f/1.4L USM
EF 135mm f/2L USM
EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro USM
EF 400mm f/2.8L IS USM (2nd Sharpest)
EF 500mm f/4L IS USM


Apr 27, 2006
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coachjohn
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Registered: Oct 12, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 79
Review Date: Apr 13, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,049.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Working distance in macro mode; sharpness, contrast, color...did I mention sharpness?; build-quality
Cons:
AF is slow..slower than I expected..not an issue when shooting macro, could be if used as a medium telephoto

I used the Canon 100mm f/2.8 USM macro for three years before lucking into this used. My 100mm hasn't been on my camera since, and I will probably end up selling it. I love the working distance, focus is slow but locks on very nicely, color, contrast, bokeh is incredible. I'm used to lugging around the 100-400 and 70-200 f/2.8, so weight is really not an issue; in fact, I was surprised after hearing so many complain about the size and weight...very usable, well balance lens. AF is very slow...slowest of any lens I own. Incredibly sharp...without a doubt the sharpest lens in my bag. Well worth the $$.

Apr 13, 2006
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Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
52 172614 Apr 22, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
96% of reviewers $1,218.60
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.88
8.50
9.7
ef_180_35_1_


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