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Really disappointed in the RF 100mm f/2.8L Macro

  
 
Peter Figen
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Really disappointed in the RF 100mm f/2.8L Macro


There are just so many great macro lenses around today, all just a bit different. I have the Sigma 70mm f/2.8 ART which is just a phenomenal lens. Autofocus and 1:1. All three of the recent Canon EF Tilt-Shift's, the 50mm, 90mm and the 135mm, are 1:2 Macro lenses, all manual focus, but holy hell sharp. The Zeiss Milvus 100mm f/2.0 is just beautiful, and finally the one that arrived this morning, the Sigma 150mm 2.8 OS is looking to be just as good as the rest of them. So that's a whole freaking stable of macro's that work both on my Canon's and equally well on the GFX 100s, and that's not mentioning the Novoflex T/S bellows where I'm reverse mounting my old enlarging lenses to great effect. So that makes eight I think. Do I have a problem? Maybe... and I have a watch on eBay for a Rodenstock 105 APO, so that might be one more. So, yeah, I must have a problem. It's what happens when you don't care about certain things anymore and are tired of making excuses for your own sorry ass.


May 20, 2022 at 03:30 AM
Wolf_P
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Really disappointed in the RF 100mm f/2.8L Macro


Using an R5, if you use electronic shutter with 20 FPS, only the first image would get the problem since the other ones are focused with the selected aperture. Would that solve the problem?


May 20, 2022 at 08:57 AM
Jman13
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Really disappointed in the RF 100mm f/2.8L Macro


Wolf_P wrote:
Using an R5, if you use electronic shutter with 20 FPS, only the first image would get the problem since the other ones are focused with the selected aperture. Would that solve the problem?


You could potentially do that, with servo focus.



May 20, 2022 at 08:58 AM
Optics Patent
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Really disappointed in the RF 100mm f/2.8L Macro


The angled dollar bill shots look like nothing is sharp. That's not focus shift, it's something else. Focus shift means that that is the best focus at wide aperture shifts as aperture narrows, but nothing gets less sharp with narrower apertures (short of diffraction).


May 20, 2022 at 10:52 AM
Jman13
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · Really disappointed in the RF 100mm f/2.8L Macro


I don't know what you're looking at. The focus point clearly shifts to the right as you stop down (which is backwards due to the angle. See below - I've marked the plane of focus for each shot, clearly showing the sharp area (which is sharp...) moving backwards as you stop down.







Optics Patent wrote:
The angled dollar bill shots look like nothing is sharp. That's not focus shift, it's something else. Focus shift means that that is the best focus at wide aperture shifts as aperture narrows, but nothing gets less sharp with narrower apertures (short of diffraction).




May 20, 2022 at 11:42 AM
JRobertson
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · Really disappointed in the RF 100mm f/2.8L Macro


Jman13 wrote:
You could potentially do that, with servo focus.


In full disclosure, I went from the EF100 to the RF100, and truthfully I've not looked back. I've never experienced an issue with mine, like you've described here. I do work at much higher fstops, but this issue still seems rather odd to me. Were you shooting this straight on and perfectly flat?



May 20, 2022 at 01:28 PM
Jman13
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · Really disappointed in the RF 100mm f/2.8L Macro


JRobertson wrote:
In full disclosure, I went from the EF100 to the RF100, and truthfully I've not looked back. I've never experienced an issue with mine, like you've described here. I do work at much higher fstops, but this issue still seems rather odd to me. Were you shooting this straight on and perfectly flat?


This test is angled, purposely, to make the focus shift visible. Focus was done at one point, at f/2.8, then each shot taken only varying aperture (tripod mounted, locked down).

I also did straight on tests, which you can see in the second image, where the f/8 image went soft in the middle because it moved focus point behind.



May 20, 2022 at 01:35 PM
JRobertson
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · Really disappointed in the RF 100mm f/2.8L Macro


Jman13 wrote:
This test is angled, purposely, to make the focus shift visible. Focus was done at one point, at f/2.8, then each shot taken only varying aperture (tripod mounted, locked down).

I also did straight on tests, which you can see in the second image, where the f/8 image went soft in the middle because it moved focus point behind.


Interesting, I'm not sure. Something just doesn't seem right with your lens copy, I feel. Here's a few with the same lens, granted it's on an R6 (not sure what body you're using), and I use it all the time. Here's a couple using that exact lens.












May 20, 2022 at 04:31 PM
Jman13
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · Really disappointed in the RF 100mm f/2.8L Macro


As I noted in my original post, I noted no focus shift at all at very close magnifications...just the mid-distances. My test is at 2.5 feet away.

And yes, there could be sample to sample variation, but I don't think it's coincidence that The Digital Picture, Dustin Abbott, Christopher Frost, and myself all noticed focus shift.



May 20, 2022 at 04:36 PM
 


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Peter Figen
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · Really disappointed in the RF 100mm f/2.8L Macro


Any lens with floating elements and element groups can be susceptible to weird anomalies that show up under certain conditions and not under others. If that's the compromise the lens designers made, and surely they know every quirk about every lens they design, then they should at the very least be transparent about it and have that information be part of the spec sheet published for that lens. We should only be discovering happy surprises and not stuff that forces us to send it back.


May 20, 2022 at 05:24 PM
mikeengles
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · Really disappointed in the RF 100mm f/2.8L Macro


LCPete wrote:
I was tempted with the RF 100mm at the moment Iím using the EF version on my R5
It was the possibility of 1.4 magnification that was tempting, at the moment I use a Marumi achromat to get higher than 1.4
But as soon as I saw the reviews I changed my mind the focus shift makes it no go for what I do
I mainly shoot damselflies and butterflies at F5.6 to 7.1 and use autofocus and often use the R5 focus bracketing feature
Itís a real shame but the focus shift would mean that this lens wouldnít be suitable
...Show more

I have the EF 100 IS USM with a R5 and take insects of any sort I can find. I find that the AF is very unreliable.
I, if I have time do and AF, then use the x6 mag and AF again, if I need to. Nine times out of ten, focus is improved, or I resort to manual, or rock back and forth. My lens has been back to Canon twice, without much improvement.
Obviously skittish insects do not hang around!

What max magnification does the achromat do?



May 24, 2022 at 12:50 PM
LCPete
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · Really disappointed in the RF 100mm f/2.8L Macro


I do find the autofocus does work well on my 100 L IS macro with the R5
Itís a little bit better than with my DSLR 6D 2 and 7D 2 for being able to find and focus on small points like a damselfly tail for example but it does have the quirk that it wonít focus on a near subject at 1:1 if itís focused on something a bit further away even if the focus point is on the close subject I have to manually turn the lens to close focus then it will pickup close focus
The EF IS 100 macro never did this with my DSLR so itís something to do with the R5 and EF macro combination
Even using the focus limiter it still has this issue
I did notice one of the reviewers found this as well
Sorry I put in my post that I use the Marumi achromat to go higher than 1:4 I meant 1:1 I have changed my original post
Iím not actually sure what magnification Iím getting with the Marumi, Iíve had it a while now and canít remember sorry, but itís close enough that I can do a head and legs portrait of a larger damselfly, with the smaller damselfly I have to crop a bit
Itís probably at a guess 2 times magnification certainly enough that I can photograph smaller things like bees as well
I do find that for some reason the autofocus doesnít work properly if use use the achromat with the R5 and EF macro combination but it worked well with my DSLR a quirk of the R5 I just manual focus and rock back and forward



May 25, 2022 at 12:53 AM
Patlezinc
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · Really disappointed in the RF 100mm f/2.8L Macro


What lens would you recommend between the RF 100 and the Laowa 100 RF? I canít decide between the twoÖ This shif issue plus the price seems to be a problem. But the Canon isÖ a Canon, with AF and such, and probably a bit better in IQ.


Jun 04, 2022 at 09:23 AM
johnctharp
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · Really disappointed in the RF 100mm f/2.8L Macro


Patlezinc wrote:
What lens would you recommend between the RF 100 and the Laowa 100 RF? I canít decide between the twoÖ This shif issue plus the price seems to be a problem. But the Canon isÖ a Canon, with AF and such, and probably a bit better in IQ.


This can be answered, most simply, by asking oneself: "do my subjects move?"

The Laowa lens is electrically coupled and so does respond to aperture inputs from the camera as well as provides the means for focus confirmation to work. It's worked well enough on my 6D that I've been able to use it's single good focus point to accurately focus at normal distances (portrait, landscape). Works at macro distances too, though I'm usually focus stacking at that point.



Jun 04, 2022 at 09:49 AM
Jman13
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · Really disappointed in the RF 100mm f/2.8L Macro


Patlezinc wrote:
What lens would you recommend between the RF 100 and the Laowa 100 RF? I canít decide between the twoÖ This shif issue plus the price seems to be a problem. But the Canon isÖ a Canon, with AF and such, and probably a bit better in IQ.


Well, for me, I returned the Canon and kept the Laowa. The question is whether you need AF and can deal with the focus shift. For me, I don't really use AF for close-up macro work, so it's not a big deal to lose that. When I use AF is with larger insects like butterflies, and I have the RF 85mm f/2 Macro for that, and it does a great job.

Optically, however, they are extremely close. Sharpness wise, they are essentially a wash. The Laowa sharper in the center, and the Canon maybe very slightly sharper at the edges, though they're essentially the same there. Both control CA very well, with the Laowa having virtually no longitudinal CA. Plus it can do 2:1 magnification instead of the Canon's 1.4:1.

If using it for double duty for portraiture, the Canon would be better, as the short focus throw on the Laowa makes precise focusing at a distance a little more troublesome.



Jun 04, 2022 at 09:50 AM
Patlezinc
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · Really disappointed in the RF 100mm f/2.8L Macro


Jman13 wrote:
Well, for me, I returned the Canon and kept the Laowa. The question is whether you need AF and can deal with the focus shift. For me, I don't really use AF for close-up macro work, so it's not a big deal to lose that. When I use AF is with larger insects like butterflies, and I have the RF 85mm f/2 Macro for that, and it does a great job.

Optically, however, they are extremely close. Sharpness wise, they are essentially a wash. The Laowa sharper in the center, and the Canon maybe very slightly sharper at the edges,
...Show more

Thanks. I have the 85 1.2 and the 70-200 2.8. I am good for portraits I guess

I thought the RF was a bit better in sharpness but if they are close it is good. I use my 70-200 to do proxi but the IQ is bad at 2.8. F4 minimum here. Ratio is about 0.22:1 IIRC ,so I can't go further (but I use MF so I know how to use it). I also own the MPE65 but a bit specific when you go for a walk.



Jun 05, 2022 at 04:52 AM
Patlezinc
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p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · Really disappointed in the RF 100mm f/2.8L Macro


What I dont get is the tests made by DPR poeple, finding not issues at various distances. Weird...


Jun 05, 2022 at 06:56 AM
jcolwell
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p.2 #18 · p.2 #18 · Really disappointed in the RF 100mm f/2.8L Macro


Patlezinc wrote:
... I use my 70-200 to do proxi but the IQ is bad at 2.8. F4 minimum here. Ratio is about 0.22:1 IIRC ,so I can't go further...


You can get to about [0.70:1] with a Canon 500D close-up lens on the 70-200.



Jun 05, 2022 at 07:26 AM
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