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Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
53 205443 Jun 25, 2019
Recommended By Average Price
96% of reviewers $1,212.18
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.86
8.53
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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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: 153
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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xmattkx
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Registered: Jul 4, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 5034
Review Date: Feb 22, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: What else matters?- Image quality is unbelievable! Colors/contrast, feel (built like a tank) Wonderful Bokeh
Cons:
Price- but you get what you pay for...

Much has been said about this lens both positive and negative-
I have used the following macros:

Sigma:
50 / 105 / 150

Canon:
50 / 100 / 180

Tamron:
90

This lens has the most beautiful results of all of them, focus is spot-on, even to 100% the pics are sharp and contrasty.

There is much said about the autofocus speed on this, but I have to disagree with many of those that have complained, if you turn the focus limiter on, focus is fast and accurate.

I also have to disagree with those that complain about shot at infinity focus, I have found it to be pretty sharp, even wide open-

All-in-all this is expensive and heavy, but the image is produces are second to none!


Feb 22, 2006
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epphoto
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Registered: Apr 24, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 5599
Review Date: Feb 8, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very sharp Build like a tank nice great working distance
Cons:
Very thin DOF

Incredible lens, nice and sharp images ease to work with, and great working distance
The only thing I don't really like about this lens is the very thin DOF you move 1/6'' and you will get a blurry picture.
I wish this lens was a 2.8 but it still will get my 10


Feb 8, 2006
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kross
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Registered: Dec 14, 2004
Location: Singapore
Posts: 50
Review Date: Dec 21, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,500.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Tack Sharp! Creamy bokeh. Excellent build.
Cons:
Expensive, Slow AF and heavy.

Switched from 100mm F2.8 to this 180mm F3.5L because I needed that extra working distance and better framing. Its sharpness is incredible compared to my 100mm. Bokeh rocks. Solid build.

Though expensive, heavy(macro requires tripod so not a problem) and slow AF(MF for macro so not a problem too), it's well worth it!!

P.S. I hope Canon will come out with a 180mm F2.8L IS USM in future! Haha...



Dec 21, 2005
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JORDI350D
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Registered: Dec 7, 2005
Location: Spain
Posts: 40
Review Date: Dec 9, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very sharp. Doble use (macro and telephoto 180mm F3.5 and 252mm F5 with 1.4 extender).
Cons:
Price. Poor performance after F22.

This is an special lense for me. I am very surprised of the telephoto qualities of this lens. If you move the switch to the 1.5-inf. position you will have a lense with a very fast AF and more or less fast lense (f.3.5 it is good for me because his performance at 3.5 is very well). With the Canon extenders you will have a 1.4/1 and 2/1 macro lense. It is incredible all that you can do with a 2/1 macro lense.


Only the price is negative in this lense.

Jordi


Dec 9, 2005
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thequickad
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Registered: Sep 17, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 10
Review Date: Oct 29, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,249.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpest lens in Canon's line-up. Fast and absolute silet AF. Superb image and bokeh.
Cons:
f3.5

Sharpest Canon lens ever. I was a bit skeptical looking at the published MTF chart but the lens is just that, sharpest one. Superb image, fast and silet AF. Canon must have improved the AF so make sure you don't buy an older model.

To test the AF I even took the lens to a football game at night and when the switch is set correctly (1.5m to infinity) the focus was dead on, fast and silet. I pushed the ISO to 800 and was able to get some great action shots even at f/3.5.

It's a superb Macro lens and can double as a telephoto lens.


Oct 29, 2005
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mbailey
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Registered: Apr 12, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 351
Review Date: Sep 10, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,239.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very sharp even wide open. Gives great working distance. Very well built and good looking.
Cons:
Slow AF. Moderately heavy. Fairly slow (3.5).

I bought this lens primarily for macro work. In this area the lens is excellent. I can find no fault with its macro ability. Some users may find the f3.5 to be a bit slow. I use a MT-24EX so light is not a problem. Also the DOF is so thin at 3.5 I doubt many would like the results of shooting macro at that f or lower. The AF is really slow but this is not likely to be employed in serious macro shooting. Some (especially those with full frame cameras) may want to let the lens double as a long portrait lens. The AF will work adequately for this mission provided you set the focusing distance switch to 1.5m-infinity. The lens will not do at all for any fast action like sports because of the slow AF and f3.5. I use this lens on a tripod with a focusing rail for macro. If lighting is less than sunlight I throw in a ring light as well. In this area I doubt you can find a better lens for anywhere near the price.

Sep 10, 2005
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The Image
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Registered: Dec 3, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 2990
Review Date: Jul 28, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros:
Cons:

an incredible lens. its so sharp it will shock you, probably canons sharpest lens. needless to say its meant for tripod shooting.
if your into macro this is as good as it gets. highly recommended


Jul 28, 2005
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Geofn
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Registered: Jan 31, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 842
Review Date: Jul 27, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,085.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Everything.
Cons:
None.

THIS is THE macro lens to own. Astoundingly sharp images.
Yeah, it's heavy, and you're gonna have to use it with a good, solid tripod. Get some rails (I use 2 Manfrotto 3419 Micro Positioning Plates mounted together at right angles) for focusing and lateral adjustments and you'll be happy.

I use this lens quite a bit with the MT-24EX Macro Ring Light (which really isn't a ring light at all but rather 2 fully adjustable small flash heads that attach to the front of the lens), and my only complaint is that the working distance of this lens is so long (great for not scaring your subjects) that the flash angle tends to be somewhat flat (as compared to using the MT-24EX on the 50mm Compact Macro, for example). Need to find (or make) some flash arm extenders...

This puppy is expensive, but well worth the cost is you're seriously into macro work.



Jul 27, 2005
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sieracki001
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Registered: Mar 24, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 4
Review Date: Apr 29, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Incredibly sharp and contrasty. I love being able to focus this close up.
Cons:
None really. It's heavy and attracts attention. Fortunately it isn't white. It does stick out a mile.

If you want to do macro this is the lens. Personally I find autofocus to be fast enough but I've only autofocused twice. No need. Closeups don't really demand it. Others have commented on the lens' sharpness. Any look at this lens' MTF will clue you on that.

What I want to address is comfort in shooting and the utility of the lens. I have shot almost 2000 frames with this lens in the past month, as it is spring and I'm doing a lot of floral and closeup photography. I literally left all the other lenses I own at home and went out the door with this lens, camera and tripod.

I've needed to get used to shooting closeups with a 180mm focal length. It's a totally different world than a 50, and quite a ways from a 100, in terms of working distance. What I do admire is that I can get extremely close to my subject and still be able to focus up close. I'm finding that I often will discover new possible compositions when I get the distance wrong. I am too close, but yet I can focus and I find myself in an alien world. Yet I can take 'normal' photos of bushes and trees with the same lens. I find the lens extremely versatile despite being a prime. I'd be limited with a zoom.

It's a bit heavy but you don't want to handhold this lens. Get a sturdy tripod and use it. You've heard this advice. If you go for this lens you had better do it. You'll be looking at your frames at 100% in Photoshop (if you do that) all the time from now on, so don't dissapoint yourself. I do have a slight problem with gunk getting into the rear of the lens. I'm using a hurricane blower to tackle that. I can hardly wait to get out and shoot with this lens. If you don't have a macro lens and you would like to see what this can do for you, you'll like this lens. Sure it's expensive and there are third party lenses aimed right at this Canon lens. You won't be disappointed if you use it correctly, that is, with solid support.


Apr 29, 2005
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lensjunky
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Registered: Apr 25, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 83
Review Date: Apr 26, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: everything, Sharp, color contrast, etc. GOD this lens makes beautiful macro shots
Cons:
AF Freakin sucks, yes I expected that in a macro, but still, it pisses me off to use AF on this thing because it is so slow, and half the time I wind up releasing the shutter tryinng to get the AF to finish focusing.

Beautifull photos, sucky AF, but I baught this lens for Macro work not sports so I can forgive this.

Apr 26, 2005
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gerrit p
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Registered: Jun 10, 2003
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 2
Review Date: Apr 4, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: sharp, bokeh is beautiful, can be used wide open. AF is fast when the limiter is used.
Cons:
the bajonet has no sealing, I expected this feature for an L lens

This lens is used by me as normal tele, got it second-hand, when I was looking for a 200mm lens. This one stays, because it so good!!
together with the 100mm f2.0 this one makes a good combination.
Not sure if I need a zoom anymore; these two give me flexibility, usable wide apertures and exellent quality.


Apr 4, 2005
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Cibs
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Registered: Feb 8, 2005
Location: Brunei
Posts: 626
Review Date: Mar 22, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Everything you can dream off..
Cons:
Weight... and with macro photography.. the weight makes the difference.

Nothing compares.. period.. however, value for money, my old EF100mm f2.8 USM is better value.. the only differences are:

1) Compressed perspective more pronounced
2) Sharpness better but not by the difference in price
3) Weight is horrendous - imagine trying to sync yourself to a moving object with over 1.5kg in lens and camera weight (let alone being coupled with a flash)

Its one hell of a sharp constrasty lens...


Mar 22, 2005
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Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
53 205443 Jun 25, 2019
Recommended By Average Price
96% of reviewers $1,212.18
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.86
8.53
9.7
ef_180_35_1_


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