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Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
53 205444 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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cjac
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Registered: Dec 12, 2004
Location: Belgium
Posts: 2530
Review Date: Jan 20, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness, working distance, color, bokeh, build quality ... excellent
Cons:
Price (it's worth it !), weight, AF focussing limits

Great macro lens, wonderful when used on butterflies, insects, jewelry, ... Colors are spot-on, great contrast and bokeh, outstanding sharpness, no vigneting, no distortion. Fantastic lens.

Negative aspects : A bit heavy (quality glass weights), slow focus when poor light conditions but macro should be MF anyway so this is only relevant for non-macro shots, the AF limit buttons are 'all distances' and '1.5m to infinity' - it would have been nice to have a third one : 'minimum to 1.5m'.


Jan 20, 2005
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traveler
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Registered: Jan 8, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 4011
Review Date: Nov 8, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,180.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Amazing color and contrast Superb top line L build Sharpness at the top of it's game
Cons:
None

First let me say that I have been used to a 180mm lens so it's weight didn't put me off. I used the 100mm macros on the market for several years until switching over to a 180 over a year ago (a Sigma 180mm EX HSM). When rebuilding my lens collection for this year I decided to just go all out and give one of these beauties a try. Indeed it surpasses the Sigma in contrast, color and build. As it rightly should for over twice the price. This lens delivers even wide open, but since for most things the depth of field is so limiting I prefer to shoot at F11-F16 anyway as I do jewelry catalog shoots and it requires a significant depth of field. Also my move to a 180mm was for the purpose of eliminating the reflection of the lens hood from the product (which drove me nuts with the 100mm F2.8 Macro). I have NOT found the focusing to be slow. I don't know why but mine snaps into immediate focus. I guess I typically have decent light so it's not been an issue. All in all this is the 'Rolls Royce" of macro lenses. If a greater working distance is your thing.......you've found your lens.........

Nov 8, 2004
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MikeBinOKlahom
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Registered: Sep 16, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 653
Review Date: Jan 17, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,239.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Outstanding quality. Compatible with Canon teleconverters. No worries about future compatibility issues with new Canon bodies.
Cons:
My Gawd, the price! I have the nagging feeling that I should have gone with the cheaper Sigma or Tamron alternatives. IS would be a great help in allowing handholding.

This is the big one for Canon Macro shooters! It is an excellent product, as my rating shows, but for cost-effectiveness I'd rate it only "fair", due to the inexpensive alternatives. I've had it for about a year now, and have used it for some great insect macro pictures. Don't forget that you can use this lens for landscapes also, though.
In theory, I guess you could handhold this in excellent light. But I invariably end up shooting from a tripod. Ninety percent of the time I use an adapter ring to mount Canon's MT-24 macro flash, which I recommend if you want to use the 180 for macro work. Only quarrel I have with the combo is that the adapter ring sometimes starts to unscrew, making your dual flash flop over to the side of the lens. Using an adapter ring to mount is not the best available solution. Not a real hazard, but annoying, and I've lost a shot or two while re-adjusting it. I'm thinking of using Loc-Tite or a similar product to fasten the adapter ring in place!


Jan 17, 2004
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Jack Flesher
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Registered: Oct 23, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 3489
Review Date: Dec 14, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Tack sharp everywhere. Beautiful Bokeh.
Cons:
Price and weight -- and heck, I wish it was an f2.8 and had IS too.

"Wow!" is the best word to describe this optic. It is incredibly sharp, even when the 1.4xII converter is attached, and even when being used as a regular telephoto in the "normal" shooting distances. IMO as a macro, it is even a notch above the excellent 100/2.8 USM macro. (And in fact I sold my 100 macro after getting this lens.) AF speed is sluggish and sometimes finnicky in the macro range needing manual assistance, but I find it to work very well in the normal range and is additionally suprisingly fast.

As for nits, it is a heavy lens and pricey, and I wish it were a true f2.8 lens with IS... but then of course it would weigh and cost even more Wink



Dec 14, 2003
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danks
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Registered: Apr 5, 2002
Location: Canada
Posts: 292
Review Date: Aug 2, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Working distance and high quality of images. Removable mounting foot for hand holding, but . . .
Cons:
I sure wish it was an IS lens! Slow to focus too.

This was my second Canon lens. I was surprised and disappointed at how slow the auto focus was on it compared to my EF300/2.8L IS. Sure, I know "real" macro photographers always focus manually anyhow. Still I was disappointed.

I have no regrets about the lens however. For some unusual fun, I mounted the EF1.4X teleconverter and two extension tubes on it and photographed a cranefly at high magnification. The result is at
http://danks.netfirms.com/cranefly.htm The detail in the insect's eye is amazing. I thought you needed a microscope to do that!

My only other macro lens was a 55mm focal length. This one allows you to achieve the same image scale without crowding the subject so much.



Aug 2, 2003
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Schemeloong
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Registered: Apr 29, 2003
Location: China
Posts: 318
Review Date: May 14, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,230.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great optics, probably the best from Canon in my opinion. Not just tack sharp, the thing that I like the most about the performance is the "bokeh" of the pics. The out of focus area is so buttery smooth that I thought I shot the pictures with the Minolta STF 135 2.8(T4.5) which the out of focus rendition is unique.
Cons:
Expensive but worthwhile. Size a bit large and without the allweather seals, need a bit of MF help when AF from closest to around the infinity position

I've used most telephoto lenses in the Canon L stable and almost missed out on this one. The optics of this lens can challenge the best offerings from Contax and Leica, best bokeh performance that I've seen from a Canon lens. AF not as slow as some would say, fast enough for portraiture and most needs, but at over USD1200, quite pricey and quite a big lens to pack. Not just a macro but also a great telephoto lens.

May 14, 2003
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Review Date: Apr 1, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,500.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness & contrast
Cons:
Impossible use polarization filter with Macro Ring Lite MR - 14 EX

No compartion with other macro lens (include 100 macro). Very sharp.

Apr 1, 2003
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Pondria
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Registered: Jan 10, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 11931
Review Date: Mar 30, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,190.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Quality, working distance
Cons:
Minimum f is 32 ( want 64 )

I like Macro photography. So, this had been one of my dream lens. Since I got it, I very rarely unmount this lens. You can get 1:1 with other macro lens with shorter focal length. But very often I appreciate the narrower viewing angle to help me to select the background easily. Longer working distance is another advantage. The tripod collar is nice, especially because I can share it with 70-200/2.8. BTW, you cannot hand-hold this with available lights in Macro situation. You need very good support - tripod, ball head. I have Kirk BH-3. And it slips in certain range of angles.


Mar 30, 2003
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Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
53 205444 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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