The EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro USM is notable for its ‘Hybrid IS’ image stabilization, which promises better results at close distances compared to conventional systems. It’s one of the sharpest lenses we’ve ever tested, with excellent autofocus, and the image stabilization system is probably the best we’ve seen yet. Serious macro work will still require a tripod, though, and the cheaper EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro USM offers nearly as good image quality at a much lower price. But if you’re looking for the best option of its type, this is it.
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 L IS USM Macro Lens
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“ There's little doubt that this is one of the very finest lenses we've seen - optically superb, with fast and positive autofocus, and one of the most effective image stabilization systems currently available.”
- 100mm focal length
- 160mm equivalent focal length on Canon APS-C cameras
- F2.8 maximum aperture; F32 minimum
- Ring-type ultrasonic-type AF motor with full-time manual focusing
- Image stabilization, 4 stop Hybrid IS
- 67mm filters
- 0.30m/11.81" minimum focus
- Canon EF mount for full frame, APS-H and APS-C DSLRs
|Lens type||Prime lens|
|Max Format size||35mm FF|
|Focal length||100 mm|
|Image stabilisation||Yes (4 stop Hybrid IS)|
|Lens mount||Canon EF|
|Number of diaphragm blades||9|
|Aperture notes||Circular aperture|
|Special elements / coatings||UD Lens Element|
|Minimum focus||0.30 m (11.81″)|
|Motor type||Ring-type ultrasonic|
|Full time manual||Yes|
|Focus distance limiter||Yes, 3 position|
|Weight||625 g (1.38 lb)|
|Diameter||78 mm (3.06″)|
|Length||123 mm (4.84″)|
|Materials||Plastic barrel, metal mount|
|Filter thread||67 mm|
|Hood product code||ET-73|
|Optional accessories||Soft Case LP1219 Tripod Collar optional|
Scoring is relative only to the other lenses in the same category at the time of review.
|Ergonomics and Handling||
There little doubt that, all round, this is one of the very finest lenses we've seen - optically it's superb, and operationally it works very well too, with fast and positive autofocus, and one of the most effective image stabilization systems currently available. Throw in the high build quality, including dust- and splash-proofing, and it all adds up to a very desirable package indeed.
This lens is superb, and optically, there no serious black marks against it. It offers exceptional image quality and refined handling.
Not So Good For
Its Hybrid IS system is great for normal use, but is not terribly effective for close-up macro work.
Heavy and large !
Best macro lens
Good for portrait too
Canon 100mm Macro F2.8 IS USM
Fantastic lens. Great image sharpness and colour. Perfect for Macro and also great for portraiture as the F2.8 aperture gives you great out of focus background, Distance makes your subject feel less self conscious when trying to take natural people shots. Have taken a few close up hand held spider shots and quality is superb. Fast focusing and excellent IS as with most Canon lenses. Couldn't be happier. Problems: None. Get one and see for yourself.
A canon L lens that delivers
Well, what can I say. It is a truly magnificent camera lens. I cant say that the IS is perfect but it does a bit of work. I always take photos hand held so for me it is usable. For an L lens it is not that all magnesium/metal feeling when holding it. It is rather light for a 100mm lens and needs a 67mm filter for completing the weather sealing. The tripod mount is not included but there is no problem in using the camera tripod mount due to the light weight lens. It has a very fast Af in ...
How is the 6D for macro?
Interested in seeing what macros people have done with 6D. Also particularly interested in seeing 6D coupled with EF 100mm f2.8 L IS USM. In the past I had a 60D and found the swivel screen very nice for ground level macro. Wish the 6D had the swivel screen, but am wondering if a smart phone might work similarly using the WiFi remote features. Please post pics and/or links if you have them. Thanks.
I still use my NEX 5N for macro because it has an articulating screen and I can touch on the screen to set the exact focus point. I am not sure why Canon (and Nikon for that matter - I had a D600 for a spell) are so far behind Sony with regard to LiveView shooting, but I feel like the 6D is a few generations behind my nearly 2 year old NEX 5N. I have no understanding of why the more expensive and "pro" like the camera I buy, the less user friendly it becomes. I've decided that ground level pro shooting means you need to get grass stains to prove you're dedicated. ;) Continue Reading
There is NOTHING different in macro photos with a 6D than in macro photos with a 5D (unless lack of live view was limiting), 5D mk II or 5D mk III. All have similar sensor sizes, so photos will look the same. Obviously, the smartphone route will work, but only when you can have the camera supported (ground, "tripod"). Because you do need to be able to hold the smartphone and control it. But then again, my EOS 450D does not have a swivel screen, and I do manage some pretty odd angles: Question: What happened to your 60D? And why are you looking the the 6D instead of the 60D for macro stuff? Continue Reading
The lack of an articulating screen is the one major design defect of the 6D. Yes, it would have increased the body thickness by a millimeter or so, but the 6D is a pretty small camera anyway. Plus, I find it annoying when I am still shooting with camera held to eye and the 2 second review flashes up on the LCD. I may need to turn off review in menu to avoid this PITA corner-of-vision distraction. I shoot the 60D with LCD screen turned inward most of the time. Continue Reading
5D MkII lens for travel ?
Hi all! I'm going for a trip to San Francisco and then to Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce Canyon and Monument Valley. I have a Canon 5D Mk II and I'm probably taking my 17-40mm lens, but I was wondering about the second lens, if any. Should I take my 100mm/macro f/2.8 or the 50mm f/1.4? I can't decide, any suggestions please? Thanks!
You don't have anything included in your "Gear List", but I infer it includes at least the lenses you mention. The 17-40mm f4L has the reputation for being pretty much the softest L lens that Canon makes. I have one, and that has been my experience. Do you have the 24-105mm "kit lens" that was often bundled with the 5d2? It has IS, and would be my first choice. How limited is your luggage space? For such a trip, I'd take quite a few of my lenses, especially if I was driving. Flying is another story. Continue Reading
Thanks so much for the suggestions. I don't own the kit 24-105 and I'll be traveling by plane, so I'm looking to be as light as possible, without too much regretting afterwards. I was even thinking if I should go on and invest in a travel lens... Continue Reading
Any a7R with Canon 100mm f/2.8L IS Experiences?
Hi all, I used to have a Canon APS-C DSLR; I sold it, and I'm getting an a7R. Does anyone have any experience with the a7R and the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro? I use this lens handheld with the IS to take photos [often of my coral in my reef tank :) ]. Specifically, I'm interested to see if there are any problems with this lens with IS on around 1/20-1/50s? I'm a bit concerned that shutter vibrations will cause a little bit of blurring. I don't plan on using any other telephoto lenses, so I'm not that interested in how other lenses do on the a7R. I don't have a metabones to test my 100mm macro on the a7R at the Sony Centre, otherwise I would have a look myself (the guys in the Perth [Australia] Sony Centre store are quite accommodating and really nice!). If there are problems with the a7R and that lens, I'll probably get the a7 instead (with it's vibration free electronic first curtain shutter). PS: I realise that pixel peeping is probably required to see the blurring, but, ...
I used it for a shoot last week to do some shots of latte art for a coffee web site I'm working on. It worked really well with the metabones adapter. I ultimately used an image shot with a Zeiss zm 50/2, more for composition than IQ. I shot handheld and the images were quite sharp. No issues at all. Continue Reading
I have not had any issue with the vibration with my 100/2.8L IS Macro + A7R. I'm a somewhat obsessive pixel peeper and since I was calibrating the 85/1.4 PDAF today I decided to test shoot the 100/2.8L IS handheld at the same time using a lens calibration target. I chose the 1/80 shutter speed because it is said to be the worst in terms of shutter vibration (based on my tests and those of some others). I shot ISO 100 tethered to LR 5.3 get immediate results and analyzed several shots on 1:1 and even 2:1. Result: no vibration whatsoever. Pixel perfect shots. In fact I got better sharpness with 100/2.8 handheld that I got with a bean bag + remote control on the 85/1.4 @2.0. I've developed this theory about the hybrid-IS in the 100/2.8L IS might actually be able to compensate the shutter vibration. But all in all, I'm just happy it works perfectly, it was great on my Nex-7 and it is even better in A7R. Continue Reading
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