Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 L IS USM Macro Lens

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92% Gold Award
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.”

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Key Features

  • 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

Product Description

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.


Principal specifications
Lens type Prime lens
Max Format size 35mm FF
Focal length 100 mm
Image stabilisation Yes (4 stop Hybrid IS)
Lens mount Canon EF
Maximum aperture F2.8
Minimum aperture F32.0
Aperture ring No
Number of diaphragm blades 9
Aperture notes Circular aperture
Elements 15
Groups 12
Special elements / coatings UD Lens Element
Minimum focus 0.30 m (11.81)
Maximum magnification 1×
Autofocus Yes
Motor type Ring-type ultrasonic
Full time manual Yes
Focus method Internal
Distance scale Yes
DoF scale 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
Sealing Yes
Colour Black
Filter thread 67 mm
Hood product code ET-73
Optional accessories Soft Case LP1219 Tripod Collar optional


DPReview Conclusion

Scoring is relative only to the other lenses in the same category at the time of review.

Score Breakdown
Poor Excellent
Build Quality
Ergonomics and Handling
Image Quality
Gold Award
Gold Award
92 %
Overall Score

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.

Good For

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

User Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
  • VikingPhotographer, Dec 24, 2012 GMT:

    Heavy and large !

    Continue Reading

  • Erdil yilmaz, Dec 23, 2012 GMT:
    Best macro lens

    Good for portrait too

    Continue Reading

  • montygm, Sep 24, 2012 GMT:
    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.

    Continue Reading

  • Raymondba, Sep 3, 2012 GMT:
    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 ...

    Continue Reading

Questions & Answers


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, ...

rmhowie asked
1 year ago


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

brudy answered
1 year ago

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

tn1krr answered
1 year ago

Ooh that's good to hear! Thanks brudy and tn1krr! :) Continue Reading

rmhowie answered
1 year ago


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!

Artdemi asked
7 months ago


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

l_d_allan answered
7 months ago

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

Artdemi answered
7 months ago

Out of those three I'd bring all.... but maybe you have some other good travel lenses like 70-200 IS? -- ---------------------------------- My Flickr stream: Continue Reading

SwedishGoose answered
7 months ago


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.

Tapper123 asked
1 year ago


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

sean lancaster answered
1 year ago

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

brightcolours answered
1 year ago

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

NancyP answered
1 year ago

Warranty Information

"A Product, when delivered to you in new condition in its original container, is warranted against defects in materials or workmanship as follows: for a period of one (1) year from the date of original purchase, defective parts or a defective Product returned to Canon, or its authorized service providers, and proven to be defective upon inspection, will be repaired with new or comparable rebuilt parts or exchanged for a refurbished Product, as determined by Canon or the authorized service provider n their sole discretion. Replaced parts and exchanged Products will become the property of Canon."

Go to Canon USA's warranty page for more information. DPReview GearShop is an authorized Canon dealer in the United States.

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