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Thread started 06 Dec 2014 (Saturday) 01:32
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TOGGLE RATINGS BETWEEN ALL AND Dlee13 (showing now: Dlee13)
Overall Rating9.5
Overall Image Quality10
Value for Money10
Bokeh10
Sharpness10
Contrast10
Focusing8
Must Have10
Suitability to Intended Use8
Got What I Expected10
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List all reviews of Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro IS USM, reviewed by Dlee13

 
Dlee13
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Gallery: 509 photos
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Joined Apr 2012
Location: Sydney
     
Dec 06, 2014 01:32 |  #1

The Canon EF 100mm f2.8L IS may be labelled as a macro lens, but it is much, much more.

It's coming up on one year since I purchased this lens and it may not be one that I use daily or even weekly, but it is one I will keep and won't replace. I originally purchased this lens with the intention of using it for still life, product and the occasional macro photography. Since then, I have used it for everything from street to portraits and even landscapes. I had always been more of a fan of the wide, environmental portraits so I generally used the Sigma 50mm f1.4 EX DG HSM as my portrait lens (the Canon 35mm f2 IS became my walk around lens). After trying out some portraits on the 100L and seeing what an amazing job it does, I found no use for my 50 and the 100L became my main portrait lens. Here are my general impressions of the 100L for the past year.

Build
Like the 35mm IS, it has a plastic construction but is still very solid and doesn't feel the slightest bit cheap in its build. Considering its size and all the optical elements it's made up of, it is a very reasonable weight and I actually feel more tired carrying my 17-40 than I do this lens.

Image Quality/Sharpness
This lens is without a doubt the sharpest lens I own and have ever used. Most macro lenses are the sharpest in any brands lineup and the 100L certainly isn't an exception. The amount of detail this lens shows in the images you take is amazing, often highlighting imperfections in the subject I can't even see or never previously noticed. Distortion is minimal and non existent in most situations, although there can be a very slight vignette wide open which is nothing compared to my 35 IS.

Bokeh
Bokeh is really nice and smooth, especially at closer distances. For full body portraits, you can still get a slight background separation, but it won't be as prominent as the 135L or something longer.

Autofocus
This is probably the only area this lens doesn't really shine, although macro lenses aren't typically known for lightning fast AF. Focus can be very slow at macro distances although I don't really have any issues shooting at portrait lengths, I also tend to use Live View and manual focus when doing macro so it isn't too much of a bother for me.

Overall
This lens is an underrated telephoto that can deliver beautiful results in almost every application. Its macro label deters many people from using it for other styles such as portraits, although its extraordinary optics produce images that make you wish you use it more.

The IS may seem unnecessary but that's only if you view this lens for macro only. For portraits and other uses, the IS can be really helpful (I have horribly shaky hands yet I've gotten tack sharp images at 1/50th and slower). If you want a lens that's for portraits only, you certainly have many other options. Although if you want a lens that will excel at everything you throw at it, look no further. Here's some of my personal favourites that I took with the 100L.

IMAGE: https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5531/12098318575_7fbb3d1f85_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://www.flickr.com​/photos/dlee13/1209831​8575/  (external link)
Staring Out Into The World (external link) by Daniel E Lee (external link)

IMAGE: https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5594/14157116418_65333dfd39_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://www.flickr.com​/photos/dlee13/1415711​6418/  (external link)
Drops (external link) by Daniel E Lee (external link)

IMAGE: https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3897/14842714175_bb2309b2c6_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://www.flickr.com​/photos/dlee13/1484271​4175/  (external link)
Malcom (external link) by Daniel E Lee (external link)

IMAGE: https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3953/15355402540_9b88c6550e_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://www.flickr.com​/photos/dlee13/1535540​2540/  (external link)
Heading Towards The Bokeh (external link) by Daniel E Lee (external link)

IMAGE: https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3681/12495703854_93ffae339b_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://www.flickr.com​/photos/dlee13/1249570​3854/  (external link)
Pain Is Love (external link) by Daniel E Lee (external link)

Sony Alpha A7III - Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art - Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 - Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 Macro
Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 - Canon EF 16-35mm f4L IS -
Canon EOS M5 - Canon EF-M 32mm f/1.4 - Canon EF-M 22mm f/2 - Canon EF 11-22mm f/4-5.6 STM

Blog (external link) | Flickr (external link) | 500px (external link)

  
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Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro IS USM, reviewed by Dlee13
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