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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 07 Jul 2013 (Sunday) 17:55
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EF-100mm f/2.8 vs. f/2.8L IS

 
warwoman
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Jul 07, 2013 17:55 |  #1

I'm shooting an Xsi and am looking for a great macro to shoot flowers, etc. I have a friend that has the ef-100mm f/2.8, and gets pretty darn good pics (sharpness) with it.
Is it worth the extra to go with the "L" IS lens, or are users of the non "L" perfectly happy with it? Opinions are certainly welcome.




  
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cepaw
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Jul 07, 2013 17:59 |  #2

I have the 60mm 2.8 it's a great lens very sharp. Great portrait lens as well


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seanlancaster
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Jul 07, 2013 18:16 |  #3

The 100 2.8L has a little bit better image quality from my experience, but even the non L version does quite well. IS is helpful, but I find it more helpful in non macro shooting. Weatherproof on the L version is also a feature. I probably would have bought the non L version if the L version hadn't been on sale for just under $900 last month.


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dodgyexposure
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Jul 07, 2013 18:37 |  #4

The 100L is better, in that it has some better features such as IS and better build. By all accounts (I only have the L, so can't personally comment on the non-L), the image quality is similar. As Sean said, the IS is quite useful, and helps in handheld closups, but is definitely more useful in non-macro situations.

If you are looking primarily for macro use, and the price difference is important to you, buy the non-L. If you want a better overall lens, and can stretch to the L, it is a great lens.


Cheers, Damien

  
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amfoto1
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Jul 07, 2013 18:38 |  #5

It sort of depends upon what other lenses you have, if you need the macro to serve dual purpose.

The 100/2.8 non-IS is excellent and pretty much equal in image quality with the L/IS... I'd challenge anyone to tell apart images made with each of them. Both Canon 100s are very nice build quality, only people who haven't used them both would think one is better than the other. In fact, the 100/2.8 USM (non-L/IS) is identical build quality to L-series lenses, externally indistinguishable from the 180/3.5L, except for a stripe of red paint. The only reason the 100/2.8 USM wasn't an L is because it didn't need any exotic glass elements to do its job very, very well. Both the Canon 100s have all the bells and whistles (Internal Focusing, Focus Limiter, USM focus) including the ability to optionally fit a tripod mounting ring... which can be a very handy accessory for macro work. The 100L's Focus Limiter is slightly more sophisticated... three stage rather than the two stage of the 100/2.8 USM.

One difference... the 100/2.8 USM doesn't come with a lens hood, like most non-L series Canon lenses. It's another $45 or so to buy the matching hood, and it's huge! The 100L/IS comes with a hood, like most Canon L-series. Sort of off-setting the extra cost of the hood for the non-L, the tripod mounting ring for the L/IS is about $30 more expensive than the one for the non-L. However, there are third party clones of both available (look on eBay), for a lot less than the Canon OEM items.

Both the Canon 100s are fairly large for 100mm lenses. That's due to the Internal Focus, for the large part. The EF-S 60/2.8 is another excellent lens, a lot more compact and a bit less expensive. It's also got USM and is IF, but doesn't have a Focus Limiter and can't be fitted with a tripod ring (less necessary, since the lens is so much smaller). Some folks worry about the shorter focal length which also means shorter working distance, getting too close to the subject. That's true, but for flowers and a lot of larger insects, not really a problem. You're probably going to be shooting them at no more than half life size (1:2), so won't be all that close.

Michael mentions using for portraiture, too. Any of those Canons will do that too, though to be frank I'm not a big fan of using a macro lens for portraits. For one thing, they are only f2.8... there are times when a larger aperture is nice for portraits. Also, macro lenses are sharp... edge to edge. That's often not the best for portraits... not every subject is a 17 year old with perfect skin fresh from a $200 an hour make-up session. Finally, macro lenses in general are a bit slower focusing.... in part because they have to move their focusing group a long ways to go from infinity to 1:1, but also by design, "long throw focus" emphasizing accuracy over speed. Now, of the the three Canons mentioned above, the 60mm is the fastest, the 100L/IS is second, the 100/2.8 USM is the slowest. They are all okay for a lot of things, and for some portraits... but maybe not quick enough for candid shots, chasing kids or pet portraits. (The Canon 180/3.5L is a lot slower focusing, typical of longer macros.)

There are alternatives. I just got and am experiementing with the Tamron SP 60/2.0... it's unusual for a macro lens to have an f2 aperture, making it a bit more useful for portraits. Maybe it will replace my 50/1.4, 85/1.8 and other macro lenses in my camera bag. It's got really nice background blur, using 7-blade aperture that forms a near perfect circle because the blades are curved, much like some of Canon's top of the line lenses. I have been pleasantly surprised how fast focusing it is, because it doesn't have USM or a Focus Limiter. Nor can it be fitted with a tripod ring. But it's quite compact and - if it replaced three lenses - really lightens my load nicely.

But if you wanted a somewhat longer lens, 100mm fits into your camera and lens kit better, by all means either of the Canons would be a great choice. If you plan to use the lens a lot for non-macro shooting, the IS lens might be worthwhile. IS is most helpful at non-macro distances, though a 100mm lens is on the borderline of needing it, IMO. IS is less helpful at high magnifications, though the Canon's IS is more advanced and effective than stabilization other lens manufacturers have used.

Ultimately, only you can say if the IS is worth an extra $400 US, approx. To me, it's not. But it might be to you.


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warwoman
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Jul 07, 2013 18:39 as a reply to  @ dodgyexposure's post |  #6

Thanks,all!




  
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jimewall
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Jul 07, 2013 18:59 as a reply to  @ cepaw's post |  #7

To add to what was already said.

(All) IMO

Most will either shoot macro with a tripod and or a flash in manual mode, the IS is less important using either of those instances (but it can still help).

But if you are going to do a lot of handheld macro work. Or if you are going to use the lens for regular non-macro shooting (often) along with macro shooting and you have the cash - then yes the L is worth it (at least to me).

If you are mainly/only going to use it for macro and/or can't justify the cash then probably not.

IQ is pretty darn equal in all three versions (I currently have both the first non-USM and the L versions).


If you do not have a macro yet, plus will also use it for non-macro photography, and have the cash, I would suggest the L. It is an awesome lens.


(I don't think this applies to the OP)
If one already has a 100mm chances are most will have the USM model. (Unless your older like me and picked up the first non-USM model.) Then as I see it the only real pluses of the L over the USM non-L are IS and weather sealing. If either (or both) of those are enough for to upgrade to the L - then do it - otherwise stay with the non-L.


(I am almost sure this does not appliy to the OP)
If you have the first (non-USM) 100mm model, the benefits are same as above - plus USM and the ability to use a tripod collar (sold separately and the second purchase for me after I picked up the L). Those all added up to to an upgrade to the L (ok at least for me it was).

To sum up -
For me the benefits are the USM (faster and quiet AF) and IS when non macro shooting, and the tripod mount when macro shooting. When shooting macro, I usually manual focus. I carry the L more frequently (almost always) when taking my gear. I took the non-L much less frequently.

It also may (or may not) be pertinent, I am finding the older I get the more IS helps with my regular photography.

I hope something here helped.


Thanks for Reading & Good Luck - Jim
GEAR

  
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lewdogg
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Jul 07, 2013 19:37 |  #8

Just in case you're interested in the non-L version and you'll consider used... ;o)

https://photography-on-the.net …/showthread.php​?t=1312429


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ElectronGuru
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Jul 07, 2013 20:44 |  #9

I'm a fan of L glass, but the quality/value of the 60mm is kind of insane. And would be better than the non L 100 for handheld shake.


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tat3406
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Jul 07, 2013 20:47 |  #10

100mm L is my favorite lens, very useful IS compared to Non L. My macro 99% is handheld and some is natural light. With IS the SS can go below 1/100, and get decent result for 1:1 macro. 100L also have weatherseal compared to non L. My suggestion is simple, get the L if you need IS, this hybric Is very useful for haldheld macro.


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nightcat
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Jul 07, 2013 21:22 |  #11

Most of the folks who commented have this correct. Both lenses have exactly the same image quality. If you feel you need the IS, then the IS is worth it. I moved up to the IS version because I take photos in museums where flash is not allowed and lighting is low.




  
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gman02
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Jul 08, 2013 02:44 |  #12

I Have The 100 Non-IS Really Like it for Macro......Really Sharp..... Will Do for Portrait Work In a Pinch


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basketballfreak6
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Jul 08, 2013 06:15 |  #13

both are good lenses, in capable hands i doubt anyone can tell the difference

but personally i find the IS in the L extremely useful while shooting macro, while its ability to reduce shake is reduced at macro distances, it does help a lot when framing and focusing because it helps stabilise the view through the viewfinder


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cuda2k
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Jul 08, 2013 06:22 |  #14

For the XSi, if you can afford it, I could see IS being helpful. I have the same body, and the non-L, non-IS lens and have been able to get some amazingly crisp images from it and wouldn't sell the lens for anything short of the L version. There are times that the ISO performance of the XSi does make me wish for IS... or a 60D thought. ;)


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warwoman
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Jul 08, 2013 08:32 |  #15

lewdogg wrote in post #16100001 (external link)
Just in case you're interested in the non-L version and you'll consider used... ;o)

https://photography-on-the.net …/showthread.php​?t=1312429

Check your listing.




  
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EF-100mm f/2.8 vs. f/2.8L IS
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