Canon’s 100mm f/2.8L lens is no new lens to the market. This lens made its debut in the middle of 2009. Despite its age, photographers will definitely enjoy using this lens. It has a convenient and practical focal length while still remaining quite light. You also can’t forget about the incredible image quality.
When Canon made the announcement of this lens, there was already the EF 100mm f/2.8 USM non-IS Macro lens which was held at a high standard due to its excellent performance. There was much anticipation for this lens because of the new feature Canon added to it – Hybrid Optical Image Stabilization.
Aside from this one new feature, Canon always delivered when it came to macro lenses. It stayed true to the meaning of macro keeping the 1:1 life-size magnification ratio and capturing subjects in their most accurate size. With that, the 100mm lens makes it ideal for anyone who enjoys shooting up close.
Design and Build Quality
The lens is relatively large and has a familiar build to other lenses that are a part of the L-series. Although the lens is large, it does not weigh as much since the barrel is made of high-quality plastic. But, don’t let that trick you into thinking the lens is fragile because it is not. The mount is made of metal, of course. Along with the mount, you will find dust and moisture resistance with a protective seal around it.
Close to the mount, you will find a cylindrical area for mounting a tripod collar.
Control and Operation
Canon put three control switches on the side to make it easy to use and convenient to reach. There is also a focus ring that is broad and smooth when in use.
Hybrid Optical Image Stabilization
This 100mm lens has a feature called ‘Hybrid Optical Image Stabilization.’ What this does is use a vibration gyro and acceleration sensor to control angular and shift movements. Since this is a macro lens, having this feature is especially useful as minor movement can have a great impact on the final image.
With image stabilization, you won’t always need to have a tripod at your hand. But make sure to activate the feature before shooting which can be done with the On/Off switch below the AF/MF selector.
The commonly used ultrasonic motor is used in this lens, as it has been used in many other Canon lenses. This is a dependable motor that works quickly and is also near-silent in operation. In comparison to older 100mm lenses using this motor, with this one, it focuses on subjects quicker. But even with a fast motor, there are also many factors that depend on the focal accuracy and speed like the camera body, the light levels, and the contrast among the subject.
Manual focus is a crucial part of a macro lens, especially when working up close with a tripod. This lens is made for working with close subjects, which is why it receives so much positive feedback. The optimized focus ring is great for macro photos as it is precise and sharp.
How Do They Compare?
|Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro IS USM||Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro|
|Has optical image stabilization||Has optical image stabilization|
|Has a minimal focal length of 0.3mm||Has a minimal focal length of 105mm|
|Weighs 1.38lbs||Weighs 1.6lbs|
|Has a chromatic aberration of 13||Has a chromatic aberration of 3|
|Weather sealed||Includes a lens hood|
For those who enjoy focusing on the smaller subject in life, like insects, coins, or even wildlife, the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM lens will make you happy. Not only is the lens great for smaller objects but for portrait photography as well, so it is basically a two-for-one deal. In comparison to other L-series lenses, the 100mm might take the cake for being the best one yet. It has an extraordinary sturdy build, while still being lighter than most 100mm lenses, is weatherproof, and has an incredible optical design that captures sharp and detailed content. With that all, the Canon 100mm lens is a top contender.
|Very sharp images||On the pricey side|
|Lightweight||Lens hood is long|
|Sturdy with a tough built and weather sealed|
|Has image stabilization|
|Fast USM Autofocus|
|Versatile lens – can be used for more than just a macro lens|
Design and Durability: 9
Overall Score: 8.75