The Canon 100mm f/2.8 L IS USM Macro Lens
The Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 L IS USM Macro Lens is one of the most extraordinary lenses that I have ever used. The last time I used a macro lens was the Tamron SP90. Believe me when I say the Tamron is nothing close to Canon lens in terms of built quality & sharpness. In short, the Canon 100mm f/2.8 L IS USM Macro Lens is a must have for macro enthusiasts & portrait shooters alike. This is simply about the best Canon L lens that I’ve ever used & it’s versatility in terms of focus distance makes this the most fun lens ever built.
The image above was taken at the Penang Botanical Gardens in the morning on one of the off-tracks away from the main path in which many joggers & folks visit every morning. The shot was captured handheld at 1/200sec, f/2.8 & ISO200 on a Canon EOS 7D with a 430EXII mounted on the hotshoe with nothing else other than a Stofen diffuser. This is not the best example but I wanted to demonstrate the bokeh & sharpness that the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 L IS USM Macro Lens was capable of. I did some tweaking during the RAW conversion but the blur pure out from the camera. Unlike other standard primes, this particular lens has a very unique bokeh unlike anything I’ve ever used before. Simply put it, the bokeh isn’t really bokeh with round balls of light, but more like a fresh bowl of creamy mushroom soup… lol!
This lens is unique because it incorporates Canon’s latest Hybrid Image Stabilization or HIS in short. This technology compensates for both angle camera shake & shift camera shake. Angle camera shake is common when taken photos handheld & this is a popular Image Stabilization built-in to many Canon lenses these day. Shift angle shake on the other hand happens more often when taking macro shots at close range handheld. The HIS technology enables an advantage of 4 stops when shooting handheld. Just remember to turn this feature off when you mount this lens on a tripod.
The build quality of this lens is very good & includes weather sealing. The focus ring, lens mount & name plate are made from aluminum where else the other parts are made out of engineering plastic. This lens may not have the cold, hard metal feel of the other L lenses but this is still a very solid lens. It weights in at 623g & has a 67mm filter thread.
The Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 L IS USM Macro Lens’ AF is powered by Canon’s Ultrasonic Motor or USM. The AF is internal & is super fast! I’ve never used any lens that can focus as fast & as accurate as the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 L IS USM Macro Lens. Full Time Manual or FTM is available on this lens & the focus ring is very well positioned on the lens & is very smooth to operate. There is an AF limiter switch on the lens for various settings.
This lens is outright sharp at f/2.8 even at the corners. By f/4 the corner vignetting does not appear anymore. Contrast & color is superb… and as mentioned the bokeh is simply smoother & buttery.
All in all this is one of the best lenses I have used & I dare to say my favourite Canon lens to date! If you’re thinking of getting one, don’t! Just go get it! You won’t regret it!
I leave you with some photos I took using this lens.
It’s difficult to get stuff in focus what you’re up close. Here are two little bees on a flower. I called this, “Me & my Two Little Friends”… lol!
This fella was really grumpy at me for sticking a lens in it’s face … lol! Good thing it didn’t attack me! :S
Here is a photo of the Canon 100mm f/2.8 L IS USM Macro Lens taken by a friend of mine.