Canon EF 100 mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens Review

Canon EF 100 mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens Review

Author
  • Price
  • Durability
  • Image quality
  • Features
  • Overall

In this Canon EF 100 mm f/2.8 Macro USM lens review, we’ll be looking at one of the most popular macro lenses for Canon DSLR cameras. It’s the mid-range offering in the EF 100mm range, and whilst it’s not one of the cheapest optics out there, it does offer superb x1 life size focusing with close-ups full of vibrancy and sharpness.

Another fantastic feature of this lens is the versatility. Despite being a powerful macro lens, the 100mm range means that it works superbly as a portrait lens as well, so whilst the price tag isn’t particularly cheap, you will get a lot more use for your money.

Alongside this, the f/2.8 aperture is great for getting tight focus isolation during macro or portrait photography. It has 8 aperture blades offering a smooth and aesthetically appealing background blur whilst bringing the foreground subject into exceptionally crisp detail and clarity.

Two other key features include the Super Spectra coating for improved colour with minimal flare or ghosting, and super-quiet USM autofocus with quick manual override to help you capture the perfect macro shots when necessary.

All in all, it’s simply a fantastic lens for the price. The macro results are sublime, the versatility of stunning portraits is a useful bonus, and the first-class optics really do bring out the best of any scene with the right handling.

Image stabilisation version available

The Canon EF 100 mm f/2.8 Macro does come with an IS-enabled version, which offers the same top-notch optics along with 4-stop hybrid IS. The only downside is that it is considerably more expensive than the non-IS version covered in this review.

Should you buy the IS version? Our qualm with this is that, whilst the hybrid IS is one of the best on the market, it is not hugely effective with close-up macro shots, although it is fantastic with portrait shots at a further distance. It really depends on how you intend to use it. If you’re interested in macro only, and you shoot with a tripod or in conditions with lots of light and a faster shutter speed, then it probably isn’t worth the extra cost. However, if you intend to be more versatile with the lens and use it beyond just macro photography (such as for portraits), then the image stabilisation is a very handy feature.

Construction:

This lens is built out of sturdy plastic with a metal ring mount, and is typical of Canon’s reputation for good quality and solid durability. It’s not a small lens by any means, coming in at around 120mm in length, but at around 600grams, it shouldn’t feel too cumbersome to use.

Canon EF 100 mm f/2.8 Macro USM lens review features:

  • 1x focus macro lens for crisp close-ups
  • Portrait lens versatility
  • Whisper-quiet USM autofocus with manual override
  • 8-blade f/2.8 aperture for beautiful bokeh results
  • Superb optics with Super Spectra coating
  • Optional 4-stop hybrid IS

Perfect if you want to:

  • Capture macro photography
  • Want the versatility of other uses
  • Enjoy one of the finest optical results for the price range

Camera compatibility:

The Canon EF 100 mm f/2.8 Macro USM lens is known to be compatible with all APS-C cameras, meaning that it should work like a charm with most modern Canon DSLRs and those with EOS in the name. Check the manual, and if it states EOS, APS-C, or that it takes EF mounts, then you should be good to go.

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