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Review Canon 100 mm/2.8 L IS Macro (C FF)

Canon_100_mm_ff_bouw2In 2009, Canon released the Canon 100 mm IS Macro. The main difference with the 'normal' 100 mm Macro of Canon is the built-in image stabilization. Due to the focal length, 100 mm, the Canon 100 mm IS Macro can also be used well as a portrait lens. Also, the 100 mm is a nice addition to the standard lens if you like working with primes. The Canon 100 mm IS Macro is more expensive than the Tokina 100 mm Macro .

Construction and autofocus

 
The lens belongs to Canon's professional L series. By using plastic, this lens does not feel as heavy as the other L lenses. The finish is of a high level and the lens is sealed well against dust and water. The lens hood is very large and is firmly attached. During focusing, the filter does not turn. The focus ring, rubber coated, has a pleasant friction. The focus stroke is approximately 180 degrees. For manual focusing, often necessary with macro, that is sufficient. The AF is driven by a USM motor. Focusing with a Canon 5D MK2 is very rapid, from 15 meters to 1.5 meters in just 0.16 seconds. Focusing is quiet and in low-light, the camera rarely commutes.
Specifications
Lenses / Groups:15/12
Closest focus (cm):30
Magnification Ratio:1.00
Filter (mm):67
Lenshood incl. :+
Length / diameter:123 x 78
Weight (gram):625
MSRP (NL) euro:1029

Image stabilization

 
Canon claims a gain of 4 stops; this claim is nearly reached. This makes this image stabilization more effective than the image stabilization of the other lenses tested here. By the way, the gain decreases as you focus closer. At a distance of 35 cm, this is only one stop. vr

Vignetting

 
The vignetting, expressed in stops, is extremely low. Even at full aperture, f/2.8, this is less than one fourth stop, a record so far. vignet

Distortion

 
The distortion is extremely low, namely 0.025%. distort

Bokeh

 
A beautiful display of blurred foreground and background is important with macro-photography. This Canon does very well at this point, blurry circles are solidly covered and the picture remains very quiet. In short, a very nice bokeh. Canon_100_mm_ff_bokeh1
   
Canon_100_mm_ff_bokeh2
@f/2.8
Canon_100_mm_ff_bokeh3
@f/2.8
Canon_100_mm_ff_bokeh4
@f/8.0
Canon_100_mm_ff_bokeh5
@f/8.0

Flare

 
The Canon 100 mm IS Macro is sensitive to backlight. This creates a lot of flare and to a lesser extent ghosting. In practice, this should be taken into account. Canon_100_mm_ffoverstraling
   
Canon_100_mm_ff_tegenlicht_2 Canon_100_mm_ff_tegenlicht_3

Resolution

 

The resolution, expressed in LW/PH, reaches at all apertures in the center and corners very high values. Compared to the fast Canon 100 mm, the Canon 100 mm IS Macro is much sharper. The resolution is a bit higher than the resolution of the Tokina 100 mm Macro except on the corners from f/4.0. Then the Tokina is a fraction sharper.

resolutie

Chromatic aberration

 
The chromatic aberration remains low nicely and will hardly have to be corrected by software. ca

Conclusion

Canon 100 mm 2.8 L IS Macro



Canon 100 mm ff bouw2

JPG file score

Test Camera (jpg)Canon 5D MK2
Focal length100
mm @ full frame (FF)100
Final score8.1
Resolution7.8
Chromatic aberration8.6
Vignetting9.7
Distortion7.6

See our overview of tested lenses or our overview of tested lenses with a Canon mount to compare the performances of this lens with other lenses.

Pro

  • Very good sharpnes
  • Very low distortion, CA and vignetting
  • Equal image sharpnes over the entire image
  • Nice bokeh
  • Effective image stabilization at normal distances

Con

  • Sensitive to backlight
  • Limited effectiveness of image stabilization in the closer area
  • High purchase price

The Canon 100 mm IS Macro performs very well on almost all points. The resolution is very high and things like distortion, vignetting and CA are very low. In addition, important in macro photography, the bokeh is very nice. The lens is very solid and the AF works fast. The image stabilization is effective but not in the nearby area. Only in terms of sensitivity to backlight, the Canon performs only moderately. For the excellent Canon 100 mm IS Macro one has to pay a high price, hhe price/quality ratio of the well-performing Tokina 100 mm Macro is much better.

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