a28 June 2012

Canon 100 f/2.8 L Macro lens review

As I mentioned some time ago I recently got Canon 100 f/2.8 L Macro IS USM lens. After taking a few test shots during last weekend I can finally write a few words about it.

Despite it has Macro word in name it can be also used for other purposes like eg. portraits. Macro just means that it offers 1:1 magnification (what means that subject will have real life size on the camera sensor). You can go beyond this using extension tubes, close-up filters or reverse-mount rings. I personally use a set of tubes from Kenko to get 2:1 magnification.

As it is a prime lens you might expect great image quality and sharpness. And you won't be disappointed. Image quality is simply fantastic across whole frame. The lens is extremely sharp. So much that further sharpening in case of some photos I took wasn't really necessary. The colors and contrast are also very good. You will also notice no distortion nor chromatic aberration. Maybe the vignetting could be a bit smaller on a full sensor camera but it isn't that bad at all. It isn't noticeable on a crop sensor.

Another great thing about this lens is bokeh. You'll love it. It's really beautiful. Take a look at this photo for a proof:
The bokeh has shape of almost ideal circles.

Moreover, auto focus is fast, accurate and also silent due to ultrasonic motor mechanism.

Also the quality of this lens is typical for other L-series lenses. The lens is solid, heavy and made of metal. The focusing ring is very precise and works with enough friction to allow setting focus at the point you want.

Summing up this extremely short review, it's a fantastic lens. If you need great lens for macro and/or portraits I can really recommend it. I use it for a very short time but already like it very much.

Capturing broad depth of field in macro world requires taking several shots with different points of focus and then merging them into one photo using focus stacking technique.
To capture sharp droplets it is necessary to use manual focusing.
Although it is a macro lens you can still use it in "normal" photography. Maximum aperture of f/2.8 together with beautiful bokeh makes it a great lens for portraits for instance.

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