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181 of 183 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply a superb lens
This lens is so good I've bought 2 of them. I had to sell my first lens due to financial reasons and bought another one at the earliest opportunity afterwards. Those months without it were a pain and I genuinely missed it!!

The lens is well built - a little lighter than I would have thought and it's fairly long but it doesn't feel flimsy.

Auto focus...
Published on 28 Feb 2007 by brainleek007

versus
1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Autofocus issues
The image and build quality are great but I had autofocus issues with 5D Mark III and had to return the lens.
Published 14 months ago by chris panas


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181 of 183 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply a superb lens, 28 Feb 2007
By 
brainleek007 (Bracknell) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This lens is so good I've bought 2 of them. I had to sell my first lens due to financial reasons and bought another one at the earliest opportunity afterwards. Those months without it were a pain and I genuinely missed it!!

The lens is well built - a little lighter than I would have thought and it's fairly long but it doesn't feel flimsy.

Auto focus is good and fast in good light. If you're not using the lens for macro flick the switch on the side to limit the focus mechanism to anything greater than 48cm distance and it speeds up a whole lot more.

There's a full time focus ring and a manual/auto focus switch too. Focusing is internal meaning the lens doesn't grow in length as you're focusing which I really like.

Now down to the nitty gritty: image quality - which is really excellent. I personally bought the lens after reading many reviews on the web and I have not been disappointed in the least. Background blur is also very beautiful. Images are incredibly sharp all the way from f/2.8 so I have no reservations using the lens wide open. Stopped down a bit things just get better - the details this thing can resolve are outstanding. Operating at minimum focus distance (31cm) with an aperture of just 2.8 leads to a super narrow depth of field, we're talking probably 1 or 2mm is in sharp focus! However, it will allow you to be very selective about what is in focus.

Another good feature of the lens is that whilst achieving 1:1 reroduction at it's closest focusing distance it still gives you about 15cm from the end of the lens to the subject. I own the 60mm ef-s macro too and the working distance is down to 9cm on that lens which in some instances is a bit close for comfort, especially where bugs are concerned and they tend to fly off for obvious reasons. It's a bit better with this lens as there's more room.

On a camera with the APS-C sized sensor such as the Canon 60D, 7D, 600d etc what this lens works out to is a 160mm medium telephoto lens. This is likely a bit too long for most portrait work. I have found occasional use for the lens on an APS-C camera body for shooting candid head shots of guests at weddings as the focal length generally puts you outside the zone where people are aware a camera being pointed at them. However, It's not like the 85mm lens which converts to the classic 135mm on an APS-C camera but of course that lens doesn't have macro. Just have a little think what you want this for on an APS-C body - the 60mm EF-S macro may be better for you on these cameras as it obviously has macro functionality plus it converts to 100mm; a much more usable length for portraits; it's a bit more versatile overall on APS-C bodies.

Price is very reasonable in my opinion, it's at the top end of what canon charge for their standard range of lenses but given the superb image quality across the aperture range this is fair.

All round though it's still an awesome lens.
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76 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent lens - probably worth the money, 8 Feb 2010
By 
Mr. S. Crook (Way out west) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro IS USM Lens (Accessory)
I already own the non L version of this lens, and I was having problems holding the thing still in situations where I wanted to take photographs and didn't have any readily available support. So I decided to get the L, mainly for the stabilisation.

Optically, I can't really tell that there's much difference between L and non L, they're both incredibly sharp, even wide open. The MTF charts I've seen suggest that the new lens is sharper than the old, but, frankly, it's pretty hard to spot in an actual printed photograph.

The IS works really well, is quiet in operation, and for me, has made a huge difference to when and where I can use this lens. For portrait work you'll get the full 4 stops, for full on macro it's much less useful, but has already made the difference between me getting a usable shot or not.

AF is quick, but can hunt a little if you've not chosen the appropriate distance range (there are three to choose from), but in practice this shouldn't be a problem unless you suddenly switch from macro to portrait.

Overall, size and weight are pretty much the same as the non L, but with a larger filter size. The surface of the lens barrel has a textured finish and in profile the lens looks squarer than the non L, without that tapered look. I think it feels nicer in the hand than the non L.

If you think you need the IS, buy this lens, if you think you can do without, the non IS version will give you images of (to all intents and purposes) identical image quality at a considerable saving. It's a similar situation to the 70-200L zooms, where the only difference between the two was the IS.
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112 of 114 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing IQ, just watch those colours, 31 Jan 2011
By 
Boing (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro IS USM Lens (Accessory)
My first L-series lens was the 24-70mm, and I thought it was amazing. The 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM blows it out of the water as far as image quality is concerned. It's like experiencing that wonderful "introduction to L-quality" moment all over again.

The combination of prime optics and macro magnification mean that this lens gives pin sharp details at incredible scales. I really cannot stress enough just how good the detail resolution is at 1:1 magnification. I use a 7D and was expecting some loss of resolution due to the cropped sensor, but it is simply not apparent in full scale images. This lens is really fun to find uses for and it's kinda hard to keep it off the camera.

I can assure you that portraits from this lens are first class, especially when used in conjunction with flash bounced off a white ceiling. They are light, airy, and natural-looking. The focused areas are both razor sharp and finely detailed whereas bokeh is smooth and soft. Absolutely spot on! It can be a bit long for comfort on a cropped camera body but it is well worth the extra leg exercise. Using it for portraits and candids has given me an idea as to why people rave so much about the 135mm f/2L.

One area where this lens lacks somewhat is in its focus locking; it can sometimes seek a little, focus off-target, then lock on after a second. This means it is pretty poor at AF tracking - even when using AI Servo in anything less than bright light. Using the proper setting on the autofocus distance limiter is pretty much essential for most types of shot.

I use a Gretag-Macbeth colour chart to confirm colours with my camera/lens combinations and correct any drift. This has shown that of all the lenses I own the 100mm macro is the one which most consistently reproduces accurate colours. It has also shown that the colours most likely to drift with this lens are oranges and middle blues - of particular relevance when photographing insects, flowers, etc.

Unlike other black L-series lenses the main body is made from engineering grade plastic rather than metal. It remains very tough and robust, but is much lighter than it should be as a result. It's also weather resistant like much of the L range. The serial number of each lens is engraved on the metal docking ring which connects to the camera, as well as a date code which records when and where the lens was manufactured.

Because of the ring USM system, focusing is really quiet, which helps when taking close-up shots of critters. Full time manual (FTM) focus is enabled. The front does not rotate, and all focusing is internal. Minimum focusing distance is just under a foot (0.3m). The maximum magnification of 1x is increased to 1.17x with Extension Tube EF 12 and 1.37x with Extension Tube EF 25. The lens is not compatible with either the 1.4x or 2x Mk II extenders.

For most people the decision as to whether or not to buy the L-series version of this lens will come down to the Hybrid Image Stabilisation. It becomes a bit less useful as magnification approaches 1:1, only giving the full four stops of improvement at 1:5 magnification and beyond. Improvement at 1x magnification is two stops at most, so if you only plan on using the lens for life size macro shots, you might choose not to pay out a couple of hundred quid extra for IS.
If you are also going to be using the lens for portraits and so forth, the IS will certainly pay dividends. HOWEVER, please don't take away the idea that the IS is useless for macro work; it helps stabilise the image in the viewfinder/LCD which obviously helps a lot. One last thing to note about the IS is that the 100mm Macro uses the Hybrid Image Stabilisation system which natively supports a kind of "Z-axis" stabilisation. At short focusing distances this can compensate for shift movements between lens and subject, as well as the angular movements that conventional IS corrects. This is very useful indeed for hand-held macro work. HIS really comes into its own when you are trying to capture swaying plants, or insects clinging onto stems etc. So it's not necessarily all about the additional stops!
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78 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just for macro photography, 3 Jan 2009
By 
Mr. Ian Harvey (Cambridge) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I've had this for a few months and am using it with an EOS 350D.

Firstly, and most importantly, image quality is fantastic - it's pixel-sharp, and seems incapable of distortion or chromatic aberration. I have really no complaints here, not even niggles.

The AF is accurate and fast. It can hunt around a bit if you're not quite aiming straight, so the switch to increase minimum focussing distance (from 0.3m to 0.48m) is very useful for non-macro subjects. Alternatively, manually focussing first, then blipping the AF to fine-tune it, works quickly and reliably.

Lastly, I'm surprised at how much I use this lens, even after the initial excitement of taking poster-size shots of everyday household objects has worn off. It's a very capable portrait lens, particularly outdoors or where you have room to stand a few metres away from your subject. Without a zoom you have to use it in a different way, but I find the lack of variables actually encourages creativity. You can always crop it later!

I had originally set out looking for a zoom telephoto lens, something like Canon's EF 70-200 f/4.0 L lens. I've used one before - it's a lovely lens - but really on the big side, and at f/4 you need a lot of light to take hand-held shots, especially at the long end of the zoom. Also, this particular lens has no macro capability.

If you can bear to do without a zoom you'll get a lighter, cheaper, brighter lens with unimpeachable image quality, aside from the world of fun that is macro photography. Highly recommended.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very nice lens, 15 Sep 2009
By 
JB Paterson "Bruce Paterson" (Renfrewshire, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Build quality is very good. Compact, quiet, quick to focus. Dependent on your camera settings you can either achieve pin sharp pictures or blur the background. It is very versatile. I've long been a fan of 'L' series zoom lenses but with this lens on a 5D and a 5D II I am becoming more creative. Zoom lenses make you lazy. I'm not prepared to pay the price for fixed focal length 'L' primes. This lens is a perfect substitute.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Canon EF - Macro lens - 100 mm - f/2.8 L Macro IS USM, 15 Mar 2011
This review is from: Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro IS USM Lens (Accessory)
I have no regrets about buying this lens & have no hesitation in recommending it.
The quality is outstanding - I use it mainly for macro shots of flowers etc or as a portrait lens. The Image stabilizer is superb as you can hand-hold in low light levels and still get good sharp crisp images, I would however suggest using a flash gun or ring flash & set the camera to the standard flash setting as this will freeze the image fast without any blur, I use a Canon speedlight 430EX II.
I bought this lens as a reverb from Amazon which was a lot cheaper than on eBay!!!
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51 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You get what you pay for, 29 Jun 2010
By 
Spuds (Herefordshire) - See all my reviews
I bought this lens mostly for portraiture but I've just turned in the most amazingly sharp pictures of Dragonflies hatching I think I've ever seen. No credit to me I'd add (ok...just a bit of credit then). I did consider the non-IS, non-L series version, but having moved up to a 5d MkII recently I thought I'd push the boat out and stick to the real McCoy. Am I glad I did? no question. This lens is so sharp. Believe me. It comes with a caveat though...if you're prepared to work hard at depth of field issues (this lens exploits limited DOF) and be really accurate with focussing, you'll reap the benefits. If you're lazy though...save a few quid and buy the other one. Razor sharp throughout (but I'd keep away from the smaller apertures), this superb lens will not disappoint, and it will add a new dimension to "creative" use of DOF. My only criticism is that it's not quite as chunky as some other L series lenses. If you're used to the "hewn from solid metal" feel of the usual ones you'll be a bit disappointed when you remove it from the packaging, but maybe all that weight isn't necessary? maybe Canon have realised that it's not needed. Is the IS useful? for an extra couple of stops of course it is, but that shouldn't be the reason you've chosen this lens...that will be because it's got the red ring around the barrel. Sell the car, send the wife out to work, do whatever you need to if you really NEED this lens. But don't hesitate. Just shop around.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you've got the wonga buy it. If you haven't, still buy it, 11 Jun 2010
By 
Spuds (Herefordshire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro IS USM Lens (Accessory)
Yes, I deliberated for ages before shelling out for one of these, and of course when I did, they were in short supply! Is it worth it? Well it depends what you want it for. I've only used mine on a 5D MkII but the results are incredible. In fact sometimes the images are just too sharp (but that's easy to deal with). Sure, you have to think about how to get the maximum out of the lens but that return to thinking isn't a bad thing. The D0F (or lack of it) can catch you out, and you don't want any of that nasty softening at small apertures, so your focussing has to be critical. So it's a classic 100mm f2.8 then! Build quality is fantastic, although it doesn't have quite the bulk/weight of other "L" lenses. Canon obviously decided some components could be plastic instead of hewn from granite. But it does the job and it won't fall apart, AND it's moisture/dust sealed. The IS? well it's useful of course, particularly when you're up close and personal with a bug. But seeing as I bought mine more for portraits using flash than for macro of wildlife I can't comment a great deal on that. To be honest I keep it switched off unless I really need it.
I've heard the non-IS non-L version is superb, so you've got to ask whether you can justify the extra for this one. I'd say if you can stretch to it it's got to be worth it. Shop around and you'll get one for around £700, and you'll love it. Hey...it's only double the price of a Tamron 90mm! Buy it...you don't need that new car!
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Canon 100mm macro vs Tamron 90mm macro, 23 Aug 2008
When i bought this lens I was torn between this and the Tamron 90mm macro Tamron SP AF 90mm F2.8 Di MACRO 1:1 Canon. Research suggested there was very little in it in terms of picture quality, but the focusing was better on the Canon. I am glad I went with the Canon because I really appreciate the full-time manual focus for macro work, and locking off the focal range for auto-focus telephoto work. It definitely speeds up focusing, which in low light is a struggle for most lenses. The ultrasonic motor is nice and quiet. It also feels very well made and solid.

the reason the Tamron was so appealing is because photos taken with it have a slightly warmer quality. I still find this lens a bit clinical and colours seem ever-so-slightly unsaturdated. I have learnt to like this quality, for distance shots especially - it's quite unique, and I tend to modify saturation in photoshop anyway.

If it was purely about money I would recommend the Tamron, but the Canon is worth the extra for better focusing IMHO.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic lens, 10 Aug 2012
By 
Mo Hoyt (North Berwick, Scotland) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this lens after upgrading to a full frame slr as my current selection of prime lenses seemed far too wide, and I wanted a short telephoto for some portrait and candid work. It's wonderful. It's a solid weight, a mix of metal and plastic construction, but an absolute joy to use and work with. f/2 is fast for this sort of focal length, the only other fast short telephoto is the 135 f/2, and that's 2 or 3 times more expensive and heavy. I debated between this and the 85 for a while and eventually chose the 100 because after using a 50 on an APS-C sensor =~85mm I wanted something a little closer. It's sharp as heck at about 5.6 to 8.0, and wonderfully usable at f/2, with a great shallow DOF. It's sharper than most lenses I've used, and far far sharper than any zoom. If you're doing anything in low (natural) light, and want to get a little closer in on the action then give this lens a go by all means. Ken Rockwell's review of this lens is glowing, and rightfully so. I'd recommend reading that and then clicking the 'add to basket' button above, I didn't regret it.
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Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro IS USM Lens
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