Canon EF 100mm Macro USM lens
Being an rookie photographer who's optamistic and willing to try out new and creative ways of taking photos, I soon discovered that I was into macro photography. I found some tricks and techniques to use without a bespoke lens like this, however they did prove to me that they were not enough (i tried reversal macro with my kit lens and that lead to dust getting onto my camera prism...not a good thing).
I was researching different lenses for macro photography and I came across this particular lens first, and soon found out that there are different lenses with fixed focal lengths. I knew that I had to get a lens with a rather longer focal length so it gives me breathing room and saves me back pain when taking very close shots!
I plucked up my courage and bought the 100mm macro lens, and I'm very glad I did. The performance is outstanding, and the image quality is fantatic compared to using other macro-type items such at extension tubes and filters. The f/2.8 is perfect for producing some background blur i've never accomplished without the need for software, it saves alot of time and once again proves what this lens is capable of.
There is a slight learning cirve with this lens however, and soon found out that there is more to it than meets the eye when skimming through the manual...
Once slight criticism about this lens is the speed of focusing. Yes, It's USM, it IS fast, but sometimes the camera can't make its mind up when to stop focusing, which has lead me to use the manual focusing mode more often. Don't let this stop you, however, because it's probably my using the lens indoors where there's less light. I'm absolutely sure the USM performs so much better either outdoors or with more light.
This lens is perfect if you're into macro photography.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
All in one
How can I start this review ?
All macro lenses that can be bought arount this focal lenght are excellent performers optically, even the super cheap cosina 100 3.5 and clones offer exceptionally good image quality when stopped down a bit.
The canon version is the most expensive for the EF mount why should anybody choose this over tamron, sigma, tokina if optical quality is not significantly better or equal ?
The answer is the canon version has everything what the photographer may need. Exceptional image quality with very good details (eheh all macro lenses are about deails so no surprise here) with very good build quality, fast and silent USM focus motor with FTM, full time manual focusing - this means after a half-press of the exposure button and focus lock the photographer can manually fine tune the focus without the need of switching the focus mode selector to mf. This helps a lot you do not need to get of your eye from the viewfinder, just a simple touch on the broad focus ring and it is done.
At the moment it has a unique feature over all third party glass: it is an internal focusing lens what means the lens barrel does not extends when focusing closer. This is a great advantage especially when using special attachments like my homemade macro diffusor or a macro flash (like mr14ex or the twin flashes) - when these attached to a third party lens the weight of these slows down the focusing as it means extra weight to move to the focus motor. Remember, all third party lenses (tamron90 , tokina 100, sigma 105, cosina 100 3.5) extend during focusing.
To say something a bad: the lens comes without a lens hood and tripod ring: the latter is not that important, third parties don't even have the option of tripod ring.
A little back to the image quality - I had the tamron 90 before I decided to change to canon and to tell the truth I am completely stunned with the canon image quality over the tamron's. This means what I mentioned earlier, both macro lenses offer the possible highest image quality that can be bought for the EF bayonet. Although I haven't done a direct pixel-to-pixel comparision the tamron's colors and contrast are more beautiful to my personal and subjective taste - difference is marginal but I have to mention that.
All in all, I would warmly recommend any of these macro lenses to anyone who likes great optical performance and focal lenght (not to mention these focal lenght is also great for portraits) especially the tamron which offers great performance for its price and the canon which has everything what a photographer may ever need at this focal lenght (USM, FTM, IF, great build).
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Simply a dreamy lens!
This lens is an absolute must. I managed to find it for £265.00 (at an ebay shop) a couple of months ago, which makes it a genuine bargain.
The macro facility really does get you right in close without having to be right next to the subject. 5 inches is the closest you can get and still maintain focus. Focussing is all internal.
The f2.8 feature means low light is not such a problem. You can still achieve a decent shutter speed in low light however a tripod is needed when zooming right in and hand held. I haven't yet got a macro flash but I am sure it would add another dimension.
Build quality is very good. It is also an excellent lens for portrait work and the background blur (bokeh) is sooo rich and creamy it is a must! Focus is swift enough but the best feature is the sheer sharpness and detail available. It goes without saying I would strongly recommend this lens as it opens up a whole new world.
SAVE UP AND BUY IT!
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
Canon at their best.
1) For Macro use - Super sharp even at full aperture
Internal focussing means front element does not extend during focussing which makes
very close work an absolute joy
2) Portrait use The F2.8 wide aperture allows subject to be well separated from background with
3) General use Superb sharpness at all apertures, fine colour rendition and easy to use
A wonderful lens for the money- one of the best I have ever owned plus it couples so well with the Canon ringflash MR-14EX.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Micro review of a Canon Macro lens
Full-time manual focussing
Long enough not to disturb critters
Sharp edge to edge - it is an L-series, after all
Good aperture range
Image stabilised - excellent
Sometimes a little long on an APS-C body (but manageable)
Can be slow if focussing all the way from close-infinity (Canon have added a focus limiter to minimise this, or just spin the barrel manually).
An excellent Macro and reasonable portrait lens, the latter also excellent if used on a full-sized sensor. Recommended.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.