Gear Reviews

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro Lens Review

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Written By Nate Torres

In this lens review guide, I’ll be reviewing the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro. A promising macro lens among Canon’s esteemed L-series lineup.

This lens is a powerhouse when it comes to capturing macro photographs. It magnifies the unseen and presents it with clarity and precision.

Whether you’re a seasoned photographer or a budding enthusiast, this lens promises unparalleled macro capabilities.

I’ll be covering the build details, what makes this lens tick, its strengths, potential drawbacks, how it works in different scenarios, video quality, and much more.

Let’s dive in!

Prefer video? Be sure to watch the video review I made on the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro:

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro Review - The Macro King?

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro

  • Focal Length: 100mm (160mm on APS-C sensor camera due to crop factor)
  • Maximum Aperture: f/2.8
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Best For: Macro, Portraits, Products, Headshots
  • Budget: $$
Check Price on Amazon →

Quick Summary

If you’re in a hurry, here’s a quick summary.

The Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro is an L-series lens that produces sharp, high-resolution images even at its max f/2.8 aperture.

Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro Lens Flower
Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro Lens Flower

The 1:1 magnification ratio of this lens allows you to produce life-size reproductions, perfect for capturing intricate details in your macro work.

This lens also has image stabilization with its Hybrid IS system, which helps reduce camera shake, allowing you to take sharper images even when you have a slower shutter speed.

In terms of construction, it has weather-sealing and an intuitive focus ring that feels good to the touch while being durable and user-friendly.

I highly recommend this lens for macro work, detailed up-close product shots, and even portraits where subject isolation is vital!

Pros and Cons of the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro

Here are the pros and cons of the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro:

ProsCons
Optical SharpnessWeight
True 1:1 MacroFocus Hunts in Low Light
Hybrid Image Stabilization
Versatile f/2.8 Aperture
Weather-Sealed
Smoother and Accurate Autofocus
Quality Bokeh

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro Focal Length

The focal length of a lens determines its angle of view and, consequently, how much of a scene the lens can capture.

When speaking of the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro, its nominal focal length is 100mm, which offers a moderately tight framing that’s excellent for subjects like portraiture and, of course, macro photography.

However, the effective field of view that you experience with this lens changes depending on the type of camera sensor with which it is paired.

Full Frame Camera

When used on a full frame camera, the Canon EF 100mm lens gives you the true 100mm focal length.

This means you get the genuine field of view that the lens was designed to deliver—a medium telephoto perspective that is slightly compressed, perfect for isolating subjects and achieving a shallow depth of field, especially at wider apertures.

Canon EF 100mm f.28L Macro Image Size on Full Frame Sensors
Canon EF 100mm f.28L Macro Image Size on Full Frame Sensors

APS-C Sensor Camera

On an APS-C sensor camera (also known as a crop sensor camera), the smaller sensor size effectively “crops” the field of view. Canon’s APS-C sensors have a crop factor of approximately 1.6x.

So, when you use the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro lens on an APS-C camera, you’re looking at an effective focal length of about 160mm (100mm multiplied by 1.6).

Canon EF 100mm f.28L Macro Image Size on Crop Sensors
Canon EF 100mm f.28L Macro Image Size on Crop Sensors

This gives an even tighter framing than on a full frame camera, pushing the lens’s effective field of view further into the telephoto range.

While this can be advantageous for subjects that are farther away or for achieving an even more compressed perspective, it also means you might need to step back a bit more when working in confined spaces.

Whether used on a full frame or APS-C camera, this lens offers fantastic imaging capabilities, but you should be aware of the change in effective focal length.

Canon EF 100mm f.28L Full Frame vs. Crop Sensor
Canon EF 100mm f.28L Full Frame vs. Crop Sensor

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro Aperture

Now, let’s take a look at the aperture specifics of the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro.

Aperture Range

The Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro boasts a maximum aperture of f/2.8, allowing lots of light to hit the camera sensor.

Canon EF 100mm f.28L Shooting at f2.8
Canon EF 100mm f.28L Shooting at f2.8

This wide aperture allows you to capture images with a shallow depth of field and produce some beautiful background blur, which is especially useful when you want to emphasize your subject or create bokeh.

Additionally, if you want to shoot in low-light conditions, the wide maximum aperture allows you to do so without immediately resorting to using a flash or increasing your ISO.

On the narrower end of the aperture, the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro can be stopped down to a minimum aperture of around f/32.

Canon EF 100mm f.28L Shooting at f32
Canon EF 100mm f.28L Shooting at f32

This narrow aperture allows you to capture a greater depth of field, which is useful when you want more of your image in focus, especially in macro photography, where even slight changes in aperture can produce a noticeable impact on your depth of field.

Aperture Blades

Along with the aperture size, the quality of your bokeh is influenced by the shape and construction of the aperture blades.

The Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro features a rounded 9-blade diaphragm, producing a more circular and smooth bokeh, especially when compared to lenses with fewer or non-rounded blades.

This results in out-of-focus highlights that are more pleasing to the eye and less geometric.

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro Focus Mechanism

Now, let’s take a look at the focusing mechanisms of the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro.

When dealing with macro photography, precision is key, so let’s take a look at how this lens performed.

Autofocus Motor

When I first used this lens, one of the standout features was the Ultrasonic Motor (USM), which is known for being both fast and quiet.

During my sessions, I noticed that the autofocus was both swift and silent.

This was one of the most noiseless lenses I have used, and of course, there is some faint sound when autofocusing, but it is hardly noticeable, especially in natural environments or typical shooting scenarios.

Be sure to watch my video review to see how it sounds.

Canon EF 100mm EF 2.8L Using Autofocus Motor
Canon EF 100mm EF 2.8L Using Autofocus Motor

I was very surprised by this, as a similar lens I use, the Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L, also has a USM motor but produces more noise than this lens.

Autofocus Performance

When it comes to the autofocus performance of this lens, it is very impressive.

When I used this lens for macro work and to test out its portrait capabilities, it latched onto the subjects very quickly and accurately.

In low-light, I did notice that the lens hunted for focus a bit, but it was not a frequent issue during the day, but it’s something I had to work around occasionally.

Thankfully, the lens has a focus limiter switch that can help reduce hunting by limiting the range of focus distances the lens will consider.

Canon EF 100mm 2.8L Focus Limiter Switch
Canon EF 100mm 2.8L Focus Limiter Switch

Manual Focus

As mentioned, the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro is primarily a macro lens, and in macro work, manual focus is sometimes needed for those fine-tune adjustments.

I found the manual focus on this lens to be precise and very intuitive. The focus ring is nicely sized, smooth, and has a good grip — making those fine adjustments easy to make.

Canon EF 100mm 2.8L Focus Ring
Canon EF 100mm 2.8L Focus Ring

It’s not overly sensitive, so you won’t find yourself overshooting the mark, which is important in macro photography.

Canon EF 100m f2.8L Macro Lens Image
Canon EF 100m f2.8L Macro Lens Image

Minimum Focusing Distance

For this lens’ minimum focusing distance, it is approximately 0.3 meters (roughly 1 foot).

This means you can get incredibly close to your subjects and capture those fine details that often go unnoticed by the regular eye, like patterns on insect wings, the fine textures on flower petals, etc.

Focus Ring Operation

As mentioned earlier, the focus ring works well; it rotates smoothly and has no sticking points.

I think it has the right amount of resistance, not too loose and not too tight.

All-in-all, the focusing capabilities of the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro are superb. Whether you’re relying on autofocus or switching to manual focus, this lens delivers on all fronts.

You can tell Canon designed this lens for both precision and user experience.

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro

  • Focal Length: 100mm (160mm on APS-C sensor camera due to crop factor)
  • Maximum Aperture: f/2.8
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Best For: Macro, Portraits, Products, Headshots
  • Budget: $$
Check Price on Amazon →

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro Optical Design

Let’s take a look at the optical design of the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro.

Lens Elements and Groups

This lens features 15 lens elements in 12 groups. This arrangement was designed to maximize image quality and clarity, which is especially important for a macro lens.

When I used this lens for those detailed macro shots, the sharpness and clarity in the images were immediately apparent.

Aspherical Elements

Unlike other lenses, there are no aspherical elements in the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro, but the design still manages to minimize spherical aberrations.

This lens produces crisp, clean images, and I noticed very little softness or distortion, even at the edges of the image.

Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro Lens No Distortion
Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro Lens No Distortion

Plus, most editing software allows you to edit Profile Corrections, so if you do notice any little distortions, this feature will get rid of them.

Lens Coating

The lens coating on the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro is Canon’s Super Spectra Coating.

Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Super Spectra Coating
Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Super Spectra Coating

This type of coating fights against flares and ghosting. When using this lens, I noticed very little flaring.

The color remained vibrant, and the contrast was maintained, so I was happy.

Chromatic Aberrations

Chromatic aberration can often be a concern, especially with macro lenses.

However, when I used this lens, I noticed very minimal color fringing, even in high-contrast areas.

Distortion Control

Next, I tested for this lens’ distortion control.

You’ll often find distortion on shorter focal lengths and not so much on telephoto focal lengths.

Since this lens is more on the telephoto side with its 100mm focal length, this remained true, and I did not notice any barrel or pincushion distortion.

Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro No Distortion Noticed
Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro No Distortion Noticed

This is important in macro photography because you don’t want to distort straight lines or geometric patterns, which you’ll often find in macro subjects.

In summary, regarding the optical design of this lens, you can tell it was carefully engineered to handle macro photography challenges, and does a great job at producing sharp, clear, and true-to-life images.

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro Construction Materials

Now, let’s take a look at the construction materials of this macro photography beast.

Lens Barrel

The lens barrel of the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro is primarily made of high-quality plastic, which gives the lens a nice balance to it without feeling too heavy.

When I first held this lens, it felt solid, and the overall texture of the lens felt good like it wouldn’t easily slip out of my hands during longer sessions.

Canon EF 100mm 2.8L Macro Lens Barrel
Canon EF 100mm 2.8L Macro Lens Barrel

After shooting for hours with this lens, I realized this was true, and it’s a nice lens to feel and handle.

Mount

Since the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro is an L-series lens, the mount is constructed of metal, which is common.

The metal mount ensures that the connection between the lens and your camera body is secure.

Canon EF 100mm 2.8L Macro Lens Metal Mount
Canon EF 100mm 2.8L Macro Lens Metal Mount

Every time I attached the lens to my camera, the fit was snug and there was not wobble or play.

Focus Ring

The focus ring is rubberized, which provides excellent tactile feedback while remaining smoother and comfortable to handle.

Canon EF 100mm 2.8L Focus Ring
Canon EF 100mm 2.8L Focus Ring

Filter Thread

The filter thread is constructed of durable plastic. I noticed that attaching filters, like UV or polarizers, was a seamless process.

The threads are well-machined, ensuring there’s no cross-threading or difficulty when adding or removing filters.

All-in-all this lens is a testament to its solid construction, feeling both premium and purpose-built for serious macro photographers.

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro Weather Sealing

The Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro does feature weather sealing, which is excellent news if you are more of an adventurous photographer.

This weather sealing will add a layer of protection against dust or any moisture you may encounter when getting up close and personal with your macro subjects.

Canon EF 100mm 2.8L Macro Lens Weather Sealing
Canon EF 100mm 2.8L Macro Lens Weather Sealing

Weather sealing adds that peace of mind when I am out on shoots and allows me to focus more on the shot and less on whether anything will get in my lens and potentially damage my equipment.

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro

  • Focal Length: 100mm (160mm on APS-C sensor camera due to crop factor)
  • Maximum Aperture: f/2.8
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Best For: Macro, Portraits, Products, Headshots
  • Budget: $$
Check Price on Amazon →

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro Weight

Let’s look at the weight of this lens, which can often be a determining factor in choosing a lens, especially if you are a photographer who has to be constantly on the move or shoot with it for long periods of time.

You don’t want a boulder attached to your neck, you know!

The Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro weighs approximately 625 grams, which is about 1.38 pounds.

Canon 100mm EF f2.8L Weight
Canon 100mm EF f2.8L Weight

Now, this is a bit on the heavier side, especially when you compare this lens to other non-macro or non-L series lenses, but it’s important to factor in the feature set and build quality of this lens.

When I first held the lens, the weight was immediately noticeable. It felt solid and durable, but it wasn’t just weight for weight’s sake. It felt high-quality.

Despite its weight, the lens is not overly burdensome, in fact, I found that the weight added a bit to the overall stability of the lens, especially when you’re shooting handheld macro photography.

When shooting handheld, you can stabilize the lens by holding the lens barrel, and the weight of the lens seemed to provide a nice counterbalance, reducing any minor hand jitters I had when photographing.

When shooting during more extended periods, this is when I did notice the weight, especially if I was on the move.

The weight never felt uncomfortable or inconvenient, though, especially when paired with a balanced camera body.

If you pair this lens with a lighter camera body like an APS-C crop sensor camera, then you might feel some front-heavy tilt, so just be aware of that.

If you’re a photographer who’s used to more lightweight prime lenses, then there might be a slight adjustment period, but given the optical performance, image stabilization, and build quality of the lens, I found the weight of this lens to be a fair trade-off.

If you’re going for an extended shooting session, just make sure to bring a camera bag so you can rest your neck or hands if you’re walking for an extended period of time.

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro Image Stabilization

Next up, we have the Image Stabilization (IS) capabilities of the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro.

The Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro is equipped with Canon’s Hybrid Image Stabilization system, and the “hybrid” here comes from the fact that it corrects for both angular and shift camera shake.

Canon EF 100mm 2.8L Macro Lens Image Stabilization
Canon EF 100mm 2.8L Macro Lens Image Stabilization

This is particularly beneficial for macro photography, where even the slightest of movements are magnified.

When I first used this lens for some handheld macro work, I immediately appreciated the IS system.

With it, I was able to shoot at slower shutter speeds than I typically would without stabilization, and the results were still sharp!

For example, when I was photographing a flower, I was able to just lower my shutter speed without having to ramp up my ISO or compromise on my aperture settings, and I was still able to capture a sharp image!

image of flower using Canon 100mm EF f2.8L Macro Using Slowing Shutter Speed
Canon 100mm EF f2.8L Macro Using Slowing Shutter Speed

The operation of the IS system is relatively silent. While there’s a faint hum if you listen closely, it’s unobtrusive, and I never found it to be a distraction.

Furthermore, the stabilization kicks in smoothly without any jarring or sudden corrections, which is something I’ve noticed in lesser lenses.

One of the real tests for me was shooting in lower light conditions without a tripod.

Canon 100mm EF f2.8L Macro Low Light Image
Canon 100mm EF f2.8L Macro Low Light Image

Here, the lens’s IS system truly shined. It provided the stability I needed to capture detailed, sharp images without the constraints of a tripod.

Of course, for the absolute best macro results, a tripod is always recommended, but it’s reassuring to know that the lens’s IS is there as a robust safety net.

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro

  • Focal Length: 100mm (160mm on APS-C sensor camera due to crop factor)
  • Maximum Aperture: f/2.8
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Best For: Macro, Portraits, Products, Headshots
  • Budget: $$
Check Price on Amazon →

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro Image Quality

Let’s look at the image quality of this lens across its three primary uses:

Macro Photography

The Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro truly shines in its intended domain: macro photography.

Canon EF 100mm 2.8L Macro Lens Example Image of Flower
Canon EF 100mm 2.8L Macro Lens Example Image of Flower

The 1:1 magnification of this lens allows you to capture subjects in life-size detail.

When shooting with this lens, I’m able to notice intricate patterns, textures, and details that you just can’t see with the regular eye!

Canon EF 100mm 2.8L Macro Lens Example Close-Up of Flower
Canon EF 100mm 2.8L Macro Lens Example Close-Up of Flower

This lens also offers a crispness in these details which is very important for good macro shoots.

Canon EF 100mm 2.8L Macro Lens Macro Shot of Flower
Canon EF 100mm 2.8L Macro Lens Macro Shot of Flower

As mentioned earlier, the Hybrid Image Stabilization of this lens counters hand shake which I love!

Product Photography

How does the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro fair for product photography?

For product shots, this lens captures precise and clear images, both just as important for good product photos!

When I photographed an old Minolta camera I have, I was able to notice intricate engravings and textures on the fabric that were captured with great clarity.

Canon EF 100mm 2.8L Macro Lens for Product Photography
Canon EF 100mm 2.8L Macro Lens for Product Photography

The wide f/2.8 aperture was also useful for capturing a shallow depth of field, important for highlight product details while gently blurring out any distractions.

Overall, this lens is an excellent tool for product photographers who need to capture the intricate details of their products for their online listings.

Portrait Photography

A macro lens for portrait photography?!

Yes! I’ve found the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro and its 100mm focal length is fantastic for portraits, offering a flattering perspective and natural compression.

image of portrait demonstrating Canon 100mm EF f2.8L Macro for Portrait Photography
Canon 100mm EF f2.8L Macro for Portrait Photography

When I used this lens for portrait sessions, the images were sharp, and the wide f/2.8 aperture allows you to have beautiful bokeh, isolating your subject effectively against the background.

Skin tones looked natural, and the overall color reproduction was top-notch.

I also noticed that when shooting wide open, the subject’s eyes remained tack-sharp and there was no “fall-off” regarding sharpness.

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro F-Stop Ranges

To fully explore how this lens performs, I tested the image quality at different f-stop ranges, let’s check it out:

flower photo showing Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro at f2.8
Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro at f2.8
photo of flower showing Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro at f4
Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro at f4
photo of flower showing Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro at f5.6
Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro at f5.6
photo of flower showing Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro at f8
Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro at f8
photo of flower showing Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro at f11
Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro at f11
photo of flower showing Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro at f16
Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro at f16
photo of flower showing Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro at f22
Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro at f22
photo of flowing at Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro at f32
Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro at f32

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro

  • Focal Length: 100mm (160mm on APS-C sensor camera due to crop factor)
  • Maximum Aperture: f/2.8
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Best For: Macro, Portraits, Products, Headshots
  • Budget: $$
Check Price on Amazon →

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro Video Quality

How does the video quality for the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro fair? The Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro is not just a photographer’s tool; it holds its own in the videography realm.

Let’s take a closer look:

Autofocus System

One of the first things you’ll notice when using this lens for video is the autofocus system.

As mentioned earlier, the USM motor of this lens ensures a smooth and relatively quiet experience.

Be sure to watch the video review I gave on this lens in the beginning to see the autofocus system in action!

Hybrid Image Stabilization

Next up is the Hybrid Image Stabilization of the lens. When using this lens for handheld video footage, you’ll appreciate the IS because it greatly helps in reducing jitters and shakes, resulting in smoother footage.

Video Quality

In terms of the video quality itself, it’s similar to the image quality. The color reproduction and sharpness I admired in images translated seamlessly to video.

Canon EF 100mm 2.8L Macro Lens for Video
Canon EF 100mm 2.8L Macro Lens for Video

The depth of field at f/2.8 adds a cinematic touch, allowing you to capture subjects and have them stand out against a beautifully blurred background — important for interviews or close-ups!

Flexibility

Lastly, while the 100mm focal length of this lens can be limiting in tight spaces or for wide-angle shots, it’s important to remember this lens shines in specific videography needs.

Canon EF 100mm 2.8L Macro Lens for Video for Close-Up Shots
Canon EF 100mm 2.8L Macro Lens for Video for Close-Up Shots

I found this lens particularly useful for close-up shots, interviews, or any other scenarios where a tight frame or subject isolation was needed, other than that, you may want to use another lens for video work!

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro Low-Light Performance

Let’s take a closer look at how the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro performs in low-light conditions.

Aperture Advantage

First, the f/2.8 aperture of this lens provides a clear advantage over other lenses with narrower aperture when shooting in dimly lit settings.

Canon EF f2.8L Macro in Low Light
Canon EF f2.8L Macro in Low Light

The wider aperture will allow more light to hit the camera sensor, giving you more flexibility to maintain faster shutter speeds and lower ISO values.

Image Stabilization

The Hybrid IS of the lens also plays a crucial role in your low-light endeavors.

When you don’t have a tripod and need to hand-hold the camera in dim conditions, you often need to slow the shutter speed down to let more light in.

If this is the case, the IS will help counteract against the camera shake often resulting from slower shutter speeds.

Autofocus Performance

Next up, let’s talk about the autofocus performance and the USM.

In low-light conditions, I did notice a very slight slowdown in its responsiveness as the light levels dropped, however, it wasn’t to the point of becoming a hindrance.

The lens still did a great job of locking on to the subject with reasonable accuracy, although there was a little patience involved in this particularly challenging lighting condition.

Noise and Grain

Noise and grain are often caused due to using very high ISO settings because you need more light and you can’t adjust your shutter speed and aperture any further.

Well when I used this lens in low-light scenarios, due to the wide aperture and ability to use slower shutter speed with the Hybrid IS, I could keep my ISO at a moderate level.

This allowed me to minimize any potential noise or grain in the final images.

In summary, when using this lens in low-light conditions, while no lens can fully negate the challenges posed by dim conditions, the combination of a wide aperture and robust image stabilization made it considerably easier to achieve great results.

I tested the image quality during low-light at different f-stop ranges, let’s check it out:

image of flower using Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro in Low Light at f2.8 ISO 3200
Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro in Low Light at f2.8 ISO 3200
image of flower using Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro in Low Light at f4 ISO 6400
Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro in Low Light at f4 ISO 6400
image of a flower I took at Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro in Low Light at f5.6 ISO 8000
Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro in Low Light at f5.6 ISO 8000
image of flower I took using my Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro in Low Light at f8 ISO 12800
Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro in Low Light at f8 ISO 12800
image of a flower I took using Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro in Low Light at f11 ISO 20000
Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro in Low Light at f11 ISO 20000
image of a flower I took using my Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro in Low Light at f16 ISO 25600
Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro in Low Light at f16 ISO 25600
image of a flower I took using my Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro in Low Light at f22 ISO 32000
Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro in Low Light at f22 ISO 32000
image of a flower I took using my Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro in Low Light at f32 ISO 40000
Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro in Low Light at f32 ISO 40000

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro

  • Focal Length: 100mm (160mm on APS-C sensor camera due to crop factor)
  • Maximum Aperture: f/2.8
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Best For: Macro, Portraits, Products, Headshots
  • Budget: $$
Check Price on Amazon →

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro Compatible Cameras

The Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro is designed for Canon’s EF mount, making it compatible with a wide array of Canon DSLRs. Here’s a breakdown of the main categories of compatible cameras:

Full-Frame DSLRs

Being an EF lens, the 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro is naturally compatible with Canon’s full-frame DSLRs.

When used on these cameras, photographers can take full advantage of the lens’s designed field of view. Some popular full-frame Canon DSLRs include:

  • Canon EOS 5D Mark I
  • Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Canon EOS 5D Mark III
  • Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
  • Canon EOS 6D and 6D Mark II
  • Canon EOS 1D and 1DX series

APS-C (Crop Sensor) DSLRs

The lens can also be used with Canon’s APS-C sensor DSLRs. When mounted on these cameras, there’s a 1.6x crop factor, making the lens’s effective focal length 160mm. This might be an advantage for those seeking even more reach for macro or portrait photography. Popular APS-C Canon DSLRs include:

  • Canon EOS Rebel T3
  • Canon EOS Rebel T3i
  • Canon EOS Rebel T4i
  • Canon EOS Rebel T5
  • Canon EOS Rebel T5i
  • Canon EOS Rebel T6
  • Canon EOS Rebel T6i
  • Canon EOS Rebel T7
  • Canon EOS Rebel T7i
  • Canon EOS 80D
  • Canon EOS 90D
  • Canon EOS 7D
  • Canon EOS 7D Mark II

Mirrorless Cameras with Adapters

While the lens is primarily designed for DSLRs, it’s worth noting that it can be used with Canon’s EOS R series of mirrorless cameras using the Canon EF to EOS R adapter.

This provides users of Canon’s newer mirrorless systems the flexibility to use this superb macro lens. Some EOS R cameras include:

  • Canon EOS R
  • Canon EOS RP
  • Canon EOS R5
  • Canon EOS R6

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro Accessories

There are many accessories you can use with the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro lens, enhancing its usability and protection. Below is a list of some common and beneficial accessories:

Lens Hood

ET-73: This lens hood is specifically designed for the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro.

It serves to block unwanted stray light from entering the lens, preventing lens flare and ensuring maximum contrast and image quality. Additionally, it provides some protection for the lens from accidental bumps.

Protective Filters

UV Filters: A UV filter can protect the front element of the lens from dust, dirt, and potential scratches. It can also help filter out UV light, though this is less of a concern with modern digital sensors.

Circular Polarizers

These filters can help enhance the contrast and colors in an image, particularly in scenes with skies or reflections.

Lens Caps

E-67 II 67mm Lens Cap: This is the standard front lens cap for the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro, which helps protect the lens when not in use.

Lens Dust Cap E (Rear Lens Cap): Protects the rear element and electronic contacts when the lens is not attached to a camera.

Extension Tubes

Canon EF 12 II and EF 25 II: While the lens itself offers 1:1 macro magnification, these extension tubes can be added between the lens and the camera body to achieve even greater magnification for extreme close-up shots.

Macro Ring Lites

Canon MR-14EX II and MT-26EX-RT: These are macro ring flashes that fit around the lens, providing even lighting for close-up macro shots. They are especially helpful in illuminating intricate details in shadowed areas or when shooting in low-light conditions.

Tripod Collar

Tripod Mount Ring D(B): This accessory provides added stability when using the lens on a tripod, especially for prolonged macro shots where absolute stability is required.

Lens Case

LP1219 Soft Lens Pouch: A soft protective case designed specifically for storing and carrying the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro. It shields the lens from dust and minor impacts.

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro

  • Focal Length: 100mm (160mm on APS-C sensor camera due to crop factor)
  • Maximum Aperture: f/2.8
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Best For: Macro, Portraits, Products, Headshots
  • Budget: $$
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Final Verdict

In conclusion, over the course of my time with the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro, I’ve found it to consistently perform as a top-tier macro lens, worth of its place among the esteemed Canon L-series lineup.

From its optical design to its robust build quality, this lens stands as a testament to the commitment Canon delivers in their professional-grade equipment.

While the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro is primarly recognized for its macro capabilities, the versatility of this lens surprised me.

From portraits, to product photography, and to even videography, you can benefits immensely from the sharpness, beautiful bokeh, and effective image stabilization of this lens.

The wide f/2.8 aperture, combined with the Hybrid Image Stabilization will also ensure you that you can venture into low-light conditions without having to worry too much about its performance.

No lens, however, is without its quirks. The 100mm focal length of this lens when used on an APS-C crop sensor camera will turn it into a 160mm lens, which may be slightly more telephoto for some users. And while its autofocus is fast in well-lit conditions, I did notice some slight slowdown in dark lighting conditions.

Yes, these minor caveats don’t detract from this lens’ overall prowess as a top-notch lens. Whether you’re a macro photographer, portrait photographer, product photographer, or just someone looking to capture the intricacies of your cubject, then the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro will provde to be an invaluable companion.

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro

  • Focal Length: 100mm (160mm on APS-C sensor camera due to crop factor)
  • Maximum Aperture: f/2.8
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Best For: Macro, Portraits, Products, Headshots
  • Budget: $$
Check Price on Amazon →

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