Interactive Lens Reviews and Opinion.
Digital Camera Reviews

Reviews Views Date of last review
15 208165 11/18/2013
Recommended By Average Purchase
100% of reviewers $890.31
Reader Review Rating Averages
Readers' rating for
Construction Quality
Readers' rating for
Image Quality
Overall Rating

Keywords: Canon EF Tele Prime Macro 35mm IS Stabilized USM tested


Registered: October 2013
Posts: 7
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM review by caMARYnon
Review Date: 11/18/2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

Pros: Impressive IQ, excellent IS, very accurate AF
Cons: nothing

Nothing new to add.

Registered: April 2013
Posts: 5
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM review by gunzorro
Review Date: 4/4/2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $800.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: Just about a perfect lens!
Cons: Big lens shade (I usually use a shorter, screw-in shade)

One of the best built and sharpest lenses I've ever owned. Great IS, great color. Part of my "perfect FF trio":
24 TSE II, 50/1.2L, and 100L macro.

My only wish (very minor) is that the design was shorter to accommodate a recessed front element so no shade would be required for most shooting.

Registered: March 2013
Posts: 14
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM review by hdhani
Review Date: 3/26/2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $700.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: Image quality, focus ring, AF speed (for a macro), weight
Cons: The body is made of polycarbonate NOT metal

This is, as Bryan Carnathan at Digital Picture mentioned, a fun-per-dollar lens, and i wholeheartedly agree with him. Mounted on APS-C body, it becomes 160 mm lens which is great for taking candid pictures; if chances present itself you can shoot close-up without changing lens. However, this lens will mostly act as a second lens, accompanying standard zooms/ primes. Detail shot is where this lens shines. Corner-to-corner sharpness is wonderful. The Hybrid IS is useful IMO for handheld macro shots.
For anybody looking for Macro lens which is versatile enough, this lens is worth consideration.

Registered: December 2010
Posts: 3
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM review by marduk360
Review Date: 7/16/2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $1,000.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, Fast and accurate AF, Lightweight without feeling cheap
Cons: No Tripod ring, HIS (regular IS would have sufficed)

Very sharp and fast/accurate AF. Focusing is very silent too. The focusing ring has a smooth feel to it, but somehow feels a bit too loose (imo only).

The build quality is very good despite the material used.
Feels solid but light for its size.

Only gripe is that there is no Tripod Ring included.... the MSRP of the original is ridiculous. Probably would settle for a 3P solution.

Another gripe, is that HIS is still not thoroughly tested to warrant being release to the public. Its only purpose in this lens (IMO) is to drive the price up and to differentiate it with the non-L 100 macro. I believe the normal IS would have sufficed for this release (for short telephoto use).

Registered: May 2012
Posts: 3
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM review by kruprathai
Review Date: 6/10/2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 0 

Pros: Sharpness is outstandin.

The 100mm f/2.8L Macro Lens is Canon's mid-telephoto macro lens to include Canon's sophisticated Image Stabilization. With the highest quality optics available, combined with near-silent Ultrasonic focusing and life-size close-up capabilities without an adapter, the EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM is simply unrivalled.

This is the first lens on the market to incorporate Canon's Hybrid Image Stabilization Technology. Hybrid IS effectively compensates for both angular and shift camera shake during close-up shooting. The lens was developed to expand users' photographing range and allow a wider range of users to easily enjoy macro photography.

See Test Lens :

More Detail :


Registered: September 2011
Posts: 5
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM review by shroud72
Review Date: 9/28/2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $795.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: Quality optics, amazing color and contrast, 4 stop hybrid IS, bokeh, lens barrel does not rotate during focusing
Cons: a bit expensive over the non-IS Canon version but inexpensive for an L lens

Wow, where do I start, this is truly a very magical piece of glass. I am always amazed at the quality of the images that I get from it when I use it.
For the price of 1 lens you are able to get 3 purposes:

1. Portraits
2. Short Telephoto
3. Macro

Many people may argue that you should not take portraits with this lens as the results are too sharp, however I find that you can always soften an image in post processing if needed but I am always happy with the results and the bokeh that this lens produces with portraits.

Short Telephoto
100mm equal to 160mm on a crop sensor makes a nice distance to shoot short telephotos from. The added plus is the new hybrid 4 stop IS which works rather well. This lens is sharp at 2.8 but stop it down to 4.0 and its sharp as a razor blade.

This lens makes handheld macro shots possible although it does take some practice with the shallow depth of field.

Sample Shots:

Macro Flowers

Macro Bugs

Short Telephoto

Registered: August 2011
Posts: 4
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM review by JeanP
Review Date: 8/20/2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $850.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: L-quality optics, lightweight and wethersealed
Cons: none

This is also a very nice portraitlens on my 400D. Use this lens on f2.8 and further up to f16 and your results will be nice and with good contrast.
I had to send my lens with my 400D to a service point for calibration.My copy had focusproblems (also on a new 7D at the shop)
After this calibration (lens is paired with camera) my pictures are very sharp and nice.
This calibration is a well known (at least at the servicecenter) issue and is carried out under warranty.

I am very satisfied with this level of Canonservice.

Registered: November 2008
Posts: 31
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM review by MartinM
Review Date: 7/29/2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $1,050.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: IQ, AF Speed, IS, weather sealing
Cons: none i can think of

I used to have the Olympus 50 F2 Macro, which dpreview rates as the best IQ they ever saw. Now actually this one is not better, but at least as good.

The IS is a real help when taking movies with the 5D2 and of course when taking pictures on portrait distances.

Due to its really fast AF, this lens is a very appealing dual purpose lens too. It can do excellent macro aswell as serve as a general medium telephoto prime.

The 135L and the 200L2.8 have no sealing. This one has a full weather sealing. I'ld wish my other primes would have a sealing.

Simply worth the price tag you pay.

Registered: May 2011
Posts: 2
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM review by MS
Review Date: 5/6/2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $1,049.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: IQ, IS, rugged
Cons: none

Wow. I wish all lens had the IQ this one does. The resolution, color and bokeh are all top notch. IS and autofocus work great. Nice build quality, plastic but very good plastic and as a result light weight for its size. This is perhaps the top "bang for the buck" of the L glass since the IQ as a tele is in the "best of the best" short list, as is the IQ for macro, so two top lens in one. Plus this lens won't get stranded when I upgrade from 50d to 5d3 full frame.

Registered: November 2010
Posts: 19
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM review by 3systemuser
Review Date: 3/25/2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $800.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: super fast AF for a macro , decent sharpness , no distortion, very effective IS , sealed.
Cons: as a macro lens it is not as good as the Zeiss 100f2, like the previos guy said it hunts in close focus distance.

the Zeiss 100f2 zE is a better lens for landscapes or macro works but this one is more practical for almost anything elese and oh well, this one at least have some sort of sealings and very effective IS, so I just use it for low light street work.

I never use this lens for macro after my first 3 test shots with a tiny flower on a side walk.

If you are buying it as a macro lens , I'd say get a Tamron 90 macro and save some.

if you are getting ultimate 100 mm prime for landscapes or some very very critical works , get the Zeiss like I did.

if you want a good all around low light mid tel lens with super fast AF with IS, get this one.

so , imo , the Tamron 90 , the Zeiss 100 and this one are all excellent lenses but designed to do different things well.

I think I will keep all 3 of these.

I love this focal range , I sold my 135f2L after I got this one and Zeiss 100f2 zE.

I mean the 135L is a better lens optically but this one has sealed barrel and very very good IS, so it is the most practical mid tele lens available for Canon EF mount.

Registered: June 2008
Posts: 4
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM review by bridges
Review Date: 1/6/2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $988.00| Rating: 7 

Pros: silent, Sharp, fast AF
Cons: not accurate AF, slow with IS

good 100mm macro lenses, it's well built but not heavy. Not sure it meets requirements for 'L' sign like others, maybe Canon is getting lax on this?

focus limiters is needed, if IS is on it hunts a lot. If off, may as well get the no-IS and save $$$$. I use tripod anyway.

compared it to the Sigma 105 Macro it's a bit sharper, but not sure if worth the extra cost. Against the old non-IS, it's similar, maybe the non-IS has a slight edge. It comes down to tripod and cost again.

Registered: December 2009
Posts: 3
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM review by nathanielgeorgeweir
Review Date: 10/4/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $959.99| Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, light, distortionless, effective IS, weathersealed, Fast af with limiter
Cons: Loud IS, mediocre build for an L lens

Very sharp and easy to use, big switches, and loud but effective IS. Very sharp at f2.8 and ridiculous at f8. Buy it now!!!

Registered: April 2010
Posts: 8
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM review by PhilUKNet
Review Date: 4/26/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $1,082.00| Rating: 8 

Pros: High build quality, none of the AF problems of its predecessor
Cons: Expensive, new IS system is of limited use, not the greatest telephoto lens

A 100mm macro lens always figured in my lens requirements list but I had problems with the old Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 macro. It was OK in macro mode but the AF was hopeless when I used it as a telephoto lens. I got frustrated with so many OOF shots that I sold it.

I was pleased when Canon announced this lens and I knew that I would buy it. It's a very good lens but I haven't been quite as blown away with it as I thought I would.

As a macro lens it performs well, but as far as being better than the old macro lens for close-up work that is debatable.

The new whizzy hybrid IS system gets turned off when I do macro because I always use a tripod.

As a telephoto lens it has none of the AF problems of its predecessor, but I've compared it directly with the cheap EF 85mm f/1.8 and I prefer the photos from its poor brother.

When used in telephoto mode I also prefer the EF 70-200 f/4L IS - better colours, image quality, and IS.

Where does this leave the new 100mm f/2.8L IS macro?

The new hybrid IS system was apparently designed for macro but I don't use it when doing macro.

The image quality for macro isn't a great deal better than its predecessor, and if I want a medium telephoto lens for portrait work I prefer my 85mm f/1.8 or my 70-200 f/4L IS.

If you plan on doing mostly macro work, with a little bit of telephoto, this lens might be for you.

If you plan on doing mostly telephoto work, with a little bit of macro, you might be better off buying the 85mm f/1.8 plus an extension tube. The 85mm is a better portrait lens (in my humble opinion), and used with an extension tube it becomes a useful macro lens.

Registered: January 2010
Posts: 1
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM review by mariorosado
Review Date: 1/29/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $500.00| Rating: 8 

Pros: High quality image
Cons: Slow Focusing

I bought this lens when it arrive to the market, my expectations were very high and i was a bit sad with the slow focus when using the image stabilizer.

all the rest are excellent.

Registered: October 2008
Posts: 13
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM review by kinematic
Review Date: 11/5/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $1,000.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: Very, very sharp lens. IS makes it possible to handhold macro shots. On FF makes an excellent portrait and walk around lens.
Cons: No Tripod ring - boo Canon. Noisier than usual IS.

There aren't too many lenses I would give the highest marks possible, but this lens is my most favourite piece of glass that Canon has ever made. Everything they could learn from the original 100mm macro and then add the new hybrid IS onto it was put into this package.

The only thing that annoys me is that this lens does not come with a factory tripod ring which is unusual for an L-series lens. Is it necessary? Not totally, as it is pretty light weight and shouldn't put too much strain on your lens mount.

Build quality is the usual high quality polycarbonate L-series engineered plastic. It's lightweight but does still have some decent mass to it. I normally like steel cased lenses, but it doesn't bother me that this lens isn't. Keeps it light weight and easy to tote around.

Sharpness is by far the top of the heap even at F2.8. I used to rave on about the Nikon 105 VR, but this just beats it. Especially since the IS actually works in Macro mode (Unlike the Nikon which shuts of VR when you get closer to the macro range) and with the hybrid IS is very useful.

I found the IS a touch noisy. Most noticeable in a very quiet room, but perhaps I have sensitive ears. It's like a casino in the distance but it's not going to disturb anyone, and even with the 5DmkII's overly sensitive internal mic, is barely picked up by it.

The vignetting in full frame is noticeable at F2.8 at the edges by just a touch but it's desirable when doing portrait or even street photography. My 24-105 has gone to the shelf as a result of this lens. The background blur or bokeh is very smooth, silky and desirable.

The focus limiters are very handy as well if you want to shoot action with it. Three positions is just perfect. AF is pretty snappy, even better when you put the limiters on, however in low light there's some seeking that happens. I kind of expected that.

Last thing to add is the 67mm filters was a little annoying at first, but with step up rings is no long a problem (Most of my lenses are 77mm so I got a 67-77mm step-up ring). The plus to this size I found was that I could put my Raynox DCR-250 directly on it with no need for a step up ring. This really increased my magnification and the pairing is quite nice. Easy to pocket the Raynox adapter and just add it if I need that extra zoom.

The included lens hood is very large. It can be a little cumbersome and in the way. If you like to manually focus, you'l always have it in the forward position as it generally obstructs the very substantial focus ring.

I highly recommend this lens not just as a macro, but as an all around walk around prime. You'll not be disappointed. Is this worth the premium over the original 100mm, that will be a little more difficult to say. The sharpness is about the same, but with the IS and the fact that the front element does not extend is hugely worth it to me.


This document copyright © 2009-2015,, all rights reserved.