Lens: Canon EF 100mm ƒ/2.8 USM Macro (Photography Museum)

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Canon EF 100mm ƒ/2.8 USM Macro

The Canon EF 100mm ƒ/2.8 USM Macro is a sharp telephoto lens for close-up work. This lens was released by Canon in 2000 and I bought my copy around 2005. The IS L-version was released in 2009, but the non-L version is still being produced in 2020.

Macro is one of those funny photographic genres: some people do it exclusively, while others would only like to dabble in it. I am in the second group. But the thing is, without a specialized macro lens it is hard to even try out macro photography (which I define as a subject to sensor-projection ratio of 1:2 or greater).

As a dabbler I wanted a fairly fast but inexpensive lens with 1:1 magnification. A shorter focal length (e.g., 65mm) offers a smaller lens, but then working distance is also very short. I settled on the 100mm focal length because it would also be useful as an all-round lens and for general studio and reproduction work. To get achieve greater magnification I often use it with extension tubes.

Without image stabilization this focal-length can be tricky to use handheld.

I find that focus stacking is also often required to achieve a decent depth of field, but this is a concern with all macro lenses.

If I was in the market for a 100mm macro today I would seriously consider buying the image-stabilized L-version lens instead (I have seen it priced at $749 with an instant rebate).

Early-2020 MSRP prices comparison:

 Canon EF 100mm ƒ/2.8 USM Macro $599
 Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM $899




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