The Canon 100mm macro lens is another lens all photographers own, and the Canon 100mm f2.8L is lens is one of the best Canon l series lens I own.
First off, I’ll start with the image quality of the Canon 100mm macro lens. It is so sharp it should come with a health warning to mind your fingers. This is by far the sharpest lens I own and it is tack sharp from the centre of the frame to the edges. Used wide open at f2.8 it is sharp but stop it down and this lens is incredible. As well as being sharp the colours of the Canon 100mm macro lens are superb. Colours are bright and vivid, without being oversaturated. Distortion and pin-cushioning is well controlled throughout.
The Canon 100mm 2.8 macro lens has image stabilisation, which is something the original 100mm macro lens didn’t have, and I have to say it was this feature that convinced me to upgrade to the Canon 100mm l series macro lens from the already excellent 100mm macro lens. The image stabilisation is awesome and it allows me to use slow shutter speeds and still get handheld shots. I have to say the image stabilisation is a feature I love about this lens.
Like all Canon l series lenses the Canon 100mm macro lens is made out of top quality materials, it is tough and durable, and it is built to last. This lens is weather sealed, making it suitable for use in the great outdoors, which for a keen insect photographer like me is perfect. This is another bullet proof lens from Canon that is going to provide several years of use.
The Canon 100mm macro lens was obviously designed with macro photography in mind, however it is a versatile lens you can use for several different subjects, and after owning this lens for a few years now I find I use my Canon 100mm macro lens for:-
The main reason I bought the Canon 100mm macro lens was to capture close up photos of insects and mini beasts, and had it not been for the desire to scrabble around on my hands and knees in the dirt looking for little critters to take photos I would never have discovered how good this lens really is.
The 100mm focal length is ideal for insect photography because it allows enough working distance, i.e. lens to subject distance, to get frame filling photos without scaring the little critters away. Okay, the Canon 180mm macro lens gives a greater working distance (and when it comes to photographing insects the bigger the better) but it is a beast of a lens, it doesn’t have image stabilisation and the Canon 100mm macro lens is sharper and optically better.
The Canon 100mm f/2.8 macro lens is obviously ideal for macro shots and extreme close up shots of flowers (and parts of flowers) however it is also perfect for shots of entire flowers/bunches of flowers in their natural environment especially when you want to maximise the depth of field and have sharpness from front to back.
If I want to take photos of flowers where there is a single flower, that sharp, against a nice blurred out background I will not use the Canon 100mm macro lens because it is too sharp and the bokeh isn’t soft enough, even when used wide open. In these situations I will use the Canon 50mm f1.8 and get a slightly softer flower than I would have with the 100mm macro, but get a smooth and creamy background.
The Canon 100mm macro lens is perfect for bunches of flowers and other images where the background is no different to the subject since it allows for a super sharp shot. If I need to include any out of focus background I will not use the Canon 100mm macro lens because it is just far too sharp.
Whenever I take photos of products I want to get the sharpest and most detailed image I possibly can, and with the Canon 100mm macro lens this is possible. When I take photos of products I always use a plain background (typically white) as I want the product to be the only thing in the frame.
The Canon 100mm macro lens is, without a doubt the sharpest lens I own therefore it is my go to photography lens in the first instance.
The only disadvantage of the 100mm macro lens is that it is a prime lens therefore I have to physically move towards or away from the subject to ‘zoom in or zoom out’ as appropriate, which is fine if there is a lot of room but if space is a bit tight this is not always possible. The other problem with having to move is that I also have to move the tripod which tends to slow the process down a bit.
I only use three lenses for wedding photography, and one of those is the Canon 100mm macro lens. Yep, believe it or not, I use a 100mm macro lens for every single wedding I shoot, and I would be lost without it.
Even though many photographers use a 100mm lens for portraits, I have to say that I don’t. In my opinion, the Canon 100mm macro lens is not a good wedding portrait lens at all. I sue my 100mm macro lens for creative photos of the different wedding paraphernalia.
When I shoot weddings I use my 100mm macro lens to take close up shots of the wedding bands, close up shots of the bouquet, close up shots of the bride’s jewelry, close up shots of the grooms cufflinks and/or buttonhole, close up shots of the wedding favours, close up shots of the table places…….. There are loads of close up wedding photo opportunities you can capture with the Canon 100mm macro lens, and there is definitely a current trend for this at the moment.
The Canon 100mm macro lens is an excellent lens and one I highly recommend. Because it is a “macro” lens many people seem to think it is only suitable for macro photography, however this isn’t the case. The Canon 100mm macro lens is a versatile lens you can use for a variety of situations and if you want a lens for commercial photography and making money with your camera this lens should be at the top of your list.
Links to other Canon L lens reviews
The lens above is just one that I own and use for my photography. I, like all photographers carry many different lenses around with me and other lenses that I use include the following:-
Canon lens review – 24mm -70mm f2.8L
The 24mm – 70mm focal range is useful for many things including landscapes, portraits, seascapes, travel and for general walkabout photography, and if there is one zoom lens every photographer should have in their lens bag it is a 24-70 zoom.
I originally bought the 24-70 for portraits because I had read about (and seen) the high image quality and the smooth and creamy bokeh. It wasn’t until after I had the lens for a few weeks that I realised just how versatile it is, and I now use it for many different types of photo.
The Canon 24-70 f2.8L lens is my workhorse and a lens I couldn’t live without and if you haven’t got a 24-70 lens I have to ask the question “why not?”
For a quick and honest review of the Canon 24-70 f2.8L lens (once again, it is a lens I had to buy myself and didn’t get gifted one to road test and report on) this article is something you should read.
Canon lens reviews - 50mm f1.8 “Nifty Fifty”
I only use Canon L series lenses these days, and upgraded from all my other non- L series lenses however I did keep my Canon 50mm f1.8, and couldn’t bear to part with it.
I bought the 50mm f1.8 as the first upgrade to my kit lens, and whilst it look and feels more like a toy than a serious piece of photography equipment it is a top performer and I have managed to get some cracking images using it.
I bought the f1.8 because the f1.2L is (in my opinion) way too expensive and I couldn’t justify the high price tag. Sure I would love an f1.2 lens but I am not prepared to pay that much for it. I chose the f1.8 over the f1.4 because, whilst the 1.8 is a little slower, the image quality of the 1.4 wide open isn’t that good and at f1.8 the 1.8 and the 1.4 are identical. The 1.4 is better built but the 1.8 is far better value for money.
For an honest and unbiased review of the Canon 50mm f1.8 lens take a look at this article. This is one lens you really do need, even if you are like me and only shoot L series lenses.
Canon lens review - 70-200 f2.8L IS
Every photographer needs a standard zoom in their kit bag and a 70-200 fits the bill perfectly. The Canon 70-200 f2.8L IS lens is Canon’s flagship 70-200 zoom (it is also available in f4L, f4L IS and f2.8L versions, which are obviously cheaper) and quite rightly so.
This 70-200 is a top quality lens and is the choice of many professionals. Okay, it is expensive but then you do get what you pay for. With a maximum f2.8 aperture this zoom lens is ideal in all conditions (both indoor and outdoor as well as in good light and low light) so you will never struggle again.
For an honest and unbiased review of the 70-200 f2.8L IS lens (this is a lens I wish I was given for free to test out and report on – unfortunately I had to part with my own money, although I am so glad I did) you need to take a look at this article.
Canon lens review - 16-35 f4L IS
If you are serious about landscapes, cityscapes, seascapes and interiors you need a wide angle lens and the Canon 16-35 f4L IS should be top of your list. I chose the f4L IS over the f2.8L because the image quality of the f4L is better, the f4L is smaller, lighter and more manageable, the f4L has image stabilisation and the f4L is cheaper (you get a lot more bang for your buck).
The Canon 16-35 f4L is an awesome lens. The image quality is second to none and since it is built like a tank (i.e. very tough and durable) it is more than capable of being able to deal with whatever weather conditions Mother Nature throws at it.
For an honest and unbiased review of the 16-35 f4L IS lens from a long term user (once again, I was not blessed by any camera store for a free lens to put through its paces and report on) this article may be something you want to take a look at.
Canon lens review - 100-400L IS
The Canon 100-400 is, without a doubt, the best value for money super zoom lens on the market and I am stunned how Canon can sell such a top quality lens at such a great price. Okay, there are cheaper alternatives out there, and these cheaper alternatives go longer than 400mm but the image quality of the cheaper alternatives is absolute rubbish.
Combine that with the speed of the lenses (narrow maximum apertures of f6 or more) and it is easy to see the cheaper lenses simply aren’t worth buying. The image quality of the Canon 100 – 400 is awesome, the build quality is awesome and it is also affordable.
The Canon 100 – 400 is the ideal lens for motor sports, wildlife, bird photography and all other situations where you need to get up close to the subject whilst standing far away from it. I even use my Canon 100 – 400 for dragonfly photography! If you need a super zoom lens, and let’s face it who doesn’t? this is the lens you need.
For an honest and unbiased review of the Canon 100 – 400 from a long term user (this is one lens I didn’t have to buy because it was a gift from my wife. Strictly speaking, I guess I did buy it then – D’oh) you need to take a look at this article.
Keen photographer addicted to cameras, lenses and everything photography related. Feel free to follow me in my photography ramblings, and if you have any thoughts, comments, queries or anything else to add I would love to hear from you.