A Canon RF 100mm f/2L IS USM Macro gets a mention [CR1]

Dalantech

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Feb 12, 2015
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I have no experience with that 90mm, but both the 100mm non-L and 100mm L have severe focus breathing and are more like 70-80mm at MFD. So a true 90mm macro would indeed give more room.
The 90mm lens will also lose focal length at minimum focus...
 

Dalantech

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Feb 12, 2015
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I do a lot of macro with small critters, particularly insects, and I've been pushing this on the forum for years. Others who do critter macro work have suggested similar things. So apparently Canon continues to listen to their customer base.

With insects, more light is a huge help as I typically work handheld. The difference in DOF from f/2.8 is less of a problem than one might think, and you still have the option of stopping down. But the chief difficulty is that magnification makes motion and vibration much, much worse. Obtaining twice the light means halving the shutter speed, and that is often the difference between a keeper and a tosser in this work.
That's where you lost me, cause no one is gonna shoot at F2 with that lens unless they focus stack, and even then they're gonna have their rig on a tripod so shutter speeds aren't going to be an issue. The only benefit going from F2.8 to F2 is a brighter view finder, something that's almost a non-issue for a camera that has an EVF. Either this rumor is someone's wishful thinking, or Canon is trying to appeal to the large number of people who buy the 100mm L macro lens cause they can use it for portraits. Most people who shoot with a 100mm lens don't use it at minimum focus anyway, since it's a poor focal length for any light source. Not really enough working distance for natural light, and actually too much working distance when using a flash.
 

Dalantech

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Feb 12, 2015
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If you're going to 2:1, you can't get additional sharpness between F8 and F16, as you are diffraction-limited. Even at 0.5x magnification, diffraction is going to start becoming an issue (depending on sensor).
That's incorrect. I shoot single frame macro at F11 all the way to 5x and there is a noticeable difference in fine details between F8 and F16. It's not enough to force me to focus stack though. This is roughly 2.5x @ F11 uncrpped, single frame:

 
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Dalantech

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Feb 12, 2015
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I do, frequently.

If they were useless they wouldn't sell so many.
They sell because everyone who shoots closeups with them will recommend a 100mm macro lens when someone is seeking advice on what macro lens to buy. I even owned the USM version, and I have a 180mm L that collects dust in my closet. 99.9% of the time the MP-E 65mm is on my camera. Just received my second copy of that lens cause my 13 year old one broke again for a third time (the cable between the electrical contracts and the aperture assembly eventually wears out). Now I gotta send my old one to Canon service for repair.
 

Dalantech

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Feb 12, 2015
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I would like to have 200mm for a macro lens, working distance is very important when shooting butterflies and insects outdoor, something like Nikon 200mm F4 macro
This is a live, semi-active butterfly shot above 3x with an MP-E 65mm macro lens. 1 frame, hand held, and un-cropped in post:



Know your subject and you don't have to keep your distance...
 

Dalantech

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Feb 12, 2015
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If this CR1 rumour ends up being true, one has to applaud Canon for their innovation. A Canon RF 100mm f/2 IS USM would fill a huge range of purposes for certain photographers (myself included). As several posters have already pointed out, it could make a great portrait lens.

I owned the Canon EF 100mm USM (non L / non-IS) for some years … I was particularly glad with the macro images I got from this lens. However sometime after its release, I upgraded to the newer Canon EF 100mm macro. The main reasons were:
  • Improved AF – for non macro work in particular (the non L AF is often not accurate at longer working distances, so it made it much less useful as a portrait / candid event lens)
  • IS helps for certain handheld photos (at around 2:1 in particular.. the closer one gets to 1:1 – the more stability of subject and absolutely no camera movement is important)
I think you meant 1:2 (1/2 life size) and not 2:1 (2x). I agree that IS doesn't help much, if any, at 1x. Certainly doesn't help if a flash is the primary light source.
 
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Dalantech

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2 - ...But the thing I always miss is Canon’s macro AF capabilities. Nothing has beaten that 100mm L. I had high hopes for the Sigma 70mm, but it’s not even close (and I consider myself a card-carrying Sigma fanboy). Macro AF is hard, and Canon really figured it out. This lens will be welcome.
When you say "macro AF capabilities" are you actually shooting at 1x or higher mag, or are you just shooting closeups? At minimum focus I wouldn't trust the camera to place the area of acceptable focus where it needs to be.
 

Dalantech

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Feb 12, 2015
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What I meant (but explained badly) was that for the same set-up (camera on tripod aimed at a lit background for macro photography) it allows slightly larger objects to be photographed and fit within the frame than at 100mm without needing to move the camera back.
Nope. Macro is defined as projecting a 1:1 scale (life size) image of the subject onto the image plane (sensor or film). At a macro lense's minimum focusing distance (1x mag) an object that is 22mm square will cover an area 22mm square on the sensor no matter what macro lens you use...

P.S. Even when not shooting at 1x there is very little difference in the field of view between a 90mm and a 100mm lens. So little that I doubt you'd ever find yourself shooting with a 100mm lens and wishing it was only 90mm ;)
 
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jolyonralph

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When you say "macro AF capabilities" are you actually shooting at 1x or higher mag, or are you just shooting closeups? At minimum focus I wouldn't trust the camera to place the area of acceptable focus where it needs to be.
Actually both. I use the EF 100mm f/2.8L IS for both close-up photography (which is really where the 90mm would work better than 100mm) and for true stacked macro photography, using a Stackshot Pro. I also use the MPE-65 and various other combinations of lenses and adapted microscope objectives.
 

privatebydesign

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I bought the EF 100 f2.8 L macro on launch, my biggest disappointment with it is the fact that it is no faster than my 70-200 f2.8 zoom.

I use it as a general purpose lens in a two lens kit (the 35 f2 IS is the other) and I’d have been much happier with it if it had been an f2 because while I do a little casual macro shooting with it I primarily use it for portraits and product images. And whilst I have zero interest in moving to RF it would have more interest as an f2 than an f2.8.
 

Dalantech

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Feb 12, 2015
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Actually both. I use the EF 100mm f/2.8L IS for both close-up photography (which is really where the 90mm would work better than 100mm) and for true stacked macro photography, using a Stackshot Pro. I also use the MPE-65 and various other combinations of lenses and adapted microscope objectives.
For closeups I carry a 100 to 400 F4 - F5.6 L. I really don't view macro lenses as a viable option for natural light closeup work until the focal length hits 150mm or greater. No idea why you'd consider a 90mm macro lens better for closeup photography over a 100mm lens -the working distances will almost be the same.

The MP-E 65mm and a microscope objective are both manual focusing options. So when are you actually using AF at 1x and higher mag?