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

SwissFrank

from EOS 1N to R
Dec 9, 2018
491
227
The EF 100mm has so many good reviews, I was curious about how it performs on the R (or R5).
I haven't heard of a single EF lens not performing identically on R. I had about 15 EF lenses when I first got my R and never notice any image quality issue or slow autofocus etc. The EF's I still want to keep shooting on my R are the 135/2, 180/3.5 and 600/4IS. These three stand out because 1) they're the two sharpest black lenses (all the telephoto whites are sharp), 2) the lens formula's back glass is nowhere near the lens mount, causing me to assume that even if/when an RF version comes out it won't be improved by the new-found freedom to get much closer to the sensor, unlike the wide-angles and standard zooms.

However, with the exception of these 135mm+ telephotos, I think ALL the RF lenses are going to be far superior to the EF counterparts, and I'd advise to wait for a native RF version. (Example: RF 50/1.2 literally 10x sharper than EF; RF24-105/2IS far smaller than EF MkII while sharper than EF MkI; IS can be better coordinated with body thx to higher bandwidth communication; shorter flange-sensor distance allows sharper and smaller wide-angles.)

I could recommend the EF 180/3.5 Macro as being extremely cheap second-hand considering how good the image quality is. If you bought used, you may be able to sell used for about what you paid if/when a native 100/2Macro comes out. On the other hand, I've never really used the 180 for general purpose shooting (eg, portraits) in part due to size and in part due to AF speed. When I eBay stuff I'll put the 180 on the camera and shoot all the product shots with it, macro and non-macro, but that's the only time I use it non-macro.
 
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Jethro

EOS R
CR Pro
Jul 14, 2018
480
376
BTW I found that appealing when I heard of it, though I've also used macros with closeup lenses, extension tubes, and teleconverters. You can get closer than 1:1 when you need to.
Keeping the f/2.8 at closer than 1:1 is ... fun.
 

H. Jones

Photojournalist
Aug 1, 2014
591
1,006
I wonder if this lens rumor was ultimately just a mistaken reference to the 85mm F/2 IS Macro? Only off by 15mm and otherwise identical description.

Hoping Canon will soon release a true 1:1 macro for the R series though. Definitely would have a place in my kit, I love even the 0.5x of the R5.
 

Joel C

EOS R6, EOS R, EOS RP
CR Pro
Sep 22, 2019
66
63
Tacoma, WA
I do plan to get that RF 85mm f2 macro. It looks like a great lens, and is far more affordable than the RF 85mm f1.2 (and I already have the RF 50mm f1.2).

I wanted a good macro lens for my R and R5 (whenever I finally get my preorder). I like the RF 35mm, but, it only magnifies so close. The EF 100mm has so many good reviews, I was curious about how it performs on the R (or R5). Especially if the wait for a similar RF lens might be a long time.
That Laowa is a good option that might work as a stop gap, I did not find a personal advantage over the 35mm RF macro for still objects. I am looking forward to the 85mm macro for moving macros (I shoot a lot of underwater subjects that are alive) That's just me though
 

LightCaptured

EOS R5
Aug 17, 2020
5
1
Thanks for all of the suggestions. I will have to think on this. Especially because I am sure Canon will eventually release an RF true macro down the road. Especially if they are planning to eventually ease out of EF production and into all RF production. But hearing that the EF 100mm works really well with R cameras is a plus, and something I will keep in mind. I may end-up with that one to hold me over for the eventual true RF macro lens. But I am curious to see how well the RF 85mm f2 performs on flowers and such (the main reason I might use, aside from the occasional portrait).
 

Bonich

EOS M50
Apr 29, 2019
39
35
I do plan to get that RF 85mm f2 macro. It looks like a great lens, and is far more affordable than the RF 85mm f1.2 (and I already have the RF 50mm f1.2).

I wanted a good macro lens for my R and R5 (whenever I finally get my preorder). I like the RF 35mm, but, it only magnifies so close. The EF 100mm has so many good reviews, I was curious about how it performs on the R (or R5). Especially if the wait for a similar RF lens might be a long time.
I am working with the EOS R adapted to the 2.8 100mm Macro IS for over one year now: It is a great combo! And it will be with the R5 as well (this lens is sharp, you know). All is doing great, AF, IS (if needed). I often use the collar, easy changing landscape vs portrait orientation, ultra low perspectives, ...
This macro lens is the most used from all EF lenses adapted to the EOS R.
 
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pj1974

80D, M5, 7D, & lots of glass and accessories!
Oct 18, 2011
681
207
Adelaide, Australia
I very much look forward to purchasing (and then obviously receiving) the Canon R5. I love my Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 L IS USM lens.. it's been a workhorse for me, both in terms of macro photography, as well as portraits, and events on my DSLRs.

Over the past few years I have even used the 100mm L on a few occasions on my M5 (with the EF-EFM adapter) - and it works extremely well from a functionality perspective, though the ergonomics are not great (as the M5 grip isn't as comfortable for me with larger EF lenses adapted and mounted.

It's great to hear others positive experiences using the 100mm L with the R (and RP) - and indeed even some initial reports of people using it on the R5. I expect the 100mm f/2.8 L lens will continue to serve me well for years to come, as I plan to use it adapted on my R5.

Having written that, though, if there is some amazing feature on a new RF mount macro lens, that might tempt me to upgrade. These features might be 2:1 macro capability and/or a significantly brighter aperture.
 

Kit Lens Jockey

EOS R
CR Pro
Nov 12, 2016
883
599
Enough with the IS, enough with the macro. Just announce a 50/1.8, 35/2, 28/2.2, and 24/2.8 that prioritize compactness over everything else, with image quality second, and then we can start carrying our R's around 24/7 in our backpacks. The jokey 35/1.8IS Macro is too big to have with you constantly. Leica's made 35/1.4's half that size.
With the flagship RF camera now at 45 megapixels, I don't think you're going to see many new RF lenses that have a lot of compromise on image quality. What would be the point of making a lens that doesn't have the resolving capability to perform well on the flagship camera?
 
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stevelee

FT-QL
CR Pro
Jul 6, 2017
1,902
689
Davidson, NC
I very much look forward to purchasing (and then obviously receiving) the Canon R5. I love my Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 L IS USM lens.. it's been a workhorse for me, both in terms of macro photography, as well as portraits, and events on my DSLRs.

Over the past few years I have even used the 100mm L on a few occasions on my M5 (with the EF-EFM adapter) - and it works extremely well from a functionality perspective, though the ergonomics are not great (as the M5 grip isn't as comfortable for me with larger EF lenses adapted and mounted.

It's great to hear others positive experiences using the 100mm L with the R (and RP) - and indeed even some initial reports of people using it on the R5. I expect the 100mm f/2.8 L lens will continue to serve me well for years to come, as I plan to use it adapted on my R5.

Having written that, though, if there is some amazing feature on a new RF mount macro lens, that might tempt me to upgrade. These features might be 2:1 macro capability and/or a significantly brighter aperture.
On the face of it, there would seem to be no real advantage in having a faster macro lens other than for non-macro use. The depth of field at 1:1 is so tiny that usually you are wanting to risk diffraction with your f-stop instead of wishing you could open up to f/2. Maybe if you are chasing around small animals in the woods using lower magnification, the extra stop and eye auto focus could be handy. If you plan to use your 100mm macro for portraits, then f/2 could blur your backgrounds a little better than f/2.8. When I first got a full frame camera, I tried that with my non-L version. I and some others here have noted this may be less than satisfactory. I used the term “too clinical” for the look. But otherwise it is a great general purpose short telephoto. Using it as a macro lens, I get great results near 2:1 with extension tubes.

So barring some reliable comparison tests showing the RF blowing away the EF L as a macro, you’d need to have some use case, as I suggested above, where the RF would have some advantage for the upgrade to be worth some money.
 

SteveC

R5
CR Pro
Sep 3, 2019
2,148
2,031
On the face of it, there would seem to be no real advantage in having a faster macro lens other than for non-macro use. The depth of field at 1:1 is so tiny that usually you are wanting to risk diffraction with your f-stop instead of wishing you could open up to f/2. Maybe if you are chasing around small animals in the woods using lower magnification, the extra stop and eye auto focus could be handy. If you plan to use your 100mm macro for portraits, then f/2 could blur your backgrounds a little better than f/2.8. When I first got a full frame camera, I tried that with my non-L version. I and some others here have noted this may be less than satisfactory. I used the term “too clinical” for the look. But otherwise it is a great general purpose short telephoto. Using it as a macro lens, I get great results near 2:1 with extension tubes.

So barring some reliable comparison tests showing the RF blowing away the EF L as a macro, you’d need to have some use case, as I suggested above, where the RF would have some advantage for the upgrade to be worth some money.

I concur, I've seen little benefit using my (non L) 100mm macro for portraits. I actually would prefer a 135 for that anyway, but I don't believe there is a non-L 135.
 
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stevelee

FT-QL
CR Pro
Jul 6, 2017
1,902
689
Davidson, NC
I concur, I've seen little benefit using my (non L) 100mm macro for portraits. I actually would prefer a 135 for that anyway, but I don't believe there is a non-L 135.
I have taken nice portraits with my 24-105mm kit lens when I didn’t need a shallow dof. Canon had a nice sale on refurbs, so I bought an 85mm f/1.8 that is surprisingly good. I used it as a walkaround lens when I was trying it out to decide whether to keep it. I liked the results. And I like the look for portraits much better than the macro. For some reason (or no good reason) I’ve never felt much affinity for 135mm. In the film era when I shot only primes, I found that if I took just a 28, an 85, and a 200, that covered everything I wanted to shoot quite well. I could see how shooting farther away with more telephoto flattening could help the looks of people with big noses.
 

SteveC

R5
CR Pro
Sep 3, 2019
2,148
2,031
I have taken nice portraits with my 24-105mm kit lens when I didn’t need a shallow dof. Canon had a nice sale on refurbs, so I bought an 85mm f/1.8 that is surprisingly good. I used it as a walkaround lens when I was trying it out to decide whether to keep it. I liked the results. And I like the look for portraits much better than the macro. For some reason (or no good reason) I’ve never felt much affinity for 135mm. In the film era when I shot only primes, I found that if I took just a 28, an 85, and a 200, that covered everything I wanted to shoot quite well. I could see how shooting farther away with more telephoto flattening could help the looks of people with big noses.

That 85mm is one of the primes I'm having to use for the 35-100mm range with the R5 while I await my 24-105 refurb. (I simply don't own any full frame zooms in that range.) It's probably my favorite prime at the moment.
 
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Frodo

EOS RP
Nov 3, 2012
407
80
I compared my non-L 100mm macro to my EF 85/1.8 for portraits. The 85mm at f/2 produces substantially better OOF background than does the 100mm at f/2.8. As a result I never use the 100mm as a portrait lens.
A 100/2 macro could change that.
I am considering a RF 85/2 to replace my 100/2.8, 85/1.8 and 50/2.5 macro. That will depend on how sharp the new lens is at macro magnifications. I could live with extension tubes to go beyond 1:2 if it is sharp.
 

SteveC

R5
CR Pro
Sep 3, 2019
2,148
2,031
I compared my non-L 100mm macro to my EF 85/1.8 for portraits. The 85mm at f/2 produces substantially better OOF background than does the 100mm at f/2.8. As a result I never use the 100mm as a portrait lens.
A 100/2 macro could change that.
I am considering a RF 85/2 to replace my 100/2.8, 85/1.8 and 50/2.5 macro. That will depend on how sharp the new lens is at macro magnifications. I could live with extension tubes to go beyond 1:2 if it is sharp.

There is (or was?) a 100 mm f/2 non L, non macro; I wonder how it would compare to the 85 f/1.8. When I was buying primes, I went with the 85 instead of the 100 because I already had the 100 (non L) macro.
 
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pj1974

80D, M5, 7D, & lots of glass and accessories!
Oct 18, 2011
681
207
Adelaide, Australia
On the face of it, there would seem to be no real advantage in having a faster macro lens other than for non-macro use. The depth of field at 1:1 is so tiny that usually you are wanting to risk diffraction with your f-stop instead of wishing you could open up to f/2. Maybe if you are chasing around small animals in the woods using lower magnification, the extra stop and eye auto focus could be handy. If you plan to use your 100mm macro for portraits, then f/2 could blur your backgrounds a little better than f/2.8. When I first got a full frame camera, I tried that with my non-L version. I and some others here have noted this may be less than satisfactory. I used the term “too clinical” for the look. But otherwise it is a great general purpose short telephoto. Using it as a macro lens, I get great results near 2:1 with extension tubes.

So barring some reliable comparison tests showing the RF blowing away the EF L as a macro, you’d need to have some use case, as I suggested above, where the RF would have some advantage for the upgrade to be worth some money.

Indeed, I generally do NOT need a faster than f/2.8 aperture at 1:1 magnification.
My usual use of the macro lens at 1:1 magnification is b/w f/5.6 and f/16. Though some times (e.g. to highlight certain small details in flowers, e.g. parts of stamen, or a specific part of an insect, e.g. the tip of a foot, antenna, etc) - I do shoot wide open and creatively use the very shallow depth of field. There are a number of times I would want and use closer than 1:1 functionality in a macro lens.

However, I do regularly use my 100mm L at f/2.8 at non-macro distances. I will also add here, that the L is vastly superior to the non-L in terms of AF accuracy at non macro distances (and I have confirmed this with multiple copies of both the nonL and L 100mm macro lenses). Also, the rendering of the L is slightly better than the non-L, but both lenses are very similar in terms of absolute sharpness.

I have used the 85mm f/1.8mm USM, and it's a very good lens (particularly for the 'budget price'). And yes, it covers that useful 'short-ish' portrait length, and it does have slightly more potential for portrait subject isolation (blur). But I find with a creative mind, one can use the 100mm f/2.8 very effectively (and I'm far from the only one). I have also used the 100mm f/2 USM, which is very similar feel to the 85mm f/1.8 in practical use.

However I find using my 50mm f/1.8 STM and my 100mm f/2.8 L macro are a great two-lens / two-focal-length combination, giving a lot of flexibility for event photography, along with a standard (or wider) zoom in the bag. for events. (I have shot many many events with this 3 body/lens combination). Hence why a RF 100mm f/2 2:1 would help me cover even more ground!

But as I wrote above, I expect to be using my EF 100mm f/2.8 L IS USM lens on a R5 for a long time to come!

Regards

PJ
 

stevelee

FT-QL
CR Pro
Jul 6, 2017
1,902
689
Davidson, NC
I use manual focus almost exclusively in macro range. I’ve never noticed an autofocus problem when I’ve used the non-L for more general use.

My 50mm f/1.4 lens was used for portraits on my Rebel, but I have’t occasion to use it on my 6D2.
 

pj1974

80D, M5, 7D, & lots of glass and accessories!
Oct 18, 2011
681
207
Adelaide, Australia
I use manual focus almost exclusively in macro range. I’ve never noticed an autofocus problem when I’ve used the non-L for more general use.

My 50mm f/1.4 lens was used for portraits on my Rebel, but I have’t occasion to use it on my 6D2.

Yes, I almost exclusively use manual focus in macro range. (Live view and 10x zooming is great for this!)

What I wrote in my previous post was:
"I will also add here, that the L is vastly superior to the non-L in terms of AF accuracy at non macro distances (and I have confirmed this with multiple copies of both the nonL and L 100mm macro lenses)"
In summary:
- the non-L 100mm auto focus (AF) is not very accurate, reliable or consistent.
- the 100mm L has AF that is much more accurate, reliable and consistent.

For environmental portraits, 50mm can work.. ;)

PJ
 

Frodo

EOS RP
Nov 3, 2012
407
80
In summary:
- the non-L 100mm auto focus (AF) is not very accurate, reliable or consistent.
- the 100mm L has AF that is much more accurate, reliable and consistent.
What camera is this with?
My EOS R focuses quickly and accurately with all my lenses, better than my dslrs. I've never had any AF issues with non-L 100/2.8 on the R.
 
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