Canon EF 100mm f/2 USM

dr croubie

Too many photos, too little time.
Jun 1, 2011
It's probably one of the most underrated lenses around. It gets vastly outsold by its very-slightly-cheaper little sister the EF 85/1.8, the macros 100 f/2.8 L and non-L, and its bigger brother the 135/2.0 L. Now that the 24/28mm primes have been replaced it's also probably one of the oldest designs. But it's the fastest around in its focal length, it's perfectly usable wide-open, frankly it doesn't even need updating (although if it did receive an update, even just new coatings and whatever better quality glass has been invented in the last 20 years, and a circular aperture, it would be as amazing as the 135/2L. Maybe that's why it's not being updated.).

It also works rather nicely with Extension Tubes for Macro work:

(clicky linky for 100% biggy)


Celebrating 20 years of model photography!
The 100 USM was my first Canon portrait lens years ago, so I attach some nostalgia to it. I have sharper lenses now, but since I was hiking into a location with a studio light, stand and battery pack, I thought I would bring it as a lighweight "bokeh lens" to supplement my trusty 24-105 F/4 IS which would do most of the work.

Like the 85mm sibling, this USM lens sharpens up considerably if you stop down to F/2.5.

Here is a tame image from my shoot. If you want to see more, you can read my blog post: ... or not. Obviously this is NSFW imagery, so consider yourself warned.

All the artsy images with lots of bokeh were taken with the 100 USM at F/2.5. The others were taken with the 24-105 L.