Patent: Canon RF 80mm f/2.8 Macro

SteveC

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But the 100 L macro doesn’t resolve any better than the ancient pre L 100 macro and at F5.6 even the 50 F1.4 out resolves it.

Just curious (being the happy owner of an "ancient pre L 100 macro"): what, then is the point to the 100L? Other than image stabilization?

And I find it ironic/humorous that you mention f/5.6 since that's what I usually run it at!
 

Del Paso

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The 100mm L macro was released right at the beginning of the coatings revolution - one of the main factors for increased resolution development in the last decade. It was also released right when IS was going from a (realistically) 2-stop capacity to a 3-3.5 stop capacity. So it was a bonkers lens at the time. The first (and only) "hybrid" IS system Canon ever released. It added a whole new axis of IS.

That said, in a decade, some similarly-focal-lengthed lenses have come out that are sharper. A large number of 85mm options in particular. But I don't know of any lens that is macro and has decent IS at macro use that is as sharp as this lens. For hand-held macro, it's still unbeatable. I know because I continue to waste money buying alternatives, trying them, and selling them.

When I shot Sony, I found that adapting the Canon 100 L was the best option, even with super sharp lenses such as the Sigma (AF was pretty bad).

All that said, the Laowa/Venus stuff that has been coming out has been fantastic. The probe lens; the 15mm macro; etc. Totally innovative and useful stuff. But not a 100mm with as-good IS or AF.

When Canon does settle on a design, it'll sell a boat-load. When they launch a super-high-resolution body, that might be an auspicious time.

One last thing: I think the communication between lens and camera that allows canon to get 7+ IS stops is going to really be remarkable in the macro use case. Eager to see. -tig
You're right, it's an excellent MACRO lens.
What I don't like about it, is its behaviour at infinity setting, for landscapes.
That's why, when doing "hybrid" photography, I prefer to use either the Leica Apo Macro 100mm, a manual, exceptionnally good lens, or the Zeiss 50mm f2.
Drawbacks are: no IS, no AF, 1:2 for both, and shooting with the diaphragm closed with the Apo Elmarit.
Yet, in terms of sharpness, lack of aberrations (CA, distorsion), color rendition,contrast, build quality, the 100mm Leica is by far the best short tele and macro I can think of. It is even noticeably better than the very good EF 85mm f1,4, which is one of my favorite lenses.
For the EOS R, I can imagine the new Sigma 105 (reviewed by Dustin Abbotf) becoming an interesting macro AND landscape option...
 
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koenkooi

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Just curious (being the happy owner of an "ancient pre L 100 macro"): what, then is the point to the 100L? Other than image stabilization?

And I find it ironic/humorous that you mention f/5.6 since that's what I usually run it at!
The AF feels better and the focus limiter switch has an extra setting. I’m not sure if I would replace my non-L again, especially with the IBIS on the R5.
 
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privatebydesign

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Just curious (being the happy owner of an "ancient pre L 100 macro"): what, then is the point to the 100L? Other than image stabilization?

And I find it ironic/humorous that you mention f/5.6 since that's what I usually run it at!
Internal focusing, weather sealing, build quality/durability, focus speed (though some don't agree with this), AF noise, background blur characteristics, vignetting at center, included hood (I always buy hoods for my non L lenses).

It is a typical Canon incremental upgrade, nothing to blow your socks off, unless I am allowed to include the IS, but refinements and improvements across the board. To my mind photographers have been dealt a huge disservice by the trend for all lenses to be primarily judged by sharpness, it is a relative term that has so little impact given the quality of almost all lenses over the last 20 years. Besides, considerations like size, weight, cost, basic functionality (focal length, aperture) are far more important factors for most people than sharpness.

My perfect example of this is the EF 70-200 f2.8 IS and the MkII of that lens. The MkII version is undoubtedly sharper but it loses a lot for portrait images as the bokeh can be very harsh and distracting, I kept my MkI after seeing the results from the MkII.
 
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privatebydesign

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You're right, it's an excellent MACRO lens.
What I don't like about it, is its behaviour at infinity setting, for landscapes.
That's why, when doing "hybrid" photography, I prefer to use either the Leica Apo Macro 100mm, a manual, exceptionnally good lens, or the Zeiss 50mm f2.
Drawbacks are: no IS, no AF, 1:2 for both, and shooting with the diaphragm closed with the Apo Elmarit.
Yet, in terms of sharpness, lack of aberrations (CA, distorsion), color rendition,contrast, build quality, the 100mm Leica is by far the best short tele and macro I can think of. It is even noticeably better than the very good EF 85mm f1,4, which is one of my favorite lenses.
For the EOS R, I can imagine the new Sigma 105 (reviewed by Dustin Abbotf) becoming an interesting macro AND landscape option...
What don't you like, specifically with examples if possible? I have found it to be fine for longer shooting distances.

Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, two shot pano handheld with the 100L Macro.
1605458990157.jpeg
 
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SteveC

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Internal focusing, weather sealing, build quality/durability, focus speed (though some don't agree with this), AF noise, background blur characteristics, vignetting at center, included hood (I always buy hoods for my non L lenses).

It is a typical Canon incremental upgrade, nothing to blow your socks off, unless I am allowed to include the IS, but refinements and improvements across the board. To my mind photographers have been dealt a huge disservice by the trend for all lenses to be primarily judged by sharpness, it is a relative term that has so little impact given the quality of almost all lenses over the last 20 years. Besides, considerations like size, weight, cost, basic functionality (focal length, aperture) are far more important factors for most people than sharpness.

My perfect example of this is the EF 70-200 f2.8 IS and the MkII of that lens. The MkII version is undoubtedly sharper but it loses a lot for portrait images as the bokeh can be very harsh and distracting, I kept my MkI after seeing the results from the MkII.

OK, that makes a lot of sense. And I agree that sharpness shouldn't be regarded as the be-all, end-all, but ironically for me in this one situation, it is. I'll explain (and yes, I know my situation is quite peculiar, but that's sort of the point):

My 100 nonL macro is attached to my old T6i and that, in turn, is affixed to a copy stand for photographing coins. As such it does nothing but macro photography and for various reasons I won't bore you with, I usually use the widest aperture that will focus all through the depth of the coin, but no more. It does have quite a bit of focus breathing, so I've learned to work with it when I raise/lower the camera to photograph different sizes of coins (my copy stand is a bit user-belligerent at that, unfortunately--it's a knob you loosen, slide, and tighten rather than a control you turn to raise/lower). But in this particular application, sharpness is actually a prime consideration, and bokeh of any kind in the resulting image is actually a bad thing!

I guess for me there's zero reason to upgrade but other people's mileage would differ. (Of course if the lens ever goes tango uniform I may have no choice!)

The vast majority of the stuff I actually *print* is coin pictures, so in a way it's probably my most important lens (yet attached to the "least" of my cameras--but 4000x4000 pixels is quite enough!).

I did experiment with just using the 100mm like a regular lens a few times, but ended up preferring the wider aperture of my 85mm f/1.8--if I am going to use a prime and give up the ability to zoom, I might as well maximize what the prime will be good at (given my limited willingness to spend money on primes).
 
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privatebydesign

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OK, that makes a lot of sense. And I agree that sharpness shouldn't be regarded as the be-all, end-all, but ironically for me in this one situation, it is. I'll explain (and yes, I know my situation is quite peculiar, but that's sort of the point):

My 100 nonL macro is attached to my old T6i and that, in turn, is affixed to a copy stand for photographing coins. As such it does nothing but macro photography and for various reasons I won't bore you with, I usually use the widest aperture that will focus all through the depth of the coin, but no more. It does have quite a bit of focus breathing, so I've learned to work with it when I raise/lower the camera to photograph different sizes of coins (my copy stand is a bit user-belligerent at that, unfortunately--it's a knob you loosen, slide, and tighten rather than a control you turn to raise/lower). But in this particular application, sharpness is actually a prime consideration, and bokeh of any kind in the resulting image is actually a bad thing!

I guess for me there's zero reason to upgrade but other people's mileage would differ. (Of course if the lens ever goes tango uniform I may have no choice!)

The vast majority of the stuff I actually *print* is coin pictures, so in a way it's probably my most important lens (yet attached to the "least" of my cameras--but 4000x4000 pixels is quite enough!).

I did experiment with just using the 100mm like a regular lens a few times, but ended up preferring the wider aperture of my 85mm f/1.8--if I am going to use a prime and give up the ability to zoom, I might as well maximize what the prime will be good at (given my limited willingness to spend money on primes).
You are 100% right and really have nailed the personal reasoning that should be the foundation of everybody's individual purchases. I have a similar setup (for a slightly different application) but use an old Canon FD 50mm macro and FD macro bellows with mount adapters along with either a macro stage or slide copier attached. For that one setup it is plenty good enough and spending more money to 'upgrade' it wouldn't give me a usefully measurable improvement in output.
 
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SteveC

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You are 100% right and really have nailed the personal reasoning that should be the foundation of everybody's individual purchases. I have a similar setup (for a slightly different application) but use an old Canon FD 50mm macro and FD macro bellows with mount adapters along with either a macro stage or slide copier attached. For that one setup it is plenty good enough and spending more money to 'upgrade' it wouldn't give me a usefully measurable improvement in output.

In my particular case, the longer the focal length the better, because you want to get the lights on axis (most of the time). Since that's an angle, pulling the camera back makes it subtend less of an angle (as seen from the coin) and you can get the lights closer. So even though coins don't run away from cameras like insects and other small critters do, I want the same thing the critter macro photographers do. The 180mm would probably have been better but not enough better to justify the extra cost. (Today I have more disposable income and if I were setting up now, I might spring for it.)

If someone wanted to do what I was doing I'd actually advise against a 50mm, but of course (and if I recall correctly) a bellows tends to magnify allowing you to be further away, which more than makes up for it. (I do occasionally photograph a coin that is so small it won't fill my APS-C sensor at minimum focusing distance, but even there I get a >2000 pixel diameter image. (Those are coins considerably smaller than US dimes, BTW--we're talking 12 mm diameter or so.) I guess I'll just have to find even smaller coins so I can justify some sort of change to my system!) Actually if I wanted to blow big bucks on improving the system, I'd probably look into tilt-shift, allowing me to shoot coins at a slight tilt. Sometimes toning only comes through well with the light *directly* on the face of the coin.
 

Del Paso

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What don't you like, specifically with examples if possible? I have found it to be fine for longer shooting distances.

Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, two shot pano handheld with the 100L Macro.
View attachment 193979
Trouble is, there wouldn't be much to see on lower definition Jpegs.
Maybe the Apo Macro Elmarit spoiled my perception of what sharpness can be...
But, what I criticize, is what has also been criticized by some reviewers (OpticalLimits, Imaging resource etc...).
If I compare MY !!! 100 macro to the 70-200 f4 II, the 85mm f1,4, these 2 lenses suffer far less from a sharpness degradation towards the corners of the pictures (infinity setting !). It's not that it is unsharp, though. In fact, I'm pretty satisfied with it when used for macro, sharp into the corners !
Maybe I should sell it, and replace it with a new one?
 

Del Paso

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What don't you like, specifically with examples if possible? I have found it to be fine for longer shooting distances.

Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, two shot pano handheld with the 100L Macro.
View attachment 193979
What I don't like about this lens?
Here comes the final answer.
This morning, I tested the EF 100 f.2,8 WITH and WITHOUT IS...
And found out, that the NON-IS shots were indeed very sharp, including the corners.
Not so the infinity shots with IS on! Why? No idea. So, I know what I'll do in the future, using it with IS off, for sharp pictures. Quod erat demonstrandum...
But, most of the time, for landscapes, I'll be using my 100-400 IS or 70-200, both better at 100mm.
 
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Michael Clark

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But the 100 L macro doesn’t resolve any better than the ancient pre L 100 macro and at F5.6 even the 50 F1.4 out resolves it. Both of which seem to suggest the coatings are not as effective as you think they are.

I’m not saying the 100 L macro isn’t a good lens, it is nice enough, but just not a particularly special one.

"But the 100 L macro doesn’t resolve any better than the ancient pre L 100 macro and at F5.6 even the 50 F1.4 out resolves it..."

... when tested at non-macro distances.

There, I finished that for you.

Macros are, or at least they should be, optimized to be at their very best at MFD, not at infinity or even at fifteen or twenty feet to a test chart.

They're also designed to have a high degree of flat field correction that is flattest at MFD, not to give the flattest field, or even good out of focus rendering, when focused to longer distances.

Both of these things are diametrically opposed to the way an ideal portrait lens should be designed, but some folks just don't get it.
 
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Michael Clark

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Exactly. My thinking is that 2:1 and/or something better than f/2.8 would be the differentiator. Even better if it was both, say a f/1.8 that can do 2:1, 1:1 and also operate to infinity :)

I'll need to buy another pelican case if so, as my gear will increase substantially.

Why in tarnation would anyone want an f/1.8 macro?

That's not what macro lenses are for. That's not what they are for at all.
 
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privatebydesign

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"But the 100 L macro doesn’t resolve any better than the ancient pre L 100 macro and at F5.6 even the 50 F1.4 out resolves it..."

... when tested at non-macro distances.

There, I finished that for you.

Macros are, or at least they should be, optimized to be at their very best at MFD, not at infinity or even at fifteen or twenty feet to a test chart.

They're also designed to have a high degree of flat field correction that is flattest at MFD, not to give the flattest field, or even good out of focus rendering, when focused to longer distances.

Both of these things are diametrically opposed to the way an ideal portrait lens should be designed, but some folks just don't get it.
No I think the EF 100L Macro is very much the result of a price defined product that introduced, and to date is the only Canon lens with, Hybrid IS. Roll in the fact it is internal focusing, weather sealed, etc costs were parred down somewhere and that was in the optics.

My TS-E 50 is sharper at any comparable focus distance and aperture by a long way, but the price was three times the cost of the 100L Macro.
 
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Michael Clark

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Dual use, the current lens operates well as a portrait lens as well. No reason the lens couldn't do both – and better?

I've never been a fan of using macro lenses for portraiture. The design choices that give macros best performance at close distances as well as the flat field correction are the same things that prevent the smoothest out of focus highlights. Lenses with a little field curvature left in them look so much better with regard to out-of-focus areas than macro lenses do.
 
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jd7

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The 100mm L macro was released right at the beginning of the coatings revolution - one of the main factors for increased resolution development in the last decade. It was also released right when IS was going from a (realistically) 2-stop capacity to a 3-3.5 stop capacity. So it was a bonkers lens at the time. The first (and only) "hybrid" IS system Canon ever released. It added a whole new axis of IS.
In fact, there is another lens with hybrid IS

 
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Michael Clark

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No I think the EF 100L Macro is very much the result of a price defined product that introduced, and to date is the only Canon lens with, Hybrid IS. Roll in the fact it is internal focusing, weather sealed, etc costs were parred down somewhere and that was in the optics.

My TS-E 50 is sharper at any comparable focus distance and aperture by a long way, but the price was three times the cost of the 100L Macro.

How sharp is your TS-E 50mm when close enough to your subject to get a 1:1 reproduction ratio?


It's totally blurry and out of focus.
 

stevelee

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But the 100 L macro doesn’t resolve any better than the ancient pre L 100 macro and at F5.6 even the 50 F1.4 out resolves it. Both of which seem to suggest the coatings are not as effective as you think they are.

I’m not saying the 100 L macro isn’t a good lens, it is nice enough, but just not a particularly special one.
I haven't found a thing wrong with the non-L macro. Once I got the 6D2, I did decide that I didn't like the look it gave to portraits, so I got a refurb 85mm f/1.8 when that went on sale. But other than that, the 100mm has been great. I think stabilization is the main advantage of the L.