Canon Reviews

Review: Canon RF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro

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The-Digital-Picture has complete its review of the brand new Canon RF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM, It looks like it’s a great lens, but there may be an issue with focus shifting, and the price may cause some buyers pause.

From The-Digital-Picture

I consider a telephoto macro lens to be a mandatory part of my kit and always include the best available option. What is the best Canon macro lens? Focus shift aside, the Canon RF 100mm F2.8 L Macro IS USM Lens is that lens.

I didn’t see the focus shift issue coming, and this issue is my primary complaint with this lens. Precise focusing is especially important with a macro lens, and this lens falls below expectations in regards to focus shift. Again, I see no issues at f/2.8 or f/11 and narrower. Hopefully, Canon can resolve this issue completely.

With an extremely fast, high-performing AF system and an advanced image stabilization system, this professional-grade lens is capable of delivering outstanding image quality, optically outperforming all Canon macro lenses prior introduced. The up-to-1.4x magnification capability especially takes close-up imagery to a new level. Read the full review

The Canon RF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro has begun shipping, but will likely be backordered for quite some time while Canon navigates manufacturing challenges.

Jan 15, 2020
31
68
It's a ton of fun. I did a lot of 4K 120 capturing bees in action, then went stills mode. Once humidity drops, I'll be back out there grabbing more of summer under the 100mm. Shot a lot 1:6 crop, but will focus on 1:1 this week. Put out a video with my weekends findings. It's not a review, but the assessment of a video shooter of a primary stills lens.
 

padam

EOS R
Aug 26, 2015
1,261
921
They've fixed the focus shifting in the RF 70-200mm f/2.8 with a firmware update.
So why didn't they do the same with this lens, or the RF 70-200mm f/4? I don't get it.
 

padam

EOS R
Aug 26, 2015
1,261
921
This lens has been out a week.
So? Is it normal to ship out a lens with a firmware that lacks these corrections?

The RF 70-200 f4 has been out for a while, and there is no mention of a firmware fix coming either, they should be more transparent about why the RF 70-200 f2.8 firmware was deemed faulty, but not the rest.
 
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Normalnorm

EOS RP
Dec 25, 2012
749
373
They've fixed the focus shifting in the RF 70-200mm f/2.8 with a firmware update.
So why didn't they do the same with this lens, or the RF 70-200mm f/4? I don't get it.
I am thinking that they will update it via FW.
The fact they did not get it on the initial deliveries of the product is about par for so many businesses today.

SHIP NOW! Fix later.
 
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Normalnorm

EOS RP
Dec 25, 2012
749
373
Honestly, focus shifting is unacceptable in a macro lens. I don't know how you could "fix it in firmware" but this lens has been 100% removed from my list. You absolutely can't trust a macro lens that changes its focus when the aperture changes.
I would not remove it too hastily.

Focus shift is fixed like any other adjustment in computer controlled devices. A map is made of the pattern of focus shift and the compensation is mapped to the AF motors.

EF lenses had AFMA which were user adjustments but the principle is the same. See where the error is and create an offset to the calculated value.

Many of the operations of electronic devices have such adjustments to accommodate the real world mechanics to the absolutism of math.
 

rontele7

EOS M6 Mark II
Nov 8, 2017
62
76
Earth
Canon lens engineering has taken a HUGE step backwards the last few years.

f/11 primes, f/7.1 zooms, telescoping 70-200’s, and now we have a poorly engineered macro lenses. And don’t forget the 24-240, top contender for the worst lens Canon has ever produced.

RF mount has very little going for it that didn’t exist in the same or better form in EF.

Let’s hope they get some better engineers on staff in the future.
 

FrenchFry

Wildlife enthusiast!
Jun 14, 2020
462
578
The R6 got a firmware update for compatibility with this lens and the 400mm/600mm. I'm curious if that helped at all with focus shift on that body, compared to the R5 (still no firmware update yet).
I am hoping for a quick fix to the focus shift issue as it is a pretty big drawback for such an expensive macro lens. You just can't shoot an entire bee or butterfly at F2.8 and very close distances and expect good depth of field.

For those who have the lens, please join me in reporting the focus shift issue to Canon ASAP! Let's get this fix prioritized!!!

Link to find the Canon Support page for your region:

https://global.canon/en/support/
 

jam05

R5, C70
Mar 12, 2019
542
347
Hoped (actually expected) Canon was pass focus shift issues since moving to mirrorless. Highly disappointing.
It can only be disappointing if one only accepts one source of information. There are other reviews of the same product. Nothing about focus shift. The person may have received a bad copy. Most often "focus shift issues" are merely operator error.
 
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jam05

R5, C70
Mar 12, 2019
542
347
I would say that this person either received a bad copy. There are other reviews and
Canon lens engineering has taken a HUGE step backwards the last few years.

f/11 primes, f/7.1 zooms, telescoping 70-200’s, and now we have a poorly engineered macro lenses. And don’t forget the 24-240, top contender for the worst lens Canon has ever produced.

RF mount has very little going for it that didn’t exist in the same or better form in EF.

Let’s hope they get some better engineers on staff in the future.
BS. Quite the opposite.
 

jam05

R5, C70
Mar 12, 2019
542
347
Not really a reliable source. There are plenty of professional photographers to chose from rather than pushing online magazines and publishers.
 

SteveC

R5
CR Pro
Sep 3, 2019
2,482
2,349
Canon lens engineering has taken a HUGE step backwards the last few years.

f/11 primes, f/7.1 zooms, telescoping 70-200’s, and now we have a poorly engineered macro lenses. And don’t forget the 24-240, top contender for the worst lens Canon has ever produced.

RF mount has very little going for it that didn’t exist in the same or better form in EF.

Let’s hope they get some better engineers on staff in the future.

Yes and no--mostly no.

If Canon never put out any other RF 600mm or 800mm than those f/11 primes, the statement might have some justification. As we don't know what they won't do...especially this early in the history of the mount...it's way too early to say this. (And I doubt it will pan out.)

f/7.1 zooms: If this is a reference to the 100-400, it's basically the same spec as the old 100-400, except that once you get to 400-f/5.6 you can then continue to extend it to 500 at f/7.1. So this is added capability, not less. The other 100-400 is a consumer level lens, just like those f/11 zooms, and can't rightfully be compared to the EF 100-400 L.

The 24-240, I'm a bit sympathetic to the complaint here, until I remember that this, too, is a consumer-level lens; they traded optical quality for 10x range, using software to compensate. Not a tradeoff I am interested in making, but still, a "new" niche filled.

If they never made any other lens to fill the 24-240 range (OK, this would require lenses in the plural, to be honest), or the 600 and 800mm, and stuck red stripes on the lenses, you would have a stronger argument.

As for the 100mm I'm going to wait to hear more.
 

Fischer

EOS RP
Mar 17, 2020
315
229
Canon lens engineering has taken a HUGE step backwards the last few years.

f/11 primes, f/7.1 zooms, telescoping 70-200’s, and now we have a poorly engineered macro lenses. And don’t forget the 24-240, top contender for the worst lens Canon has ever produced.

RF mount has very little going for it that didn’t exist in the same or better form in EF.

Let’s hope they get some better engineers on staff in the future.
There are several excellent and indeed groundbreaking R-lenses. All of mine are top-notch: 28-70, 50, 70-200, 100-500. Just looking for the 300mm prime to come. So not sure this is a general problem even if its disappointing.
 

David_E

Macrophotography
CR Pro
Sep 12, 2019
214
319
www.flickr.com
Nicely nailed. They don't always pose for pictures ;)
You got that right! This individual had its proboscis in the solo blue flower at bottom center milliseconds before I snapped the shutter. (They coil the proboscis prior to flight to protect it from damage, which would lead to starvation.) Milliseconds after I made the picture, the individual was gone.
 

David_E

Macrophotography
CR Pro
Sep 12, 2019
214
319
www.flickr.com
Hoped (actually expected) Canon was past focus shift issues since moving to mirrorless. Highly disappointing.
Really? Be honest. I can take it like a man. Is my photo of the sachem skipper highly disappointing? Does it show evidence of a focus problem? I need to know what is wrong with my photos if I am to improve.

I would also appreciate hearing about your personal experience with this lens.
 
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