Canon EF 100 mm Macro F2.8 L series review

Canon EF 100 mm Macro F2.8 L series review

In this review I am going to explore the reasons for owning this outstanding Canon Lens.

As a photographer I wanted to achieve the next level of portraiture that I have seen in the early stages of my professional photography and I always loved the nice depth of field on a portrait with the eyes in focus and the rest of the face blurry. Knowing that I need a wide aperture to achieve that my initial intention was to get a Canon 85 mm L series 1.2 lens or even a 50mm F1.2. I had the chance to visit a Canon stand during a Photo Imaging event in Sydney Australia, and test all the canon lenses of the spot. Also as a wedding photographer I wanted to be able to achieve the ring shot and fill the entire picture without any later crop and also achieve the most shallow depth of field. After testing the entire Canon range of lenses, my heart changed immediately and I fell in love with the Canon EF 100 mm Macro F2.8.

I have purchased it immediately and I started to use it the next day on a wedding. After the first use I was happy not only I have achieved the extra shot that gives any wedding photographer the edge of a higher level, being able to provide the ring shots without cheap tricks and crops. Also i was very happy to discover it is an outstanding lens for portraiture, being in the same time a telephoto lens used from several meters.

Canon EF 100mm Macro Lens F2.8 L


The lens feels very good in your hands, not too heavy, and not too light. It has the same high level in built quality as you would expect from all professional Canon L series lenses.


Auto Focus/Manual Focus – as per a normal lens allowing automatic function or complete manual control

IS – Image stabiliser – very useful for hand held macro photography. I found it to work really well as you are trying to capture very small objects your hand is never steady enough

Focus range  – this dial is useful to focus faster depending on the distance of the subject

After testing it for a long time I have come up with the following conclusion. This lens is perfect for Macro photography if you wish to get really close to object as small as 100 mm in size or similar, but it is not good enough to fill a picture with subjects less than 5 mm as it does have some limitations. The closest you can focus is 30 cm from the camera sensor. ALso as per the video above, if you test it shooting along a ruler , you will discover visually the measure of the depth of field. At the closest focus, the depth of field is about 2 millimetres which is outstanding if you think about it.If you shoot the subject further, the depth of field increases. At the infinity the depth of field can be several meters.

This lens performs beautifully not only for macro photography, but also for portraiture. It will give you a nice depth of field on the subject face and a very interesting look. I would definitely recommend this lens without any hesitation.

See below few samples from the video experiment:

The macro ring shot:

as you can see there are no difficulties in seeing the inscription of the ring and also easy to fill in the entire picture without any cropping

Canon EF 100mm Macro F2.8 L

How to measure the depth of field

a very good idea how to measure the depth of field with any lens , not necessarily the Canon EF 100 mm Macro. you can apply this idea to all lenses

Canon EF 100mm Macro F2.8 L

If you want to get as little as a sugar grain size, probably you need another lens


Canon EF 100mm Macro F2.8 L

Good portraiture with the macro lens

probably you will not be able to see this clear as the image is too small but please see this link to download the larger picture

Canon EF 100mm Macro F2.8 L

Please see below few deals for this lens if interested:


About Christian Tudor

professional photographer, main editor at Academy of Photography and owner and principal photographer of Tudor Photography