The Canon 100mm Macro lens is one of my favorite and most used lenses. Most of the time I shoot with my Canon 24-105mm lens, but the 100mm f/2.8L is close second. Perhaps it’s because I find macro photography fascinating. Ever since I was a child with my microscope, I’ve loved seeing things up close. When we look at objects up close, we unlock their textures, structures, and details. This world is often hidden, because we don’t usually see things that way.
Most zoom lenses have a macro feature, but for true macro images – a dedicated macro lens is a must. And, the Canon 100mm Macro lens is a popular choice. With good reason – it’s a great lens. While you can get pretty close with a zoom lens, and the lens says macro – you are actually just shooting close-ups. And, there is a technical difference between the two.
Macro lenses allow you to shoot objects up close with 1:1 magnification – meaning that the image appears life-size or greater on the camera’s sensor. With their shorter Minimum Focus Distance, the subject can be inches away from the front of the lens. The magnification allows for greater detail on small objects. This is particularly useful, because insects are a popular macro photography subject. The Minimum Focus Distance of the Canon 100mm Macro lens is .99 ft/11.98 inches. But, keep in mind that focus distance is measured from the sensor, not the front of the lens.
I mentioned that insects are a popular macro photography subject. Well, shooting small things that are sometimes moving requires good focus capability. Of course the Canon 100mm Macro lens has a very quiet and fast autofocus system. The low vibration motor allows you to be up close without ‘spooking’ your subject.
Unless you’re shooting something that isn’t moving, you are probably not going to be using a tripod. Fortunately, the built-in image stabilization is there to help. With the level of detail you expect, camera shake is an important factor. But… isn’t always.
The Canon 100mm Macro lens has excellent image quality. Not surprising, the level of detail you get when shooting small objects is incredibly sharp. In addition to the detail, the lens has an f2.8 aperture. This means that the lens is able to achieve a shallow depth of field – giving to a sharp subject and a beautifully blurred background – aka “Bokeh”.
This lens is one that I highly recommend. If you want to open up a new world of photography, get one.