Canon 100mm EF f/2.8L IS USM Macro – First Look

Canon's 100mm EF f/2.8L IS USM Macro lens
Canon’s 100mm EF f/2.8L IS USM Macro lens

I’ve been thinking about upgrading my macro lens from Canon’s 60mm EF-S f/2.8 model for a while now. I’d done some research and had chosen the 100m EF f/2.8L IS USM version as the replacement.

Today was the day I decided the time had come to buy, so I purchased one locally from Camera World in Chelmsford. They were happy to take my 60mm lens in part exchange and gave me a very fair price for it, which lessened the pain of the cost a little bit.

One reason for choosing the longer focal length was to get the lens further away from some of my water splash shots. With the old lens, I had to spend a significant amount of time wiping it down if I was having a particularly messy splash session.

Another was the attraction of Image Stablisation on this lens. I tend to be lazy and hate carrying a full sized tripod around with me in the field, although I do often pack my large Gorillapod. But IS offers the possibility of another couple of stops’ worth of depth of field without suffering camera shake.

I initially made a few quick images around the town and inside the Cathedral. Then I decided to take it on a fungus hunt on Galleywood Common and was very pleased with the resulting pictures. This one nearly made it for Day #1765:

Through To The Gills
Through To The Gills

First impressions are very positive. It handles well and seems to be quickly responsive to focus, even in low light. It produces a soft creamy bokeh at wide apertures, making subjects appear to pop out of their background. At small apertures, it appears to be sharp right across the frame, without significant softening or vignetting at the corners.

I’m looking forward to putting it through its paces properly over the next few months, but meanwhile, here’s a selection of pictures I made with it today: