Canon RF 100mm f/2.8 L Macro IS USM lens review with samples
The rf 100 millimeter, f, 2.8 l macro is usm. Canon have been putting together these popular 100 millimeter macro lenses for decades now. This latest one sees quite an increase in price to 1400 us dollars or nearly 1500 pounds in the uk, but it has a couple of new features, such as a new 1.4 times magnification ratio, which gets you closer than ever to your subject. As you can see here, and also the lens features, a curious, spherical aberration control mechanism, if you turn that sa control ring to the left, then the image zooms out slightly your subject gets a soft focus effect and your backgrounds look increasingly soft. If you turn that control ring to the right, however, then the image zooms in slightly you get the soft focus again on your subject, but this time the bokeh becomes much much harsher. Some people do actually quite like a background with busy. Looking bokeh, though, here are some more pictures, so you can get an idea of it. The feature certainly increases your options for portrait and subject photography, while the soft focus effect on your subject is quite easy to do yourself in editing, the change and style of bokeh would be virtually impossible. So there are some photographers who might be seriously interested in this, but for those who arent interested, you can lock that control dial in the normal position. If you want to to prevent accidentally changing it. Id like to thank canon uk for loaning me this lens for a couple of weeks for testing, although, as usual, this is a totally independent review.
Lets look at the lenses body first and its your typical canon l lens, build quality here, lots of very heavy gt plastic, but also with a decent amount of weather, sealing its weight is about 650 grams or about one and a half pounds about average. For this kind of macro lens, although its a bit bigger than i expected there, are switches on the side to control, focus and image stabilization. The image stabilization on this lens worked well, it worked very well in stills mode, but in video mode the footage still looked. A bit shaky on my canon, eos r5. I have noticed that on some other lenses too, i will be sending my r5 away to be checked just in case. The camera is the issue. The manual focus ring is rubberized and works smoothly and responsively with the lenss focus motor. The lens does suffer with some focus breathing zooming in a bit as you focus more closely, but its actually not as bad as you often see on a macro lens. The lenses autofocus system is spectacular. It incorporates dual nano usm autofocus motors, making the auto vegas performance almost instantaneous, as well as being silent and accurate cannon, truly are at the top of their auto vegas game at the top of the lens theres. Also one of canons neat control rings, which has gentle clicks to it. You can customize it on your camera to perform various different actions or even send your lens away to canon to have that control ring de clicked for a price.
The lens comes with a decently sized plastic hood and its filter size is 67 millimeters wide. Overall, the build quality is seconds to none here. Everything you could possibly ask for, especially with that amazing autofocus motor now onto image quality ill, be testing it today on a canon, eos r5, with its full frame 45 megapixel sensor in camera. Corrections are turned on at f 2.8. The lens is ridiculously sharp in the middle of the image, with excellent contrast and the corner image. Quality virtually is good, perhaps with just an edge, less sharpness, but still amazing f4 looks about the same lets top down to f 5.6. Oddly, the lens looks just a tiny bit softer here, which shouldnt happen. Also, the middle of the image looks just a tiny, tiny bit softer too stop down to f8, but it looks a tiny bit softer again whats going on well, i took each of these photos with autofocus, which i wouldnt normally do when testing lenses. I did that deliberately heres a shot at f 8 using manual focus which, as you can see, is just a tiny bit sharper. This lens is suffering from something called focus shift. That is when you stop the aperture down the plane of focus, shifts backwards, slightly thats, a problem for canons cameras because they will auto vegas with their apertures wide open. The slight difference is still there, even when you stop down to f11 thats, not good, but thankfully the effect isnt too pronounced.
If you need absolutely critical sharpness, you may need to manually focus if youre stopping this lens down could be a little annoying for some people. Anyway, this is a macro lens, so lets take a look at close up image quality. These pictures are taken at the maximum 1.4 times magnification at f 2.8. Close up image. Quality is very sharp, stop down to f4 and it becomes excellent if you stop down. As far as f8, then, the softness begins to creep in due to the effect of diffraction, which will always take hold a bit sooner when youre shooting close up here is f11 and f16, which both get very soft. So a typical performance for a good quality macro lens here, nice and sharp. Oddly enough for me, the problem with focus, shifting wasnt so bad when shooting close up now lets move on and look at distortion and vignetting. These pictures are taken without in camera corrections at f 2.8. We see some very mild, pin cushion distortion and some vignetting stop down to f4 or f 5.6, and the vignetting brightens up now lets see how the lens works against bright light. Just an average performance here. Theres, a fair bit of broad flaring to be seen, but its not too opaque and finally bokeh well ive talked about that already duh, but here are some more pictures anyway. I found that even when not using the spherical aberration effect, the lenses pocket is lovely and soft, although particularly bright areas can occasionally look a bit edgy and related to bokeh comes longitudinal, chromatic aberration.
This is something thats been a real issue in the past for canons macro lenses. However, on this rf model its a bit more under control than usual, we do still see just a little pink and green fringing on boker highlight at f 2.8 theyre reduced at f4 and at f 5.6, its gone overall. Well, its a shame about that. Little problem with focus shifting, because, apart from that, this is probably just about the perfect macro lens. It focuses quickly and considerably closer than most other macro lenses. It has great build quality and its fantastically sharp with nice bokeh, which can be manipulated in interesting ways. Its very expensive price means that im just on the border of whether to recommend or highly recommend it. If you can put up with the focus shifting problem which isnt terribly serious, then this lens is a dream come true, Music. Well, i had a blast testing out this lens. It definitely had some interesting quirks to unpack for you. If youd like to support the work im doing on this channel, then check out my patreon page in the description below supporters get all kinds of fun exclusive content that i secretly really enjoy making for them.