Canon RF 100mm F2.8 L IS Macro Review
Welcome back dprv tv viewers, its chris nichols here and look at this. I finally have my hands on a canon, rf 100 millimeter, f, 2.8 macro, and this is unique, because this is really the first dedicated mirrorless macro lens weve had a chance to review and it has been a long time coming. You see ever since this lens was announced, although canon was able to get some early copies out to their ambassadors, it was hard to find a review copy to play with. Finally, thanks to the camera stream, calgary weve got a demo lens that we can play with and im eager to take some macro shots and see how it goes Music. So theres always this concept that mirrorless lenses are going to be more compact, lighter weight than their slr counterparts and thats normally true, but with the rf 100 million macro here, even though its purpose built for mirrorless. It basically feels very similar in size and weight to like a canon, ef 100 millimeter macro around 650 grams, 67 millimeter filter thread. Of course, this is an l series lens, though so its ruggedly built and fully sealed. Okay. Now, as far as external controls go, i do like that. We have a customizable control ring here at the front of the lens thats, pretty cool uh weve got our standard focus limiters. We do have autofocus manual focus, switch and image stabilizer on off, because this is an image stabilized macro.
So lets talk about one of the main key features on the canon, rf 100 macro and thats the spherical aberration control, first im going to say just from an ergonomic standpoint. The ring is very smooth very easy to turn, though the actual neutral setting is quite subtle. So i highly recommend using the lock switch just if you want to keep it in neutral for regular photography. So, as you push the spherical aberration control into the minus area, youre going to get a very dreamlike effect, its important to understand that your main subject, thats in focus, is still going to be very soft, focused dreamy and hazy, its actually quite beautiful bouquet. In the background will also get significantly softer looking, and so it just gives you this kind of dreamscape kind of look now, when you push spherical aberration to the plus side, keep in mind that your subject, although a little bit more contrasty, is still going to be Largely soft focus. The background bouquet, however, is going to become very dramatic, very pronounced, very harsh, and it can also be a really interesting look im having a lot of fun with it here, just shooting stream side. Okay, so we have a hundred millimeter macro lens, which is basically the same size as its slr counterpart. Is there any advantage beyond you know the spherical aberration control for using this over say 100 millimeter ef macro with an adapter ring? Well, there definitely is because this goes to a 1.
4 times macro reproduction rate, whereas basically all other 100 macros generally do one to one. This gives you more magnification gets you that little bit closer all right lets talk about autofocus on the rf 100 millimeter macro. Here now, first off its actually quite smooth and quite speedy, even going from macro to infinity its pretty good. Now, of course, autofocus is something i would absolutely rely on if i was shooting portraits, for example, with this lens using eye detect relying on continuous autofocus. I think that does a great job, but this is a macro lens and, of course, for macro work. Im going to be relying on manual focus more than anything else now the manual focus ring is pretty well dampened and canon by far has the best manual focusing assist tools. Ive ever seen i mean i can punch in like any other camera magnify and focus by that, but even when im, just in the regular unmagnified view, i get that rangefinder icon the three triangles, and i can just put my auto focusing point where i want to Confirm focus manually, focus there and when everything goes green im good. I also love that on the display, it shows me my distance scale and my macro life size reproduction. So, overall, its just beautiful to work with in manual focus all right lets talk about flare today, weve got a nice sunny day. Clearly, im, not even using the hood and actually even still flare is very well controlled.
I mean very little loss of contrast. Im not really seeing any ghosting as well, so this lens can handle shooting in the sun quite easily, now loca as well launching chromatic aberration, thats. Another thing we talk about this is where in focus and autofocus areas pick up a color cast and its very hard to get rid of in post. You can see a little bit of it here, a little bit of green. In the background, a little bit of magenta in the foreground pretty typical, but nothing major so should be easy to deal with in most situations. So lets talk about the bouquet of the rf 100 millimeter macro lens, honestly, its some of the nicest that ive seen on a lens in quite a long time beyond the spherical aberration control. What that lets! You do creatively just in the neutral settings, i would say at f 2.8 theres, a bit of cats eye for sure, but otherwise the bokeh is very clean, no onion rings very smooth. Looking i like the way that it transitions from in focus to out of focus areas, maybe slightly energetic but its very smooth. Now, when you stop down youll notice that it still has a very nice round, look to the bouquet, and so overall, i think this would be an awesome, shallow depth of field lens for portrait work. Obviously, for macro work as well. It just has a buttery, smooth appearance to it now. Macro lenses can always be fun for video applications, and certainly this would be great for those close up extremes but like yellow macro lenses, this does have quite a bit of focused breathing, so i wouldnt really use it for focus pulls it moves too much plus the Fact that the macro lens, as you get closer focusing you lose quite a bit of exposure and youre going to see that shift in video as well.
But we thought okay, spherical, aberration control. This will be cool for video and certainly, if youre doing one still shot, and you want to get that more dreamlike effect or that harsher bokeh. In the background, it works the same as it would for photography its great, but we thought wouldnt it be cool to go neutral and then, in the same shot transition to say the dream, like sphere collaboration control. Unfortunately, the lens shifts this focus breathing quite a bit when you do that, its just too distracting, we thought itd be cool, not really. Okay, so weve had some fun out here, looking for macro stuff, but im not getting all the samples i want. So i got to do some more shots as well. You know, 100 millimeter macros have always been a great lens, pulling double duty as both macro work and also a portrait lens. So especially with the sphere collaboration control. I want to do some more portraits, but jordan doesnt want his picture taken today. Very much so were going to do those as well and when we see you again well have more information on this lens and were back weve taken some more shots. Weve had a look through them and i think we can finalize our thoughts now on the rf 100 millimeter macro now, in terms of sharpness, very impressive, i mean this lens. Even wide open at 2.8 is very sharp in the center. As you can see here, uh, you know: if we stop down to 5.
6, you really dont notice, much improvement going to the corners again. A little bit of corner softness at 2.8 is pretty typical, its still very usable and then again for macro, not always that big deal anyways and then certainly, if you stop down those corners sharpen up nicely overall, this lens is just optically, a really good performer. I want to address the focus shift issue that a lot of people are talking about with the canon, rf, 100 million or macro see canon cameras, auto focus these lenses wide open in this case at f 2.8. But if youve chosen aperture like f56 or f8, to get some more depth of field, when you actually go to take the picture, the aperture stops down, and what can happen is that your plane of focus can actually shift. This is a non issue for medium to long distance, shooting portrait stuff like that it doesnt really affect it. So i have to say, with all the shots we were taking, the testing we were doing with our f 100 millimeter macro. I personally didnt find focus shift to be an issue on our particular copy of this lens. I mean you know. The focus point does shift a slight amount, but it was so minor that i really didnt find it to be an issue. I think, maybe, if youre a really discerning macro photographer, that was pushing beyond the 1.4 times magnification ratio, maybe using extension, tubes and stuff – and you need hyper critical, focusing then it might be something you need to compensate for, but for most users of this lens i Dont think its going to be an issue and again your mileage will vary.
So is this lens worth buying? You know, is this new mirrorless design revolutionary, and is it going to be right for you its a tough one? It really does depend on the criteria that youre looking for i mean you know doing some portraits now: shooting the essays sphere, collaboration, minus and plus, first off, i would say, um it can be fun. At times i wouldnt go anywhere even close to half power, though its just too soft focus and effect and its pretty jarring. You know there might be some situations where a macro you might want the bouquet, in the background, to be a bit livelier or for portraits. You might want that kind of vintage 80s portrait kind of look, but i imagine those situations are pretty few and far between and so for a lot of people. This is gon na, be a fun thing or largely a gimmick. I think there was a portrait lens. This is an awesome lens, absolutely and the fact that it auto focuses so well if youre a wedding photographer. This might be a really fun thing. You can dabble with that 80s wedding style stuff, but you can also go from ring shots and details to you know to portraits and it does a really good job. If i was a serious macro photographer and i didnt care, then about the spherical aberration, control or even autofocus for that matter, thats tough – i mean the ef 100 macro, its optically still a great lens, or maybe you look at getting yourself a manually focusing fully mechanical Macro lens, like the law, which gives you that two to one macro reproduction for dedicated, close up work, i mean heres the thing: if youre a macro photographer, would this lens be a good option for you absolutely? I think you can compensate for the focus shift issues, but youre gon na be paying a lot of money for things that you might never care about.
Like fast autofocus and the spherical aberration control. I really think that people are gon na get the most out of this lens. Are people looking to do both close up and portraits and have that versatility in one lens? Well, thanks for watching do check out dpreview.com, you can see our sample gallery there. Otherwise, please do leave your comments below what you think about this lens.