Canon RF 100mm F2.8L Macro IS Image Gallery
November 24th, 2021
The Canon EF 100mm F2.8L Macro IS USM holds a very unique place in my personal lens kit; it has lasted longer than any other lens. I have had dozens of lenses come and go since I purchased the 100L Macro back more than a decade ago. I’ve changed cameras a number of times, and even though I don’t even own a camera with a native EF mount any longer, the EF 100L Macro has stayed with me because it just keeps working so well. The lens that may finally bump it out of my kit may have arrived, however, and that is in the form of the excellent new Canon RF 100mm F2.8L Macro IS USM. This is an updated version of the lens designed specifically for Canon’s new RF mount (for the EOS R mirrorless system). The new Canon RF 100mm F2.8L Macro takes a lot of the things that made the EF lens special and ups the ante in several ways.
The the first and most obvious upgrade is that this is not just a 1:1 macro lens anymore, but now we have the ability to go as high as 1.4x magnification. Does that make a difference? It definitely does. Here’s the difference between a 1.0x magnification and a 1.4x magnification:
Canon has also added a unique spherical aberration (SA) control to this lens, which allows you to play with the bokeh and focus in a creative way, which we’ll detail more later in the lens. For some people this will probably be more of a gimmick, but there are some who will squeeze some creativity out of it.
There’s a lot to love here, but as per usual, you’ll have to pay for it. The US price for the lens is $1399 USD, or about $1849 here in Canada. The general trend is that RF lenses have essentially all been priced higher than their EF equivalents (sometimes significantly so). What’s unique here is that the price of the EF 100mm F2.8L Macro has been creeping up over the past year. It’s currently priced at $1299 USD, which is the highest price I’ve ever seen for this lens. It debuted at $999 USD MSRP (I believe), and had trended down to $899 after a few years. It has steadily crept upwards since mid-2020, however, and now sits at this premium. I believe that supply chain issues have been cited, but it’s very odd for a lens that has been on the market for 11 years to have a price point over 30% higher than its launch. So, at the moment, that makes the price premium for the RF version more palatable, but only through a rather complicated backstory. So is it worth that premium price?
If you use a lens like this the way that it should (for general purpose, portraits, etc… along with macro), I suspect the correct answer for many the answer will be yes, but you can find my more detailed thoughts by watching my video review or reading the text review here…or just enjoy the photos below.
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Thanks to Camera Canada for loaning me this lens for review. They are my personal source for my gear and have been great to work with. As always, this is a completely independent review. *The tests and the photos shown in this review have been taken on my 45 MP Canon EOS R5.
Images of the Canon RF 100mm F2.8L Macro IS
Images taken with the Canon RF 100mm F2.8L Macro IS
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