Lens review

Canon EF 100 mm f/2.8 Macro USM

23 October 2009
Arkadiusz Olech

3. Build quality

Everybody who has ever had an EF 1.4/50 USM model in hand and knows its build quality can easily imagine how the 2.8/100 Macro looks like. In the case of both lenses we deal with identical solidity of used elements. Outside we find a high quality plastics and rubber on a comfortable, properly operating manual focus ring. Beneath we find metal, which is also a material the bayonet mount is made of.

Canon EF 100 mm f/2.8 Macro USM - Build quality

On the lens there is a clear distance scale; on its left you find a focusing mode switch (AF/MF) and a focus limiter, which can be set on full focus distance ( so from 0.31 meter to infinity) or on restricted distance (so from 0.48 meter to infinity).

Canon EF 100 mm f/2.8 Macro USM - Build quality

As we mentioned before, the Canon EF 2.8/100 USM Macro is a closed construction lens so the focusing is performed through the movements of inner elements. Because of that the instrument is fully sealed so it won’t cause any problems sucking dirt inside and it will work without a snag with different filters – polarizers or colour grads. Other consequence of the inner focusing is the change of focal length when you take a picture of an object from a small distance.

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Contrary to Nikkors, the lens, by taking pictures from small distances, doesn’t pass to the body the information about the change of light. Working with the 1:1 scale the body will indicate the usage of f/2.8 aperture when, in fact, we will be closer to f/5.6 aperture.

The inner construction consists of 12 elements in 8 groups. The manufacturers used neither low-dispersion nor aspherical elements. The overall picture is complemented by an 8 diaphragm blades aperture and a 58 mm filter thread.

Canon EF 100 mm f/2.8 Macro USM - Build quality

It’s already a Canon standard – unless you buy an L-series lens, you don’t get any accessories apart from two caps and a cardboard box.