Macro lenses - how good is the 100L?

Started May 12, 2013 | Discussions thread
R2D2 Forum Pro • Posts: 18,269
Re: Macro lenses - how good is the 100L? - > Excellent

Airbus5466 wrote:


Reading some magazine reviews about macros, it seems like the Sigma 105 and the Tamron 90 is considered to be the best in group.

You must be missing an awful lot of reviews then.

This is a pretty good place to start your research...

The Canon 100L while not bad

Actually I'd rate the 100L considerably higher than "not bad."

The Canon 100L while not bad seems to be less sharp and the Nikon 105 VR is far behind the others.

Judged at what apertures?  And at what magnification ratios?  How about the corners?  Distortion?  Or CA?

On the plus side for Canon is build and weather sealing.

If those are indeed important to you.

.. The Sigma and Tamron clear test winners.

Can you post which tests?

How about Working Distance?  Contrast?  Color?  Autofocus?  Image Stabilization?  Tripod Mount?

The standard non L 100 macro is considered to be sharper by the way...

I've shot extensively with all three Canon 100mm macros over the years, and my findings are just the opposite actually.

What do you make of this?

Well I hope the experience and opinions of those who have posted here carry some weight in your selection process.

I love my Sigma 35 mm 1.4 art, is it time to consider a Sigma instead of the 100L?

Depends on what and how you shoot.  The new Sigma 105mm OS Macro might turn out to be pretty darn good (the 150 OS is).

In addition, like WilbaW, I use the 100L's IS extensively in available light, and also find the 100L's AI Servo AF to be extremely useful (I use AF about 10% of the time for macros, especially when breezy).

Anyone with experience from all of these lenses?

I don't think you can go "wrong" with any of these fine macro lenses.  I haven't shot with the Sigma or Tamron, but folks have gotten great results with all of them.  Select one based upon your own particular requirements.  For instance I really love to hike with the 100L, and the fast and accurate AF make it very good for a variety of other subjects as well (heck, I've shot sports with mine).

I have samples from all three Canon 100m macro lenses in my galleries here if you'd like (view at "original" size)...

Good luck,


ps. Here is a recent thread with some good info...

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