Saturday, September 09, 2006

Canon 100mm f/2.8 USM macro

In August 2006 I went on ebay looking for a Canon 400mm f/5.6 L USM and ended up with a Canon 100mm f/2.8 macro USM. After using the 100mm macro for a month it is clear that this lens is a performer. The build quality is excellent and it is capable of , even wide open, producing sharp photos. The AF does seems slow in low light conditions, it is on par or a bit better then the Canon 50mm f1.4 USM, but then again I have been spoiled by my 70-200 f2.8 L.

Nature's detail
Nature's Detail

Looking on flickr many macro photos show the details of plants, flowers, bugs, watch gears and the list goes on. In other words, macro photography is about taking the time to look at the small things in life. If you are willing to be patient when setting up, focusing, and framing a particular photo the results can be surprising.


Macro Exposures:

The canon 100mm f/2.8 USM is able to produce closeups up to 1x magnification. This means an object which is, say 18mm long will appear 18mm long on your sensor. To put this in perspective the senosr of a 20D is only 15.0 X 22.5 mm, meaning you can fill the frame with a beer cap.

Clockwork
A watch assembly (18mm across)

When taking closeup photos it is important to note that f/2.8 at 1x (resp. 1:1.5, 1:2, 1:3, 1:5) magnification is effectively f/5.9 (resp. f/5, f/4.6, f/4.1, f/3.6). This means lighting can be an issue for upclose indoor shots. Instead of cranking up the ISO try using a tripod and shutter release which will also help with the very very small DOF at 1x magnification.

Normal Photography:

This lens is just not for macros as it can be used as a fast medium telephoto prime.

Show me some colourUnknown sorrow

Check more photos from this lens here

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