2022-Canon RF 100mm Macro Review

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Trendy digital camera lenses work very onerous to combat imperfections, including parts to appropriate chromatic aberration, spherical aberration, and a bunch of different points. Sarcastically, on the identical time, software program packages are embracing classically impressed presets and including issues like digital flare. If there’s a cheerful medium to this previous school-new college tug of warfare, it’s the Canon RF 100mm Macro. This lens, formally titled the Canon RF 100mm f2.8 L Macro IS USM, features a Spherical Aberration Management Ring. Utilizing this ring, photographers can add some slight edge softness or softness throughout the body (as if utilizing a mist filter).

With the RF 100mm Macro, Canon is experimenting with mixing the sharpness of the high-end L line with a little bit of character. However was Canon’s threat value it? Or is the SA dial only a gimmick? I spent a while with the Canon RF 100mm Macro to see how this distinctive lens holds up.

The lens for this overview was a rental offered by LensRentals.

The Huge Image

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Professionals

  • Nice stabilization
  • Plenty of character
  • Enjoyable flare
  • SA dial is sort of a built-in mist filter
  • Might be tremendous sharp or good and smooth

Cons

  • Outsized
  • Autofocus is stable, however the hit fee drops when photographing shifting macro.

The Canon RF 100mm Macro not solely expertly mixes technical greatness with character however permits photographers to decide on when they need that tremendous sharp picture or a bit extra character. With what feels virtually like a built-in variable mist filter, this lens can add just a little or a whole lot of softness. In fact, that softness to the bokeh as properly. That’s not the one means the 100mm macro impresses. This lens provides the kind of flare that software program will attempt to imitate. This flare can be simple to manage by adjusting the place of the lens so, as soon as once more, photographers can deliberately add flare or modify to maintain distinction intact. You’d assume that is an apparent factor, however you’d be shocked as Sony, Sigma, Nikon and others work onerous to get rid of all lens flare.

If there’s something to complain about, it’s that the mirrorless lens is definitely a bit bigger than the older DSLR variant. Which will give photographers who wish to journey mild some pause. Additionally value a be aware is the autofocus. It’s nice for shifting folks however when up shut requires extra persistence for shifting topics. However, if there’s room in your bag, this is a superb macro and portrait lens for Canon shooters.

I’m giving the Canon RF 100mm Macro 5 out of 5 stars and the Editor’s Selection Award. Need one? You’ll be able to decide one up at Adorama or Amazon. Before you purchase, think about making an attempt it from LensRentals.

The Phoblographer Editors Choice
Phoblographer 5 stars

Gear Used

I examined the Canon RF 100mm Macro with the R3. The lens was offered by LensRentals, whereas the digital camera physique is on momentary mortgage from Canon. The lens had on a B&W clear filter.

Improvements

The Canon RF 100mm Macro is without doubt one of the most modern lenses I’ve seen previously few years. It offers the photographer management over the corrective parts utilizing the SA (Spherical Aberration) ring. In brief, that is like having a mist filter constructed into the lens, permitting management over the sharpness. It creates the flexibility to get each technically sharp and dreamy smooth pictures with out shopping for two separate lenses. 

Tech Specs

LensRentals lists the next specs for the Canon RF 100mm Macro:

  • Angle of View: 24°
  • Aperture Blades: 9
  • Autofocus: Autofocus
  • Model: Canon
  • Compatibility: Full Body
  • Diameter: 3.2”
  • Filter Dimension: 67.0mm
  • Focal Size: 100.0-100.0
  • Teams/Parts: 13/17
  • Hood Included: Sure
  • Picture Stabilization: Sure
  • Merchandise Kind: Lens
  • Size: 5.8”
  • Lens Kind: Telephoto
  • Max Aperture: 2.8
  • Most Magnification: 1.4x
  • Mfr. Mannequin Quantity: 4514C002
  • Minimal Aperture: 22.0
  • Minimal Focusing Distance: 0.9 ft
  • Mount: Canon RF
  • Weight: 1.6 lbs.

Ergonomics

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The Canon RF 100mm Macro is a bit lengthy for a main. It’s a full inch longer than the comparable EF-Mount lens and greater than an inch longer than Sony’s E-Mount 100mm f2.8 Macro. It’s nearer in measurement to a zoom than a main. Fortunately, it’s not terribly heavy, due partially to the truth that it’s an f2.8 slightly than an f1.8. Nonetheless, the lens isn’t ultralight or ultra-compact.

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Near the mount, the lens homes a well-known financial institution of management switches for Canon customers. The primary is a spotlight limiter swap. That’s adopted by an AF/MF swap and an on-off swap for the lens’ built-in stabilization. 

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Almost hidden on the other facet, virtually beneath the lens, is a lock swap. This lock is the star of the present: the SA management dial. The dial controls the spherical aberration. Bump it unintentionally, and also you’ll get softer pictures. I really like the SA dial, however I’m glad there’s a lock on it.

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Persevering with out from the mount, the following management is the main target ring. It’s about twice as broad as the opposite two rings, so it’s simple to distinguish. On the entrance of the lens, by that iconic crimson ring, is a customized dial. It is a click-type dial, so you’ll be able to really feel how a lot the settings change. I choose setting this to aperture, however there are a variety of controls it may be set to, together with requiring urgent a second button for those who are inclined to bump the lens rather a lot.

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The entrance of the lens does have a very good little bit of plastic, which isn’t sudden for an f2.8 prime. It accepts 67mm filters and ships with a lens hood.

Construct High quality

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As an L collection lens, the Canon RF 100mm Macro is weather-resistant. I gave the lens a very good splash and it continued functioning as regular. I didn’t spot any mud or particles on the sensor after conducting the splash check.

The lens feels as if it’s made with the identical plastic supplies as the outside of the R3. It doesn’t have the posh of a metallic lens, but it surely doesn’t really feel chintzy. With a lens this lengthy, a metallic construct would have been too heavy anyway.

Autofocus

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The Canon RF 100mm Macro makes use of a Twin Nano USM autofocus system. It is a lens that can sustain with portraits of individuals in movement. It saved up with youngsters working towards the digital camera. The slim depth of area when taking pictures up shut makes it a bit tougher to maintain the concentrate on topics like flying bugs. Impressively, the R3’s Animal AF works on some bugs. However, as anticipated, the hit fee when making an attempt to {photograph} shifting bugs wasn’t as excessive.

The lens can focus as shut as .9 ft from the entrance of the lens, giving it a 1.4x replica ratio. Whereas the 1:1 is a little more excellent, the lens was nonetheless capable of get very near tiny topics, together with flowers smaller than my pinky’s nail.

Ease of Use

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Except for the SA dial, the Canon RF 100mm Macro feels prefer it belongs within the L-line household. Photographers with earlier Canon L glass expertise will discover the controls acquainted. Whereas the variety of controls isn’t daunting for a brand new photographer, studying to verify every management earlier than taking pictures is a good suggestion. (That’s how I ended up unintentionally taking pictures with the stabilizer switched off, with the R3 forgotten in crop mode. Whoops! No person’s excellent.)

The lens’ built-in stabilization is especially useful for the longer focal size and shut focusing capabilities. I used to be capable of shoot at 1/25 even whereas focusing up shut and nonetheless pull out a number of sharp pictures.

Picture High quality

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What’s unbelievable about this lens is that it delivers each technical greatness and tons of character, all throughout the identical lens. Need tremendous sharp pictures? Received it. Need smooth, dreamy pictures? No drawback. Combine in close-up autofocus capabilities, a fairly vibrant aperture, and so-beautiful-it-hurts lens flare and there are a ton of prospects from simply this one lens.

Spherical Aberration

Spherical aberration is what makes the corners of a picture smooth. As a result of the glass curves, the corners don’t meet the focal aircraft and the perimeters find yourself not as sharp as the middle. Trendy lenses are designed with completely different parts to combat this nook softness. Sarcastically, these corrections can typically trigger chromatic aberration or shade fringing round excessive distinction areas. However, trendy lenses are inclined to really feel extra scientific, with little character. Balancing technical perfection and lens character is tough to do. However, lastly, Canon has managed to create a lens that’s going to appease each the pixel peepers and the photographers in search of character.

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Locked within the heart, the lens delivers sharp pictures, with solely a minor softening on the corners. Use that SA dial and you’ll add slight softness, or a extra excessive stage of softness. One of the simplest ways to elucidate the SA ring is that it’s like a variable mist or dream filter. Flip it and get a really dreamy look, with all the things a bit smooth and highlights glowing. You’ll be able to add in as a lot softness as you need, or maintain all the things sharp. This isn’t the proper analogy, because the composition does get in barely nearer when utilizing the SA ring. However, with the SA dial, you may get each sharp pictures and dreamy ones from the identical lens.

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SA Dial at impartial place
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Canon describes this ring as controlling the character of the bokeh. In a means, that is true; the background is softer when utilizing the SA ring. However, it’s necessary to notice that, until on a really small setting, the topic can be softer as properly. In reality, the SA ring makes the bokeh so smooth that pure factors of sunshine reminiscent of daylight by means of bushes don’t type bokeh balls. When utilizing this lens exterior, the background was a lot softer, however I didn’t get any swirly or bubbly bokeh.

The impact on the bokeh is a little more noticeable with a brighter mild supply reminiscent of string lights. Right here’s what the shot appeared like with the SA ring locked into the impartial place:

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And beneath is identical picture with the SA dial turned all the best way to the “-” facet. There’s undoubtedly added softness right here, however the bokeh doesn’t swirl or bubble:

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Flip the SA dial all the best way to the + and see that a number of the bokeh balls now have a well-defined edge. Yum, onion rings! There’s nonetheless an general softness to the topic. This could possibly be fairly enjoyable to play with, however I used to be just a little dissatisfied that it was so tough to get this impact. The lens wants vibrant and small mild sources, and daylight filtering by means of tree leaves didn’t create the identical impact.

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The character and flexibility of the SA dial is spectacular and positively modern. However, it takes some experimenting to get the impact you need.

Bokeh

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Positive, there are brighter prime lenses on the market. However, the longer focal size and nearer focusing capabilities give that f2.8 an entire lot of bokeh energy. Get in shut and this lens delivers some nice, smooth backgrounds. Use the total extent of the macro capabilities and plenty of backgrounds will blur to a near-solid shade. Even taking pictures full-body portraits, there’s nonetheless a pleasant background separation right here.

Factors of sunshine generate clean bokeh balls with out onion ringing with the SA dial in impartial. Sometimes, the brightest factors of sunshine can get a cleaning soap bubble look to them. In direction of the sting, bokeh takes on a extra cat-eye form, however that is much less distinguished the nearer you get into the topic. When you use the SA ring, the bokeh balls are inclined to lose their definition and disappear into the blur of the background.

Sharpness

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Canon’s finest glass has an L within the identify and a crimson ring across the entrance, and the 100mm Macro isn’t any exception. The lens may be very sharp on the heart. Capturing broad open, there’s a slight softening on the corners. Topics on the sting aren’t fairly as sharp as these within the heart. However, it’s not sufficient to dissuade me from inserting topics on the sting.

Lens Character

The Canon RF 100mm Macro lastly brings character to the trendy, ultra-sharp lens.  The flexibility to create sharp pictures or dreamy softness is essential to the character right here. Nonetheless, it’s not the one place that the lens presents character.

I obtained genuinely excited after I captured flare with this lens. Half-cover the solar with an object like a constructing or a tree, and the lens creates these cool, rainbow ghosting circles. This was simple to manage by barely adjusting the place of the lens to get the flare in a wide range of positions and appears. That is the enjoyable type of round flare that particular results software program tries to copy. I simply watched an animated film with my youngsters and noticed that even animated films are re-creating flare. As onerous as trendy lenses attempt to combat flare, many people adore it. However, there may be some lack of distinction with flaring. 

These images had been shot with the lens hood connected, so it’s not going to be the perfect for photographers who don’t love flare. However, for those who can transfer the topic a bit or block the solar fully with an object, you’ll be able to nonetheless shoot backlit with out the flare for those who choose.

The RAW information have some slight vignetting that’s not obvious in JPEGs. This vignetting is slight sufficient to edit out and, based mostly on the JPEGs, will doubtless be so simple as utilizing the lens profile (as soon as accessible). I didn’t detect barrel distortion throughout my time with this lens.

Shade Rendering

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The colours coming from this lens are usually fairly correct. The hues don’t find yourself over saturated however really feel true to life with the proper white stability. In good lighting, there’s a lot of distinction and punch to the colours, but it surely doesn’t really feel overdone. Flare will naturally scale back the saturation and distinction in these colours.

Notably, I didn’t spot a whole lot of chromatic aberration with this lens. Correcting for spherical aberration can really create chromatic aberration. In principle, photographers ought to be capable to use these smaller SA dial changes to combat any chromatic aberration. However, I didn’t really feel I wanted to and used the SA management primarily for that dreamy look.

Further Picture Samples

From day one, The Phoblographer has been large on transparency with our viewers. Nothing from this overview is sponsored. Additional, a lot of people will publish critiques and present a lot of modifying within the images. The issue then turns into that anybody and everybody can do the identical factor. They’re not displaying what the lens can do. So we’ve got a piece in our Further Picture Samples space to indicate edited and unedited images. From this, you may make a choice for your self.

Edited

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Unedited

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Who Ought to Purchase It?

The Canon RF 100mm Macro is a superb selection for each macro work and portraits. This lens can be properly used amongst macro photographers, portrait photographers, and wedding ceremony photographers. The combo of character and sharpness is great, permitting photographers who typically need technical greatness and different occasions lot of character out of 1 lens.

Whereas I believe even many pixel peepers will love this lens, photographers who don’t actually care about cool flare and don’t need a smooth filter impact will find yourself hauling round a lens that’s a bit larger than mandatory. There are smaller lenses on the market, so it will not be your best option for journey.



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