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Canon EF 100/2.8 Macro

by Don Baccus, 1996

The EF 100/2.8 Macro, though lacking the red ring denoting an "L" lens, may be the sharpest lens in the Canon lineup. This should be no surprise, as macro lenses in this range tend to be of very high quality, even those from third-party vendors. Indeed, I owned a Kiron 105/2.8 Macro for my old Minolta MD system and it was sharper than any Minolta-built lens I owned.

One of the first things I noticed about this lens was that the front element is deeply recessed in the barrel. I don't know why this is true (and would love comments from anyone who does), it may be related to the barrel's need to extend greatly when focusing to 1:1. It does make the lens hard to clean.

This is my favorite length for macro work. 50 or 60 mm lenses don't give enough working distance for many nature subjects, while I feel 180 or 200 mm is too long for general macro work. This lens is so sharp that it seems a pity that the Canon 1.4x telextender won't mount, until you realize that you can cheat by first mounting a 12mm extension tube, followed by the 1.4x extender. Voila! 140/4 Macro! While I've not tried it with the 2x extender, it should do well, especially when one considers the fact that macro work is usually done with the lens stopped down considerably.

Darn, It's Not USM!

Yes, it is true - this lens has a DC Micromotor for autofocus. Personally, I don't find this much of a drawback because I really don't find auto-focus all that useful for the type of macro photography I do. I often pre-set focus then move the lens/body combination until the subject is in focus, particularly when using flash. Even when working on a tripod and with ambient light, I find myself needing to fiddle camera position and focus until I get the composition I want - at close range, tiny movements make a large difference.

Since I also own a 80-200/2.8L, I rarely use this macro lens for general photography. Those who are looking to frequently use this lens as a general-purpose short-telephoto are bound to miss the benefits of full-time manual focus and the fast, quiet autofocus provided by USM lenses.

Optical Performance

Superb, what more can I say? While you can't judge performance by viewing highly-compressed images, hopefully these will give you some indication of the capabilities of this lens.

Technical Data
Construction: 10 elements, 9 groups
Angle of view: 24 degrees
Focus motor: DC Micromoter
Closest focusing: 0.31 meters (1 ft)
Filter size: 52 mm
Length and diameter: 105.3 x 75 mm (4-1/8 x 2-15/16 in)
Weight: 650 g (22.9 oz)

Where to buy the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens

This is the new USM version of the lens; the non-USM version is no longer sold.

Purchasing through the following links helps to support photo.net.

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Images and text copyright © 1996, Don Baccus

Article created 1996

Readers' Comments

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Graham Perks , August 10, 1997; 11:04 P.M.

I carried this lens around both Singapore Zoo and Singapore's Bird Park over the w/end. Also with me went a 28-105 and a 100-300. I found the 28-105, while normally my most used lens, went mostly unused. The 100-300 was very helpful for some of the more distant animals, once I found somewhere to rest the camera on to steady the picture. However the 100 macro was used just as much - the wider aperture allowed me to handhold into darker places. Allowing me to focus from just a few centimetres all the way to infinity was great when allowed close to some of the animals - for example, some of the lizards and parrots. I got some parrot headshots I'd never have gotten with my zooms. The lens is heavy and the focussing is not quiet but I was very very glad to have it!

Randy -- , January 22, 1998; 09:16 P.M.

I believe the reason the front element of this lens is recessed in deeply (it even goes deeper in when you go really close-up i.e. 1:1) is to cut down on flare and glare. This problem becomes especially noticeable for closeup work.

I also believe this reason to be true as this lens is one of the Canon lenses that does not have a hood of its own, simply because it is already in-built ! What do you think ?

Paulo Bizarro , March 06, 1998; 11:01 A.M.

I have recently traded my 50 2.5 Macro and 85 1.8 for this lens, the reason being that I already have the 70-200 2.8 and I will soon have the 50 1.8. The 85 1.8 is a very good lens, sharp, contrasty, and fast. The 50 macro is good as well. Initial results from the 100 macro are very good indeed, both as a macro lens and as a portrait lens. Though focusing is not as fast as with ring USM, it is not a hinderance for me. I always prefocus on macro mode and then move the camera, or set the magnification I want and move the camera. Actually, by correctingly using the limit focus switch, AF is not that slow. The lens also doubles as an excellent portrait lens when I feel too lazy to carry the 70-200 2.8, or when I have to travel with a smaller bag.

Paulo Bizarro , March 16, 1998; 07:47 A.M.

Further results from this lens have just confirmed a few points I wanted to test. I shot a few rolls from my son having swimming lessons in an indoor pool. Camera is irrelevant, but I have used a 40MZ3i Metz flash gun mounted on the PG 16 Metz grip, and film was Superia Reala 100 ISO. I had to get there about one hour earlier so that the lens could aclimatize to humidity and get rid of condensation. Results were in all instances superb, I set the camera in P mode and flash in ATTL, giving me 1/60 sec and f/4.0, with bounce flash and second tube on.

AF is of course slower than true USM lenses, but careful planning and correct use of AF range limit is quite important. I would live with slower AF if other EF lenses were this sharp and contrasty:-)

Vince Farnsworth , April 09, 1998; 12:44 P.M.

I recently purchased this lens and have a few observations to share. When I tried it out in the shop, I first used an Elan IIe body (they didn't have a demo A2 like mine) . The autofocus seemed slower and not as decisive as the other lenses I own, especially in low light. I thought this was because the lens doesn't use the nice USM motor. Then, the salesman said he needed to show another customer the Elan and handed me an EOS 1n body. What a difference! Now the lens was fast and decisive with the focus snapping in without hunting. The lens works just as well on my A2. Not quite up to the USM standard, but perfectly acceptable.

Optically, the lens is wonderful. I tested it as a landscape, portrait and closeup lens with excellent results. Very impressive. The out-of-focus areas are also very smooth and "buttery." This is something I haven't really noticed before but it does add to the overall quality of the pictures. I'm really looking forward to getting somewhere photogenic so I can take full advantage of its attributes.

Glen Johnson , May 14, 1998; 03:17 P.M.

Vince's point is important. Even though the EF lenses have internal chips and motors, they act differently on different bodies, so if you want to know how a lens will work for you, it is important to try it out with your own equipment.

I've never understood the complaining about the focus speed on the 100 f/2.8 macro, but I nearly always use it in conjunction with the 1N because in macro work the 100% finder is important to me.

Nassar Ali Syed , January 08, 1999; 09:31 A.M.

O.K., so I bought one and have only recently fed a couple of rolls through my system.. I bought one after reveiwing a lot on the net, especially here an through PhotoDo. I was expecting a really slow lense whioch would be stiff and noisy. I had to wait two weeks to get one by mail order from the UK. WHat I have received is nothing short of a beautiful lens, which focuses very fast on my EOS1n an shows an excellent, bright viewfinder image. It is razor sharp, even for general photography and very fast. I personally have no problem in switching between MF/AF and Full/Limit autofocus. Come on!, if this was the only problem with it, then thank God, it something one can realy get used to easily to correct. An excellent Lens in my opinion!


kurt heintzelman , May 20, 1999; 07:59 P.M.

I have used the EOS 1N and the 100/f2.8 macro for 2 years now, and in my opinion, it is essentially an L series lens without the "red ring". This lens really smokes when shooting Velvia with a little flash from a 540EZ. By the way, I have found that one really can make gorgeous chromes with the above combination, even when the flash is mounted on the hotshoe and you're really in close. The trick is to flip down the diffuser panel in addition to using the 7 degree down angle.. doing so creates a splash of light that will nicely illuminate objects within a few inches of the lens. The Lepp macrobracket, 2 flashes, and all the cords and connectors for more elaborate macro flash will cost nearly $650.00!

Vitaly Boyko , September 11, 1999; 03:40 P.M.

Please, don't complain - Canon EF 100/f2.8 Macro is simply "supersonic" lenses. Quality one can dream about ! ! ! Recommend to everyone interested in Macro Photography. All the best, Vitaly

Jerry Wing , September 25, 1999; 04:28 P.M.

After doing alot of research over the internet on this lens, I decided to purchase one. Every comment that was made about this lens was almost always positive. Even though I have the 28-105 and 100-300 zoom lenses, the 100 2.8 macro lens fills a need. Portraits that I have taken with this lens are superb! The lens does have a tendency to hunt, but switching to manual is no big deal considering the quality of pictures that are produced by this lens. This one is definitely worth obtaining if you have the bucks!!!

Sriram R , October 14, 1999; 04:43 A.M.

My 2 month old 100/2.8 macro died on me last evening. 2 weeks ago it started making a strange clicking noise when turning the focusing ring. 1 week ago, during autofocus, it tried zooming past infinity and the motor made a grinding noise, which persists during AF ever since. Yesterday, AF just died. I've never seen this happen to any lens. Just sent it to Canon today. Aaaugh!

Ignacio Feito , March 18, 2000; 07:43 P.M.

OK guys, your wait is over. Canon introduced the 100 2.8 Macro USM last month. Their website claims it's performance will meet or exceed that of the current lens, but I guess we'll know when someone has a chance to try it.

Robert Catasus , March 21, 2000; 09:53 P.M.

I have just acquired the new Canon EF 100/2.8 Macro USM. My first test slides with a Canon Elan II and Fuji Velvia were astonishing ... the lens is extremely sharp, even the hand-held shots. Contrast and colors are also first rate; I am surprised Canon does not offer this lens as a "white L series". This new USM is one of my favorite in the Canon line and the internal focusing feature is highly useful. Summarizing, "a fabulous Canon prime very highly recommended for macro and portrait work".

Ignacio Feito , March 22, 2000; 06:07 P.M.

Dear Mr. Feito:

Unfortunately, the 1.4X extender is still not compatible with the new EF 100 2.8 USM Macro lens.

Thank you for your inquiry,

Canon USA

Patrick Wong , May 16, 2000; 06:09 P.M.

I just saw the new Canon 100 F2.8 Macro USM this weekend. First impression is that is look like an impressive. Like most Canon lens with USM is very quite and very fast focusing. The lens is heavier than the non USM version. I have not purchase the lens becasue, both version of the lens is price at $999 CDN and I am wondering how Canon can put a USM Motor in the lens with out raising the price. It pissed my salesman at Broadway Camera in Toronto of because he sold the non USM to customer a week before the USM version came out. Now the customer is piss off at him. He said Canon could have made his life more esier by price the new version a little higher, since they can justify it with USM. I am glad Canon did not raise the price of USM version but I still have some question about the Lens. My main concern is optical quality, is it as sharp or sharper than the non USM version. One thing that piss me off about their Canon Lens is the L designation on their lens. Should this 100 F.28 Marco USM be any L Lens. I know L lens cost more money, but they include everything like the tripod collar, lens hood, and case( Hard or soft)plus better optics. I purchase lens hood for non L lens and they are expensive as hell for cheap piece of black plastic and it does not fit properly. So my question is what are the requirement for a Canon Lens to be designated a L Lens . Why I ask this question the box that the USM version of this lens come in, look over large. The saleman and I think certain part, that were to be include are missing.

Paulo Bizarro , May 31, 2000; 08:07 A.M.


The new USM 100 Macro lens should include the lens hood as part of the package, but not the tripod collar. Also, not all L lenses come with the tripod collar (eg. the 70-200 f/4 L).

The L designation stands for Luxury; there are many excellent EF lenses that are not L lenses, because they do not incorporate fluorite and/or other special elements in their optical formula.

Keith Neundorfer , May 31, 2000; 09:32 A.M.

According to Canon's press release the hood for the new 100mm macro is an optional accessory. I can't imagine why.

David R. Williams , June 05, 2000; 02:31 A.M.

I recently purchased the new 100mm f/2.8 USM macro lens for use as a high quality close-ups lens to complement my 50/1.4, 85/1.8 and 200/2.8L. Initial subjective results indicate that this lens is optically excellent (comparable with my other primes) and is much faster and quieter to autofocus than the previous micro-motor 100/2.8 Macro. The design of the USM system in this lens, with the focus range selector and its internal focussing design, makes this lens as quick to focus in AF on my EOS-3 as any other ring-USM lens I've used. The slight amount of light fall-off in the corners at f/2.8 is gone by f/4.0, while its bokeh is very similar to the smooth, soft bokeh of the 85/1.8. Canon's claim that the 100/2.8 USM macro can mount 2 filters without the filters vignetting is correct.

There is one other characteristic of the 100/2.8 USM macro that prospective purchasers should be aware of - the design of the USM focussing system in this lens has resulted in a very short focus ring rotation when manually focussing on subjects at distances of 3 feet and greater. This makes it difficult to manually focus this lens on non-macro subjects as there's only 1/2" of focus ring rotation to focus the 100/2.8 USM macro from 3 feet to infinity v.s. 2" of rotation for the same focus range with the 85/1.8. This makes the 100/2.8 USM macro incredibly fast to focus with AF, but very difficult to focus manually at longer subject distances as a slight rotation of the focussing ring often overshoots the desired plane of focus.

Overall the new 100/2.8 USM macro is a great lens for its intended purpose. However, if you use the full time manual focus feature and you want to use the 100/2.8 USM macro for other than macro use (i.e. portraits), or to replace your 85/1.8 or 100/2.0, I strongly recommend you try the manual focussing of the 100/2.8 USM macro for yourself before you commit.

John Yu , October 08, 2000; 09:36 A.M.

I bought Canon EF 100/2.8 Macro and like it a lot. It is terribly sharp and the color is very rich too. USM is much faster than any of Nikon's lenses. You can use it for almost any needs. The only problem is that the hood is really expensive ($40). I wonder if it is made of gold or something, but I need it for outdoor use. Canon got me this time. The lens is sold at Focus Camera for $560, $100 less than B&H. I called Focus and got the lens next day. Another potencial problem with this lense is that the lens glass is very close to the filter. When you put on a filter, it almost touches the lens glass. You have to be very careful not scraching the glass.

Wee Keng_Hor , December 26, 2000; 11:58 P.M.

I had this lens for 5 years now and few days ago its autofocus stops working. This is the first time I encounter mulfunction with Canon camera products. I will not send it for repair because its autofocus is poor and I can live with manual focus.
Auto focus aside, its optics is extremely sharp and good. Apart from the obvious macro and portrait photography, it is also an excellent lens for new born baby! See here for sample shots.

Paulo Bizarro , January 11, 2001; 05:31 A.M.

After using the new USM macro lens for about one month, here are my views on it: 1. Internal focusing really improves handling, and USM makes AF useful at reproduction ratios up to 1/2 life-size. 2. Image quality is superb at f/16, my most used setting. 3. The (optional) tripod collar makes this lens a joy to use. However, it is f****** expensive.

Joel Alves , April 29, 2001; 03:33 P.M.

My amazing EF USM 100mm f/2.8 macro!!!!

PROS: Very very very Sharp lens! USM is superb. Inner focusing. Very well buit. Color and contrast are amazing. For using in macro or portrait photos with escellent quality, silence and precision.Image quality is superb at f/11 and f/16, my most used setting.

CONTRA: None... or bether, the price of this lens here in Brazil. Darn, It's very expensive! Thanks God it's not a L lens (the price in the heaven)... despite it is better than much of them.

Other Products Used: Vivitar 100mm f/3.5 macro, Nikon 55 micro with converter, Yashica Dental Eye

Bottom Line: I'm a dentist. For many years I've used manual Minolta SRT 102 with Vivitar 100mm f/3.5 and Yashica Dental Eye. I was very happy in my office wen suddenly, I discovered the Canon world and I fallen in love. I have a EOS A2, the Ring lite ML-3 and the 100mm f/2.8 USM. This lens is fantastic for macro or portrait use or . My Slide of mouth became much more sharp and I improve the color and contrast if compared with others lenses. I don't need to use filters anymore by the amazing job of this lens and the Ring lite ML-3 to take great slides. The versatility of this lens is incredible... I can shot mouth and a patient's portraits with the same quality and sharpness. It has a excellent response in use with ring flash TTL with difficult conditions of the oral cavity. For dentists or anyone who want to take a serious job with macro or portrait photo, this lens is the real real one! Despite the price here in Brazil, 5 stars is the right value rating.


Gary Voth , March 06, 2002; 02:11 A.M.

I recently evaluated the original EF 100mm f/2.8 macro against the newer USM version... and elected to purchase the older lens.

Why not the USM version? It's undoubtedly a great lens, but for my needs a number of factors contributed:

First, the new lens is slightly bulkier, and it requires a separate lens hood; the original lens needs no hood becaue of the recessed front element.

Second, as described above, the newer lens is difficult to focus manually outside of the macro range; there just isn't enough travel in the focusing ring, so that the slightest touch causes a big shift in focus. Despite having Canon's full-time manual focus system, the newer lens is not easily usable this way.

Third, USM was not a big deal to me because I already own the EF 100mm f/2.0 for general photography and portraiture. The macro lens is more of a specialized optic. In addition, I found that when using the focusing limiter the older lens focuses quickly enough.

Fourth, price. I found a mint pre-owned version of the original lens at about one half the cost of the newer lens.

Fifth, excellent ergonomics and build quality. What can I say, both lenses are impressive.

So before you automatically buy the new macro because it is the "latest, greatest," check out the original lens that is the subject of this review. You might be surprised at how appealing it is.

Ron Chappel , December 25, 2002; 02:02 A.M.

A fantastic lens!!I got mine mostly by chance-i was looking for a portrait lens when i saw this one at a great price secondhand.Some people say that a sharp lens is too much for portraits but i disagree,i love it!When you get a good shot with this ,it's a stunner!!Of course you get more than a few that show every mistake you made with the pose,lighting,etc..... After much soul(and bank ballance) seaching,i've decided i'll keep mine.I can't justify such a huge amount of money in a lens but i can't let it go either.I'll just insure it and it wont depreciate much.I'll sell it someday....maybe.Yeah,right..

Has the most natural look i've seen in a lens-the perfect amount of colour and contrast plus incredibly sharp!!.Manual focus feel is not too bad and the front element is very well protected.

The bad points are the overstressed focus drive system and hunting in difficult light or on a lousy body(was pretty bad on an EOS630).Oh,and flare problems when light DOES get past that great hood

Vincent J M , January 21, 2004; 05:30 A.M.

Traded in my old crappy 100/2.8 non-USM for the USM version. Oboy. This is the first macro lens I've used, on which AF is really useable in the 1:1 range. It's a great all purpose and portrait lens and darn sharp. Pity, the lens hood is so expensive, and I've found it necessary to eliminate flare. After my less than satisfactory experience with the pathetic excuse for an AF motor on the old 100/2.8 (it's like using a 500cc engine to power a huge truck, and it died on me), this lens rocks.

Helen B. , January 24, 2004; 11:55 A.M.

Hey, guys! Why did you have these "lens hood" problems? 100/2.8 offers a 58mm mounting thread, so you can attach a Kaiser rubber hood (<8 USD) with or without a step-up-ring (58->67)

ilia . , November 18, 2004; 03:03 P.M.

f32 and beyond with current 1.6x crop DSLRs

While I used to use f32 on my 100MacroUSM for macro work with film cameras from time to time, f32 became all but useless with my D60 and 20D. Apparently, current high-megapixel count 1.6x crop DSLRs are very sensitive to even slightest drop in lens resolution, so "refractive" softening at f32 and beyond will result in pretty poor results. I wouldn't recommend going past f16 if you need to see details in your image. See this for example:

Pietro De Ponte , March 05, 2005; 01:58 P.M.

I had used this lens mounted on a 300d with a 20 mm macro tube and a canon 1.4x extender. I obtained an equivalent 224mm f4 ultra macro lens that remain very sharp to f/8 (equivalent f11). In my opinion this lens has the maxium sharpness at f 5.6 and remains very good from f2.8 to f11. At f16 the deep of field is great, but the sharpness is less than a 50mm macro at f8 (similar DOF) at half distance.

Brandon Gohsman , December 24, 2005; 01:37 P.M.

My new 100/2.8 USM just arrived yesterday and I'm as giddy as a school girl. Now I'm running around shooting everything in my house from a few inches away. I can actually see shadows being cast by the ridges that make up my fingerprint.

Shkumbin Rama , March 15, 2006; 03:01 P.M.

Hi there,

I have a Canon 20D and 17-85 lens, and now I am thinking to have another lens. For now I am thinking to have eather EF 100/2.8 MACRO, or EF 50mm f/1.4 USM. I really don't know what to do, which one to have. Can somebody help me which one to chose or maybe somethign else, but not more expensive than EF 100/2.8 MACRO.

Thank you Bini

Bristi Roy , April 22, 2006; 02:03 P.M.


About your dilemma which lens to buy: I have 70-200 f 2.8 L and 17-85 IS. I am not too happy with the 17-85 (I may be spoiled from my L lens attitude). The 70-200 f 2.8 L is the sharpest lens I have seen in my life. I needed a macro and could not afford MP-E @ $825 (however,5 times magnification).

As a dealer, I got a very good deal($375) on 100 2.8 macro. I use it as a lighter option for my 70-200(professionally used). It is one of the sharpest lens.

I recommend 70-200 f2.8 L and 100 2.8 macro. Get rid of the 17-85 IS. I mean get a 16-35 L(max out the credit card, itz worth it). I am to get one, hopefully, on my b'day).

L is the way.


G D , July 05, 2006; 06:27 P.M.

Have any of you who have expressed an intrest in this topic owned either the 100 2.8 macro or the 135 2.8 soft focus lens?

Currently I am interested in getting soft focus for portraits at weddings and exploring macro wildlife further.

I'm using my 70-200f4 but not getting soft focus (filters are not great) and then use a variety of lenses with extensions to do macro, anything from the 50mm to a 300mm.

How good is the 135 2.8 SF lens when used with an extension for macro work?

Hmm I guess I am looking for advice on whether or not the 70-200 f4 is as good with a soft focus filter (or vaseline) as the 135 for subtly dreamy portraits. Bare in mind I say subtle effect. And also whether the 100 macro is that much better to carry it with me rather than the extension tubes.

Currently one of the main limitations is the amount to gear I am prepared to carry on safari. I carry:

Three bodies, 70-200f4 & 50f1.4 & 28-70f2.8 & 17-40f4 and 1.4 extender. throw in a tripod, monopod 2x550ex flashes with bracket. All on which fits into my crumpler camera bag. one more lens means something comes out the bag, so it needs to be worth it. Plus 300f2.8 & 300f4 lenses in their now cases.

What do you guys have to say? as a secondary interest macro and soft focus is either of these lenses worth getting, and one above the other?

Cheers G

Don McLeod , March 03, 2007; 01:19 A.M.

I am considering buying the Canon100mm Macro OR the Sigma 105mm Macro. I saw somewhere on the net that the Sigma was just too slow in focusing & that person bought the Canon as a result. Has anyone compared both lenses?? If so how do they compare. Your advice would be gratefully received by me. My address is: bigfrog9@bigpond.net.au. Thanks & regards Don McLeod.

Ron Jones , March 04, 2007; 05:57 A.M.

I've got some questions for you experts. Hopefully you can point us in the right directions and make suggestions regarding the best ways to accomplish what we want to do. Our photographic expertise is probably between the intermediate level and the Advanced level. Not anywhere near semi-pro.

We have a Canon EOS Digital Rebel (not XT). We have other cameras that we use for everything except Macro and were going to get rid of the Canon Digital Rebel as we rarely use it. We obviously can't get much for this camera and realized it might be very good for our Macro needs. So we want to dedicate the Canon Digital Rebel exclusively for Macro work, mostly to take close-up photos of gemstones and jewelry.

It sounds like the perfect lens for our application may be the Canon EF 100/2.8 Macro USM. Since the Digital Rebel has a smaller sensor, it sounds like that is an advantage over higher end Canon cameras for Macro, since a penny will fill an entire frame at 1:1. Is that correct?

Is the Canon EF 100/2.8 Macro USM fully compatible with the Canon EOS Digital Rebel?

We're planning on building a small 2 foot by 2 foot photographic stage, so all of our photos have the same lighting and the same look and feel. We'll mount a tripod above the stage. We'll leave this lens on the camera and leave the camera mounted in the tripod most of the time.

The majority of our macro photographs will be about taken the same focal length so the focus would not need to be changed much.

Would an Adorama Macro 4 way Focusing Rail Set be helpful for this setup? Or is the USM AF accurate enough that we will not want to focus manually when photographing small gem stones?

Would an Adorama Macro 4 way Focusing Rail Set be helpful if we decide to get a Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5X Macro Lens since that needs to be focused manually?

We were planning on getting a ring flash but understand we'd be much better off to have a Macro Twin Lite, so we could detach the two lites and front light and back light the small items we are photographing. One advantage of twin lites is so the highly reflective gemstones and jewelry do not reflect the light right back into the camera. Would a Macro Twin Lite work better for our application than a Ring Lite?

We will shoot the photos in 6.3 Megapixels, which is MUCH higher resolution than we need to put the images on websites. Then we will zoom in and crop the images to get the results we want. Once we get the image we want, we were planning on making a print screen of that screen image using Snag It, then save it as a JPG. That gets the file size down to about 70K, but still keep the full quality that was showing on the screen. Getting the file size down to about 70K makes it MUCH easier to place hundreds of photos on websites. We have done that with other applications and the image quality looks surprisingly good for 70K photo size. Is there an easier / better way to get small file sizes for websites and still have a very sharp image?

Many of the gems and jewelry items we photograph will be larger than a full frame at 1:1, but some items might only fill 1/3 of a frame at 1:1 (even with the small sensor of the Canon EOS Digital Rebel). We may want to zoom into the gemstones to show internal flaws or particular attributes in the gemstones. Since we have 6.3 megapixels to work with, we could take the photo at 1:1 then zoom in to get further magnification (even though it was taken at 1:1).

There may be times that we want to show gemstones with a ten power or twenty power magnification, as if they were being viewed through a 10X of 20X loupe or microscope.

Approximately what magnification would a digital photograph be at 1:1 on the Canon EOS Digital Rebel (small sensor) with the Canon EF 100/2.8 Macro Lens?

Can a 2X doubler lens be added to the Can EF 100/2.8 Macro without losing too much image quality? How much image quality is lost with a 2X doubler lens? What lens is that?

Would we be better off getting the Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5X Macro Lens than the Canon EF 100/2.8 Macro Lens?

The Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5X Macro Lens provides five times the magnification and I understand can be doubled to provide 10 times the magnification of 1:1.

Since we have 6 MB photo size to zoom into for cropping, do you experts think we would need zoom in further than 1:1 when we take the photos?

The Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5X Macro Lens seems to be rated very highly too, but from the comments here, it doesn't sound like other lenses could provide much better image quality than the Canon EF 100/2.8 Macro USM.

At 1:1, which lens provides the better quality, Canon EF 100/2.8 Macro or Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5X Macro Lens and what are the pros and cons of the two lenses with our Canon EOS Digital Rebel?

Thank you,


Bhushan Amachi , April 22, 2007; 02:21 P.M.

Hi all,

My requirement is a sharp and fast portrait lens. I'm confused whether to choose 100mm f/2.8 macro or 85mm f/1.8 lens. But if the sharpness of both are same then I definitely would go for the 100mm lens for it's macro feature. Can somebody please advise me on this?

Thanks in Advance, Bhushan

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