New Canon RF 100mm F2.8L Macro IS USM lets you adjust bokeh on-the-fly: Digital Photography Review Leave a comment



Published Apr 14, 2021
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dpreview staff

Canon’s new RF 100mm F2.8L Macro IS USM lens is the company’s first RF-mount lens designed for close-up photography. Its minimum focus distance is 26cm (10″), giving a maximum magnification of 1.4X. The lens’ image stabilization system switches to a ‘hybrid’ mode when focus distances are short, which activates shift (horizontal and vertical translation) reduction on top of the standard angular shake reduction. During regular shooting, the IS system reduces shake by up to 5 stops on its own and by up to 8 stops when attached to stabilized bodies, such as the EOS R5, according to CIPA standards.

The lens has 17 elements in 13 groups, and uses a Super Spectra coating to reduce flare and ghosting. The lens’ autofocus system is powered by ‘Dual Nano USM’: two Nano USM linear motors ensure quick and silent focus, which afford a significant improvement over the ring-type USM drive found in the previous 100mm Macro. The lens also has a control ring for adjusting settings such as ISO and Exposure Compensation, and is threaded for 67mm filters.

The most interesting feature on the RF 100mm F2.8L is probably its ‘spherical aberration’ adjustment. Like the Defocus Control feature on some Nikon lenses of yesteryear, it provides a dial (which moves a lens element or elements) that lets shooters adjust the ‘character and appearance’ of bokeh, as well as the overall softness of the image. It does so by under-correcting or over-correcting spherical aberration to yield either soft-edged or hard-edged background bokeh, respectively, with the opposite effect resulting for foreground bokeh. We’ll put the ‘SA’ feature through its paces when the lens arrives this summer.

As with all Canon recent L-series lenses, the 100mm F2.8 is sealed against dust and moisture, and has a fluorine coating on the front element to repel oil and water.

The Canon RF 100mm F2.8L Macro IS USM will be available in July at an MSRP of $1,400.

Press release:

The Canon RF100mm F2.8 L Macro IS USM lens is not only Canon’s first RF lens designed specifically for macro photography, but also the world’s first[1] medium telephoto macro lens with a maximum magnification of 1.4x. The new lens, designed for both advanced photo enthusiasts and professionals, takes macro photography expression to the next level with the introduction of a spherical aberration (SA) control ring. The SA control ring allows users to change the character and appearance of the bokeh and obtain a softer focus effect with a simple turning of the ring to the desired result.

Additional features of the Canon RF100mm F2.8L Macro IS USM include:

  • Optical Image Stabilizer with up to five stops of Shake Correction[2].
  • When combined with a camera featuring In-Body Image Stabilizer, up to eight stops of shake correction[3] is possible with coordinated operation of Optical and In-Body Image Stabilizer.
  • Hybrid IS helps to compensate for angular and shift camera shake during macro shooting.
  • High-speed, smooth and quiet auto focus with dual nano USM.
  • Customizable control ring that allows photographers to adjust exposure compensation, shutter speed, aperture or ISO.
  • Rugged Canon L-series dust and water-resistant design.

The Canon RF100mm F2.8 L Macro IS USM, Canon RF400mm F2.8 L IS USM and Canon RF600mm F4L IS USM are scheduled to be available in July 2021 for an estimated retail price of $1,399.00, $11,999.00 and $12,999.00, respectively*. For more information, please visit usa.canon.com.

* Specifications and availability are subject to change without notice.[1] As an autofocus interchangeable lens for full-frame mirrorless cameras. Canon survey as of April 14, 2021.[2] Based on CIPA (Camera & Imaging Products Association) standards. Testing performed using the EOS R camera.[3] Based on CIPA (Camera & Imaging Products Association) standards. Testing performed using the EOS R5 camera.

Canon RF 100mm F2.8L Macro IS USM specifications

Principal specifications
Lens type Prime lens
Max Format size 35mm FF
Focal length 100 mm
Image stabilization Yes
CIPA Image stabilization rating 5 stop(s)
Lens mount Canon RF
Aperture
Maximum aperture F2.8
Minimum aperture F32
Aperture ring No
Number of diaphragm blades 9
Optics
Elements 17
Groups 13
Special elements / coatings Super Spectra Coating
Focus
Minimum focus 0.26 m (10.24)
Maximum magnification 1.4×
Autofocus Yes
Motor type Nano ultrasonic
Full time manual Yes
Focus method Internal
Distance scale No
DoF scale No
Focus distance limiter Yes
Physical
Weight 730 g (1.61 lb)
Diameter 82 mm (3.23)
Length 148 mm (5.83)
Materials Magnesium alloy
Sealing Yes
Colour Black
Filter thread 67 mm
Hood supplied Yes



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