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Ken Rockwell's review of the RF100 macro (+ sample images)

Honored Contributor

Higher than 1:1 magnification!

Defocus control!


He likes it.




Yeah, I have heard about it.  I think it goes to 2:1.  I wonder how it achieves that, though.  My guess would that the lens may have a significantly reduced MFD compared to the EF version.  This could mean you might need extra lighting.


"Doctor told me to get out and walk, so I bought a Canon."

Valued Contributor

That's gonna be my first RF lens purchase if I can find one. It looks impressive. I like the extra magnification of 1.4:1, and the defocus ring looks interesting, although I'm not sure I would use it much. I did some macro work today with the EF 100 on the R5, and the RF 100 would probably do better. I'm anxious to give it a go.

"I did some macro work today with the EF 100 on the R5, and the RF 100 would probably do better."


"... the EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro takes exactly the same pictures for less than half the price on an EF to RF adapter, .."


Perhaps not!

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

I still consider the Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro USM Lens the best macro lens Canon ever made. I don't think it is available any longer, maybe it is, but they are hitting the used market.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

Valued Contributor

So far, I've only had one session with the RF 100mmL IS USM, maybe 200 shots including same subject shots with the EF 100mmL IS USM using the EOS R5. IQ is comparable but the extra features on the RF version make it more useful to me. IS combined with the R5 is amazing, even at 1.4:1 to 1:1, which is only a close estimate because I shot the majotity hand held, but it was easy to tell distance as I focused at those magnifications because of the range switch. The ring also makes it very useful to me, even though I have a ring adapter for the EF version, the placement of the ring near the front of the RF, in front of the focus ring, makes it more accesible as apposed to being on the ring adaper near the body of the camera when using the EF. A small detail, but it makes a difference. I shot in aperture priority and used the control ring to adjust ISO to get my shutter speed up (I have tremors) as lighting changed. I could have used the dial by my thumb for ISO, but it felt more confortable using the control ring. AF is better and faster than the EF version, and once again, important to me. Lens breathing is moderate and enough to cause problems when focus stacking. It won't concern most, but stackers will have to do some brush up work after the stack is processed. I used a Velbron macro rail on a tripod to set up the stacks and let the R5 take the shots, then processed in Helicon Focus. I never had this problem with the EF, but maybe I got a bad copy of the RF, who knows, everything else seems in order.

I like the lens. It was a good investment for me, and my wife and I won't have to squable over who gets the Macro 🙂



"I like the lens."


And, that is all that really matters! Just enjoy it and stop reading reviews.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!