Canon RF 100mm F/2.8L Macro IS USM

Macro lens • Digital era

RF The lens is designed for Canon EOS R digital mirrorless cameras.
L Professional lens with high quality optics and robust build. Meets the highest standards and provides excellent performance and flawless image quality unachievable with traditional optical technologies.
MACRO Macro lens. Designed specially for shooting close-ups of small subjects but can be also used in other genres of photography, not necessarily requiring focusing at close distances.
IS The lens is equipped with optical image stabilizer.
USM The lens is equipped with ultrasonic motor.

Canon EOS R

35mm AF digital mirrorless camera

Announced: Sep 2018
Mount: Canon RF
Format: 36 × 24mm
Resolution: 6720 × 4480 - 30 MP
Sensor type: CMOS
Image stabilizer: -

Canon EOS RP

35mm AF digital mirrorless camera

Announced: Feb 2019
Mount: Canon RF
Format: 35.9 × 24mm
Resolution: 6240 × 4160 - 26 MP
Sensor type: CMOS
Image stabilizer: -

Canon EOS R5

35mm AF digital mirrorless camera

Announced: Jul 2020
Mount: Canon RF
Format: 36 × 24mm
Resolution: 8192 × 5464 - 45 MP
Sensor type: CMOS
Image stabilizer: Yes

Canon EOS R6

35mm AF digital mirrorless camera

Announced: Jul 2020
Mount: Canon RF
Format: 36 × 24mm
Resolution: 5472 × 3648 - 20 MP
Sensor type: CMOS
Image stabilizer: Yes

Designed for

Click to expand or collapse section(s)

Features highlight

F.E.
1:1.4
Nano USM
Double Focusing
Focus limiter
IS 5 stops
Panning det.
Hybrid IS
DP/WR
FC

Specification

Announced: April 2021
Production status: In production
Maximum format: 35mm full frame
Mount: Canon RF
Optical design
Diagonal angle of view: 24.4° (35mm full frame)
Lens construction: 17 elements - 13 groups
Floating element system
Diaphragm mechanism
Number of blades: 9
Focusing
Closest focusing distance: 0.26m
Closest working distance: 0.092m
Maximum magnification ratio: 1:1.4 at the closest focusing distance
Focusing method: No information
Focusing modes: Autofocus, manual focus
Manual focus control: Focusing ring
Autofocus motor: Nano Ultrasonic Motor (Double Focusing)
Focus mode selector: AF/MF
Full-Time Manual Focus (FTM): Determined by the camera
Focusing distance range limiter: FULL;0.26-0.5;0.5-
Image stabilizer
Image Stabilizer (IS): Yes
IS features: Panning Detection
Hybrid IS
Determined by the camera
IS efficiency: up to 5 stops
Physical characteristics
Weight: 730g
Maximum diameter x Length: Ø81.5×148mm
Weather sealing: Dust-proof and water-resistant barrel
Fluorine coating: Front and rear elements
Accessories
Filters: Screw-type 67mm
Lens hood: Bayonet-type ET-73C (round)

Manufacturer description #1

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 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.
  • When combined with a camera featuring In-Body Image Stabilizer, up to eight stops of shake correction 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.

Manufacturer description #2

Engineered specifically for full-frame EOS R series cameras, the RF100mm F2.8 L MACRO IS USM is the world’s first medium telephoto macro lens delivering close-up imagery at up to 1.4x magnification with autofocus. Featuring a fixed 100mm focal length, a bright f/2.8 maximum aperture for blurred backgrounds and low light shooting, fast, highly-precise AF, and an SA (spherical aberration) Control Ring, the RF100mm F2.8 L MACRO IS USM lens elevates the look of portraits and macro shots with the option of creating dreamlike or romantic images with a soft focus look. With strong built-in optical image stabilization and Canon's Hybrid IS system, close-up shooting and video are sharp and stable. Using the RF100mm F2.8 L MACRO IS USM, imagemakers can expect to see stunning results that can enhance their creative/artistic vision.

The RF100mm F2.8 L MACRO IS USM Lens is the world’s first medium telephoto AF Macro lens with a maximum magnification ratio of 1.4x. At its minimum focusing distance of 0.86 ft. / 0.26m, the RF100mm F2.8 L MACRO IS USM is capable of capturing detailed images while being remarkably versatile in operation. Whether capturing details of food, jewelry, or traditional macro shots, the RF100mm F2.8 L MACRO IS USM is a highly effective lens for macro photography.

The RF100mm F2.8 L MACRO IS USM lens distinguishes itself by maintaining incredibly high image quality, edge-to-edge, even wide open at its f/2.8 maximum aperture. With 17 elements in 13 groups and a 9-blade aperture system, it can deliver detailed images with gorgeous background blur and versatility in low light.

Weighing approx. 1.6 lbs. and measuring 5.83 inches in length, the RF100mm F2.8 L MACRO IS USM lens designed for comfortable use on any EOS R series camera. With its 100mm fixed focal length, the RF100mm F2.8 L MACRO IS USM lens provides a great representation to capture impressive portraits, food photos, flowers and more with minimal distortion.

Because RF lenses are designed specifically for the RF Mount found on EOS R series cameras, the lens and camera combine to share shooting data, helping to dramatically reduce the effect of camera shake that can occur when using handheld. This applies when capturing both stills and video, with up to 5 stops of stabilization for accurate and clear imagery.

Equipped with the Hybrid IS technology, the Image Stabilizer of the RF100mm F2.8 L MACRO IS USM effectively reduces blurring in handheld macro photography by compensating for both angle and shift camera shake. This helps to deliver impressively clear, up-close results.

The RF100mm F2.8 L MACRO IS USM features Canon’s first adjustable Spherical Aberration (SA) control ring on the lens barrel that allows you to adjust the depiction of the image’s background bokeh. Used to add a unique emphasis to your imagery, the SA Control Ring allows the user to change the shape and character of the foreground and background bokeh. A minus setting creates a dreamy, soft-focused look, while a Plus setting creates a bubble-bokeh-type look. Adding a third ring to the lens, the SA Control Ring has a notable surface that can be differentiated from the Control Ring and Focusing Ring. A lock mechanism can be found on the side of the lens which locks the SA control ring to the middle position rendering standard, traditional operation, with no SA optical effects.

Note: The effect of the SA control ring also changes depending on the aperture value. The effect is greatest at maximum aperture, and the effect decreases as the aperture is stopped down. (To obtain the desired effect, shooting with Aperture Priority AE is recommended). The effect of the SA control ring depends on the subject conditions (subject and background, foreground distance, etc.).

When combined with an EOS R series camera equipped with In-Body Image Stabilizer, the lens' Optical Image Stabilizer teams up with the In-Body Image Stabilizer to provide coordinated IS up to 8 stops, further helping to alleviate shaking for photos and video, and adjusting the ratio from optical to in-body stabilization automatically throughout the zoom range so you have the best of both worlds.

The RF100mm F2.8 L MACRO IS USM is equipped with dual independent Nano USMs to help achieve high-speed and focus accuracy throughout its focusing range. This helps you quickly focus and keep up with fast-moving subjects as well as provides smooth and virtually silent autofocus while shooting movies, so there is relatively no disturbance for you, the subject or in what you see visually and hear audibly during shooting and playback.

The RF100mm F2.8 L MACRO IS USM lens has a separate, independent Control Ring that is located towards the front of the lens, which can be programmable for immediate exposure adjustments during still and video shooting. With the Control Ring, you can directly adjust settings such as shutter speed, lens aperture, exposure compensation and more. For photographers and moviemakers who would prefer a silent control ring, the clicking mechanism can be removed by a Canon service provider for a fee.

For reliable performance even when weather conditions get difficult, the RF100mm F2.8 L MACRO IS USM lens features dust- and weather-resistant construction in the lens mount, switch panel and all rings. Sealing is applied to lens joining sections, and switch panels to help prevent water and dust from entering into the lens.

The RF100mm F2.8 L MACRO IS USM lens features fluorine coatings on the front and rearmost surfaces to help prevent dirt and dust from sticking to the lens, making it easy to clean smudges and fingerprints off.

Manufacturer description #3

On 14 April 2021, Canon announced the RF100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM, its first true macro lens for the RF mount. The lens design harnesses the flexibility afforded by the RF mount’s large mount diameter and short back focus distance to achieve new possibilities, such as a maximum magnification of 1.4x and a Spherical Aberration (SA) control ring that allows users to achieve soft focus effects. Read on to learn more about this new red-line (L-series) medium telephoto macro lens that realises both excellent image quality and unprecedented functionality.

World’s first lens in its class to achieve 1.4x magnification

The RF100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM is a 100mm medium telephoto macro lens. Macro lenses in this class usually have a maximum magnification of 1x (life size), which means that a subject that is 1cm long will be depicted as 1cm on the image sensor.

To capture close-ups of a subject so that it fills more of the frame, your first instinct would be to move closer to it. However, on all lenses, there is a closest focusing distance, i.e., a limit on how close you can be before the lens becomes unable to focus. On the RF100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM, this closest focusing distance is 26cm, shorter than the 30cm on the EF100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM. This achieves a larger maximum magnification of up to 1.4x—more than life size—even while retaining the same focal length.

On the RF100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM, you can achieve the usual life size 1.0x magnification from focusing distance 28cm. Moving just 2cm closer to the 26cm closest focusing distance lets you achieve the 1.4x magnification. The working distance for both magnification ratios is 11.2cm and 9.2cm respectively, leaving enough space in between to ensure sufficient lighting.

How did Canon manage to achieve the world’s first 100mm macro lens capable of up to 1.4x magnification? The answer lies in the characteristics of the RF mount, namely, the large mount diameter and short back focus distance, which allowed more flexibility in optical design. The resulting changes to the design and AF drive dynamics of the focus and floating lens groups made it possible to carry out fast, precise focusing from nearer than before.

The electronic floating focus control system: Achieving more than just fast, accurate AF

On the RF100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM, the autofocus (AF) is driven by two independent Nano USMs that make possible an electronic floating focus control system where the focusing lens group and the floating lens groups are controlled separately. This enables the RF100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM to balance improved functionalities such as a shorter closest focusing distance and spherical aberration control alongside core performance qualities such fast, high-precision AF. The electronic floating focus system also helps to reduce focus breathing, which causes the angle of view to change during focusing.

The Nano USM (Ultrasonic Motor) is characterised by its capacity to perform both quick and precise movements, which are unique to a linear ultrasonic motor. This makes it capable not just of swift subject acquisition when shooting still images but also seamless subject tracking when shooting videos, therefore ensuring that viewers don’t feel uneasy when watching the video playback. Indeed, the AF capabilities of the RF100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM also make it an excellent video lens.

Know this: What is an electronic floating focus system?

The rendering performance of a lens is usually not the same across all shooting distances—even for prime lenses with their reputation for being particularly sharp. At the design stage, the engineers will first determine a benchmark shooting distance, and then correct lens aberrations so that the image quality is the best at that “sweet spot”. This results in a reduced correction effect at shooting distances outside this sweet spot.

One of the solutions for this issue is to adopt a floating lens system, which involves moving a lens group other than the focusing lens group during focus adjustment. Such a system also improves lens aberration correction and close-up shooting capabilities.

While the EF100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM had a mechanical system that used barrel-shaped cam gears, allowing movement only along one track, the Nano USMs on the RF100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM, which are driven by high-performance microprocessors, can move on a variety of tracks. This, together with the RF mount design that affords more space to move the floating lens group, contributed to the significant improvement in functionality and performance on the RF100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM.

SA control ring: Create soft focus images when you wish

A unique feature on the RF100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM is the SA (Spherical Aberration) control ring, which utilises the electronic floating focus system to allow users to control the degree of spherical aberration correction.

Spherical aberration is usually believed to cause image quality deterioration, but it also affects how bokeh is rendered, i.e. its “flavour”. For example, the unique “bubble bokeh” with hard outlines rendered by vintage lenses, considered beautiful by some people, partly results from the under-correction of spherical aberration due to technological limits in the past. The more spherical aberration is corrected, the smoother the bokeh rendered, which eventually results in the soft focus effect.

On the RF100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM, the use of Nano USMs makes it possible to control the floating lens group independently from the focusing group. This enables unprecedented control over the degree of spherical aberration correction without affecting the focus position. By turning the SA control ring, users can change how the bokeh in front of and behind the focal plane looks—whether it’s hard, vintage-style bokeh or soft, buttery bokeh—providing greater variety of expression.

Turning the SA control ring towards ‘+’ or ‘-’ moves the floating lens group, so that you can intentionally allow spherical aberration:

  • Turning the SA control ring towards ‘-’ softens the outlines of the bokeh behind the focal plane and hardens the outlines of the bokeh in front of the focal plane.
  • Turning the SA control ring towards ‘+’ hardens the outlines of the bokeh behind the focal plane and softens the outlines of the bokeh in front of the focal plane.

The effect of the SA control ring (the amount of variability in spherical aberration) varies depending on the shooting distance. As the shooting distance decreases from the infinity focusing range to when the lens achieves life size (1x) magnification, the amount of variability increases. However, due to structural factors, the spherical aberration will not change at the 0.26m closest focusing distance.

Using the SA control ring to create the soft focus effect can give your images a unique look—even for still life, flower and portrait photography.

Hybrid IS for stabler macro images; up to 8 stops’ image stabilisation

When a subject is more than a certain distance away, angular (rotational) camera shake is more likely to occur. The usual IS (Image Stabilizer) system is designed to compensate for this kind of camera shake. However, during close-up shooting, angular camera shake is less likely to occur. Instead, shift camera shake, which occurs when the sensor plane is moved in a parallel direction to the subject, becomes more obvious. The RF100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM is equipped with the Hybrid IS (Hybrid Image Stabilizer) system, which compensates for both angular and shift camera shake. Hybrid IS can provide as much as up to two shutter speed stops’ equivalent image stabilisation when shooting close-up at life size magnification.

When shooting from a normal shooting distance, the in-lens Optical IS system provides up to five shutter speed stops’ equivalent image stabilisation. When attached to a camera with In-Body IS such as the EOS R5 or EOS R6, Coordinated Control IS is active, correcting camera shake by up to eight shutter speed stops’ equivalent.

The excellent image quality and durability true to an L-series lens

The EF100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM was well-acclaimed for its excellent image quality. The RF100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM, besides incorporating various new functionalities, realises the same excellent optical performance.

While it does not use any special coatings or lens elements, it does use the same kind of glass used in fluorite lenses—high-refractive glass with unique anomalous dispersion characteristics—which effectively corrects chromatic aberrations. The lens coatings and shapes of the lens elements are optimised to reduce ghosting. These, together with the smudge-resistant fluorine coating on the front lens surfaces and the dust- and drip-resistant design ensure the excellent optical performance and durability that equips an L lens to handle various shooting environments.

Ring-type tripod mount for better stability, easier switching of camera orientations

For more secure tripod mounting, a new ring-type tripod mount that provides better stability is also available (sold separately). Attaching it to the barrel of the RF100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM allows the camera and lens to be mounted at the centre of gravity, improving stability. When the lock screw is loosened, the camera can be rotated around the lens, allowing the photographer to change the orientation of the shot without having to tilt the tripod head.

When using a tripod, changing from a horizontal composition to vertical one usually involves tilting the tripod head. This movement causes the shooting position to change significantly, and having to re-adjust the entire setup can be cumbersome especially when shooting macro. The ring-type tripod mount allows the camera to be rotated while keeping the lens still, so that the subject stays in the centre of the composition and the optical axis is maintained even while the orientation of the shot changes.

From the editor

It quickly becomes clear from the lens specification and feature list that this is the best professional autofocus macro lens available on the market. Besides, like RF 85/2 Macro IS STM, the lens can be used not only for macro photography, but also in the genre of portrait photography, and the spherical aberration control for smoother bokeh only adds extra points.

Typical application

portraits, macrophotography and product photography

Slowest shutter speed when shooting handheld

IS OFF11/21/41/81/151/301/601/1001/1251/2501/5001/1000+
IS ON11/21/41/81/151/301/601/1001/1251/2501/5001/1000+

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35mm full frame

43.27 24 36
  • Dimensions: 36 × 24mm
  • Aspect ratio: 3:2
  • Diagonal: 43.27mm

Note

Among autofocus lenses designed for 35mm full-frame mirrorless cameras only. Speed of standard and telephoto lenses is taken into account.

Pancake lens

Pancake lenses get their name due to the thin and flat size. The other distinctive features are fixed focal length and light weight.

First pancake lenses appeared in the 1950s and were standard prime lenses based on the famous Tessar design – a brilliantly simple design which was developed by Paul Rudolph in 1902, patented by Zeiss company and provided a good optical performance.

With the improvement of optical technologies in the 1970s the optical design of pancake lenses became more complicated and the latest generation has overcome the limitations of traditional designs. As a result, pancake lenses are now also available in wide-angle and even short telephoto variations.

Due to the increasing demand for cameras with a compact form factor, pancake lenses are experiencing a second wave of popularity while having reasonable prices, which makes them accessible to a wide range of photographers. Such lenses are especially useful for those who enjoy travel photography.

Fisheye lens

A fisheye lens is a type of ultra-wide angle lenses with extreme 180 degree angle of view. Unlike conventional wide-angle lenses, fisheyes are not corrected for distortion - strong barrel distortion is a characteristic of all lenses of such class.

Fisheye lenses are normally used for specialized purposes and unusual special effects in advertising, commercial, scientific, surveillance, meteorologic and astronomic photography, but also popular for shooting extremely wide landscapes, interiors, action sports and even funny close-up portraits.

There are two types of fisheye lenses:

Shift lens

Shift lenses are high-quality lenses, usually wide-angle, that provide a parallel shift facility like the sliding lens panel of professional large-format cameras for correcting converging vertical lines and manipulating the perspective especially for use in architectural and product photography.

Whereas normal lenses designed for 35mm full-frame cameras have an image circle diameter of 43.27mm so that all four corners of the image are inside the image circle, shift lenses provide much larger image circle (60mm or even more). Decentration of the lens is possible within this area.

Vertical shift is the most popular: upward when photographing high buildings, and downward for product shots, so that the camera does not have to be tilted. When the camera is tilted either upward or downward, perpendicular lines are not imaged as perpendicular, but rather converge upward or downward, which is very pronounced in wide-angle shots and can be very irritating.

Travellers' choice

Professional lens (Top class)

One of the best short telephoto macro primes

According to lens-db.com; among lenses designed for the same maximum format and mount.

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Mirror/Reflex lens

A lens based on design principles used in large astronomical telescopes. It is a combination of mirror and lens elements. Incoming light is reflected twice on the mirror surfaces, resulting in compactness of the lens barrel and light weight relative to the focal length.

To adjust image brightness, neutral density or other filters are used, because lenses of this type are not equipped with diaphragms.

Sharpness of the focused image is unsurpassed because of the use of reflecting surfaces which do not cause any chromatic aberration.

Taken with this type of lens, the subjects in the out-of-focus range may appear as blurred rings or separate blurred lines.

Quality control issues

The manufacturer of this lens does not provide adequate quality control. If you do decide to purchase this lens, do not order it online, but choose the best copy available in the store. In any case, there may also be problems with the build quality, and warranty repairs can take months.

Model produced in a small batch. It is collectible and can only be found on the secondary market.

Classic focal length

24 and 25mm are the classic focal lengths of wide-angle lenses for 35mm full-frame SLR and rangefinder cameras (respectively). With a field of view twice as wide as that of standard 50mm lenses, wide-angle lenses are great for landscapes, interiors and architecture, moreover modern models are in no way inferior in speed to standard 50mm lenses.

Classic focal length

28mm is the classic focal length of wide-angle lenses for 35mm full-frame cameras. The field of view is not as wide as with 24-25mm lenses, but noticeably wider than with 35mm lenses. In general, this is a fairly compromise focal length: lenses with focal lengths of 24-25mm are better suited for shooting architecture, and ultra-high speed is quite rare in this class of lenses. On the other hand, due to the moderate focal length, aberrations are corrected better than in lenses with focal lengths of 24-25mm.

Classic focal length

35mm is the classic focal length of moderate wide-angle lenses for 35mm full-frame cameras. Lenses with this focal length are often used as standard lenses, since they allow you to shoot almost the same wide range of scenes as lenses with focal lengths of 50-55mm, while providing a wider field of view. This is facilitated by the high speed, which is often not inferior to standard 50-55mm lenses, as well as, as a rule, compact size and low weight (at least for lenses intended for amateur photographers). In addition, lenses of this class have recently been equipped with optical image stabilization, making them a good choice for casual and travel photography. For comparison: almost all lenses with focal lengths of 50-55mm currently do not have an image stabilizer, although due to the need to use faster shutter speeds at these focal lengths, its presence in lenses of this class would be more justified than in the class of moderate wide-angle lenses.

The background blur provided by moderate wide-angle lenses is not as smooth and pleasing to the eye as with standard 50-55mm lenses, therefore, in the genre of portrait photography, they are usually used only for group portraits.

Classic focal length

50 and 55mm are the classic focal lengths of standard lenses for 35mm full-frame cameras, and one of the most popular.

Because these focal lengths provide a field of view on a 35mm full-frame camera that roughly matches the field of view of the human eyes, standard lenses are suitable for shooting a wide range of subjects: from landscapes, interiors and architecture to portraits, as well as for casual and travel photography. This is also facilitated by the high speed of most standard lenses, as well as, as a rule, compact size and low weight (at least for lenses intended for amateur photographers).

At the same time, while not being optimized for shooting in certain genres of photography, standard lenses are inferior to lenses specially designed for this purpose. For example, wide-angle and ultra-wide angle lenses are better suited for shooting in confined spaces, while portraits with the smoothest and most pleasing blurring of the background and isolation of the subject from the background are obtained with short telephoto lenses and medium telephoto lenses.

Classic focal length

58mm is the classic focal length of (ultra) fast-speed standard lenses of the late 1950s - mid 1960s, developed for SLR cameras. This is the smallest focal length at which an (ultra) fast-speed prime lens based on the double Gauss design did not prevent the flipping mirror from returning to its original position. At the same time, this is rather inconvenient focal length for a standard lens, since it provides a smaller field of view compared to a standard 50mm focal length.

As optical technologies improved, lens manufacturers began to produce fast-speed and even ultra-fast-speed standard lenses with a focal length of 50mm, after which standard lenses with the focal length of 58mm were discontinued.

Currently, 58mm lenses are produced mainly for nostalgic reasons.

Classic focal length

85 and 90mm are the classic focal lengths of short telephoto lenses for 35mm full-frame SLR and rangefinder cameras (respectively). As a rule, this class of lenses consists of high-speed models, however, there were also slow ones in the era of analog photography.

Short telephoto lenses are optimized for portrait photography, so that the background blur and impressive isolation of the subject from the background is achieved at medium focusing distances.

Many short telephoto lenses are compact and lightweight enough to be well suited for casual and travel photography. Some models are equipped with optical image stabilization.

Classic focal length

100 and 105mm are the classic focal lengths of short telephoto lenses for 35mm full-frame cameras. Models of this class occupy an intermediate position between lenses with focal lengths of 85 and 135mm and, as a rule, do not offer a record speed. At the same time, they are able to provide smoother and more pleasing background blur compared to the 85mm models, so don't discount these lenses.

Classic focal length

135mm is the classic focal length of medium telephoto lenses for 35mm full-frame cameras. Lenses of this class are designed for professional portrait photography and provide the most pleasing background blur and impressive isolation of the subject from the background at medium focusing distances. In addition, they can be used for shooting concerts, carnivals and distant landscapes with perspective compression effect.

Classic focal length

180 and 200mm are the classic focal lengths of telephoto lenses for 35mm full-frame cameras. Lenses of this class are designed for professional sports photography, but if necessary, they can also be used in the genre of portrait photography, for shooting concerts, carnivals and distant landscapes with perspective compression effect.

Classic focal length

Standard focal length of super telephoto lenses for 35mm full-frame cameras. Lenses of this class are designed primarily for sports and wildlife photography.

Note

The flange focal distance of this lens is 20mm, which is less than that of any SLR camera.

Some manufacturers may offer adapters for this mount in variants with or without magnifying glass. With glass adapter, the image quality will suffer, especially with fast lenses at large apertures (the most common adaptation and use case). With glassless adapter, you will loose the ability to focus at infinity. The choice is yours, however the only right way to adapt this lens is to use a mirrorless camera.

Note

Some manufacturers may offer adapters for this mount in variants with or without magnifying glass. With glass adapter, the image quality will suffer, especially with fast lenses at large apertures (the most common adaptation and use case). With glassless adapter, you will loose the ability to focus at infinity. The choice is yours, however the only right way to adapt this lens is to use a mirrorless camera.

Manual focus override in autofocus mode

Allows to perform final focusing manually after the camera has locked the focus automatically. Note that you don't have to switch camera and/or lens to manual focus mode.

Manual focus override in autofocus mode

Allows to perform final focusing manually after the camera has locked the focus automatically. Note that you don't have to switch camera and/or lens to manual focus mode.

Electronic manual focus override is performed in the following way: half-press the shutter button, wait until the camera has finished the autofocusing and then focus manually without releasing the shutter button using the focusing ring.

Image stabilizer

A technology used for reducing or even eliminating the effects of camera shake. Gyro sensors inside the lens detect camera shake and pass the data to a microcomputer. Then an image stabilization group of elements controlled by the microcomputer moves inside the lens and compensates camera shake in order to keep the image static on the imaging sensor or film. The technology allows to increase the shutter speed by several stops and shoot handheld in such lighting conditions and at such focal lengths where without image stabilizer you have to use tripod, decrease the shutter speed and/or increase the ISO setting which can lead to blurry and noisy images.

Electromagnetic diaphragm control system

Provides highly accurate diaphragm control and stable auto exposure performance during continuous shooting.

Convex protruding front element

The convex front element protrudes from the lens barrel, making it impossible to use filters.

The Holy Trinity of lenses

The Holy Trinity of lenses refers to a three-lens set that covers a focal length range from the ultra-wide focal length of 14-16mm all the way long to the telephoto focal length of 200mm. The set typically consists of a 16-35mm ultra-wide angle zoom lens, a 24-70mm standard zoom lens and a 70-200mm telephoto zoom lens and usually represents the best constant-aperture zoom lenses in a manufacturer's lineup. The set is designed to cover almost every genre of photography, be it landscapes, architecture, portraits, weddings, sports, travel or even wildlife (with teleconverter). However, it is also expensive, large and heavy.

Fixed focus

There is no helicoid in this lens and everything is in focus from the closest focusing distance to infinity.

Overall linear extension

The entire lens optical system moves straight backward and forward when focusing is carried out. This is the simplest type of focusing used mainly in wide-angle and standard prime lenses. It has the advantage of introducing relatively little change in aberrations with respect to change in focusing distance. With telephoto and super telephoto lenses this method becomes less beneficial in terms of operability because of the increased size and weight of the lens system.

Front group linear extension

The rear group remains fixed and only the front group moves straight backward and forward during focusing. This method is primarily used in zoom lenses and allows to design comparatively simple lens construction, but also places restrictions on zoom magnification and size reduction.

Front group rotational extension

The lens barrel section holding the front lens group rotates to move the front group backward and forward during focusing. This method of focusing is also used only in zoom lenses.

Internal focusing (IF)

Focusing is performed by moving one or more lens groups positioned between the front lens group and the diaphragm.

Methods of internal and rear focusing have the following advantages:

Rear focusing (RF)

Focusing is performed by moving one or more lens groups positioned behind the diaphragm.

Methods of internal and rear focusing have the following advantages:

Modified M42 mount

The mount has been modified by the manufacturer to allow exposure metering at full aperture.

Nano Ultrasonic Motor (Double Focusing)

The lens incorporates focusing system consisting of two autofocus drive units precisely synchronized to deliver fast and accurate autofocusing.

Focusing distance range limiter

The lens features focusing distance range limiter which allows to choose between the following focusing distance ranges:

FULLFull range of focusing distances.
0.26m - 0.5mRange of focusing distances suitable for shooting nearby subjects.
0.5m - ∞Range of focusing distances suitable for shooting distant subjects.

By setting the suitable focusing distance range, the actual autofocusing time can be shorter.

AF/MF

AFAutofocus mode.
MFManual focus mode.

Aspherical elements

Aspherical elements (ASPH, XA, XGM) are used in wide-angle lenses for correction of distortion and in large-aperture lenses for correction of spherical aberration, astigmatism and coma, thus ensuring excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture. The effect of the aspherical element is determined by its position within the optical formula: the more the aspherical element moves away from the aperture stop, the more it influences distortion; close to the aperture stop it can be particularly used to correct spherical aberration. Aspherical element can substitute one or several regular spherical elements to achieve similar or better optical results, which allows to develop more compact and lightweight lenses.

Use of aspherical elements has its downsides: it leads to non-uniform rendering of out-of-focus highlights. This effect usually appears as "onion-like" texture of concentric rings or "wooly-like" texture and is caused by very slight defects in the surface of aspherical element. It is difficult to predict such effect, but usually it occurs when the highlights are small enough and far enough out of focus.

Low dispersion elements

Low dispersion elements (ED, LD, SD, UD etc) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture. This type of glass exhibits low refractive index, low dispersion, and exceptional partial dispersion characteristics compared to standard optical glass. Two lenses made of low dispersion glass offer almost the same performance as one fluorite lens.

Low dispersion elements

Low dispersion elements (ED, LD, SD, UD etc) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture. This type of glass exhibits low refractive index, low dispersion, and exceptional partial dispersion characteristics compared to standard optical glass. Two lenses made of low dispersion glass offer almost the same performance as one fluorite lens.

Canon's Super UD, Nikon's Super ED, Pentax' Super ED, Sigma's FLD ("F" Low Dispersion), Sony' Super ED and Tamron's XLD glasses are the highest level low dispersion glasses available with extremely high light transmission. These optical glasses have a performance equal to fluorite glass.

High-refraction low-dispersion elements

High-refraction low-dispersion elements (HLD) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture.

High Index, High Dispersion elements

High Index, High Dispersion elements (HID) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture.

Anomalous partial dispersion elements

Anomalous partial dispersion elements (AD) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture.

Fluorite elements

Synthetic fluorite elements (FL) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture. Compared with optical glass, fluorite lenses have a considerably lower refraction index, low dispersion and extraordinary partial dispersion, and high transmission of infrared and ultraviolet light. They are also significantly lighter than optical glass.

According to Nikon, fluorite easily cracks and is sensitive to temperature changes that can adversely affect focusing by altering the lens' refractive index. To avoid this, Canon, as the manufacturer most widely using fluorite in its telephoto lenses, never uses fluorite in the front and rear lens elements, and the white coating is applied to the lens barrels to reflect light and prevent the lens from overheating.

Short-wavelength refractive elements

High and specialized-dispersion elements (SR) refract light with wavelengths shorter than that of blue to achieve highly precise chromatic aberration compensation. This technology also results in smaller and lighter lenses.

Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics

Organic Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics material (BR Optics) placed between convex and concave elements made from conventional optical glass provides more efficient correction of longitudinal chromatic aberrations in comparison with conventional technology.

Diffraction elements

Diffraction elements (DO, PF) cancel chromatic aberrations at various wavelengths. This technology results in smaller and lighter lenses in comparison with traditional designs with no compromise in image quality.

High refractive index elements

High refractive index elements (HR, HRI, XR etc) minimize field curvature and spherical aberration. High refractive index element can substitute one or several regular elements to achieve similar or better optical results, which allows to develop more compact and lightweight lenses.

Apodization element

Apodization element (APD) is in fact a radial gradient filter. It practically does not change the characteristics of light beam passing through its central part but absorbs the light at the periphery. It sort of softens the edges of the aperture making the transition from foreground to background zone very smooth and results in very attractive, natural looking and silky smooth bokeh.

Rotary zoom

The change of focal length is achieved by turning the zoom ring and the manual focusing - by turning the separate focusing ring.

Push/pull zooming allows for faster change of focal length, however conventional method based on the rotation of the zoom ring provides more accurate and smooth zooming.

Push/pull zoom

The change of focal length and the manual focusing is achieved by one and the same ring. The change of focal length happens when the photographer moves the ring towards the mount or backwards and the rotation of the ring leads to change of focus.

Push/pull zooming allows for faster change of focal length, however conventional method based on the rotation of the zoom ring provides more accurate and smooth zooming.

Lens construction

Lens construction – a specific arrangement of elements and groups that make up the optical design, including type and size of elements, type of used materials etc.

Element - an individual piece of glass which makes up one component of a photographic lens. Photographic lenses are nearly always built up of multiple such elements.

Group – a cemented together pieces of glass which form a single unit or an individual piece of glass. The advantage is that there is no glass-air surfaces between cemented together pieces of glass, which reduces reflections.

Efficiency of image stabilizer

The efficiency of image stabilizer is measured in stops and each stop corresponds to a two-times increase of shutter speed. For example, if you are shooting at focal length of 80mm and it is known that the efficiency of image stabilizer is 3 stops, it means that during handheld shooting at such focal length you can use shutter speed of 1/10 second which is exactly 23 times longer than the shutter speed 1/80 second needed to obtain sharp image in sufficient lighting conditions.

Zoom lock

The lens features a zoom lock to keep the zoom ring fixed. This function is convenient for carrying a camera with the lens on a strap because it prevents the lens from extending.

Power Zoom

The lens features electronically driven zoom mechanism. It provides smoother, more natural zoom movements than you could accomplish by hand.

Filters

Lens filters are accessories that can protect lenses from dirt and damage, enhance colors, minimize glare and reflections, and add creative effects to images.

Lens hood

A lens hood or lens shade is a device used on the end of a lens to block the sun or other light source in order to prevent glare and lens flare. Flare occurs when stray light strikes the front element of a lens and then bounces around within the lens. This stray light often comes from very bright light sources, such as the sun, bright studio lights, or a bright white background.

The geometry of the lens hood can vary from a plain cylindrical or conical section to a more complex shape, sometimes called a petal, tulip, or flower hood. This allows the lens hood to block stray light with the higher portions of the lens hood, while allowing more light into the corners of the image through the lowered portions of the hood.

Lens hoods are more prominent in long focus lenses because they have a smaller viewing angle than that of wide-angle lenses. For wide angle lenses, the length of the hood cannot be as long as those for telephoto lenses, as a longer hood would enter the wider field of view of the lens.

Lens hoods are often designed to fit onto the matching lens facing either forward, for normal use, or backwards, so that the hood may be stored with the lens without occupying much additional space. In addition, lens hoods can offer some degree of physical protection for the lens due to the hood extending farther than the lens itself.

Angle of view

Angle of view describes the angular extent of a given scene that is imaged by a camera. It is used interchangeably with the more general term field of view.

As the focal length changes, the angle of view also changes. The shorter the focal length (eg 18mm), the wider the angle of view. Conversely, the longer the focal length (eg 55mm), the smaller the angle of view.

A camera's angle of view depends not only on the lens, but also on the sensor. Imaging sensors are sometimes smaller than 35mm film frame, and this causes the lens to have a narrower angle of view than with 35mm film, by a certain factor for each sensor (called the crop factor).

This website does not use the angles of view provided by lens manufacturers, but calculates them automatically by the following formula: 114.6 * arctan (21.622 / CF * FL),

where:

CF – crop-factor of a sensor,
FL – focal length of a lens.

Mount

A lens mount is an interface — mechanical and often also electrical — between a camera body and a lens.

A lens mount may be a screw-threaded type, a bayonet-type, or a breech-lock type. Modern camera lens mounts are of the bayonet type, because the bayonet mechanism precisely aligns mechanical and electrical features between lens and body, unlike screw-threaded mounts.

Lens mounts of competing manufacturers (Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony etc.) are always incompatible. In addition to the mechanical and electrical interface variations, the flange focal distance from the lens mount to the film or sensor can also be different.

Closest focusing distance

The minimum distance from the focal plane (film or sensor) to the subject where the lens is still able to focus.

Closest working distance

The distance from the front edge of the lens to the subject at the maximum magnification.

Magnification ratio

Determines how large the subject will appear in the final image. A magnification ratio of 1:1 means that the image of the subject formed on the film or sensor will be the same size as the subject in real life. For this reason, a 1:1 ratio is often called "life-size". A lens is not considered to be "true" macro unless it can achieve at least life-size magnification.

Weight

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

Maximum diameter x Length

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

For lenses with collapsible design, the length is indicated for the working (retracted) state.

Fluorine coating

Helps keep lenses clean by reducing the possibility of dust and dirt adhering to the lens and by facilitating cleaning should the need arise. Applied to the outer surface of the front and/or rear lens elements over multi-coatings.

Floating element system

Provides correction of aberrations and ensures constantly high image quality at the entire range of focusing distances from infinity down to the closest focusing distance. It is particularly effective for the correction of field curvature that tends to occur with large-aperture, wide-angle lenses when shooting at close ranges.

Non-retrofocus lens

The lens was designed for use with 35mm film SLR cameras with the mirror locked in the up position. The lens extended into the SLR's mirror box when mounted. Mirror lock-up must be activated prior to mounting the lens; otherwise its rearmost element would be in the way as the mirror flipped up and down during exposure. A separate optical viewfinder had to be mounted on the accessory shoe to confirm angle of view, because when the mirror is in the up and locked position, the subject is no longer visible through the viewfinder.

Format

Format refers to the shape and size of film or image sensor.

35mm is the common name of the 36x24mm film format or image sensor format. It has an aspect ratio of 3:2, and a diagonal measurement of approximately 43mm. The name originates with the total width of the 135 film which was the primary medium of the format prior to the invention of the full frame digital SLR. Historically the 35mm format was sometimes called small format to distinguish it from the medium and large formats.

APS-C is an image sensor format approximately equivalent in size to the film negatives of 25.1x16.7mm with an aspect ratio of 3:2.

Medium format is a film format or image sensor format larger than 36x24mm (35mm) but smaller than 4x5in (large format).

Weather sealing

A rubber material which is inserted in between each externally exposed part (manual focus and zoom rings, buttons, switch panels etc.) to ensure it is properly sealed against dust and moisture.

Lenses that accept front mounted filters typically do not have gaskets behind the filter mount. It is recommended to use a filter for complete weather resistance when desired.

Manual diaphragm

The diaphragm must be stopped down manually by rotating the detent aperture ring.

Preset diaphragm

The lens has two rings, one is for pre-setting, while the other is for normal diaphragm adjustment. The first ring must be set at the desired aperture, the second ring then should be fully opened for focusing, and turned back for stop down to the pre-set value.

Semi-automatic diaphragm

The lens features spring mechanism in the diaphragm, triggered by the shutter release, which stops down the diaphragm to the pre-set value. The spring needs to be reset manually after each exposure to re-open diaphragm to its maximum value.

Automatic diaphragm

The camera automatically closes the diaphragm down during the shutter operation. On completion of the exposure, the diaphragm re-opens to its maximum value.

Hybrid IS

The image stabilizer has Hybrid IS technology which corrects not only angle but also shift camera shake, which is more pronounced in close-range shooting when a camera moves parallel to the imaging scene. Hybrid IS dramatically enhances the effects of image stabilization during shooting, including macro shooting, which had proven difficult for conventional image stabilization technologies.

XY-Shift

The image stabilizer has XY-Shift technology which corrects not only angle but also shift camera shake, which is more pronounced in close-range shooting when a camera moves parallel to the imaging scene. XY-Shift dramatically enhances the effects of image stabilization during shooting, including macro shooting, which had proven difficult for conventional image stabilization technologies.

Dynamic IS

The image stabilizer has Dynamic IS technology which especially effective when shooting while walking because it compensates strong camera shake. Dynamic IS activates automatically when the camera is set to movie shooting.

Mode 1

Corrects vertical and horizontal camera shake. Mainly effective for shooting still subjects.

Mode 2

Corrects vertical camera shake during following shots in a horizontal direction. Corrects horizontal camera shake during following shots in a vertical direction.

Mode 2

Corrects vertical camera shake during following shots in a horizontal direction.

Mode 2 (Intelligent OS)

The lens incorporates Intelligent OS with algorithm capable of panning in all directions. In Mode 2, the movements of subjects can be captured with panning effects even when the camera is moved horizontally, vertically, or diagonally — regardless of the position of the lens.

Mode 3

Corrects camera shake only during exposure. During panning shots, corrects camera shake during exposure only in one direction the same as Mode 2. Effective for following fast and irregulary moving subjects.

Panning Detection

The image stabilizer automatically detects panning and then corrects camera shake only in one direction

Tripod Detection

It is often thought that image blur caused by camera shake can be prevented by using a tripod. Actually, however, even using a tripod may result in image blur because of tripod vibration caused by mirror or shutter movement at the time of exposure. The image stabilizer automatically differentiates the frequency of the vibration from that of camera shake, and changes algorithm to correct image blur caused by slight tripod vibration.

VR NORMAL

Corrects vertical and horizontal camera shake. Automatically detects panning and then corrects camera shake only in one direction.

VR ACTIVE

Corrects vertical and horizontal camera shake when shooting from a moving vehicle, or some other unstable position. Panning is not detected.

VR SPORT

Allows a continuous shooting frame rate and release time lag similar to those that are possible when image stabilizer is turned off. Automatically detects panning and then corrects camera shake only in one direction.

VR TRIPOD

It is often thought that image blur caused by camera shake can be prevented by using a tripod. Actually, however, even using a tripod may result in image blur because of tripod vibration caused by mirror or shutter movement at the time of exposure. The image stabilizer automatically differentiates the frequency of the vibration from that of camera shake, and changes algorithm to correct image blur caused by slight tripod vibration.