Photos & Overview: Canon 100mm f/2.8L Macro Lens

Underwater Photos from Canon's 100mm Macro Lens on Full Frame
By Brent Durand


Photos & Overview: Canon 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM Lens

Underwater Photos from Canon's 100mm Macro Lens on Full Frame

Text and Photos By Brent Durand




Underwater photographers in the Canon camp know that the 100mm f/2.8L lens is essential in their lens lineup. Crop APS-C sensor shooters (7D, T5i, 70D) appreciate the reach for 1:1 macro on small subjects while Full Frame shooters (5Dmk3, 6D) appreciate the versatility and ability to shoot both medium and small critters.

The 100mm focal length is the lens size on Full Frame (based on 35mm film), however this reach is extended to about 160mm on APS-C sensors. 

I shoot the 100mm primarily on a 5D Mark III, often adding a +10 diopter for super macro subjects. The lens autofocuses very fast with a 0.3m (0.99ft) minimum focus distance to achieve true 1:1 macro. I generally leave the focal range on Full so that the lens can focus from the minimum distance to infinity. While this is the most versatile setting, know that the lens will "hunt" for focus through this entire range if it doesn't lock right away. I also switch my camera between focusing upon half-depress of the shutter button and back-button focus (utilizing the AF-ON button). The lens tends to hunt more when using back-button focus in dark conditions (i.e. under a ledge in the shade), which is easily remedied with a focus light.

In short, the 100mm macro is a fantastic lens and you'll never see me on a dive trip without it.



Canon 100mm Macro Lens Highlights:

  • 15 Lens Elements in 12 Groups
  • Diagonal Field of View: 23.4°
  • Focus Adjustment: Internal with IS and USM. Full-time manual focus available
  • Minimum Focusing Distance:  0.99ft / 0.3m
  • Filter Size:  67mm



Sample Photos from Anilao, Philippines:

Shot during Bluewater Photo's spring 2014 workshops.


Hairy (algae) Shrimp and Nudibranch. Shot with Canon 5D Mark III.


Whip coral shrimp and sand wave. Shot with Canon 5D Mark III.


Hypselodoris krakatoa nudibranch and tunicates. Shot with Canon 5D Mark III.




About the Author

Brent Durand is an avid California beach diver, photographer and writer dedicated to capturing unique underwater, ocean lifestyle and adventure images. Brent is editor-in-chief of the Underwater Photography Guide. Make sure to follow UWPG on Facebook for updates on everything underwater-photography.



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