Canon EF 100mm f/2 USM - Review / Lab Test Report
Lens Reviews - Canon EOS (APS-C)
Article Index

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published March 2006

Special thanks to Thomas Schaefer (Homepage) for providing this lens!


The Canon EF 100mm f/2 USM is one two classic portrait tele lenses that remain easily within the financial reach of most amateurs. There're quite frequent discussions in the various Canon web-forums whether to prefer this lens or its more popular sister - the EF 85mm f/1.8 USM. Released back in 1991 the EF 100mm f/2 USM is obviously a full frame lens but as usual we'll have a look how it performs on a mainstream APS-C DSLR where its field-of-view is equivalent to 160mm.

The optical construction is made of 8 elements in 6 groups without any special elements (which aren't really common in this lens class anyway). The lens features 8 aperture blades. The filter size is 58mm. At 460g it is still a very light-weight lens and with a dimension of 75x71.5mm it's also quite compact. A lens hood is available as an optional item. The build quality is very good indeed despite an outer shell made of (solid) plastics. The focus ring feel pretty smooth without any significant wobbling.
The lens features a ring-type USM AF drive (rear focusing) with full-time manual focusing in one-shot AF mode. AF speed feels extremely fast with this lens. The minimal focus distance is 0.9m resulting in a max. magnification of 0.14x (~1:8).