The Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro Lens: is an excellent macro lens – and may be Canon’s most fun per dollar lens. This is the lens I most frequently recommend for someone starting out in macro photography.
The 100 macro is a medium-small lens and is rather light in weight. This is a very comfortable-to-carry-and-use lens. Build quality is decent but not as solid as Canon’s L Series lenses.
Utilizing USM (Ultrasonic Motor), the Canon 100 Macro internally focuses very fast, quietly and very accurately. I’ve been questioned on the fast AF statement several times since writing this review. I’ve rechecked my lens and, though it takes a little time to go from 1:1 macro to infinity, it focuses very fast at normal focusing distances. The second person to question this exchanged their lens for another – the replacement was much faster than the original lens they received. This would indicate to me that there may be an issue with some samples of the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro Lens. Another site visitor emailed me – they were ecstatic that a firmware upgrade to their Canon EOS 1D Mark III DSLR resolved their 100mm Macro focusing speed issue. Also note that there is a discontinued non-USM version of this lens. Keep these datapoints in mind if you run into a slow version of this lens.
When focusing at 1x subject distances, it is very nice to have a lens that does not extend. FTM (Full Time Manual) focusing is enabled and the front element does not rotate. A focus limiter switch enables full or restricted focus distances. The MF ring is nicely sized, well-damped and smooth.
(Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro Lens 21.1 oz (600g) 3.1 x 4.7″ (79.0 x 119.0mm) 58mm)