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Fotografie: Canon EF 2.0 100mm USM Hands on Review

Copyright by Michael Bockhorst 11 10 09 - 19:09

High grade light tele foto lens - a great fun!

Canon EF 2.0 / 100 USM

Independently: 2.0 / 100mm @ APS C Sized sensors

Boring? Yes, perhaps on the first glimpse but ... it's a 160mm (150mm) lens with ultra fast f 2.0 giving shallow depth of field, short shutter speeds, the great chance to make good available light shots. The best thing is that 2.0 / 100mm isn't to complicated to make. These lenses are

  • produce (very) high image quality
  • at moderate prices
  • in small and lightweight packages.

That should be right for all 2.0 / 100mm lenses of all brands.

The Canon EF 2.0 / 100mm USM - the mechanics

That lens is much smaller than everything I know for tele photo snapshots. It's no L Lens so there is no red ring. It's not a large tele photo lens whit white finish. It's USM focus drive is near silent. That allows sponanous and discrete photography.

Manual focus is o.k. and always possible in AF mode after the camera made her AF decision. F 2.0 helps to control the correct focus on the matte screen.

Back and front lens are fixed, only the internal focusing group moves. That prevents sucking dust inside the lens and the camera.

Image quality

Slight critics first: That lens exhibits visible lateral color fringing. Means, that objects behind the focus are greenish, in front they are reddish. But: That occurs at f 2.0 or f 2.5 and contrasty subjects, e.g. tree branches against the sun or a very bright sky. From f 4.0 that lens aberration is seen only in very specific conditions.

The rest of the gang of lens aberrations is just for pixel peeping. Just at 100 percent crops you can hardly see problems. The lens produces clean, contrasty images and shows a good reproduction of all the different textures which can be observed in nature. Wide open it is a little bit softer but from f 2.8 on you get crisp but not unnatural sharp fotos. Bokeh is very pleasing - because it shows the patterns of things behind or before the focus but does it without any distraction from the main subject.


For all the photographers who like tele photo or need a compact and discrete lens - especially for APS-C sized cameras - it is an all time winner for about 400 EUR / 450 USD. Just the f 2.0 makes a great lens for available light photography and artistic photos with very shallow depth of field. But it's also a fast and compact lens for capturing events and landscape.

For allround photography including plant/insect macros the new EF 2.8 / 100mm IS USM MACRO is the winner because of the close-up and macro abilities and the image stabilizer.

For me: I probably will own both lenses for different purposes. Because the new macro optics is 50 mm longer than the 2.0 100mm and marked by a red ring. That's no problem for nature and landscape photography but it is for situations where you don't want to be the attraction!