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

Distortion

As expected for a fix-focal lens the level of distortion is absolultely negligible (0.05%).

The chart above has a real-world size of about 120x80cm. Things may get a little worse with extreme close-ups.

Vignetting

Vignetting is very well controlled with the lens - at least on an APS-C DSLR. Wide-open vignetting is just over ~0.5EV which is usually not an issue. In extremely critical scenes you may stop down a little which immediately lowers the vignetting to barely measurable levels.

MTF (resolution & chromatic abberations)

The lens delivered a very impressive performance in the lab. The center resolution is excellent even at wide-open aperture followed closely by the borders which enter excellent territories from f/4 and up. It is no problem to use this lens at wide-open aperture which is surely a mainstream setting for such a portrait lens.

Below is a simplified summary of the formal findings. The chart shows line widths per picture height (LW/PH) which can be taken as a measure for sharpness. If you want to know more about the MTF50 figures you may check out the corresponding Imatest Explanations

Chromatic Aberrations (CAs)

The chromatic aberrations (color shadows at harsh contrast transitions) are exceptionally low with this lens despite a very slight increase towards medium aperture settings.

Verdict

The Canon EF 100mm f/2 USM is one of the "can't loose" offers in the Canon lens lineup. It performed almost flawlessly in all tested categories. It's interesting that the figures are marginally better compared to its more popular sister lens (EF 85mm f/1.8 USM). So if you can't or don't want to invest into Canon L glass the EF 100mm f/2 USM is a pretty obvious solution providing similar qualities at a much lower price. Highly recommended!

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