…and it couldn’t be more positive! It’s the first L lens I have ever owned so on that basis alone I am sure it was bound to be impressive, but the 100L is truly a spectacular lens.
When I first decided to venture into L lens territory, I decided my money would be best spent on a portrait lens that would serve double-duty as a macro, so the 100L was an easy choice. The lens is quite heavy at 22 oz, but I still find it easy to balance even in my small hands, and the IS works well, enabling me to shoot reliably even as low as 1/15 sec. The lens is very quiet when focusing, and it feels solid and well built.
I have read that it is best at 4.0–5.6, but I found it is amazingly sharp at all apertures, even when shooting wide open (both of these are at 2.8):
And a 100% crop of her right eye (my focus point was on her upper lashes):
The 100L finds focus very quickly and easily (even on a girl twirling through the surf!), and you can immediately override the autofocus mechanism without switching the AF/MF button just by turning the barrel of the lens—helpful when shooting when something is “in the way” of the actual object you want to focus on, like snow:
It’s color rendering is quite accurate in neutral light, producing the soft, warm colors I love straight out of camera.
I am happy with it for full-body through super-close-up portraits:
This is an example of it’s macro capabilities. The 100L is a 1:1 ratio, meaning that an object that is 6 millimeters in diameter will “take up” 6 millimeters on the camera’s sensor. This snowflake was approximately 6 millimeters across, and this image is cropped to about a quarter of the size of the original image, but you can see that the sharpness of the lens easily compensates for the fairly extreme crop.
I love the subtle flare I can get from the 100L:
And the smooth, creamy background blur it produces is simply beautiful:
Finally, I love the soft way it renders out-of-focus points of light:
In summary, I absolutely couldn’t be happier with this lens. It has enabled my first real forays into macro photography (and I am thinking of getting an extension tube to explore further!), and it has brought the quality of my portrait images to a whole new level. It is truly a wonderful lens!