Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro Lens Sample Pictures

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro Lens Sample Pictures
Fall Crocus Fall Crocus
This naturally-lit fall crocus was captured handheld. For macro shots, a narrow aperture is needed to keep a significant portion of the subject in focus.
100mm  f/11.0  1/50s  ISO 200
Spider on a Helleborus Spider on a Helleborus
I was shooting this Helleborus flower in my studio when the spider climbed out of its hiding spot and raced across the leaf. I immediately went into action-photography mode and timed the shutter to include the spider in a balanced composition.
100mm  f/16.0  1/160s  ISO 100
Polyphemus Moth Polyphemus Moth
The Polyphemus Moth is very beautiful - especially when they are just out of their cocoon. This Polyphemus Moth has not taken its first flight yet, and with perfect wings, required almost no post processing. Light is from a setting sun.
This shot made great use of the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 L IS USM Lens' image stabilization. IS helped me frame the shot precisely, tightly and kept the shot sharp at 1/50 sec. The camera position is such that the entire length of wings falls into the plane of sharp focus.
100mm  f/11.0  1/50s  ISO 100
Hoar Frosted Fall Leaf Hoar Frosted Fall Leaf
This fall-colored leaf is covered in hoar frost. The frost creates a sharp contrast with the dark red leaf and the very dark background.
An f/2.8 aperture yields a very thin DOF at this short focus distance. Careful alignment of the leaf is necessary to keep an adequate portion of the subject in focus. The benefits of the narrow aperture are a faster shutter speed (it was extremely windy at the time of this shot) and a completely-blurred background.
This shot was taken handheld at 1/25 and near 1:1 / 1x magnification thanks to IS.
100mm  f/2.8  1/25s  ISO 100
Softly-Lit Many-Petaled Purple Flower Softly-Lit Many-Petaled Purple Flower
Creating a soft, even light on a close subject such as this one is a challenge that is often best-met by a small softbox positioned just outside of the frame. Creating this light with an on-camera Speedlite is a challenge that is perhaps best-met with a Rogue FlashBender Softbox.
For this photo, a Canon 600EX-RT was mounted with its head in the forward position. In this position, the attached FlashBender Softbox protruded out over the end of the lens to provide a broad overhead light on the flower, creating nice soft lighting without harsh shadows.
From a compositional standpoint, I positioned the flower so that the lines of the petals would radiate into the picture from a point about 1/3 of the way into the frame from both the bottom and right. The purple color borders/frames the cream/white color.
100mm  f/11.0  1/60s  ISO 100
Rainbow Over Atlantic Ocean Rainbow Over Atlantic Ocean
A small but strong storm moves off the coast of Acadia National Park / Mt Dessert Island, Maine, USA producing a rainbow for all to see.
100mm  f/8.0  1/80s  ISO 100
Spangled Fritillary Butterfly Spangled Fritillary Butterfly
Few natural subjects surpass flowers and butterflies in colorfulness. Planting flowers that attract butterflies takes advantage of both and planting them in your yard means fast access to these great subjects.
Don't have a garden of your own? Don't want to do the work? Others love gardening. Find someone who has this passion and share your photography passion with them in the form of images and prints. Alternatively, find a public garden.
Coneflowers are one of my favorite flowers and a small garden of them behind the house provided hours of distraction (I mean "gear evaluation") for me this summer. The shape of the flower permits full view of the butterfly and the working area keeps the butterfly busy long enough to get the photo. Because these flowers are planted on a bank, I can shoot horizontally across the flower tops (to get blurred blooms in the background) without lying on the ground. A raised planting box offers a similar advantage.
Most macro lenses work well for flowers, but butterflies are sometimes not comfortable with a lens close to them. Longer focal lengths permit longer working distances. In this case, the spangled fritillary butterfly was quite tolerant of my presence and I was able to utilize the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro Lens at a close distance.
I'm still struggling to retrain my brain to frame slightly wider with the extreme resolution of the Canon EOS 5Ds R available, allowing minor cropping to achieve perfect framing during post processing. The result in this case was that the butterfly's antenna was slightly closer to the right edge of the frame than I wanted. Fortunately, I had taken multiple photos and was able to add a small strip to the right side of this image, with ideal wing position, from one of the others for a 52.9 megapixel final image size.
I used a Canon Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX II Flash with a camera exposure that balanced the ambient background lighting. Because the coneflower petals were closer to the flash than the butterfly, they were slightly brighter than I wanted. I decreased the brightness of the RAW file and overlaid the darker flower petals on the brighter butterfly and background.
What is in your flower bed? If the ideal flowers are not there, add them! Then get ready for your summer color.
100mm  f/4.0  1/160s  ISO 100
Water Droplets on Chrysanthemum Water Droplets on Chrysanthemum
I was shooting this Chrysanthemum early one morning. It was just wet enough that I wasn't completely satisfied with the results. So, using a small, empty eyeglass cleaner spray bottle, I applied a light mist of water to the mum until the image results were more exciting. This shot was taken handheld.
100mm  f/5.6  1/80s  ISO 200
Fall Foliage Reflecting on Eagle Lake Fall Foliage Reflecting on Eagle Lake
This particular Eagle Lake is in Acadia National Park, Maine. The sun shines on the brilliantly-colored fall foliage while the calm lake reflects its brilliance.
Macro lenses usually work very well for non-macro purposes.
100mm  f/11.0  1/13s  ISO 100
Ripe Berries Ripe Berries
Ripe berries await the flock of Cedar Waxed Wings that move from area to area harvesting the crop. Notice the S-curve flow the leaf, berries and branch form in the picture.
100mm  f/2.8  1/160s  ISO 100
Fall Sumac Leaves Fall Sumac Leaves
Sumac trees are one of the most-reliable fall-foliage performers in the area. They rarely disappoint. Isolate a leaf or small group of leaves against a pleasing background for a picture that also will not disappoint.
100mm  f/2.8  1/2000s  ISO 100
Artistic Botanical Tulip Composition Artistic Botanical Tulip Composition
My primary interest in photographing this Botanical Tulip was to capture the incredible colors. This composition adds part of the finely-patterned stem to the frame.
100mm  f/13.0  1/160s  ISO 100
Starfish Holding Hands Starfish Holding Hands
Well, more like crawling over each other. These starfish are in a shallow tidal pool on the Maine coast. Macro lenses are fun to explore with.
100mm  f/8.0  1/100s  ISO 100
Luna Moth on Green Luna Moth on Green
The green leaves complement both the color and the shape of this luna moth.
The secret for the ultimate butterfly and moth pictures is to raise your own subjects. When they emerge from the chrysalis/cacoon, their wing are perfect (no tatters) and they are happy to rest for long periods of time. I am blessed with a daughter who has a passion for raising my subjects. This shot was taken in my studio using a large planter and studio lighting.
100mm  f/11.0  1/160s  ISO 100
Flower Petals Flower Petals
The soft lighting for this flower petal picture came from a large softbox. Manual focusing was used for this handheld (with IS) shot.
100mm  f/11.0  1/200s  ISO 100
Chrysanthemum in Bloom Chrysanthemum in Bloom
A white and yellow Chrysanthemum shows various stages of bloom in this photo. This shot was taken handheld in available light.
1000mm  f/11.0  1/50s  ISO 500
Perfect Imperial Moth Perfect Imperial Moth
Finding wild butterflies and moths without tattered wings is a big challenge. The best answer to this challenge is to raise your own subjects. Or better yet, get one of the kids to do it for you.
This moth was photographed in-studio and released to the wild soon after it was able to fly. No editing was needed for those delicate wings.
100mm  f/11.0  1/160s  ISO 100
Misty Mum Misty Mum
Water droplets misted on a mum.
100mm  f/5.6  1/160s  ISO 200
Hoar Frost on Ground Cover Hoar Frost on Ground Cover
Hoar frost coats this low growing mountaintop plant. This approximately 1:1 / 1x magnification macro photo was shot handheld.
100mm  f/5.6  1/60s  ISO 500
Orange Zinnia Closeup Orange Zinnia Closeup
This is a near-to 1x magnification photo of an orange Zinnia flower in the early morning sunlight.
100mm  f/11.0  1/80s  ISO 500
Helleborus Flower Helleborus Flower
For this Helleborus flower composition, I created a curve through much of the frame using the of the stem and leaf combined. The flower is balanced on top of the green.
100mm  f/13.0  1/160s  ISO 100
Just Metamorphosized Monarch Butterfly Just Metamorphosized Monarch Butterfly
Capturing good butterfly pictures can be challenging. Perhaps the biggest two challenges to butterfly photography are constant, significant subject motion and tattered wings.
Butterflies are seldom still and often have a mild fear of humans. Add a little wind to their lightweight, wing-dominated bodies and even a stationary butterfly has motion.
Tattered wings are often best overcome by finding a new subject. It is hard to get a great butterfly picture without a near perfect wings and butterfly wings seem to deteriorate rapidly in their short lives. Even good quality subjects can require significant post processing to make wing repairs.
Raise your own subjects and these two challenges are erased. Well, erased for a short period of time at least. The kids have taken such an interest in monarch butterflies that we now have milkweed (the monarch caterpillar's food source) growing amongst a section of our house landscape. I'm not sure what others think about these "weeds" in our landscape, but ... the girls collected some monarch eggs this summer and raised them indoors, out of the reach of predators. Last week, the monarch metamorphosis moved from the chrysalis stage to the butterfly stage.
A bit of warning is given before the butterflies hatch – the color of the chrysalis turns from bright green to transparent, showing the dark butterfly tightly packaged inside. But, it takes a watchful eye to see the chrysalis open as this event occurs very quickly. Once open, the monarch pumps its wings up rather quickly and then appears to remain the same – and motionless – for a long enough period of time to capture many photos.
I was ready for this particular hatching. I had the milkweed leaf holding the chrysalis in a Delta Grip-It Clamp that was sitting on the kitchen island. A moderate distance behind the main subject was a cardboard box with a sheet of printer paper taped onto it.
A Canon Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX II Flash was mounted to a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 L IS USM Macro Lens and the lens was mounted to a Canon EOS 5D Mark III DSLR. A Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT Flash was in its shoe stand and configured as an optical remote slave to the ring flash.
The perfect-condition butterfly hatched and hung motionless from its chrysalis while I went into action.
The lighting I used for the butterfly image series I captured on this day, and a great technique for lighting in general, was separated by layer. The ring lite was providing the main subject layer lighting and the slave 600EX-RT took care of the background light with brightness levels individually controlled from the ring lite. With a white background and a set of Rogue Flash Gels, I was able to create a large variety of background colors for the images, but this particular shot's background was simply a green notebook. A variation I incorporated into some images, to create a less-even background color, was to use a coarsely crinkled sheet of aluminum foil as a reflector beside the printer paper.
After nearly two hours of posing, the butterfly became active and was released outdoors. After the forth butterfly hatched in as many days, I had enough willpower to just observe the process without a camera.
100mm  f/11.0  1/200s  ISO 100
Fall Crocus Closeup Fall Crocus Closeup
Looking down into a fall crocus flower under the soft lighting of a cloudy sky.
100mm  f/4.0  1/50s  ISO 200
Pink Flower Pink Flower
Shooting flowers almost feels like cheating. They are so beautiful that if you get the shot basics (lighting, composition, exposure and focus) right, the photo is always great. When shooting smooth colors at narrow apertures, sensor dust becomes very noticeable. Clean your sensor before shooting - and/or clone out the spots during post processing.
AI Servo focus mode and IS were used for this handheld shot. Lighting is from one studio strobe in a large softbox.
100mm  f/11.0  1/200s  ISO 100
Hoar Frosted Grass Hoar Frosted Grass
Dry grasses on top of Cadillac Mountain hold the night's hoar frost.
100mm  f/5.6  1/250s  ISO 100
Bird of Prey Feather Close-up Bird of Prey Feather Close-up
When photographing this close to a subject, it becomes difficult to get light past the lens. The Canon MR-14EX Macro Ring Light makes this task simple. The feather is evenly lit and, with the quick burst of flash providing all of the light, very sharp even though shot with a narrow aperture under dim lighting.
100mm  f/11.0  1/160s  ISO 100
Nasturtium Leaf Nasturtium Leaf
Nature provides great patterns for photographing. The orange background is a Nasturtium flower.
100mm  f/5.6  1/80s  ISO 100
If I Were a Fly ... If I Were a Fly ...
... I would be dead. This American Toad appears that it might be fly hunting. Don't be afraid to move in close to your subjects - to gain a different perspective/look in your images. Macro lenses make moving closer very possible - as long as your subject doesn't hop away.
100mm  f/3.5  1/100s  ISO 200
Sumac Tree Leaves in Fall Color Sumac Tree Leaves in Fall Color
Sumac Tree leaves in their reliable full fall color hang in the late day sun. A direct side-on camera position allows the subject leaves to remain in good focus while the background is strongly blurred due to the telephoto focal length and wide aperture.
100mm  f/2.8  1/1250s  ISO 100
Inside of a Poppy Inside of a Poppy
Macro lenses are among the most-fun lenses available and the Canon Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX II Flash makes getting great images with these lenses very easy.
The poppy is an especially big challenge to light from a top-down orientation. There are very few good methods to get light around the end of a macro lens without creating unwanted shadows deep inside this flower. The macro ring lite, with a pair of circular flash tubes positioned at the end of the lens, wraps a light around the flower's significantly-raised pistil while avoiding shadows created by the also-significantly-raised petals.
This result is what I was looking for. The lighting is somewhat flat, but there is plenty of color and detail in the poppy to keep me satisfied. This was a very easy picture to capture with the ring lite mounted.
100mm  f/16.0  1/200s  ISO 100
Layers of Plant Leaves Layers of Plant Leaves
By placing the camera's line of sight perpendicular to the plane of the plant leaf, much of the leaf remains in focus even with the shallow DOF producted by the f/2.8 aperture at this close distance. The more distant leaves obviously go out of focus. The primary leaf is fully contained in the frame, but the background leaves go beyond the frame into the corners.
100mm  f/2.8  1/125s  ISO 100
Frosted Landscape Frosted Landscape
A hoar frosted landscape found a the top of Cadillac Mountain, Acadia National Park, Maine.
100mm  f/8.0  1/50s  ISO 100
Fall Crocus Picture Fall Crocus Picture
Open the macro lens aperture wide and move in close. DOF will become very shallow. Use this fact to your artistic advantage.
100mm  f/2.8  1/1250s  ISO 100
Horizontal Tree in Yellow Horizontal Tree in Yellow
A yellow-leaf-clad tree growing horizontally curves through the photo while the rock provides a base for the frame. Acadia National Park is full of not-well-known photo opportunities such as this.
100mm  f/8.0  1/60s  ISO 200
Pink Petals Pink Petals
A closeup shot of pink flower petals.
100mm  f/11.0  1/200s  ISO 100
Promethea Moth Promethea Moth
To get this shot, I hauled a large tree stump into my studio. With the ability to use my full studio lighting and with a natural surface for the moth, I had an easy combination for good photos.
The shallow depth of field at such a close focusing distance means that moth and butterfly photos often work best with the wings aligning with the camera's sensor plane.
100mm  f/11.0  1/160s  ISO 100
Morning Glory Morning Glory
Using a narrow aperture at a short macro focus distance will leave much of the image out of focus. Sometimes this is desirable.
100mm  f/2.8  1/200s  ISO 100
Bug on a Daffodil Bug on a Daffodil
A setting sun, as usual, creates a great warm light. The close focusing distance, wide aperture and full frame sensor create a diffusely-blurred background. The little bug provides a small amount of entertainment and a point of focus on the beautiful Daffodil.
100mm  f/2.8  1/800s  ISO 100
Weeping Cherry Blossoms Weeping Cherry Blossoms
Weeping cherry trees are incredibly beautiful when in full bloom. However, I don't find it easy to create a compelling image from this subject. By getting under the tree and shooting upward (and timing my shots with the light wind) from a close distance with a wide aperture, I had a take-home that worked for me.
100mm  f/2.8  1/125s  ISO 200
Imperial Moth Imperial Moth
Raised from a caterpillar, this large Imperial Moth has just emerged from its cacoon - and is quite happy to pose for its in-studio portrait.
100mm  f/11.0  1/160s  ISO 100
Ring Flash Reflection on iPhone Ring Flash Reflection on iPhone
Some subjects beg to centered in the frame and one of the first of such subjects that come to my mind are products. Products are often rendered large in the frame, showing as much detail as possible in the space allocated for them on a web page, product catalog, etc. Today's product is a smart phone – an iPhone 5 to be specific.
I first shared this iPhone photo in the Canon Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX II Flash review and obviously, the ring flash is the source of the bright reflection. Ring lite flash reflections in my photos is not usually my preference, it probably does not help sell the product in this case and I typically avoid these, but ... sometimes creatively using the open and close parenthesis reflection can work for at least an artistically creative purpose.
This phone and the glass under it is on are both black and highly reflective. To avoid other reflections on the phone and glass, I had a piece of black velour material between me and the subject and the ambient lights were turned off to create a black room. To get the flash reflection perfectly centered, I utilized the reflection of the MR-14EX's focusing lights while working straight overhead.
Working in the dark with only the focusing lights made perfectly aligning and centering the subject with the camera perfectly positioned over the phone a big challenge. I'll just say that more than 1 photo was required to get it right. I might have very slightly tweaked the image borders in Photoshop also – when the borders of an image are solid white or black in color, it is easy to manipulate the image boundaries.
The overall result in this case is an image that you probably have not seen before (other than in the aforementioned review).
100mm  f/13.0  1/200s  ISO 100
Wolf Spider Carrying Babies Wolf Spider Carrying Babies
People seem to enjoy being creeped out around this time of the year (Halloween) and spiders are a perennial favorite source of creepiness. They happen to be my wife's biggest fear at any time of the year, so when I brought a mother wolf spider carrying a big "cluster" of babies into the house for a photo op (it was dark outside), she was not too happy. And when the spider jumped off of my white paper background and lost her cluster, I went back outside (after corralling what seemed like hundreds of tiny baby spiders).
I wasn't looking to create an award-winning photo of this spider, but wanted decent quality without much time investment. I mounted a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro Lens to a Canon EOS 5Ds R and attached a Canon Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX II Flash. The scene was dark (even inside) and the lens shaded the subject at this distance, so I utilized the MR-14EX's focus assist lights to manually focus on the mother's eyes (all 8 of them) with the plane of sharp focus angled to include many of the babies.
As mentioned, I went high-tech with the background: a sheet of white printer paper goes with everything. With the main subject being medium-dark colored, I was able to boost the highlights slightly in post, creating a pure white background, without negatively impacting the mid and dark tones.
Spiders are a popular fall theme and that is probably the only time of the year when you can post a spider picture that gets socially shared. Find out who has arachnophobia. Dig out one of your spider pics or better yet, go create a new one. Share it and peg the creep-out meter.
100mm  f/11.0  1/125s  ISO 100
IO Moth IO Moth
This is a newly-hatched IO Moth resting on a cedar tree trunk.
When photographing butterflies and moths at close distances, it is diffucult to keep their entire wing surfaces sharp. A narrow aperture and careful parallel sensor and wing alignment is key to this. Because this moth is somewhat rounded, I was still not able to keep the wing tips sharp at this focus distance even with an f/10.0 aperture.
Lighting is from direct late-day sunlight.
100mm  f/10.0  1/80s  ISO 100
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